Friday, April 29, 2011
Plus, I've been writing. Like, a lot. Like, sit down and plow through 1.5K after work and chow down another 1K as an after-dinner snack whenever my schedule lets me. Which, given I've been running out of time to shower lately, is doing pretty well. So I've been following the inspiration and feeding the muse as much as she'll stomach, because you don't always feel like this--sometimes inspiration is dry and it's harder to chug out your word count goals. But of course, this all means I've had less time for interacting with all of you who also inspire me and keep me going.
So--a short update and general ramble over how writing is going. Secret Departure project is going really well--I feel excited about it, I feel, even, mildly confident in it. I'm at 45K (a bit of a slower pace since the first few frenzied weeks, but still respectable for me, for a project I started in February!) and am beginning to pore back over the earlier parts of the book to see what I still need to flesh out. (Consensus so far: A lot.) I'm also trying to decide exactly how to end it, because we're getting to those scenes that will set up a slam-bang ending. See, I know what happens...but not the details. And the details are the most fun, aren't they?
But--I've been feeling really squishy about the project, even though I feel that the plot and characters and concept are all rock-solid. Why? It's not historical fiction, as I shared last time I talked about it. And that's what I do...right? It shakes my identity as a writer to be attempting something different from what I first believed I had a niche in.
Then I read this post on the Guide to Literary Agents blog. Nothing the writer says quite addresses my concern, but a couple pieces hint at it. One is point #1--about writing to market. Here's the deal--the kind of HistFic I write and want to write? It's not the hottest thing right now. If it was snapping, sparkling good, could it sell? I'm sure--but compared to what's in vogue, it's an uphill battle. It's ok to acknowledge that, I finally realize. And it's ok to write something that sings to me but might have a slightly better stab at selling, just by nature of what people are buying. The other is point #3--about branching out. Sometimes it's ok to branch out--yes, most people can't do a career as a Historical/Urban Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Prescriptive Nonfiction writer. You have to settle down eventually. But you learn from everything--and you never know what might emerge as your new love.
I love historical fiction. But I love what I'm writing now, too.
And, for anyone still hanging on and wondering what the heck I'm working on: It's post-apocalyptic / rather edging toward dystopian young adult.
And it's a blast!
Monday, April 25, 2011
As soon as it gets here, fun times in the cutting room! Also--I need a fun name for this dress. "Regency dress" sounds boring. If you have any thoughts...leave 'em in the comments. I'm fresh out of creative wordplay today. The event at which it's making its debut is a Jane Austen festival in July...with a Sense and Sensibility theme. See if that gets you anywhere :)
And--short cloak, I have not forgotten you. You will be cut soon. Hopefully in time to accompany me to our next, probably rather rainy, event.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Ahem. Sorry. Drifted a bit there.
Then I started playing with more nineteenth-century fun stuff. And there are certainly some bonnets whose lines are graceful, whose trim is sophisticated, and whose general air is sweet, spring-like youthfulness. Perfect for Easter!
Adorable pink straw, open-woven bonnet with an almost-superfluous cascade of silk flowers. Ca. 1865.
Fancy-woven straw bonnet, ca. 1835. Could have been decorated with faux flowers, silk ribbon, or whatever suited the wearer's taste.
Silk-covered 1850s bonnet with sophisticated tonal pink trim. I love the contrasting lining!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Second--after a delightful weekend at the Happiest Place on Earth, I've decided I have to return in July for a Regency-era event. The Jane Austen Festival is outside my usual schedule--but I can think of no better way to spend a summer afternoon than with the ladies and gentlemen in whose company I spent this past weekend, and wearing a new gown from an era I haven't ventured into yet.
So! I've ordered a pattern to use for my new Regency gown, and plan to rely pretty heavily on Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion for guidance and adjustments. The pattern is Period Impressions Bib-front gown, and looks quite a bit like one of the gowns featured in Arnold's book. I'm especially excited to play with the fitting on the back and the gathered, high skirt. I'll be making the short-sleeved version...as it will be worn in July. Should be fun!
The only question on the gown now is fabric...I'd love to use a very lightweight linen or cotton. So far, a couple contenders:
Pretty moss green linen.
My quandry is that I tend to look better in darker colors--but for a summery Regency day dress, pale colors seem much more appropriate. Perhaps a shot of color from my faux-coral necklace or a brooch or ribbon would brighten the ensemble and keep me from looking like a washed-out Pasty McPasterson.
Any thoughts on color choice? Will keep you all posted on the progress!