Today I bring you a new page for the blog - on which all the Name of the Blade 'deleted scenes' (really bonus content specially written for the FRAIL HUMAN HEART blog tour) are now gathered together. Before you flick over there, just be aware that each scene is 100% spoilers. If you've read the whole trilogy or don't mind spoilers - proceed. Otherwise flee, flee, while you have the chance! Failure to heed this warning may result in wailing, gnashing of teeth and annoyed comments on this blog (but you will get a big fat zero of sympathy from me, so better not bother).
In other news, if you, like me, are constantly on the look out for cool geek-chic clothing, you might want to know about a great site I recently discovered, called Society6. I've only ordered T-shirts from them so far, but I've been delighted with the quality, selection and shipping speed of my orders. Society6's prices (including the cost of shipping) are reasonable, working out - once converted from dollars to pounds - at a bit less than fourteen pounds a shirt, which is the same or less than a lot of the far less interesting T-shirts you normally see in UK shops.
What's more, they have great unisex v-neck tops (I'm so sick of wafer thin, skin-tight 'girls' t-shirts, or boys ones that have such a tiny neck I can barely fit my hair through it) which are made of thick, snuggly soft brushed cotton.
Here's a selection of what I've bought recently (don't judge my spending spree - they gave me free shipping and a money off coupon, OK?):
And every purchase you make pays directly to the artist who designed the shirt! The site aren't paying me for this endorsement, by the way - I'm just overjoyed to finally find an outlet that carries the type of T-shirt I can happily and comfortably lounge about in all day, writing, without feeling like a slob. Now I can throw away all the thin crappy ones that have pointless love hearts or diamante butterflies on (OK, fine, I'll donate them to charity, happy?).
I've just broken 10,000 words on my Mulan retelling and am starting to find my protagonist's distinctive and - I think - compelling voice. I'm moving slowly on this book, moving tentatively around the edges of my fictional world while I continue to research Tang Dynasty China feverishly. I'll know when I've done 'enough' research when I've absorbed so much detail that I feel comfortable letting go of all my reference books and just inventing things in my fictional, fantasy version of China without checking.
I'm also moving slowly because, honestly, I hate writing beginnings. I'm hoping that by setting myself a target of between 600 and 1000 words a day instead of expecting myself to produce huge chunks at the outset, I can progress the story in a worthwhile way but avoid my all too common problem of having to chuck out the first 3-9 chapters later on when I revise.
It's going so well at the moment that I'm thinking of doing a sort of... Faux-NaNoWriMo this year. Not real NaNo of course. I've already started the book, which disqualifies me. Also, as long-time blog readers know, every time (every. single. time) that I declare I'm going to do NaNo this year, something awful happens to me. Flu. Prolapsed disc. Food poisoning. Family drama. No more of that! My NaNo will be informal and less ambitious - I'll just up my word target to 1000 words or more a day, six days a week, and try to significantly bump my overall word count by the end of the month.
Anyone who wants to join in with Faux-NaNo is very welcome to post their progress in the comments on my checking in posts - which I'll probably put up once a week.
What's going on in your lives - writing or otherwise - cookies? Let me know in the comments!