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I thought I’d go over some of the things I’ve discovered or loved in the last year, in no particular order.
If you want to be awesome in this life, do awesome things.
Milford. Northern Wales and an amazing workshop.
My whirlwind round-the-world tour featuring a visit with friends in New Zealand, more friends in Australia, even more friends in South Africa, and a play with an actor I like in London.
Overwerk. Especially when used in the Air Tahiti Nui video.
Tim Grahl and his tips on book and author marketing.
Tiffany Reisz. Bookalicious Pam listed The Siren as one of her favorite novels of the past year. On her recommendation, I inhaled the first four books between Christmas and New Year’s. I think her new book, The Saint, is even better.
James Mickens’s “The Slow Winter” is one of the few short stories ever where Rick and I have quoted random lines to each other. Most frequently, “This does not lead to rising property values in Tokyo!”
Hard-hat behind-the-scenes tour of the newly-opened part of SFO’s Terminal 3. That was pretty sweet, especially the ability to go onto the roof and watch the planes land.
The number of people who search my site for the mongoose joke. (two today!)
All the fun I’ve been having with Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle. Thanks, everyone.
Here’s a Dihydrogen Monoxide Containment Shield shower curtain.
And, you know, related stuff….. (same link set as above)
Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.
A tad late, since the con starts tomorrow, but hey, at least it hasn't started already...Thursday, July 10th8:00 PM G Power Differentials in Reviewing. Kevin Clark, John Clute, Amal El-Mohtar (leader), Lila Garrott, Alex Jablokow, Gregory Wilson. The Twitter sage @FILMCRITHULK wrote in a blog post, "REVIEWS ARE FUCKING WEIRD. NO ONE REALLY TALKS ABOUT IT, BUT THERE IS SOMETHING SO INHERENTLY WRONG WITH THEM. IT'S NOT JUST THE OBVIOUS THINGS, LIKE THE FACT THEY ARE SO OFTEN FILLED WITH THE WRONG KINDS OF INFORMATION TO GIVE BEFOREHAND AND MISSING THE INSIGHTS THAT WOULD TOTALLY BE MOST HELPFUL. THE REAL PROBLEM IS THAT THEY ARE A CONVERSATION OF EVALUATION WHEN THE READER IS AT A DISTINCT DISADVANTAGE. I.E. THEY HAVEN'T SEEN THE DAMN MOVIE. THIS REQUIRES THAT THE AUTHOR HAS TO DANCE AROUND THE SUBJECT ITSELF AND THUS TURNS THE WHOLE THING INTO NOTHING MORE THAN A HOLLOW GAME OF INNUENDO." (Capitals in the original, obviously.) So is there an unavoidable asymmetry in reviews? Do we agree with HULK that it's a bad thing? And, if so, what should be done about it?I... have a whole lot of things I could say about expected audience, and whether there is a difference between reviewing and criticism, and the way reading a reviewer over a long period of time does and does not reveal bias, and we'll see what direction this goes.9:00 PM ENL Readercon Classic Fiction Bookclub: Memoirs of a Space Woman. Amal El-Mohtar, Lila Garrott (leader), Sonya Taaffe. Naomi Mitchison's 1962 exploration of a life lived nearly entirely in space has deep humanist themes. Mary's specialty in alien communication leads to a life and profession of embracing the Other, literally realized in her accidental pregnancy via a Martian. We'll discuss criticisms of the book's heteronormativity and biological determinism as well as the themes of Mary's immersion in alien cultures. YAY NAOMI MITCHISONFriday, July 11th6:00 PM ENL The Convergence of Utopia and SF. Lila Garrott, Chris Gerwel (leader), Kameron Hurley, Paul Park, John Stevens. In a blog post about Readercon 24's utopia panels, Chris Gerwel wrote, "Utopian thought is a systemic 'what if' game: If we adjust the systems that shape our society, how will our society change?" Observing that "what if?" is at the heart of science fiction, Gerwel adds, "Can we have science fiction that isn't utopian? Or can we have a utopia which isn't science fictional?" This panel will tackle these and other deep questions about the nature of utopia and its relationship with SF. I think John Crowley gave this talk last year, but it should be an interesting panel.I have no programming on Saturday, but I should be around. I'm expecting this to be a fairly low-energy con, which means probably various people's readings, dealers' room, and, if it has turned out decently after the renovations, a certain amount of lurking in the bar. Say hello if you see me.Sunday, July 13th2:00 PM ENV Reading: Lila Garrott. Lila Garrott. Lila Garrott reads an excerpt from an unpublished novel, and possibly one or two published reviews. I am very sad to be scheduled against Gemma's reading! That said, PLEASE COME. Given the way con season works, this is the last chance I'll have to read from this book in public before it's Sitting On Someone's Desk Somewhere Waiting For A Decision and I am chewing my nails to the elbow about it.You can comment here or at the Dreamwidth crosspost. There are comments over there.
Yeah, well, you know how I get."On the Uses of Things""Castles""Janus""Precisely How Enchantments Are Built""The Sanctuary Algorithm""The Three Monarchs of Glam""The Way She Rises"
( You are about to view content that may only be appropriate for adults. )
"For many of us, sooner or later there comes a point where work gets hard and there’s no support at all from the outside world. That’s when you feel besieged. The fear of getting it wrong stops you."The above quote comes from a post by Tricia Sullivan on the inner turmoil that can result from too much second-guessing and self-criticism.And then there's this post by Michelle Davidson Argyle about being paralyzed by too much feedback.And this one by Dawn Metcalf on not writing when life gets in the way, and the self-perpetuating negative cycle that can result: "I felt like I'd failed across the board, which didn't improve my mood or my ability to write. And that is the flipside of having a public voice and a private life--there is so much of our stories that cannot be told because while being a writer is public, being a human being is private."Sometimes, a writer's mind is her own worst enemy. We need to be listeners, sensitive, attuned to our environments. We need critique. We need professionalism. Yet those are the very elements that can turn poisonous on us. And on top of any inner struggle comes a pressure not to admit it, not to reveal weakness. To be honest and vulnerable and creative while also having review-proof hides and boundless optimism ... Got all that? And can you juggle on a high wire, too?I have always loved the way Anne Lamott approaches the writing life in Bird by Bird. She talks craft and practical matters, but she admits that the writing life is filled with inner battles, filled with apprehension, mind games, self-doubt, despair. Not only with those things--of course, there is joy, too, or why else even do this?--but she shows that you can feel all those things and admit it and still write, still publish, still live.I hear tell that not every writer experiences this, and to those who don't, all I can say is: I'm happy for you, bless your heart. But the writers who do go through this don't do it to be precious. It's not because they've bought into some myth of the tortured artist. The more writers discuss this, the more we realize how common it is, and the more we learn to recognize where some of the pitfalls lie. When we find ourselves lost, we make finding the center again a priority. We know it's around here somewhere.
Here's today's progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents' deaths - now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:
In a little less than a month I head off to the United Kingdom and Ireland for WorldCon and Shamrockon. Since people have asked, I will also be in sorta the general area for Nine Worlds as well - in fact, I realized that I might even run into people at Heathrow arriving for Nine Worlds - and if people want to meet me for dinner that weekend that's awesome, but I wasn't planning on attending. Not because I have anything against Nine Worlds, which actually seems like more my sorta thing than the other two cons, but because at a certain point you hit Con Overload, and three cons in three weeks is absolutely that point for me. And although I initially thought about doing Nine Worlds and WorldCon, well...Shamrockon is in Ireland, where I've never been. And like others, I will be in London between Nine Worlds and Worldcon. Let the hijinks ensue.But this isn't about my con schedule, but rather about making reservations.This isn't my first trip to the UK, or my first time making reservations there (although on one trip I just showed up at the train station and was lucky enough to find a cheap space in a Westminster boarding house sorta thing, which was fun). But this is my first trip traveling via wheelchair, not to mention my first attempt to navigate Grade I and Grade II buildings - which historically can't be altered - some of which are transportation points, and others of which are hotels. And, that, as it turns out, makes things interesting well before boarding a plane. For instance:1. While in London pre-Worldcon, I won't be using the London Underground much - even post the Olympics, many of the Tube stations are not wheelchair accessible. Fortunately for my budget, the London buses ARE fully accessible, and the bus system has a very helpful website where you can type in where you are starting from and where you want to end up and it will list all the buses for you. As it turned out, the buses pretty much cover everywhere I want to go, which solved that problem. (There's also special tourist buses, even better.) That's great, and meant that one of my main criteria for choosing a hotel was "Near Bus Station."2. London hotel websites, however, assume that tourists are all going to want to use the Tube - so although they usually announce proudly how close to they are to a Tube station, few of them mention the bus stations. And if you go to the bus system website, it doesn't always tell you how far the hotel is from the bus.3. Enter Google Street Maps, which have been, bluntly, a livesaver - not just for this reason, either, but you can type in the hotel address and see where the bus station is, on street view, and note any potential problems.4. Google Street Maps are a godsend in another way: you can click on the little person on street view, look around, and see if the entrance to the hotel is, in fact, wheelchair accessible, since by "wheelchair accessible" the hotel sometimes means "you can use a wheelchair on the ground floor in the public rooms," not necessarily "you can get in."5. And speaking of hotels in Bath, not London - I was initially cheered to see just how many hotels in Bath popped up when I searched for disabled accommodations in Bath.Not surprisingly - most Bath hotels are in historic buildings that can only be accessed by two to four stairs - that turned out to be an overly optimistic search. As it turned out, Bath actually only has four hotels I could stay at. One is an absolutely gorgeous luxury hotel that is seriously beyond my budget, but where I am immediately heading to the instant I win the lottery. A second had only one disabled room which was already booked.Which means that I am staying in a hotel that has been pretty universally described as "overpriced" in all of its internet reviews, who urge visitors to head to other, better value hotels. Having looked at the hotel's website I am already inclined to agree with the internet reviews, but the reviews also say that the hotel has a good sandwich place nearby, which is a plus, so there's that. The other option, of course, was to stay in cheaper, more modern Bristol - an option I used for most of my clients back when I worked in the travel industry. The issue with Bristol, however, was that its hotels with disabled accommodation were for the most part not near the train station I would be using to take to Bath. By the time I worked out the transportation costs, I realized that I was going to be spending almost as much in transportation as I would be saving in hotel costs, so although Bristol is really not that far away, it seemed easier to stick with Bath after all.6. Buckingham Palace, which is open during July/August, and is wheelchair accessible.Wheelchair accessible tickets, however, have to be booked separately - and can't, unlike regular tickets, be booked online. (Apparently there's only one elevator accessible for tourists, so this has to be scheduled. Also you go in via wheelchair accessible golf cart.) Instead, you have to make an international phone call - or alternatively, email, and have them call you, which was working great until Buckingham Palace's computer systems went down. You fail me, Windsors, you fail me. (Technically I think this is a sorta independent group that "operates" tours of Buckingham Palace while the Windsors are out windsoring, but it's more fun to assume this, like so many other things, is all Prince Charles' fault.)I may end up at Kensington Palace instead, also wheelchair accessible, which has tickets available at the door.7. But at least it is wheelchair accessible: it's been mildly crushing to realize even things that sounded like they would be fully wheelchair accessible aren't. The Tower of London is one thing; the Cartoon Museum, though, was a bit of a surprise. I find myself comparing previous trips, with the "what shall I do today?" the spontaneous wandering, the surety that I could find someplace in London where I could sleep - and reach - without worrying too much. Some of that remains: my London schedule, for instance, is fairly flexible up until Worldcon, though that's partly because some plans are still getting finalized. It's not all disabled issues, either - some of this is just meeting up with various people here and there in London (hilariously, mostly Americans from Florida so far - it says something that it seems easier to meet up with them in London than Winter Garden, but moving on.) But there's still a fundamental change from previous trips, and it has me a bit twitchy.On the other hand, London! Also, Dublin! Castles! High tea! And getting to see many of you again! Awesomeness.
I keep trying to extract the fibers from milkweed. They can apparently be spun, much like flax, and are very strong and beautiful. I've seen some videos on how to process flax, and I'm trying to do similar with milkweed, but there are so many variables, and I have very crude, and somewhat inappropriate tools, so.Here are last year's milkweed stalks, which I left outside all winter so they'd rot somewhat. This seemed easier (and less smelly) than retting (where you soak the stalks intensively in water to help separate the fibers), but I'm not sure they decayed quite enough.(Here are all the milkweed-pod coracles, which I am going to paint and launch as a grand flotilla. Maybe.)And here are the stalks after just a little pounding. You can see some silvery white fibers in the lower right corner, just beginning to show.And here's the whole pile of milkweed stalks, after a great deal of pounding, but still not pounded enough for the next stage, probably. You can see more of the silvery fibers here and there, but still a heck of a lot of woody stalky stuff. I probably need to keep on pounding for a while more. After Readercon!
...particularly all the ones after Harper comes back, the ones after Eva's initial posts trying to get Harper's attention. This is preparatory to the slight retcon I'm going to use in order to resume the story, which will be sometime next week. I'm going to be adjusting the dates and in some cases (in minor ways, to reflect the longer gap) the content of those posts when the story resumes.This entry automatically cross-posted from http://alexandraerin.dreamwidth.org/580018.html. Comment hither or thither. Void where yon.
So, this is just a super-quick update to let you know that I might be a little MIA for the rest of the summer!After six years in SoCal, I’m finally (finally!) moving back to the east coast! Long story short: my husband was offered a position in Philadelphia, and we jumped at the chance to move back. Honestly, we’ve both been wanting to return to the east coast for a few years now—not just to be closer to family & friends, but also because we actually miss everything about living there (...even winter).If you’d asked me six years ago if I’d ever move back to the northeast, I would have said hell no, but… I slowly began realizing how much I missed it. How I missed things like rain. And thunderstorms. On the rare, RARE occasions when it rains in SoCal, I’d open up all the windows in my house so I could savor every sound & smell. That’s how much I missed it. And then seasons… Every fall, I’d find myself massively & deeply homesick for changing leaves & autumn atmosphere… And don’t get me started on the weirdness of the winter holidays in 80-degree weather. Nice for a few years, but…ultimately not for me.So, I’m pretty ecstatic that as of this Saturday, I’ll be getting on a plane and going home. (Another plus of being in the Philly area: super-close to NYC, aka my hometown & one true love.)When I’m not busy with moving & getting settled, I’ll be working on my edits for the fourth THRONE OF GLASS book, drafting the sequel to A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES (my new adult fantasy series), and preparing for my upcoming UK and US tours (details on those SOON!).Andddd speaking of my books, Booklist gave HEIR OF FIRE a pretty damn awesome review (emphasis mine):
As of yesterday, it's official: I'll be writing an arc of CATWOMAN for DC Comics. (That's her on the left, from the cover by Jae Lee that will be the first of this run, and that I will probably just blow up into a huge poster in my house, who are we kidding.)To say that I'm excited would be an understatement. Selina Kyle has been close to my heart in several of her incarnations; I'm gobsmacked to be able to write for her. I'm not sure what I'm allowed to say about it at this point – I am assuming Zero, because that's always the wisest default – but when I'm allowed to talk more about it, I definitely will. Over at io9, I answered some early questions while trying to be vague but informative, which was a hilarious balance to strike. And even if you want to stay spoiler-free, you should head over there for a glimpse of the new Selina by artist Garry Brown; what really makes that sketch for me is her stance in the long shot, which suggests both wariness and somebody secretly itching for a fight. Perfect.The first issue is due to hit stands sometime in October; I can't wait.
I stopped working on the draft I'd been attempting because it had gone horribly wrong. So today, I played with another idea I've had for a while, and it was fun. Of course, ideas are always fun until you try to write a decent novel based on them. Anyone who says "I'll give you an idea, you write it, and we'll share the credit" is crazy. Ideas are a dime a dozen.Readers tend to like series, but I have trouble writing them. It always seems like I said what I had to say about the MC in that first book. Maybe series are hard to write and that's why second series books are often weaker than first ones.
MAJOR THANKS to our wonderful supporters – those who donated and those who spread the word – we’re very close to hitting 50%! Can we get to $3000 today?
Last night, an Anonymous and Illustrious Patron of the Arts purchased the $600 reward, which means that I will be at Readercon 2015 with a Viking Extravaganza – I’ll recite an epic poem in Old Norse. I will provide translation, as well as a short introduction, for the small crowd of the donor’s choosing. I’m very excited!
Since it feels a bit lonely there at the higher-tier reward levels, I am adding a new, limited reward level at $100, called VOICE OF THE SEASTAR. I will write a poem for you! You will choose an element, a stone, and a texture for me to work with. If you’d like something more specific, we can talk! Previous work I’ve written for various fundraisers includes Godfather Death (for JoSelle Vanderhooft), Between the Mountain and the Moon (for Izlinda Hani Jamaluddin), Plucked from the Horo</a> (for Brittany Warman), and more. $100 will buy a poem of up to 100 lines; please pledge $200 if you want epic length. In addition to poetry, you will get the following swag: a mention on our donors’ list, a postcard featuring the Alphabet of Embers cover art by Galen Dara, the trade paperback and the ebook versions of An Alphabet of Embers, the mp3 of “Embersong” (the theme song of the anthology, put to music and sung by Emily Jiang), and physical and ebook editions of Spelling the Hours.
And I’d like to end this entry on an industrial note, with a Letter F of Embers by Bogi Takács:
Originally published at RoseLemberg.net. You can comment here or there.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to my journal. I'm pretty sure you know who I am, my name being in the URL and all, but just in case, I'm Seanan McGuire (also known as Mira Grant), and you're probably not on Candid Camera. This post exists to answer a few of the questions I get asked on a semi-hemi-demi-regular basis. It may look familiar; that's because it gets updated and re-posted roughly every two months, to let folks who've just wandered in know how things work around here. Also, sometimes I change the questions. Because I can.If you've read this before, feel free to skip, although there may be interesting new things to discover and know beyond the cut.Anyway, here you go:( This way lies a lot of information you may or may not need about the person whose LJ you may or may not be reading right at this moment. Also, I may or may not be the King of Rain, which may or may not explain why it's drizzling right now. Essentially, this is Schrodinger's cut-tag.Collapse )
Ranya Renee of NYC will be teaching this August in San Francisco.Now is the time to register as the best pricing is up through Tuesday, July 15!Saturday, August 23, 2014andSunday, August 24, 2014San Francisco, CaliforniaHead over to http://www.monicaraqs.com/ranya2014.html or scroll down for details.( Details behind the cutCollapse )
Part Two: Warrior: Like Goose Girl, Enna is split into parts, though four instead of three. I have them in my robust outline (the one that I made as I worked, more in detail than my original). I felt the story arranging itself into these parts and wanted to call that out with the part names Sister, Warrior, Prisoner, and Friend.
Lyrical language: When Goose Girl came out, several reviews praised its "lyrical language." I was finishing up Enna Burning at the time and the reviews made me nervous. Somehow I had managed to write lyrical language in Goose Girl and people would expect that in Enna Burning too. But I didn't think this book was lyrical and was sure everyone would be disappointed. Reading this chapter, I think I was always a lyrical writer and just didn't know it till the reviewers said it.
Fire: I spent so much time thinking about fire, observing it, reading about it, watching flames. After writing Goose Girl, I thought I knew what fire-speaking would be, but not till I was writing the story did I have to really work it out in detail and understand. I like to be able to believe that whatever is magical in my books is actually possible.
Enna & Isi: I hope everyone has a friend like Enna at their side.
Recently I read an article that bemoaned the lack of female friendships in YA literature. I thought through all my books and couldn't come up with one that didn't have at least one strong female friendship, as well as male friendships and female/male friendships. I didn't do this intentionally. I hadn't thought about it before, but clearly friendship must be important to me.
Enna's fire-speaking: I'm curious, in this chapter are you rooting for Enna to give in and embrace the fire-speaking or are you rooting for her to resist it?
The Tiran tent: Whew! That was exciting. I'd forgotten about that scene. I liked it when she booted the soldier in the head. Does that make me bad?
Eliza says, "One time I told my brother to read a story of mine "until you get bored". Forty nine pages in, he handed it back. "I'm bored now." I read over that page and realized he'd stopped at the first death scene. Gasp! What was I thinking, letting my sweet eleven year old brother read a book with a gory decapitation scene? When I asked him why he stopped, he told me, "Only one person dies in the first fifty pages. Usually someone dies in the prologue."" When adults worry about too much violence in children's books, I appreciate their concerns. I'm not a fan of violence. But I also think children read stories differently than adults with experience. They don't visualize the violence. It doesn't enter them. Books are gentler that way than movies. Our minds only show us what we already understand.
Carlie says, "I gave birth to my first baby six months ago, and I can't now read certain things without becoming emotionally invested (and often crying). My husband has suggested I stop reading the news. (And why did I think it was a good idea to reread "Walk Two Moons"?)" Yeah, I'm the same. Much more sensitive after children. Any child that gets hurt is my own.
Anna asks, "What was your favorite part about writing Enna Burning?" Honestly? The burning. It was fun to find the words for it. Also the relationships: Enna with Isi, Finn, and Razo.
Audrey says, "Finn is a wonderful character and I love how he's one of the Forest Born shown to understand what a battle means. The contrast between him and the younger boys playing at swords is stark; I can only imagine what sort of things were going through his mind during this chapter." Yeah, those boys playing swords before their first battle kinda killed me, but it also felt so true. Thanks about Finn. As a writer, I should be able to write the entire novel from any of the character's POVs. I should understand all the characters enough that the reader can guess what the others are thinking, imagine their internal story, even if I don't reveal it.
I've re-uploaded the audio thingy I linked to earlier, after realizing that it was not easily listenable to without headphones. The new URL is http://www.patreon.com/creation?hid=680980 , if you tried earlier and couldn't listen to it.I also transcribed an entire book for Omnibus IV. This puts me roughly halfway through the compilation process for the book, and I was a quarter of the way through this morning. Compilation is not so much a matter of taking time as taking focus. Sometimes I find the flow and will just do twenty or thirty in a row, but today I found a new "trick" to focus when I'm not in that zone.I play a browser clicky game called Flight Rising, and one of the daily maintenance tasks is petting your dragon's familiars, of which I have more than 50. It's easy, it's rewarding in game, but it's the same kind of repetitive as compiling chapters and after a while it doesn't feel like a reward.So my trick is, I copy and categorize a chapter, then I switch tabs and click on the dragon game. Instead of two repetitive tasks, I had one, with a reward. I got through what I'd expected to be a week-long process in about an hour this way.And yes, it would be faster to automate the process of compilation, but there's housekeeping I have to do on the older chapters anyway (especially the ones that weren't categorized into books the first time around), and even though I'm not doing any substantial editing for the Omnibus, it's still helpful for me to get a shape of the books as I'm putting them together.This entry automatically cross-posted from http://alexandraerin.dreamwidth.org/579593.html. Comment hither or thither. Void where yon.
We tweeted from WisCon's twitter account last week about the timeline for the subcommittee discussing complaints brought against Jim Frenkel. This information was posted in response to a number of questions we had been receiving: Each harassment subcommittee will produce a public statement after it has concluded.The Frenkel subcommittee hopes to have a decision by 7/11, private informing of involved parties by 7/15, and a public announcement by 7/18.Now that the Frenkel subcommittee has established a process for other subcommittees to follow, the Bergmann subcommittee is in the process of being formed, and has not yet started to meet. Apologies for not posting this to our other 4 social media presences sooner - the social media team was away from the internet over the holiday weekend.
In the description of An Alphabet of Embers Kickstarter, I wrote:
I am committed to diversity of voice and theme in all my editorial projects, and this one will be no exception. I will be looking for beauty and resonance from all quarters and in all forms. As always, I am invested in supporting creators that belong to marginalized groups.
Due to external conversations going on in the field, I want to unpack this a bit. “Diversity of voice and theme” has been my motto from the moment I started thinking about Stone Telling magazine, long before I read my first submission. I keep muttering it as we – Shweta and I – read submissions and make decisions. It is a useful phrase for us.
Diversity of theme: writing that showcases a range of settings, and protagonists who belong to a variety of demographics.
Basic diversity of theme, i.e. a variety of settings and protagonists, is not too difficult to accomplish; writers are happy to write to your editorial specifics. But if you, as an editor, are only considering diversity of theme, you run the risk of having only not-marginalized or lesser-marginalized authors write about marginalized protagonists. E.g. you may end up with stories set in Japan, Australia, Mali, Peru, but written entirely by white North Americans; you may run stories with queer and trans characters written entirely by straight, cis authors.
Diversity of voice is about featuring work by authors who belong to a variety of demographics. Women, men, and nonbinary authors; PoC, white people, and people who identify as neither (the distinction of PoC/white as it’s generally understood in a US American context may not be perfectly generalizable worldwide; the lines can be drawn differently elsewhere); authors who identify as LGBTQIA and those who don’t; atheists, agnostics, and people of various faiths; able-bodied and people who live with disabilities; people variously stratified by class; old and young people; neurotypical and neuroatypical authors; immigrants and those who never immigrated; people from a variety of countries writing in a variety of Englishes; and more.
This type of diversity is harder. It may not instantaneously appear in your slush; multiply marginalized people sadly tend to self-reject, and are often understandably wary of editors without a track record. I wrote previously about encouraging diversity, from an editorial perspective. You will likely have to reach out. You will likely have work to do, as an editor, to recognize and value different types of narrative, as diversity of voice often comes with diversity of storyshape, some of it will be unfamiliar to you. You’ll have to talk to other people, ask for opinions about some of the pieces you are considering. It’s sometimes a painful process. You’ll make mistakes; you will be called out on your mistakes. All this is a part of the process, a part of the struggle to diversify the field and our reading habits.
For me, the best editorial work lies in the balance between the two kinds of diversity. You will likely accept some work where there is a match between voice and theme. You will also accept some work where there is no match between voice and theme; e.g. an Indian author may not write about Indian protagonists, a straight person will write lesbian characters insightfully, a trans author will write about cis people, a person who’s never immigrated will write cluefully about immigration, etc, etc. This variety in voice and theme is key in order to avoid tokenization and to avoid limiting writers of all demographics to only their own experience. And when there is a mismatch between voice and theme, as an editor it is your job to work to distinguish between appropriative, disrespectful, underresearched, and plain clueless work, and work that engages well.
Diversity of voice and theme is hard editorial work, but it is rewarding and worthwhile.
She may in fact be Jane Austen.
Seriously, that’s just freaky. But now the novels make even more sense.
Hello, world! Still up north for a few more days, but after much patient hunting, I have captured the elusive and wild wifi. I figured I’d share a few pics. (Those of you on Facebook have already seen a couple of these.)
Starting with a shot of my son watching fireworks. This is the first time I’ve tried longer-exposure shots with fireworks. A bunch of them turned out too blurry, but I really liked this one.
A few bird pics from wandering around camp:
The beach at Little Presque Isle:
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
The Daily Report I definitely made the mistake in the months leading up to and immediately following the move of expecting the positive changes for my work to come all at once, or at least fairly quickly. Later on, I made the mistake of assuming that because they didn't, I'd severely overestimated the impact.One positive change I'm noticing now is how much stronger my sense of equilibrium is, how much better I am at rolling with things. As I mentioned on this blog when I started doing multiple updates a week, the circumstances weren't great. I wasn't getting full work days in most days. Okay, on Monday, I lost an entire draft of a story and I couldn't come back from that by the end of the day. But yesterday, the power went out as I was coming into the home stretch and I still recovered well enough to post the chapter on time.Last night before bed I recorded a little something as part of breaking in my new phone. That was written on my phone and then recorded minutes later. It's also the first thing I wrote on my phone that wasn't pre-planned out and I didn't have to make an effort to get going on, which is a good sign of progress... both The One Called Wander and Harper's Folly were largely written on my last phone, specifically because I could pull it out at odd moments and just start going. Restarting both of them is going to be a bit more complicated because of the gap, but I do plan on restarting them both soon. I have some logistical difficulties in both cases, but sorting them out gives me more time to settle in with my phone.I found myself swiping more than I'd expected when I wrote the piece above. I used swipe extensively when I had my "filler" phone that I got between losing my Palm Pre and getting my Pantech and was never comfortable with it, but I think that might have something to do with the size of the screen. I'm sure I'll never be as fast with the touch keyboard as I am with a fast one, but I think I can go quickly enough to get a decent flow going.The State of the MeDoing okay. A little slow to wake up this morning.Plans For TodayIt's the between chapters day, and I think I'm going to basically make it a breathing day... not a day off, but a day that I stop and catch my breath. No goals, just turn myself loose and see what happens.This entry automatically cross-posted from http://alexandraerin.dreamwidth.org/579463.html. Comment hither or thither. Void where yon.
This work by http://www.swantower.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Last fall my husband and I went down to the Queen Mary II for a three-night live-action roleplaying game. During the day, I wandered around and photographed the ship. It isn’t a sailing ship, so it isn’t quite my favorite type — but I got a few good shots out of it anyway.
Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.
As part of customer appreciation month, I am also having a raffle, open to current customers and prospective ones, for a slot in the Earring Club as well as two Earring Wardrobe sets. There are lots of ways to enter! The giveaway runs for two weeks!http://tinyurl.com/k4f6enx
I think it’s really useful to look back on the past and use it as a template for the future.
All the stuff that you imagine will change your life and make it so much better, and that will give you the validation you imagine you need—it’s not what you think it is. You know this because you’ve already seen it in the past. You remember getting something you thought you wanted and realizing it either wasn’t quite what it was cracked up to be, or that you had changed and become someone who wanted something else, or something more.
This is normal.
But it shouldn’t make you depressed or feel that you should stop trying for important things.
On the other hand, it should make you look around at the life you currently have and realize that there are things already there that make it wonderful, just as it is.
A lot of life is in the everyday choices and pleasures.
Reading a perfect book.
Meeting someone who is really as awesome in real life as I’d imagined.
Struggling with my writing.
One reader who sends a little note saying how much she loves my book.
Going out with people who actually love me as I am now, and are not waiting until I ‘level up.”
Imagining a great future. There is a pleasure in imagination that I am not sure any reality lives up to. And I refuse to give up my pleasure in imagination just because of that.
What I've recently finished since my last post: Harry Heathcote of Gangoil by Anthology Anthony Trollope, a novella/short novel of Australian bush life circa 1870. Trollope is not always successful with character development in his shorter works, and in this case all the most important characters except the title character change, which is a problem only because he's the one set up with a specific character flaw -- in a way that, in his longer novels, would get hammered on till he cracked. Still worth it for the local color. Captain's Courageous by Rudyard Kipling, a reread of one of his surprisingly few (given his general preoccupations) stories about a young prat who grows into A Man through adversity, in this case being washed overboard an ocean-liner and picked up by a Grand Banks cod fisher. A less subtle writer would have had all the character development incidents take place at sea, returning to land only for the recognition of his Growth & Change -- by delaying the last incident to after the recognition, Kipling created a more effective story. Not his best ever, but a fine sample of the master at his craft ("he struck into a tune that was like something very bad but sure to happen whatever you did"; of a boat's hold: "the place was packed as full of smells as a bale is of cotton") and entertaining. Especially if you like details about how work gets done. Adoption: A Brief Social and Cultural History by Peter Conn, and it feels a bit petty to complain about the thinness of the treatment when it says "brief" right there on the tin. Still worth it for:
In the words of one adopted Korean woman, "blood is thicker than water, but love can be thicker than blood."
See that heathen mother standWhere the sacred currents flow,With her own maternal hand,Mid the waves her infant throw.
Behold, there it is. Available in EPUB formats (for iPad/iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and most other devices) and Kindle (MOBI) format.
It’s been uploaded to other vendors, but isn’t live at any of them yet. I’ll update the book’s page when it is.
From werewolves to silk hats--come talk books!
Like I said, I've been talking to a lot of people in backchannels, waiting for the hosts' response before discussing more about it openly; I'd hoped for a better response from the hosts, but such is life.So here are some seeds for future discussion."punished forever"This is a phrase one of my correspondents keeps hearing, in that people do not know how to handle this shit long-term, and some object to the idea that Judah will be "punished forever" for raping me.Well.I have my thoughts on that.But I told my correspondent that the concept these people were looking for is called restorative justice. And that we're not at the point of considering that yet, because before we can enter into a restorative justice framework, the perpetrator must take responsibility for his actions and commit to restoring the damage they did. Judah is not there yet, given his actions on June 21 and in the civil case recently. Any talk of him returning to the community is seriously premature. Is it a NEVER thing? That isn't up to me. I'll state again, as I have many times, that throughout this civil case, one of my goals has been to get him to go to anger management classes and domestic violence offender treatment. Will that make him a safer person? I honestly don't know. But his refusal to admit that rape and assault and battery are wrong tells me that he's not safe at all at this time.So what it looks like to me is that maybe we'll be at the point of having this discussion in a few years. I doubt he'll get there sooner, judging by his words and actions over the past month.old-school alt-sex crowds vs. new-school consent-culture crowdsSomeone phrased it like that this morning and I was like YES THAT. There is a generational thing at play here, too. There's an old-school "the cops are our enemy" thing that steps in part from the 60s/70s and in part from the adversarial relationships MA police have historically had with kinky people.But this is not a cops vs. kinksters thing. This is one person reporting a rape and assault and battery against another, and following all of the necessary steps in the criminal justice system for her own protection.Women get killed all the time by men they have restraining orders against. This is knowledge I live with. Plus, let's be honest, this old-school alt-sex crowd in particular - y'all are white. The cops aren't your enemy. I have a post brewing about new-school consent culture, but I want to talk to some party hosts first.It's very telling that said consent culture party hosts reached out to me immediately after I posted what Judah had done to reassure me that he would not be invited to their parties.This doesn't break along generational lines entirely; the scatter graph is scattery! But there is a preponderance. And I see that reflected also in the embrace vs. rejection of Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers are Evil. There's a really good discussion to be had there.This post may get added to throughout the day. If you have a question or a topic you'd like to see addressed as part of this exploration, please let me know in comments. But for right now I'm not really organized on this and I legit have stuff to do today.ETA: Yes, I'm aware that Scott continues to post lies about me. He can do that as much as he wants. His position seems to be "ha, so you admit to doing X!" when I said X was what I did the whole time. (Clarity here; his claim is that I denied texting what I totally agree I texted. Um?)
So far all I’ve managed is to edit down a prologue (openings are delicate and tricksy!) — but having a great time in Lisbon. And loving my little workspace.
More photos of this glorious city and our adventures here can be found in this flickr album I'm updating daily. Far too many, admittedly. Shoot now, curate later, I say.
Thanks, everyone, for the generous reaction and comments here and there on the last post. Happy it resonated. Now time for one of those decadent vacation lunches, with a little copo of wine.
This post is the rest of the story about my violent rapist attempting to violate his restraining order to attend an annual party I always attend, while my foot was broken. Please read that post first.Several people here and on Facebook noticed that I left out something big: the hosts' response. I stated everywhere I was asked that this was an open-invite party, that I was sure he had not been specifically invited (as he has not been invited to any invite-only parties within the community), and that the hosts were looking into it in order to make decisions in the future (which is why I've been silent on the topic, to give them space to do so). I extended the full benefit of the doubt and expected a logical result. I was wrong.I did get part of that - they banned Judah, but only after hearing from multiple other people that he had "creeped on" them in the past, thereby establishing the pattern I'd been pointing at all along. But I find it telling that that's the reason. I find it interesting that one rape isn't enough to ban someone for.How many rapes is enough? Does the rapist get to rack up a few more if they're cute? Because the party hosts have publicly declared that they ban all rapists, but the ones I know about aren't cute. Reads to me like Readercon's situation enforcing a ban against one creeper no one liked and choosing to not enforce a ban on a creeper they were friends with.It reminds me very much of that.I posted a later post debunking that this was a me vs. hosts thing. At that point, I thought that was true. I now know where that idea came from - it came from sunspiral and roozle making it me vs. them.So this all becomes the story of Scott Lefton and Rachel Silber making my rape, my assault, and my fear for my life and wellbeing on that day All About Them.Scott posted his new party rules yesterday. Many people noticed something interesting, and it's this specifically: the post, as written, defends against people protecting themselves while making no statement about not breaking laws. It makes their parties look more welcoming to rapists than to people who are afraid of encountering rapists.In other words, calling the police as prescribed to enforce a restraining order is much, much worse than rape, assault and battery, and animal cruelty.As I've spoken to people offline about this, I've underlined again and again that all I want is for people to be able to make an informed decision as to whether they want to be in the presence of a rapist. Scott and Rachel's prior message of "we ban all rapists" made many survivors feel safe. Knowing that they don't ban all rapists is important information. Knowing that they are deeply against the enforcing of restraining orders is also information. I know that Scott's post will guide many of us in our decisions whether to attend his functions. I genuinely thank him for that. All I wanted was for people to be aware of what their policies actually are.So let's break down the timeline here. At pretty much exactly 7pm, I am inundated with text messages and Gchat telling me that he's there. I start shaking; my heart starts pounding. This is the first time he's tried to hunt me down. I respond with "I thought he was banned! Do Scott & Rachel know he's there?" People promise to tell them. I wait, violently nauseous and very afraid. People get back to me: "They say that they'd ask him to leave if you were there."Me: "But... he's a known rapist who preys on young women at their party. Why is he not banned."Everyone: "We have no clue but they won't ask him to leave unless you're there."(I'm paraphrasing. Screencaps and shots of my phone are available, and will almost certainly be used as evidence in the trial.)I talk - actually on the phone, which should tell you the state I'm in - to two trusted people, which helps a little. Time is ticking by and Judah is still there. Time is ticking by and Judah's next victim is there. Time is ticking by and the only thing that will keep my rapist from raping some girl he finds there tonight is me showing up at the party. (In my triggered mind.)Remember that I am in extreme neck/shoulder/upper back pain, btw. Which is the only reason I didn't go. Which no one knew.I get dressed. I text party host Rachel "On my way with the restraining order." To give her time to clear him out of there. I was told that's what it would take, so that's what I did.(I texted another person, not a host, that this would involve police, because it would if Judah refused to leave. I chose that person deliberately as I had wondered if they were aiding and abetting Judah. I was right.)I picked up the phone to call a cab - and my hands were shaking too much to dial. I sat down. I struggled to breathe. I thought things through.I decided that I could not walk into that party at that time and look into his cold, vicious eyes. That that would do more harm to me than good. Even though it would help others. I chose to put my own oxygen mask on first, as I say. And I still feel shitty about that. I still feel like I should have been able to charge in and fix it. But doing so would have ripped me to shreds even more.So I chose to stay home.Here's drwex 's post about that day, which starts to show the Lefton/Silber false reality being constructed.And here's a thing: "My understanding is that he cleared this with the hosts beforehand; my understanding is that the hosts assumed Song would not be present, though they didn't speak to her directly."I don't know if this actually happened. As Wex said, the hosts never spoke to me directly. Personally, if I knew about a situation like this, if the restraining order was for something much lighter, not assault and battery (because anyone who has an RO against them for violent behavior is not welcome at my house, PERIOD), and the offender called asking if his victim would be there...I would not tell him no without contacting the victim in any way to find out. Especially since, in over 7 years, the victim has only missed one of this set of parties, and was seen on social media working out her ride to the party. The default assumption would have been, should have been, that I was coming. Scott and Rachel claim that they were told I wasn't - but given that I only made that decision at 2, and only told my ride, who did not tell Scott and Rachel, I find that not very believable.The second interesting bit of evidence of lies on the part of the hosts is here."uh, when the guest isnt there, and the hosts are asking the person named to leave, and that person is doing so, threatening to show up at someone's home with the police is over the line. it was being dealt with, the person was leaving, and at that point it was clearly about making a point and not caring at all about the home owners."Judah was not asked to leave until I texted Rachel. So the story being bruited about is that the hosts were handling it and that I escalated unnecessarily. The timeline does not support this lie in any way. (I also want to point out the difference between "On my way with the restraining order" and "I'm calling the cops on you, the hosts," because that is a BIG DIFFERENCE. They're claiming the latter. It was the former.)And that last sentence - let's look at that. If my goal had been to make a point and I had not cared about the homeowners, I would not have texted them. I texted them to give them - and Judah - time to decide whether he should stay or go. If my goal had been to bring the cops to the party, I would have shown up with the cops. So clearly that was not my goal. My goal was to get Judah to leave, which I had been told could only be accomplished by me being there.So I texted.And Scott went up to Judah and told him he had to leave... and told him that he was always welcome in their house. A sentiment he shared with others who were curious about what he was telling him.I became aware of all of this later. What I knew that night was that they would be investigating and might change their policies in the future. I know that many attendees were distressed to see a rapist at the party and communicated that distress to them; I've been told that they interpreted that as being under attack and as me bringing the internet down on their heads. Which is patently ridiculous, given that I had publicly given them the benefit of the doubt every step of the way, I had not named them, and I had not let anyone theorize about what was going on in their heads.During their "investigation", they sent me nastygrams that showed that they were focused on the utterly imaginary idea that I was calling the cops on them to the exclusion of much else. However, the preponderance of "WE ARE NOT OKAY WITH THIS RAPIST BEING AT PARTIES" did lead them to ban him.minkrose , who has seen much more of this stuff than most anyone else, wrote about why she does not want to be around Judah Sher. She wrote that the day Scott and Rachel were due to call her. That week put a lot of stress on all of the people who've had to deal with Judah.Caution: Rape apologism in the comments.My pull quote from this on Facebook: "I think Judah is sick of there being consequences for his actions. I think he feels that a year is long enough, and now he gets to have whatever he wants from our community back in his life, no questions asked, no remorse demonstrated, and no improvements or changes required. When I last spoke to him, a year ago, he acted very put-upon, as if this was all something that was being done to him, that he didn’t really understand why it was happening. He wanted pity, and sympathy, and I refused to give that to him, and I cut off contact. "I would feel better about this if Judah demonstrated steps to improve or change his behavior, but I haven’t[sic]."So. Multiple people had issues with Judah's attendance and said so. I'm told that that made the hosts feel attacked, and that's why they attacked me. I can only reiterate that I am not responsible for the actions of others; the only actions I am responsible for are my own. (I find it interesting that they say attacked, given that I'm the one who got beaten up.)But the fact of the matter here is that Scott and Rachel find the enforcement of a restraining order on their property to be worse than rape. Were I them, my solution to that would be to not allow people who have restraining orders against them onto my property. Clearly they've made a different choice. Geek Social Fallacies writ large.During the course of this, I've spoken to several people about it. Some have said "You can't expect concom rules at a house party." I don't, at all. My view has been all along that if your vocal public policy has been "we ban rapists", you are telling your guests that your party is rapist-free (to the best of your knowledge). If that policy changes, you owe it to your attendees to let them know so that they can make an informed decision about their attendance.I'm no longer invited because of my imaginary "threat to call the police".But I decided weeks ago that I would never attend one of their parties again. I decided it when their emissary sat across from me in a restaurant and told me that they were banning Judah, not because he raped and assaulted me and has been abusive to other party attendees in the past, but because they'd heard from too many others that he has a pattern of being sexually inappropriate towards them. Hearing it from me wasn't enough; they had to hear it from unknown numbers of other people. One known and confessed-to rape was not enough to alter his welcome at Scott and Rachel's parties.How many rapes do you think is too many?
( Ooh, shiny!Collapse )
CAPITOL CITY (PANEM) — Capitol University sophomore Jayden Sanderson studies a 3D simulation of a lush forest. He zooms in on a river that flows placidly through the trees. “There.” He points to a spot where the river’s bank broadens out. “It doesn’t look like much, but there’s just enough mud here for a Tribute to camouflage himself. The gamemakers didn’t count on that. The probabilities and projections always change once you add the human factor to a game. That’s the challenge.” The game design student smiles, making clear that as a hopeful future gamemaker, it’s a challenge he welcomes.
But as the Capitol gears up for the 100th annual Hunger Games, not all citizens share Sanderson’s enthusiasm. Many question whether, in this era of unprecedented prosperity for Panem, the games have outlived their usefulness.
“Sure, the Games held Panem together during a tumultuous period in our history,” says District 7 mayor Raymond Mason. “But I think it’s safe to say no one’s thinking of rebellion now.” He laughs as he gestures to the living room of his spacious townhouse, as if to prove his point. Such luxuries, a generation ago unthinkable for even the mayor of this once-impoverished lumber district, have become increasingly common among all District residents. “The Games have served their purpose. It’s time to move on.”
Hortensia Cooper, however, says Mason makes the mistake of assuming the Games’ benefits are purely political. “The economic benefits are undeniable,” insists Cooper, who serves as acting director of the Capitol Chamber of Commerce. “The prosperity we see today is a direct result of the Games, and stopping them now could propel us into a fiscal depression the likes of which we haven’t seen since the dark days of the rebellion.”
Quintillian Booth, chair of the nonprofit advocacy group Panem Remembers, counters that running the Games has a cost, too, one that can’t be measured purely in dollars and cents. “We must also consider the cost of 2,302 young lives lost since the Games began.” That’s 23 Tributes a year, plus an additional 24 for the 50th Quarter Quell. “And who can forget the 74th Games, which didn’t have a winner?” Booth asks.
It was after the 74th Games—the same Games Sanderson now studies in his classes—that this debate began. That was the year District 12 Tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark shocked viewers by taking their own lives and leaving the Games without a victor. “Yeah,” Sanderson admits with an uneasy laugh. “The gamemakers didn’t count on those poison berries, either.”
“If you weren’t alive then, it’s hard to understand the horror of that moment,” says Madge Undersee, mayor of the coal-mining district Everdeen and Mellark hailed from. “When we realized what Katniss and Peeta had done, well, it changed the way we thought about the Games forever.”
Graecina Sand agrees the way we think about the Games has changed. “We’ve taken the lessons of the 74th Games very much to heart,” says this year’s Head Gamemaker, “and we’ve made quite a few changes since then. Those changes include relying solely on trained volunteer Tributes, nanobots that see to it the slain die instantly and without pain, and a ban on poisonous plant life. “We’ve moved well beyond the barbarism of our ancestors,” Sand says. “The Games today are quite humane, and taking part is a choice and a privilege, as anyone who watches the Tribute interviews can attest.” That watching those interviews is now optional is another, more recent, reform.
Yet Cooper insists, “Today’s Tributes have less choice than we’d like to believe. The sums paid to the families of those who enter the Tribute training pools is quite substantial. For young people whose families are struggling to put food on the table, there often isn’t any other choice. In the old days the process was at least somewhat democratic, but today’s Games target the Districts’ most vulnerable residents.”
Still, with recent Games budget increases and new scholarships focused on mentoring promising game design students from outside the Capitol, the Games don’t seem set to end any time soon. Recent legislation seeks to open participation to immigrants from beyond Panem’s borders as well.
“The Hunger Games are a defining part of who we are as a nation,” says President Coriolanus Snow, who like Undersee personally remembers the 74th Games. “They have a long and storied history that I see no need to apologize for. Indeed, it is an honor to be a part of it.”
Written after coming upon a fanvid with its own take on the 100th Hunger Games.
Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.
Dear Readercongoers: in honor of the Marriott's absurdly renamed rooms, and inspired by sairaali , I give you the small gift of some small poems.Embraceas the lights come onand the tide ebbs two riverscaress ManhattanEnlivenSewing is so old-fashioned.I have woven this corpsefrom strands of proteinand fragments of genes,carefully following the patternfrom Frankenstein magazine.Throw the switch!Empowerthey said she would never walk againbut it turns outbeing a butterfly is pretty greatEnvisionThe worst thing about these nightmaresis my nagging certaintythat they belong to someone else.Whose warnings am I getting?What fears could they conquerif they only knewthey were afraid?IgniteI'm sorry. Antibiotics do nothingfor bronchitis. The only cure is rest.Take a long hot lava bath. Curl up on your hoardand read a novel. Let your body heal.And no flying! The cold thin airwill do your lungs no favors.I know it's hard, but rest. Rest.In no time at all, you'll be backto your old self.Imagineno, small child, you cannot fitthe spoon up your noseno matter how hard you trybut I admire youfor dreaming bigInspireher turret has an excellent viewof the training groundsthe ladies titter as she perches on the silland watches the squires spar for hoursshe dreams of muscles and sweatthe whack of stick against paddingthe cheers and laughter of comradesa brotherly arm flung around her shouldersas they stagger their bruisesoff to the bathsCreateThis parking lot is full of cars.People drove the cars. Reverse that:every car means a person. Maybe two or three.You came by air and rail and roadbecause we said, "There will be a partyand we hope you can be there." Reverse that:until you arrived there was no party,only the hope of one.CollaborateHe cooked you comfort food.I took you shopping for baby clothes.We squeezed your handsas the doctor said, "Ready?"Yes. Yes, we are ready. We are.
Some nice clouds tonight. And by “nice” I mean “I hope they go either north or south of me.”