Hello. Sorry about Friday. I got so caught up in my current writing projects that I forgot what day it was. This is a very good thing, actually. I'm producing more stories! Soon, I may even have more than one novel going at once. [gasp] You know, like I used to before I actually got published. Heh. Anyway, my weekend was pretty good. (Outside of the arthritis flare up.) I hope yours was too. So, let's get on with it. Have a video about what's going on in Texas.
And now, those links...
Good morning, y'all. Ready to get that blood coursing through your system with some righteous anger? I thought so. :) Let's get started, shall we? First, today's video:
So, yesterday a string of stupid little things happened. Everyone has their bad days. Yesterday was just one of mine. Here's hoping my iPhone isn't DOA. [crosses fingers]
Like the graphic says, I've zero plans other than working. I've edits on a short story to wrap up (the haunted punk bar story), and another story (the Waterborne/follow up to Blackthorne story) to finish. And I've my editor to nag. (done.) I had a new idea pop into my brain yesterday. (In spite of the chaos and anxiety.) None of that is unusual. Dane and I rarely make plans. It's an effect from a solid decade of being too broke to do anything at all. Plus, Dane is an introvert. I'm complicated in that I can swing either way--only I spend so much time alone now I'm usually ready for company. Although, I'm thinking of heading out to the Blanton sometime this weekend. The new exhibit sounds like fun, and it's been far too long since I wandered around an art museum. Well... almost a whole month. ;) I've also a ton of creative club email to catch up on. (not its real name.) I joined back in January, flaked a bit on the first project because I was afraid of not doing a good enough job at it, and then promptly became too busy with travel and work to bother. Now, I've something like seventy-five emails re: various things to do and essays on how to encourage creativity. Yikes. I've only myself to blame. LOL.
Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
So, yes. Today doesn't look like yesterday. I know. I forgot about the doctor visit which sucked up my day. It happens. Anyway, let's do this thing.
And the next one is old, but it still applies, sadly.
I'm not big on Nationalism or Christianity, and this is one of those holidays in the US that tends to mesh both--inspire of the fact that Christians aren't the only people who serve in the military. Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Pagans all serve too. Also, all veterans are not male. Women and genders in between also serve. Things to remember.
Anyway, we're having a friend over today, and the house is a disaster. So, I'm punting Feminist Monday to Tuesday this week. See you tomorrow with a much cleaner house and some leftover burgers and other grilled foods. :)
So, Summer is here. Officially. That time of year when it's 100+F outside, long walks are a misery, buildings are over air-conditioned, all the greenery is dead, and the nine million university students flee Austin only to return all at once for ACL Fest. Texas summers make me wish we had another place up north where we could escape. [sigh] Yeah. Buckle up, Buttercup. We've got five long ass months of this crap. Summer is my time to complain about Texas weather. Sometimes it's fun to complain.
I finished the mermaid story. Yay! That makes TWO short stories I've finished this year. Go me! It feels so good to be out of that slump. I've markets in mind for it already, and I'm in the midst of prepping it before it goes out. (My husband is my copyeditor/beta reader for short stories.) One more round of fixes and off it goes with a nice little bow. Here's hoping it sells. Now that would be amazing. Two short story sales in one year? Woah. (Yes. Established authors get rejections. Rejections are a fact of author life.) I feel really good about it--although, the story is a serious downer and should be presented with trigger warnings in tow. It was a tough one to write in much the same ways that Of Blood and Honey was difficult to write. I had to type out a few words, flee my desk, come back, type a few more words, run away...and so on. But again, I think it was worth it.
On to the Waterborne story that's been stewing in my back brain. I was stuck for a bit, but my subconscious coughed up the solution to the problem--which, as always, was right there in the story all along. I love when that happens. My story brain has to chew on things for a while. My best writing is in the rewriting, not necessarily in the initial draft. It's part of what makes me a slow writer. Plots don't come at me all at once. For me, they're like puzzle pieces I put together in fits and starts. Worse, every story is totally different. So, on a certain level it's like learning how to write a novel all over again.
I'm going to expand on a FB post today.
Remember when you were a teenager? Remember when your every emotion was one raw nerve, running from your heart and through your entire body like a searing hot wire? Remember when every social slight, every downturn seemed like The End? Remember not knowing how to cope? Remember when adults told you you were being melodramatic? Remember when hormones were blamed for behavior that pissed off your parents? Better yet, remember when your car insurance rates were through the roof because statistics indicated high accident rates and that if you were male those rates were even higher? Remember the trauma of your teen years. It wasn't an exaggeration. Being an adolescent isn't easy. Maybe it was easy for you. Regardless, we've proof that adolescence is a big stage in brain development. From the study: "In the midst of all the apparent tumult, intense emotion, and occasional reckless behavior characterizing the teenage years, the brain is, in fact, evolving and developing the neural circuits needed to keep emotions in check."
Now, add in gender specific cultural influences. Notice how males are constantly being told they are the exception to the rule, to pretty much all rules.
I couldn't help myself. That just cracked me up. What with all the things going on already today, I felt something more pleasant was in order. So, I'm going with it. Today, I'll be writing about positive things.
First--because it's fresh in my memory--my nephew came over for dinner last night and gave me a wonderful unbirthday present. It's a copy of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women Of Color. The best thing about it is, not only did he give it to me to help out with my current project, he's read it, AND he wrote a paper on it. (He's in college.) How amazingly cool is that? Best nephew ever. We then watched the newest Jumanji because it's great.
Instead of sitting around, waiting for notes from my editor, I've been working on short stories and for the first time I feel I'm making real progress on several fronts. Short stories are hard to write--particularly if your natural length for stories is Novel. (All writers have a natural story length. Few can write short stories AND novels well.) Short stories are tricky. Every word must count. Every word has to do double and even triple duty. It's a study in verbal efficiency. How much power can one pack into each sentence? It's a totally different set of literary muscles. Novelists have to practice on a larger canvas. It's like the difference between miniature painting and mural painting. At the same time, I think you can guess as to why short story writing is good for novelists. That said, I see progress on this front as a sign that I'm getting better as a writer. Improvement is always good.
ZOMG, Murphy Brown is coming back.
Good morning, y'all. It's Monday again. Are you ready for that rush of righteous anger? Need some energy to do the intersectionally correct thing this week? Let's do it!
First, the videos.
I agree with most of what he has to say. Although, I will say that his position on burkas is less than nuanced. IMHO, it's a complicated topic deserving of more delicate discussion.
And now those links.
I'm not terrible with a camera, provided the camera in question is a good one and I'm interested in my subject. (But then again, that can be said of a lot of people.) I learned I can, in fact, travel alone in a country where I don't speak the language and have fun. I learned I really do have a great ear for accents and speech patterns and that due to this I am capable of learning a second language. (Watch out, French. Here I come to butcher you mercilessly--particularly spelling. Oh, gods, the spelling.) I learned that Paris is every bit as wonderful as people say. Although, the Eiffel Tower is a bit dull in comparison to all the other wondrous things in the city. I no longer worry that I'll never return when I travel. Travel is, in fact, possible for me. (Now, if only I could manage to get Dane on the plane with me.) Castles are amazing. Flowers are fantastic. Visual art is my creative life's blood, and I need to remember to visit with it regularly. (This is why I've been feeling so creatively dead lately. How about that?) Just like tea is better in the UK, all wine is the best in France. Luxembourg has great wine too. Great food is heaven. Cooking really is its own art form.
ZOMG, European chocolate! And French pastries!
In Houston, I learned that I can, in fact, manage car issues without having it over-run my work. I also learned I'm now better with intermediate writing students than I am with beginners. (I'm working on that.) Also, Houston isn't horrible...sometimes--not that I'll ever live there again. The fact that there wasn't a terrible storm during my trip home for a change made the Houston venture slightly less stressful.
People are amazing, and communication is even more magical than I thought. You can glean a great deal of information from expression, tone, and body language. It's true. There were so many times I did that very thing, and it was like mind reading. All it takes is careful attention and focus. I have to say that Americans are really not ever taught that.
Anyway, April was incredible. I honestly didn't think I'd get another "trip of a lifetime" experience and well, I did. Many, many thanks to Ani and his family, Luxcon, Ellen Kushner, and Delia Sherman. It wouldn't have happened without y'all.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.