blogging: a once a week occurrance

May. 26th, 2017 10:42 am
mizkit: (Default)
[personal profile] mizkit

apparently, anyway :)

I don’t know what I’m doing instead of blogging, since I’m on the computer all the damn time. (That’s not true. I know what I’m doing instead of blogging: watching the fall of the American nation in real time.)

We had a college friend visit in early May. We had a wonderful time with her. We saw a steam train in Dublin, and went to the zoo (where, as we were lecturing/answering Indy on some topic, switching back and forth with providing information, and ending by saying exactly the same words, together, I was reminded of going to a concert with her when we were in college and somebody telling us what a cute couple we were (we said thank you), and I said to her, “You remember that? Those same people listening to us right now would be delighted we were still such a cute couple,” and she laughed :)), and ate fudge (“This,” she said, in raptures, “this is like the chocolate in a perfectly baked chocolate chip cookie straight out of the oven,” which she knows about because one of her superpowers, thanks to growing up in a bakery, is an ability to eat chocolate chip cookies while molten. She can literally eat them straight out of the oven. “NOOOOOOOO!” she tells other people as she shoves cookies out of the oven and into her mouth, “YOU’LL MELT YOUR MOUTH INTO A CAVE OF BURNING PAIN!”

“Pah!” say other people. “YOU’RE eating them, they must be fiOH GOD OH GOD MY MOUTH IS A CAVE OF BURNING PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN”) and she struggled with Irish bread bag “twist ties” (which are not twist ties, but stickers that you wrap around the closed neck of the bread bag), so I showed her how to open them and she muttered, “We need never speak of this again,” and I said, “Sure, by which I mean, I’m totally posting it online,” and she told me about Amish superhumans and she and Ted went out to dinner at our favourite restaurant, the Lebanese one in Dublin, where, when Ted came in with another woman, they were like “ER WHAT’S GOING ON HERE WHERE’S CATIE?” and Ted was like “Catie made the reservations! SHE KNOWS I’M OUT WITH ANOTHER WOMAN!” and this was a very long sentence which I feel touches on how much fun we had. :)

Then Trump fired Comey and I didn’t blog any of this because (see above, re: fall of American nation).

And then Trump revealed classified information to the Russians and I (see above).

After that it was our anniversary and we got to go to a movie together for the first time we could remember in at least a year and possibly almost three years (the last movie we’re SURE we saw together was GotG1). We went to King Arthur: Legend of the Sword which was better than I expected it to be. It had roughly as much to do with the Arthurian legend as Disney’s Pocahontas had to do with Pocahontas, but it did a couple of REALLY nice things with the sword-in-the-stone aspect of the story, and the magic was really quite good. Also–don’t get me wrong, I loved the bad guy’s design, but–every time it came on screen I thought “So Guy Ritchie spent his formative years staring at Frank Frazatta paintings and thinking I totally want to make one of these a bad guy in a big movie someday,” and he by god did. I could have done with a bit more explanation in a couple places and about, mmm, fifteen minutes less movie overall, but by the end of it I was like, “Yeah, I’d go watch another one of these,” so it’s too bad it’s made absolutely no money. :)

And then some asshole blew up a concert in Manchester and etc.

That pretty much brings us to this week. I’ve been going to the gym, more or less. I wanted to be able to bike there, so I was looking for a second-hand bike, and a friend said “lo, I have one!” so I collected it last night and now I have a bike! ♥! I saw the PT yesterday who crunckled and twisted and tugged and pushed on me and it was great and amazing. I went to Colossal, which is a pretty good movie that is *not* what it says on the tin. I’ve gotten all the ATLANTIS FALLEN Kickstarter rewards sent out, and I’ve sent BEWITCHING BENEDICT to the editor for line edits and I’ve gotten line edits for REDEEMER back from her, so things are moving along there.

So how have you been? O.O

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

It's Raining

May. 26th, 2017 12:46 am
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
[personal profile] liralen
It's raining tonight.

The soft hiss of water on the pavement, the spatter on the windows, and the coolness through the house. The sky was a riot of fluffy clouds, shadows, and curtains of water being blown in from over the mountains.

Read more... )

Safe Haven

May. 25th, 2017 11:55 am
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[personal profile] swan_tower

Over the past few months I worked my way through the five seasons of the TV show Haven. In its core structure, it’s basically Yet Another Procedural: each week there’s a mystery, the heroes investigate, the mystery is solved by the end of the episode. But the premise of this one is speculative — an FBI agent discovers weird things going on in a small Maine town — and spec-fic shows usually pair their procedural-ness with at least some degree of metaplot, which I find myself really craving these days. So I figured I would give it a shot.

And for the most part, the structure is indeed conventional. Weird Thing Happens. Audrey Parker (the FBI agent) and Nathan Wuornos (the local cop) investigate. The problem is inevitably being caused by the Troubles, a set of supernatural afflictions that plague many residents of Haven. Our heroes find the Troubled person responsible —

— and then they help that person.

I mean, every so often they do have to arrest somebody or it even ends in death. But overwhelmingly, the focus is on solving the Troubles, not punishing them. In many cases, the person responsible doesn’t realize they’re the source of that week’s weird thing; when they do know, they’re often terrified and unable to stop their Trouble from hurting people. These supernatural abilities trigger because of emotional stimuli, so week after week, you watch Audrey untangle the threads of someone’s psychology until she figures out that they need to accept the fact that a loved one is gone or reconcile with an estranged friend or admit the secret that’s eating away at them, and when they do, their Trouble lets go.

It is amazingly refreshing, after all the procedural shows I’ve seen that involve people with guns using those guns to solve their problems. (There’s a key moment late in the series when the entire Haven PD gets sent out to manage a big outburst of Troubles, and they literally get a speech from the police chief about how the people causing problems aren’t the enemy and need to be helped, not beaten down.) In fact, it’s so refreshing that I was willing to forgive the show’s other flaws. The scripts are often no better than okay, and for the first four seasons the characters are remarkably incurious about the metaplot: they accept that the Troubles show up every twenty-seven years, Audrey is somehow connected to them, etc, but it takes them forever to get around to asking why, much less making a serious effort to find the answers. (In the fifth season the show dives headfirst into the metaplot, and the results are less than satisfying.) Furthermore, if you’re looking for characters of color, you basically won’t find them here. Haven does a pretty poor job in general with secondary characters, often getting rid of them after one season; I can only think of two people who get added to the cast after the first episode that stick around instead of getting booted out of the plot.

But the character dynamics are pretty engaging, some of the episodes have a pretty clever premise . . . and it’s a show about helping people. About resolving problems through addressing their underlying causes. About how, if somebody has a Trouble but they’ve figured out ways to manage it without hurting anybody, you clap them on the back and move on to someone who’s having more difficulty. There’s a good-hearted quality to the show’s basic concept that kept me interested even when I could have been watching something with better dialogue but less compassion.

More compassion, please. We need it.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

On Punching Nazis and other hyperbole

May. 24th, 2017 03:04 pm
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[personal profile] mneme
I'm willing to sing about punching Nazis, but I'm not willing to seriously advocate that doing so (or censoring them) is ethically and morally right.

Ken White (Popehat) has an excellent post as to why not. (oddly enough, -do- read the comments here).

Weekly media report

May. 24th, 2017 11:11 am
immlass: (showgirl peacock)
[personal profile] immlass
- Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, by Cathy O'Neil. Finished this. Really solid and useful, especially for those in the tech sector. Recommended.
- Full of Briars, by Seanan McGuire. A short set in her October Daye series, and in the middle of it. It was okay but enough to tell me I didn't want to read the whole thing.
- Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire. About the fairy tale girls who come back and what happens to them. It was a good conceit and I liked the story and characters just fine but I wasn't sufficiently interested in the samples of the next one that I read to sign up for the second in the series.
- Greedy Pigs, by Matt Wallace. Fifth Sin du Jour novella and I'm really continuing to enjoy these as they race toward the inevitable conclusion in book seven. My favorite funny bit in this one was the political stuff (and particularly the use of a much-loved politician in a cameo).

- High Sierra. Proto-noir starring Humphrey Bogart and a young Ida Lupino in the story of a robbery that, in the noir tradition, inevitably goes wrong. The show is stolen by the dog even with some fantastic playing by Bogart and Lupino.
- Colossal. Well made movie but not at all the cutesy kaiju film the previews promised. This movie needed trigger warnings going in.

- Jane Weaver, Modern Kosmology. Going to take a few listens to get into this but I definitely enjoyed it.

Regaining Weight

May. 23rd, 2017 10:24 pm
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
[personal profile] liralen
One of the interesting things was that when I first started down the competitive path, I lost about 15 pounds of weight from my high of about 172 lbs, during the worst of the stressful days of moderating. Then, over the course of the six months of competitive, I got down to about 150 lbs.

I'm not a small woman to begin with, I'm 5'9", and I did and still do construction, so 150 was kind of frightening. The only time I'd ever hit that weight since my late 20's was also during my moderatorship, when I'd gone four months on extreme stress and got to the point where I came down with vertigo before I could actually stop and rest for a week. I regained my weight fairly quickly with actual sleep and food.

I did that again.

Within two weeks of quitting competitive, where I was cooking again, lifting again, and went from doing about 3000 steps on average per day to doing about 7500 a day now, I got back up to 155. Now I'm at 158 and steady with the usual daily fluctuations as I had been before all these adventures. The interesting thing is that even with the weight gain, I still fit into my skinny clothes, so I suspect that a lot of the weight regaining was mostly muscle mass that had atrophied when I wasn't moving around all that much and forgetting to eat. I went from getting breathless just going for a walk to being able to do my usual three mile walk easily.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] swan_tower

If you’re like me, the phrase “Orpheus myth in space” gets your immediate attention. Here’s Jessica Reisman to tell us about the spark that brought Substrate Phantoms to life!


cover to SUBSTRATE PHANTOMS by Jessica ReismanSubstrate Phantoms had a long road to publication, so I’ve had to cast my mind back to remember the original writing and when the fire seemed to catch. I already had my far future science fiction universe, the Aggregate, in which I’ve had several stories and my first novel (so long ago now that Substrate gets to be a new debut), and had been playing around with the idea of the Orpheus myth in space, a kind of ‘don’t look back’ when a character is fleeing a space station, trying to save a loved one.

That was all very well, but things weren’t really taking any compelling shape. It was with the haunting of the space station that the first sign of heat flared up. A kind of film reel unfurled in my mind, of powerful images and feelings having to do with the intersection of technology and futurity with superstition and our need for the kind of possibility inherent in the more inward, arcane, and irrational side of our natures. Where these elements—often set in opposition—cross is a deep vein of story for me.

It was a pretty potent unfurling of image and feeling, that film reel. It had what felt like the whole story—and more—within it. My writing process is what we sometimes call “organic.” The initial phase of image, feeling, and story arc is like a seed for me, a tiny, dense ball of potential in which the story exists. To maul the metaphor, note-making, research, background work, and world building are all preparing the ground, planting, and fertilizing; the actual searching march of words onto page is when the growth begins and the story stretches toward its shape.

So there was the spark of the haunted space station—a usefully compelling elevator pitch, but what now? I think it leapt into full conflagration when I found the opening of the first chapter:

Revelation deck rested currently in station shadow, spangled in reflections off the solar collectors. Long glimmers cut through the high dim space in a slow dance. Revelation deck was a big space with open gridwork, gridwork being the bones of station superstructure hidden on other decks. Tall viewports and a lack of adult traffic made it a favorite haunt of station kids, four of whom sat clustered under a twenty-foot span of the grid arch. Likely there was someplace they were supposed to be, and strict regulations said they shouldn’t be there, but it was a regulation never enforced.

Jhinsei, two-thirds of the way through sitting a shift at the automated shuttle monitors, liked the murmur of voices. He had been such a kid himself, not too many years past, listening to tales on Revelation; besides, they lessened the loneliness of the cavernous deck.

Revelation deck, far future space station, kids telling stories, future and past: it makes friction for me and, voila, sparks!


From the cover copy:

The space station Termagenti—hub of commerce, culture, and civilization—may be haunted. Dangerous power surges, inexplicable energy manifestations, and strange accidents plague the station. Even after generations of exploring deep space, humanity has yet to encounter another race, and yet, some believe that what is troubling the station may be an alien life form.

Jhinsei and his operations team crawl throughout the station, one of many close-knit working groups that keep Termagenti operational. After an unexplained and deadly mishap takes his team from him, Jhinsei finds himself—for lack of a better word—haunted by his dead teammates. In fact, they may not be alone in taking up residence in his brain. He may have picked up a ghost—an alien intelligence that is using him to flee its dying ship. As Jhinsei struggles to understand what is happening to his sanity, inquisitive and dangerous members of the station’s managing oligarchy begin to take an increasingly focused interest in him.

Haunted by his past and the increasing urgent presence of another within his mind, Jhinsei flees the station for the nearby planet Ash, where he undertakes an exploration that will redefine friend, foe, self, and other. With Substrate Phantoms, Jessica Reisman offers an evocative and thought-provoking story of first contact, where who we are is questioned as much as who they might be.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | Publisher


Jessica Reisman’s stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. A three-time Michener Fellow, she has been writing her own brand of literary science fiction and fantasy for many years. Jessica has lived in Philadelphia, parts of Florida, California, and Maine, and been employed as a house painter, blueberry raker, art house film projectionist, glass artist’s assistant, English tutor, teaching assistant, and editor, among other things. She dropped out of high school and now has a master’s degree. She makes her home in Austin, Texas, where well-groomed cats, family, and good friends grace her life with their company. Find out more at her site.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

Word of the Day

May. 23rd, 2017 03:21 pm
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[personal profile] mathhobbit

The more I think about it, the more I'm disturbed by a word meaning "seems like it's probably true".  As a scientist, I don't want to admit that intuition is so closely linked to acceptance as fact.

Yesterday's word was Lagniappe, which doesn't have the origins I would have expected.

Catching up on New Worlds

May. 22nd, 2017 12:57 pm
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[personal profile] swan_tower

I’ve been very remiss in linking to my New Worlds posts over on the Book View Cafe blog (brought to you by my lovely Patreon backers). Here’s the full lineup to date:

If that stuff looks good to you, please consider becoming a backer!

And, for a bonus: I’ve been neglecting the Dice Tales community on Imzy, but I put up a new post today ranting about how combat-oriented rules can screw over plot.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.


May. 22nd, 2017 11:35 am
rmd: (flip off kittens)
[personal profile] rmd
We have two kittens! Many uncurated kitten pics at no names on them yet, but they're happily chasing each other around rambunctiously and purring up a storm.

Dogskull Etc

May. 21st, 2017 02:26 pm
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[personal profile] tkingfisher

Lord, there's so many things I keep meaning to blog about and then I get distracted. And then I'm like "I must blog about this thing!" and remember that I didn't blog about the other thing and then it just becomes easier to go play Dragon Age for awhile.

But! Dogskull Patch is still mine!

After careful perusal of the house, it's best treated with a bulldozer, I think. Clearing out the junk--and there is so much junk--is just not feasible with my available manpower. Also some large animal has been inside. I choose to believe that it is a dog. Thinking about the alternative sources of the poop in the corner is a little more than I wish to deal with.

Also, the house has bees! There is a feral hive living in the wall (and maybe the attic) of honeybees! Which I think is actually REALLY REALLY COOL, since there aren't supposed to be very many wild hives in NC anymore owing to colony collapse. A Master Beekeeper and his apprentice are supposed to come out and investigate the possibilities of getting them out, since I flatly refuse to destroy a honeybee hive, even if it's holding up work.

This weekend we took out a lot of little weed trees. There's some hundred-year-old white oak that will be touched over my dead body, but some of the scruffy Carolina blackcherry (edible but unexciting) and the privet and five million loblolly and blackjack oak seedlings can come out. My buddy Krin went through the aerial photos going back to '79 and figured out that the back forty (or I guess back five, in this case) had been harvested at least once, which would explain why all the pines are growing like that.

I've been reading up on the local soil and poring over historical maps. This sort of thing is weirdly fun for me, but it's a bit late to switch careers to agronomy and also my agent would nail my head to her wall as a warning to other authors. There is a TINY patch of "silt loam" in this chunk of the county, and Dogskull Patch is literally sitting square on top of it. (And when I say "tiny" I mean "my neighbors have only a couple yards of it, and the back 40 is something else entirely.") When I was excavating some holes, I was very puzzled by the dirt--it was incredibly fine, almost like ash. It reminded me of porcelain clay. Apparently that is what "silt loam" is like.

(It's on the high point of a low hill. Not that you can really tell, in the middle of the woods, but a chunk of Dogskull is literally the highest point, by a couple feet, of the surrounding area. I'd guess that's why the silt is still there, and didn't get carried off by erosion.)

According to the county soil maps--and I had no idea that the geologic surveys ran so precise!--Dogskull Patch and environs is "prime farmland of state concern." I assume that means "If anyone cared about dirt the way that dirt should be cared about, they would beg to keep Dogskull as farmland, not vanish under tract housing." On the other hand, it was a tobacco farm, and tobacco farming is REALLY hard on soil. So at best guess--beautiful soil treated cruelly, now with a load of trees.

I must remind myself that it has taken care of itself for many years now, and that anything I can do to help is merely a bonus. I am not saving it, except perhaps from developers. I am merely improving small bits and making it more itself. Otherwise the monumental SIZE of the task and the sheer weight of responsibility would crush me flat. (My buddy Foxfeather advised me of this, and I am grateful. It was excellent advice.)

So, we took out some of the trees and dragged them over close to the property line to build a hugulkultur bed there. A large enough one will function as a berm and I can plant trees on the far side to help block the line. I'd like to put in a seriously gnarly hedgerow there, maybe with some Osage orange. Hedgerows are great habitat and the orange is one of the few more-or-less-native plants that will potentially keep out feral hogs.

But that's awhile in the future. Everything is in the future. Meanwhile, in other news I work on the next Hamster Princess, have no idea what to work on for my next T. Kingfisher (there's at least two novels and one novella that aren't too far off, but none of them have hit a tipping point in my brain) and am suffering the massive productivity loss that is afflicting most of the creative people I know in this political climate. Also my stepfather keeps having heart attacks and winding up in the hospital with increasingly dramatic pulmonary failings--"THREE aortic aneurysms! Two blocked arteries! How are you ALIVE, sir?" but is about as interested in human company as the aforementioned feral hog, so I am in the grim stage of waiting by the phone to hear that he has finally keeled over so that I can swing into action. This is horrifically stressful, but he's nearly eighty and has certainly earned the right to die alone while fly-fishing if he so chooses, and for all I know, could still outlive me.

(I am at that stage where I do not feel guilty about thinking such thoughts, nor am I feeling guilty about not feeling guilty, but, in somewhat meta fashion, am feeling vaguely guilty that I am not feeling guilty about not feeling guilty. "If I was really a good person, I would at least question that I am not at all guilty about this!" This is a complex emotional knot best severed with hard manual labor and tequila.)

I am writing this while sitting out in the garden. My beloved backyard garden is really shining this year. I am proud and grateful to it. It exudes peace, and for once I can actually appreciate that, instead of rampaging around trying to change bits. I think it's mostly done (ha ha) and while I have lots of things to tweak, stones to add, etc, the bones are all there and not likely to change tomorrow, so I can sit and relax in it and admire the beans and the iris and the potatoes in their grow bags.

Anyway. Life keeps keeping on.

Word of the Day

May. 21st, 2017 09:47 am
mathhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] mathhobbit

Tomorrow's is, I believe, lagniappe.

I'm a little sad that "petrichor" doesn't apply in cities.

randomness: Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), photograph by Malene Thyssen, cropped square for userpic. (Default)
[personal profile] randomness
The final show will be streamed at 7PM Sunday on YouTube and Facebook. Details are at

We're driving down for one of Sunday's earlier shows because returning from Nassau Coliseum after the last show means a long drive back home through the night.

There are still tickets available for shows today and tomorrow, if you want to catch them before they close forever.

White Ghost Shivers at the Townsend.

May. 20th, 2017 01:57 pm
immlass: (music - noise hazard)
[personal profile] immlass
White Ghost Shivers. The Townsend. May 19. 2017.

We did a two-stage evening out: High Sierra at the Alamo Ritz and then walking across to the Townsend for a second show of the White Ghost Shivers at the Townsend. We've kept missing them so we took a last-minute ticket to this show. The lineup has changed since the last time we saw them but they put on a great show: some older songs, some new songs, and an encore of a Bob Wills song that's more the province of their side project, the Saddle Sores. Even though I was tired, I had a good time and took a couple of photos.

The Townsend has become my favorite local listening room, though I worry that it's never full when we go. I'm making an effort to take photos and announce when I'm going so more people will go. The kitchen is closed for refurbishment; I'm really hoping it will serve a full menu when it reopens so it can be food and show Duck style.

(no subject)

May. 20th, 2017 09:29 am
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[personal profile] subbes
CWA members are out on strike from AT&T this weekend because AT&T refuse to give workers a living wage (while the CEO made over $23 million in 2013).

Please don't shop at AT&T this weekend or cross the picket lines

Striking workers appreciate your support and help - to find a picket near you, check this site.

If you can't make it to a picket to support the workers, you can send a letter to the AT&T CEO from this page.
mizkit: (Default)
[personal profile] mizkit

A couple of weeks ago Indy and I went out to a restaurant here in town and Indy asked them if we could have a window seat. But they brought us to what he considered the wrong one, and he said, “No, that one please,” and pointed to the front window, which had obviously just been vacated and not cleared yet. I was saying words to the effect of “oh my god indy don’t make their lives difficult” when the host suddenly said, “Oh, now I know you! You usually come in with your father!” to Indy, and swept off to clear the table and seat us at it.

I was appalled and spluttering and Indy said, “No, it’s *okay*, Mommy! They know me here! They think I’m charming and delightful, just like the people at the hot chocolate shop do!” Which was clearly true, although I told him we don’t generallyask people to go to more trouble than is necessary for us.

So last night Dad came to babysit and Ted and I got to go OUT TO DINNER on our OWN for an anniversary dinner. We went to this same restaurant, we were seated, the waiter came over…

…and said, “Where is your son?!”

It was 9:05pm and I said, “We hope he’s at home asleep!”

The waiter left and Ted, amused, said, “What are we, chopped liver? We pay for the meal!”

We had dinner, which was delicious, and went to pay.

The host said to us, “How was your dinner? Where is the little one?!”

We started laughing, and the host started telling us what a well-spoken and intelligent child our son was, and how he came across as much older and more experienced than his years, and went on being complimentary until we’d left. *throws hands in air* :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

The B-52s

May. 19th, 2017 11:15 am
immlass: (music - live)
[personal profile] immlass
The B-52s. ACL Moody Theater. May 18, 2017.

We came in at the tail end of the opening act so I can't discuss them other than to say I wouldn't enter the auditorium without my earplugs in. Friends who saw them said the lead singer was fantastic, so I may check them out.

The B-52s were fantastic, very on, and Fred Schneider continues to be one of my idols as a Buddha of Uncool Cool. I definitely locate them in the same quadrant of my tastes as the Judys and DEVO (and along a continuum with Talking Heads). They were super into their music and characters and Fred Schneider's intro of the back line was very generous, which is a mark of a classy musician to me.

Sound was awful, though. It took until the finale (Love Shack) to get the bass down low enough that it wasn't vibrating my skin and bones. As usual the lyrics were also inaudible. Love Shack was also great because the band dedicated it to a couple (of guys) who got married and had them on the stage to dance in their stylin' gold dinner jackets. You go, guys!

The band also issued a register to vote PSA.

No surprise that someone was smoking weed close enough that we could smell it. This was the kind of show that altered perception could really enhance.

Fortunately my favorite (Rock Lobster) was in the encore so it had better sound. Sightlines, as always, were great; we were in the 3rd row balcony. I was tired but I had a great time. A+ show, would see again, preferably with a better mix.

a really useful rejection letter

May. 19th, 2017 11:48 am
mizkit: (Default)
[personal profile] mizkit

I’ve just gotten the most useful rejection letter of my life, from a publisher who is pretty clearly enthusiastic about working with me but we’re stumbling around a little in finding the right project. It’d be for a historical YA book/series.

They really loved what I sent them, but it didn’t quite (to summarize wildly) tie in enough with how they sell a lot of their books. So the editor I’ve been talking with *apologized* for pulling me in all sorts of directions (which they haven’t been) and sent a list of like 15 historical events/periods that they AND THE MARKETING TEAM had put together as good spaces for them to be able to work with.

I cannot *tell* you how amazing it is to get this kind of feedback from a publisher. My experience has mostly been “We’ll know what we want when we see it,” which is rather difficult to tailor anything to (she said dryly). And the thing is, 9 times out of 10, I can write what somebody’s looking for–more importantly, perhaps, I can *enjoy* writing what somebody’s looking for–if I know what they want. I cannot, though (to my never-ending irritation), read minds. So now I’ve got this LIST and have no need to try to read minds and I’m genuinely thrilled to be able to sit down and work up a proposal for them.

And you know, of course, there’s always the possibility it won’t work out. I won’t write the right thing, or they won’t have the window for publishing that they need–things that are simply part of the industry. But for the moment, I’m just really delighted and looking forward to doing this. I love developing new ideas. It’s the shiny part! :)

(Also I have this pretty kick-ass proposal I wrote that I could potentially sell to somebody else at some point, so overall, there’s no bad here. :))

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

AMA is a go!

May. 18th, 2017 10:47 am
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[personal profile] swan_tower

The floor is now open for you to ask me anything! I’ll be answering questions for at least a couple of hours, so get ’em in while you can!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

Weekly media report

May. 17th, 2017 04:43 pm
immlass: (circle of no life)
[personal profile] immlass
- I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, by Ed Yong. Having finished this, I'm really not surprised it was on all the best-of lists for last year. It's very accessible to the lay reader and I learned a lot from it.
- Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older. It's a pretty basic urban fantasy and if it were about white people (instead of the white guy being the appropriator) it would be boring. As it is, the magic and setting are more interesting to me precisely because they're not boring Anglo.
- Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, by Cathy O'Neil. A big data book about our algorithmic dystopia. I'm about a quarter of the way through and I'm terrified.

- Class, Episode 3. This one was really creepy but really character-driven. We're two behind and I'm definitely anxious to catch up.
- Doctor Who: Oxygen. This really hit my medical squick to the point where I found it terrifying even beyond the horrors of capitalism. And the twist ending!

- none

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