Archive | May 2008

Japan Itinerary Done

That was a lot of organizing.

There are a few odds and ends, but the Japan itinerary is done. I'm waiting for a couple of phone numbers, information on whether or not we score Takarazuka tickets, some information on how late a gathering in Osaka will go, and that's about it.

Pleased.

Tonight, I'll start the packing process. I have a master list of what needs to be procured before we go. Sunday looks like a big ole omiyage buying day.

So remember, kiddies, we take the tamago on the road live from June 13th to June 30th.

Catherine

YA Reading Series Letters Out

Well, that pretty much says it all.

My week in writing has been getting the series together and the edits for Yellow Cat. I'd like to get the remaining 10 agents queried to before the big trip, so I'll get right back on the horse Monday.

Jim Hines has a great link to a discussion about writing and depression. I have something to say about this, but that's for another day.

I'm going home now. Tonight, by gum, I'm going to make some progress on that whole Japan itinerary. And I mean it.

Catherine

Portus YA Author Reading Series

We have the names. As soon as I get some details from the convention heads about scheduling, I'll be sending the letters out, and we'll be getting people set up to come to Dallas and read.

Overall, we have six writers reading at Portus. I saw the new release from one of them at Barnes and Noble last night, so that was exciting. As soon as I've got the schedule confirmed, I'll post the schedule here. That should be before I head out to Japan on June 13th.

Meanwhile, if you're not doing anything on July 10-13, and you want to go to a Harry Potter convention in Dallas, talk to me. I'll get you fixed up.

Catherine

Notes from Inside the Magic Book Machine

Rejections: Laura Peterson and Jennifer Flannery

That aside, here are the promised notes on the panel Inside the Magic Book Machine.

Panelists: John Klima, Sean Wallace, Shana Cohen, and Kandi Schaefferkoetter

This panel used Sabrina Jaffries online time line of the publishing process as a springboard, but elaborated on the time line.

Above all, the best way to be the kind of author that your production team wants to see is to be friendly, courteous, and available. Nagging is your agent's job. Keeping that in mind, here's what you can expect once your book goes into the black box that is the publishing industry, give or take. Remember, this is AFTER your book is accepted, and your contract is signed. You can expect this to start often after six months, although this varies from publisher to publisher.

Continue reading

In the Life of Toby’s Ex…

Meanwhile, in reality reality, I spent the day in meetings. I just now took a little time to do the minimal edits on Yellow Cat and The Man, and sent it back to Michael at the Friends of the Animal Center Foundation.

It's just as well that I can't make the reading on June 6th. Even now, I still cry when I read Toby's story. I can well imagine breaking down in front of the assemblage. Nope, best to visit Aric and Kim as planned, and not think about it.

Tonight, dinner with Greg Frost and Denny Lynch, followed by a reception for Greg. It appears that Wiscon isn't really over, but has relocated somewhere west for the moment.

Catherine

Wiscon: The Rest

I decided to come down from the rankled feeling left to me from the Magical Realism panel. Back to the room, I relaxed and finished The Dead Zone, so now we're ready for June 9's reading group. Dan came up after the Realism panel, and he told me that I had been right to leave, because things didn't get a lot better. We tossed around a few ideas that eventually became yesterday's treatise on the subject.

Of course, the most important piece of the afternoon was the Las Habladoras reading. I spent the rest of that time getting ready. Cat came up to the room and helped me transport the equipment downstairs. While we were waiting in the reading room, we caught Andrea Hairston reading from her work in progress. She was spellbinding, and we were both really interested in the book, and heart broken when she told us it wasn't out yet. Both of us caught her later in the con, and gave her information on where to find us when the book came out.

The reading went well. Yo's reading was funny and light, and the audience appreciated the pop culture references. Jenn's was something to chew on, dense and descriptive. Julie's was also vivid--not dense like Jenn's, but each image was a clear snapshot. Cat's art work off set the work well. I read last, we took some fun pictures and struck set, and then we had celebratory champagne and talked about the Las Habladoras site around drinks. There will be podcasts and goodies up there soon. Soonish.

Continue reading

Wiscon: Saturday Early: Working, Reading, Magical Realism

Waiting for breakfast with Yolanda. One more of our party, Julie, fell to the flu, and it scuttled her evening of dressing up and going to the dessert salon, but my friend Laura had Immodium in her room, so after a walk over to the Inn on the Park, I hope we procurred a solution for her. Didn't do much in the way of parties last night, because I thought we might be down on the flu farm. 🙂 But Sunday will wait its turn.

Warning: Panel rant about magical realism and the academy ahead. If you're interested, click more. If not, stick with the nice stuff above the cut.

***

Saturday morning, a batch of us went to the farmer's market, an Arabic spread out by the Capitol. I was keen to recreate my wholesome experience from last year and sought out the whole wheat muffin and a giant coffee. Dan, Lisa, Yo and I ate by, on, and around modern art while Julie scoped the bazaar. We talked about Yo's job, Dan talked technical, I ate what tasted like Kansas. Then it was back to the convention for our first panel.

Yo and I visited Balancing Creativity and the Day Job. We heard much of the usual, but we didn't learn a whole lot that was new. We learned not tips on how to balance, but rather heard a lot about how hard it was balance. It felt like a support group for busy people who wanted to write. A lot of the old chestnuts were presented: Set some time to write. How do you get back to writing and working out if you sacrifice it? Do you tell your work about your writing? How does your family feel about your writing?

It was interesting to hear degrees of openness and what other's experience was. On this panel, Caroline Stevermer, half of the Sorcery and Cecelia team, said at the end something that was meaty, something that I've been chewing on all convention. I paraphrase.

"When I was working, I spent every spare cent on eating out and travel, trying to numb the pain of the day job." The overall implication seemed to be that we might be poorer without work, but we might have happier lives if we were doing what we wanted, and it might be easier than we think, if we could release ourselves from the illusion of security, which Stevermer suggests could be popped at any time. *blink* How's that for an existential exercise? She's right, but most of us are in the security/hoarding/horribleness of being penniless state. (Boy, that was some sentence. I must be exhausted!) Some of the other panelists thought they could never do that. I myself think I can't right now. It is, however, a perspective to mull. Am I held prisoner by my work, rather than my work allowing me freedom and financial independence? Hmmm...

Continue reading

Wiscon Recap: Friday

It's time to take a little time to talk more specifically about the convention I've been at for 4 days. Right now the dessert salon is happening. Dan and Lisa and I usually sit this one out and sort of catch our breaths before the Guest of Honor Speeches. Highlights, though, are appropriate.

We three arrived in Madison about 11 am on Friday, deciding that the theme of this year's convention would be cracking open a tall cold can of justice. Well, it sound good as we were driving through the limestone canyons of Dubuque. Dan and Lisa are old friends of mine. She's a feminist studies technology arcade librarian from the University of Iowa. He's a man feminist computing geek at the student union. Together...they fight crime! Wait...

*takes a deep breath*

Lisa and I used to make this trip alone, and Dan horned in on the action last year. It's a three musketeers kind of gig. This year, fellow writers Julie Rose, Jenn Racek and Yolanda Joosten, plus topnotch artist Catrina Horsfield came to meet up as well. With the exception of me missing Bryon, this is as good as it gets.

Continue reading

Wiscon Glossalia

I've retreated to the room on Saturday party night for a little while to say hello to everyone, and to wait until the parties heat up a little bit here at the convention.

It's been a good convention. There have been some highlights, and some spots that make me go hmmm. In the spirit of Tamago-ism, when I describe those hmmm moments, there will be no names or specifics mentioned, but there have been some problematic slants and biases in regard to topical panels this year that have made me think they'd be good examples for advanced composition students on how NOT to argue, explain and present.

That's for later. Right now I'm run down. I was up much too late last night, and after eating rich foods and drinking, my new body, without gall bladder, decided that digestion was a young woman's game. With that in mind, today has been careful, like walking on egg shells, and tonight I am much more parsimonious.

The reading went well. We had a small audience, but it was still good. For all my peeps for whom it was the first reading, I think they enjoyed themselves. I was pleased. I'll let you know when Julie gets it up on the Las Habladoras site for your perusal.

Um...remember that beautiful new skirt I bought for the reading? It ripped tonight as I swung my leg to get off the bed. That was money ill spent. The top is gorgeous and still perfect. Sigh. I had planned on taking that skirt to Japan. Since today was the first time I wore the skirt, I'll most likely take it back, but I no longer have the receipt, so hope does NOT spring eternal. Little nuisances are magnified when you're tired, I'm sure.

Overall panorama of the convetnion: not the epiphany of last year. Still, good. Programming chairs must make sure to shoot for bias rather than balance in topical panels, at least for 2 I've read about, one of which I've seen. The readings I've been to this year have been FI-INE. Girl Wonder and Ceres rock the planet and hard.

I met Caroline Stevermer. She was kind enough to sign my copy of Sorcery and Cecelia and I gushed about the book and how much I enjoyed it. She thought I was being kind, but I was saying nothing that wasn't true. It is one of the finest books I've read. And y'all know I'm picky. So read it. She's a genuine, wonderful person to boot.

One final note for the Mindbridge Book Club: I've talked to Sarah Prineas. She's agreed to talk to us on July 14th at 6 pm at Coffee Talk. I've begun her book. It's a delightful book with depth and overtones. I think kids will love it, and parents will love reading it to their kids. One has the sensation of a brook playfully tumbling over rocks when you read it, at least in Conn's chapters.

Oookay. I should get back out there.

Catherine

ETA: Edits for Yellow Cat and The Man appeared in my inbox. Something else to work on next week besides the Portus YA Reading Series. I foresee not sending out agent queries next week, and doing these things instead. Oh, yeah, and that pesky Japan trip...