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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye, Electric Velocipede.

Electric Velocipede and Icarus Closing

Electric Velocipede has a story in the Year's Best SF, 31st edition.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies blogged about our final issue.  Locus has a long review of EV 27, which includes spoilers for some pieces (I like to read my short fiction without knowing anything about it, myself, but YMMV, of course).

You can buy issue 27 as an ebook for Kindle or Nook.  All the poems and stories were posted 30-January-2013.  [Will link to second post presently.]

Come to ConFusion next month (17-19 January 2014) and help us remember Electric Velocipede!  And if you're in NYC during February 2014, they're throwing a party too.  Huzzah to Matt and Sam!

But we're having a wake in Michigan.

I am particularly proud of this as it was somewhat my idea, you see.  And I wanted John to enjoy ConFusion 2014; what better way than a party?  Celebration and farewell.  Come raise a glass with us -- there will be door prizes and raffles and STUFF.  Really!

I loved working on EV.  I'm proud to have been part of the team for 2008-2013.  I'm grateful for the others who became part of the team too -- for a little while or a long time, depending on their lives.

I'm thankful for them all, every one:  Adam, Patrick, Damien, Jamie; and all our slushreaders and proofreaders and support staff and... you.  Thank you.  It's been a wonderful ride on Electric Velocipede.

I'm so glad I got to hitch a ride.  With John and with all of you.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Paying it forward: Links and tips.

Five Overlooked SF/F/H Books of 2013  (Must point out that I copyedited the first book in the B and N list. And it's a wonderfully fun book.)

Waterstones offers Twauthors – The best authors on Twitter

Over on Goodreads, Steven Saus tells us The Write Agenda Can Teach You How To Avoid Untrustworthy People... Like Themselves. If you read nothing else, go read that. It will help you with contracts, with understanding the behavior of the anonymous troll -- and the vanity press publishers -- and the many MANY scammers out there preying on the new authors and future authors.

Writer Beware is a major example of paying it forward.

A Few Things a Writer Should Probably Do at Least Once from Doctor Doyle.  Since I'm in SCA, I can tell you that yes, these would indeed help you.  Have I done them all?  No.

As a copy editor, guns and other weapons are something I tend to research a LOT.

Shh: a simple tip for talking about race.

Bonus:  Until this paragraph, this entire post was an example of paragraphing style.  [Which Nero Wolfe will tell you all about in Plot It Yourself; you should read that.]  I tend to do mine a certain way, and I vary it deliberately while writing to make it easier on readers.  And just for variety's sake too.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Insumatt, ooma, just groshing.

Tanith Lee:  oh, one of my most favorite authors as a teen.

And I still love those favorite books.  Such as Drinking Sapphire Wine.

In 2008 Jo Walton did a review of both books in that sequence.  If you want to see part of why Wine so caught my attention -- and my love -- go read her review.  The first half-page of Wine is there.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Links from work: November.

I was checking ribs, and found this image from Wiki.  8)

Explore Forensics on Examining the Body.  Be warned, this may be too much information for some, so keep that in mind when reading it.

From the Absolute Write forum, how far can you walk in a day?  Includes the definition of a league.

All About Snow.

A new word I learned, pantler.  It is a real word.  Isn't it nifty?  Serendipity is a wondrous thing.

Military terms.  I'm not sure about this website; it's interesting, but I found it when another site didn't work anymore... so YMMV.

Garbl's Long Word Replacements.  To help you cut the fat from your writing.  Discovered via my favorite grammar website.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Writing: November 2013.

It's NaNoWriMo time.  Which I never remember until the writers around me either vanish... because they're writing away for NaNo... or because half the Interweb lights up with people talking about their NaNo goals.

Open Door 2013 is still going on at Angry Robot.  Hurry, you have until the end of the year!

Are you writing yet?  Have you submitted yet?

Oh, c'mon now.  I wanted you to get done so I could hold your book in my hands.  (Like these AR authors, some of whose books I have indeed held in my hands.)  And read the books, of course.

How much longer do I have to WAIT????

Yeah, I really said that, and it is how my reader-mind works.  Doesn't yours?

P.S.  I know some of the Inkbots, fka the Anxious Appliances. I met several at Chicon 7.  8)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Six favorite authors.

Pamela Dean, who wrote The Secret Country series.  (And Tam Lin too.)  8)  Here's the text of a talk she gave in 2008.  Includes quotes from my favorite books!

J.F. Lewis, who wrote the Void City series.  The first book, Staked, has one of the best first lines ever.

Somewhere in the middle of my rant
it occurred to me that I'd killed
whoever it was I'd been yelling at,
so arguing was no longer important.

Emma Bull.  I pretty much love everything Emma's ever written.  I reread them frequently, but the ones I read the most are Finder, Bone Dance, and War for the Oaks (Green Man review).

Hell, War... is one of the ones I've memorized whole pieces of, the way I have with The Secret Country books.  And Zelazny's Lord of Light... and...

Finder, it should be noted, is part of the Bordertown shared-world mythos.  Which you should also check out.

Patricia A. McKillip (a fan-run site here).  First discovered through her The Riddle-Master of Hed series.  [Mom bought me the second book, thinking I'd like it; she was entirely correct].  I can reel off favorite books of hers the same way I can with Diana Wynne Jones:  effortlessly.

Start practically anywhere, except for Winter Rose.

Kelly McCullough, who wrote the WebMage series -- link will take you to story synopses, so be warned!  I adore this series.  If you loved the Amber books by Zelazny, odds are strong you'll love these too.  Sass and snark levels:  high.

And Steven Brust.  :)  Because I do love his writing.  By choice, I didn't get a replacement copy of Agyar until I had the original cover (thanks to my mom's searching).

I love the Paarfi books ["The end made me cry, Steve!" "That's what Pamela said..."] and Cowboy Feng, and Vlad, and To Reign in Hell... well, you get the idea.

Considering that I finally read Steve's novels after I began working for him...  I'd only read one.  But I'd read half his short fiction before, and I knew he was a favorite author because nearly all the Scribblies are favorites of mine.

All of these series are named for the first book in said series.  Unless I've said otherwise.  And all of these authors are currently living as of this writing.  Unlike the mystery authors I read.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Business Rusch: Submissions and agents. Also publishers...

Kristine Kathryn Rusch says:
August 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm 

All publishers accept submissions. They don’t dare not to. They have to look. (They don’t want to miss the next Harry Potter.) Check out Dean Wesley Smith’s blog, Killing The Sacred Cows of Publishing. Start with this one, but look at the TOC as well. Good luck!

Yes, this is from her 2012 post on The Business Rusch: The Agent Clause (Deal Breakers 2012).

Check it out if you're writing. In fact, read as much of The Business Rusch as possible. It will help you understand current publishing, the past of book publishing, and a great deal more. I cannot tell you enough; just go.

In fact, here's her latest, The Business Rusch: Unintended Consequences. Her blog posts on Thursdays.

Friday, October 25, 2013

ConFusion 2014 + SH. Because... you know!

Because there's never enough ConFusion:  Mary's ConFusion Roundup.

I am really pleased that I pushed author Wes Chu to attend more cons at his first con, Chicon 7 [he's crazy that way now, bwahahah] and he persuaded Mary G. Thompson to attend Fusion as her second con.

And so the dominoes keep a'moving.  Paying forward.  Getting more fans involved in the fandom community.  Getting more authors -- who are fans too -- to join and share what it's like at cons, being with the Tribe all weekend long.

In case you haven't realized just how awesome it'd be to attend Fusion... it is on Scalzi's attendance list for 2014.  'Nuff said.

Also, I will say it here because it's the week to be saying this:  ohmiGAWD, Fusion 2014 will be happening 
the same weekend 

Breathing now.  

My good golly, that will be a weekend of fandom going wild.  

Oh wait, we're always like that.  But with added SH.  ;D

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

From Amazing and ConFusion to the Open Door 2013.

I was meandering around the Internet and found this about ConFusion.  Fandom memories and history fascinates me.  8)

The Clubhouse: ConFusion at 40 (more or less)Part 2; and Part 3.

I wasn't involved in this, and heard about it too late... but here's the skinny on the 2013 Dragon*con boycott, at the end of the Amazing post.  By the Foglios and others because of the founder's pedophile activities, how he's funded, and his ways of avoiding the law's reach.

Oh dubious-- I hope fandom gets D-con to pay attention on why this sort of crap is NOT good for anyone.  Not fans, not kids, not society.

It's that time -- Angry Robot is having an Open Door for submissions from now through year-end.  Go check out their site for more info!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Business Rusch: Revisions and editors.

I admit, I'm sporadic about reading blogs, even ones I like...

But if you are in this business, it's important to keep track of what's going on.  So I do my best.  I'm very fortunate that my fellow editors often provide useful links via Twitter.

I look for definitions of editing all the time.  Why?  Because people ask me to explain my job.

Kris Rusch, who is an amazing source of publishing knowledge, provides a little two-week course on editing.

Part 1:  Editorial Revisions
Part 2:  Hiring Editors

If you're a writer do go and learn from her, I pray you.  Whether you're publishing your book, or in traditional publishing, or just trying to find out what all this means, Kris will help you at the Business Rusch.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Freelance and editing links.

How Do You Know When You Know Enough?

What is substantive editing?

Fact-checking a new word, part 1 and part 2 from (link found through EditFish's reading list 5-Sept-12)


10 Marks of a Self-Disciplined Freelancer

Also be sure to read the comments, as Angela Booth says:

If you decide you want to work with a company, don’t quit if they ignore your first dozen pitches. Keep pitching. Decide that you won’t stop pitching that company until one of three things happens: they go out of business, you die, or they offer you a contract.

Not only the best attitude, but she wins my vote for the best way to put this!

Adventures in full-time self-employment (Libro) has written Going It Alone at 40 in case you feel a need for encouragement.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The SNAP Challenge: eating on $4.50 a day.

September is Hunger Action Month.  A youth advocate details her SNAP Challenge (Four Days In) from August 2013.  SNAP is the current name for food stamps.

I may have traumatized my poor TL -- because I Tweeted every one of Ron's days -- after I happened on the CEO of Panera Bread, Ron Shaich.  Ron just completed his SNAP Challenge.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Some of what I'm reading: Sept. 2013.

I rarely write up lists like this.  My nonfiction reading tends to go in bursts, depending on my free time and what else is happening in life.

Such as ConClave 2013.  It's 11-13 October.  If you were at ConFusion 2013, this is the same Dearborn hotel.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sept. 2013 links.

Writing resources for getting writers thinking about the craft of writing, from Rose Fox of Genreville fame.  (Which mutated into a subsection of Publishers Weekly's blog PWxyz when I wasn't looking.)

From Rose, I got Ursula Vernon's post about Three Gray Fandoms.

To which I say, YES.  SF is getting older, and the young people I see are mostly the kids of the other fans I know.

11 Things Happy Authors Don't Do by Rachelle Gardner.

20 Great Writers on the Art of Revision -- Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, Raymond Chandler, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King...

From Apex Books:  Books. Lots of Books. And a Magazine.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Training: So You Want to Be an Editor.

This being September, my c/e anniversary month, I suspect more c/e and freelance info will be posted.  Keep an eye out...

Starting with the Editors' Association of Canada (EAC 2011) and So You Want to Be an Editor because So You Want to Be a Wizard is still one of my favorite Diane Duane books.

Make sure you look at that first link carefully...  I'd say that 90 percent of freelance editors still make the lower median wage.

Copyeditor Training Parts 1 (Various Courses), 2 (Other Options), and 3 (More Choices) by Erin Brenner.

KOK Edit (Editor-Mom) adds her views on training -- check her list for many colleges and associations and their editing courses.  Here's how to join the Copyediting-L list to learn more about other copy editors' thoughts on Editing or experience?

She also has the priceless Copyeditors' Knowledge Base.

Does Training Matter? What Publishers Say about Proofreading and Editing Courses by Louise Harnby, proofreader.  Also from Louise Harnby: Proofreaders-to-be: Loving Books Isn’t Enough.

Are Editors Born or Made? by Amy Einsohn [PDF].

Ebooks, libraries, and... ebooks' Netflix?

The Netflix for books is here, it’s mobile, and it makes Amazon look old

Now that's something interesting!

Alas, only for iThings thus far.  But it's new.  Give it time.  I hope it sticks around.

Cory Doctorow: Libraries and E-books

I really recommend reading Cory's posts over at Locus.  This one in particular, since it's about ebooks, and how the publishers need to work WITH libraries.  They aren't the enemy.  Libraries are the friends of both publishers and readers.

If you want to know more about helping libraries here in the States, check out the ALA's Authors for Library Ebooks site.  If you read at all, have any favorite authors, do go look at that site, please!

Look for this badge and help authors and readers encourage publishers to help us all keep reading.

I support fair and equitable library access to ebooks and so should you.

Friday, September 6, 2013

You're better than you think.

Thanks to Christie Yant for pointing this out!

A day in the life of women in SF.

We need a different world.  We need to make it happen ourselves.  All of us.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Freelance copy editor training.

The importance of training:

Buyer beware!

CPD:  Training counts

Why train?

If you're interested in freelance editing, you should look into training.  I really can't stress this enough.

Some publishers won't hire freelancers without training or certification.  In the USA, we have the Editorial Freelancers Association; they offer online courses.  Other organizations exist, but I check EFA courses first.  The EFA's invaluable.

Margaret Aherne talks about Advanced Copy-Editing

What a publisher looks for before hiring you as an editorial freelancer

[Links broken.]

Many thanks to the SfEP and PTC, who provided these links originally (barring the EFA link, of course).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's my freelance anniversary.

This month marks my sixth anniversary as a freelance copy editor.  Many highs and lows, certainly, but it's still just perfect for me.  I love my career choice.

My rates will update today to match the EFA's, which are currently at $30.00/hour for basic copyediting.

Note that I won't suddenly raise them in the middle of a project.

The Backup Ribbon in fandom.

I wasn't at Worldcon 2013 [LoneStarCon 3] but I have seen some of the Tweets.

This is what the great Saladin Ahmed posted.

This is the Backup Ribbon project.  I love it.

I especially adore the "large friendly letters" part, but I love all of it -- concept and execution.  This is a brilliant idea.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Economic disparity and deprivation.

In our society it is murder, psychologically, to deprive a man of a job or an income. You are in substance saying to that man that he has no right to exist. You are in a real way depriving him of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, denying in his case the very creed of his society. Now, millions of people are being strangled in that way. The problem is international in scope. And it is getting worse, as the gap between the poor and the “affluent society” increases…

Martin Luther King, Jr. The Trumpet of Conscience (1968).

Thanks so much to Chris Hayes for this.  I had never heard nor seen it before.  Powerful!

Dr. King would have been both horrified and yet not shocked, I fear, to find that this problem continues.  Awareness has changed.  But has the outrage?

Beautifully said, and yet a horrible truth.  I cannot understand that anyone might think forcing anyone to poverty could be anything but deeply wrong.

Every person who is laid off, or whose employer is shut down -- including abortion clinics.  Every city hemorrhaging people because no jobs exist.  Everyone having to work multiple jobs because minimum wage isn't enough to live on.

I could go on and on.  I bet you know people for every instance.  It is WRONG.

We need to right matters.  We -- the people of the whole world.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reading slush, and coping with pellets...

Angry Robot Books has had Open Door sessions, where anyone could send in a manuscript if it fit their guidelines.  No agent needed -- just your novel.

Here's what two of their 2011 readers said about the incoming MS.  Bloggers Donna and Floor-to-Ceiling (Amanda) deal in statistics and their own thoughts on the slush reading process.  Check it out and see what it's like!

I notice that Amanda mentions a title that I later copyedited.  8)  How's that for pretty blinkin' awesome?

Thanks to Absolute Write for these links; I found them in this forum thread.

Toby Buckell talks about milestones and goals (Writers and pellets) which is fantastic for anyone, whether you write, draw... or just plain have goals and milestones of any kind.  Yes, you.

If you haven't yet, check out the links in Toby's sidebar too!

His link came to me via Champagne and Socks' 2011 Publishing Links.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Doctor Who

Friends, acquaintances, and even chance-met Whovians will ask me why I don't watch New Doctor Who.  It's not my Doctor Who, really.

I would rather read about New DW.

I can name the actors who played the first seven Doctors (even if I sometimes get the incarnation numbers out of order, until I do run through the names).  I loved all the old Doctors... well, except for Colin Baker's Doctor, who I think needed to be in that booth that helps the Doctors adjust to new regenerations.

It's hard to explain how New DW just doesn't appeal to me.

So think of it this way:  Book covers are chosen to appeal to the target audience.  The art may not match what is exactly described inside the book, but that is what they're meant to do.  Attract the right readers.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Not right.

So I read The Diary of Anne Frank for the first time yesterday.

At one point, I accidentally turned to the reader guide, which was in the middle of this edition.  And I found out what happened to her.

I was horrified. 

I keep thinking it was a Hans Christian Andersen ending. 

I like very few of his fairy tales, partly because he tends to break the contract with the reader.  Also, I honestly think he hated human beings and meant -- or expected -- that they should all suffer.  Yes, that could be due to his upbringing or religion; right now, that's just how her story's end strikes me.

No wonder I enjoy mysteries.  Lois Bujold calls them fantasies of justice.  Because in a mystery I expect fairness.  That suffering will be rewarded, prisoners will be freed...

Or as Oscar Wilde puts it:  "The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily."

The bad are punished, not the good -- unless the story's a different sort of tragedy...  Remember that bit in Good Omens, when the authors suggest that perhaps your own belief about tropical fish, and that child growing up happy are preferable? 

I feel like that.  As if I should dream about how her story should have ended.  Getting prizes in school.  Being happy.  Except my mind keeps shying away, afraid that I'll not be able to block out what did happen.  Everyone deserves to be happy... everyone.  I have no words for how deeply wrong this is. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Read these: Megan and Pamela's books.

So I have completely and utterly fallen in love with Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief series.

I have read The Thief itself twice already, and the ending at least six times, probably more.  (I initially got it from the library perhaps four weeks ago.)  I read The Queen of Attolia once, but skimmed through it again multiple times.  And reread the ending several times.  Because.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Food for thought...

Five Reasons to Be a Feminist Man -- about the rights of everyone, rape, jobs, and liberty.  Among other things.

Most of the people, men and women, that I know are feminists.  Did you know whether or not you were one too?

Count no blessings:  how a suicidal mind works

This blogger was recommended to me recently.

I think the most important thing to realize, and also the hardest, is that suicide isn't logical.  Reasoning with someone about being suicidal seems like the right choice, doesn't it?  But is it?

I don't know.  I've done it, trying to reason.  I think Charlotte (purplepersuasion) Walker's own suggestions, in the comments, are well worth considering.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What is a stranger?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Helping you when depressed...

Really GOOD post about how to help yourself cope with depression:  21 Tips to Keep Your Shit Together When You’re Depressed.

And how to cope with people's attempts to help you.

I highly recommend it.  I found it a great post.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Three links...

We have always fought; challenging the women, cattle, and slaves narrative from SFWA.

Wes Chu's debut novel, The Lives of Tao, got reviewed at HuffPo.  I really enjoyed Tao myself -- lovely snark! -- and I'm glad that the sequel is coming out soon, btw.  8)

New Writers, eBook Publishers, and the Power to Negotiate from Whatever.

Food for thought.  How can you change the world?  Don't think you can?

Why not?

You might surprise yourself... far more than you can imagine.  Let yourself try.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

(Shhh!) Juggling colored pens here.

Tight deadline in.  I realize that I blog over at my fan blog far more than here, but in case you're wondering where I am, I'm inside a deadline.

I left a bunch of Tweets scheduled for the next few days, mostly but not all for my SH-fan mode... but I will be around in email for work and any crises.

I'll check DMs too, I imagine.  Be back Tweeting and such in four weeks.

ETA:  I may schedule blog drafts to finally post here.  Depends on how things are going with work by this weekend.  8)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Much valuable advice for authors.

"Why I am Going Hybrid" by Bradley P. Beaulieu.

Slipping into fandom and your part in the all-volunteer group known as fandom (which runs cons...  How to change a Worldcon.

The advantages of having an agent.

Debut author lessons: Hate mail by Mary Robinette Kowal.  And do go check out the others (Debut author lessons) as I happened to see this at Lesson 14 of 14.

The Care and Feeding of an Author.

So You Want to Be a Writer by Lawrence Watt-Evans.

And because by the time you finish a book, and finish the revisions, you will reach the copy-edits... Edit Your Shit.  Part One of a series by the ineffable Chuck Wendig.

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Christie quote and some thoughts.

"Politicians don't have time to look at the world they're living in.  They see the country they're living in and they see it as one vast electoral platform.  That's quite enough to put on their plates for the time being.  They do things that they honestly believe will make things better, and then they're surprised when they don't make things better because they're not the things that people want to have.  And one can't help coming to the conclusion that politicians have a feeling that they have a kind of divine right to tell lies in a good cause."

From Passenger to Frankfurt by Agatha Christie.

Myself, I can't help wondering if Agatha herself thought this.  I wish I could ask her.  My favorite bit has the white background, the penultimate line.

It's a very talky book.  Afraid that I sat it down several times to get a breath from a certain level of overkill -- alas, not what you'd think in one of her mysteries!

Completely not related to that, I figured out some things in it and that made me happy.  I used to think she was just too good at puzzles.  She is; but I always read too fast because I want to know far more than I want to figure out whodunnit.

Ellery Queen taught me that if I just stop a bit and think, instead of rushing along, that I can figure things out.

So I've been able to tag the murderer and/or perp in a few Christies lately, and that's pleased me.  8)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Next stage on NSB and Sky/Start.

This all comes after the recent news for Night Shade Books and their authors.  There's lots of pertinent info for any writer, from the terms as discussed by agent Joshua Bilmes to the contract gone over by Michael Stackpole.

A Better Deal for Night Shade Books' Authors.

The SFWA also weighs in with a brief statement.

Tobias Buckell's roundup post has been added to, considerably.  If you haven't read it, I really recommend you do so.  If you read nothing else, read his post, because it gets the highlights of a LOT of this discussion.

He added author Kameron Hurley's post Deal/No Deal and posts [such as the initial post, The Embarrassment of the Night Shade/Skyhorse deal] by agent Andrew Zack.

I highly recommend Kameron's and Andrew's posts.  He's done several.

A Tweet from Electric Velocipede too.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

2013: Night Shade Books.

What went wrong? at Night Shade Books.

A round-up post by Tobias Buckell with LOTS of fine links, including a few I've got here.  Really well worth it, because Toby is amazing and he always explains things very well.

Such as The Night Shade Writers of America by Joshua Bilmes

Details of the Skyhorse offer from Michael Stackpole.

Looking over at Absolute Write, I found more details there on Skyhorse, which don't sound good -- via the AW user Weirdmage.  Skyhorse is in the Bewares section, which is linked in Weirdmage's post, along with directions as to where the 2013 discussion starts.

I am not one of their authors.

FYI:  NSB's Eclipse Online is now closed.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Omniscient, head-hopping, etc.

What makes omniscient different from head-hopping?  How it affects voice and why head-hopping and omni are not the same.  Well worth reading.

Jami Gold, bless her, has great examples as well.  And she explains how to pass the baton, i.e., indicate to readers that a POV shift has been made when head-hopping.

Bethany (one of Jami's 2011 commenters) says:

I think it’s like this: the writer is sitting inside the house, throwing windows open, and trying to move the furniture around so the readers can see what’s inside, but the readers only have the view from the windows and nothing more. The task of the writer is to make the windows bigger and arrange the furniture in such a way as that the best view is possible so that the readers feel as though they are inside the house, even though they aren’t. No matter how much we like to think that readers are telepathic and could see inside our minds if we could just put the right words on the page, the reality is that no one is telepathic (at least not that I’ve met), and writers need to allow for that.

Omniscient POV types at the Editor's Blog.

This is really long, and really fantastic.  I much recommend it, especially if you wonder what the difference is between these two POVs.

And a short example of how omniscient POV can be made to work using paragraphs as the sections.

Justine Larbalestier says they're just techniques, people!  She's right, they are; but if they're done badly, then that is indeed a sign of bad writing, not a bad technique.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Plot devices (and coupons).

There was a discussion about plot devices over at Daily Kos.  It's also stocked with many many handy links for writers and readers alike.

And if you haven't heard of plot devices, or plot coupons, then you need to read The Well-Tempered Plot Device.  Which is brilliant, clever, useful, and hilarious.  I shall never have any other nickname for LOTR than Nick's...

I think every sf/f reader should know about plot coupons.  And hey, the laughs help too. :D

Friday, February 22, 2013

Recent links: writing/research.

From Daily Writing Tips, prone versus supine.

The kind of water in tropical rivers.  Really cool.  I didn't know "white-water" applied in this manner!

Death by bleeding delayed, per the author of Murder and Mayhem... which is written by a doctor.  Looks like a really good book about medical and forensic questions.  I was quite taken by the answer.

An analysis of Jurassic Park, mainly the dinosaurs.

Types of collisions.  Isn't it cool when you realize you know something, but you just didn't know the terms?

Being a Preposition.  I plan to go back and read all of this later; fairly certain that I saw this on Twitter.

And now I can close some of my legions of screens! 8D

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Common sense...

"Perhaps the old saying is true and it is not possible to love and be wise. When you are as devoted to anyone... I expect you cease to be sane about the matter."

"Sane," said Searle sharply.  

"Yes; things lose their proper proportions.  Which, I take it, is a loss of sanity."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A sense of proportion.

"Well, I take it that you commit murder because you are one-idea'd.  Or have become one-idea'd.  As long as you have a variety of interests you can't care about any one of them to the point of murder.  It is when you have all your eggs in the same basket, or only one egg left in the basket, that you lose your sense of proportion.  Do I make myself clear, Inspector Grant?"


From Josphine Tey's To Love and Be Wise.

Nice way to put it... that extremely narrow view that is obsession.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Workshop moment.

Years ago, I was at a writing workshop as a panelist.  I'd just discovered Slushkiller, and I'd printed out the list itself (not the entire blog post) to show our workshoppers.

-- That list is just past "3.  The context of rejection" inside the post of Slushkiller.

The person next to me, after receiving the list, immediately said, "Which of these describes my writing?" I didn't know said person at all nor had I any idea!

That's why I say that if you are going to take the list itself personally, DON'T read it.

Don't think Slushkiller is about you.  It is a list created by an editor (Teresa Nielsen Hayden) who possesses lots of experience -- and was illustrating the reasons for manuscript rejections.  In her usual inimitable fashion.  :D

And you know what?  Reading the Slushkiller list still makes me giggle.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What actors do (from Killer Dolphin).

"I think," Alleyn said, "we'd better, both of us, remind ourselves about actors."

"You do?  What about them?"

"One must always remember that they're trained to convey emotion.  On or off stage, they make the most of everything they feel.  Now this doesn't mean they express their feelings up to a saturation point.  When you and I and all the rest of the non-actors do our damnedest to understate and be ironical about our emotional reflexes, the actor, even when he underplays them, does so with such expertise that he convinces us laymen that he's in extremis.  He isn't.  He's only being professionally articulate about something that happens offstage instead of in front of an official audience... nor does it mean he's superficial or a hypocrite.  It's his job..."

Ngaio Marsh, writing this in Killer Dolphin (1966), was a playwright as well as a mystery author.

I like this observation.  Very clever, isn't it?  We get so attached to the characters they play, how often can we really get ourselves to believe the actors themselves aren't more like the characters?

But I wonder about it.  Surely some actors don't want to work this hard all the damned time.

Granted, a murder investigation would be unusual... but... still, I wonder.

BTW, I'm fond of this novel and certain characters.  I'm a sucker for many of hers set in theaters.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Today and 1999.

Today is the fortieth anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.  Happy anniversary to abortion rights!

Back in late 1998, I thought I'd gotten pregnant.  The doctor's office blew me off and gave me an appointment in 1999.

I was pregnant.  The Pill had failed.

When you're on psychotropic medications, like I am, that mutates the fetus.  Carrying to term is not recommended.  That's why a woman who is mentally ill needs to choose between her own health or the baby's; should she become manic, or depressive, she can't take meds or it will endanger the baby.

I'm bipolar.  Without my meds, I become depressive first, and then manic.  Not only is that not good for me, it's bad for a child.  Imagine a baby crying -- needing food or a diaper change.  Then imagine if the mother is unable to function.

I can well imagine that.  I've been manic several times, and depressive a lot more.

In 1999, the hospital sent me for a second-trimester abortion at a clinic.  The next month, the hospital gave me a tubal ligation... which I'd sought in September 1998, but my doctor refused; my being practical didn't suit him.

In most states right now, I couldn't have that abortion.  What sort of child would result?

I'd like all the conservatives to think about that.

They love babies in the womb, but once a child is born, then they're done.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

O brave new Interworld, with such space in't!

Two ways in which 2013 has already riffed off science fiction... and real life.

Chris Hadfield on Twitter, or, the Canadian astronaut and Star Trek.

This actually happened.

Official White House response to a petition for the construction of a Death Star by 2016.  I did not make this up, as Dave Barry would say, quite rightly.

Star Wars too.  There are not enough words for the coolness of this!

And remember, kids:  The Administration does not support blowing up planets.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Market news: Duotrope's 2013 change.

An author friend mentioned Duotrope's Digest to me -- and how they've chosen to close their listings to you unless you subscribe there.

Here's another author's take on why "free" isn't owed to users, which I found refreshing and pragmatic.

If you're seeking an alternative to Duotrope for market research, there's a variety to choose from, courtesy of Author Alden -- including the long-standing, of course.

Market listings:  Ralan, SFWA's Pro Market List, Spec Lit Foundation's List; submission trackers:  Sonar 3, Writer's Planner, The Writer's Database, LibreOffice; and market response statistics:  Black Holes, the Write 1/Sub 1 Forum at Absolute Write, The Rejections and Acceptances Log.

Two are new market listings:  Submitomancy and The Submission Grinder.  I've linked the Grinder in case you'd like to help them out; for all ten links, please see Author Alden, above.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Greetings from the year 2013.

I've been quiet here lately.  From mid-August onward, 2012 had a lot of rough spots.

Of course high spots existed -- Chicon 7, for one.  :D  Christmas Day was another... as was Election Night.

Family members went in and out of hospital.  Multiple times.  I had computer problems again, which made the summer highly exciting.  Okay, nerve-wracking. I didn't make it to WFC 2012 like I'd planned to.

And there was the Connecticut tragedy.

I hope you all had a good start to your 2013.  I'm anticipating this year.  Why?  Why not?  Every year I meet more people who make life matter.

Happy New Year.

And Immortal ConFusion starts on 18-January.  Hope to see you there.  8)