March 15th, 2014
|asakiyume||10:35 pm - A wonderful movie|
Thanks everyone, for your kind words and thoughts. I shared them with my father, who was very touched.
I'm back home now, and I have just seen the most amazing movie, thanks to a recommendation from osprey_archer. It's Wadjda, a Saudi Arabian film from a female director. Wow, wow, wow, just lovely. The titular character, Wadjda, is a tomboyish girl who makes friendship bracelets in the colors of Saudi Arabia's national soccer team, as well as mix tapes with pop songs on them. She's got a young pal Abdullah, whom she wants to challenge to a bike race, but she doesn't have a bike--and girls aren't supposed to ride bikes. She keeps on getting into trouble at school, but the headmistress is heartened when Wadjda suddenly reforms and decides to enter the Koranic recitation contest--which, coincidentally, comes with prize money attached. Enough money, in fact, to buy a bike.
rachelmanija and sartorias, you guys will *love* this film, if you haven't already seen it.
Current Music: Trust: Rescue, Mister
|in_the_blue||05:45 pm - Happily Ever Afterlife is FREE|
Guess what? Kindle readers can get Happily Ever Afterlife for free, today through March 19. This anthology features reimagined fairy tales from eight authors, each with their own style, panache, twist, and sense of exploration. Some are light, some are dark, some are funny, and some might make you cry. There's something for everyone in this anthology.
Support a small press and download your copy today. ♥
(P.S. If you don't have a Kindle and want to read and promise to leave a review either on Goodreads or Amazon, let me know. I can hook you up with an e-arc.)
Signal boost appreciated!
This entry's here too with comments.
|ravenelectrick||12:02 pm - My tweets|
|seanan_mcguire||11:42 am - Current projects, March 2014.|
Every month I make a post to tell folks what I'm working on, a) because it seems polite, b) because it keeps me accountable, if only to myself, and c) so you will understand why I do not have a social life. This is the March 2014 post. Which means it's the third post of the year, and we are almost done with the first quarter. Um, yay?
To quote myself, being too harried to say something new: "These posts are labeled with the month and year, in case somebody eventually gets the bizarre urge to timeline my work cycles (it'll probably be me). Behold the proof that I don't actually sleep; I just whimper and keep writing."
Please note that all books currently in print are off the list, as are those that have been turned in but not yet printed (Sparrow Hill Road and The Winter Long). Symbiont and Pocket Apocalypse are off the list because they're finished and in revisions with the Machete Squad. The cut-tag is here to stay, because no matter what I do, it seems like this list just keeps on getting longer. But that's okay, because at least it means I'm never actively bored. I have horror movies and terrible things from the swamp to keep me company.
Not everything on this list has been sold. I will not discuss the sale status of anything which has not been publicly announced. If you can't remember whether I've announced something, check the relevant tag, or go to my website, at www.seananmcguire.com. Please do not ask why project X is no longer on the list. I will not answer you.
( What's Seanan working on now? Click to find out!Collapse )
Current Mood: awake
Current Music: Adele, "Melt My Heart To Stone."
|brni||01:58 pm - Some Half-Asleep Thoughts on Short Fiction Markets|
Yes, it's noon already.
Yes, I just woke up.
In my inbox were some calls for submissions, some of which are non-paying. So I thought I'd share my thoughts on that.
I have had some experience with non-paying markets, from when I first started selling stories. At the time, the drive was to get things published, to get my work out where people would see it, and, being filled with self-doubts and hating receiving rejection letters, I sent my work out to places I thought had a high likelihood of not sending me a rejection letter. How did I determine this? I sent my work to online magazines that published stuff that was noticeably worse than my early work.
The tactic worked. The stories were published. One was even published before I was notified of acceptance. There was no editing.
Which is to say (to paraphrase Cerebus the Aardvark), sometimes you can get what you wanted, and still not be very happy.
They say you get what you pay for. As a writer, the same applies, with a twist: you will get what the publisher pays for. The non-paying market field is filled with people who look at e-zine publishing and think, hey, I can do that. Chances are, no, they can't. When I launched The Journal of Unlikely Entomology in 2011, I had no idea what I was doing. None of us did. BUT. We were committed to it, and there was money on the table. We were paying our authors and our artists. We weren't going to take a story that I wasn't willing to spend money on, and, having spent the money, we were dedicated to making sure it was as good as it could be before it went out into the world. Without having made an investment in the project, there is little incentive for the publisher to do the hard work of actually creating a valuable product, and most of the time, they don't.
And sadly (or perhaps fortunately, given the general lack of editing), even for the purpose of having your work where people will see and read it, getting published in non-paying markets often doesn't even provide that. What exactly is the readership of a non-paying zine? What value does having a short story out in a non-paying market have for me? None.
THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS, and your mileage may vary, as they say on teh Intarwebs.
In the literary/mainstream field, non-paying short fiction markets seem to be the rule rather than the exception, until you reach a certain level of notoriety, at which point you get paid well - very well, by genre standards.
There are, also, some conscientious editors out there putting together good zines, without the means to pay. Most of them, however, will find some way to pay at least a token amount - a couple bucks via paypal or something. If you're considering sending your work to a non-paying market, take a look at their recent offerings. What is the quality of the stories? What about editing - are there lots of typos, misspelled words, horrifying sentence constructions? What about the presentation? Impossible-to-read blood-red type on a black background? Background images that obfuscate the text? Look for a clean, professional presentation and stories that look like someone actually paid attention to editing them.
One gentleman of my acquaintance was working on a short story collection which he planned to self-publish, and sent a number of the stories out to non-paying markets simply for the ability to put "previously published in" in front of enough of the stories that his self-pubbed work would be seen as something by someone whose work has been vetted through a traditional editing/publishing process. I think that's a valid reason. I've seen his work - it's certainly good enough to get picked up by paying markets, but he was looking for a fast turnaround.
AND - probably most importantly - there are markets that exist as benefits. This is what I received in my email overnight. If there's a good reason to give away one's creative work, it's for the purpose of generating awareness of a worthy cause, and of generating revenue for that cause. Coming Together is an erotica imprint whose tagline is "Doing good while being bad. Erotic fiction to benefit charity." The email I received informed us that they will be starting calls soon for two new projects, one a science fiction themed anthology that benefits the International Still's Disease Foundation, and the other an ongoing line of Steampunk themed stories to benefit the National Math & Science Initiative. If you feel like doing good while being bad, either as a reader or a writer, check out their site to see their offerings and the charities they support, and to see what calls for submission are currently open.
The to-do list that preceded thesis work has been vanquished: essays and talks written, books reviewed, magazine work tackled. So, this week has signaled the start of the thesis-specific to-do list: lots more research reading, plus writing at least the introduction and an outline in the next week or week and a half.
I've been keeping up the close-to-book-a-day pace on the research this week; I've also gotten about 1,000 words drafted (though admittedly like 350 of those are just part of a later chapter that I got down in rough when an structural idea occurred to me). The introduction, if I work a bit per day while also finishing the research, should be done on schedule. Then there are four reasonably sized chapters to complete. Though the requirement is a minimum of 15k, I suspect this one will clock in around 20k, which is a range I work well at. (The Russ thesis was 21k.)
There has been... some panic, yes. Some rough days. But as of yesterday, there are only eight weeks left. Plenty to do during those eight weeks, but spring is approaching, and with it, home.
Regular CrossFit classes have been, by the way, a delight. I've been tackling fresh skills left and right, testing endurance and conditioning in more varied and intense ways, et cetera. It's a good group, too--the folks are friendly, open, and encouraging.
I regret not testing in sooner. If I'd had my mental game together over the fall semester, and been training properly, I would have been up to where I needed to be around, oh, December. Hindsight. In fact, if there's one thing I'll miss, it'll be this gym and the group there. Good coaching, solid companionship, fun work.
|ken_schneyer||12:06 pm - My tweets|
- Fri, 13:04: Tybalt's heart leaps when I make tuna salad.
- Fri, 17:42: So this blogger has nasty things to say about *all* the Nebula-nominated short stories. Again, boy & girls, I'm proud to be in your company.
|mariness||09:41 am - Polychrome in Oz|
Some time ago I had the opportunity to read Ryk Spoor's Polychrome in Oz in manuscript. I sent him my comments, some of which you can see in that link. What I didn't tell him was that both midway through and at the end I kept having the same nagging thought: wow, I can see that this might be a tough sell to publishers.
Here's why - the tough sell, that is, not why I didn't tell him.
By this point, if you haven't been able to tell, I have read a lot of Oz books. And I do mean a lot. (Beyond the Tor.com posts, I also continue to review Oz books for the Baum Bugle.) They tend to fall into two different categories:
1. Happy, cheerful kids books focused on adventure and fun, with a few - very few - attempting to make sense of some of the inconsistencies in Oz along the way (Paul Dana's The Law of Oz, for instance.) Sometimes these books focus on Oz characters; sometimes these books focus on kids from our world getting to go to Oz - either temporarily or permanently. (Loosen those immigration standards, Ozma!)
2. Serious and often, frankly, depressing as hell adult takes on Oz, that Examine All of the Ramifications of This Fairyland and Insert Clever References to the Movies. Interestingly these tend to outsell the cheerful kids books, and I have thoughts on that, but more later.
What's been, for the most part, completely missing is anything between these two extremes: a fantasy adventure set in Oz written for adults.
And that's what Ryk has provided here. And since it doesn't easily fit into those categories, it was, as I feared, a tough sell - so he's turning to Kickstarter to get it into print.
Full disclosure: Ryk and I follow each other on Lj, but I'm linking here not because of that, but because I'm hoping this is the start of a new trend for Oz books.
|beth_bernobich||09:35 am - yesterday's email...|
...brought me this extra special author quote for THE TIME ROADS:
"In THE TIME ROADS, a young Irish queen grits her teeth and digs in to deal with manifold problems of state, time travel, and love. This one is breathtakingly original." —Gene Wolfe
|tithenai||11:53 am - Review: Siri Hustvedt's THE BLAZING WORLD|
My review of Siri Hustvedt's The Blazing World is up at NPR Books, containing a bare fraction of all the things I want to say about it. I could've written an essay of the same length on the beauty and heartbreak of Harriet Burden and Bruno Kleinfeld's meditations on their aging bodies and the cruelties of memory and narratives of self, or on the expert deployment of misogynistic voices in the text, or the complication of straightforward feminist narratives, or the straining against binary gender, or the representation of family love and tension. It's a glorious book, and I hope people I know read it soon so I can discuss it with them while my awe of it glows so fierce. Reviewing it felt like a privilege.
In other news, I was bowled over to be included in A. C. Wise's "Women to Read" post for March, in the company of Jo Walton, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Francesca Lia Block. These are all women whose work I've loved and admired, and to be even thought of at their level's immensely humbling. I think I'm also peculiarly sensitive to praise of "A Hollow Play" for reasons difficult to explain but that I keep musing on and hope to perhaps explore at some point.
But that point is not now, because today I am taking my brother on a hawking tour before sending him back south, and lunch and castles await.
Current Location: Glasgow
Current Mood: happy
Current Music: quiet