Romantic Times gave The Slipstream Con a 4 star review. Our book. A book with my name on the cover. Reviewed in a national magazine.
"Lies, deception and betrayal are watchwords in this intricate Ylendrian Empire tale. No one can be trusted and even the good guys have secrets."
( You can skip this part if you don't want to see my general thoughts on why the erotica label bothers me on this review. )
I have a few little stars in my eyes at the moment, so excuse me. FOUR STARS IN ROMANTIC TIMES!!!!
And then I thought about what's happened this year, other than writing.
-I settled into a new, full-time day job, and gradually expanded my responsibilities there
-Our first novel came out in April
-My grandmother died
-My Dad had, and underwent surgery and treatment for, cancer
And that's not even counting the things that happened in Michelle's family, or Stanley's Mom living with us for 6 weeks, or stuff that happened to friends.
So maybe, little voice, you should just CHILL. Because I also-
-wrote 75% of my first actually-gonna-be-finished solo novel
-wrote and re-wrote 80% of the next book in our series
-promo'd until I could promo no more
-learned a lot about how I write, and what I want to write
I'm really good at being really hard on myself.
Do I hope you'll read my book? Absolutely!
Do I hope that you'll tell other people about my book? Nothing would make me happier! I will totally give you a cookie if you tell someone about my book. In fact, if you make a blog post about it, or mention it on Facebook or Twitter, I'll send you a thank you. (And maybe some swag, if I have/you give me your address.)
Will I be offended if you don't want to read my book, or you do read it, and don't like it? Nope.
As my friend, are you required to read it? Hell no. I would never ask that someone who wasn't interested read it. What would be the point?
My frequent mentions of my published works are because honestly, this is literally my dream come true. I'm proud of my writing, and this whole crazy publishing train is probably one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me. I want to share that with my friends, just like I've shared all the other great (and not-so-great) stuff that's happened to me over the past years of this journal. It's not meant to make anyone feel guilty about not wanting to read them, or because they tried them and didn't like them. I appreciate the support of ALL my friends, even if my work isn't their cup of tea.
So I thought I'd mention that, just to clear up any potential misunderstanding.
And now, I'm off to be eaten by jellyfish in the Chesapeake Bay. Have a great weekend!
- The interwebs tell me that today is herefox's birthday! Hope it's a good one.
- Bowercon was awesome. Lots of food, talking, food, talking, talking about food, pretty things to look at, amazing art created by terrific friends, and we've established the programming committee for next time. And I got to play with undinesprite's balls. (I just checked. That joke is still amusing to me. SUFFER!)
- Did I mention that I'm writing an ongoing urban fantasy serial on our writing blog? Inkling (a Fifteen Minute Fiction serial) There you go. It's free, and everything. Updated regularly.
- In the next month, I need to do the following:
- Write a full outline for Memory Keeper
- Update my pitch to reflect that outline
- Make sure the first three chapters are as perfect as I can make them
- Write until my fingers fall off
- Write some more
- Finish altering my costume for the Steampunk Ball at Authors After Dark
- Alter Michelle's dress for the Steampunk Ball at Authors After Dark
- Figure out what I'm giving my friend for her wedding. Which takes place the same day as the Steampunk Ball at Authors After Dark. Which is also the weekend that THREE concerts I want to go to are happening. (The moral of this story is: JFC, August, give it a rest.)
- Did I mention "write until my eyes bleed and there are no more thoughts in my head"? Oh, good.
- Come up with a new title for Memory Keeper. Note that this item has been appearing in to-do lists for several months now. So that's going swimmingly.
- Swim. Because exercise is good, and the pool is only open until September
- Figure out how to permanently implant a "Mumford and Sons" album in my eardrums
- Work on the Kellen Frey prequel story
- Get my studio cleaned up. Seriously. It's going to crawl out the door and eat me.
- Accept that I will not be doing any craft fairs this year. Because I might be crazy, but I'm not STUPID.
- Try not to be super upset that our names are STILL (after 3 reminders) spelled wrong on the conference website
- Curl into a ball and whimper, while still typing with my free hand.
- Get extra set of hands
And of course, this weekend we're going out of town. Which will be fun, don't get me wrong, but not exactly helpful in the "get shit done" category. Except for writing. 3,000 words or bust, right?
*But only when they occur in textual form.
- Shoot past the 26,000 word mark on Memory Keeper
- Post the new part of Inkling
Things I didn't set my alarm for on a Saturday morning:
- Brining a pork roast for BBQ tomorrow.
- Baking a fruit swirl coffee cake.
Want to guess which of them I actually did?
I folded my laundry. It felt like a majour accomplishment at the time, and yet, looks like almost nothing now. More closet cleaning will occur, possibly tomorrow, unless we sneak in time at The Office. Yeah, I just threw some random caps in there. I'm a a rebel.
My eyes are crossing, but Michelle is going to be out of radio contact tomorrow, so if I want her crit on this pitch, I have to have it done before she leaves at 10 in the morning. Given that I have managed to do both Fuck AND All at work this week, despite my best efforts, I don't really see myself getting any decent work done on it tomorrow. So tonight, I work through the tired, and then tomorrow at work I can just look like a zombie and grunt menacingly at the Spring break intern. (Who is also my boss's son, which probably gives you a fair idea of how useful he is. He can't shred. Paper! I just-- what is-- I don't even--)
Back to the book pitch. You guys can have the elevator pitch instead, which is:
Post-apocalyptic mutants have to decide if living free is more important than continuing to live at all.
Or that would be the elevator pitch, if that didn't SUCK.
Back to work.
I'm kind of in love with it. No, I'm REALLY in love with it.
Kanaxa has outdone herself on this one, presenting us with Kellen, Tal, and Vanya in a way that's nothing short of arresting. And speaking of arresting, Vanya's gun isn't just for show. She and Tal are going to be thankful they're armed by the time they capture Kellen and figure out how to save him (and themselves!) from the crime lord who wants his stolen nanotechnology back. Did we mention that the nanotech is illegal? And that Kellen might not be able give it back?
Yeah. Vanya's pretty happy about that gun.
The book comes out in April, but I think until then, I'm just going to be staring at the cover!
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)
I do a LOT of things each day that don't contribute to my writing directly. I watch tv. I spend too much time on the internet. I go to work, and waste time staring out my windows, when I could just as easily have Word open and be poking a few keys between tasks.
In the end, the only thing that directly contributes to writing is WRITING. You can have the best idea in the world for a story, and if you never sit down and actually WRITE it, it will remain an idea. But I don't believe that the only thing you can do to make your writing better is write. There's a huge world of experiences out there, things just waiting to spark ideas, and sometimes you have to take advantage of them.
And yes, okay, sometimes, you just need to sit in your living room and watch an episode of Terriers, and not feel guilty because you're depriving the world of your genius for a few minutes. Making yourself feel guilty over the words you didn't write is one of the surest ways I've found to further my avoidance techniques. Celebrate the words you do write, acknowledge that you must apply butt to seat to create more of them, and then get on with it.
Could I eliminate some of my Not Writing? Yes, and I've made active choices to do so. I record pretty much everything I want to watch now, and catch up on it when I have the time. I leave environments that don't work for me, when I'm trying to write. (I can write with music on, but I absolutely cannot concentrate with the tv on, even if it's not a show with a plot. HGTV is my writing kryptonite.) When I get to work in the morning, one of my routine tasks is to open the file for whatever story I'm working on, so that it's glaring at me from the taskbar and reminding me that I could just pop it open for a second or two.
I spend a lot of time Not Writing. What I'm getting better about is not feeling so guilty about "wasting" that time that I sabotage the time I DO spend writing.
1. The Psych fic where Shawn is adopted, and his biological parents are Yin and Yang. (Please note: this is my pet theory for the season 5 finale. I'm pretty sure I'm wrong, but I don't care.)
2. The White Collar fic where El isn't magically understanding, but wants the OT3 to succeed anyway. I want to see her wooed. She's a woman who deserves wooing.
3. The Peripheral People side story about the school shuttle pilot who flies Wens and Gavin home every weekend, and the things that happen over the years when you spend an afternoon with a psychic every week.
4. The Sherlock fic where Sherlock finds himself buying milk, and it isn't a metaphor, but it is a mark of how much John has warped his priorities.
Of course, I'm also not sleeping, and apparently not editing chapter four of The Slipstream Con, so the "not writing" status is subject to change.
Also in progress are:
Peripheral People- a thriller about psychic detectives IN SPACE! (This is another book set in the Ylendrian Empire, the same universe as "The Balance of Silence" and the novel we just FINISHEDOMG, "The Slipstream Con".) (S. Reesa Herberth and Michelle Moore, for both.)
Lake Effect- a contemporary m/m paranormal, set in an imaginary town in rural Virginia. (Shea Meier)
Skies Made of 1's and 0's- a steampunk angel fantasy. (Again, just me.)
Michelle is working on a short story called "Enchanted Grounds", which is adorable, and sweet, and makes me wish I owned a magical coffee shop.
It's really no wonder I can never find the gumption to put away my laundry. At least, that's what I'm telling myself!
Gen, PG for darkish themes, and denigration of a perfectly good Monopoly piece.
Spoilers for "Mr. Yin Presents", minor, MINOR spoilers for season 5.
Summary: Shawn is taking night classes.
Notes: For my Alphabet Meme- Letter E, for education. Feedback welcomed.
( 'School of life,' is what he would say, if anyone ever asked him where his degree was from. Well, life, and University College of West Central Omaha School of Fine Arts. Thanks to late night television and Henry's generous (and unwitting) birthday gift a few years ago, Shawn has a BA in Diorama Construction. )
Comment with a show, pairing/character, and word prompt for the letter(s) of your choosing and I’ll write you a drabble/ficlet in return.
Pick a letter! (A is for apparent, White Collar, Peter/Elizabeth/Neal) - something in that vein.
Fandoms where I have some grounding in canon include: Harry Potter, White Collar, Psych, Life, Glee, bandom (FOB, Panic, or MCR), due South, Leverage, Big Bang Theory, Star Trek Reboot, Shelter, Latter Days, Beautiful Thing, Skins, The OC, Buffy, Firefly, Temeraire, PotC... Okay, honestly, just try me, and I'll tell you if I can do it or not.
ETA: Duh, and Supernatural. I am so lame. It's only my favourite show.
Hit me with your best shot! Multiple requests welcome.
E: Education, Psych, Shawn Spencer. an_sceal <--I am totally cheating and taking one for me. Anyone else is free to claim this letter/character/show as well.
K: knifeplay, Star Trek Reboot, Sulu sskipstress
L: lube, Firefly, Simon/Mal <--- order is important, and Mal should be appropriately reluctant, if that's not too much to ask. Please. :-D, jaye_valentine
M: Masturbation Material, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy <--- Keeps changing the subject of her fantasizing whilst in flangrante delicto solo, jaye_valentine
N: nefarious, Bandom, Brendon/Spencer fleurrochard
P: psychic, White Collar, Peter/Elizabeth/Neal fleurrochard ; playful, Firefly, River/Saffron sskipstress
W: WTF?, Star Trek Reboot, Spock/Uhura/Kirk <--- Two words: ROMULAN ALE. Please. :-D, jaye_valentine
The Slipstream Con, set in the same universe, but with an entirely new host of characters, is still chugging away. It is The Little Novel That Will. (Hopefully, anyway!)
Project Pineapple (a not-even-working-title) has just clocked in over 14,000 words, and the plot and details of some of the characters are unfolding for us day by day.
In the far-ish distant future, we're planning to return to the original characters in our Spacers 'verse, Lew, Jess, Denny, and Del, and untangle the complete clusterf@#* of a plot we had for them.
So what this boils down to is: OMG PEOPLE LIKE OUR SPACERS!!!!!!!! And also, WE SOLD ANOTHER STORY!
Were there any questions you had about the characters, or even the story itself? As part of a promotional thing, Dreamspinner (the publisher) is going to start posing quick questions about their stories on Twitter. Things like, "who is more stubborn, Jean or Gabriel?" and the like.
Got anything you want answered? Drop it in a comment here!
"The gay man could be really cheap and stingy. The lesbian could be quick to carry an irrational grudge. The bisexual could like Linkin Park. All of these are flaws, but not "You're going to the special Hell" flaws."
marigot found it linked on MetaFilter- Writing Gay Characters