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[personal profile] mrissa

This is the latest in a recurring series! For more about the series, please read the original post on Marta Randall, or subsequent posts on Dorothy Heydt, Barbara Hambly, Jane Yolen, Suzy McKee Charnas, Sherwood Smith, Nisi Shawl, and Pamela Dean.





The more I do of this series of posts, the more I discover that one of the commonalities of writers I want to feature here is that they write with great variety--both on a range of topics and for a range of audiences. The first Gwyneth Jones books I fell in love with were the series that starts with Bold As Love--all rock, all political, all relationships, all the time. Focused on the near future, the environment, and how people handle it as people--at basically every scale. Healthy dollop of weird science fiction mysticism.





But then I ran around trying to find as many others of her books as I could--a harder feat than it should be in the US, alas--there were very different things. Weird alien SF! Creepy kids' books! Riffs on classics with heart and humanity! There are authors of whom you can say, "Well, it's a one of those again, if you want that," and...Gwyneth Jones doesn't do that. Even the last book of the Bold As Love cycle departs strongly from the patterns and concerns of the rest of it. (The Grasshopper's Child, and I love that one too.) There's a lot of her back catalog for me to pore through bookstores to find, and I'm eager for it.


About Last Night...

Feb. 20th, 2019 09:22 am
lydamorehouse: (renji has hair)
[personal profile] lydamorehouse
 Last night was the speculative fiction smut reading at Kieran's Pub.  I spent much of the day, yesterday, feeling very nervous about the whole thing. Nervous probably isn't the right word. I do a lot of public performance, much of it off the cuff, but I'm NOTORIOUSLY bad at reading naughty bits, out loud, in front of a crowd. I have _literally_ hired stunt readers, while rolling around in embarrassment under the table at cons during slash readings.

So...

A friend of mine who is an actor in New York volunteered to listen to my pieces and give critique to help improve my performance. They are also a Bleach fan, so we probably spent more of our time together lamenting the ending of the manga.  But, it was really neat to finally see them in person (we did a Google hangout) and put a face and a voice to text, as it were. But, knowing I was going to read to Taylor meant that I practiced both pieces several times, even before talking to them over Hangouts. 

Then, [personal profile] naomikritzer came over and, my random luck, I made an amazing "pot roast hash" out of some leftover rump roast and some veggies.  We chatted for a bit, but both of us had errands to try to get in before the snow started, so we said goodbye early and I headed out with Mason's laptop to Computer Revolution.

I totally recommend Computer Revolution in Roseville to local folks, btw. First of all, they did what we wanted the "Genius Squad" to do at Best Buy, which was test the cord with a voltmeter. The cord, they determined, was shot.  It is, of course, still possible that there is more than one problem going on with the ROG, but we have an easy place to start. Shawn ordered the cord as soon as I told her what I'd learned, since she'd already done all the research in case we might need one. I asked the guys, though, if the cord doesn't solve the issue, are there other options that don't involve replacing the motherboard as Best Buy seemed to suggest would be the only other issue (and far too expensive a prospect). They had lots of options, several of which were very potentially reasonably priced.  So, that's a huge YAY.

Mason came home a bit early from robotics, despite it being "stop build day," the day they have to literally wrap up their robot and put it away until competition, because he was feeling kind of sick. He seems to have caught a cold.  

After picking up Mason, feeding him, etc., I got dressed and headed out.

I got lost at least twice, mostly because I don't know left from right, but I managed to get there by 7:30 pm, which was perfect, as it gave me a chance to find a place to park and get in and get the lay of the land.

Kieran's pub is kind of beautiful. The Not-So-Silent Planet folks managed to have their own private section, a part of the pub that is legit called "The Poet's Room" and it has its own doors, own bar, etc. I was really sad to hear that they will be having to move the venue next season, because it could not be a more perfect place for this kind of event.  It's both public, but very intimate and private.

interior of pub with painted mural on one wall, a small stage in the corner and a few people at tables

The structure of the show was that the first 3/4th were open mic, which... with erotica was.... kind of hoot? I mean, the first person up did two pieces, the first of which was revenge porn with implied rape and I thought "OH SH*T, MY HUMOROUS STUFF IS GOING TO BOMB" but then they did a second piece which was a clever story about an app that allowed you to experience other people's fetishes.  

The whole night was like that--some of the pieces were very INTENSE, some hilarious, several of them were body horror, a number were more traditionally romantic, and then, a few were... well, HOT.

I was horrified to discover, however, that I was scheduled to be the finale. I'm NOT finale material. So. NOT.  But, I did my best. I read a sweet/sensual piece from the sequel to Precinct 13, which is the book I just sold to Wizard Tower Press.  That seemed to go over well. I only stumbled over one line at the very beginning.  

The second piece I read (the first one clocked in at 4 and a half minutes, and I was booked for twelve, so I had to read something else) was actually bit of fan fiction of mine that involves kinbaku, the Japanese art of rope bondage. As noted at the start of this, I get very flushed and flustered reading anything erotic out loud. For a while, when I first starting writing sex scenes as part of my profession as a romance writer, I had to touch type them while LOOKING AWAY FROM THE SCREEN, I was so embarrassed. So, I decided to ask for some help from the audience--audience participation, if you will. So, I asked people to shout out a word for anatomy that starts with "c" and sort of looks like a single finger when I raised one finger, and another part of anatomy that is plural and is usually connected to the first one when I raised two fingers. The audience was very enthusiastic about this. 

But what was funny? I think they were quietly getting into the story, which was kind of unexpected?  I mean, it's out of context and there's some bits that can not possibly have made any sense, but the first time they did their bit and shouted out the words for me, I tried to make a little editorial comment about how wonderfully enthusiastic they were, but the vibe I got from the audience was very "yeah, yeah, get back to the STORY!!"

Which I mean... I guess it never occurred to me that the audience might be very _into_ the story.

I still think it worked pretty well. Having other people say the stuff that I find particularly difficult to say out loud without giggling or stammering awkwardly certainly made the reading more fun for *me.*  

But the unexpected reaction was just sort of funny.

Hopefully, it all worked, I don't know. Personally, I would not have had *me* go last, but people seem to expect great things from me. (You win one second place Dick....) In all seriousness, the other guests were much more polished and professional than I was and I was super impressed with them all. [personal profile] catherineldf read an amazing bit about being a temp worker in an office full of SUPER HOT vampires, which she delivered with her usual style and grace. Laura Packer performed (and I mean PERFORMED) this spooky, mesmerizing retelling of Snow White, where Snow White is the monster of the story. Tom S. Tea read tentacle porn to DIE for.... and then I bumbled in.  Still, the show was super. I am seriously considering making Not-So-Silent Planet a regular thing next season.

And now it is snowing buckets. 

Oh, and school was cancelled for today. Whee!

Asiatic Lion

Feb. 20th, 2019 03:12 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat




Asiatic Lions_5



The Asiatic lion used to roam throughout India, Turkey, Iran and the Mesopotamian area. Today, it is restricted to just the Gir Forest in India. In December of last year, 31 of these lions died unexpectedly of – it is believed – disease and parasites. When a population gets too small, it becomes more vulnerable. It is likely that the wild population will die out in my lifetime, so I’m glad I got to see these when I did.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

MultiverseCon!

Feb. 19th, 2019 02:29 pm
catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
It's official! As usual, I can't get the photos to embed so you'll have to follow the link if you're curious. :-)
GUEST ANNOUNCEMENT TIME! Say hello to Catherine Lundoff, another one of our FABULOUS Multiverse guests this year!

Lundoff is an award-winning writer, editor and publisher from Minneapolis where she lives with her wife, bookbinder Jana Pullman, and the cats who own them. She is the author of over 100 published short stories and essays. Her books include Silver Moon, Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories and, as editor, the fantastical pirate fiction anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). In addition, she is the publisher at Queen of Swords Press, a genre fiction publisher specializing in fiction from out of this world. Websites: http://www.catherinelundoff.net/ and http://www.queenofswordspress.com/


Sign

Feb. 19th, 2019 03:52 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat




SignW_25



I seldom post other people’s photos, much less photos of other people’s photos.





However, I have to mention that a little over 100 years ago, the largest lizard – with a massively infectious, poisonous, *and* venomous bite (to the point that a bite is often a death sentence, even with modern medical technology, with people dying of infection even years after the bite) came to the London Zoo … and small children got to pet it.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
[personal profile] lydamorehouse
Do you ever have events on your calendar that you look at for a long time and then suddenly it's THAT day?

We've had PSEO Informational Meeting on our calendar since forever, it seems. I also scheduled Mason an campus tour for this morning, but that was more of an informational session for incoming freshmen and he was anxious about his gaming computer (the ROG--it's real name "The Republic of Gaming" ASUS stopped taking a charge,) so we skipped the tour part of the tour in favor of a rush to The Genius Squad. That's part of the reason I fee like I've run around all day, but I'll tell that story next.

The Informational meeting was uplifting, honestly. I kept leaning into Mason and excitedly whispering, "You are SO ready for this" and squeezing his knee with barely restrained excitement. PSEO at the University of Minnesota would basically give Mason access to a college education while still in high school. He can fulfill his remaining high school requirements, at a much higher level. And, because one college semester counts for a full high school year, he could take any number of electives, too. I can't even tell you how excited I am on his behalf. This is really an incredible program and he's such a good fit.

Now, we just need to get him in.

One step at a time, so... first is the on-line application. He's actually already got some other things ready to be sent in, so we're going to give it our best, as they say. Cross fingers for us, please. It's a competitive program.

Meanwhile, with the computer, we dashed out to Best Buy only to be told we needed to schedule an appointment. So, I made one for 8:20 pm, just because I did NOT want to be at all rushed coming back from the PSEO meeting (which was 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm, so I maybe was being a little paranoid). We went BACK out to Best Buy only to have to wait for the one guy on duty while he settled a bunch of people who all seemed to be walk-ins, which pissed off, honestly, because all we needed was for someone to be able to tell us if the problem Mason was having with his ROG was on the power cord end or the machine end. The Best Buy guy was pretty sure it's on the machine end, which was not the answer we wanted at all. Now the question is: is it the mother board or is it the power port. (Or the cord, because, honesty, the guy seemed a little frazzled and I don't entirely trust that he had a similar enough power cord to be certain.) So my job tomorrow is to take it to a local shop which might have the ability to check that power port quickly. If it turns out to be the motherboard... well, I'm not sure what we're going to do.

Mason has recently gotten into an amateur Overwatch League and his team plays competitively. Without the ROG, he's off the team. These are his friends, too. He has a very serious community he's developed with them. But, when we bought this computer we dropped a couple thousand dollars on it.

If we had a couple thousand dollars to spare, we'd have a working upstairs bathtub by now.

Mason is feeling really devastated. As he told me on the way home: it seems like every time we rush somewhere for a prognoses we hear, "it's time to say goodbye" and there's no hope. I can't blame him. Literally, with both cats, we barely even got, "we think we can fix this," but instead it was, "sorry, there's nothing we can do."

And now his beloved, irreplaceable computer seems to be suffering the same fate.

It was a day of highs and lows, that's for sure.

Speaking of other things that have been on my calendar forever, tomorrow is my erotica reading with The Not-So-Silent Plant folks. Check out the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/347306035861095/

The details are: "The country's only recurring open mic dedicated to speculative fiction returns Feb 19 with a star-studded show devoted to the themes of love, lust, romance and passion, with invited guests Lyda Morehouse, author of the Garnet Lacy series (as Tate Hallaway) and winner of the Philip K. Dick Award's Special Citation of Excellence, Catherine Lundoff, two-time Goldie Awards winner for erotica whose stories have appeared in over 80 publications, and Twin Cities writer/performers Laura Packer and Tom S Tea!

Got some romantic or erotic speculative fiction you want to perform or know someone who's a fan of sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural horror, or tales of alternate realities? Sign up starts at 7:15 pm in the Poet's Corner of Kieran's Irish Pub. Stories, stand-up comedy routines, poems, and musical pieces are all welcome, just as long as the material is speculative fiction and under seven minutes. Sticking to the evening's theme of Love & Lust is strongly encouraged.

$5-$10 suggested donation. Hosted by Ben San Del

This is an adults-only show. "

See you there?

Books read, early February

Feb. 18th, 2019 04:25 pm
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

Ben Aaronovitch, Lies Sleeping. This is the latest in this long urban fantasy series, and it relies very heavily on both plot and character arcs from earlier in the series. Good news: there is plenty of movement on things that have been going on for several books. Bad news: if you want to start somewhere, this is not it. Peter and his friends, enemies, relations are all barreling forward at top speed, but a lot of it will make no sense without the rest of the series.





Jill Baguchinsky, Mammoth. This is a charming YA about a plus-sized teenage fashionista with a passion for paleontology. It has a lot of genre-YA themes about finding yourself and also maybe someone else, but at the top of the list of things the protag finds is BONES so that is pretty great. I want to put a CW on this for the protagonist starting the book fixating on guessing other women's weight. This is flagged as unhealthy but may still be difficult for some readers, so: choose when you read it accordingly.





Hans Bekker-Nielsen et al, eds., Mediaeval Scandinavia 1968. This is a hardbound annual journal for its field. A lot of the stuff therein has either become basic knowledge since then or gotten debunked, but there were still some interesting rune-deciphering passages. Not recommended unless you're constantly eager for new medieval Scand studies stuff, which...I am.





Blair Braverman, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North. I read this author's twitter, and she writes about dogsledding there. YAY I LIKE DOGS. It was also a good time for me to read about dogsledding, as I revise a book with significant amounts of dogsledding in it. This book...was not really about dogsledding. Very much at all. It was mostly about recovering from sexual abuse, assault, and trauma. Braverman chose to do that in the far north of Norway, and there are interesting cultural things going on there, and I engaged with this narrative, but--if you're here for the dogsledding, not so much.





Roshani Chokshi, Aru Shah and the End of Time. This was a lovely, charming middle-grade adventure. I got a copy for a kid in my life for their birthday. Friendship and magic and figuring yourself out. Yay.





Linda Collister, The Great British Bake Off: Big Book of Baking and The Great British Bake Off: Perfect Cakes and Bakes to Make at Home. I flipped through these and wrote down exactly three recipes, but that's actually pretty good for library cookbooks--I mostly am not a big recipe cook anyway.





Philip Cushway and Michael Warr, eds., Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin. This was a harrowing book of protest poetry that was very much worth engaging with, a little at a time. I was a tiny bit frustrated that such a large percentage of the page count was dedicated to writing about each poet rather than showcasing their poems--for most poets there were more words dedicated to their bio than in their poems, which seems backwards to me. I feel like most of the poets showcased probably had more than one good protest poem. But the ones that were there were good to have.





Michael Eric Dyson, What Truth Sounds Like: RFK, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America. This traces the roots and results of a major meeting between American Black intelligentsia/artists and Robert F. Kennedy. Dyson has lots of ideas about the implications of this conversation and conversations like it, and this was fascinating--especially with the range of talent that Baldwin could get to show up on a moment's notice.





Lissa Evans, Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms. This is a fun MG about magic (the stage variety...or is it...) and puzzles and family.





Robert Frost, New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes. Kindle. Several of the "Grace Notes" are familiar, much-anthologized poems, tacked on here as extras. The "Notes" tend to be longer, often dialect-laden local poems. And then there's the titular poem. It's massive and rambly and reminds me a bit of W.H. Auden's Letters from Iceland in form/style. I really like this geographical ramble poem thing. I would like a book of them. (But mostly I would like to reread Letters from Iceland because I love it unreasonably and Uncle Wys is the best.) (Ahem. Okay you can read Robert Frost too I guess, but really you probably already know that.) (AUDENNNN.)





Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf. All the other grimdark books are like teddy bears having their picnic compared to this. It is full of multiform rape, genital mutilation, excretion in its various types, cruelty...it is a lot. It is vividly imagined and beautifully written, and so, so very dark. It is doing things with worldbuilding that no one else has tried, and also it is so very dark.





Rosalie Knecht, Who Is Vera Kelly? This is both a spy novel and a young woman's coming of age story. It is the kind of spy novel I have wanted, light and fun and firmly placed in space and time. It has the short, zippy chapters of some earlier works in this genre while leaving out the sexism. Yay for this book.





Rose MacAulay, Crewe Train. In many ways this is a charming and eccentric narrative of a young woman who does not want what she is told to want and the mild chaos that ensues in her life because of that fact. I will read more Rose MacAulay for sure, because this was intriguing and mostly good in an early 20th century way. However, I do feel the need to flag that there's about a chapter of staggeringly racist content that is not only awful but completely unnecessary to the plot, the sort of thing that makes you repeat, "Rose, what are you doing, Rose, what are you doing," over and over as you read. Is one chapter of that too much? You get to decide.





Seanan McGuire, In an Absent Dream. This is the most recent of Seanan's portal fantasy novellas, which are my favorite thing she's doing right now. This one stands quite well alone and is very distinctive in setting and character from the others. I was mostly okay with which things were summarized and which shown (an interesting calculus of novellas), until the ending, which wasn't quite as satisfying because of that ratio. Still glad I read it.





John McPhee, Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process. This is the book equivalent of sitting at John McPhee's feet listening to him talk about his long and storied career and how it all has worked. I wouldn't start here if you haven't read McPhee before, I'd start with Annals of the Former World, because that is amazing. But if you already like McPhee this will probably be an interesting and fast read. (Note for people who are always on the lookout for writing books: this is about writing nonfiction, if that changes anything for you.)





Robert Muir-Wood, The Cure for Catastrophe: How We Can Stop Manufacturing Natural Disasters. Interesting stuff on structure and materials and their adaptations to place. I'd have liked more of the title and less of the background for the title, but I'm told there are storage and organization issues with having everything.





Dennis Romano, Markets and Marketplaces in Medieval Italy, c. 1100 to c. 1440. This goes into a lot of detail about the relationship of the sacred and secular in this context, and about how the different Italian city-states varied but had common elements in how they handled marketplace issues. One of the things that was interesting to me was how much focus there was on fraud--which makes sense, but...well, if you have friends and family who spend a lot of time on deregulation as a political hot button, direct them to the medieval Italians.





Rebecca Solnit, Call Them By Their True Names. This is a collection of Solnit's recent essays on the contemporary scene. I'd already read several of them in their original magazine publications, but it was still an interesting book--and I basically always reach for Rebecca Solnit first whenever I get one of her books.





Vanessa Tait, The Looking Glass House. I didn't see one of the marketing points of this book before I picked it up in a used bookstore--namely that Tait is the descendant of Alice Liddell of Alice in Wonderland fame. This is a novel about the Liddells' governess. Basically everyone in it is unhappy and unpleasant, parents, children, governesses, random family friends, all of them. This is a "sucked to be them" book, and while it's written reasonably well, all that did was make me keep reading until the end, with nothing but frustration and misery as far as the eye can see. Not recommended.





Sara Teasdale, Love Songs. Kindle. There are several things that Teasdale appears to think about love that make me want to rent her a cabin for a year so she can get some time to herself to think, and then introduce her to people who are kind and don't play power games, because wow, kiddo, wow. But then there are the moments where she is wrapped up in natural beauty, and I'm here for that.


Giraffe House

Feb. 18th, 2019 03:45 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat




Giraffe House IR_1



Giraffes don’t really understand the Monty Hall problem.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Good Books Recently

Feb. 17th, 2019 01:56 pm
okrablossom: jasmine tea blossom open in mug (tea blossom)
[personal profile] okrablossom
Books I've read recently that I've really really enjoyed: Django Wexler's Ship of Smoke and Steel [kinda creepy fantasy with intriguing magic and some nice relationships], Jim Hines' Terminal Uprising [made me laugh out loud but also touched some genuine deep emotions], Louise Penny's Bury Your Dead [for the reasons I love most of her books: language, love, the hard work of doing right], Yoon Ha Lee's Dragon Pearl [for an old story through new (to me) lenses]. Oh! And Terrance Hayes' American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin for seriousness and beauty and Huda Fahmy's Yes, I'm Hot in This for the puns and the perspective.

And thank goodness I've got more library books stacked up, as there's snow on the way!

Golden Silk Orb Weaver

Feb. 17th, 2019 03:35 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat




Golden Silk Orb Weaver_4



These spiders have gathered together on the 265th* anniversary of the Weenen Massacre to discuss the complexities of colonization and how seldom those in power personally feel the impact of their decisions.

* in base 8, of course.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Sokoke Cat

Feb. 16th, 2019 03:53 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat




Sokoke Cat_5



While normally dappled to provide camouflage in the forest undergrowth, sokoke cats lick themselves blonde before venturing out into the desert.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

While Tailed Mongoose

Feb. 15th, 2019 03:53 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat




While Tailed Mongoose_1



No big deal. Just eatin’ the rich.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Another Five Minutes, Then I'll Go

Feb. 15th, 2019 08:17 am
lydamorehouse: (ticked off Ichigo)
[personal profile] lydamorehouse
 I have to get up out of the warm blanket and go fetch some kitty food from Menard's. I just don't want to. Did I mention that my blanket it electric? And i had to squeeze my car into a parking space halfway up the block?  

Just another five minutes, then I'll get up.

So, what do I have to report? The most my family did for Valentine's Day was exchange a card or two. Mason had robotics until almost 5:30 pm, which meant I had time to start our "fake" naan recipe.  So, we had a favorite meal, something we call "Indian Butter Chicken" (because that might be what it's called on the box that contains the sauce I make), rice, and naan.  Then, because Mason is a teenager, somewhere around 7:30 pm, he says, "Uh... so, I'm supposed to bring some ingredients to Chinese tomorrow, because we're making dumplings again."  But AT LEAST he remembered to bring them with him this morning. The night before, he'd stayed up late to do some art-type project for AP Human Geology and then promptly forgot it at home. Luckily, I could text him a picture of it, so his teacher would know that it was, in fact, done on time, even if it didn't make it in on time.  

Because today is payday, we're hoping to all go out to Tavern on Grand tonight for fish.  Mason has to be at robotics again, because the wrap day (or whatever they call the day that they have to shrink wrap their robot) is coming up early next week. But, Shawn and I are thinking about hitting Roseville Library to browse the shelves and hang out until he's ready to join us.  When you think about it, that's pretty romantic. Looking for books together at the library?  HOT, am I right???

Also, I have to laugh at myself. You know how I've ALWAYS claimed that the reason I've been unable to write is because I can't write unless I have a contract?  THIS APPEARS TO _ACTUALLY_ BE TRUE, much to my chagrin.  I have an apocalypse story due the first of April, and, yesterday, I wrote almost 2,000 words on it. What the hell, brain. What the H.E.L.L.

One of my pen pals died. I recently acquired a pen pal in Duluth. Normally, I don't like to have pen pals that I don't know that close. (Like, you live in Minneapolis and we've met or we're on social media together and you want to be my pen pal? SURE!) However, this woman took Friend Books. Friendship Books are a very weird aspect of the pen pal subculture, that are fascinating, but also a burden. I've written about what they are here before, but a quick look at Wikipedia might help you understand how they work: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendship_book The point is, I started conversing with this person, mostly so that I had someone to whom I could pass on Friendship Books when I got a bunch of them from the two other pen pals who tend to pass them on to me.  The other day, I got a letter from her daughter. This woman had some 60 pen pals by her own reckoning, but so that might explain the brevity of this note. But, it simply said, "I know you exchanged letters with my mom. I'm sorry to tell you that she and a friend were involved in a head-on collision and died instantly."

But I can't find any information about it. No obit was included. I mean, there's no reason not to believe this, but, wow, what a shock.

Anyway, my eldest cat is staring at me. I'd better get up and fetch her food from the store or she will guilt me wit that amber-eyed stare of hers.

Cool Stuff Friday

Feb. 15th, 2019 09:30 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Friday is trying not to obsessively check email now that Project K is out on submission…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Serval

Feb. 14th, 2019 04:04 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat




Serval



This serval refuses to share articles from well-known satire sites like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Fox News.

Life is a farce.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Buried the Lede

Feb. 13th, 2019 06:54 pm
lydamorehouse: (Renji 3/4ths profile)
[personal profile] lydamorehouse
Indicative of my day yesterday, I started a "What are You Reading Wednesday?" post, only to discover this morning that I hadn't finished it...it was still sitting here, in a tab, in draft form, on my computer.

*sigh*

I mean, to be fair, I haven't had much to report in terms of reading lately beyond "my Broad Universe mentee's manuscript," but I did finish My Solo Exchange Diary by Nagata Kabi, which I reviewed here: https://mangakast.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/my-solo-exchange-diary-hitori-koukan-nikki-by-nagata-kabi/ Thanks to a VERY QUIET night at Maplewood on Tuesday, I also have a bunch of books being pulled for me at the Ramsey County Library from the most recent Locus Recommended Reading List. So, hopefully, I'll have a better list of things I've read soon.  

Yesterday, I was also unaccountably sad to have heard about Opportunity, the Mars rover.  I know it lasted much longer than expected and it's _just_ a robot, but I feel like maybe a person is a little bit inhuman if they don't shed a small tear at its final communication: "Battery dying. Everything is going dark."  Jesus F*cking Christ, NASA. 

Then, on top of that, this morning I turned on the radio to AM950 and heard about the horrific destruction scheduled for the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, as Trump's bulldozers and border control are seizing PRIVATE PROPERTY with immanent domaine.  I'm planning, on payday, of becoming a member in order to help them fight this, legally... even though I don't have a lot of hope that they'll win. And that's it, the frogs and the butterflies and the tiny little owls are all going to die because we're all a bunch of racist pig-sh*ts.

And, Shawn says to me this morning, "Hey, happy Valentine's Day, BBC is reporting that Taiwan voters rejected same-sex marriage."

It's honestly this sh*t that's going to break me.

Ugh.

In happier news, Mason really enjoys judging debate tournaments. He had one last night, at Washington, and he came home almost giddy with stories of the middle schoolers he critiqued and graded. "I'm SO PROUD of them!" he says to me, beaming. 

Next Monday we go to the informational meeting for PSEO (Post-Secondary Education Opportunities, a program that allows public school students to attend university for free, particularly if there's need--like for Mason, he's exhausted high school math, as of this year. Technically, he was done with the official HS math curriculum last year, but Washington Tech has a "College In Schools" Calc I class that he's in this year.). Mason also talked to his school councilor who is really supportive (especially after his early PSAT scores) of him going full-time PSEO next year. We're still debating the merits and the drawbacks to that, but the idea that Mason could basically be in college next year is kind of amazing. I think it could potentially be really good for him. He's a funny kid. The more rigorous the class, the better his grades tend to be. If he's in any class where there's a lot of busywork that most people would find to be "low-hanging fruit," (ie easily done), he struggles to do it, because he can't see the point. We tease him that he's the only person who get A+s in Calc I, but can barely pass "Independent Living." 

In much happier news, I have a book contract on the horizon.

It's a kind of funny story about how that happened. So, as reported here, Wizard Tower Press has put out an omnibus edition of all 5 of my AngeLINK books. As I was going around posting all the various self-promotion things one does, I came across an email from a fan complaining that she could not get a copy of Song of Secrets a book that Rachel Calish and I wrote together (but which has since been removed by the publisher for various reasons) AND she wanted to know when he heck I was going to get around to publishing that sequel to Precinct 13.

Those who have been following along at home know that i have a large portion of a sequel already written. I was posting it in installments on Wattpad for a while, but then I ran out of steam and never finished it.

WELL. I thought to myself, I wonder if Cheryl Morgan, my publisher at Wizard Tower Press, would be interested in that. Plus, if Cheryl gave me a deadline (and a contract), I might actually get off my depressed BUTT and finish it.  

Turns out, Cheryl was more than willing to send me out a contract... so, I now have a deadline of September 2019 to get things into shape. Should be very doable.

I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I NEVER THOUGHT TO ASK CHERYL BEFORE. Thank you, random complainer! Without you, it would NEVER have occurred to me that I could just see if Wizard Tower Press was up for a new novel by me.

So that's kind of big news. It's not official-Official yet, per se, so I'm not shouting it from the rooftop--but, dang near. I have a draft contract in hand and everything looks very much green to go.

It's crazy, but just having this in the works has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I feel like a _real_ writer again.

Breaking the Glass Slipper guest

Feb. 14th, 2019 07:33 am
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[personal profile] mrissa

Recently I was a guest on the Breaking the Glass Slipper podcast. BtGS is a feminist SFF podcast that wanted to do more episodes on intersectional issues, so we talked about disability representation in SFF. You can give it a listen here!





(I will confess that I am terrible at listening to podcasts myself, but it can be so much fun to be on them--one gets into good conversations. So we'll see if I can't get better at this.)


Black Oystercatcher

Feb. 14th, 2019 12:09 am
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[personal profile] guppiecat




Black Oystercatcher_5



I suspect the name “black oystereater” might be slightly more accurate.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
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[personal profile] catherineldf
I've got a new interview up at author Vonnie Winslow Crist's "Whimsical Words" blog about editing Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) and anthology editing in general. If you like what you read, I'm also offering an online class on anthology editing at Cat Rambo's Wayward Writer's Academy on 4/6.

Upcoming events:
  • Not-So-Silent Planet: Love and Lust - February 19th, Kieran's Irish Pub, Minneapolis, 8-10PM. I'll be reading some Emily L. Byrne prose, along with readings by other fine local authors and performers and you should come!
  • Nerds of a Feather - March 8th. I've got a Six Books Interview going up - I get to recommend some books!
  • Running a Small Press - March 21, DreamHaven Books, Minneapolis, 6:30-7:45PM. This is the sequel to my previous presentation on running a small press, this one on how you keep going, what I've learned so far, etc.
  • Next up: ClexaCon info, UntitledTown updates, WisCon updates, when I have them
Current state: wrangling snow, day jobbery and deadlines and wishing I had more time to write.

Now for the question: I've got a couple of stories up at Curious Fictions, a newish platform where you can post reprint short fiction, serials, etc., one free, one at the subscriber level. So far, I've got no interest whatsoever - no followers, no subscribers, nada. I'm wondering what, if anything, I could do to make this a more appealing platform for both folks who already like my work and those just discovering it. Should I post more short fiction? Serialize a novel draft? Give up? If I go with the novel draft, it would be my alternate Regency about the Fay trying to stop the Industrial Revolution. I would love to hear from people on this, especially if you're already using the platform as a writer or reader. Thus far, whenever I post public questions along these lines, the only response I get is from the platform operators earnestly informing me that if I just did more work, I could make this site work for me, which is entertaining, but not all that useful. Tell me what you want and I'll see what I can deliver on.

Cheetah

Feb. 13th, 2019 03:10 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat




Cheetah_3



Now we know where the fissures in logs come from.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

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Abra Staffin-Wiebe

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