22.1.13 | By: Megan Langham

Well, I'm Back


I've had quite a few changes in my life since the summer. Some of them have been good, and some rather less so, but together they managed to shake me up enough that I lost track of most of the things I used to do, including updating this blog. Of course I have been writing, just not the sort of things I'd care to publish. And I've been horribly, ridiculously lax in the area of letter-writing. I have nothing to say here but deepest apologies my friends and I promise it won't happen again. (Until the next time it does, because I am coming to realise that this legendary forgetfulness may be with me for a while.)

Anyhow, I have missed all of you! I'm not exactly sure if this blog will keep on as it has been, but I can promise that one way or another I will keep updating it. As far as my writing projects that you already know about: I've been working steadily on Volunteer Mission and its upcoming sequel -- mostly head work, but still quite important -- and I am revamping Days of Entwining to feature a different character's point-of-view and an almost entirely different plot. Last November I did take part in NaNoWriMo with a gaslamp fantasy novel, but it was mostly a fun foray into a new genre and not something I plan on using seriously soon. Besides the fun, I got some pretty good lines out of it as well as my quirkiest romance yet. Come to think of it, I may have to use that story in the future somehow. It would be a pity to waste those two.

In other news, I caved and I finally have Twitter now. It's quite new, but please find me so I can follow you and we can spam one another's feeds with wit or (in my case) approaching-on-it. I'm here.

There's more I haven't told you, most likely, but I've forgotten it and anyhow, this is quite enough to go on for the time being. Just know that I love you, darlings, and I've missed you greatly and I won't leave you this long again. (Also you should know that Selwin is leaning over my shoulder and he's just blown each of you a kiss. Cheeky blighter. But he's my muse, for some reason, so there's not much I can do about it.)

Cheers and my best!
29.6.12 | By: Megan Langham


And I will tell the night,
Whisper, "Lose your sight" 
But I can't move the mountains for you
Mumford & Sons, "Timshel"

“It’s going to rain, you know.”

I peered round the door into the front garden. Dampness drifted gently in the air, settling on the birch leaves and the tops of short grass stalks. It felt more likely to have rained already.

“No, I don’t think it will. At any rate, I shall be back before the weather has had time to make up its mind. You really don’t want me to go, do you?”

“I’d come with you if I thought it would do any good.”

I stole a glance at him. Though his eyes were laughing, something sad and secret had crept in at the corners, like a wisp of grey cloud in the blue of a midsummer sky.

“Well,” I said, putting on my gloves. “At least you’ve learned to pick your battles.” A loose burgundy thread dangled helplessly from my right glove’s wrist; I tugged at it, heedless of disaster. Though my back was to him, I could feel his gaze on me.

“Is that what you’re after, then, love? Crushing my spirit, wounding my soul? God, you’re a heartless girl.”

“Don’t swear,” I said absently, though I didn’t care much whether he did; to be fair, I would have liked to swear a good deal myself just then. Maybe I would do, once we were apart.

“May I at least walk you down to the station?”

I had never seen such a stubborn thread.

“Oh, do whatever you like. It isn’t as if I could stop you.”

His eyes crinkled, merrily, mischievously. “You’ve got a firmer hold on me than you’d like to believe, cariad. Hand me my cap, will you?” He shrugged on his jacket (ghost-green, like my eyes) and took his hat from my hand with a smile. "How do I look?"

You look like a golden glowing sun-star, like a sweet steel flower, like a thing too oddly lovely to have sprung from my mind.

I slipped my arm through his. "You'll do."

For a few moments we walked together in silence. Through my haze of not caring I was acutely aware of the gravel crunching beneath our unified feet, of the chickadee thrilling with song in the hedges beside us, of the gentle yet steady pressure of his hand on my wrist like a tourniquet. 

"You can say it, you know."

I glanced up at him, startled. "Say what?"

"What you're really thinking. What you've hidden away in the dark corners of your mind like a deformed child, like a beautiful monster. You can let it out and let it breathe, whenever we're alone together."

"It's kind of you to say that." I drew a deep unsteady breath. "But I think I am already more revealing than I ought to be for comfort."

"Perhaps, but is comfort really what you want?" He took one look at my face and laughed, merry as the hedge-bird. "Dear heart, I'm not going to lecture you. Not here, not now. Besides, I'd be frightful at it. I only want you to think about what you love the most, and then perhaps to wonder whether your treasures will be worth your loving, in the end. That's all."

"Comfort is a treasure," I said, musing; and then-- "You want me to be brave, don't you. You're trying to turn me from a rabbit to a lion."

"I never said that, did I?" He stopped walking, and his merriment retreated to the corners of his eyes. "You see, I am not brave. I have no answers to give, my love; I can't help you. I can only love you, which is all that any man or woman can do for another. And sometimes I can swear at you, but that is only when I know you won't give me better than I send."

"Oh, come on," I said, laughing. "We'll never get to the station in time if we keep stopping to banter."

He brushed a raindrop from his nose and grimaced. "As you wish, always. And I won't say I told you so."

"I would have forgotten my own hat, of course." 

But I was secretly glad for the rain.
17.6.12 | By: Megan Langham

Medicina: Guest Post from J. Grace Pennington

My dear fellow scribblers, I have something special for you today—a guest post from talented writer and good friend Grace Pennington. I think you will enjoy it; her subject matter is endlessly fascinating. Also, she will be touching on the topic of her new novel, Firmament: Radialloy. After you've finished reading, pay a visit to either her blog or the book's Amazon page to find out more!

in grace's words

I get interesting looks sometimes when I say that I write medical science-fiction.  I don't know if it's a real genre, and I certainly don't know anyone else who writes it.  But it's what I write.  Not science-fiction that has a medical element in it somewhere, but science-fiction that is centered on some medical idea, medical problem, or perhaps on medical personnel.

My recently released novel Firmament: Radialloy is medical sci-fi, with a doctor's daughter and medical assistant as the main character.  The plot is heavily dependent on medical constructs, particularly the idea of a fatal condition called Langham's Disease (no, I didn't name that after anyone I know, why do you ask?).  Mild medical procedures take place at intervals throughout the story, all in a day's work for the main character.

Why am I so obsessed with the human body, how it fails, how it heals, and what we can do to help it?  I'm not sure I know, really.  I've always been interested, and in the past few years the interest has turned into a fascination. I still haven't come upon a definitive reason, but I have a few guesses.

One obvious reason is just the true remarkableness of it all.  The way every little detail works together so precisely and brilliantly, from the life-sustaining heart to the tiny fighters of intrusion and disease, the white blood cells. The intricacy of the work of the red blood cells, on a mission to supply every tissue with oxygen, the instant reaction of muscles to the warnings and information of nerves.  It's absolutely breathtaking, and the more deeply I get into how it all works, the more I love it.

Another reason is the inherent drama in medical situations.  At its most basic level, the science of medicine is about life and death—the preservation and betterment of one and the avoidance of the other.  It doesn't get much more dramatic than that.  As a romantic, I feed on drama, and my novels tend to be built on it, making life-threatening diseases, fractured limbs, and painful wounds a good fit for my storytelling.  Rushing to save a life, working to overcome extraordinary pain, it excites me and provides me with drama to drive my stories.

But perhaps the most important reason I've come up with thus far is how amazingly the human body shows the power and brilliance of its Creator.  We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made.  The way every system works together, the way the body repairs and defends itself, the way that everything is so carefully balanced with mathematical precision and yet beautiful creativity, is one of the strongest testaments I know of the love, care, and absolute awesomeness of our God.

I?m sure that all of these reasons are woven together to bring about my attraction to the study and writing use of medical matters, and probably other, smaller reasons that I don't realize.  I try not to let the physiological side of my stories overwhelm the other aspects, but it's very easy to see my affinity for the subject.  My fascination with the details, my perusal of the potential drama, and my awe for what the Creator has done tend to spill over into my writing whether I like it or not.

Thankfully, I like it a lot.

And I hope my readers like it, too.

J. Grace Pennington has been telling stories since she could talk, and writing them down since age five.  Now she lives in the Texas Hill Country with her parents, her eight younger siblings, and her horse, Pioneer.  When she's not writing, she enjoys reading good books, playing movie soundtracks on the piano, and looking up at the stars.  You can find out more about her writing, including the Firmament series, at www.jgracepennington.com