Saturday, March 31, 2012

Acceptance: Peeps. PEEPS. "Daughters of Icarus" want me!

My first ever Word Baby has found a home!

I'm absolutely out of my little tree with excitement that my story "Me Myself I" has been accepted for the Pink Narcissus Press anthology "Daughters of Icarus", 'a brave new world of feminist science fiction'.

MMI is the first story I wrote two years ago, and it racked up 18 rejections in that time. It goes to show that persistence, belief in vision, and the right venue makes all the difference!

Hi-five, froggeh bro!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Happy second anniversary PT, and happy second writing anniversary to me.

Well, here we are two years into the journey. Still no pro sale, or even a semi-pro sale, but I'm hopeful that I've made enough progress in the last year that 2012 will see something really interesting happen. And it already has, with a sale to a venue I hugely respect and a story out in a print anthology getting a nice wee bit of indie promo and chugging along on word of mouth.

I still haven't settled on any firm or long term plans to write a novel because I'm still happy writing and getting better at short stories, though my tenuous plan is to make a pro sale or three, join SFWA, and reconsider. I'm not doing this for the money yet - I didn't even come close to making $100 last year on my writing.

I'm not feeling the panic of "approaching 40 and haven't achieved something" any more. I feel like I've achieved something with my baby steps and network connections I've been establishing, and stories I've written and fallen in love with. Plus I'm getting a huge sense of satisfaction of finally doing something I really love. I just wish satisfaction paid the mortgage!

As far as rejections go, I've now stopped counting. I'm up around the 150 mark now, pretty impressive for 2 years work! I just keep rolling the stories out, and a rejection doesn't prickle any more. Well, maybe just a little, if it's a market I'd really like to break or a story I really believe in. All my stories are my babies, but some are more favourites than others. Oh, do not turn on me now, wayward children!

And so I carry on carrying on.

I finnisht ur novel..and ur donuts

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Round The Traps 27/03/2012

  • Christchurch fantasy writer Helen Lowe's latest book "The Gathering of The Lost" has been released! She's currently doing giveaways and a blog tour. GotL is the sequel to "The Heir of Night", and is the second book to be released in Lowe's Wall of Night trilogy.
  • Australian author Jennifer Mills has written a brilliant piece entitled "On Books and Gender" regarding her participation in the Australian Women Writers challenge.
    It is not possible to be gender blind. It is only possible to interrogate the judgements that you make about gender, and the way that gender operates in your decision-making, and try to account for it. As a queer woman I am well aware of the subtle (questioning, pigeonholing, jokes) and not-so subtle (violent assault, discrimination) ways society has of policing gender. Gender essentialism doesn’t just punish the freaks, though. It stereotypes everybody. It might be everyday, assumed in many contexts, embedded in the language, but like racism, just because we are used to it, doesn’t mean it is right or natural.
  • Recently YA author Karen Healey (ex-NZ, now living in Australia) did research into gendered criticism of authors. In "Shock: Researching hatred makes me angry" she discovered that though criticism is evenly split between the genders, the language used to criticize female is more personally vituperative.
  • Please excuse me for linking to Jezebel (they're on my shit list of feminist sites) but this stuff makes me so angry: "Racist Hunger Games Fans Are So Very Angry". This ties into a bigger picture of racist assholes 'not seeing colour' or being able to see PoC as good people.
  • Still on the topic of the Hunger Games (I have not yet either read the book or seen the movie, but the word of mouth is so huge I'm taking notice), here's one to make the Fat Activist and recently published "FGIASL" author absolutely FROTH AT THE MOUTH: "Hunger Games star 'too big' for role". There's a lot to be said about the sexism, racism and sizeism swirling around Hunger Games: a popular book written by a woman, with a female protagonist, major female and PoC characters, turned into a box office smash. Anything to cut women's success and story telling power down to size, yeah?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Detour The Next

Writer Monday may be dead, but hello Writer Tuesday.

As I was lamenting the death of Writer Monday, the cosmos did their strange movements and the stars aligned for Writer Tuesday instead. Currently in it's testing phase (ie: only two weeks), it's nice to be back on the pony again for a full writing day to myself.

I've been pushing myself very hard the last few weeks to put words down on a daily basis, even if they are crap, to try and get a routine underway. It is difficult, but I figure if I force myself - yes, I really have to be hard on myself to apply bum to seat, fingers to keyboard - it may get easier. I don't expect for everything to fall into place and suddenly go 'Ding! I'm a prolific writer!' - I fully expect my energies will wax and wane for the rest of my writing life. So, I have to be kind on myself at the same time. Iron fist, velvet glove and all that.

This current phase of writing routine might not last, but I'll take what I can get at this stage.

Climbing over those roadblocks in my awkward, uncoordinated way, we shall trundle on.

Roadblock: yur doin it rite

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Flights of Fancy" Wrap Up.

Teh writter, redding stuffz
(Liz Gatens and Diane Berry find me
somehow amoozin)
I had a wonderful time at Flights of Fancy yesterday.

The first big thank you goes out to SpecFicNZ, especially Catherine Ford, for organizing and New Zealand Book Month for sponsoring the event. With a little funding, the event was held in a unique venue and made the writers present feel appreciated.

There was a small but supportive crowd present, who filled up the space in the Wigram Airforce Museum atrium just nicely. I'm not sure how many of those in attendance were members of the public brought in by the promotion, but this nervous first time  reader promoting her work thoroughly appreciated the polite applause.

It was really lovely to catch up with Helen Lowe. I haven't spoken with her (other than on Twitter) since before February last year. We were treated to a variety of readings from her, including a snippet from her soon to be released "The Gathering of the Lost". She's currently working very hard on the third book in the Wall of Night series.

I was also introduced to the work and person of Jennifer Fallon, who moved to Christchurch a couple years back. I've been extraordinarily remiss in familiarizing myself with her work, and I shall endeavour to do some catch up soon! She was a fun, engaging writer to chat to and listen to.

Diane Berry, of the KD Berry writing team, read from the recently released "Dragon's Away", Jane Higgins introduced us to the world of "The Bridge", MC and horror writer Paul Mannering read a story from "Tales From the Bell Club" of which he is the editor (hehe, watch the crowd squirm!), and Liz Gatens read her story "The Glitch Doctor".

I read part of "Cartography, and the Death of Shoes", and of course all my voice training flew out the window the moment I opened my mouth! Put me in a booth and I can go for hours. Put me in front of an audience and my knees go jelly. It's obviously been a long time since I spoke in public.

Regardless, a good time was had by all and it was lovely to interact with other local SFF authors. In  New Zealand we rarely get together outside of the yearly con or our monthly informal meetings, so it was interesting watching the pros at work.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Reminder: "Flights of Fancy", Sunday March 18, Air Force Museum Christchurch

Come to: "Flights of Fancy", a New Zealand Book Month Event, in association with SpecFicNZ.

When: Sunday, March 18, 2012. 1pm - 3pm
Where: Air Force Museum, Harvard Ave, Wigram, Christchurch, New Zealand
Who: Local based speculative fiction authors including yours truly will be doing readings, and introducing you to the local specfic scene.
What: I intend to be reading my story "Cartography, and the Death of Shoes", from "Fat Girl in a Strange Land" (Crossed Genres Publications).

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Places You Can Purchase "Fat Girl In A Strange Land"

Monday, March 5, 2012

Caution: Detour Ahead

It's been two years since I began this journey. As I look back I think it's fantastic what I've achieved, but at the same time I don't think I've achieved enough.

As always, this has to do with my motivation and the time I give myself for writing. Two years ago I restructured my life a little to give myself "Writer Monday", an entire day with no work commitments, distractions or people around. Some Mondays I succeeded in smashing word targets and writing fantastic stories, others I found it hard to raise my head above the trenches, especially in the last year (because of The Thing Which Will Loom Large In My Life Forever More). All in all, I really enjoyed having the time to myself, to get a little taste of the full time writer lifestyle.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bits and Bobs

  • It's ridiculously exciting to see one's name appear on one of the "Big" science fiction blogs. It's one of my go-to, read every day sites. The Future Fire, hence "The City of Sand and Knives", received link love on SFSignal's Free Fiction for 22/2. Squee!
  • I'm trying out Duotrope's submission tracker. I use just a (very messy) document list, so this will be an interesting way to keep an eye on numbers, dates and stats.
  • I've signed up for Good Reads. If you want to add me as a friend (or fan! snerk), you'll find me under my byline, A.J. Fitzwater.

Saturday, March 3, 2012