World Fantasy Convention, San Antonio

I’ve posted a few things on Facebook, mostly photos and travelogue, about San Antonio. (I’m also participating in the 7 days of B&W challenge, whose antecedents I don’t know but I’m enjoying the opportunity to expand my eye.)

But back to WFC/SA.

Last night was the “Signature Event,” a two hour autographing session for everyone.  I garnered some autographs (esp. David Mitchell, author of CLOUD ATLAS and THE BONE CLOCKS) but mostly I sat and shot the breeze with passersby.  Mary Anne Mohanraj and I talked about The Speculative Literature Foundation, and if you don’t know them, check them out.  No one was interested in my chapbooks, hardly surprising as the state of self-published work has grown in professionalism and my chapbooks are obviously home-grown.  That’s fine 🙂  While wandering I saw lots of great cover art.  Color is in!

The panels are a nice mix of theme and feminism, social liberalism and discussions to understand The Other.  The panelists are heavily weighted towards gender equality and this would be a great place to thank SPIKE in programming for the amazing job of putting all this together.  I’m impressed and relieved that panels have women on them, and POC, and varied opinion.  It’s about time.

Plenty of readings, I believe there are 2 per half hour. I organized and will moderate the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading today, with a one hour slot (at 2pm) for 10 women to read up to 4 minutes or so of story.  Several of my authors have brought giveaway books so we’ll also be raffling those off.

We have to be johnny on the spot time-wise as the Guest of Honor, Tananarive Due, has the room right after us.

Tomorrow includes the banquet (smashed turkey hotel food) and the awards (Kij Johnson! Tina Connolly!) and the general good cheer of a well-run convention.



Then I’m off to my subsequent adventures of my continuing vacation.  And maybe finishing that story.  It could happen.

(things I’ve forgotten to mention:  Tiptree Bake Sale. Clarion West party. Sitting in the green room and chatting with David Mitchell. Other stuff.)

 

The Year (so far) in Review

This has not been a banner year of story sales (pretty overwhelming in the rejection department) yet I’ve had a few successes.

1. Not All Who Wander Are Lost, a romp with flying cars and talking lizards, published in Perihelion in February.

2. Far, Far From Land, harvesting edibles from the asteroid belt leads to shipwreck and rescue efforts, published in Luna Station Quarterly in June (reprint.)

3. The Lay of The Land, a security guard and her dog in a haunted park, to be published by Bards and Sages in January.



Since NorWesCon I’ve had a pretty quiet summer.  I joined a local Southern California/Orange County writers group specifically to hear Joe Ide (Eeee-day) as I seriously grokked his novel IQ.  (He has a sequel out now.)   I bought the Stephen King/Owen King novel, SLEEPING BEAUTIES, but I’m having trouble getting into it.  Once I figure out why, I’ll post why it’s not sucking me in.  Joe Hill on the other hand has a collection of 4 novellas I haven’t purchased yet and that is next on my list. He’s proven a good storyteller.



Storytelling is why I’m doing this.  My friend Marta Murvosh sold a story, CRANES RETURN, to the anthology Tales of the Sunrise Lands, specifically written in a non-Western storytelling style.  Our standard Western format includes conflict points and a rise and fall of action. Other countries have (surprise!) different forms, and Guardbridge Books specifically requested

  • Kishotenketsu and other Japanese styles of story structure differing from traditional Western forms. This article has a good discussion of Kishotenketsu.

I wish I’d written something for it… but I didn’t.

Story sold to LUNA STATION QUARTERLY

I sold reprint rights to LUNA STATION QUARTERLY for my Clarion West story, FAR, FAR FROM LAND.  This ‘Deadliest-Catch-In-Space’ story was previously published in the print anthology MENIAL.  I look forward to having this story online and in a lovely venue like LSQ….  Going live on June 1, 2017.

Reading

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve read 4 novels (O YAY back to novel reading, my first love.)
 
I’m continuing my Walter Mosley education with KNOWN TO EVIL, the second Leonid McGill novel. He’s (the author) has moved from character relevations to procedure fiction but still his writing is fast and the surprises are good.
 
Since I watched all the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, I felt I should maybe read them a bit. Kerry Greenwood’s DEATH BY WATER isn’t the first in the series (which unfortunately my library doesn’t have; that would be COCAINE BLUES.) I’m reading a previously developed set of characters, Phryne and Dot, doing what they do. Not as quippy as the tv series but I think perhaps more clever in the details.
 
Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s HEX was okay. The situation and set up was classical horror and I loved that. There was much character depth and angst and I loved that. I think the motivation switch at the end and the ending itself didn’t lose me exactly but didn’t leave me with a zing. Satisfying but not the greatest read ever.
 
Colleen McCullough died a couple years ago. Notoriously the local paper ran an insulting obit for her. I just found a novel by her that I hadn’t read, BITTERSWEET, published in 2013. It’s an Australian, depression-era version of LITTLE WOMEN. No where near as treacly. And ‘Beth’ doesn’t die. I mentioned Colleen McCullough to a friend and nutshell described TIM (her first novel, I believe) as ‘middle-aged woman falls for a gorgeous young mentally handicapped man’ and my friend called that rapey. And ya know… Something about TIM always bothered me. The novels goes in-depth about consent and age etc (Tim’s of age; the protag is older and has a lot of doubt.) But you gotta think in terms of older men marrying young women and no one bats and eyelash. So… not sure. Anyway, this novel, BITTERSWEET, feels a bit rushed and too easy but still a fun romance type novel read.
 
NEXT on my tbr list and going to work with me today is THE BONE CLOCKS by David Mitchell. I’m still working on KING LEOPOLD’S GHOSTS but I don’t really want that level of depression right now.

NorWesCon Schedule

NorWesCon this year is April 13-16.  I’m on 7 panels, have 3 critique sessions (I’m critting someone else’s work), 2 readings, and a partridge in a pear tree and an autograph session.  I hope to have a small in print collection available for the autograph session.

(I’m moderating a lot of these panels.  I’m a bit shocked.  Yikes.)

Thursday
Alien Harvest
3:00pm – 4:00pm @ Cascade 11
Jude-Marie Green (M), Dr. Ricky, David Shoemaker

The Rhythm of Fiction
8:00pm – 9:00pm @ Cascade 7&8
Dean Wells (M), Jude-Marie Green, Joseph Malik, Carol Berg

Friday
How Being an Engaged Patient Can Save Your Life
2:00pm – 3:00pm @ Cascade 9
Jude-Marie Green (M), Vickie Bligh, Matt Hammond, Sean Hagle, Alan Andrist

The Trauma of Travel
3:00pm – 4:00pm @ Cascade 11
Jude-Marie Green (M), Jake McKinzie, Arthur Bozlee, V Whitlock

Outlining for Pantsers (And Everyone Else)
7:00pm – 8:00pm @ Cascade 5&6
Manny Frishberg (M), Evan J. Peterson, John (J.A.) Pitts, Jude-Marie Green

How to Tackle a Revision
9:00pm – 10:00pm @ Cascade 7&8
Laura Anne Gilman (M), Jude-Marie Green, Jak Koke, Andrea Howe

Saturday
Feminism in Fandom
10:00am – 11:00am @ Cascade 7&8
Mickey Schulz (M), Brenna Clarke Gray, Jude-Marie Green, Sheye Anne Blaze

Autograph Session 2
3:00pm – 4:00pm @ Grand 2
Catska Ench, Cory Ench, Ethan Siegel, Ian McDonald, Marc Gascoigne, Mike Underwood, Nancy Kress, Alexander James Adams, Cat Rambo, Dale Ivan Smith, Erik Scott de Bie, Evan J. Peterson, Jeremy Zimmerman, John (J.A.) Pitts, Jude-Marie Green, Kristi Charish, Laura Anne Gilman, Liz Argall, Django Wexler, Frog Jones, Raven J. Demers, Spencer Ellsworth, Susan R. Matthews, Morgue Anne, Brenda Cooper, Lisa Mantchev, Bella la Blanc, Mark Teppo, Claudia Casper, Susan diRende, Kristy Acevedo

*I don’t have any spare contributor copies lying around so I think I’ll produce a pb collection. Get your money ready!

Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
8:00pm – 10:00pm @ Cascade 3&4
Marta Murvosh (M), Brenda Carre, Carol Berg, Jude-Marie Green, Cat Rambo

Check your Writer Privilege
9:00pm – 10:00pm @ Cascade 10
Jason Vanhee (M), J. F. High, Jude-Marie Green, Laura Anne Gilman

Sunday
Reading: Jude-Marie Green
1:00pm – 1:30pm @ Cascade 2
Jude-Marie Green (M)

Dunno what I’m gonna read. Maybe the dictionary. *I might bring wine and cheese.  And chocolate truffles.  You know, throw a 30 minute end of con party for my friends.

The Constant Struggle To Improve

Coursera, bless them, is presenting a series of courses on writing.  Given by Wesleyan University, 4 modules cover 4 approaches to writing stories: Character, Plot, Style, and Setting.  (More formally: The Craft of: Character, Settings and Descriptions, Plot, Style.)

Linky:  Coursera Writing Specialization from Wesleyan

I’m auditing, which means a. free and b. no certificate, but they do have a certificate program ($50/mo, ouch) if’n you need one for the CV.  I am treating this as a self-paced seminar.

One of my favorite takeaways so far isn’t so much about the arts and crafts of writing as about the guest authors/teacher authors.  I’d heard of MADONNAS OF ECHO PARK (never read it) and one segment is taught by its author, Brandon Skyhorse.  Amy Bloom, Maria Venegas, author of the wonderful memoir, Bulletproof Vest, and, um, lots of others.  With my head down in the genre writing community, I don’t get a lot of outside-the-genre exposure, damn it.  (Though I did read ‘The Girl On The Train’ before it was popular, and did I mention that my favorite read last year was Joe Ide’s IQ?)  But I do like reading off the top 10 list.

What I need now is a seminar on self-editing.

 

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Sam Bellotto Jr at Perihelion SF is not only a fine publisher of science fiction but a great editor who appreciates great writing.  Mine, that is.  He’s published another of my stories, a tale of a wandering tinker who stumbles across a conspiracy.  Along with her new friend, a travelling lizard, she … well, read the story of Dawn Sutorious here.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

at

Perihelion Science Fiction

AWARDS ELIGIBILITY POST

Cat Rambo, president of the august organization SFWA, says that if I’m a writer of SF/F and published something in 2016 that is awards-eligible, I should post about it.  So here tis:

I’ve had 3 new stories in semi-pro markets and one reprint, all readily available on the internet.  The reprint isn’t awards eligible but it’s amazing.

MIRACLES WROUGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES in The Colored Lens, editor Dawn Lloyd.

QUANTUM ROSE in Perihelion, editor Sam Bellotto.

A SUPERLATIVE FOR GOODBYE in James Gunn’s Ad Astra, editor Jean Asselin.  (This is a flash.)

The reprint is: A 3% Chance He’ll Ever Know I Lied, in Allegory, editor Ty Drago.

 

Quantum Rose

I forgot to post here that PERIHELION, one of my favorite online magazines, bought and published my scifi pirate story, QUANTUM ROSE.

Self-Publishing

I’m trying something a little different, experimenting with self-pub that’s not quite vanity press.  I set up an old chapbook, STORIES, via Draft2Digital, as OCEAN STORIES.  It has now been made available on Inktera with more venues to follow (they promise Kobo, B&N, and a few other sites.)   In the meantime, while it’s not as nice as a physical chapbook, it’s readable and will reach a much larger audience.  At only $1.99, it might be overpriced for 3 stories… but I know these stories are worth the reading.