Cherie Priest

Tiny Godzilla since 1975

a load off my mind

8 years, 2 months ago, just before lunchtime

After exchanging a few emails with the remarkable Mr. Schafer, I agreed to pass along my early draft of The Wreck of the Mary Byrd this morning. I would have preferred to spend more time with it – cleaning it up, tweaking it madly, and making sure I love it – but he’s an understanding sort of guy, and he’s the boss. Therefore, Draft One is on its way to Subterranean Press as of about ten minutes ago..

Here’s the flappage I passed along on its behalf. I’m not perfectly happy with it, but right now, I’m not perfectly happy with anything (oh, those first draft blues!), but it’ll have to do:

    In 1870 the steamboat Mary Byrd vanished on the Tennessee River, somewhere between Chattanooga and Knoxville. No trace of the wreck has ever been found.

    But when an accidental discovery brings historic trinkets to light, a curious ecology student finds clues to an old disaster in the mud by the river’s edge.

    Not every passenger on the Mary Byrd was home or business-bound, and no one drowned, though all disappeared. The boat’s ruin was a caused by a violent creature with a terrible secret that must stay buried. For 140 years it has waited for the wreck to rise, and now it prowls the water’s edge—ready to kill again.

I’m trying not to fret over it. Instead, I should really be fretting over Not Flesh Nor Feathers. Now I get to return to writing that one – and the clock is ticking. God, I love deadlines. I’d never accomplish a damn thing without them.

go me!

8 years, 2 months ago, in the evening

Today I got a semi-surprise attack of KICKED IN TEH UTERUS, YAY and spent half the day in a fetal position, hollering for motrin. Motrin acquired – I improved a little after lunchtime and got to work … but did not, in fact, finish Draft Zero of The Wreck of the Mary Byrd as intended. However, progress was made – as you can see:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
27,023 / 28,000
(96.5%)

I think I’m going to need to revise that “28,000″ guestimate. It’s probably going to run more like 30-32K in its first full form. Eh. With a little luck and a nother fistful of pills, I hope I can knock that out tomorrow. The closer I get to the end, the faster it goes anyway – so this is well within the realm of possibility. This makes me happy.

I’m also toying with the idea – JUST TOYING WITH THE IDEA, mind you – that it might be fun to turn Mary Byrd into the first of two or three novellas that feature my cute little werewolf-hunting Irish nun.* Maybe combine ‘em all into one book someday, or something. But I don’t know; I’m pretty busy right now, and any such project would be a ways off. It’s just a fun thought to hacky-sack around inside my skull, that’s all.

But in other news, I think I have challenged the land-speed turn-around record for a short story. Though “Bad Sushi” (name to be changed, don’t worry) was gently declined by one exceptionally fine market, within about six hours it was picked up by another. Three cheers for the email! Alas, it won’t see print for awhile – not until Apex Digest‘s issue #8 (tentatively, I believe). But still – cool market, run by cool people.

Also – hey look – I got quoted in Publisher’s Weekly! I totally forgot about that little exchange with the incomparable Ms. Fox. Thanks to Scalzi, for reminding me.

_________________________________________________________________________

*For no good reason at all [:: whistles innocently ::] a certain Dr. Meagher over at UTC is either going to be perfectly horrified or deeply amused. My money’s on “amused.”