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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Another Day Another Dollar

My long weekend came and went. And look, I’m still here.

Not much going on in the real world — Kerry actually has a VP that I might have considered voting for alone, so in tandem, well… (the election this year — as in the last whirlwind around — is a “lesser of two evils” contest populated by Old White Men. Still. How does this happen?). I love how Bush and Kerry are being toted as “down home” rich old boys, which they are. Nobody’s even trying to pretend to be a real person anymore. They have young children wandering around, like a brood of Young Kennedys. Ah, America.

Things I’m more interested in?

Legalized prostitution in Berkley

How to write a Bestselling Fantasy Novel (it’s all true)

Thoughts on Ugly Women

And… I’ve got a whole list of fem history stuff I need to post from another terminal. Catch ya in a few.

Black Russians

It’s the beginning of a four-day weekend.

Sitting here sipping black russians, going over agent query letters. Things at the day job are fantastic. Looks like I might be moving into writing bid proposals, which is a fantastic step. I’m excited.

Life is fantastic. I am blessed.

Enjoy every minute.

A Fun Little Drug Addict

One of my favorite new characters for my latest novel, Over Burning Cities is Saronia. I wanted to make a POV character out of a drug whore — and make her a “hero” in the classic sense, as opposed to a villain. She’s going to be lots of fun:

Chapter Three: Songan

Saronia Chazhis Anaar stepped off the Shardin Rose and into the tepid heat of an Arnaldian afternoon. She pulled her hat down over her eyes and spit a bloody pulp of sen on the planking at her feet. She squinted up at the sprawl of the reeking harbor, and decided there were far worse places an outcast novice could end up. She could be dead, for instance.

She stood around with a rude cluster of Gift-less Drakes, terrible specimens, all; skinny, spotty, sickly, with the glazed look and hunched posture of sheep.

“Have you seen any Arnaldians before?” one of the twittering nitwits next to Saronia asked, nodding out at the buzz of male bodies plowing around the docks. His eyes were wide.

“Met one,” Saronia said, “never fucked one.” She crammed another pinch of sen leaves into her mouth. Her fingers were numb.

The boy twittered away, just as well. Saronia had done some rumor work at the Wayfarer Inn before she headed out. Her and her sisters had spent the winter sitting out on the pier all day smoking Thordonian cigarettes and plying sailors with free drinks. The sailors would spend more, later, once they’d loosened their tongues and trousers. From what she gathered of Arnaldia, it wouldn’t be much different than any place else. It might be better than Khindarak, even, for someone like her. Women were bartered around a bit like herd animals, but every shepherd had his favorite sheep, as the Coris said, snickering over their beer in the evenings, and she could wear a sheep’s skin for as long as she needed to hide the wolf underneath.

Boxing Stance

So, I’ve been working on learning how to box for about four weeks now. There’s been some learning, but it’s not quick, and it’s not easy. I chose boxing because I liked the raw power of it. It’s brutal as opposed to beautiful. It’s taken me a long time to get used to the fact that I’ll never be a delicate, fine-boned creature — so instead, I’m conspiring to be an even more intimidating one.

I’ll be beginning sparring next week, which should be cool. I have an aversion to hitting people — I’m always afraid I’ll hurt some one, or worse; I’m afraid I’ll *like* hurting someone. Getting hit has never been a concern. I don’t mind taking hits. I don’t mind blood or pain or any of that. I’m afraid I’ll knock somebody down who won’t get up again.

Suffice to say, however, that I expect to be getting my ass kicked for the next six months. Hurting other people shouldn’t be an issue.

Query Letters

Query letters, I’ve decided, are the bane of my existence. I hate them. I hate marketing. I think it’s ridiculous. I think that people should magically get paid to do things they’re passionate about.

Unfortunatley, I’ve been told, mostly, it doesn’t work that way.

After a 1 to 8 interest to flat rejects for my last round of agent query letters, I’m totally rewriting it again.

Lynn Flewelling has a good sample up, but it’s tough to find good ones for SF/F work. Most of the ones I’ve found online are for romance, crime lit, or non-fiction work.

As it is…

Wow. Blogger rocks.

Welcome to my blogspace.

The Death of Alternate History SF?

An interesting conversation about the dearth of female interest in alternate history SF and the lack of female writers/judges of Alt. History SF. Leguin, in one of her essays in her latest collection, A Wave in the Mind also discusses some interesting issues that come up when a primarily female jury is given leave to choose “best” works by male and female writers. When the female-dominated prize jury gave women the top three spots, they realized they would have to bump of them out and insert a male author, at risk of being seen as a “feminist cabal” (David Brin’s term — in conversation). It appears that male juries have no such fears.

A Conversation with KJ Bishop

KJ Bishop is doing some really, really interesting stuff. Her book, The Etched City, has now been sold three times: TOR UK, Prime, and now Spectra is coming out with a bigger print run/new cover edition in December. If you like plotless writing that brings you somewhere alien, with disagreeable but fascinating characters, Buy This Book. Buy copies for friends. Track down the rest of her stuff.

Excerpts of Jeff Vandermeer’s Latest Available

Jeff Vandermeer. I read the first couple pages of his short story Dradin, In Love, and very nearly swooned. It’s been a long time since a writer did that. In fact, I can’t think of a writer who got me swooning quite so quickly quite so effectively. He’s funny and brutal — with Vandermeer, you may not know where you’re going, but you always know it’s going to be strange and wonderful.

The Obesity Myth: Another Scape Goat

Don’t worry about “the last twenty pounds.” You’ll live longer by keeping them, and getting more exercise. Don’t let consumer culture tell you otherwise.