Writing Peeps and What You Learn from Them: The Genie Memories Edition

Then, there was the mother of all headaches. It kept Catherine home from work, it kept Catherine off the computer. At 2 o’clock, she stumbled into town, her husband driving, to pick up AV equipment for the convention tomorrow. She got on line tonight, and worked some, because it was a costly day she took off work, so she needed to make some of that up. She’s rachetted the headache back up some. Goodie…

While the headache was mostly under control, she took a look at Matt Hughes‘ revamped Genie Memories. AND she was very impressed.

I find it fascinating to look at other people’s writing. I find that I learn a lot.

Continue reading “Writing Peeps and What You Learn from Them: The Genie Memories Edition”

Breaking Silence

Sorry about the quiet. I’ve been working on, you know, the Write-a-thon. I’ve also had to sew a quick shrine maiden outfit for the anime convention I’m helping with this weekend. Yes, it has been a long time since I’ve sewn. I had forgotten how to thread the machine. In my defense, it was a fairly new machine when I stopped using it a couple of years ago.

It’s pretty roasty toasty here in the Midwest. We don’t air condition except a small bedroom unit at night. Argh.

I’m focused on finishing the troll novel. There will be a call for readers soon. I plan to revise chapters 8 and 9, and then wrap things up with chapter 10. It’ll come in at that nice YA size of about 55K. Once I’m done with the write-a-thon, I’ll go through with a serious eye on editing, continuity, and connection. Then, agent roulette begins again.

And I’ll be glad. Because I want to send something out.

So, I’m not dead, although nature is trying. Off to Florida to the Potter Park next week, so things may get quiet(er) for a while. Oddly enough, I seem to be more chatty when I’m at work all week. Go figure.


The Gentle Art of Long Car Trips

Please let me know if I’ve missed any very important events in the last 3 days or so. I’m surfacing for a moment to catch up, but don’t have time to read 5 days worth of stuff.

We took a trip up to the Decorah Nordic Fest on Saturday with our friends Mark and Michelle, and then Sunday we went to the 50th Wedding anniversary party for parents of friends, so we’ve been spending a lot of time in the car. There have been some cool things for writers.

1. I’ve learned a lot about thermite reactions and white phosphorous, because I’ve been studying clever ways to blow up…but that would be telling.

2. Matt Hughes has given me chapters of his book Genie Memories to read. I’m looking forward to it.

While I’m feeling smug about things I’ve seen that you yet haven’t, I should also mention George Galuschak’s On the Making of a Dead Man’s Hand, which truly should be snatched up by some wise and thinking editor.

It’s going to be a busy week, kids. In addition to keeping up with the Clarion Write-a-thon, I will be working on some sewing for Anime Iowa. Hey, the presentation’s done, but it would be nice to get the outfit done for Friday’s party too. And, there’s work Tuesday and Thursday.

It’s my hope to have a write up about Red Hood’s Revenge soon.

What have you been up to? What projects are you working on?


The Productive Writer Gig

FYI, it’s not too late to contribute to the Clarion Write-a-thon. I don’t care who you give to. I care that you give.

Let me make this easy for you:

Cool graphic link:

Shop the authors.

Remember, Clarion took some heavy cuts this year in funding. It is a great place for writers to learn, and one of the few places that is specifically designed for genre writers to learn their craft.

So, send them some money!

And yes…I have been writing on schedule. This is chapter 8 week, and I’m rough drafting that RIGHT NOW. Okay, not right now, right now, but this week right now.

Seriously though, we’re finished on August 7th, so you need to get that cash in.


How Do You Know?

I was 19. Bryon and I had been dating for 2 weeks. He was a senior in college struggling through a physical chemistry lab. I was in the middle of my easy freshman classes.

Each morning we would meet each other in the dormitory cafeteria for breakfast. Our usual custom was then to watch television for half an hour on the tiny black and white set in his dorm room before heading out for the day. I thought the date was sacred. We were watching Inspector Gadget, for crying out loud! This particular morning I was told that Bryon had to meet his lab partner Dave for homework.

I liked Dave. Bryon had been seeing Dave a lot. Physical chemistry lab is a tough gig, and there had been a lot of obscure references to look up in the library stacks. Dave and Bryon would often take me for pizza with them after lab sessions.

That morning, I felt neglected. I’d watched our time erode as more demanding homework took hold. I wanted to hang out with my new boyfriend. I was outraged that he didn’t seem to feel the same. The frustration came to a head, and I decided we were finished. I yelled at him. He yelled at me. I stormed back to my room.

Continue reading “How Do You Know?”

Rethinking that Con Thing

Courtesy of Julia Rios, you too can use your phone to do amazing things.

a photo taken of the VP XIII reunion at Readercon.


It’s been 3 days since I started this post. I had a faboo weekend with my family of choice, but yeah, my extrovert battery got hit pretty hard, so I’m only just getting back into the swing of extrovert things.

And work today…well, after a week’s vacation, I really couldn’t expect any better than 31 phone messages and 147 emails. Because that’s just the way the English department rolls.

So…anyway, let’s get back to the subject at hand, which is rethinking that Con thing.

Readercon was fun. It was a con. I saw some friends and enjoyed seeing others from afar. I attended valuable panels, and I burned out and skipped panels I hoped to see. It was a pretty typical con experience for me–highs, low, and the impossibility of doing it all, but enjoying most of what I did.

Except there was something unusual that has never happened to me at a convention before.

And if you don’t want to read on, I’ll cut this here. But if you do, especially as regards writer’s retreats and VP XIII-ness, you may want to click.

Continue reading “Rethinking that Con Thing”

Writing…a Lot

Since I’ve been a domestic being this week, I’ve been cleaning and sorting some. The husband and I took about six bags of books out of our library yesterday, and the house has been thoroughly dusted. With my dust allergies, that does make for a sniffalicous good time.

However, I’m weighing in to mention that I am finished with this week’s chapter for the Write-a-thon. I am going back to chapter 3. I have to back weave a plot element in, and change Manuel’s mom’s job, so that the new plot movement makes sense in chapter 8. Then I’ll revise chapters six and seven.

I know this excites. It might be more exciting to mention that I’ve learned a lot about autoclaves and what they do in the last couple of days. Nope, you’re going to have to read the manuscript later to know why.

You can guess all you want, though.


Book Reviews: Big Daddy Dumas 120 Years Late

We’ve been getting a lot of investigative hits from the new crop of Viable Paradise workshoppers. Welcome, VP XIV. Break a leg!

And no, there is no documented account of Thursday night. Wonder and hope. Wonder and hope.


I mentioned that I read a lot on the Readercon trip. Hey, what are you looking at? I DID write too, you know!

You might have noticed that I had Alexander “Big Daddy” Dumas’ book The Last Chevalier up as what I was reading for a while. It was a long book with a huge prologue.

The background: In 2007, Dumas’ Napoleon novel was discovered after a scholar pulled together some hints about a missing Dumas’ serial. It plugged in the hole of Dumas’ romantic history of France quite tidily. The manuscript was sought out, pulled together and released in France very quickly after. In the US, we received the translation in 2009.

So, how was it?

Continue reading “Book Reviews: Big Daddy Dumas 120 Years Late”

And the Author Is…

If it’s Substance, I’m…

I write like
Leo Tolstoy

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!



Hulk Hercules?

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!



Finally, The Winter the Troll Danced with Old Nick?

I write like
Margaret Atwood

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I like this one.

But it just goes to show you, either this is not accurate, or I’m very versatile.

Who’d you get?


Midnight, and the Writers are Sleepy

I am destined to not make it out of Boston cleanly. United had us at the gate on the plane for a while as we had generator issues. We did leave, and I figured I’d missed my flight. Poor Chicago weather delayed my connection, so I made it on! I arrived in Cedar Rapids about midnight, Bryon came and picked me up, and we hit the hay at 1:30.

It’s been a low key day, but luckily I’m on vacation.


The Clarion Write-a-thon continues apace. This is the week of chapter 7, and I got a good jump on that yesterday. More about this to come.


In transit, I also read books: The Last Chevalier, Red Hood’s Revenge, A College of Magics, and Extras. I’ll have something to say about all of those eventually.


It was fantastic to see about 1/4 of my VP workshop buddies over the weekend. We hung out, a lot. Perhaps the most interesting facet of the convention was that hanging out seemed to inspire creativity in us all. We would talk, do a few panels, and wander away to our rooms to sleep or write. And then we’d get together and talk about what we were doing. It makes me think that maybe what we want to do is save our pennies for reuniting at writer’s retreats, rather than hooking up at cons, but you guessed it, more on that later too.

Shout outs also to Sarah Prineas, who wasn’t there but said hello, Eugene Myer, who one can have an action-packed hall conversation with, and Elizabeth Bear for the 4th Street information. Our reading went very well, and hanging out with alumns and meeting more VP folks and nice writing people was just good.

I won’t be going to Readercon next year, as I’m already booked for North American Discworld in Madison the same weekend. While I liked Readercon fine, it’s not going to be one that is a must go for me. I missed my Wiscon with its open parties and it’s less hierarchical structure, and its feminist vibe. It was a little bit like going to Disney World first, and then going to Disneyland–I should have done it the other way around.

Priority one is writing the novel this week, but I’ll try to get back her and say something interesting and relevant. Right now, I’m thinking more dozing.