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This round of updates was brought to you by the letter K on July 31st, 2012.

The latest on the publishing roadmap

Sea Gifts available more widely

You can now buy Sea Gifts from Barnes & Noble (for Nook) and Kobo.

Current writing projects

Back Across the Styx

Inspired by an submissions call, I dropped my other works-in-progress to wrap up a novella about Charon's foster-daughter and Hades and Persephone's son. In "Back Across the Styx," Myrrine gets kidnapped from the underworld and becomes entangled in a war against the Persians; Bion doesn't quite end up rescuing her. The beginning:

She was born on the ferry over the River Styx as her parents fled the underworld. Her father passed her into the arms of her exhausted mother. Then the new parents leaned their foreheads against each other in a moment of unparalleled relief: they had escaped the realm past death, and brought forth new life.

On the other end of the boat, the ferryman ceased the long strokes of his pole and held out his palm.

“She wasn’t yet born when we paid,” the mother protested, cradling the girl to herself.

The ferryman looked at her with dark eyes.

“We have nothing left,” the father said, anguished.

And so a man and a woman boarded the ferry from the underworld, and a man and a woman disembarked in the sunlit lands. Charon stood in his boat, holding a baby with her mouth still golden with her first milk. He named her Myrrine.

Recent reading

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

This book hit a lot of my buttons: fantastic world-building, a protagonist facing culture shock and slow integration, a female character who wields power well. It's got both mid-air battles and taut internal conflict, plus a relationship which, despite being between two people who were born into positions where they'd make suitable mates, doesn't feel forced at all. I found this a refreshing read in the fantasy genre (a genre I adore, but isn't always known for its originality).

Miscellaneous updates

NEO 2

I couldn't have written "Back Across the Styx" without a plethora of Web sources (plus a bunch of research books), but it'll surprise no one to know that the Internet was also a source of distraction. I used to own an AlphaSmart word processor, which consists of just a keyboard, a small display for a few lines of text, and some storage. I lost track of it during one of my moves, but it was a wonderfully efficient single-purpose machine. So I've now got my hands on the latest model, the NEO 2, and will use it for those times when I need to double-down on my writing.

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