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Grist for the Mill: What America’s Next Top Model Can Teach You About Publishing

Posted by on Feb 16, 2015 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Grist for the Mill: What America’s Next Top Model Can Teach You About Publishing

After writing 9,000 words on Saturday and spending Sunday doing, well, everything else I don’t have time for during the week, I sat down Sunday night for some trashy TV. I was out of Pawn Stars and Swamp People and Storage Wars, so I opted for season 6 of America’s Next Top Model, which is just one step up from something like Road Rules or Honey Boo-Boo. One of the fascinating parts of this show for me on this go-round was noticing, again, how blatantly these young women are developed as grist for a mill. Just like the popstar DIY kit in...

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It’s Always Been Awful Under the Boot: On the Fatigue of Everyday Horror

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in Assumptions | 0 comments

It’s Always Been Awful Under the Boot: On the Fatigue of Everyday Horror

In May of 1921, a group of vigilantes burned down a wealthy community in Tulsa, Oklahoma over the course of about 16 hours. More than 800 people were admitted to local hospitals and police arrested and detained more than 6,000 people. The riots left 10,000 homeless and destroyed 35 city blocks. Up to 300 people died during those 16 hours. But you don’t hear about this 16 hours of madness in any history book – inside Tulsa or outside it. There were no camera phones. No Twitter. Not even a fax machine. The event was purposefully omitted from...

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All Together Now: Building a More Pragmatic SFF Conversation

Posted by on Feb 5, 2015 in The F Word | 0 comments

All Together Now: Building a More Pragmatic SFF Conversation

I’ve been thinking a bit about the “generational divide” among feminists in SFF in particular, though I have a post I want to write about Tumblr feminism as well that will go into this more in-depth. There’s the camp that says we’re all overreacting, that things aren’t so bad, and were never bad at all, that they never experienced any harassment or any bias against their work because they were women so they can’t see the issue, and then there’s the camp with the long and exhausting stories of industry sexism, writing under male...

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Life on 10,000 Words a Day: How I’m Hacking My Writing Process   

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

Life on 10,000 Words a Day: How I’m Hacking My Writing Process   

I’ve talked before about how I don’t write every day. This idea blows the minds of some folks who follow me on Twitter during the long marches right up before deadline, when I’m updating them with insane word counts while weeping into my whisky and mourning extravagant character deaths. But the reason I binge write – and, in fact, the reason it’s often necessary – is because I’ve tried writing every day many, many times before in my twenty years putting words onto pages, and I find it absurdly painful to write a book that way. I...

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What I Get Paid For My Novels: Or, Why I’m Not Quitting My Day Job

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

What I Get Paid For My Novels: Or, Why I’m Not Quitting My Day Job

In the spirit of honesty and transparency that’s often sorely lacking in the literary world, here’s what I’ve been paid for my novels for the last 7 years. Many of you don’t realize I’ve had writing contracts for 7 years! That’s because the first contract I ever signed was canceled. They paid it out anyway. But it was nearly three more years before those books saw print, so my professional writing career didn’t start until 2011.   Needless to say, I’ve had a day job this entire time because I like money and...

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Books You Should Be Pre-Ordering

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Bookery | 0 comments

Books You Should Be Pre-Ordering

It’s 2015 folks, and hot damn, does time fly. One of the fabulous things about being an author is that I get to see some books early, and tell you about THE BEST ONES. Plenty of studies tell me not to talk about these books before you can click BUY NOW HOLD IN MY HOT HANDS. But I know how important pre-orders are to first-week sales for authors and their success. PLUS I know how awesome you feel when you’re the first to buy something that EVERYONE will be talking about and you can be like, “Yeah, I pre-ordered that shit before it was...

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So You Think You Finished a Novel…

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

So You Think You Finished a Novel…

I completed all the chapters in my latest novel, EMPIRE ASCENDANT, last night. It’s the fourteenth book I’ve written, but just the fifth that will be published. There’s a reason I had to write so many trunked novels that will never see the light of day before I wrote ones that did: I don’t have a natural gift for this, folks. I’m not a genius. I’m here, now, through a combination of very hard work and luck. Oh, I enjoy writing. I have a mad imagination some days. I can crap out words all day, and I did, as a kid, and I can,...

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On Being Too Smart and Assertive in the Workplace

Posted by on Jan 23, 2015 in Tippery | 0 comments

On Being Too Smart and Assertive in the Workplace

I’ve been blessed with some pretty great bosses in my time, folks who recognized that having somebody smart on the team who got things done made them look good, and meant they did less work because, you know, I was doing it. But, being a woman in the workplace, it was inevitable that some boss, somewhere, was going to go after me for being smart and assertive. In truth, being smart and assertive has gotten me into a few pickles, it’s true. I once told the President of a company I worked for exactly what I thought of an executive decision...

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I Never Saved Anything for the Swim Back

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in The Writing Life | 0 comments

I Never Saved Anything for the Swim Back

In the film Gattaca, a young man born with what its dystopian society considered “undesirable” genetic disadvantages manages to fleece the system and rise up through the ranks of its elite astronaut corps. When confronted by his brother about how he’d done it, the young man likens it to the swimming races they had as kids. The young man always won, though his brother was fitter, and stronger. How did he do it? How did he make his way through the ranks of the astronaut corps? The same way he won the races: “I never saved anything for...

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Award Season Boogie: What’s Up for 2014 Noms

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Awards | 0 comments

Award Season Boogie: What’s Up for 2014 Noms

It seems it’s that time of year again, when we remind folks what exactly we wrote last year, what we thought rocked from other people last year, and what’s eligible for what-what, etc. And before I get pummeled with tomatoes for saying, “Hey, here’s some stuff I enjoyed this year!” I’ll note the suggestions below are just what I read and liked this year, or suggestions of things that may have been overlooked as folks go scrambling for the latest Hot New Thing. YMMV. It’s a free country! Vote for what...

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