Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Never (Ever) After

"My songs are my children, and I expect them to support me when I'm old."
-- Dolly Parton

That was quick. I have a new release today: NEVER AFTER, an anthology with authors Laurell K. Hamilton, Yasmine Galenorn, and Sharon Shinn. "Feminist Fairytales" are the theme of the book; feminist, in the sense that the princesses are the ones who save the day and take charge of their destinies. My contribution is called The Tangleroot Palace, and it's about a girl named Sally who escapes betrothal to a warlord by seeking out a magical forest, and the queen who sleeps within. Of course, nothing goes exactly as planned.

I wrote that story while in Shanghai, sitting at a Starbucks, displaced from my favorite seat by the window because I needed to plug in my laptop and the only place to do that was beside the condiment island -- you know, the one with the napkins and sugar, and plastic utensils, and people splashing coffee on themselves and then looking at you like it's your fault. Not exactly a fortress of solitude. But I've written a lot of books -- or partials of those books -- in that particular Starbucks. Some places just make the brain spark.

In other news, if you'd like to see me a little more animated (ha, ha) check out this interview over at Second Life. I talk writing.


  1. I do 90% of my writing at one particular Starbucks. I'm here so often that I know every employee by name, and am actually here more than most of them.

    Let's not even talk about how much money I spend here in a month...

  2. As soon as I get to spend any reasonable amount of time in my new home, I'm going to seek out a public writing nook somewhere -- for when I need to go out and remind myself that there are in fact people.

    Paul Cornell -- go out and write among the people! (But it doesn't have to be a Starbucks, which I loathe like unto something loathsome.)

  3. I spend an inordinate amount of time in my local Starbucks, as well. But though the employees all know my face and my drink of preference (black tea, unsweeted with no water), they don't know my name and I don't know theirs. I find the persistent anonymity kind of comforting, actually...

  4. I find it so comforting to write in coffee shops -- there's something about the smell of coffee and desserts, and the background noise of people. Yes, people! There can be problems, though, when you're there so much that folks start asking questions. I like my anonymity, too.


  5. Marjorie: Well, sure, if you're prestigious enough to get the fancy seat next to the condiment tray. Then they have to know you're a somebody.

    Chris: Black tea with no water? So you just sort of chew the grounds? Whaaa?!

  6. "No water" means they don't dilute it, but serve it full strength. For some reason Starbucks assumes that all of their patrons prefer weak tea.

  7. Actually, I go out and write at my little coffee house once a week, when the cleaning lady pops in. It's tomorrow. I've been doing it for about a year. They know me to the point where they prepare 'the usual' ready for my arrival.

  8. I have found that I am too self-conscious to write in coffee shops--at least, not fiction writing. I am always afraid of being "that guy" in the coffee shop.

    Plus, I have found that I cannot write convincing dialogue unless I am in bare feet. So, that's a vibe-killer at any coffee place, even in Austin.

  9. It really creeps out the other people at Starbucks when I read back dialogue in the funny voices.

    No wait. I was in a bar.