If you’re in the greater Boston area and have any interest in steampunky-type stuff, come to the Watch City Festival this weekend! There’ll be a sidewalk parade, music (including Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band!), dancing (a belly dance show on Sunday!), discussions, debates, and very likely many gorgeous costumes.
Oh, and I’ll be reading on Saturday at noon. Come see me ham it up! I’ll probably be reading “The Governess and the Lobster” just because that one’s so much fun to read aloud.
The reading at Flights of Fantasy was awesome. Léna is a delightful person, and our hosts Maria and Eleanor made everything perfect. I read a little from the lobster story, because why the heck not, and got to hear a little from Edges. And then I caught the bus back and found that the resident organist had made pumpkin bread.
Life is good.
Tomorrow I head out to Martha’s Vineyard to help with this year’s Viable Paradise workshop. I’m staff, so I’ll be sous-cheffing (wow, that is very much not a verb) and shepherding students through workshop. I loved my time at VP, so it’s great to see other students going through the same thing and finding the same joys I did. (And the same difficulties — mid-week is always tough, no matter what.)
Other news: the Kindle edition of The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year Two is now out, including “A Serpent in the Gears” as well as other excellent stories from BCS. I’ve been sending some more short stories out into the world, including one that disturbed me while I was writing it and disturbs me still. And I’ve been going over the Big New Manuscript with a red pen to see what needs to be fixed to bring it out of Crappy First Draft stage. What’s strange is that aside from a few chapters that would have to be changed simply because of the revisions I made to the earlier book, and a couple of chapters that I knew were iffy when I wrote them . . . it’s not bad. It almost hangs together. Maybe I’m getting the hang of this . . . naaaah.
Just a reminder: I’ll be at Flights of Fantasy Games this weekend with Léna Roy for our much-belated signing. If you’re in the Albany area Sunday afternoon, come on by!
As is usually the case, I’m waffling about what to read. Time to ask the Internet’s vast knowledge*!
* “Knowledge” in terms of the Internet is defined as cat pictures and arguments.
And, with any luck, a little less rain this time.
Léna Roy and I will be signing at Flights of Fantasy Books and Games on Sunday, October 2, starting at 2 PM. If you’re in the Albany area (or maybe even the Berkshires…), come by and say hi! I still haven’t decided what I’ll be reading — possibly “Salvage,” possibly the very goofy lobster story, maybe even something from the Big Damn Revision…
And speaking of revisions, it’s time for me to pick up that finished first draft and decide what I think of it. Break out the red pens!
Due to Hurricane Irene, the signing at Flights of Fantasy has been canceled. I know that in terms of what Irene might bring, this is pretty mild, but I’m still more than a little cranky about it. I was really looking forward to being there, to meeting Lena Roy, to reading my work and seeing new people . . . and now I’m stuck at home, where the rain has just now started.
At least I have something to keep me occupied. I’ll finish up some of the administrative work for this year’s Viable Paradise workshop, and then…hm.
You know, I wonder if I can finish this novel in a weekend? It’s not like I’m going anywhere.
Still drafting away, though now I’ve reached the point of the novel that can be summarized as “Everything Goes To Hell.” The end is in sight.
However, I have some news that has absolutely nothing to do with slogging through first drafts! On Sunday, August 28, I’ll be part of a joint author signing at Flights of Fantasy Books and Games in Albany, NY with YA author Léna Roy! If you’re in the Albany area on the 28th, why not come and stop by? I promise not to bite. Any suggestions on what I ought to read? New work? Short stories? Some Evie-related goodness?
Now, back to the draft. And to the suspiciously appropriate music that iTunes keeps choosing when I put it on shuffle.
Originally I’d planned to post a little about writing Soul Hunt, specifically the darker parts of it, not just in terms of content but mood. Evie’s passage through this part of her life is not an easy one, and there were some elements that ended up being more sensitive to me than I expected. It was meant to be a very serious post.
However, all seriousness has been pre-empted by last night’s release party and proof that I have the best fans ever:
There was a party! And cake! And I read from Soul Hunt! And there was cake! And people liked it! And did I mention the cake? Because it was there!
You are all fantastic. Thanks to everyone who braved the slush and wind to come out to Pandemonium, everyone who’s commented and written and said hello, and all my wonderful readers. Any time I start to fret and doubt, all I have to do is remember how awesome you are.
You know, if I end a post “more about that later today,” I should really remember to take care of that before shutting off the Internet and settling in for an evening of pizza and Middleman episodes with the resident organist.
As it is, my news isn’t all that big, unless you’re in the Boston area. I’d just like to give the Soul Hunt release party its own post. Pandemonium Books and Games will be hosting the reading and signing on Tuesday, December 28, at 7:00 PM. Come by and heckle listen to an excerpt of Soul Hunt, then wander around Pandemonium and get yourself some new books for the new year!
(And does anyone else think that “Soul Hunt at Pandemonium” sounds a little like what you’d find on a list of party games in the Underworld? Right next to “Charade Night at Dis.”)
Good God. How did it turn into December? (And why are there three empty cartons of eggnog in the kitchen?) The days draw in, the nights get colder, the frost heaves heave, and we all start looking forward to that one special day…that’s right, the release date for Soul Hunt!
The third Evie novel comes out on December 28, just in time to pick up copies for people who haven’t gotten gifts yet — or for yourself, as a “made it through the year!” gift. Follow Evie as she deals with the consequences of Wild Hunt, the changes, the debts…and the bargains she makes to survive those consequences.
And if you’re in the Boston area, come down to Pandemonium Books and Games on Tuesday, December 28, at 7:00 PM for a reading, signing, and general festivities. I don’t know that I’m allowed to have eggnog on hand, but I can promise good company and great fiction. (I know, it’s no substitute for eggnog.)
If you’re not in the Boston area, and you just can’t wait to get your hands on a copy…well, I might be able to help you out. You see, I’ve got a couple of e-ARCs here, and I’m happy to send them to, say, the first three commenters who request one. These are for e-books, though, so if reading on a screen is not your thing, you may have to wait until I have the bound copies in hand. The other thing I’d request from anyone who gets an e-ARC is that you post about it — Facebook, Livejournal, your own blog, whatever you like. Review it if you like, roast it if you like, but just a mention would be very nice (even something along the lines of “this is a book”).
So…who wants one?
I’m currently at Viable Paradise, acting as staff and sous-chef for some fantastic people, students and staff and instructors alike. There have already been great conversations, silly band names tossed back and forth, and a whole lot of talented and funny people all working together. It makes up for the weather on Martha’s Vineyard being kind of horrible right now.
Also, there was bacon this morning. And fresh scones yesterday. And if we can do it right, bacon tonight.
Thursday I fly off the island (assuming the weather lets up a little) and head down to New York City for Comic-con. I’ve visited New York so rarely that I still feel as if I need a hayseed in my teeth when I go there, even after all these years living in the Boston area. Something about the place produces sheer sensory overload, and I end up gawking like the tourist I am. And then there’s the con itself, which isn’t exactly low on the scale of spectacle…
…anyway, here’s my schedule for the con:
Friday, 2:00 – 3:00. Fighting Like Cats and Dogs. In the furball battle for supremacy, what shapeshifter is going to claw, bite, gnaw and scratch its way to the top of the pack? In recent novels by novelists such as Pamela Palmer and Juliana Stone, paranormal romance fans have gone absolutely feral over the emergence of cat shapeshifters…they purr, what’s sexier than a werepuma or wereleopard? Loping through the howling legions of the other side of the debate comes authors such as Jocelynn Drake, Marjorie M. Liu, and Margaret Ronald – who might argue that woman’s best friend is going to hound all the competition until they emerge triumphant. The argument may get catty; and the arguments over which breed of shapeshifter is sexier are going to be doggone good – so come and join the melee! (If I can make it through this panel without giving voice to my inner Labrador Retriever, I’ll consider it — SQUIRREL! — a victory)
Friday, 5:00 – 6:00 Signing, Table A5. (I’ll sign anything! Okay, not checks. Or body parts. Even if they’re still attached. Or other authors’ books — I believe they have A Serious Talk with you if you do that.)
I will also try to be around Saturday morning, if only briefly. I may have hit my limit by then, though, given that I’ll be coming off a week of workshop followed by some very intense convention time. Or maybe I’ll just feel free to relax and enjoy the con at that point.
In the meantime, I’ve got a chapter that needs a decent intro, a linking segment to explain some interaction later on, and a thrilling aerial battle (shut up it totally makes sense in context) to write. Not to mention the writing assignment I got handed last night. Viable Paradise: not even the staff get out without assignments.
A few notes on upcoming appearances, stories, and work:
– This coming Saturday, I’ll be part of a group reading at Pandemonium Books and Games in Central Square to celebrate Strange Horizons‘ tenth anniversary. Ten SH authors will be reading from their works, followed by questions, talk, and general “wooo great magazine!”-ness. The fun starts at 2:00 PM — if you’re in the area and would like to hear some awesome science fiction and fantasy, come join us! If you can’t make it, but would still like to join in the celebration in spirit, consider donating to Strange Horizons‘ annual fund drive. You might even win one of their fantastic donor prizes!
– I’m going to be at New York Comic-Con again, this time on a panel discussing shapeshifters. (The big question I want answered: how many authors on the panel are dog people, and how many are cat people? Three guesses which I am.) I’ll post more once I’m sure of my schedule — maybe this time I’ll sneak out and play tourist for a while!
– If you liked “A Serpent in the Gears” and wanted to read more set in that world, I’ve got a new short story coming out in a couple of weeks in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. “The Guilt Child” focuses on an entirely different set of characters, but it’s the same world, and I love these characters just as much. (Funny, how so much of my writing derives from a desire to introduce people to these amazing characters. Evie, Charles, the Professora . . . and now Carla and Stamper.)
– In no particular order, I still need to:
- get my preparations started for Viable Paradise (I’m staff again this year)
- update my bibliography (which still lists Wild Hunt as forthcoming — yikes!)
- update the whole site so it’s better suited to my needs
- get back to blogging on a semi-regular basis
- attempt to clean before the dust mites grow to the size of my head
- write ALL the things
Whether I’ll actually manage any of this is another matter, since between the obligations listed above, hammering out a first draft of Dirty Water, assembling the first draft of Breath of the World (keep in mind all titles listed are so very very changeable), chasing down the short stories that keep popping up whenever I try to work out more worldbuilding details, I don’t have much brain left. And most of that is in a permanent state of “awww” due to my new nephew, my response to whom pretty much matches this.
It’s gonna be one hell of a month. Totally worth it, though.
I’ll be at WisCon this weekend, though this year I’m not doing nearly as much (partly because I’ve had this weird reluctance to be visible lately — as you can tell by how little I’ve been blogging — and partly because I just plain forgot to sign up for a lot of the panels). However, this leaves me more time to wander the con, get caught in conversation, and pretty much slack off most of the weekend. Yay!
For what it’s worth, here’s my schedule:
Friday, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM: Writer’s Workshop.
Closed crit session, from which we’ll all emerge somewhat bruised but triumphant.
Friday, 1:00-3:45 PM: The Gathering – Tarot Reading. Capitol/Wisconsin Ballroom.
Short tarot readings for fun. Last year, this went pretty well — let’s see if I can continue to make sense of that wicked pack of cards this year.
Saturday, 4:00-5:15 PM: 6 Feet Long With Spikes: What Makes a Good Writer’s Group? Conference 4.
Panelists: Jennifer Pelland (m), Ada Milenkovic Brown, Rachel Virginia Swirsky, Karin Lowachee, Derek Molata
Do deadlines help? What about rules? What do you do about the clueless or really bad writer in your group? How can an only POC or woman keep from being “the spokesperson”? What do you do when members don’t realize or won’t admit how sexist or racist they are?
And that’s about it. I’ll be arriving insanely late Thursday night and leaving insanely early Monday morning, so come Sunday I might just decide to skip sleep entirely.
In the meantime, there’s a very nice review of Wild Hunt on Tor.com. I had one of those “Oh God! The Internet found me!” moments discovering it — I clicked over to Tor.com just out of curiosity, saw the cover of Wild Hunt, made a sound audible only to bats, and shut down my browser before I could read any of it. Normally I don’t have that panicked a reaction to reviews, I swear, but this one caught me by surprise. But personal neurotic author reaction aside, it’s a great review, and I’m glad they saw fit to post it.
On an entirely unrelated note, I’ll be at the Danvers Literary Festival on Saturday, May 8, as part of a panel on fantasy. I’m not yet sure what we’ll be discussing within that topic — for all I know, the moderator will bring a stopwatch, point at each of us, and yell “FIVE PROFOUND THOUGHTS ON FANTASY! GO!” That might be entertaining in itself, even though my five profound thoughts would probably consist mostly of “wha?” and “do what now?”
So, here’s my schedule for Arisia 2010, taking place next weekend in in the mighty Harvard ziggurat the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge. I’ll be there for much of the weekend, though whether I’ll be around much Friday depends on a number of factors (not least whether I’ve got brain left after the work week).
Saturday, 8 PM: Art Within Art
Poems, songs, and other art supposedly created within the world of a larger fictional text—what are your favorites, and what attempts have failed? Margaret Ronald, Meredith Schwartz, David Sklar
(I’ll be moderating this one, and I’m curious to see what we come up with, given that there are a number of different approaches to presenting art within art. Particularly depending on the medium — fictional films, for example, versus fictional paintings or music, versus poetry…hm…)
Saturday night: Wild Hunt release party!
Come by the party suite and get a look at the new novel! (Or just cadge some free food and talk geeky to me. ‘S all good.)
Sunday, 10 AM: The City as Character
New Crobuzon, The Sprawl, Newford, even Minneapolis in War For the Oaks. What authors use their cities in the most interesting ways? How does the city contribute to the story? Gordon Linzner (m), Meredith Schwartz,Margaret Ronald, Steve E. Popkes, Daniel Rabuzzi
(Yikes, an early-morning panel right after a late party. I’ll be lucky if I manage anything along the lines of “city good blerg need coffeee now.” On the other hand, there are a number of fantasies in which the city is more than setting; it’s the heart of the story. Hmmm…time to go make lists!)
Sunday, 4 PM: Reading, Margaret Ronald
Margaret will be reading a selection from her own works.
(Oh, boy. I have no idea what to read — Wild Hunt? The next book isn’t even close to ready yet…a short story? “A Serpent in the Gears” will be out by then, and I do love me some dirigibles…)
Sunday, 4:30 PM: fall down go boom Okay, maybe not. But I do tend to be a little fuzzy around the edges this late in a con. If I see you there after this point, have pity and don’t ask hard questions like “What is your name?” or “How are you doing?”
If you can’t make it to Arisia, don’t worry; I’ll try to hold another event later on to celebrate. If you can, come by!
(Incidentally, the reason I haven’t had Anything But The Book Week this time around? I’ve got a built-in distraction from the release date: the next book. Which is eating my brain. But in a good way, not a Lovecraftian way.)
Also — and on a completely different and much less creepy note — just a reminder that tomorrow night I’ll be in Williamstown, reading with Elizabeth Bear at 7:00. Come join us!