Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Shh, Rejections! 26/10/2011

"Through The Open Door" rejected via form letter by Lore. If you're keeping count, that is its 19th rejection.

"Where the Wild Blackberries Grow" rejected via form letter from Clarkesworld.

"Where the Wild Blackberries Grow" rejected with feedback from Ideomancer. Nice!

"Shambling Towards Nirvana" rejected by Crossed Genres Publications...but we're not worried about that one, are we!

"Black Out The Sun" rejected via form letter by Apex.

This has been a very quiet month on the acceptance/rejection front. At least it's been a month of Win when it comes to an acceptance, but very much a Fail when it comes to Writing New Stuff.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Voice Work Update

I've been very remiss in posting updates about my voice acting work, mainly because there haven't been any.

And there haven't been any because I haven't been trying.

I'm not overly upset about this. The last six months has taught me a lot of about prioritizing my energy. The last eighteen months I've been loving (and hating) the writing journey. So I guess I've been a little preoccupied.

I haven't kept up my formal voice training since I finished my degree over ten years ago, and I know that's a really lazy thing to do. I haven't been practising or auditioning hard enough to make a really good go of it, and I don't take very good care of my voice. I do stuff for fun when it comes along, and maybe that'll be the way of it for this branch of my career.

I struggle with accents, I admit, and I struggle with my kiwi accent not being accepted on a world stage. I feel far more comfortable working with my real voice. If I put an accent on it suddenly becomes not me - I sound like I'm trying too hard, and the harder I try the more I stumble and mangle things, and I get into this spiral of frustration.

I've recently (last six months or so) done a bunch of auditions that I've never heard back about. I'm OK with that. I know when I've screwed up. It would be better if I'd got feedback, but hey, I know they're probably trying not to hurt my feelings. The kiwi accent is a rough sucker to deal with. I also know I don't have a typically feminine voice - I can be loud, often deep and a bit gruff, and I actually like it that way.

So I know my voice doesn't always present as approachable. But I am unique.

See no evil, speak no evil, unnerstand no ebil

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fat Women Rule!

I'm super duper pleased to announce that my story "Cartography, and the Death of Shoes" has been picked up by Crossed Genres Publications to appear in their anthology "Fat Girl In A Strange Land". Publication is pending February 2012.

"Fat Girl In A Strange Land" is a themed anthology of science fiction and fantasy short stories, where the protagonist is a fat female. As the guidelines attest:
Fat can’t just be a passing detail of the main character’s physical description. It should have an impact on the plot and character development. Just like in real life, fat should be an asset or a liability, or even more realistically, both over time.

I'm thrilled that my story has been chosen to be part of this anthology, because it means I'm on the right course with the stories I like to write about social justice. What's doubly exciting is that publishers are examining what the Fat Acceptance movement means, and how this translates in our stories. "Cartography" will be my second story published with a female character who positively identifies as fat.

Picard Sez: Rock the F*** on!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pulp!: Phallicy, Gynecology, Rubber Spines, Damsels and Vixens

Ahh pulp science fiction covers of yore. So male gaze oriented, so white washed, so many boobs defying the laws of gravity.

After the (quantum) leap, a selection of covers with NSFW commentary. Image heavy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Slow Times

I've hit a trough in productivity this month. For two weeks now I've missed Writer Monday because of illness and my old procrastination/impostor syndrome problems rearing their ugly head.

Things have also been really quiet on the reply front. Barely even any rejections the last month or so, but that also means no acceptances either. I don't know if it's just this time of year for publishers, but my anecdata from having been in slush pile hell the last two years tells me September/October is the slowest time. Who knows, I could be just imagining it.

But my lack of new words...well, all I can say is 'ugh'. I has a disappoint in myself. I'm struggling even to hit a few hundred words at night. Oh gawd, griiiiiiizzzzzzzllllllllleeee. More cheese with my whiiiine. Yeah, there's a few personal things going on (which I won't talk about because, well, yeah, they're personal), and the usual claustrophobia from being stuck in Going Nowhere Fast City (aka Christchurch).

I need something good to pick me up. I'm off to Sydney for a week at the start of November, and as much as that is going to be OMG DISCO-GLITTER-TASTIC, I can't help being amused at the little voice in my head saying "yeah, but that's MORE time you're going to miss writing". I suppose I could take my lappy with me, but I don't go overseas to sit around and ponder my navel!

Anywho, one thing that does show up from this productivity wane is how very lonely writing can be. I've lost four people from my writer group this year, three because they moved away after the earthquake. There's not many, if any, people I trust to critique my writing. I just need a good boot along.

And that's the rambling thoughts from Aspiring Writer Manor for today. Here, have a kitten.

I was going to start procrastinating today,
but I figured I would wait until tomorrow to start

Friday, October 7, 2011

"The Man Who Could Not Climb Stairs and Other Stories" - A Yarn With Paul Mannering

Winner of the Sir Julius Vogel Best Fan Production award for Brokensea Audio Productions Doctor Who series, New Zealand author and SpecFicNZ member Paul Mannering is a man with a deliciously twisted mind who has a penchant for the dark and bizarre.

This week Paul has self published an e-book collection of short horror, dark fantasy and bizarro fiction entitled "The Man Who Could Not Climb Stairs and Other Stories", available at Amazon for Kindle.

As I have been friends with Paul for over ten years now--I credit him partly, among others, with kicking my butt back on to the writing road--I took the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his writing influences, career and the book.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's Writers Block, But Not As We Know It

From time to time writers that I respect pop out a blog post, article or quote about the arch enemy of us all - Writer's Block. Often these thoughts on the Big Bad WB come in the form of advice or anecdotes on how they dealt with it.

All well and good...except when said writer gets cranky and dismissive. Many times I've seen respected authors dismiss writer's block as a thing, calling it something like 'the crutch of the lazy wannabes' or 'excuses from people who want to live the dream but not the reality'. Some people DO need a kick in the pants to get started. Some people have never been taught the daily business of writing. And most writers of note will at some time or another get fed up with the question asked over and over again: "How do I become a writer".