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Current Projects.

Hopefully, this should make my babbling about word counts a little more accessible.  So, what am I writing these days, anyway?


Many of you know that I've got one fully written but unpublished novel up under lock and filter already: Running In Her Veins, which is a classic gothic horror story (please do not confuse classic gothic and goth) about a kidnapped girl whose kidnappers claim to be protecting her from her biological father -- the head of an order of immortal demon-bound assassins.
A Stain Upon His HandsCollapse )

I'm really bad at summaries, and that one doesn't sound half as interesting to me as the work itself does, but at the moment I can't find better words.  There's blood magic, unresolved sexual tension, and morally ambiguous immortals having shirtless swordfights, okay?  One chapter is up and posted under lock and filter, viewable by request.  (All of these are viewable by request unless I note otherwise -- let me know if you're interested, and I'll add you to the filter and show you where to find it.

The Hellion PrinceCollapse )

Then there's the newest project:  The Knight of the StarCollapse )

Short Stories

Mutilation of the HermaiCollapse )

TumulusCollapse )

Projects on the Back Burner

Too numerous to get into.  I'll get into it anyway, but not in this post.

ETA:  Gotten into here and here.

Yuletide Reveals! And also Happy New Year!

 This year, I wrote two stories!  

The first was Hunting the Phoenix, historical RPF about Antinous and his affair with the Roman Emperor Hadrian.  It's kind of... a meditation on the unknowability of Antinous while he was a live, from Antinous' perspective.  The more I researched this story the more I had questions with no answers, and I wanted to write something that reflected that rather than putting in my own glib answers.  Of course, I did put in my own glib answers, too.  But I tried to be subtle about it, to the point where my primary beta reader missed them entirely.  Readers, I ask: what did you see me say on the matter?

The second was The Child Eaters, Greek mythology/Greek drama fic about Electra, Orestes, and Pylades after the murder of Clytemnestra.  The idea was to blend the wrenching verisimilitude of Sophocles with the over-the-top cynical strangeness of Euripides and add a soupcon on Tarantino, and I'mm not quite sure if it worked, but I had fun trying and I might want to tamper with it a little more. This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/834493.html. Comment wherever you feel most comfortable commenting.


 This year I received None So Blind, a Nazca-centric Gentlemen Bastards Sequence fic, and it definitely brought a smile to my morning.  The character voices are keen and the mini-episodes amusing.  

I haven't had time to start reading and reccing anything else yet, but I shall, which will actually give me something to blog about for a change.

And I wrote not one but TWO stories this year, both of them, I think, very distinctly my handiwork - guess either of them correctly and I'll reward you with flash-fiction of some kind.  Guess both before the reveal, and I'll write you something longer.  

Oh, and I guess Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, too.
This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/834205.html. Comment wherever you feel most comfortable commenting.

4th Street 2014!

 Registration is now open.  Megan & I will be going back for sure. This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/833805.html. Comment wherever you feel most comfortable commenting.

Dear Yulegoat,

Request 1: Persona 3  

I'd like to see what happened in between Persona 3 FES & Persona 4 Arena, with a special emphasis on the ladies of SEES. If you chose a FeMC route, Shinjiro, too.

I’m especially invested in/curious about Mitsuru, Fuuka, & Aigis; but the story could focus on as many or as few of them as you like.  Chihiro would be a nice bonus!

Request 2:  Otoyomegatari | The Bride's Stories  

Either 1) Shippy fluff with Amira & Karluk, preferably set somewhere after their current troubles have been resolved; or  2) How Smith wins his bride back? If there are additional Great Game shenanigans, that's a plus.

In case you’re not familiar with it, the Great Game is detailed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Game and the role it could play in the Bride’s Stories canon is especially fascinating to me.

Request 3:  Scott Pilgrim (Comics)  

All I want from life is a where-are-they-now 80s-movie-ending coda, showing as many of the cast as possible a few years later.

Ramona, Knives, Kim, & Wallace are the characters I’m most interested in, but I do love the whole cast, so I’m not very picky.

Request 4:  Gentleman Bastard Sequence - Scott Lynch  

Pre-TLOLL, anytime from age 7-21, Nazca & Locke (and the Gentleman bastards, optionally) getting into trouble together.

What it says on the tin.  I like caper stories and I adored what little we saw of Nazca & Locke’s friendship.  I’ve read Republic of Thieves, so feel free to draw from there as well.

Overall, I guess I’m not really picky this year.  I prefer dialogue and action to vignettes and introspection; I like to see the details of the world around the characters, and I have a great love of banter and shenanigans and capers, which I think nearly any of these requests could lend themselves to.  Ideally I want a fluffy story, mostly gen unless it’s Bride’s Stories but with plenty of shipping welcome as long as it isn’t the focus, and an ensemble cast of active characters pursuing their goals in creative ways.

Thank you so much for writing for me.
This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/833474.html. Comment wherever you feel most comfortable commenting.


No Subject?

 My blogging renaissance seems to have been temporary.  I haven't given up on it, exactly, but my interest has flagged yet again, and my creative energies are dispersed thither and yon, which is less than conducive for focusing on, y'know, my novels, let alone a blog lying fallow.

Revising Running In Her Veins continues apace.  I'm still stuck at the 75% mark in Hellion Prince.  I've had a few other novelistic impulses in the last few days, like The B Team, my garage-band superhero notion; and I'm having all kinds of feels about Steve Brust's suggestions on playing with structure.

So far this year, I've written 30,000 words, which isn't terrible, but it's about 25% of where I wanted to be.  Maybe i'll try to pick up a NaNoWriMo project this year.

That's all I've got at the moment.  Hopefully, I'll have more to say soon.
This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/833064.html. Comment wherever you feel most comfortable commenting.

Things I Did While Not Blogging.

 I'm sure you'l all be relieved to hear that dreamwidth/LJ wasn't the only social media site I was neglecting this year.  I also forgot to update my YouTube channel as frequently as intended.

You didn't know I had a YouTube channel?  Well, that would be because I started it earlier this year and, er, forgot to mention it.  Honestly, I think it's worth watching just for the expansion and contraction of my facial hair from video to video, but there are also frequent cameos from my cat, readings from novels, and a song I wrote.  Oh, and my impression of Kaworu from Neon Genesis Evangelion participating in a rap battle.

It's pretty clear between the meandering subjects and the terrible production values that I don't really know what I'm doing on YouTube, yet, but I'll probably continue to noodle around there until I do.  After all, it can't be worse than my first 12 livejournal posts....
This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/832953.html. Comment wherever you feel most comfortable commenting.

I'd like to go back to grad school.

 As you know if you've been following me on other social media, I've been thinking a lot lately about returning to academia.  I've been out for five years now, and career-wise I'm at a dead end - I have a solid resume for community organizing work, but I'm in a town where community organizers only get hired for election season; and I can't afford (nor do I want) to move at this time.  Job prospects on other fronts are pretty dismal... and this isn't just me being depressed and negative.  Since 2009 I've put in over 700 job applications and gotten nothing but temp work (mostly community organizing and canvassing work).  I've workshopped my resume twice.  I've networked as much as I can, although I'm admittedly bad at selling myself.  It's just not the Minnesotan way.

And all along, I've wanted to go back for a higher degree.  I just haven't seen a practical way to achieve that goal.

Well.  One of my local universities has both a master's program and a doctoral program in literature.  I can't pick and choose between schools the way I'd like to - doing that pushes my goal of a higher degree unseeably further into the future.  But I can pursue a master's degree in 2014 or 2015 right here, and get started.  It's not an ideal path, but it's an achievable one.  Tuition is reimbursed for TAs and the stipend they tack on on top of that would make grad school frankly the most lucrative career choice I've ever considered.

There is, of course, a catch.  In my last undergraduate semester, I was unable to take out the loans I needed to cover all of my tuition.  That means that at the present moment, I still owe $4600 directly to my alma mater, so they won't release transcripts to me, which means I can't apply.  At current irregular rates of income it would be between five or ten years before I could save enough to pay my current bills and still pay that down.

So I'm asking for help.  My debt to my college, GRE costs, application fees, and miscellaneous student activity fees at my school of choice total at $6035, and I'm trying to raise that money through... well, through asking friends, family, and kind-hearted strangers to offer me money.  In the last ten days I've already moved a staggering 10% of my way to that goal, more than I'd ever hoped... enough to bring me at least a year closer to that dream, but not enough yet to get me there by 2014 or 2015.

So I'm asking all of you, too.  Here is my gofundme page.  If you can spare even ten or twenty dollars, you'll be giving me a gift I will never forget.  I feel audacious and ashamed even to ask for this, but as far as I can tell, I've exhausted other viable options (the head of financial aid at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and I had a long talk about it -- she's a great lady, very professional and very funny, and she returns her phone calls promptly, but even she didn't have any constructive suggestions for me -- and her office was hardly the first place I've called).

Why should you donate to me?  Well, maybe you shouldn't.  But I'm passionate about literature and the study of it.  I've (almost) always done quite well at school.  If you help me, I won't disappoint your expectations.  I will live my life and pursue my career fiercely and gratefully.  When an opportunity comes to help someone the way so many people have already helped me, I will take it (actually, that's true whether or not you give me a dime.  I'm already committed to the notion of crowdfunding education as a viable supplemental thing, better than more loans by a longshot).  I've also promised that, by request, I'll write short fiction for any and all donors at 5 cents a word.  Donate $10 and you get a couple drabbles.  $50 and you get 1,000 words, and so on.  You can commission me as specifically as you'd like and I'll do my best to deliver.

 I can't really offer a lot of incentives other than that.  Pictures of my cat, maybe.  My undying goodwill.

I've got a dream.  I'll get to it on my own, someday.

I'd like your help so that I can get there sooner.

ETA: My writing is over here if anyone’s wondering how worthwhile commissioning me might be!
This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/832759.html. Comment wherever you feel most comfortable commenting.

Sixteen Tons is still stuck in my head.

 When I enter that into google, the top result is a calculator informing me that that's 14515 kg.  Wikipedia informs me that there are numerous Russian parody versions of the song (because it's apparently a huge hit in Russia) in which 'sixteen tons' is the weight of a bomb.

Mostly, after three days of constantly humming it, I want recommendations of other tunes by deep-voiced bluesmen that will drive it out of my head.

(Yes, I know it's categorized as country and not blues, but as genres go, I prefer blues.  Indulge me?)

This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/832326.html. Comment wherever you feel most comfortable commenting.

Oops, two days of unintentional silence.

 My productivity's more stable than it was last fall when I dropped off the face of the blogosphere, but I'm not quite comfortable back in the saddle yet, and there are days when a given blogging subject seems to have too many handholds  and I don't know where or how I want to climb onto it.

No profound essays today, but I'm still here, still intending to stick around.and keep posting.  My profound thoughts today are all centered around the notion that two Italian kids with no money seemed to be able to compile as much data on the Soviet space program as the entire apparatus of NASA did.  I'm a touch skeptical, given the source, but it's an interesting tale.

Second, have the unexpected delight of the Red Army Choir singing 'Sixteen Tons'.  I've been doing some reading lately on Russia & the USA's political relationship, currently and historically, and so I find this especially substance-rich.  How much common ground is there between what the song means to me and what it means to them?  How vast is the distance in perspective between the unshared grounds?
This entry was originally posted at http://matt-doyle.dreamwidth.org/832034.html. Comment wherever you feel most comfortable commenting.

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