Jan 29
2015

Space Opera Slice-Of-Life Serial, Updates Twice A Month

cropped-Intertwined-Lives-Patreon-logo1

 

Ever wondered what heroes do when they’re not saving the day?  Or what life is like for ordinary people in a place and time where going somewhere 100 light years away is just a couple hours trip?  Click the image above then!

Posted in Intertwined Lives | Leave a comment
May 19
2015

Who is your audience?

Today I decided to lurk in a writing group I used to regularly post in.  I quit posting there because I seriously didn’t fit in.  First of all, it was one of those places where everyone lauds each other for being “so brave” to have published anything in the first place before giving criticisms that feel apologetic for having found anything to criticize.  Really, it was like having your book critiqued by Magrat from the Discworld books, whereas I’d prefer a more Granny Weatherwax approach.  Also, I have issues with the whole “it’s so brave just to put your work out there!” meme, but I can’t articulate those right now.  But that wasn’t my main problem with the group.  My main problem was that they were all so caught up in the structure.  They were all worried about things like “I introduce my main character on page two instead of right off, is that okay?” and “I don’t hit the first major turning point of my story until three-quarters of the way through the first book, is that okay?” and other stuff like that that I’ve never known a reader, as opposed to another author who is also steeped in the thou-shalls and thou-shall-nots of modern writing culture, to ever notice.

Today on this group I saw something that really made me stop and wonder who the fuck people are writing for any more.  It was an article about not using “filter words”.  These area words like “realized” and “felt” that “distance your reader from your viewpoint character.”   It was, really, just a different way of putting that blasted “show, don’t tell!” misunderstanding that it’s always better to have a character’s actions reflect things than to just say them.

Here’s the thing:  As a reader, if I feel distant from the character, it’s not because of the author’s word choice.  It’s because the character never felt real.  As a reader, if a book doesn’t hit a major turning point until three-quarters of the way through, I only care if the reason it didn’t was that the story had way too much mundane detail (which is so fucking common a thing right now because of that blasted “show, don’t tell” misunderstanding).  As a reader . . . Anne of Green Gables is one of my most favorite books ever.  Anne isn’t introduced until the second chapter.  By today’s writing “rules”, especially those hewn to like law by self-published and as yet unpublished authors hoping to find the magic formula for success, that alone makes it a horrible book.

I don’t obey all of those “rules”.  In No More Lies, there are times when I use ~gasp~ adverbs after “said” rather than show Bobby’s actions.  Why?  Because there are times when that’s the right thing to do.  Because I’m writing for people who want to read a book about a ninja/spy/assassin who has Wisdom as his dump stat trying to adapt to normal life, not for other authors, or professional reviewers, or anyone else who’s primary interest isn’t in the story, but is in the technical crafting of it.  Because it doesn’t matter how technically perfect a story is if the narrative sucks, if the characters are uninteresting, if, in short, the story is bad.  Remember, writing is as much, if not more, an art than a craft.  There is no magic formula.  The rules were made by other authors, and you shouldn’t be writing just for them.

(Forgive disjointedness in this, please.  One of my shift keys is not working quite right and it was very distracting.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
May 14
2015

Screw it

The regular Progress Report post scheduled for this week might appear later today, or it might appear next week, or I might just skip it.  I just spent twenty minutes writing it only for it to not only fail to post, but fail to have autosaved as I typed it like it’s supposed to.  So I’d have to totally start over.  As it’s mostly a post for me, I don’t feel like redoing it all right now.  If you were, for some weird reason, totally looking forward to it, sorry.

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May 14
2015

Short Story: The Scepter of Poultrini

English: CTU in Prague Rector’s scepter Česky:...

English: CTU in Prague Rector’s scepter Česky: Žezlo rektora ČVUT v Praze (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chuck Wendig issues flash fiction challenges on his blog on Fridays.  Last week’s was one where you had to randomly pick two sub-genres and mix them together in a story.  I got comic fantasy and technothriller.

The day before, courtesy of Tabletop, I’d discovered the awesome looking rpg Fiasco (I say awesome looking because I haven’t actually gotten to play it yet).  I used the Dragon Slayers playset to generate the characters used in this.

I think I did much better at the comic fantasy part than the technothriller, but I tried, and besides, I haven’t read a technothriller in about twenty years.

The story:

We were picking through the ogres’ hoard, having already looted their bodies, when Clyde suddenly called out, “Look what I found!”

He had a yard long scepter in his hand, silvery colored with lots of protuberances and a big red gem on top.  I’d never seen anything like it.  “Clyde, maybe you should give that here,” I said as I reached for it.

“No!”   His eyes flashed with anger.  “I found it, and I’m going to use it!”

“You don’t even know what it does, lad” Arvanak said, his accent still thick despite how many decades had passed since we’d been kicked — since we’d left our homeland, I mean.

“Neither does Sevenat, but you still would let him have it,” Cissi said snidely, taking her brother’s side as always.

“Lass, Sev has the good sense not to use . . . what’s that sound?”  An ominous buzz was now coming from the scepter.

Clyde smiled.  “I think I’ve figured this thing out.”  A blast of bright red something arced through the air as he swung the scepter, narrowly missing my head.

“All right.  Enough playing around.”  I again reached out to take it from him.  He pushed and twisted and pulled on various bits and suddenly the gem at the top had turned bright green.  A green glowing halo slowly formed around it.

Arvanak and I looked at each other.  It couldn’t be, could it?  We both ran for him, trying to tackle him and grab the dreaded device before he could blast anyone with it.

The blast caught is in the air.  After a moment of horrendous pain I was much, much smaller and covered in yellow and green feathers.  When I tried to speak, all that came out was a squawk.  I looked around for Arvanak and finally found him, a purple and green chicken pecking at Clyde’s legs.

“Oh no oh no oh no!”  Clyde panicked.  “That wasn’t supposed to happen!  I thought this was . . . a red gem that turns green when you use the right combination, that’s the Scepter of Carraxi, right?  You two should’ve . . . you’re not supposed to be chickens!”

If I ever returned to being a dwarf, the adventuring company would be looking for a new wizard, that was for sure.  I didn’t want someone beside me in a fight who’d tried to use a weapon like that on me.  I was a bit glad he’d, hell, we’d because I’d thought it was nasty old Carraxi’s scepter too, been wrong.  Being a chicken was inconvenient, but fixing that was just a matter of finding a competent wizard.  Being an automaton forever bound to Clyde’s whim, with no known cure, would’ve been much worse.

Cissi smiled evilly.  “Well, brother, looks like all of this loot is ours now.  Throw the chickens in a bag — they should make a good dinner — and let’s gather as much as we can carry and get out of here.”

I’m sure that would’ve been the end of Arvanak and me if Clyde and Cissi hadn’t been stupid enough to use the damned scepter in town.  Two annoying people turned into chickens and one blasted to gods’ only know where by that red ray later, they were in jail and the local wizard had a sleepless night de-chickening four people.

He’s my company’s wizard now.  He’s good with polymorph spells, which comes in more handy than you would think, especially about two years later when we did find Carraxi’s scepter and there were all these . . . you know what?  That’s another story for another day.

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May 04
2015

Five Star Reviews — Love or Lust by Jaye Edgecliff

This book is not the sort I’d ordinarily be interested in at all.  In fact, I first read the rough draft only out of a sense of obligation . . . the author is my best friend, so I have to read her stuff, right?

I loved it.

It’s a teen romance that managed to draw me in and keep me interested.  Teen romance usually ranks somewhere around Neonazi propaganda in my opinion.  So me liking this novel is not far short of a miracle.

The description, via Goodreads:

18137398

The first installment of Now & Forever.

It’s a week before her freshman year when Lauren Conners is thinking, for what feels like the billionth time, of breaking up with her boyfriend of the past couple of years. In a seeming answer to her fervent prayers for guidance she looks up into the hypnotic eyes of the quiet little Washington town’s exotic, dark, and alluring new addition.

The two fall immediately for one another when their eyes meet. But Lauren can’t be sure – is this love at first sight? An answer from God to her prayer for guidance? Or is this simply lust as she wrestles with newborn passions and desires for the beautiful creature that has entered her life?

The relationship is fraught with other issues on top of the poor young ballerina’s internal and spiritual uncertainty: the two attend the best school in the area, a private school, Immaculate Conception, a Catholic school Lauren has attended since she was in sixth grade and where she has a reputation as a pious, studious, bright, Good Girl. So … what’s the problem here? Oh, her newfound love (or is it lust?) is a girl.

My review:

The story is exactly as described in the description. The two high school freshmen fall in love at first sight, and the book is about them questioning whether it’s really love or if it’s just lust and the complications they experience at things like a school dance due to being homosexual.

One of the things I liked the most about it was that most of the problems between the girls stemmed not from things like lusting after others or any of the other typical romance novel clichés, instead 99% of their problems stemmed from simply misunderstanding what the other meant. It reminded me of a romantic comedy, which, as far as I know, doesn’t tend to be a WRITTEN genre.

There are things about it that may make it wrong for some people: Both sets of parents are rather open-minded even where their children’s sex lives are concerned, and the girls are more mature acting than many, but by no means all, real world 14-year-olds. And a little bit of suspension of disbelief might be necessary to deal with just how quickly they fall in love — but I think this is handled well since the girls themselves question it.

All in all, a very good book, and I eagerly await book two.

I’ve since read book two and given it five stars as well.  It wasn’t as good as the first one — it probably was more of a 4.5 — but it was still really good.

Comments are still most likely not working for boring, technical reasons. If you want to contact me, email to shannon@universal-nexus.com is probably the best way.

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Apr 26
2015

The author is not your bitch

The fans are all upset. They’re always going to be upset. Why did he do it like this? And why didn’t he do it like this? They write their own movie, and then, if you don’t do their movie, they get upset about it.

This quote was very much on my mind today as I read reviews and comments on the newest issue of GI Joe:  A Real American Hero.  You see, a major character was just killed off.  Fans have known for months he was going to be killed off because in one of the dumbest marketing moves ever the arc is titled “The Death of Snake Eyes.”  (Sorry if that’s a spoiler for anyone, but I assume the overlap in my readership and Real American Hero fans is myself.  It’s not exactly a popular comic.)  Fans have, of course, been speculating about how he was going to die.

No one got it right.  (Personally, I thought how he did die was a lot more fucking awesome than any of the fan theories anyway.)

So, naturally, the author is a horrible, horrible person who should’ve listened to his fans.  I mean, that’s just logic, right?

No, actually.  It’s not.  There’s this nice little quote from Neil Gaiman that floats around fandom that’s applicable here, even if the context was different in his original post, “George R. R. Martin is not your bitch.”  (And here is his post set to music:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6a1y1pc-GQ, found while trying to make sure I had the quote right.)  For Martin, replace any creator.

You see, when you buy a comic or a book or a movie or whatever, you’re not purchasing part of the creator’s soul.  You’re just buying a product they made.  You have no right to tell them what they have to do next.  I have very definite ideas about what I’d do right now if I was the author of Real American Hero, but I’m not; Larry Hama is, so what he wants is what happens.  I suppose I could start a fan campaign to convince IDW to tell him to write what I want, but what’s the point in that?  That just makes me an entitled bitch.  If I don’t like what he writes, that’s what fanfic is for.  If I really don’t like it, then I’ll quit reading.

Because, you see, at the end of the day, it’s not all about you.  Most creative people who are really good at what they do are creating first for themselves.  Yeah, some of them can jump through hoops to write what will sell best and still come out with something good.  Most of us can’t though.  I could write a teen dystopian sci-fi, I have no doubt.  And, yeah, it’d sell more than this unholy combination of a romance, action-adventure, and coming-of-age story that I’m revising right now.  But those sales wouldn’t be as long lasting, because the story wouldn’t be as good.  It’d sell now, while it’s trendy, and that’s it.

Remember when every fucking book in the YA section was a Harry Potter knockoff?  How many of those are still in print?  See my point?

Now, I’m not saying you can’t bitch about it when an author takes a work in what you consider the wrong direction.  I’m, as I said, less than thrilled with some of Hama’s creative decisions of late.  I have voiced these opinions on IDW’s forums.  But I was just venting to my fellow fans, not trying to dictate what he should do next to fix it.  Also, as I said, I have opinions about what would happen next if I was writing it.  Obviously I’d like it if these events happened, but if they don’t, oh well.  The author is not obligated to do what I want.

“But what about the author’s contract with the reader?” you ask?  What about it?  The contract is simple:  You exchange money, you get story.  You have no more guarantee than that.  Quality is not assured.  Oh, sure, you can have general expectations that should be met . . . if it says military sci-fi on the spine there should be some military stuff in there, if it says romance there better be a love story, things like that.  But even those aren’t the author’s fault if they’re not there, generally.  Usually it’s because someone in marketing did something stupid.  Or, in the case of indie publishers, the website switched your story to another genre for no fucking reason (I know someone who’s children’s stories were suddenly listed as erotica on Kobo!)  So, really, it is a simple as “Pay for product, get product.”

It’s not “Pay for product, get say in next product”, nor “Pay for product, get say in when next product is coming out”, nor “Pay for product, dictate changes to product.”  Nope, it’s “pay for product, get product”, same as with everything else.  If you buy a dish at a restaurant, you don’t get to tell the chef what else to cook.  If you buy a computer, you don’t get to tell the manufacturer what features to put in the next model.  Why do people treat books and the like differently?

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Apr 20
2015

Progress Report

Instead of listing all my works-in-progress and getting depressed by how many I haven’t worked on in ages, this year I am instead updating how far I’ve come on the to do list I posted at the beginning of the year . . . with new items being added because I’m great at making plans, but suck at sticking to them . . . and with changes made because of the same reason.  Asterisks mark things added or changed before this update, but after the initial list.

April started out excellently on the editing side, with me nearly hitting my target goal for the month in the first week; the writing side started rather well too, if not as amazingly so. Alas, anxiety over stupid shit got the better of me and I lost a week to it.  I’m pretty sure I’ll make my editing goal again this month, but not so sure about the writing one.

  • Edit my wife’s story she wants to submit to Queers Destroy Science Fiction, if she decides she wants to expand it.  DONE
  • Submit it for her.  DONE, REJECTED
  • Finish editing my own story for Queers Destroy Science Fiction.  DONE
  • Submit it.  DONE, REJECTED
  • *Edit Jake thingy inspired by annoying bit in book I was reading. DONE
  • *Submit it to Queers Destroy Science Fiction too, since it’s flash fiction instead of a short story.  DONE, REJECTED
  • *Alternate between writing Forbidden Love Version 2Intertwined Lives, Dangers of the Past, and editing No More Lies and Intertwined Lives, not becoming slavishly devoted to any one work, but keeping in mind and tracking my monthly word count goals.  UPDATE:  So far this month all of my writing has been on Dangers of the Past, but I have gotten some of both No More Lies and Intertwined Lives edited.
  • *Maintain schedule of editing and posting a chapter of Intertwined Lives every other Tuesday. DOING SO FAR
  • *Once have enough word count/regular installments to do so, submit Intertwined Lives to webfictionguide.com.  DONE, APPROVED.
  • *Submit Intertwined Lives to Muse’s Success.  DONE, APPROVED
  • *Remember to use the #TuesdaySerial hashtag on twitter when announcing each week’s chapter.  DOING SO FAR
  • *Submit Jake thingy to Clarkesworld.  DONE, REJECTED
  • *Submit wife’s story to Strange Horizons.  DONE, REJECTED
  • *Submit own story to Strange Horizons.  DONE, REJECTED
  • *Submit “The Traitor” (formerly known as “Jake thingy”) to Daily Science Fiction DONE, REJECTED
  • *If Strange Horizons rejects my story, submit it to Asimov’s.  WAITING, CONSIDERING NOT DOING.
  • *Edit wife’s fantasy story.  DONE
  • *Submit wife’s fantasy story to that anthology.  DECIDED AGAINST AS WAS OVER TWICE THE PREFERRED WORD COUNT
  • Publish No More Lies.
  • Devote a month to marketing it.  Just a month.  No more.  After that, it’ll sink or swim on its own.
  • *Alternate between writing Forbidden Love Version 2, Intertwined Lives, Dangers of the Past, and editing the leytgeleshi short story collection, with the same caveats as above.
  • Write remaining leytgeleshi stories.
  • *Alternate between writhing Forbidden Love Version 2, Intertwined Lives, Dangers of the Past, and editing the Dagger short story collection, with the same caveats as above.
  • Write remaining Dagger stories.
  • Edit remaining leytgeleshi stories.
  • Publish leytgeleshi story collection.
  • Devote a week to marketing it.  It’s going to be a free short story collection (or 99 cents, I can’t recall what we agreed on now.)  There’s no sense in devoting a lot of time to marketing it.
  • Edit remaining Dagger stories.
  • Publish Dagger story collection.
  • Devote a week to marketing it.  See above for why only a week.
  • *Alternate writing Forbidden Love Version 2, Intertwined Lives, and Dangers of the Past.
  • *Edit Forbidden Love Version 2
  • *Publish Forbidden Love Version 2
  • *Devote a week to marketing it.  It’s probably not going to be very long or very serious, so there’s no sense in putting much time or effort into selling it.  I’m writing it mostly for my own amusement, after all.
  • *Edit Dangers of the Past
  • *Publish Dangers of the Past.
  • *Devote a month to marketing it.
  • *Write rpg book.  HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING MORE THAN DISCUSS A COUPLE OF THINGS LATELY.

Word count for April so far:

Written: 3546/10000

Edited: 7106/10000

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Apr 13
2015

Five star reviews — Oath of the Brotherhood

I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.  I didn’t realize when I won it that it was Christian fantasy.  When I found out it was, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like it . . . most Christian fiction I’ve read has been preachy enough that I would’ve found it annoying even if I shared the beliefs it espoused.  I needn’t have worried.

The description, via Goodreads:

19156338

In a kingdom where the Old Ways hold fast and a man’s worth lies entirely in his skill with the sword, Conor Mac Nir is a scholar, a musician, and a follower of the forbidden Balian faith: problematic for any man, but disastrous for the son of the king.When Conor is sent as a hostage to a neighboring kingdom, he never expects to fall in love with the rival king’s sister, Aine. Nor does he suspect his gift with the harp (and Aine’s ability to heal) touches on the realm of magic. Then his clan begins a campaign to eliminate all Balians from the isle of Seare, putting his newfound home in peril and entangling him in a plot for control of the island that has been unfolding since long before his birth.Only by committing himself to an ancient warrior brotherhood can Conor discover the part he’s meant to play in Seare’s future. But is he willing to sacrifice everything–even the woman he loves–to follow the path his God has laid before him?

My review:

This was the best book I’ve read so far this year.

It’s honestly hard to review because I keep wanting to say “I love this part!” and “I love this other part!” and that’s not really helpful for potential readers. So I’ll try my best to elaborate on some of the things I loved without giving spoilers:

First, the characters. Conor and Aine are perfectly belieavable. The way they grow up over the course of the book feels very realistic. The villain is delightfully creepy. All of the characters are so distinct and well-written that I may have cried a bit when some died.

Second, the language. There were some wonderful metaphors, a particular favorite of mine was “like putting a collar on a warhorse and calling it a hunting dog”. The way the narrative itself was written was captivating, so much so that I kept having to force myself to put the book down to go do other things that needed done.

Third, the setting. I’ve read a lot of fantasy. This is the best “Celtic-but-not” setting I’ve ever encountered. It was familiar while still clearly it’s own place. And I dearly loved how well it showed a woman’s place in such a society without villifying or glamourizing it.

Fourth, the themes. The power of music and stories. The importance of trusting God’s plan. These are powerful ideas in any society, even ours, that were well handled in this book.

And, finally, the story itself. I can’t remember the last time I was surprised positively so many times by plot twists. Even when I could predict what was going to happen, it tended to unfold differently than expected. The parallel stories of Conor, Aine, and the war were all intermingled very well, and the tension and pacing were pretty much perfect.

Oh, and mustn’t forget the pronunciation guide at the back. That was very helpful, and I may steal the idea for my own fantasy novels, assuming they ever move past the vague ideas stage.

In short, this was a wonderful book, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

I received this book through a Goodreads’ First Reads giveaway.

It didn’t stay the best book I read last year.  That honor goes to The Name of the Wind, which I’ll be posting my review of around the end of July if all goes according to schedule.  But it was still a very, very good book and I’m still planning to get and read the sequel.

Comments aren’t working right at the moment for boring, technical reasons, so if you wish to contact me . . . oh, grand, looks like that page isn’t working either.  My email address is shannon@universal-nexus.com, if you have anything you’d normally say in a blog comment you wish for me to see.  Sorry about any inconvenience.

And, as usual, sorry this is a day late.

 

Posted in Kingkiller Chronicles praise, Reviews | Tagged | Leave a comment
Apr 05
2015

Diversity in SF

For those of you reading this who may not know it, there’s been a big deal made in the past few years over diversity in science fiction and fantasy, both in the authors and in the characters.

It confuses the fuck out of me that this needs to be an issue.  SF is about possibilities, it’s about “what if”s.  It should be the easiest place for people who aren’t cis-gendered straight white men to find people like themselves, seems to me . . . because in any future or fantasy world I’d want to spend any time in, the prejudices society has today wouldn’t exist.

SF is written by and for geeks.  We’ve spent our whole lives, those of us who were geeks before being a geek was cool, being teased and mocked for our interests . . . or at least being made to feel awkward.  (I remember a teacher once seeing the Star Trek novel in my hand and saying, “You like stuff like that?” in a tone I’d reserve for someone reading something by Ann Coulter.  A teacher.  You’d think they’d just be happy to see someone reading.)  Yet there are those among us who don’t think women belong, who don’t think people of color belong, who don’t think anyone who’s not heterosexual belongs.  I just don’t fucking get it.

And then there are those who think those of us who aren’t cis straight white men do belong . . . provided we stay in our own little niche.  Women can write sci-fi romance, but by God they shouldn’t write regular sci-fi.  I’ve actually seen the claim, in reviews, that “women just don’t understand science the way men do.”  And that women can’t write fight scenes or military sci-fi and . . . well, basically that women should stick to writing romance and cozy mysteries.  Yes, this is still the twenty-first century, you haven’t somehow landed in an alternate 1950s where they already have the internet.

I’ve been lucky, so far.  As far as I know none of my negative reviews have been because of my gender, sexuality, religion, etc. The closest thing to prejudice I’ve encountered is a reviewer or two who had narrow-minded views of what constituted science fiction.  (Here’s my feelings on that:  spaceships and robots = science fiction, even if there are pirates and swords and a section inspired by the many dungeon crawls I’ve run) And yet time and again I find myself wondering if my sales, especially given that two of my three published works sort of quality as military sf, would be better if my first name wasn’t normally a female name.  I also wonder if they’d be even worse if my name wasn’t also, if far less commonly, a male name.  I hate this.  I hate that I even have to think about this.  This is the twenty-first fucking century.  And there are still people who don’t want to read a book because the author uses a different bathroom than they do.

I know I’m lucky that I’m just a bi, pagan, woman.  It could be worse.  I could be non-white or disabled.  Then even less people would want to read my stuff.  I just cannot fucking understand this!

And then there’s the matter of characters . . . it’s entirely possible that some people don’t want to read my books because I’m so very casual about, say, Lyndsey having both a husband and a wife.  This, according to some people, is the author forcing an agenda on them instead of just entertaining them.  Personally, I see more of an agenda when everybody in a work is straight and monogamous, even the aliens.  (Or elves or whatever, if that’s more your cup of tea.)  If I ever made it clear in something besides this blog post that Lyndsey’s wife is a different race than her, my gods, I’m clearly just trying to appeal to the politically correct/social justice warrior crowd or, worse, am part of that crowd!  I mean, it couldn’t possibly be that I think a culture that’s been around since we here on Earth were still figuring out whether or not fire should be nasally fitted has long since gotten over worrying about things like skin tone and what people do with their genitals.  Or, you know, that I don’t personally think those are a big fucking deal so am not going to make them one in my fiction.  Which I guess that does make me part of that crowd, to a certain extent.  But trust me, I’m not writing to promote an agenda.  If I was, I’d choose someone other than Lyndsey to represent bisexuals.  The buxom blonde who fucks anything that moves is not exactly who you’d want to use in a work that was trying to make a serious point about bisexuals.

My characters have the traits they do because they have the traits they do. If I’m trying to make any point at all, if I’m trying to promote any agenda at all, it’s this very simple one:  It shouldn’t matter what your sexuality, religion, skin color, gender identity, etc. are.    If this makes me part of some cabal of social justice warriors out to ruin science fiction and fantasy forever, oh well.  It needs ruining if it’s not a place where that’s true.

Now, a video that I dearly love, even though I’m sad this song had cause to be made:

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Mar 29
2015

Progress Report

Instead of listing all my works-in-progress and getting depressed by how many I haven’t worked on in ages, this year I am instead updating how far I’ve come on the to do list I posted at the beginning of the year . . . with new items being added because I’m great at making plans, but suck at sticking to them.  And changes made because of the same reason.  Asterisks mark things added before this update, but after the initial list.

March is going excellently on the editing front, unfortunately most of the word count has been a short story of my wife’s instead of No More Lies.  On the writing front, well, I seem to be on target to hit my minimum goal for the first time this year, at least.

  • Edit my wife’s story she wants to submit to Queers Destroy Science Fiction, if she decides she wants to expand it.  DONE
  • Submit it for her.  DONE, REJECTED
  • Finish editing my own story for Queers Destroy Science Fiction.  DONE
  • Submit it.  DONE, REJECTED
  • *Edit Jake thingy inspired by annoying bit in book I was reading. DONE
  • *Submit it to Queers Destroy Science Fiction too, since it’s flash fiction instead of a short story.  DONE, REJECTED
  • CHANGED ITEM:  Alternate between writing Forbidden Love Version 2Intertwined Lives, Dangers of the Past, and editing No More Lies, not becoming slavishly devoted to any one work, but keeping in mind and tracking my monthly word count goals.  UPDATE:  Well, I was write last time that I wanted to write fantasy, but wrong about which one.  Instead of working on Magi, I’ve rewritten a bit of a story I wrote in high school, this time deliberately making the protagonist a spoiled brat, which changes the story for the better and turns her into more of a Sansa Stark-like character than a Mary Sue.  Dangers of the Past was formerly known as Bobby’s Daughter.  It’s the sort-of sequel to “Once A Hero, Always A Hero” and No More Lies.  I finally figured out how to fix a bit I was stuck at and now it’s going very smoothly.
  • CHANGED ITEM:  Maintain schedule of editing and posting a chapter of Intertwined Lives every other Tuesday. DOING SO FAR
  • *Once have enough word count/regular installments to do so, submit Intertwined Lives to webfictionguide.com.  DONE, APPROVED.
  • *Submit Intertwined Lives to Muse’s Success.  DONE, APPROVED
  • *Remember to use the #TuesdaySerial hashtag on twitter when announcing each week’s chapter.  TRIED LAST WEEK, SITE DIDN’T WORK PROPERLY
  • *Submit Jake thingy to Clarkesworld.  DONE, REJECTED
  • *Submit wife’s story to Strange Horizons.  DONE, AWAITING RESPONSE
  • *Submit own story to Strange Horizons.  DONE, AWAITING RESPONSE
  • *Submit “The Traitor” (formerly known as “Jake thingy”) to Daily Science Fiction DONE, AWAITING RESPONSE
  • *If Strange Horizons rejects my story, submit it to Asimov’s.
  • NEW ITEM:  Edit wife’s fantasy story.  DOING SO.
  • NEW ITEM:  Submit wife’s fantasy story to that anthology.
  • Publish No More Lies.
  • Devote a month to marketing it.  Just a month.  No more.  After that, it’ll sink or swim on its own.
  • CHANGED ITEM:  Alternate between writing Forbidden Love Version 2, Intertwined Lives, Dangers of the Past, and editing the leytgeleshi short story collection, with the same caveats as above.  SEE ABOVE FOR WHY/HOW CHANGED
  • Write remaining leytgeleshi stories.
  • CHANGED ITEM:  Alternate between writhing Forbidden Love Version 2, Intertwined Lives, Dangers of the Past, and editing the Dagger short story collection, with the same caveats as above.  SEE ABOVE FOR WHY/HOW CHANGED
  • Write remaining Dagger stories.
  • Edit remaining leytgeleshi stories.
  • Publish leytgeleshi story collection.
  • Devote a week to marketing it.  It’s going to be a free short story collection (or 99 cents, I can’t recall what we agreed on now.)  There’s no sense in devoting a lot of time to marketing it.
  • Edit remaining Dagger stories.
  • Publish Dagger story collection.
  • Devote a week to marketing it.  See above for why only a week.
  • CHANGED ITEM:  Alternate writing Forbidden Love Version 2, Intertwined Lives, and Dangers of the Past.  SEE ABOVE FOR WHY/HOW CHANGED
  • NEW ITEM:  Edit Forbidden Love Version 2
  • NEW ITEM:  Publish Forbidden Love Version 2
  • NEW ITEM:  Devote a week to marketing it.  It’s probably not going to be very long or very serious, so there’s no sense in putting much time or effort into selling it.  I’m writing it mostly for my own amusement, after all.
  • NEW ITEM:  Edit Dangers of the Past
  • NEW ITEM:  Publish Dangers of the Past.
  • NEW ITEM:  Devote a month to marketing it.
  • *Write rpg book.  HAVEN’T BEEN WORKING ON IT OR EVEN THINKING ABOUT IT MUCH LATELY.

Word count for March so far:

Written: 8581/10000

Edited: 13992/10000 (and I still have a few thousand words of my wife’s story to edit before the end of March!)

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