Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Finished! Plus, link to a celebratory recipe. Plus, what should I read now that I have time?

For certain generous values of “finished.” But, yay! First rough draft is in fact done! 118,000 words, which is an excellent rough draft length — I will do my best to cut a minimum of 10,000 words. That’s only 8 percent; how hard can it be? Right?

Right?

I celebrated by making this super-indulgent recipe for breakfast on Sunday. It should come with a warning: MAKE FOR A CROWD. YOU CAN’T EAT JUST ONE. Not that I was trying to stop at just one, but honestly, hard to stop after a dozen, too. I made half the recipe and it’s amazing how many coconutty-chocolatety little biscuit things you can devour in one day. Mmm.

The ganache would be totally gilding the lily, but I admit I didn’t bother with that part.

So, anyway. Tonight I want to switch one smallish scene to Natividad’s pov, since for some inexplicable reason I didn’t do that in the first place. I don’t know what the back of my writerly brain was thinking that I didn’t do it that way in the first place. Honestly, brain, get a clue.

Then I have a list of about, I don’t know, a dozen things that I need to fiddle with. Some are specific and therefore easy; some are the kind of tweak-through-the-whole-manuscript thing that is enormously tedious and annoying. Then there is always the difficult decision about whether everybody has a clear character arc and the fiddling necessary to make sure the answer is Yes. For this one, there is also the equally difficult decision about whether the two plotlines tie together well enough. (If they don’t, I’m sure my agent, Caitlin will tell me ALL about it, she has an invaluable eye for that kind of thing.)

But! I don’t intend to tackle the real revision until September, maybe even mid-September, because often these things work better with a little time to rest. So in the meantime, I will definitely be choosing some great books to read. But what?

On my physical TBR shelves, I have RANGE OF GHOSTS by Elizabeth Bear — you know, I have never read anything by Bear? Also UNDER HEAVEN by Kay, and NAMAAH’S KISS by Carey. Among a lot of other things, naturally. I would really like to whittle down the number of books on the TBR shelves, which are overflowing just a trifle. Maybe I could go on an Asian-setting kick and read the NAMAAH trilogy and UNDER HEAVEN and SNAKE AGENT by Liz Williams? That would help with the overflow problem.

Then on my Kindle, among many other things, I have CROWN DUEL and COURT DUEL by Sherwood Smith — another writer I have never read anything by, which I would like to correct. So many of the titles I am most enthusiastic about are on my Kindle, it can be hard to make myself look at the physical TBR shelves.

And even beyond the Kindle! On my Amazon wishlist, which I use pretty much as a subsidiary memory? On there I have some fabulous titles. I am so behind. I may be the only person on Earth not to have read CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein yet. Of course I will love it, but I’m not sure I’m in the mood for something that intense.

So many books! Can we have twice as many hours in the day, just for September?

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7 Comments Finished! Plus, link to a celebratory recipe. Plus, what should I read now that I have time?

  1. Pete Mack

    Range of Ghosts is also Asian. And it is lush, beautiful writing. I’d put Bear ahead of Carey any day. Bear is one of my absolute fave authors; Carey, not so much.

  2. Rachel

    Really? Well, hey, I think the Asian thing definitely seems like the way to go — starting with RANGE OF GHOSTS.

  3. Elaine T

    FX: dark-pelted rodents in slinky shoes form into line and dance sinuously back and forth, back and forth, as the band plays to a hot-blooded rhythm that disturbs the senses … Conga rats.

    :-) Congratulations on finishing!

    That recipe looks deadly. [squirrels it away for company]

    I haven’t read CODE NAME VERITY either, I just finally got around to reading the semi-Arthurian trilogy. I’d had WINTER PRINCE on my TBR pile for years and kept bouncing off, until a couple months ago.

    If that title by GGKay isn’t a mistake, you’ve got two Asian set books by him to enjoy, UNDER HEAVEN & RIVER OF STARS. Each stands alone, but RoS remembers the period of UH, so it doesn’t hurt to have read it first. Bear & Carey I haven’t read. I started one of the Liz Williams but it was the middle of the series, and may have suffered accordingly.

  4. Rachel

    Fine, fine, I meant RIVER OF STARS, that’s what happens when you totally don’t go look at your TBR shelves and all the titles sort of glom together in your head. I really enjoyed UNDER HEAVEN, though I thought it could easily have gone to a second book rather than cram all that stuff into the long epilogue.

    I read THE SUNBIRD first of Wein’s and even though I’ve read the rest of the semi-Arthurian series now, frankly I would still start with THE SUNBIRD rather than THE WINTER PRINCE, even though it is chronologically later.

    I really liked (most of) the KUSHIAL’S DART series by Carey, so I’m hoping I enjoy the NAMAAH series as well. I definitely do enjoy Carey’s writing, but some of the torture-sex scenes were a bit much for me.

    I’m halfway through RANGE OF GHOSTS now — and loving it! What a great setting, I’ve never read anything quite like it — I mean just as far as the “ordinary steppe” goes, never mind the fascinating stuff with the sky and astrology that changes depending on where you are and who’s conquered the area most recently. Bear has also pulled off the trick of getting me to be interested in all of her pov characters. I don’t even totally detest being dragged into the bad guy’s pov, because those sections are thankfully really brief.

    And yes, I do want to read more by Elliot. I haven’t really read anything by her since the JARAN series, which I loved, although I thought it fell apart a bit toward the end. I’ve definitely been wanting to try some of her newer work.

  5. Pete Mack

    I agree about Elliott: Jaran got away from her, though not as much as her next–really sprawling–series. She really got it back together with CROSSROADS. It’s actually a bit similar to RoG.

  6. Rachel

    Good to know the Crossroads trilogy works well, because I have the second book on my TBR shelves — I think I picked it up used at a convention last year — so I have been intending to get the first one eventually and try the series.

    Now I’m kind of wanting to re-read the first JARAN book, too, which I really loved and which stands alone just fine.

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