Bullet Journal - Six Month Update

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:59 am
clhollandwriter: (Default)
[personal profile] clhollandwriter
Six (nearly seven) months in and my Bullet Journal is still going strong.

I've made a couple of changes to the format. Instead of writing a daily log every day I do a weekly spread. It allows me to park weekend tasks on those days, from the beginning of the week, instead of having to either remember them or carry them through every day until I get to the point I can actually do them. It also means less disruption of my routine on the days when I can't check the journal over breakfast (early starts where I have to eat at my desk, for example), since I don't have to prep the log every day.

I've started putting in a deadline calendar each month, but only for the current month. Future deadlines are still going in my diary, along with appointments. It's a little clunky having two books, but the way I look at it is the diary is for the future (and I can leave it at home) and the journal is for now. I don't think I'm quite ready to abandon the traditional diary yet.

I'm still scrapbooking in the back (and a note for future journals is that pritt stick might be better for this than staples!). My Beadhaul comes with a leaflet showing all the beads included, so I've added that as well. So far I've only made a pair of earrings. I've got ideas for a couple of other things but I'm not sure I can translate the ideas out of my head at this point.

It hasn't helped much with my writing, but I think there's a larger issue of balance there, rather than being disorganised. Overall I'm getting more of the day to day things done that used to slip under the radar, so it's definitely working. The only problem is I'm bored with the notebook now and ready for a new one!

Diversicon schedule!

Jul. 20th, 2017 10:02 am
catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
 My Diversicon schedule - this also will include the traditional Saturday at 5ish autographing 
Saturday, July 22
 
4:00-4:55 PM, Krushenko's Annex (Northern Pacific)
Panel: You've Got Magic on My Crime Scene!--Police Procedurals in Fantasy
Catherine Lundoff, mod.; Melissa Scott, Phyllis Ann Karr
 
Sunday, July 23
 
3:00-3:55 PM, Main Stage (Soo Line)
Bidding Farewell to the Red Shirts and Side Kicks: LGBTQ Protagonists in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Catherine Lundoff, mod.; Melissa Scott

I'm on the radio!

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:13 pm
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[personal profile] catherineldf
KFAI's Fresh Fruit (longest running weekly Queer radio show in the country) did a feature on the Pride Month Queer Voices reading at the Central Library. Featured are co-curators Andrea Jenkins and John Medeiros, and two south Minneapolis writers: Anthony Ceballos and myself. Queer Voices is also the longest running Queer reading series in the country, so it's a pretty cool way to celebrate! 
catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
 Next "Out of the Past" column up at Queer Sci-Fi. These are expanded from my original SF Signal posts, FYI, and I'm planning on increasing the timeline and talking about specific authors and works and such.

 

I am having a writing anniversary today! I've have just had my 20th story accepted for a Year's Best antho! I'm defining these as edited anthologies from a given year or publication with "Best" in the title.

So far, that's:

Best Lesbian Romance 2009 and 2011

Best of Luna Station Quarterly

Heiresses of Russ 2011

The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica - Vols. 4, 6 and 9

Ultimate Lesbian Erotica (Alyson Publications) - 1999 and 2001

Best Lesbian Erotica (Cleis Press) - 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017

 

And possibly something I'm forgetting, but hey, we'll call it even. At any rate, it's a milestone and I'm pretty proud of it. :-)))

 

Book Recs, Signings, and Stuff

Jul. 17th, 2017 07:54 am
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
Signings and Stuff


* Here are some photos of me and Rachel Caine at our signing at Murder by the Book: https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/163060728297/my-friend-tooks-some-photos-of-me-and-rachel-caine We had a good crowd, even though it was pouring rain and there were tornado warnings.

* Here's a post from me on Writers Read: https://whatarewritersreading.blogspot.com/2017/07/martha-wells.html about what I'm reading now (actually what I was reading when I wrote the post)

* And I'm not in this article but I know all these people: https://www.austinchronicle.com/arts/2017-07-14/writing-science-fiction-fantasy-and-horror-in-austin/



***

Books


(If you've been following my book rec and new book listing posts for a while, you may have noticed this already, but while most book lists emphasize books by popular straight white men, this one emphasizes everybody else. I include books by straight white men, but in about the same percentage that other book lists include everybody else. I also try to highlight books that are less well known.)

(I only link to one retail outlet in the book's listing, but most books are available at multiple outlets, like Kobo, iBooks, international Amazons, Barnes & Noble, etc. The short stories are usually on free online magazines.)


* Short Story: Children of Thorns, Children of Water by Aliette de Bodard


* Stranglehold by Rene Sears
Morgan Tenpenny has retreated from her painful, magical past, choosing to live quietly as a guardian of one of the gates between worlds. But her sister Gwen is married to a lord of the High Court of Faerie-and when Gwen asks her to protect her nieces, it's time for Morgan to emerge from her seclusion. The gates to Faerie have inexplicably closed, and no one knows why...


* Revision by Andrea Phillips
Mira is a trust fund baby playing at making it on her own as a Brooklyn barista. When Benji, her tech startup boyfriend, dumps her out of the blue, she decides a little revenge vandalism is in order. Mira updates his entry on Verity, Benji’s Wikipedia-style news aggregator, to say the two have become engaged. Hours later, he shows up at her place with an engagement ring. Chalk it up to coincidence, right? Soon after, Benji’s long-vanished co-founder Chandra shows up asking for Mira’s help. She claims Verity can nudge unlikely events into really happening — even change someone’s mind. And Chandra insists that Verity — and Mira’s newly minted fiance — can’t be trusted.


* Short Story: Waiting on a Bright Moon by JY Yang


* Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy (Laksa Anthology Series: Speculative Fiction Book 3) edited by Lucas K. Law and Derwin Mak


* All Things Violent by Nikki Dolson
Soon the ambitious Simon introduces her to Frank Joyce, a man who would teach her how to become a stone-cold professional killer. Laura learns her deadly trade and earns her money. Twenty-six years old and she thinks she’s found her happily ever after. Sadly it all falls apart when Simon leaves her for another. Now some other woman, blonde and polished, all shiny and new, is living Laura’s happy life.


* Telling the Map by Christopher Rowe
There are ten stories here including one readers have waited ten long years for: in new novel-la The Border State Rowe revisits the world of his much-lauded story The Voluntary State.

New interview!

Jul. 16th, 2017 08:47 am
catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
 Author Christopher Rose interviewed me about Queen of Swords Press, where we've been and what's next on Curiousful.
catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf

This is a phrase I run into a lot, generally with regard to certain kinds of author events: conventions, workshops, festivals and the like. New writers (or ‘new to the writing social scene’ writers, who are not necessarily the same people), new pros and other creative type folks get told a lot of things about visibility, networking, establishing themselves…all of which may or may not have anything whatsoever to do with actually selling work or meeting anyone who can help make your work sellable. And we don’t talk a lot about the subjectivity that goes into that phrase; all careers are not created equal, all access is not equal, and I can have a completely different con than someone else in a different social demographic or fandom.

 

Some of these things are based on personality as well. The cool, zillion person con that is mostly media-based that you adore may not be the place for your quiet, introverted professional editor pal.  You may regard the quiet con where everyone plays games and talks about books as excruciating. Whatever the experience that you’re looking for, deciding just how an event is going to help your career and trying to drive toward that is in your best interests.

 

 That said, I thought I’d try coming up with a checklist for what might make a given event “good for your career” from a writing-related professional perspective. Things that impact what I prioritize: I write in a range of genres and generally go to a couple of literary or at least nonsfnal events each year, so those are factored in. My average year: 2-4 readings (bookstores, libraries, bars, etc.), 4-6 science fiction conventions, 1 convention that is not an sfnal convention, 1-3 podcasts, 2-4 guest blogs, radio, miscellaneous appearances, 1-2 sundry writing-related events. I am an award-winning small press author, editor and publisher (no awards on the publishing yet, but the day is young, as it were) and I have been writing and publishing since the mid-1990s. I am also a middle-aged cis female who is white, mostly able-bodied and loud about being queer (all of which can impact event experiences as well as which kinds of events I attend or get invited to attend). In addition, I am reasonably extroverted and an experienced moderator and panelist.

 

Some basic questions to ask yourself:

·      Why am I going to this event?

·      What do I hope to accomplish there?

·      What am I planning on doing at this event to make those things happen?

·      What do I hope will happen afterwards?

 

 

Why am I going to this event?

·      This is a big one. I often go to things because I’m invited in, rather like a vampire. But I might also be there to see friends, to be on panels, to do readings, to meet with editors or publishers or writers, to see how a conference in a different genre is set up, to teach a workshop and/or to sell books. None of these things cancels out any of the others and I might go to a bigger event in hopes of accomplishing them all.

·      Sometimes, my assessment of why I’m at a given event can change once I’m there. Maybe I have a panel and a reading but can’t get an audience that responds to me. Or I have an option for selling books but no one’s buying. Then I try to regroup and consider the other options. Sometimes that works, sometimes that doesn’t. There are bad years, bad cons and bad days for pros, as well as good ones. You have to evaluate what you’re dealing with and any options for improving it (this generally gets better with practice). Sometimes, that’s going back to your room for a day and writing. Always keep that in mind as an option.

 

What do I hope to accomplish at this event?

·      Set yourself a small, manageable goal if you’re new to conventions – I want to be on my first panel or do my first reading, I want to attend a writing workshop, I want to meet a specific pro, I want to meet two new people, whatever, but give yourself some options for things to do.

·       If you’re more familiar with the convention scene, set your self some bigger goals or more goals: I want to sell more books, I want to go to all the publishing panels, I want to organize a local writer’s networking event, I would like to meet a professional I admire, etc.

 

What am I planning on doing at this event to make those things happen?

·      If you want to be on convention programming, did you volunteer for panels? Generally speaking, suggesting panel topics at the brainstorming stage is helpful if you want to be on programming. Want to do a reading? Can you organize with a group of writer friends? Again, it makes it easier for most programming committees to accept a group that’s already set up than a complete unknown.

·      Doing a reading series or a bookstore is generally a matter of talking to whoever curates the series or the bookstore owner and seeing what they’re looking for. Hint: it is super, super helpful if they can recognize you as a semi-regular audience member or customer.  Be polite, ask about the venue and the event, buy books – sooner or later, these things make you look more appealing.

·      Want to connect with other pros, including agents, editors and publishers? Being polite is helpful, being knowledgeable and respectfully enthusiastic about their work is very helpful. If they are jerks to you, go do something else with better human beings. Being a jerk back will not help you. Don’t overstay your welcome if people clearly want to socialize with each other at the bar, don’t follow agents around like a puppy, don’t slip your manuscript under the door of the editor’s bathroom stall, etc.

 

What do I hope will happen afterwards?

·      You hope to meet an agent and send them your book at their request, you hope to meet an editor and sent them a story or a manuscript, you hope to be super charming at a room party for a different con and get invited to be a guest, I hope to sell and autograph 5 books, I hope to be a guest on a particular podcast or reading series. Again, set yourself a goal, but be flexible about it. What if the agent gets the flu or the publisher is not the person you thought they were or they’re simply not interested in your work? Have a backup plan for something you want to see happen next.

 

 

Have I been able to make this work for me? Some of it. Not all the time, not at every con. I list interest in chasing agents awhile ago because that’s not a path I picked for myself. There are pros who I’ve encountered enough times that they drive me up a tree. There are fans who do likewise. I generally pick who I want to run around them and schedule with them beforehand. But I still try and drive a goal or two at each event.  A convention that I regard as “good for my career” at this point is generally about a combination of the following: 1. Book sales, 2. Follow up events or something that directly benefits my writing career (an anthology invitation, for example, is my gold standard), 3. Some form of networking that involves meeting some new people or cultivating a closer relationship with people I want to know better, and 4. A good conversation or three. #4 is about my sanity. This stuff has to stay fun or it gets to be too much and you burn out.

 

I recommend reading Jeff VanderMeer’s Booklife for ways to approach all this. I learned a ton from it. 

 

So what’s worked for you so far? How do you define a convention or other event as being “good for your career”?

Swag!

Jul. 12th, 2017 09:28 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
[personal profile] marthawells
Raksura stickers and buttons


This is the first time I’ve been able to afford actual swag for a signing. These are stickers with art by Pentapoda, and I also have buttons. I’ll have them at the Murder by the Book (in Houston) signing with Rachel Caine on 7/15/2017 at 4:30 (if you can’t come, you can order our signed and personalized books to ship to you at http://www.murderbooks.com/event/wells-caine ) and at ArmadilloCon http://armadillocon.org/d39/#/ and World Fantasy 2017 http://wfc2017.org/wfc2017/

Tuesday Post

Jul. 11th, 2017 07:57 am
marthawells: (Stargate)
[personal profile] marthawells
My post on the Barnes & Noble blog: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/8-books-blend-science-magic-minus-fantasy-tropes/ Fantasies that Blend Magic and Science

I also somehow missed that there was a Publishers Weekly review for The Harbors of the Sun: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-59780-891-0

I removed the one mildy spoilery bit:

The beautiful fifth Raksura fantasy begins immediately after the events of The Edge of Worlds, tracing the various journeys of Moon, Jade, and the rest of the now-scattered Raksuran archaeological expedition.... Having done the heavy lifting of characterization in earlier books in the series, Wells is able to focus here on exploring how the Raksura fit into the wider world, dealing with the prejudices that result from their previous isolation, their shape-shifting ability and other magic, and their biological connection to the predatory Fell. The Fell themselves give rise to some of the more intriguing social explorations, as more is revealed about the half-Fell/half-Raksurans who were raised among the predators. Wells’s worldbuilding strengths are on display, and she knows just what to explain and what to imply, making this volume accessible to newcomers as well as longtime readers.


Now I'm going back to my aerobics class and hope I don't have any trouble from my back, my hands, my feet or any of the other bits of me that are falling off.

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J. Kathleen Cheney

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