Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Goodreads, Yo

Look what friend Amber drew. It made me laugh violently. So she let me have it. :)

In sixty years, I want to look igSAKLY like that.

Maybe a little bit happier.


Anyway. Three things:

Firstly, is anyone I know on Goodreads? Anyonnnnnne? I just set up shop there and am utterly friendless.

This is me. Ping! You can add me. Or tell me who y'are and I'll add you.

Secondly - I finished a bunch of books and bought two new ones. They're both several years old and a teeny bit famous. One is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which has won the Newbery and the Carnegie and just about every other shiny award out there. The other one is The Hunger Games.

Yeah, never thought I'd do that either.

I actually bought it because of the trailer for the movie. It intrigued me. I'd heard of the book just like everyone else, and I knew the basic premise (a bunch of teenagers go off and kill each other for television cameras) but somehow nothing about it caught my interest. The trailer did though. Weird. So I'll read the book and then watch the movie. The Zürich bookshop only had it with the hideous new UK cover unfortunately.

Look at it.

I don't like it.

Usually, the UK gets the cool, emblematic covers, but in this case the US one is much more muchier.

Thirdly - I'm at 25,000 words for the rough draft of book two! This makes me happy. I like the plot and the characters and the new setting. I'm in that rosy stage where I like everything I write, which is great because that stage is going to end eventually, and then I'll be all like, "Well, this is rubbish, utterly and truly." But so far so good. I just got to write a scene where a character gets eaten by a house.

It's not as silly as it sounds in real life. 

I hope.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Yesss! After much torture and twisting of arms, Blogspot has allowed me to post this. 

Beginning at the beginning, last weekend I was at the reading rehearsal with the Musik-Kollegium Winterthur. It's the thing were the orchestra gets to see your music for the first time and basically has to muddle through no matter what.

This particular reading rehearsal was for a huge kiddy/musical/play/opera/thingy that's premiering next spring, and consists of 800 children running around on-stage dressed as foxes and wolves and chickens. They fight and learn French and nearly die of thirst, and one chicken-child gets eaten by a wolf-child. It'll be bone-crunchingly graphic, I'm sure.

Since the directors wanted children - or at least young-ish folk - to do the music too, they called upon the composing class at the Zürich Conservatory. Confetteeeeh. We get to write for a symphony orchestra, and use timpani drum rolls until the poor flutists go deaf, and basically feel like a total rockstar film composers for about five minutes.

Because hearing one's music played by someone who is not one's self - or in this case 100 someones who are not one's self - is exciting. And scary. But mostly exciting. Comparable to having someone else read your stories for the first time.

I pasted a sampling below. It's the music for the oh-so-tragic romance between two of the main characters. Not very flashy, but the wilder pieces I wrote were too glitchy to be disseminated right now. I wrote stupidly high notes for the brass section, see. And for the harp. The harpist actually came over afterwards and gave me talking-to. "Don't make me play stupidly high notes!" Ok. Sorry.

I think the orchestra did really well on this piece, though. It was their first try, so I am in awe. :) I just wish the kid in the front row would stop coughing.

Written and orchestrated by moi:

Stefan Bachmann - Liebesmusik by glassfingers

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Not So Fluffy

Sooooo, since I'm not figuring out how to coerce Blogspot into letting me put up a music clip, here's a quick post to pass the time.

Zürich has an English bookshop.


Ta-daaa! English bookshop. It's my favourite shop in ze whole citeh.

Yesterday I went there. Look what I got.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

I started reading last night. The illustrations are faaabulous. Really unique and evocative. The book itself has been a teeny bit predictable thus far, but I stayed up until midnight reading so it must be good. I know there's a twist coming. I hope it's a gobsmacker.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Because the UK cover has been on my radar for about a year now. It's so good. Stark and unfussy.

I don't normally read YA. A few weeks ago when I was talking to editors before the book auction, I told one of them that, and she was like "Ohhhhh?" aka "Well, that's really weird." It is a bit. I don't actually have a good reason not to read YA. Teen death books are almost out of fashion, so I can't rant about that. I dunno. I just hardly ever read YA! But this one is about zombies, and friends who have read it have said good things. AND JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER.
Haven't started reading it yet because I'm still working my way through Little, Big. Ahem. You might have noticed it's has been in that little 'reading now' gadget in the corner for over a month now? Yeah. That's because it's a slog. And by slog I mean, reams and reams of gorgeous prose and no plot to speak of. I do like the cover a lot. It's pretty much why I bought the book in the first place. I can't say I regret doing so, because the writing really is perfection, but I'll definitely be happy when I'm finished with it.

Oh, and look what else the English bookshop has.

Sweeeet. I did not know this. One more time.

Oooooh. Fluffflufffluffluffluff.
You can't buy marshmallow fluff in regular Swiss shops. You can't buy Reese's or cheerios or skittles or liquid vanilla or chocolate chips or any of those things so indispensable to life on earth.

So I picked up a jar. Because I'd never had it before and I imagined it must taste like marshmallowy whipped cream. It's sticky and pretty much just tastes like sugar.


I'll feed it to my little brother.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thing One and Thing Two

Because watching graveyards is boring.

Whew! Busy week. Aside from being the worst tweeter (Twitterer? Tweet-typer? Squawker?) ever, I'm also a baaaaad blogger, so I'm resolving to post at least once a week from now on. Hopefully with something interesting to say. Starting next week, because today I have nothing interesting to say.

I got deadlines for book #1 and book #2. Book #1 is done already, obviously, so that deadline is just for edits. Book #2 on the other hand... Slightly worrisome, but not nearly as much as I thought it would be. It's actually nice to know exactly when the book has to be finished. Made me stop being lazy and start writing every day again.

I wrote 9,000 words last week, which makes me terribly happy, especially since some of those words might not have to be deleted next time I look at them. I have the book #2's plot outlined. More or less. I know what needs to happen all the way up to the climax and I've written the last paragraph. :) So second-book-syndrome has not set in! And I desperately hope it doesn't because I'd fall into sheer and bloody panic.

I can just see myself two days before the deadline...

Oh no. My book. It's horrid/unfinished/unconvincing. My agent will hate it and my editor will hate it and I'll be thrown into the street and die a terrible lonely death.

But so far, all's well, and I'm coasting merrily along on the fumes of "Ohhh, I wrote a book and some people liked it." So I wait for an editorial letter on book #1. I do edits. I hope I don't loathe book #1 when I go back and look at it again. And that's about as far ahead as I can see right now.

The next few posts will probably be about querying or the submission process or suchlike, unless I have something musical to report, or some great drama happens at my school, which is not out of the question as great dramas happen there at regular intervals. Otherwise? It'll be about querying.