Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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November 2007

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November 2007: Book Reviews

This is an archive of my shorter book reviews and notes, which historically have been posted over at the 50 Book Challenge on LiveJournal, but which I’m starting to move over here. I’m posting them with altered date-stamps, but they might show up in my LiveJournal cross-post anyway. Bear with me, please.

Note: Many of these books also have full reviews available in the book review podcast (RSS).
Continue reading November 2007: Book Reviews

2008: The Year of…?

As you all know, I like a challenge.

2002 was the year of NaNoWriMo. I’ve done it every year since then, but 2002 was the year I really got to it.
2003 was the year of…. new cars?
2004 was the year of the marathon.
2005 was the year of videoblogging.
2006 was the year I got sick. Sad, but true. It was also a year of contracting, but the sick is what I remember most.
2007 was the year I stopped shopping as a hobby and moved into an RV.

What will 2008 bring?

Secret of the Stole: Finished

Enjoy the amazing lack of detail that characterizes my photography skillz:

Clue 8 (the final clue) went very quickly:

I can’t believe I knitted the whole thing….


And a stitched-together version with more detail:
Yowza! Next task is to block it, which requires some materials which I do not currently possess.

Then to get back to my sister’s stole. I’m on Clue #2, and it would go a whole lot faster if I didn’t keep making mistakes. I don’t understand– I made a bunch of mistakes on mine, too, in the first 3 1/2 clues, and then everything was smooth sailing from the halfway point onward!

Ah, well. Such are the strangenesses of knitting.

Edit to add: The stole is a dark plum color, called Vineyard. [Stole designer Nautical Knitter’s comment prompted me to mention this– it seems to show up darker, even black, on some monitors.]

Novel Excerpt

I’m at 30,027 words as of last night. Behind, but not too far behind. I know I haven’t shared any of my novel-writing adventures in the blog so far. I’m not sure why that is, except perhaps that sharing would require me to actually write, and this month I have seven days with a word count of fewer than 100, and nine days less than 750. Very sad.

In case you’re wondering, I am writing a Johnny Theremin novel. Go there and read the synopsis. Mine has evolved to be quite different, and I don’t mind one bit. My story became more interesting on Monday when I realized what I could do with the time travel aspect. Oh, is that not in the synopsis. Okay– Millicent is a time traveler. Theremin is a robot, and Morris Glanz is his boss. At the start of the novel, Morris has been missing for three months. Belladonna is a vampire.

Anyway, last night I finally put the first sex scene into my novel. It was entirely gratuitous– wasn’t even scripted. But I have two characters of appropriate genders and orientations, imprisoned in a small room with nothing to play with but their bodies. This scene takes place after Theremin loses Belladonna in tragical circumstances.

I put a little humor in it, though:

“Blood? Ew, what–” But then his eyes went wide and his face filled with such longing, Belladonna thought he might attack her right there.

“Easy, Morrie,” she murmured. “It gets better, I promise, but you have to get a handle on this particular craving.” She turned towards the door, checking to make sure it was closed securely. Then she turned back to Morris. “Wanna have sex?”

Morris’ eyes flicked from Belladonna’s neck to her eyes then immediately back to her neck, then lower to her bosom. He started grinning. “Are you, uh, serious?”

“Why not? We’re not going anywhere, I like you–”

“You do?” His eyes flicked back up to her face, searching. “Really?”

“Of course I do,” she said. “Plus, we just had an intense, near-death… er… anyway, we just had an intense experience. Why not?”

Morris was already unbuttoning his trousers and kicking at the pant-legs. Belladonna helped him, then hurriedly wriggled out of her wetsuit, causing Morris to stare unashamedly at her contortions, a big goofy grin on his face.

“Stop smirking and help me,” she commanded, and he immediately leapt forward to pull at the tight sleeves and leggings.

Clothed, Belladonna was the kind of woman who commanded men’s attention wherever she went. She gave off sex appeal the way ripe fruit gives off sweetness, and she attracted men to her in a way that ripe fruit attracts fruit flies. She was magnificent and disarming and could turn a single man into a quivering, drink-buying frail example of humanity in seconds.

Naked, Belladonna looked like a marble statue of a Greek goddess, Aphrodite in particular. She was curved where a woman should be curved, soft where everything soft should be, and firm of thigh and belly and arm. Her body had the tight glow of a creature not entirely of this world, and for a moment Morris wondered if she was an angel, not a vampire.

Naked, Morris…. well, first Morris would have to get naked, wouldn’t he?

After de-trousering, Morris had helped Belladonna disrobe, and as a result he had failed to remove the rest of his clothing. His socks, which he had been wearing and handwashing since his initial kidnapping, three months earlier. The button-down shirt, which he had only worn every other day or so, but which had now been soaked in seawater and smelled faintly of brine. The undershirt, a white cotton T-shirt that he had worn on the days when he wasn’t wearing the button-down. And, of course, the tidy whiteys he had been wearing nearly every day (whenever he didn’t go commando, of course– and whenever he didn’t decide to lounge around the room entirely naked, which wasn’t often, since the Faceless Chickens preferred temperatures just slightly above fourty degrees Farenheit). For three months. The very idea that Belladonna should see his three-months-worn underwear caused Morris to grab his shirt-tails in his hands and yank downward to cover the embarassment.

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