storyrainthejournal: (littleowl)
You might know Maureen McHugh as the award winning author of literate and deadpan science fiction novels and story collections, but she's also part of Fourth Wall Studios, which is busy building the scaffolding of a new way of telling stories and involving people in them. Check out DIRTY WORK and go for a pretty amazing ride.
If you're in or near Portland, Oregon right this moment, A.M. Dellamonica will be reading at Powells in Cedar Hills tonight at 7, and signing BLUE MAGIC, sequel to her Sunburst Award winning INDIGO SPRINGS. I happen to know she's going to read from a story called "Wild Things" set in the universe of the novels, and it's a sexy wild fun story.
The fab and amazing M.K. Hobson's kickstarter for THE WARLOCK'S CURSE, number three in her VENEFICAS AMERICANA series is a great example of kickstarting done right, is well worth both your time and a little backing, and offers in return not just what promises to be great books, but backer updates featuring puppies, elegant awesome swag, and all over coolness.
Chris N. Brown is his indubitably smart self in this article in The New York Revue of Science Fiction, "Science Fiction in the Edgelands."
My old friend Dean Mermell's book, The Digital Storyteller's Handbook, is available on iTunes for various iThings, from Amazon for Kindle, and from B&N for Nook. Dean knows his stuff and if you're a writer who needs to make a book trailer at some point but needs some clues on making it well, Dean's book is probably a good investment. From the reviews, it is "...a fun and practical guide to media creation. It covers scripting, storyboarding, production with video and DSLR cameras, sound, preparing for editing, and much, much more. If you want to make short films, Kickstarter videos, web content for a business, documentaries, or document live performances, this book will prove invaluable and get you inspired and empowered to make great stuff."
I have a Pinterest; so far I'm just pinning to one board, which I've named "images of awesome." I'm a very visual person, so I guess Pinterest was inevitable for me. 
In other news, my website,, is languishing in outmoded software/new computer purgatory and has not been updated for a while. I need to pretty much start over and that's taking me some time. Like pacing by a cold pool before getting hot and sweaty enough to make myself plunge in.
storyrainthejournal: (bookship)
Tody is the book birthday of A.M. Dellamonica's BLUE MAGIC, sequel to the award-winning INDIGO SPRINGS.

For some interesting words from Alyx on the book and its writing, check out M.K. Hobson's three-question interview with her, here: 

Then order the book, or go buy it, or request it, from your local bookstore.
storyrainthejournal: (Default)
If you're looking for a genre fiction writing class you really can't do much better than A.M. Dellamonica's Creating Universes, Building Worlds through the UCLA online extension program. Some info on it in her post here, with links to more info and to the syllabus. I know few writers who are as truly braw at plot and at conveying all the nuts and bolts of the process in a such useful way. (yes, I'm making another effort to get the work braw back into use)

Bunraku is a movie that went straight to DVD, and I guess I can sorta see why, but I really enjoyed it. It's stylized and beautiful in a dreamy, hallucinatory sort of way, a paean to samurai and western films, and to, er, pop-up art books. It also has Josh Hartnett, Woody Harrelson, Ron Pearlman, Kevin McKidd, Demi Moore, and some great fight sequences. If you like any of those things, you might like Bunraku.

Books read recently include the following, with brief review notes:
The Hum and the Shiver - erm...I can see why a lot of folks have really liked this book (glowing reviews abound, so take mine with grains of salt), but for me it was just okay. I never really believed in or was fully engaged by the characters and I don't feel like the ending was either fully realized or fully earned by what went before. I prefer Justified for my southern gothic, I guess. 

The Night Circus - Quite wonderful. Beautiful and intricate with a satisfying arc, engaging characters, and so much lovely world architecture one could happily wander it forever--which is part of the point. Wonders upon wonders, intimate and revealing. For me, a better book about magic/illusion than some others in that vein. 

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - I was more engaged in the first half of this than the last half, but it was overall well done and engaging, and ended promisingly. The use of old photographs is pretty great, and also pretty uncanny.

Currently I'm reading an ARC of Elizabeth Bear's RANGE OF GHOSTS and am so very into it--seriously, this book is good. Like, epic canvas, disappear into this world with these characters, deeply textured, good. Excited to be reading it. More when I finish.
storyrainthejournal: (littleowl)
For the locals: Tomorrow, Saturday October 15, 2pm at Book People, book launch party for Divya Srinivasan's picture book, Little Owl's Night.

I love Divya's art (she had a segment in Waking Life and has done tons of other wonderful animation and illustration).
storyrainthejournal: (fable)
Persian cucumber salad. Pan seared quail. Grilled peach on the side. This is what I had for dinner at the East Side Showroom last night. Okay? Okay.

After our fab dinner I showed my visiting friend How to Train Your Dragon, which she hadn't seen. Officially on the list of my favorite ever movies, I think. Then I started Naomi Novik's Tongues of Serpents. A dragonish evening. Then Tinker periodically lost his mind and meowed piteously all night long, which he does when I have an overnight guest, for at least the first one or two nights. I mean, piteously. Last time he did this I was worried something was actually wrong and took him to the vet. Stinker.

Between bouts of dayjob work yesterday, a good bit of work on Deep Terrain got done yesterday, and there will be more at writing date tomorrow.

Recently I wished there was a thrift store in walking distance from my loft; then I discovered one has recently opened less than two blocks away. And it is written of as the Austin-est thrift store in Austin. Will check it out at some point this weekend.

storyrainthejournal: (seagrass)
Had a good, relaxing time in Malibu, beach walks, hot tub & pool, and talking/just being with my mom (also, having delicious healthy food cooked for me, such a luxury); then a lovely afternoon, evening, and morning visiting a friend in her new Culver City digs and talking a lot about writing and story in various forms. She cooked me a yummy dinner and we watched Red Riding Hood and while, yes, it fails--particularly in the matter of casting, egregious casting--it had some redeeming qualities, we thought, chiefly its art direction and in that it tried to do some weird, different things (it missed and fell on its face, but it tried, and the intentions and gestures of that effort were interesting).

Very tired and rather full of sad, for various reasons, on return. But all is well.

There are only nine more days of the Clarion West Write-a-thon, only nine more days to sponsor me or some other lovely writer. (Also, eek there are only nine more days for me to finish this draft!)

storyrainthejournal: (owl&pussycat)
If I was in Portland, Maine I'd go to Frank Turek's open studio during Portland's First Friday Art Walk this Friday June 3, to see Frank's boxed assemblages and altered books. The open studio is 4-8pm, 142 High Street (The State Theater Building) room 323. Frank is an old friend of mine from college and his art is amazing--intricate, quirky, intelligent, full of beauty, wonder, slantwise wry commentary, and brilliance.

Sadly, I am in Austin, which is far away and really fucking hot.

Finished the revision of SUBSTRATE PHANTOMS and sent it back to agent. Now back to DEEP TERRAIN to finish the draft. Wading back in I am pleased that so far, my feeling is, hey, I like this book! 

Hella tired today; restless shallow dreaming all night. Plus brain still a bit friable from big revision finishing push over long weekend. This weekend, we nap.

Am happy to report, though, that fingers are actually getting better and, thanks to Canadian online pharmacies, and not our ridiculous American "health" care system, I won't go broke getting the medicine to keep from losing any of my digits.
storyrainthejournal: (renee french dog)

A story by my friend Katherine Hester, really one of the best writers I know: "Trafficking" is available in the Spring 2011 issue of  storySouth. Go. Read. (no, it's not SF/F, but her writing, so good)

storyrainthejournal: (fable)

Some difficult things in the last couple of days have been ameliorated by the kindness of awesome people, one friend, one stranger, and one family. So, although I was exhausted by the unhealing sores and pain in my fingers before I even got dressed this morning, and cried on the way in to the dayjob, there is a lot for which to be thankful, and I am.

Dear GOP/Tea Party/Corporate wealthy: perhaps the reason more of "mainstream" institutions and media don't reflect your "values," as you seem to think is the case, is because so many of your attitudes and values are hate, fear, and intolerance-based, are regressive, lacking in empathy, and would, frankly, be dangerously sociopathic if you were a person. (in reaction to something Mike Huckabee said on The Daily Show the other night)

I'm almost finished reading McKillip's The Bards of Bone Plain (I may have mentioned, mostly my only reading time is before bed, which means it takes me awhile to get through a book these days). Next up: Deathless, because I've been jonesing for the rest since reading the preview online weeks and weeks ago.

storyrainthejournal: (rouseau&cat)
My sister recommended this little New Yorker humor piece to me, Where I Live, by Amy Ozols. She said it made her think of me, which...I'm not sure...but that might be an insult. Usually my sister is the soul of kindness. hmph. (I only have three cats, I swear, and, and...oh...nevermind.)

I had scheduled last Thursday and Friday off, to spend a little time with a friend in town for the week, and also to not have to deal with driving home from work during the music portion of SXSW, which makes downtown (where I work) more or less impassable. Then I managed to develop my first cold in a year on Wednesday and went home sick.

Wednesday was the worst day, however, and timely application of Cold-Eze, by which, yes, I swear, and pushing liquids and hot lemon w/honey seems to have cleared the worst from system quickly. I managed all my social plans and otherwise napped a lot over the whole four days, which, you know, napping with cats: one of my favorite activities. Also read books and watched the first two discs of The Forsyte Saga, which I had never seen. And also cleaned and did the necessary devoir of life, so yay me. Alas, however, very little fic-writing took place. Will remedy that today, at some point in the dayjobbery.

The other very yay thing about the last four days is that two lovely friends, my usual Sunday writing date, moved into their new place in my neighborhood, which just rocks. I walked over there twice over the weekend to consult w/them on paint colors. Having friends in easy walking distance is like, awesome. Makes me very happy.

Did something make you happy over the last few days?
storyrainthejournal: (bookgirl)
Some wonderful things for your reading pleasure:

Tina Connolly's story As We Report to Gabriel now live at Fantasy Magazine!
Miss Smith the one-legged governess took Linnie to the kitchen, pulled the magnetic wand from the cupboard. Linnie’s shimmer fled, and I had to concentrate hard on holding my shape. I only had a hazy notion of what went on above me till the wand was put away and the shimmer of fairy dust settled over Linnie once again. “You’re clean, I guess,” said Miss Smith dolefully. “Talking about fairies is your father’s bad blood coming out in you. I’ll figure out exercises to correct that.”

J. Kathleen Cheney's Of Ambergris, Blood, and Brandy is up at Abyss & Apex:
The skin of the submersible groaned, an eerie sound to hear while trapped inside its metal body. Oriana pressed closer to the viewing window. She would rather be out there, in the water.

Set every few feet along the walls of the submersible’s viewing room, the white-painted casings of small round windows dripped water onto the fine teak decking, whether from leakage or condensation Oriana didn’t know. Even so, almost two dozen finely-dressed citizens of the Golden City pressed against those windows, straining to catch a glimpse of that great work of art, The City Under the Sea.


In other reading news, have begun to crave a Kindle. The free Kindle app for my iTouch induced me to get some books for it, but I don't like reading on the iTouch version, so now I want a Kindle to read the books that I bought in Kindle format. Oy. Smart barterds, Amazon.
storyrainthejournal: (contemplative)
For your pulptastic reading pleasure, the dramatic conclusion of Camille Alexa's "Particular Friends," at The Red Penny Papers.

I really don't like Christmas music, except for some traditional carols, classical music interpretations, and some (very few) more modern entries. In fact, scrooge it, the things I like about this season are so not-xmas as to make me a bit of a grinch. If it could just be pretty lights, no religion, no worst shades of red and green together ever, lots of good food and drink and time spent w/loved ones, arts & crafts and thrift-gifting, and no treacly didactic stories, that would be excellent. Season of pretty lights, winter solstice, love & food & making things.

Here's a preview of cover detail  for Three-Lobed Burning Eye's Annual, Vol 5, which will include my story "A Feather's Weight." 3LBE promises full cover and order details this Wednesday, Dec 1.

December 1 is, btw, the first day of Hannukah this year. Pretty lights! Latkes! mmmm...latkes... I will now retire to contemplate latkes and drool.

Oh, speaking of potatoes, one more link, 60 days eating nothing but potatoes, man lost weight, and his blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels went down. Of course, he didn't eat butter or sour cream either...
storyrainthejournal: (bookgirl)
The first issue of fiction journal Shadows and Tall Trees is available. This issue is limited edition, signed and numbered, and it comes with a one-of-a-kind personalized postcard from contributor Adam Golaski. Mike has a sharp eye for excellence in dark fantasy/horror/literary stories and theToC for this issue bears that out.
Camille Alexa's exceedingly engaging gender-roles bendy future Victoriana adventure tale,"Particular Friends," is being serialized at The Red Penny Papers. Episode 1 here   / Episode 2 here /Episode 3 here 

Episode 4 goes live this weekend, but Camille offers you a sneak peak here.

J.Kathleen Cheney has a new story up at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, a dark tale set in 1920s Paris, "Fleurs du Mal."

Martha Wells forthcoming novel, a draft of which I had the great pleasure of reading, The Cloud Roads, is orderable. And she's kindly provided you with a taste, here.
storyrainthejournal: (Default)

This, what [ profile] matociquala says here.

And from Nancy Springer's twitterfeed, many of you writers struggle with depression? I think creativity and depression go together... once you learn to spin it, depression need not be depressing. I mean, embrace it, use it, and it can be a friend. ...Art to me is turning pain into beauty. So cherish your depressing thoughts, welcome them in, and write.

Camille Alexa‘s story "Particular Friends," gender roles-bendy future steampunkish pulpy awesomeness, is being serialized at Red Penny Papers. Episode 1 has been up for a week or so, and Episode 2 will go live sometime today. "Mystery! Scandal! Secret messages! Tea cakes! Fall into the charming world of Camille Alexa's headstrong Mr. Jonathan deWinter and see what all the fuss is about..." With gorgeous art!

In part of the dreaming last night, riding in passenger side of car on epic journeying (that had included airship and water vessel and being hunted by bad dudes earlier), just looking out window at passing landscape and soaking in the beauty--of the light, the trees, colors and heft of the world, breathing it in and getting intoxicated. 

ETA:  Paperback books; I actually prefer them to hardbacks and the oversized paperbacks, lighter and easier for me to hold and read (I'm not afraid to crack a few spines).

storyrainthejournal: (Default)
Last night, a friend from college posted two old pictures of "friends from back then," two of which include me.


Exhibit A

A day or so earlier, another friend (from more current times), wrote, "Time was, it took a couple of weeks after your vacation before you had your vacation photos to bore all your friends with. Now you can do it while still on your vacation..." (Exhibit B)

Which got me thinking. First, about what might be lost in that transition--the savored lag time and re-celebration of one's experience, digging out the photo album years later and going through the pictures, all that tactile soma that the digital denies us. But, well, nostalgia, eh. Change is. Then I thought about the fact that the old joke--mostly a television trope, I believe--about being trapped in the neighbor/friend/relative's living room for their slide show about their latest vacation or missionary journey or family reunion no longer has any cultural ground. We're living in the slide show. It's a many-streamed slide show, variously shaded, as the Internet, as the world of humans, from brilliant, engage-able, lovely, to pompous, reprehensible, stupid--etc.
storyrainthejournal: (froggies)
First, a post I heart, combining a meditation on daily routine and appreciation of life by way of some novel writing process from the Sunburst-award winning A.M. Dellamonica. Plus a gorgeous example of one her photos of nature. Yum.

Second, today is book day for Beth Bernobich's Passion Play from TOR. She talks about the book here; you can read a preview here, and find a glowing review, here.

Had buckets of hail in the night. Scaramouch and Tinker: Halp! Halp! Fire! Flood! *run around in circles and bang into things* Poor wee-brained teenage kitties. Aristotle was in bed with me, not particularly fussed, though alert and keeping track of all the racket--both atmospheric and catly.

Happily there was some rain with the hail.

Dayjob has been busy, which puts a crimp in my writing progress, but the words continue to accrue...slowly. Maybe it's more of an accretion...

storyrainthejournal: (Default)

Over on Favorite Thing Ever, Alyx waxes praiseful about, among other things, Texas Monthly, and specifically, the excellent Pamela Colloff, who writes amazing in-depth articles that seek, largely, to shine a light on miscarriages of justice, forgotten victims, and ongoing states of injustice. What real investigative journalism is supposed to do.

Also, [ profile] kormantic posts about Flight of the Conchords there, too. And I second that emotion--I love Flight of the Conchords and reccommend it to anyone who likes funny, off-kilter, kind of gentle weirdness, with bonus bouncy/off-kilter music numbers.

Two cases of gadget fail lately, which I recount briefly for the edification of all: a Sanyo 2700 phone (to which I downgraded because I didn't want internettiness on my phone anymore) drops the sound from phone calls after a few seconds, even though it shows the call is still connected. Hello? Hello? 

And a Clear iSpot, which was supposed to provide WiFi at work and elsewhere to my iTouch. Fail fail fail, even after hours communicating with their tech people. Do not believe Clear's promises of ease and clarity of connection. Nope. And the fault is definitely their's.

I do love my iTouch, though. I just can't get online at the dayjob on it, which was partly the point, since dayjob blocks some sites, like YouTube...

I'm currently rereading a beloved gothic novel of my childhood, Mary Stewart's The Ivy Tree. Over the weekend I finally watched The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, and, though it's flawed, I enjoyed it a lot. I love that dark weird circus/sideshow stuff so much.

I promptly looked for and found a way to make the little puppet theater that features at the end of the movie.

I gave myself last Friday off for a long weekend, and it was a good one. Lots of words on DT written, several naps taken, much cat content and walks in the gorgeous weather. Yay!
storyrainthejournal: (Default)

Up today, another excellent entry in A.M. Dellamonica's Journeys series, wherein, with brief introduction, she invites an author to talk about their writing journey. This one is M.K. Hobson, whose excellent The Native Star will be out August 31. I've been enjoying this series a lot; there's a great deal of wit and wisdom--as one might expect--on offer here.

There's a lot of Mockingjay fervor right now; I'm not on that bus, since I haven't read any of the books yet. I believe everyone who says that they're great, but the synopsis descriptions never fired my imagination enough to compell me to read them... maybe because absolute dystopias have never been my favorite trope.

The books I'm waiting for both come out on Aug 31, The Native Star, as mentioned above (which I've read in ARC, but still want in final book form) and Blameless, the third of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate books.  I'll be hitting Book People for them September 1.

Nice essay on Inception, which unpacks and actually examines what I meant in my lazy-ass flash review, wherein I said it was a meditation on movie making as much, if not more than, on dreaming.
storyrainthejournal: (bookgirl)

Over on, as part of urban fantasy month, [ profile] planetalyx has a post on, to quote the author, the "intersections between magic and technology in urban fantasy and ecofantasy"-- Text me that hex, please? Kthxbai! It's a good read. And later this month, look for her urban fantasy story "The Cage"--a very super fun baby werewolf story that will close out's urban fantasy celebration.

Sometime back I wrote about an unpubbed novel ms I'd read that I loved so much--and how I could not understand why this book, and later its sequel, hadn't been bought yet. Well, they have! Hurrah! Now I can say, these are the wonderful Martha Wells' books, The Cloud Roads and sequel, The Serpent Sea. And now you'll be able to read them, too!
storyrainthejournal: (Default)
The summer issue of Brain, Child contains a story by the excellent Katherine Hester; I read a draft of this story and it's haunting. Pick up a copy of the magazine at places like Whole Foods or Barnes & Noble.

As noted in a few other places, Panverse Publishing has a new Kickstarter project that strikes me as a worthy cause. 

Big Bang Big Boom, the new stop-motion graffiti art project from the artist Blu, is pretty effing amazing.  

There are a lot of, like a kajillion, posts and tweets and bits of advice out there for the newbie writer, much of which info is common sense and good to listen on.

But what of the not-so-new writer who's suffered some disappointment, who's mid-career and, despite always having done their bestest and adhered to good sense and civility in relations with the publishing industry...just isn't getting the success they might long for?

One word, basically--if you, not-so-new writer must write, take joy in writing and crafting worlds and stories, one word: Persevere.

Crack yourself like an egg full of light, over and over, and just keep doing it, regardless.


storyrainthejournal: (Default)

April 2019

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