Friday, December 31, 2010

"Mid-life Crisis" Flash Me Magazine December 31, 2010

The December issue of "Flash Me Magazine" is now available online.

It contains my story "Mid-life Crisis".

What a great way to end the year!

A link, the front cover of Flash Me Magazine December 2010, showing a dragon hovering in the sky over a black house

Ten Things About Twenny Ten

  1. I started writing again. 
  2. I organized my time to give myself permission and time to write. 
  3. I made mistakes, of which I was grateful for the learning experience. 
  4. I ticked something off my Things-To-Do-Before-40 List (submitting to Asimovs). 
  5. I visited Australia for the first time in my life.
  6. I survived a major natural disaster.
  7. I learned to love and value rejection.
  8. I saw Lady Gaga live in concert, and she was awesome.
  9. I made my first sale.
  10. I was published twice.
2011 will hopefully only be better! See you on the other side!

How to tell if it was a good party: the cat's passed out on the china cabinet...
and your pants are missing

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Melly Chrustymouse!

The author is on holiday from blogging, writing and life for a little while. Normal schedule will probably resume early in the new year.

Have a good one!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Xmas is ridiculously busy, so here's some Links 21/12/2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Rejection 17/12/2010

"The Ten Thousand Steps" rejected by Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, with my first ever hard copy rejection letter! I shall now start a hard copy folder to errmmmm...keep the stamps.

"Twixt" rejected by Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. Yeah, I deserved that rejection. I was a bit of an arse, and queried way too early because I was in a weird headspace that week I submitted (pushy cow!). Sorry ASIM, you still da magazine, and I'd think it a singular privilege to eventually be published in your pages.

A cute african-american child with chubby cheeks and braided hair frowns while leaning her chin in her hands

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Writing: Talking to myself, shouting into the void

Somebody asked me the other day why I blog and Twitter about my writing when I have little to show for my efforts and I'm not a "famous author". I didn't take offense, I knew what they meant - my banging on about writing in a public space has very little relevance to many people and seems like a fairly futile endeavour.

Here's the thing: I don't blog or Twitter about my writing for anyone but myself at this stage. I don't like writing a diary, and I never have. I don't want my family members knowing my inner most thoughts when I'm long gone, or it used to make some revolting memoir about me.

Many may argue that blogging is a bit like writing a diary, but I temper that with the argument that I'm blogging about only one part of my life (I know my feminism is mixed in here too, but again that's only one part of my life). I'm only writing about my feelings and the roller coaster ride of becoming an author.

And right now, to me, that's important. This blog probably will change it's MO as time goes by and my writing career progresses - I mean, it's no use talking about the challenges of starting my career when I'm well into it, say a few years down the track.

I use this blog, and Twitter, as a way to stay focused and accountable to myself. Sometimes writing things down, say making lists or goals, gives you something to tick off or point to. I'm not so hot on list-making or writing out goals like PhD proposals - it seems futile when its only my eyeballs looking at them.

But I am happy about writing down goals and challenges here - I'm surprised at how good this blog and Twitter are at keeping me motivated. If I'm using the #amwriting hashtag, I better have a few thousand words by the end of the day to prove I'm not lying or procrastinating. If I announce I'm doing a Writer Monday, I better own the time I have set aside for that. If I write about a success or how happy I am with a project, I can feel satisfied of a job well done. If I moan about what an arse I've been, or how down I am, it serves to focus my thoughts, put the problem in a box and try to move on.

I started this blog because I was terrified of rejection. MORTIFIED, I tell you. So I decided to own my rejections, laugh at them, number them, and revel in them. And it's worked. The more rejections I get, the more I try, the better I feel about keeping on going. I honestly now wake up in the mornings itching to check my email for replies. Rejections - great! Acceptance - even better!

This blog is not to have a wank or preen, or to think I'm any sort of fantastic writer.  Writing is a growing, learning, evolving experience, and blogging is a tool I find works for me. Your mileage may vary. I don't care if anyone is reading my ramble screeds.

laptop cat sayz...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Take a picture of it and hang it on the wall

In the age of digital transactions, it's a little hard to frame "My First Paycheck".

So here's "My First PayScreenshot", enhanced in all it's glory!

A screen shot of a bank statement which shows ten dollars credited to a bank account by Semaphore magazine
Screenshot of payment for my first evah sale!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Author at Christmas

So my hair is purple again (huzzah!) and I have just completed my last full writing day before The Holidays (with a capital Tea and a Capital Haitch)

Next week I'll have to work full time (boo!) because, you know, the week before Christmas (yay) and all that (boo retail hell).  Then the Monday after that I'll still be on culturally and familial imposed holiday (yay). Then the Monday after THAT will be another public holiday, which I think I'll still be hungover during. So that'll be three Mondays I'm going to miss out on. Hopefully I'll be able to do some bits and pieces - aim for 250-500 words or some editing a night mebbe - but it's gonna be messy.

In the spirit of the month, I had a go at starting two different Christmas based stories, but they just didn't take. I guess it felt weird writing something now when I know by the time I'll finish them it'll be irrelevant. So maybe I'll revisit them middle of next year, in preperation for selling them around Christmas time. Still, felt a bit crap to abandon two stories in a row, because they just didn't feel right for me.

A little amused and perplexed that after those two weeks of meh-ness when it comes to New Word Mondays, I suddenly hit a good streak just before I take some down time. Still, I usually find a way and time to make things happen if I really like the latest masterpiece, and I doooooo. It's super creepy cool. I never thought I could write horror, but it seems I'm dabbling, thanks to my super squicked out subconscious that threw up a trippy dream at me last night.

Yes, this is the second story I'm writing directly from a dream! Gawd, don't groan, I know.  It's inspiration cliche, right? But I swear, my dreams were on acid last night. And I LIKE IT. The last time I wrote a story straight from a dream was "Through the Open Door" (and look how many rejections that's got, ha!)

So I'm on the up-wave of feeling writerly good at the moment, what with two stories being published this month (omg, how did that happen again? Is this my life?), and inspiration coming in droves. I was seriously getting worried there for a few weeks, I was going through a dry patch. I'm happy that I'll have plenty of ideas to return to after The Holidays.

Hope the silly season is treating you ok. Here, have some Darren, to make it nice 'n sweet.

Video: Darren Hayes performing "Last Christmas"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Have some Links, in lieu of proper posting 9/12/2011

  • The Julian Assange case has been getting a lot of air time, and giving more hot air to rape apologists and mouthpieces incapable of separating the intersections of the issue. There are a lot of great posts from the blogosphere.

    First off, Kate Harding at Salon with "The rush to smear Assange's rape accuser".

    Jill at Feminist has two great posts: "Some thoughts on 'sex by surprise'", followed by a callout to feminist doyenne Naomi Wolf in "Naomi Wolf: Assange captured by the 'dating police'" 
    In fact, it is totally possible to support the WikiLeaks project and to think that the international response to Assange and the project is thoroughly fucked up and to think we should withhold judgment on whether or not Assange is actually a rapist and also to think that we should withhold judgment on whether the women are lying, and to not discredit the women involved, and to not create a hostile climate for rape survivors, and to not play into every tired old stereotype about women and rape.  Seriously, we can chew gum and walk at the same time.
    Jessica Valenti was another to be disappointed in Wolf's stance with "Naomi Wolf really needs to read the internet"

    Maia at The Hand Mirror wrote "Rape myths and Julian Assange"
  • Still on the topic of rape, while not directly about Assange, revisiting the topic in public forums has caused Elizabeth at Spilt Milk to ask people to be careful with their flippant comments in "Who hears you, when you speak about rape?"

    From a few weeks back, but certainly always relevant, Holly at The Pervocracy talks about "The people you meet when you write about rape"
  • Over at Geek Feminism Blog, Mary writes a response to "helpful" comments about  conference anti-harassment policy in "Why don't you just hit him?", how violence is really not a helpful response from a victim at all.

    Melissa at Shakesville followed it up with another great point in "The apologists trap":
    The assertion that violence is an appropriate response to harassment is made by people (usually men) who make it explicitly because they are auditing the responses of people who are harassed (usually women) and find them lacking.
  • I wish I could point every troll and bully in existence to this one: Julie Zhuo at The New York Times writes "Online, anonymity breeds contempt".

    This kind of social pressure works because, at the end of the day, most trolls wouldn’t have the gall to say to another person’s face half the things they anonymously post on the Internet.
  • Tracy Clark-Flory at Salon's Broadsheet writes about gender essentialism in the workplace and how this relates to relationships in "The terror of successful women"
    trend pieces like the Times article so often rely on the account of the group of people -- most often women -- who are loveless-and-looking. Needless to say, we aren't always accurate in our own evaluations of why others aren't interested in us.
  •  And a great one from Jennifer Kesler over at The Hathor Legacy "It's just a show. Really?" talks about how sexists and apologists dismiss feminist deconstruction of popular culture, then turn around and use said pop culture as the measuring stick of female behaviour and thinking!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Like, Squee! 4/12/2010

I made another sale!

Bliss: We should all be so happy with just a piece of sparkling string

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here, have something nice and festive-y

A six foot decorated Christmas tree, with a calico cat sitting beneath.
My Christmas Tree, with furry lurker

A hand stitched Christmas decoration of a dragon holding a Christmas stocking, which says Never Too Big To Believe
Close up detail of some of my hand stitched ornaments

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"My Dad, The Tuatara" Semaphore Magazine December 2010

The December issue of Semaphore Magazine is now available.

It contains my first sale (ahem) "My Dad, The Tuatara".

Semaphore is a New Zealand based quarterly specfic magazine, run by Marie Hodgkinson.

I really don't know what to say. I'm a little lost for words on this most historic day in my writerly career.

A link, the cover of Semaphore Magazine for December 2010, showing a rising moon
Cover of December 2010 issue of Semaphore Magazine

Jingle Links, Jingle Links, Jingle All The Way 1/12/2010

  • The Mistress of the Lash Wears Chains. Over at The Border House, Quinnae dissects bad matriarchal society and female sexuality tropes in fantasy and gaming. "Driving these depictions is a pantomime of female sexual and social power that is readily adapted into a form that exists only at the expense of men, and thus becomes the ‘male-nightmare.’"
  • Stung by gender bias, author Tawni O'Dell stings back. If you think male-gendering an author's name, sexualizing a female author, or making up a back ground for a female author is so 50-100 years ago, think again. "I stood by blowing on my hands and stomping my feet to keep warm when suddenly he turned to me, eyed me up and down, and proclaimed, "We need to tease her hair. I want glitter. Lots of glitter, and the clothes will have to go." "You want me to be naked?" I spluttered."
  • Blogger Edman got all sad face that Privilege Denying Dude was being shut down, so offered up his smug mug to be the new face of PDD.
  • Jezebel is in the shitter for posting a rape apologist screed that has left readers anywhere from scratching their heads to raging apopleptic to scared and shaken. Calm rage eminated from Sady at Tiger Beatdown in "So, just so we're clear...", and then "Updates!". So many people are left asking "What the hell Jez?" (QoT), and trying to figure out why Jez would betray a safe space for women (they now come out and say it isn't - why, um, thanks for all those "safe" post-your-experience-so-women-can-learn-sharing moments), or use a woman-centric space to pimp a friend or personal project (totes anonymous!), or post some clap-trap to gin up page views (don't get money from page views, totes honest!). All in all - congrats Jez on disenfranchising a large chunk of your readership. You won't be getting my eyeballs anymore. Still, for a parent company with Gawker, Kotaku,  Deadspin etc under their umbrella, I guess I was naive to expect more, expect better. Good to know women are just mouldable clicks...
  • Nicola Morgan at Help! I Need a Publisher blogs about "Investing in your writing". She goes beyond the usual rhetoric of how much time and courage is needed to become a writer, but how far you should consider going in financially investing in workshops and conferences. (via SFSignal)
  • Ninja Edit, because I knew I'd forgotten one: "Women Don't Negotiate" by s.e. smith over at This Ain't Living. "Surely, women being unwilling or unable to negotiate when it comes to pay scales has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that women are trained not to engage in that sort of activity and taught not to ask for more."