language of nature

(no subject)

omg here it is

A hunter should never fall for his prey.
A hunter’s heart should never fall prey to his quarry.

Still nursing his latest post-mission hangover, bounty hunter Theseus jumps at a high-paying, high-risk job that sounds ridiculously easy. Yet from the moment he nabs the alleged supersoldier with sedative gas, nothing is as it seems.

On the run from the facility where he was created and raised, Taur is desperate to locate his genetically engineered brothers and sisters. To rescue them—and himself—from slavery. Waking aboard Theseus’ ship, his fury is tempered by curiosity about his captor.

Despite his doubts about his prisoner, Theseus figures it’d be risky to let Taur go—until they’re thrown together by a shared betrayal. They declare a tentative truce as they flee from a shadowy and immensely powerful organization that will stop at nothing to find them.

But as they wrestle with their growing feelings for each other, Taur and Theseus face an even greater danger. A lethal threat lurking inside Taur’s own body, waiting to explode…


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language of nature

And we are objects in the night sky

Last night I had one of those moments of panic that sneaks up on you, starting subtly and then rapidly becoming unmanageable before you have time to do anything about it. For about an hour i was overwhelmed with everything I still had to do, everything I haven't done that I wanted to, everything I've tried and have not succeeded at, everything I'm afraid I won't ever be able to do.

So I did what I'm trying to make a practice of and turned it all into words. It helped. I know a lot of you wrestle with similar things so maybe it will help someone else sometime.

An open letter to all the other writers who, like me, panic at midnight about being failures

The first thing you need to do is breathe.

Really, do that. Sit where you are and pull air into your lungs. Feel your body extracting what it needs and expelling the rest. Feel your blood collect it and carry it to all the other parts of you. Feel your pulse, feel the beat of your heart. Feel the firing of your synapses, if you can. Imagine all those little lightning flickers, and then imagine your brain lit up in brilliant rainbow colors as it goes about the endless process of making you who you are.

Reflect on how the myth that we only use ten percent of our brains is just that: a myth. Reflect on how you’re using most of your brain in some way most of the time. You are not a waste. You are not wasted. No part of you will ever be wasted. When you are done being you, every one of your atoms will go on to do something else. You will never run out of things to be, until the day when nothing is anything at all anymore.

So you’ve got all of that going for you.

Do you create? You’re a miracle. Do you create badly? You’re still a miracle, and just because you create badly now doesn’t mean you always will. Do you think you don’t create enough? You create as much as you should, and if you should create more than you do, you’ll find a way to do so. Do you have things left unfinished? You can finish them. If it turns out you can’t, you can’t. It’s not a crime. Forgive yourself for it.

Forgive yourself in general.

Maybe you love creating. Maybe, like me, you feel like you have to. Maybe you feel compelled. Maybe you feel empty and useless when you don’t. But that’s a lie. You are not empty, and you are not useless. You are full of wonders; you are a house in which every room brims with treasure. You are a cloud of interstellar dust in which stars are born. You are a strange and marvelous creature in a strange and marvelous universe.

And you are not alone. You are not unique. This is not a bad thing, because it means you are in good company. At this moment, feeling empty and useless and afraid, you are one among thousands, hundreds of thousands, and millions that stretch into the past and extend into the future. And let’s have none of this silliness about creative people being somehow exceptional; everyone feels empty and useless, and no one is, and everyone feels alone, and no one is.

You think you will never be the writer you want to be. You’re probably right. Make your peace with that; it doesn’t mean that you won’t be extraordinary. And even if you aren’t an extraordinary writer, you are not a writer who is a person – you are a person who is a writer, and the value of your existence does not depend on your ability to put the precisely perfect number of words in exactly the correct order.

Breathe. Then get out of your chair and walk. Maybe go outside, just for a moment. Look up into the dark and think about where you’ve come from and where you’ll go to. Think about who you were when you were born and who you’ll be when you die. You were born into and of worlds, and you’ll die there. That in itself is something to celebrate. That you are here, in this moment, breathing and heart-beating with your wonderful head like a jar full of fireflies.

Now go back inside and have some tea or something. Pet an animal, if you have one. And go to bed.

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language of nature

(no subject)

So I feel like it's still too silly and too soon to post this anywhere official, but I just spent about an hour planning the book I'm going to attempt as soon as the two I'm currently writing are done (assuming I don't jump right into Line and Orbit book three), and it's... Yeah, like Labyrinthian it's tropey as FUCK but I think it might be so fun.

I'm going through the first Mass Effect and you might want to blame that.

Working title is one I've used before on a much older and unpublished and not very good book: Harbinger.

In the year 2271, Earth is a brutal planet of heavy storms, blistering heat, and high sea levels. Humanity has spent the last sixty years in a nearly constant state of war over increasingly dwindling resources. Fossil fuels are rare as diamonds. Water is a thing to kill over. Entire continents exist in a state of famine. Governments exist in name only. Society is sharply divided between the uber-wealthy, who live in domed, climate-controlled arcologies and employ private armies, and those who live in crushing poverty in slums that stretch for miles.

Into this nightmare world come the Madijiara, extraterrestrial beings of uncertain nature and even more uncertain intentions. Upon making first contact with humanity, the Madijiara offer what seems like salvation: limitless sources of food, clean water, and boundless energy, as well as medical technology far in advance of anything humans possess. And even more astounding: the technology to travel instantly between the stars. One day, the Madijiara promise, humanity will be allowed to take their place among a select and favored group: the Madijiaran United Tributaries.

There's just one catch: the Madijiara want their tribute. And they refuse to reveal what it is without a promise of Earth's complete submission.

Ten years later, Earth is a subject of the Madijiara. While things have improved, many people still live in privation, and Earth's environment appears damaged beyond even the power of the Madijiara to repair. Humanity hopes for the day when they can emigrate wholesale to a new world selected by the Madijiara, a place of clean air and water, temperate climate, and new beginnings. Humanity hopes for this - and also prays, literally, to the Madijiara, whom many now revere as gods. Colloquially referred to as the Seraphs, the Madijiara remain mysterious. And every year a Madijiaran delegation arrives to collect their tribute: Three hundred humans, who are never seen again and whose fates are unknown.

Dock worker Josiah Maclan isn't pleased about being selected as tribute, but there's little he can do, and his selection will mean that his family wants for nothing. But en route to the Madijiaran ship, his transport collides with a rogue Madijiaran vessel. Josiah finds himself the sole survivor of the crash - and prisoner of a renegade Madijiaran, who calls himself Samael.

Ruthless, cunning, and profoundly dangerous. Samael is nevertheless a creature of principle, and that principle might just get him killed. Which is exactly what he wants. He is being pursued by the Madijiaran authorities for the ultimate blasphemy: the introduction of the possibility of death into the immortal Madijiaran society. Fascinated by mortals - and, grudgingly, increasingly fascinated by Josiah himself - Samael is on the hunt for an ancient artifact that contains the secret of death, one that the Madijiara have kept hidden for millennia. And Josiah is his only hope of finding it. Whether Josiah likes it or not.

A stolen sacrifice. A fallen angel. Oh, this is going to end well.

Hopefully I can start work on it sometime in the fall.

I get so tired of writing novels and I just keep writing them.

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language of nature

(no subject)

So I've basically abandoned this thing for actual journaling purposes, seems like, except for RP and when things suck and I want to rant about them. That said, here's a post-end-of-the-semester update:

  • I still have no job, though I am teaching a course this summer. I'm looking for another graduate assistantship on campus, I've applied for a paid internship at the Census Bureau, and I'll be looking elsewhere. Not panicking yet. Much. Sometimes nights are bad.

  • Still not sure if I'm finishing the PhD, though at this point I'm operating under the assumption that I am. We'll see where we are in a few months.

  • My mental health status is okay. Not great. The dermatillomania tics in my hands are bad. Almost all my nails are breaking pretty much constantly because of the pressure when I compulsively squeeze my fingers together. I tried one medication, it didn't work, now I'm trying another. I'm starting to consider the possibility that we might not find one that helps me, or that I'll have to go on an SSRI (please no), or that I'll have to minimize my typing, because that seems to make it worse. But I'm writing two novels right now and editing a third, plus papers and blogging. How exactly am I supposed to not type?

  • I am losing weight. Putting most of that on the Metformin. Amazing what can happen when your body is finally processing sugar the way it should.

  • In positive writer news, in July I'm publishing A Brief History of the Future, a collection of essays - self-publishing, because I wanted to see if I could, because I may have to if I want to get the Line and Orbit sequel out there. Currently I'm running a giveaway on Goodreads for two signed copies of the trade paperback, so if you want a free book by me, you can enter to get one here. I've also put up a pre-order page for it on Smashwords, and if you pre-order you get a dollar off the eventual list price. And I'm naturally very grateful if you do. I worked hard on this book, in terms of compiling the material and designing the interior/making the ebook look nice, and I'm pleased to say I think it's of professional quality and rather good.

  • And finally, got the cover for Ravenfall - Casting the Bones Book 2 - and it's gorgeous:

    It also gets a release in July. Today I wrote a piece on Ava, my genderqueer/nonbinary co-protagonist. Writing them has taught me a lot and I love them.

    Ravenfall also has a Goodreads page.

So... Yeah. Stuff. I'll try to be around more. Also I need to do a SOTP.

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language of nature

(no subject)

The mostly-from-scratch rewrite of Wordsinger is done, at just over 93k words. I think I may add a wee bit more in my editing pass but probably not much if anything; it feels pretty complete to me.

This remains my Agent Book. We'll see.

I seriously need a break.

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language of nature

(no subject)

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly.


- Aaron Freeman

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