storyrainthejournal: (colette'shandw/cat)
I have been pretty spotty on the social media webnet of inters recently. The constant stream of outrage model of Facebook or Twitter engagement was burning me out like an old-tech bulb. With smoke wisping out of my ears. Meanwhile, it's hard enough getting fiction written with a dayjob--even harder when I wake up at 3am with visions of going all Ripley with a flamethrower on some lying, abusive, fascist jerkwad bullies who are taking over our government intent on dismantling everything it does that is good or protective or forward thinking, in the service of more money for the already too fucking wealthy.

So, recalibrating.

What I've decided is that it's everyone's personal responsibility to stay informed and be aware of the outrages being perpetrated daily (which has been the case since well before this egregous uptick in awfulness, btw), to be aware that things perpetrated by these lying fucks are already impacting the lives of people and other animals in serious, injurious, and life-threatening ways. Further to that, here are a couple of links to resources for staying informed, if you don't already:
Going forward, while I will be making calls, writing postcards, and going to marches, and will surely still sometimes post things political, my focus when doing so will be on positive things--calls to action, amazing things women, queer folk, PoC, and others are doing. Otherwise, there will be joy on my FB, Twitter, etc., (Tumblr, my happy place), stuff about what I love: books, movies, art, whimsy, rain, beauty, cats, animals, music, the funny.

I can't let those horrible people take up so much real estate in my brain and imagination, I need it for better, much more attractive, things. Given the state of my lungs and other health issies...I just don't want to waste my beautiful mind on them. And, as it says in this nice little op-ed piece from Arianna Huffington, "The goal of any true resistance is to affect outcomes, not just to vent. And the only way to affect outcomes and thrive in our lives, is to find the eye in the hurricane, and act from that place of inner strength."
storyrainthejournal: (colette'shandw/cat)
It has, in myriad ways, been a pretty difficult year. Certainly I am, and have been, beside myself with our country's seemingly unstoppable slide toward most decidedly not-a-democracy, but a fascist kleptocracy.

Lost a lot of bright lights from the humanscape, too.

On the personal front, I've had some pretty demoralizing health patches--but, 2016 has also brought a few very goods in my life. SUBSTRATE PHANTOMS found a home with awesome Resurrection House Books and I couldn't be happier about that; I got to go to Sycamore Hill and--painful fingers wrapped like sausages despite--really loved being there and spending time with a bunch of wonderful fellow writers; and the luminous Ellen Datlow bought my Sycamore Hill story, "Bourbon, Sugar, Grace" for Tor.com.

I also got to spend lovely time with my beloved sister for the occassion of her daughter's wedding and have felt the support and love of friends and family.

Good things happened in the world, too, and will continue to do so, evil dystopic abusive bullies in power despite--unless of course that giant meteor takes us all out. Until then, however, it behooves us each to be the best and kindest--to ourselves, other humans, other animals, and the environment that sustains us--that we can be, in whatever ways that we can encompass.

Readings

Mar. 25th, 2015 10:38 am
storyrainthejournal: (littleowl)
Two items:

Coming up next week, Saturday, April 4, A Speculative Evening of readings at Malvern Books, with Eugene Fischer reading from his cover story in the current Asimov's, "The New Mother;" Janalyn Guo reading from her work, which she calls "little markers in time and space;" and me, reading...something good, I promise. 7-8 pm, at 613 West 29th Street here in Austin. Come and be transported! Buy books! Socialize!

And, today's post from Terri Windling, which is a little bit of perfect, Among the Pines
storyrainthejournal: (colette'shandw/cat)
Originally published by Five Star Speculative Fiction back in 2004, my first novel THE Z RADIANT is now available as an ebook! It's been brought out by Biblio Publishing with new cover art and it's available for all formats. You can get it through the Biblio site, or at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

ZRadiantCoverWeb"This is thinking readers' sci-fi."

From the Library Journal review: "Suspense and action combined with four strong and distinct protagonists make this debut a good choice for most sf and mature YA collections."

Here's the first chapter.Read more... )

priorities

Aug. 10th, 2013 08:57 am
storyrainthejournal: (alice&bun)
A couple of links.

Economics vs fiction on human nature. Interesting. (and of course I agree, but I write fiction and read a lot of it and am not an economist)
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Crazy interesting (to me) weird dreams last night/this morning. Entirely based on my own anecdotal experience, I tend to subscribe to the emotional processing theory of dreaming, though I also think it probably fills more than one function, physiologically speaking.
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I will have an announcement or two, along with my Worldcon schedule, to post soon.
storyrainthejournal: (rainpunkgirl)
Poem by Patricia Lockwood, The Rape Joke.
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Pretty much sums up the situation. PSA on "Gynoticians"

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That was the heavy, here's some light.

Snippet from Martha Well's upcoming new Raksura novella.

Sweet & Salty Roast Chickpeas

What I like abut this trailer for the long delayed 47 Ronin movie, is that, stylistically, it calls back to one of my all time favorite Hong Kong movies, A Chinese Ghost Story, and that makes me happy. A little iffy on the white guy (Keanu) hero, but still.
storyrainthejournal: (bookgirl)
"It is difficult -- and diminishing -- to separate the self who writes from the one who reads. Both acts belong to the communion of the word, which is a writer's life." Patricia Hampl

Over on [livejournal.com profile] beth_bernobich's lj, she talks about books she loves to pieces, with comment thread for yours.

The Other Half of the Sky, a collection of space opera stories with women protagonists that sounds AWESOME.

Today/tonight is World Book Night/Day. I don't have a bunch of books to give away, but if I did, I'd have the first collected volume of Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites.

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Some books I have literally loved to pieces (and then bought new editions):

Patricia McKillip's Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy and her Forgotten Beasts of Eld

Tanith Lee's Don't Bite the Sun and Drinking Sapphire Wine

Diana Wynne Jone's Archer's Goon

Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog
storyrainthejournal: (fable)
Rachel Maddow, yay! She has some important things to say, well stated, from around 14.00 to the end. Math and science (Nate Silver!) facts, reality--please republicans and conservatives, come out of your bubble.
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This is one amazing planet we're on.
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Two more things of reading. I posted about this story on FB & tweeted, but lest you missed it, A.M. Dellamonica's "Wild Things," up at Tor.com, is a lovely, wild, weirdling ride of a love story.

The sequel to Laini Taylor's beautiful book Daughter of Smoke & Bone is now out; I went to hear her read from Days of Blood & Starlight last night at Book People, and it promises to be every bit as deep and wondrous a book. Highly recommended.
storyrainthejournal: (bookgirl)
Two great things to read today:

First chapter of Martha Wells' forthcoming YA Emilie and the Hollow World, here. Can't wait for this book!

Reprint at io9 of Ken Liu's award winning story, "Paper Menagerie," which made me cry a lot.

storyrainthejournal: (Default)
I really love this essay, Why We Need Impossible Worlds from John Stevens (erudite ogre), over on SF Signal. The essay is a response to recent discussions of SF as an exhausted genre. My own SF stories do try for a sense of possibility while you're in the story, but at this point the projected far future universe with many inhabited planets, space stations, and vessels that travel the impossible distances of deep space between them, is pretty much fantasy, a very particular kind of retro-futurism. But I don't care--the possibility and speculation about humanity and the universe and living in it that can be explored in such stories is every bit as valid, to me, as that in stories based near future on hard science. It's freeing, it's fun, it's worthwhile, it's essential, and this essay explains why pretty cogently. An excerpt:

By creating worlds and people and situations that can never occur, we dive into a context that dislocates us, if slightly or temporarily, from our environment and allows our minds to be elsewhere, to take even a short trip and return to that real world a little (or sometimes greatly) changed.

That displacement and return from an impossible world is something that invigorates our minds. When we encounter the unfamiliar, the cryptic, or the preposterous, we take in and process them a little differently than something conventional, obvious, or “common-sense.”

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In other news, I went on a mini writing retreat this past weekend, which was productive and pretty much awesome. I have pictures and some thoughts to post, probably tonight. I know you're waiting breathlessly. 

storyrainthejournal: (Default)

Patrice Sarath tagged me in her Next Big Thing entry; these are posts in which writers talk about their WIPs. Patrice was tagged by Nicky Drayden. You should go read both their posts, because they are entertaining and funny. Then read mine because you love me.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing

1. What is the title of your Work in Progress?

I'm going to talk about the novel on which I'm in the process of a first revision, rather than the newest project, which is still in development phase and a little too delicate for the light of day. Or undercooked. Choose your metaphor.

Um, yeah, so the title of the novel is DEEP TERRAIN (I’ve been advised to change it, and will, but haven't settled on a new title yet).

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

My love of a certain three-character relationship dynamic that appears in many pirate and swashbuckling movies (and others) but is never played out in a way that pleases me. Also my love of adventure/swashbuckling tales in general.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Alternate earth/alternate history dark fantasy.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Snow - Ziyi Zhang; Thaniel - a talented young unknown; Captain Brule - Gael Garcia Bernal

5. What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?

On the waters of an alternate 1600s South China Sea, two adventurers and the crew of the Sophia Obscura hunt for the Ordinaith, a legendary device for the navigation of the deep places of the earth's crust, where potent magic infuses mineral, water, and the life forms of the dark places.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Represented by my agent, if she goes for it.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I have a dayjob, so, a while.

8. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

I’m really bad at these kinds of comparisons…

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The energy in the unfulfilled, dissatisfying relationships and arcs in stories I’ve otherwise liked. Also, what always inspires writing—reading, and other forms of storytelling (film, in this case, a lot of movies); for me, also and always, the wonder and inventive artistry of the natural world, which is so very amazing.  

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Chemical witchery, derring-do, swordfights and sea battles, sea serpents and arcane works, exploration and discovery…

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Don’t forget to check out Patrice’s post; Patrice is the author of the Gordath Wood series and the Jane Austen-inspired The Unexpected Miss Bennet.

I’m tagging the following authors, all truly wonderful writers; interested to see what they have up their sleeves:

A.M. Dellamonica

Martha Wells

Meghan McCarron

Katharine Beutner

storyrainthejournal: (Default)
Went to the Pecan Street fest this past weekend with god kids and their 'rents. Here's a pic from our perambulations through the crowds:


I got a hat with ears and the most amazing goat cheese concoction, from this wonderful sounding goat farm: Coon Ridge Organic Goat Farm Dairy

Also, my god daughter has adopted a mod/steampunk style, including top hat. She was pretty adorable.

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Phantom Drift issue #2, Valuable Estrangements, is now available. Get it here or order it at your local bookstore.

From managing editor David Memmott:
Issue Two presents 166 perfect-bound pages of estrangement wrapped in a gorgeous cover featuring the darkly mysterious art of sculpture-filmmaker John Frame and includes sixteen original stories, twenty-one poems/prose poems, three essays, a review and six letter compositions.

My little "Boneshadow" appears among the original stories. Here's an excerpt:
     It was summer under the eaves of the sky and the city echoed with heat. Sadie ran, on the curved shell of dusk’s descent, through a downtown of worn concrete and brick.
     The city owned many architectures, deep and thick with the dreams, spoils, battles, victories, and longings of its inhabitants, whose lives stained its walls as a smoke accreted as the rooms, ells, and stories of its many buildings accreted, souls coloring an alley or a forgotten room here and there in luminous shades, while everywhere else was gray and aged.
    “Where are you running, Sadie?” “Why are you running, Sadie?”
     The questions hissed and echoed up from grates, around corners, out of the air, in voices sly and insistent and gentle.
     Sadie had seen a thing, a crack in the bone and breath of the world, and it had seen her.

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Also, there's this, the best story ever. "They had gone on a very long trip."


storyrainthejournal: (fable)

From the Twitter feed of the awesome @CharlieJane:
Most really important propositions are not provable using data. It's just that you're an asshole if you don't accept them as true. Like "all humans have equal worth" or "women should control their own bodies" or "LGBT people shouldn't need to earn your acceptance."

Truer words.

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90 Days, 90 Reasons - Some of these are my reasons, too. And some of the essays are worth a read.

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In other news, I seem to have finally, after 22 years, contracted one of Austin's allergies. ugh. snot. cough; writing is slow because dayjob has been hella busy & annoyingly demanding (I don't get paid enough, seriously); lots of good books read lately, in brief stints before sleeps, among the most enjoyed: Gwenda Bond's BLACKWOOD, Ben Aaronovitch's WHISPERS UNDERGROUND, the latest Laurie R. King Mary Russell mystery, and Leigh Bardugo's SHADOW AND BONE.

Also, I gave the first two of the FLORA SEGUNDA books to a newly minted 13-yr-old girl and definitely hit the spot.

storyrainthejournal: (bookgirl)
CIRCUS - FANTASY UNDER THE BIG TOP, which has a load of stories by awesome folks, and my own “The Vostrasovitch Clockwork Animal and Traveling Forest Show at the End of the World," is orderable through B&N or Amazon, in print or e-format.

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In other pleasurable reading news, Kathe Koje is offering a new story about Istvan and Rupert of UNDER THE POPPY--a lovely wonderful book, recently out in paperback edition--for the price of a picture of you with the book.

As a celebration of the publication of the paperback edition of Under the Poppy,  due out on 9/10 (and available now for preorder from Small Beer Press, B&N and Amazon, among others), I’m offering a PDF of never-before-published Poppy fiction, called “An Interlude of the Road”: the tale of a young Rupert and Istvan, and their encounter with Herr Nagler, the smiling herring-monger in the satrap’s robe.

To receive the story, all you need to do is send a picture of yourself and your copy of Under the Poppy.

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And, in not so pleasurable, but educational, reading, Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, long form journalism in Rolling Stone.



storyrainthejournal: (onward)
I've been a bit off social media the last little while; just not very posty. It happens.
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Ayup. I can testify that this is true. You would be shocked at how high my IQ measured when I was a kid (higher than the supposed IQ of Dr. Reid on Criminal Minds). But I smoked a lot of (really good) marijuana through my teen years. And I can tell the points got knocked down. I'm still reasonably intelligent, but not the super-intelligent kid I was.

Which is no reason adults shouldn't be free to smoke, as far as I'm concerned, but maybe not kids and teens. We really need more smart people, not fewer. As developments at the current RNC would indicate. We don't need them Puerto Rican furriners, nope.

Seriously?
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Writing continues; just finished a short story draft, "The Demon of Russet Street," about to revise another called "The Chambered Eye," then it's back to noveling, noveling, noveling. Where I am happiest, really.




 
storyrainthejournal: (luminousrain)
A lovely set of quotes over on Terri Windling's blog today for my birthday (of course, Terri doesn't know they're for my birthday).

I should be up in the second half of the SF Signal mind meld on pov later today. The first half, led off by the inimitable A.M. Dellamonica, is here. This will be my first ever contribution to the mind melds.

It's my birthday! I'm at the dayjob. But I'm taking Friday off.

I would like rain for my birthday but it doesn't seem like that's going to materialize.

My AC actually worked all night and there were no toxic smells this morning, after two nights and days of expensive mysterious system failure and then system impotence (failure to cool), so, er, yay. 

Lots of FB bday wishes already in the early morn; imagine there'll be more when I get home this afternoon and check again. Thank you, guys! And coworker left a cupcake on my desk this morning. mmm, cupcake.

Now I'm going to damnwell write for a while before I dayjob.

In conclusion, squirrel!



storyrainthejournal: (youwhat?)

ArmadilloCon was fun, but very very tiring. Long day teaching in the writing workshop, but seems like everyone was happy with the experience, so yay; then a long day of panels and people. Then another long but shorter day of same. This, for an introvert, exhausts not only body, but everything else. It was wonderful to talk to known and previously unknown peeps alike, and frer people came to my reading, and some people who aren't my close friends said truly lovely and gratifying things about my fiction--thank you! you know who you are.

But I'm back at the dayjob today and...I'm draggin'.

Some links:

The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck  (personally, I also get this feeling from something like watching elephants interact, kittens play, from the animal world in general)

Reporters Know What the 'Voter ID' Push Is Really About. Why Don't They Just Say So?

Kickstart Unstuck! We want it to stay around.

storyrainthejournal: (utopia)

Via Martha Wells a worthwhile article from the Guardian - How Racism Takes Root.

Heh. Fox News banned from Canada. Although, not so heh, they can tell all the lies they want here in the USA, and people think it's news.

Jason Alexander is not too dumb about the limits of the second amendment. Anyone who says that if more people had been armed in that theater fewer people would have died is seriously deluded about the realities of the logistics of tear gas, crowds, and a dark movie theater. More people would have died, many more.

Speaking of serious delusions, anyone who votes for Mitt Romney thinking a selfish, compassionless bully of a businessman is going to make things better in this country (for anyone but the wealthiest of the wealthy) is so out of touch with reality that they are a danger to themselves and others. If they cast that vote because they think that they, too, will one day be among those wealthiest, they are stone cold duped.

Although, I have to say I feel like I'm talking to a wall. There's so much crazy in this country, and it's gotten such a stranglehold on our media, on our political machinery, on our health and well being, that I don't really think anyone can say anything to them. The far right behave like fundamentalst terrorists. They're right and everyone who disagrees with them, looks different from them, or feels differently than they do, should die. That's what their words and their actions say. I'd be happy to let them live in peace with their delusions if they didn't feel the need to stamp on the necks (that is, on the rights and lives) of everyone else.
storyrainthejournal: (Default)
Win not one, but two books from Beth Bernobiche, both QUEEN'S HUNT and PASSION PLAY. For details see here

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A snip of Clarion West Write-a-thon words for you:

“Are you protecting someone, ‘zam Faist?”

“No—it’s…” Faist shifted. “It makes him sound like he was going mad, like there was some defect in his workings.”

“Do you think he was?”

“No.”

Rusk gestured, feeling the old man’s loss, anger, and fear through the sensors in the carvings on his arms. “You knew him. I’ll reserve such judgments—and anything you can share may help to uncover his murderer.”

“It was about two months ago, not long before his deviser died, Sirin had begun to feel…haunted by something...stalked, he said.”

“By what?”

To reiterate, if you pledge some small amount in support of me, let me know and I'll send you an interesting art post card with a just for you little flash tale on the back.

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Still working on the regular blog schedule thing...it may never be precisely regular, but I'm kind of an irregular, so that's probably just fine, right? Right?
storyrainthejournal: (yoruichi-light)
Some pics from the trip, mostly from the zoo. I have more but haven't uploaded them yet. Sadly, only a couple from the Museum of Science and Industry (because we lost track of the kids and I spent a lot of time looking for them). The Science Storm exhibit was particularly awesome. Like, seriously.

More pics in the Summer 2012 album.



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