Sunday, March 31, 2013

The 365 Project: stories read as of 31/3/2013

This week's stories read include: Rich Larson, Jake Kerr, An Owomoyela, Beth Cato, NE Walker, Nghi Vo, Michelle Muenzler, Llinos Cathryn Thomas, and Jocelyn Koehler.

"Daughters of Icarus": Five Questions

Uh oh. It's time to bring the cat with the brain like a bag of cats out of the bag. Let's do a Five Questions with PT, my blog internal narrator.

PT: Awwww yissss. Daylight. Time to talk about wurdz and stuff. On the agenda for this PT 5Q is "Me Myself I", from the Pink Narcissus Press anthology "Daughters of Icarus: New Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy".

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's On Like Donkey Kong! "Blood, Stone, Water", Beneath Ceaseless Skies, March 28, 2013

The time has arrived! My first pro story sale is being released!

The pre-release of Beneath Ceaseless Skies #118 is available now through Weightless Books and (ETA) also on Kindle via Amazon.

The web based version of the story will be available to read in one week's time on the Beneath Ceaseless Skies website.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

VA: PodCastle - "Virtue's Ghosts" by Amanda M. Olsen

It's been a while since I've done a narration, but here's one!

This week's episode of PodCastle is "Virtue's Ghosts" by Amanda M. Olsen, read by yours truly.

Thanks Dave and the team over at PodCastle for thinking of me. Always happy to be associated with PodCastle, since I've read for them before and had interesting times way back when it was just getting off the ground when I did a stint as an audio editor for them.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's A Release! "Daughters of Icarus: New Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy" Out Now

Pink Narcissus Press has just announced the release of the anthology "Daughters of Icarus: New Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy".

The book is currently available through their catalog on their website, for $US17, (ETA) and also via Amazon. Paperback and ebook versions will be available through other retailers in the next week or so, so hang tight for links.

"Daughters of Icarus", edited by Josie Brown, with cover art by Rose Mambert, includes my story "Me Myself I".

What can women tell us about the world? In this new collection of science fiction, a stunning assembly of authors explore the work laid before the daughters of Icarus, left behind after the prideful fall. Whether the worlds they imagine are hopeful of desolate, each sheds new light on the possibilities of feminism. Daughters of Icarus is a bold exploration of the present, past and future.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Week Twelve: E for Effort, A+ for Awesome! (Why yes, that is a pro sale)

I had the most bizarre week of roller-coaster ups and down.

I didn't make my word count because I was having the motivation blues. I managed around 2000 new words which completed my latest WiP "The Unofficial Guide to Travelling with Kin", and I did spend what other time I could force myself to do editing the piece. I was tired and in a complicated head space, but somehow I did finish the piece, and I ended up liking it a lot.

Still, I got to Sunday and felt like my efforts the past 7 days were the absolute pits. Boo-urns.

But then.


I made. My second. Pro sale!

Just like that! Out of the blue - BAM! It happened so suddenly I'm not sure I've processed it properly yet, I'm quite shocked.

I'm proud to announce that "Second Skin" will be appearing in the June (I believe) edition of Crossed Genres Magazine. Yes, that superb venue funded to pro status by Kickstarter last year.

Kay and Bart have been incredibly supportive over the last two years, and I'm really proud to be associated with their publications.

Invisible Roller Coaster!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The 365 Project: Stories read as of 23/3/2013

Stories read this week include Saladin Ahmed, Genevieve Valentine, John Chu, and Karin Tidbeck.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"Words On The Wind" Write Up

Thanks to everyone who came out to support "Words on the Wind" this past Sunday.

It was really nice to have a near full room of people listening to stories read by five local science fiction and fantasy writers: Beaulah Pragg, Cat Langford, Diane Berry, Jane Higgins, and myself.

I read my (as yet unpublished) story "The Dragon in the Wardrobe", as I wanted to talk about how Anne McCaffrey influenced my writing. This was the story I wrote in the week after her death (the same week Curiosity was sent Mars-ward).

Thanks for all the kind words and polite attention. I was, as per usual, nervous as hell, knees shaking, eyes downwards, stumbling over my words. A little silly for a person who spends their day job behind a microphone, n'est pas? I think I need more practice. Maybe in oh, say, 20 years time I'll be better at it!

It was also a little squee-worthy that this time round I had hard copy books to show off at the display table.

There is a full write up about the reading over at the SpecFicNZ website. It was nice to see all my local writer friends, since I've been unable to attend our monthly meetings lately.

Thanks to New Zealand Book Month for your support for this and the other "Words on the Wind" events.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Week 11 Update

Seven thousand words, yeeeaaahhhh baby!

Actually, it was 7450 words, so over total for the week *fist pump*

I started two new stories last week, one a SF about an abandoned colony, and the other a weird urban fantasy. I like weird. I like to be weird as often as possible. I didn't finish either WiP, but I made excellent progress on both.

And the excellent progress was despite my RSI flaring up. I have a particularly rough time with my right shoulder and neck (my strong hand). They lock up when I'm stressed, and this week's flare up has been especially unpleasant. It usually calms down after a few days but this has been going on a week now. The best I can do is get a massage, take painkillers, use a wheat bag, do a few exercises, and ride it out. The pain also leaves me very tired, so writing through it is a bit like making the brain swim through treacle. I doesn't help that the day job is all computer work, so there's no way I can avoid exacerbating it.

A couple of rejections this week, so I was able to tidy a couple stories up and send them out. I also finished editing "Looking For Group" and sent it out on its way around the traps. That's the 45th story I've sent out on the submission road, though of course not all of those 45 had survived the trip!

The "Words on the Wind" NZ Book Month reading event also happened on Sunday, but I'll write that up when I have photos.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

What are you doing this Sunday afternoon?

Coz it's New Zealand Book Month, right.

And I'm doing that reading in public thing again, right.

And though I don't deal well with reading while being stared at, it'd probably be worse if nobody turned up, right.

So here's the thing. I'll be hanging round the Upper Riccarton Library in Christchurch from 1.30pm this coming Sunday (March 17th) with other local writerly types, and I'll be making words come out of my mouth that have to do with the words I've put down on paper about fantasy/science fiction-y type things. If you wanted to hang round and lend me your ears, that would be kinda cool.

"Words on the Wind" NZ Book Month reading event poster.
Upper Riccarton Library, Christchurch, Sunday March 17th, from 1.30pm

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week Ten Update, with added extra sale!

I've come to the conclusion that my weekly updates are excessively dry, and I've been glossing over things. Mainly, how writing is still goddamn difficult for me compared to the way other people make it sound. I do tolerably well to complete my tally, but I still get the ol' Jelus Bone a-tingling when people talk of their massive output. And I have to remind myself: I do what my energies allow me to do, I'm a short burst worker, and I have to be kind on myself.

My Writing Output isn't as boring as I make it out here. Maybe  I got into that mind set that writing is all about numbers instead of what else is going on in my head: how what I'm reading effects me, the mad ideas I have that never go anywhere, how many balls I have in the air. I think I made the updates dry originally because a) looking back over the last couple of years I seemed whiny b) I wanted to project an air of positivity on to my thinking so I don't get discouraged.

So, since I'm always a Work In Progress, maybe a little bit of brain farting onto the, err, page here wouldn't go amiss.

Talking this week's numbers, I decided to up my Tally Total to 7000 words a week (1000 a day) because on good days (more often than not lately) I've been zipping past my daily tally, and I figured if I just tried a little harder I could push myself forward a bit. Thought I set the new number, I didn't reach it for the first week - I hit 4500 new words - but I in no way see the week as a failure. I made excellent progress on editing my newest completed short ("Looking For Group") and the monster 20K ("Circus").

Absolutely doing my head a good number, I started reading Caitlin R. Kiernan's "The Drowning Girl" - holy crap it's a trip so far. Very complex (with TWs: mental health). The sort of writing that (like Cat Valente) makes me want to be a better writer. Coz hot damn, writer envy.

And since I usually have about 3-4 books on the go at one time (to switch between as my mood suits), I also began reading Samuel R. Delany's "Babel-17" (finally!). Really taut prose that smacks the pace around. It's currently on hold because the Kiernan has me hooked.

And of course! The Great News of The Week: I sold "Power Line Dreams" to the Crossed Genres anthology "Oomph: A Little Super Goes a Long Way". If you're counting, why yes, that's my hat trick of CG anthologies. Can't help it, they always come up with excellent themes.

Upcoming big weekend with the "Words on the Wind" New Zealand Book Month reading at the Upper Riccarton Library on Sunday from 1.30pm. Still considering options of what to read, but I'm leaning towards my flash piece "Mid-life Crisis".

And the new home office? Still freakin' ace.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The 365 Project: Stories Read as of 9/3/2013

Stories read this week are from Vylar Kaftan, Aliette de Bodard, Sunny Moraine, Karen Joy Fowler, Amy McLane, Rachel Swirsky, and Brit Mandelo.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

It's! (again)


A Book!
Shot Entitled: Study of Cat Giving of
No Meows
That It's The Author's Latest Endeavour

"Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction" Table of Contents:
Page One Baby!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Zealand Book Month: These Are My People

March is New Zealand Book Month.

It's a great opportunity to discover something new, and NZ Book Month will even contribute towards your reading cause with a $5 Book Voucher, downloadable from their website.

New Zealand has a thriving speculative fiction community. Here are some of the books and authors  you may wish to check out:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Week Nine Update

This last week I decided to take a break from writing new words to edit finished pieces.

I did have a plan on working on my 20K steampunk epic, but that got waylaid when a submission call peaked my interest. I ended up editing another story to (hopefully) submission standard and shot it off just in time. I also tidied up a couple of other older stories for resubmitting.

Unfortunately, for the rest of the week I got very lazy and didn't do anything else until Sunday, when I started a new WiP.

So a word count total is not appropriate here, but I am not impressed with my efforts this past week.

With that in mind, I've decided to up the ante. I am now upping my weekly word count to 7000 words in a week, 1000 words a day. I need the push. I need to work harder and longer.

I love you couch, you understand me.

Saturday, March 2, 2013