Not really a paradigm shift

I think I’m going to have to switch to every other week for posting about genres. Meanwhile, life has been interesting here. I’ve just upgraded the computer to Lion, which has then involved shifting all of my e-mail (I was using a Power PPC app before, which won’t run at all under Lion), and I’ve got to figure out how to do POP rather than IMAP for my accounts (because it’s what I prefer, that’s why) and get used to the new scrolling, and how long everything takes to open and close, and learn why iCal keeps deciding to open (a preference setting I haven’t found, I’m sure), and locate a backup of a folder that the update deleted because it had all my custom dictionaries for word in it. Oh, and find the setting that turns off this damned autocorrect — oh, hey, I found that one! (False alarm — the words are still popping up with suggestions, although I turned it off in the System Preferences. *sigh*)

Anyway, between the computer shift and the large number of deadlines lately, I didn’t get a post on genres together for today. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you back here next week for the gratitude post!

Welcome, Daily Science Fiction readers

Hi! If you’re stopping by because you just read my flash “The Call” in Daily Science Fiction, thank you. It means a lot to me that you liked it enough to find out more about me. (Or maybe that you hated it enough to hunt me down and tell me how awful I am. Strong emotion is the point.) The long version of who I am is on my About me page. The short version is I’m a writer who has a varied background and likes to reflect that in her writing.

If you’d like to see more of what I’ve written, check out the Short stories page, which has links to other stories on-line as well as pointers to anthologies where some of my work appears. I’ve also self-published some work, including one mystery novel, a couple of science fiction novellas, and some shorter works. Links for that can be found on my Hartshorn Publishing page, including links for excerpts.

Last month, I participated in the A to Z Blog Challenge, using a theme of epic fantasy. I’ve also done a number of posts defining different genres, and every Monday, I like to blog about something I’m grateful for. (Today, I’m grateful for readers!) I also participate in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour each month, where a bunch of writers post on the same topic on their blog; here’s my latest post, on deadlines.

I also blog about my garden, books I’ve read recently, recipes (infrequently), my family (without names mentioned), and anything else that seizes my fancy. Take a look around, comment if you feel so inclined, or maybe even subscribe to get e-mail updates of new posts. (Comments are closed on posts older than 21 days, so if you want to talk about something older, either comment here or use the contact form. Also, I moderate the first comment from new visitors, and I use Akismet to weed out spam. It keeps the site friendly.)

So happy you came by!

What are you grateful or happy for today?

A to Z coming to a blog near you

April begins on Sunday, as you might have noticed. Last April, I participated in the A to Z blogging challenge. This year, I’m doing it again, and unlike last year, I’m going with a theme: epic fantasy. Posts will be about authors, books, tropes, themes, or anything else I think happens to fit.

I will still make my normal posts — the Merry-Go-Round blog tour post on the second, the gratitude posts on Mondays, the genre-defining posts on Fridays, and pictures of my garden or random other posts as I see fit. This is adding to the blog for a month, not changing it overall. Just expect more content for the month of April.

Also, if you’re inspired, you can go sign up to join in, but hurry — sign-ups close on Monday! If you follow that link, you’ll see the others who are signed up to participate (currently 1,365 blogs). Check some out; see what they have to say. You might find a new favorite!

Question for the studio audience

I’m considering offering a newsletter. It wouldn’t have a lot to it — news of any acceptances I have, mentions of whatever new I have up for sale — and would come out monthly. It wouldn’t duplicate my blog (which you can already subscribe to), although there would be some overlap.

Primarily, this is intended to reach out to those who only want to read my fiction but don’t care about whatever random rambles I want to discuss.

Would there be interest in such a thing?

Nothing to say?

One of the problems I have with blogging is that I feel like I don’t have anything to say. (Okay, Mom, stop laughing now. I know that never used to stop me.) That seems kind of silly for a writer, doesn’t it? But having stories to tell doesn’t necessarily translate to having informed opinions about politics or climate change or the situation in Nigeria or new advances in technology or the latest films. (We don’t go out to movies much; between the price being so high and us having young kids who don’t sit still, it’s not our best entertainment option.) In fact, I feel so far from an authority blogger, that I might even have mentioned this before. If so, I apologize. Don’t want to bore you.

I’m going to try to branch out and blog a little wider this year. You can still expect posts about knitting and quilting, how my garden is growing, the new gratitude posts, new stories I have up for sale as well as sales to professional venues, and various reviews. I’m also going to talk about genre and subgenre, so that when I say a book or story is clockpunk or sword & sandal or epic fantasy, you understand what I mean by that. I’m also going to talk a little about future history — nothing as grandiose as Hari Seldon, but a bit about how futurists look at the world and project where it’s going, and how that can build a solid foundation for science fiction. (This will probably start off with some commentary on Charlie Stross’s post on World building 301.)

My focus may shift a bit. I may add new topics and discard ones where no one seems to care. However, this is the plan for the next month or so.


I’ve been doing a cross-country road trip with my family, which has put me a bit behind on reading and posting. There will be no A to Z post this week; next week, I will continue with de Bodard, de Pierres, and Duane.

Oh, and maybe I’ll post a vacation pic or two later.

Coming attractions

My friend Alex Fayle came up with a wonderful idea for a Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour (no posts there yet). Each month, the participants will blog on the same topic, each on a different day. We’ll post on our own blogs, with links to the tour and to those posting before and after us, so people can follow the tour. I think the plan is to start for July, so I’ll let you all know what day to expect my words of wisdom — or words, anyway.

The other thing I’m planning to do is another A to Z blog series, since I had such fun with the one in April. This time, the plan is to post once a week, beginning July 2. Topic will be women science fiction and fantasy authors. Obviously, I’m not going to do every author with a given initial, so I may choose some other method to narrow it down. I’m open to suggestions.

I may also try to get back to weekly Q&A posts, too. It’s been a while since I did those.

The idea is to get some regular content going here, in addition to all these random, “Oh, hey, I ought to tell people about that” posts.

A is for April, alphabet, and awesome

Happy April, everyone! Although I’ve enjoyed some of the lovely pranks I’ve seen around the Net, there are none here.

I made the last-minute decision to join the A to Z Challenge for blogging this month. I started this blog posting 3-4 times a week. Now, I’m down to 2-3 times, and some weeks, I don’t even manage that. So this is an effort to get myself used to posting more regularly.

And my big news — I sold my story “Matchmaker” to Clarkesworld Magazine, and it’s up now as part of their April issue. This is my first sale to a SFWA-qualifying market, and it makes me eligible to join SFWA as an Associate member. (I need 3 short-story sales or 1 novel sale to qualify as an Active member. This fall, when Daily Science Fiction will most likely get SFWA-qualifying status, I’ll be up to 2 stories. With any luck — and lots of persistence — I might get the third one before then.) However, I’m waiting until July to join because that’s when their fiscal year flips, and I’d really rather pay dues only once this year.

What’s new with you this month?

Common sense strikes back

Mom’s always told me I don’t have much common sense. I think she’s wrong. On the other hand, every now and then I have a lapse, and it takes a bit of effort to realize it.

For example, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been very concerned about making sure I’m seen on Twitter, on retweeting and replying and trying to be part of the community. In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if one of the reasons I’m on Twitter is to become a familiar name so that when I have books out, people will consider buying them — well, I need to be putting more effort into the writing of the books than into the marketing of myself. Common sense.

So my priorities have been a bit mixed up. As Lazette Gifford says, “Writing comes first.” I’ll still try to be friendly, but that isn’t — can’t be — my priority.

I am going to try to keep blogging three times a week, though. It keeps me honest and on track. And it doesn’t matter to me if I can’t sum up what my blog is about in a single word. I can’t describe myself in one word, either.

What about you? Has common sense made you rethink something you were doing?

As always, thanks for reading.

planning plus blogging equals plogging

First of all, just so you know, I’m experimenting. I’m trying to build a blog that I want to maintain and others want to read. There are as many ways to do that as there are successful blogs. Those of you who visit me now are going to experience my growing pains, but you’re also going to have the opportunity to influence what I do, based on what you react to, what you look at, and how enthusiastic you are. Isn’t that exciting?

  • I may post photos (such as John Scalzi does from time to time, or Jay Lake does with his moments of Zen).
  • I may post polls or contests (though those will probably wait until I’ve got at least a couple dozen people reading regularly and commenting at least sporadically).
  • I may post links.
  • I will post reviews of videos, books, blogs, or anything else that catches my fancy (Thursdays).
  • I will post my Q & A sessions (Fridays).
  • I may post poetry — haiku, sestinas, centos. Or not.
  • I will post snippets when I have something new coming out, so you know what sort of thing to expect.
  • I may post about things going on with my family and my life. (For example, my son has wanted a new cat for a couple of years, and I imagine that’s going to happen pretty soon — and that may lead to pictures.)
  • I will post thoughts about writing process, editing, epiphanies related to how I work, and productivity.
  • I may post other things I haven’t thought of yet.
  • I will not post links to quizzes, political or religious diatribes (any discussion of these will be in relation to a particular work of fiction or history), or my latest score in some Flash-based game.

Any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment!