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Jan. 20th, 2011

Aladdin -- Ph33r the kitty
rarelytame is reluctant to toot her own horn, but I, fortunately, am not so modest. ;)

Her awesome story, "Standing Next To Heaven", is being published tomorrow by Daily Science Fiction! These stories are sent out to the mailing list before they're put up on the website, so if you want to read it tomorrow (and you should! ;) ), click that link and fill in your email under "Subscribe". And tomorrow morning when you wake up, "Standing Next To Heaven" will be right there in your email for you to read!

If you don't want free stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday morning, you can always unsubscribe after you've read "Heaven", or you can wait a week and read it on the website.

Dec. 24th, 2010

Aladdin -- Ph33r the kitty
Merry Christmas Eve, everybody!

I'm about to go out and join the traditional throng of last-minute shoppers, I'm afraid. I thought it wouldn't be a big deal -- two stops, real quick. I need a B&N gift card for my mom, and an REI gift card for my stepdad. Then I could get on the freeway and drive to their house. I wouldn't even have to face the mall, which I loathe with every fiber of my being in the best of times.

Then Mom called. She was at the mall by her house, and the Cinnabon had closed. We have to have Cinnabons for breakfast on Christmas. It's tradition. (And the only time we get to have them all year.) Could I stop by the mall by my apartment and pick some up?

Awesome.

So, I'm braving the mall on Christmas Eve. This will be my mantra:

I am calm. I am zen. I have all the time in the world. I will not be one of those last-minute crazies who are rude to everybody. I have The Hunger Games on my phone and knitting in my bag, and between the two, I will be perfectly content to wait in whatever lines present themselves. I will not stab anyone with my knitting needles.*


Wish me luck.


*Actually, the real test to my patience is going to be before I even get to the mall. I am...challenged, when it comes to parking, and trying to drive through an unfamiliar place is the surest way to get my blood pressure up. Nevertheless, I have TomTom. I will try to keep my cool.

A Tale of Two Stories

Aladdin -- Ph33r the kitty
I made my first non-Aislinn, non-erotic, pro-paying sale today! *cue much squealing, flailing, hyperventilating, and running around like a chicken with her head cut off*

Actually, I kind of sold two stories, but one of them's not mine.

It all started back in college, when I wrote "Words on a Page", a weird little vignette-y story that I loved, and Terra loved, but I haven't had much luck doing anything with due to the weird vignette-y-ness of it.

This summer, Terra found a call for submissions wanting paired stories by writing partners, depicting different POVs of the same event. We both thought it was a great idea, so she wrote "Written Out", a companion piece to "Words on a Page" and we submitted them.

When they were rejected, I sent "Words on a Page" to Daily Science Fiction and settled in to wait for a response.

The holidays came and went, and as it had been quite a while since I'd heard back from DSF, I sent them a quick query to make sure that it had reached them all right. They replied, "So, these are two different stories under two different pen names, showing different perspectives of the same event?"

And I smacked my head against the desk, realizing that yet again, I was the world's biggest idiot. When I submitted "Words on a Page", I must have opened the wrong file -- the one that had both mine and Terra's stories in it.

Blushing furiously, I explained the mistake to them, and assured them that I'd spoken to Terra and we'd both be very happy to sell the stories to them, if they decided to accept. (i was talking to Terra at the time the email came in, and she sent them a separate email to confirm, lest you fear I was putting words in her mouth. ;) )

We signed the contracts this morning.

And that is how, through sheer idiocy, I managed to sell a short story that didn't even belong to me. *grin*

Needless to say, I am THRILLED! Not only for the sale(s), but also because we now have an awesome story to tell about them.

Squee, with a side of horror

Aladdin -- Ph33r the kitty
I got my author's copies for A King's Ransom! Yayyyy!

Fun quiz: How do you turn a writer from this



to this



in five nanoseconds flat?

Answer: Send them an author's copy with the wrong title in the header.



There was an awful moment where "It is a BOOK! A real, live, lovely, bound book with MY WORDS inside!" gave way to "OMGWHAT? Those ARE my words inside, aren't they?!", until I realized that yes, the words are mine. Just the title isn't. So now I'm amused (mostly), and I can get back to my squeeing.

Just as soon as I email my publisher. ;)

Jul. 30th, 2010

Aladdin -- Ph33r the kitty
I hope everyone's Friday morning has gotten off to a better start than mine...

Sick day

Aladdin -- Ph33r the kitty
My main character in the story I'm currently writing is a mad scientist, and i think he must be rubbing off on me.

I caught one hell of a nasty cold from the family festivities last weekend -- it started last night, with me feeling woozy and completely out of it, but I figured that it was my body protesting all the running around and physical effort involved in having family festivities with ten adults and five little kids. (I suppose my first clue should have been when it hit me like a ton of bricks, and left me stumbling about my apartment at 9:30 going, "God...What the hell. I'm SO TIRED!")

I woke up this morning with a sore throat, but other than that, feeling pretty much okay, but as the day progressed, I felt worse by the minute. And that's where the mad scientist comes in, because my first thought (okay...my first thought after, "Son of a BITCH" and "Oh God, this sucks" ;) ) was, "...Wow. It's really kind of fascinating watching how this is progressing, in such an obvious and observable way."

Then I came home and TMICollapse ) and it started being a whole lot less fascinating. :P

Jul. 2nd, 2010

Aladdin -- Ph33r the kitty
I had an encounter with a friend the other day that I have to record for posterity. She is...a luddite in the true sense of the word. She vehemently refuses to even consider getting a cell phone. (She doesn't completely understand cell phones, either, as I learned last night when it took me ten minutes to get her to understand that if she did get a cell phone, and then moved out of state, she wouldn't need to go get a new account, because she could just take the phone with her). I tried to set up an AIM account for her (to use on her Mom's computer -- she has no interest in owning one for herself) but it never panned out because I couldn't manage to help her grasp the concept of logging in.

She's sweet and dear and one of the nicest people I know, but she is, as my mom says, an odd duck. She is also, on occasion, hilarious.

We meet at Starbucks once a week. This week, I got there before she did, so I got my drink and grabbed a table and set up my laptop to write, like I usually do. When she arrived, we greeted one another enthusiastically and hugged, and then she snatched up a placard on the table announcing Starbucks' new free unlimited wifi and declared happily, "They have free wifi now!"

"I know!" I said. "I'm on it already!"

"I don't even know what that is!" she declared.

Yeah, I giggled. But that wasn't the best of it.

The part where I really lost it was when she was telling me about a customer at the restaurant where she works as a waitress. "Randy's been coming in a lot to watch sports," she told me. "I guess there's some big soccer match going on."*

Poor thing, she really didn't understand at all when I immediately burst out laughing.

The internet and its culture of information and connection is so much a part of my life that it always startles me when I encounter people who are just not part of that culture at all.



*Why, yes. Yes, there is. And the Olympics are just some sporting event.

Jun. 1st, 2010

Aladdin -- Ph33r the kitty
Good grief, is it really June already?!

According to my spreadsheet, I only wrote 13k this month, but I'm not sure how accurate that is. I keep forgetting to update it.

I didn't get as far into Selkie (which I think I've decided to name The Lonely Sea and Sky, as it was one of the favorites in the poll, and it was definitely my own favorite. But Selkie's still good shorthand ;) ) as I'd meant to, but with the help of my awesome writing buddy, we did manage to brainstorm it into a much better, richer book. So I'm happy with that, at least.

I also spent the last week doing a very thorough (and therefore slow) reread of AKR to catch any typoes or errors that my editor missed, of which there were a fair amount. My goodness, this was an error-filled manuscript. I'd guess it would probably have to do with how fast I wrote the thing, but it continues to surprise me that all those mistakes made it this far through the process.

Note to self. Line edit much more carefully, especially those books that you wrote at a breakneck pace.

Anyway! I just need to finish putting those edits into my file from the hardcopy that I marked up, and give a final read-through to an R&R'ed story before I resubmit it, and then it's back to Selkie. Here's hoping that lightning will strike, inspiration will seize my brain, and I'll be able to get out a good chunk of this book this month.

A poll!

Aladdin -- Ph33r the kitty
...because I am indecisive, and titles are my bane.

So: I need a title for my selkie story, which is turning into a lovely, complicated, interesting thing, and deserves something better than "Selkie". I have a handful of possibilities, but coming up with and deciding on a title is always a nightmare for me. I'm too biased. So I put it all to you. *grin*

Which title do you find most interesting/intriguing?

Sea Fever
2(20.0%)
The Calling Tide
3(30.0%)
The Lonely Sea and Sky
1(10.0%)
Along the Sea-Damp Sands
1(10.0%)
Where the Tide Goes Down
0(0.0%)
Tideline
1(10.0%)
Driftline
0(0.0%)

Spinning

Aladdin -- Ph33r the kitty
Well, I've found that bloodhound metaphor very useful in the past week or so. The point I was working myself up to with that last post is that I don't just have a writing bloodhound -- I've got a whole pack of them, stored up there in my brain. There's the general purpose bloodhound, which latches on to things like, "omg, let's get a puppy!", but also, to my surprise, I have a knitting/spinning bloodhound.

I've been knitting for about four or five years, but it's only since I started spinning, last Christmas, that it's really started to engage my bloodhound. There's much more creative liberty and decision-making in choosing how to spin up a yarn than there is in following a pattern. So while, previously, I may have gone, "Oh, that's a pretty pattern, I think it might be fun to knit", now...

Now I see fiber like this:



and my heart skips a beat, my bloodhound catches a scent, and suddenly we are racing off after it, thinking, "OMG, progression dyes, our last progression dye came out SO WELL, this would make such a lovely shawl, oh, we could spin it into a nice laceweight 2-ply, preserving the progression, and oh, oh, we need to find a shawl pattern that looks like wings, or like feathers. Ohmigod, Seraphim.



How awesome would that be? Fading from grey out to charcoal, and then crimson just at the very edges? Dude."

And the next thing I know, I've bought half a pound and am feeling a bit woozy about it all. (It's going to be an awesome shawl, though.)