"'Daughter of Bótù' is a fairy tale with an Eastern flavor. It is the tale of An-ying, a rabbit transformed into a young woman, who quickly falls in love with a prince. The premise may sound routine but it soon turns into something memorable, thanks to Eugie Foster's gorgeous prose and to the twists the story takes as the love between An-ying and her prince becomes rather complicated."
Hungry for more reader/reviewer commentary, I engaged my Google-fu and discovered (courtesy douglascohen) that Rich Horton (ecbatan) had also given my story—as well as Jim's fabulous "Light of a Thousand Suns"—snaps in Locus:
"Realms of Fantasy’s August issue has several nice, challenging, stories, including a rather shocking look at sacrifice from James Van Pelt, 'Light of a Thousand Suns,' and a bittersweet Japanese fantasy, complete with fox and rabbit women, Eugie Foster’s 'Daughter of Bótù.'"
And lo, there was verily much squeeing.
• Contract and proof of "The Better To…" which is forthcoming in issue #37 of ASIM.
• Around 200 on The Stupid Novel.
Tried to get back into the words-on-the-page swing by doing a read-through/editing pass on what has gone before and managed to get too bogged down in the rewriting/editing. Sigh. Hoping to regain my steam this week. Maybe this year, Dragon*Con will have only derailed me for two weeks instead of the customary month.
Been doing a lot of supplementary reading and immersive muse coaxing, particularly of translated works from Japanese manga and anime. And I think it's done something unexpected. All this year, I feel like I've been stuck in writerly first gear. Even when I achieved flow, I never revved up to that easy cadence of words and imagery that punctuated some of the best stuff I've written to date, although the story was battering at me with the ferocity of a thousand hamsters.
I'd grasp and grope for the right word or turn of phrase, often resorting to my thesaurus when I simply couldn't come up with the words. In the end, I had to plop down some awful, clunky prose just to get the story on the page; consoling myself that, after all, it's hella easier to rewrite, polish, and edit than it is to create new wordage. I figured I was just getting old, that my lexical recall abilities were beginning to erode along with some other cognitive functions that I've noticed aren't as acute as they were when I was fifteen. Frustrating but less than dire, big picture-wise. But as I was going through The Stupid Novel again, the words were coming back, and I was replacing the clumsy uck I had before with better words, better phrases.
I think reading the oftentimes broken translations, punctuated by some mind-blowingly lyrical-but-peculiar phrases, have helped to jostle me out of first gear. Hope it lasts. The trick is to keep from dropping back into first (or throwing a rod) and then revving up to third.