Once there was Truth, my lady,
Crystal-pure and diamond-dense,
Clear and faceted, mirror and lens
And it showed you you and it showed you me
Until it flew apart, like the universe beginning.
(It never was, my lady, it never was)
We pick up shards with bleeding hands,
Cut each other with them like knives,
This truth must fall so another thrives,
Saw borders into the thought-lands,
As if to mend the wreck by winning.
(But it never was, my lady, it never was)
If only by some strained contortion,
We could see the shape of the mosaic
That will make a whole of every break,
Setting each fragment in true proportion
The image of our mother unbroken
(But it never was, my lady, it never was)
The light goes through each glassy blade
But distortion makes the image a lie
Though born of truth that cannot die.
So it must be till the whole is made—
The whole of which each piece is token
(Though it never was, my lady, it never was)
"Walking on Knives", my f/f little mermaid novelette, has switched publishers. It will now be coming out from Less Than Three Press. I will let you know the date as soon as I have it. Here's the goodreads page. There's an excerpt on my other blog.
Here's the summary, for now:
"A fairy tale romance based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid"-- with a happy ending that may not be what you expect.
The little mermaid has no idea that as she makes her way on land, she's being watched over by the sister of the very witch with whom she made her bargain. She has no idea that the witch's sister is falling in love with her.
When the prince decides to marry another woman, the little mermaid's secret helper offers her a chance to live. But the price may be too high..."
1. Don Carlos - Friedrich Schiller: I've written both of the fics in this fandom (as opposed to the Verdi opera fandom, which has some overlap). Both of them are Rodrigo-centric so you can see I'm interested in that character. Philip is also super-interesting, any sort of introspection/interaction with him is great! I ship Rodrigo/Elisabeth but PLEASE don't have them actually sleep together and/or character-bash Carlos. Generally I like canon-era and non-AU, though if you have an interesting AU, feel free. I just love all the characters and want MORE of them. For minor characters, I find the Duke of Alba fascinating (see his confrontation with Carlos in Act II) and Lerma is pretty cool as well. You don't have to include any of the characters I named-- I'm leaving you entirely free in that respect.
2. Quatrevingt-treize - Victor Hugo: Cimourdain is fascinating. Don't make him evil, but explore the complexity of the character. Other things I like-- Michelle/Radoub, Gauvain and his standards and his eye to the future, Lantenac's sang-froid. Things I don't like-- portrayal of the French Revolution as an overall negative and unnecessary event. Obviously it was complex, but don't just bash it.
3. Aeschuylus - The Oresteia: Based on the characters named, this is more likely to be Euripides' universe (iirc Iphigeneia doesn't appear in the Oresteia, and Pylades has one line). But anyway, I love the Orestes and Pylades relationship, however you interpret it. I love their willingness to sacrifice for each other. I love Electra and her bitterness and courage, and it would be interesting to see her marriage to Pylades. And of course, Iphigeneia and the eucatastrophic ending.
4. The Traitor Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson: Tain Hu is amazing and if you can capture the reasons why, her strength and cleverness and loyalty and desire to make others free, that would be great. I love Tain Hu/Baru. I also love the friendship between Lyxaxu and Oathsfire, so if you want to explore those two characters, I would be absolutely delighted.
Too many silences crowd upon
Each other like applause.
Keep still, and when the tyrant’s gone
Write then of what he was.
Save memory with sacrifice
Of your strangled voice.
Be pliant, willing, weak and nice
You haven’t got a choice.
What lives of Agamemnon’s war?
They stretched the poem out with gore,
But make your epic terse—
The words like those we now share
In delator-bred fear.
The briefest snatch is all you dare
Among those you hold dear.
Sing, Muse, at last, of what we knew,
Of what we could not say,
But as to what we didn’t do—
Forget that void, we pray.
-Shakespeare (any play)
-The Duchess of Malfi
-The Vorkosigan Saga
-The Three Musketeers (book)
-Le Nozze di Figaro
-Il Barbiere di Siviglia
-I Vespri Siciliani
2. The Talisman- Walter Scott
3. A Coalition of Lions- Elizabeth E. Wein
4. The Sunbird- Elizabeth E. Wein
5. Spring in Geneva- Sylvia Kelso
6. The Quiet Gentleman- Georgette Heyer
7. The Alphabet Stones- Ursula Pflug
8. Seaward- Susan Cooper
9. Return to Night- Mary Renault
10. Hild- Nicola Griffith
11. The Misanthrope- Moliere
12. Where It Began- Ann Redisch Stampler
13. Fiesco- Friedrich Schiller
14. We Were Liars- E. Lockhart
15. Range of Ghosts- Elizabeth Bear
16. Passion and Politics - Friedrich Schiller
17. The Forbidden Bestsellers of Pre-Revolutionary France- Robert Darnton
18. La Princesse de Cleves- Mme de Lafayette
19. Mistress of the Revolution- Catherine Delors
20. La Princesse de Montpensier- Mme de Lafayette
21. The Oxford History of the French Revolution- William Doyle
22. Violetta, Il mio diario- I miei segreti, i miei sogni- Silvia Gianatti
23. Fratelli d’Italia: pagine politiche- Goffredo Mameli, edited by David Bidussa
24. Le Petit Prince- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
25. Candide- Voltaire
26. Ourika- Claire de Duras
27. Don Carlos- Thomas Otway
28. Philippe II- Marie-Joseph Chenier
29. Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life- Peter McPhee
30. Northanger Abbey- Jane Austen
31. The Mill on the Floss- George Eliot
32. Dom Carlos- Cesar Vichard de St Real
33. Moderato Cantabile- Marguerite Duras
Plus 32 books I can't talk about (for anonymous reviews and such), bringing the total to 65 books read last year.
I have an epigraph for Lucretia:
"We’re more of the love, blood, and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can’t give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They’re all blood, you see."
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
So my projects for the rest of the year are a) get Thorns in shape for submission to agents, and b) solve my second-quarter-of-the-book plot problems for Lucretia so I can start making progress on it again.