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Monday, January 6th, 2014
9:54 pm - Hugo Eligibility
It's time for the Hugos again, and it's worth mentioning that I have a story eligible in the form of Pompild, over at Unlikely Story. It's definitely a story for you if you like a bit of body horror and if, like me, you've always had a weirdly fond relationship with parasitic wasps.

Seeing as I've not updated this thing in forever and a day, it might be worth mentioning that I've had some other work published as well. I don't think these are eligible for any kind of nominations, but you might like them nonetheless.

Shadows Cast by Moonlight can be found here, and I love it a lot, which is saying something for me. It's for you if you like awful people, not-really-Ming-Dynasty-China and candy.

The Ghosts of Emerhad can be bought here, and its for you if you like love stories, not-really-eighteenth-century-Eastern-Europe and ghosts, This one is going to be collected in Steve Berman's Wilde Stories 2013: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction.

Dreams of Steel and Iron: Automaton Liberation in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century by Sirin JRK-298 is a fun short little piece where I cram everything I know about the Ottoman Empire into a very short story-thing.
Dinner at Majak’s is my foodie-Lovecraft story, because those things really need to go together.

Anyway, 2013 is done, 2014 is in, I miss everyone but I am making friends in interesting places. I've got my hands full with writing for clients, and if I don't write something for myself like and maybe get some banh coun while I'm at it, I'm gonna chuck someone I don't know out of a window.

That all being said, if you're reading this, I want to hear from you. I want to know what you're doing, what you've been up to, how your world's holding together, and when you are going to come to Milwaukee so I can feed you.  I'm not a terrible cook these days, so hit me up!

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Friday, April 6th, 2012
8:18 pm - Day 3: Cooking
COOKING
I’m a pretty passable cook these days. I eat in way more than I eat out, and I even conquered the thit kho recipe that gave me so much grief.*

My favorite part of cooking is figuring out how fancy I can make my food sound to anyone who didn’t see me make it. Below, have a translation of my recent menu items.

Menu Item: Whole Wheat Pasta Salad With Smoked Oysters and Capers
Translation: I’m tired, I’m hungry, and I found some old tins and jars at the back of the refrigerator.

Menu Item: Homemade White Pizza with Tomatoes, Mushroom and Crushed Garlic
Translation: I dislike pizza with cheese and I think I’m out of tomato sauce

Menu Item: Whole Wheat Pasta in a Tomato and Sour Cream Sauce With Crushed Garlic
Translation: I think I have some white sauce stuff leftover from that stroganoid-thing I made yesterday. I also seem to have a half box of pasta and a can of stewed tomatoes. I have no memory of buying those stewed tomatoes. I wonder where they came from.




*I had to make three times before I thought to run the recipe by my mom. Then we realized that the recipe called for about four times the amount of fish sauce that is actually used.**
** Mom: Nothing needs that much fish sauce! Nothing!

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Thursday, April 5th, 2012
7:32 pm - Day 2: Video Games
VIDEO GAMES
Sometime 1999, my sister brought home Fallout 2 on a CD. We played it on the family computer, or rather, I played it and she watched me. Because I had no idea how to play a video game of that sort, it took me something like the better part of a year to beat it.

There were a few problems from the get-go. For one thing, I refused to take side quests because dammit, I had to save my village. Then we got to the problem where I refused to take any of the companions with me because it was too dangerous for them. I mean, Cassidy had a heart condition for frog’s sake. This changed later in the game when I used my spouse as a deployable decoy.

Despite its flaws, and my god does it have some, I think for the rest of my life, Fallout 2 is going to be game by which all other games are measured. If I can’t mutate myself, seduce a mob boss’s wife, accidentally doom the western coast* and inadvertently destroy a sentient species, I don’t know how I feel about it.

*This, by the way, is what happens when you refuse to take side quests.

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12:45 am - Day 1: The Media Diet
So I’m totally chiming in with the people who are saying that they miss LJ, so I was wondering what I could do to make myself post more often.

While I was working on a truly ridiculous set of articles a few weeks back (double my normal rate will get me to write a lot of ridiculous*), I randomly commented to Grace that I could write about anything for 100 words.

I used to fit a lot of story into 100 words, and now I think I want to try to blog at least 100 words every weekday for... a while. So, today’s 100 words:

THE MEDIA DIET
I’m a highly distracted writer. One reason I’ve never finished a novel is that the newest shiny thing comes out of left field and I go chasing it like an idiot. While having lots of ideas is great for my short stories, longer works, not so much.

I’m writing a novel called Feeding Fire right now. It’s set in a place which is kind of China, with a haunted, irritated protagonist, her random kilted sidekick from over the mountain, a kidnapped grandfather, and lots of weird gods.

To prevent distraction, I’m only allowed to read things that are somehow related to or feed the novel, whether its fiction or nonfiction. I’ve had Discount Armageddon and Black Blade Blues on my shelf for WEEKS.

It seems to be working. I am ticking along, 36,000 words in, and I only hate it as much as I hate my other things, not exponentially more. I think the media diet is working, or at least, I think it is focusing my crazy into a highly concentrated, highly effective laser of irritation. My irri-laser, if you will.

Anyway, that’s the media diet thing that I’ve been doing.


*Please inquire!

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Thursday, March 15th, 2012
9:14 pm - Fiction!
Hey look, another way to put off writing tonight!

"River Bride" got published over at Expanded Horizons.

River Bride is for you if you like: irritated protagonists, personified rivers, fast talking, and not-really-China.

I just read it over, and as it turns out, I still like it.  Who'd have thought.

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Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
9:25 pm - Book Meme!
So apparently, this is what I am doing instead of writing. After this, I get the night off from the novel to hack out a short story and then I have to prepare three pieces of short fiction for a honest to goodness paper submission.

Have a meme about my reading habits. While it would be cool if you read and commented, I would be much more curious about reading everyone else's.
Read more...Collapse )

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
9:49 pm - Have a Story
Penumbra put out my queer, meta Shakespeare fanfic, "Which is Sebastian?" as well as a very short essay that I wrote about it.

If you read it, please let me know what you think. I can honestly say that I like this story, and I never thought I would get a chance to publish it; it's just so, so odd.

http://penumbra.musapublishing.com/nghivo.php

This story is for you if you like queer relationships, meta, upsetting fairies, being backstage, and heartbreak.

Wow, I just noticed that this story is sad. Well done, me.

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Thursday, January 19th, 2012
10:45 pm - Doin' stuff, making faces
Okay, so here’s the thing.

I’m a writer. Being a writer is what I am, not what I do, it’s the thing that makes me feel the most like myself. It’s the thing I’d do if someone locked me in a room all by myself, it’s the thing that makes me feel like maybe I’m not nothing. Thank all green frogs I like being a writer, or I’d be incredibly screwed.

On the other hand.

I want to do other things. Like, a lot. And when I go off and do those other things, I like them, and they’re fun, but in the back of my head, there’s always something telling me that there’s no point to them, that they’re not writing, that I suck at everything that’s not writing* and that I should maybe get back behind the keyboard where I belong. There are days where going to write feels like I’m just doing it to get away from this thing. While this impulse has gotten me two novellas and lots and lots of short stories published, I think I can recognize it for a bad impulse. I think.

Contrary to what it might seem from this blog, I actually do things besides write. I sew stuff, I knit, I cook, I dance, I kind of juggle, I draw, I occasionally run roleplaying games, and I make jewelry. Right now, I’m typing this as I wait for the paint to dry on a paper-mache bull mask I’m making. I need to tell myself that it’s okay that I’m doing this other stuff, that there’s no reason to hate myself for doing this other stuff.

So tonight, I think I get to do some of the other stuff. For the other people out there who have a Thing, does it ever feel bad when you’re not doing it? If you do, how do you get around that? Because I assume the answer is not "just do thing."

Update: Finished painting the bull mask, and now I am going to do 500 words off this haunting story that is due sometime by the end of the month. Because I know what fixes the crazy. **



*Not actually true; most days, I actually kinda suck at writing too.
**More crazy.

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012
11:27 pm - Have an Update
Well, I’m a bit too tired and sick right now to do a full life update, so have a writing one instead.

Novel
First, no novel this year, let’s try again next year. Second verse, same as the first, but I’ve got a fun start with Daughter of Stone Lions and there’s another idea in the wings if that one doesn’t congeal. If I want to write more novels, I’m going to need to read more of them too, so if anyone has suggestions, I’m game. I’ll read pretty much anything, send ‘em if you’ve got them.

Ghostwriting/Article Mining
Lost Main Gig around 6 weeks ago, and I’m relearning that yes, I am still good at other things. Also going to try my hand at magazine submissions this year as well as more standard freelancing.

Short Stories
Okay, I’m pretty happy with myself here. I have had four acceptances for spec-fic stories, and praise be to sweet green frogs, I actually like them all. None of them are out yet, though one ought to be coming out in just a few days here. The list includes “Tiger Stripes,” “River Bride,” “Which Is Sebastian?,” and “Cut.” I also got to write an essay that goes along with “Which Is Sebastian?”

Notes
Why doesn’t anyone love the Coyote story? I love the Coyote story.

Anyway, have a list of prospective projects on the horizon beneath the cut.
Read more...Collapse )

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Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
10:23 pm - Embarrassing Music Take Two
Been AWOL for a bit, but felt the urge to post tonight amidst a lot of cleaning.* So have another edition of songs that I wholeheartedly love but wish sometimes wish I didn't.

Bad Romance- Lady Gaga
Muchacha Kiss Kiss Bang- Alex Swings Oscar Sings
HÜP- Tarkan
Fairytale- Alex Rybek
Coldhearted- Paula Abdul**
Let the Monster Rise- Repo: The Genetic Opera

Anyway, lots going on, but apparently that's what I wanted to share.  I also want to see more LJ, so in the spirit of whymc and sister_bluebird, I'm gonna see if I can't update more.  At the very least, it's been interesting looking back and seeing what I thought was worth talking about.


*Must get apartment into shape for Christmas Eve slumber party/Christmas Day gaming!
** I blame my dad for this one.  This was one of the songs he used to play all the time when I was a kid.  That, and a weird selection of Fleetwood Mac.

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Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
4:45 pm - Hey, nifty....
I just got two author's copies of one of the anthologies that I was in.  Cool, I guess I'm a real writer now.  ^_^

At the very least, it balances out a really encouraging rejection note from this morning. My rejection notices are getting pretty good, at least.

Anyway, still alive, still writing, perpetually confused.

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Sunday, October 17th, 2010
10:55 pm - Oh God, So Much Writing
So where have I been lately?

I've been writing, plotting, editing and discarding in a frenzy.  At the moment, I want to write ALL THE THINGS.  It's been seriously insane inside my head, and it's a good thing that Grace and Jess are highly tolerant people, because I've been bubbling over with projects and things that I want/need to write.  

The Two Big Ones:

Sleepless
Lilas, the court storyteller finds herself embroiled in palace intrigues that involve a dead duchess and the real reason behind why a plague of insomnia has hit the kingdom.  I love sleep and I think that sleep denial is one of the worst things in the world.  I've also read studies on what happens when people don't sleep.  This story includes a truly terrifying Royal Household Agency and night hags.

Crossing Lethe
Half-demon Jaden is a hunter of damned souls who's been pretty happy about her job for the last 300 years or so. At a ball to formally recognize the new upstart demon prince in the neighborhood, she begins to realize that what she's been told about the damned, demons and especially half-demons may not be strictly true and that she may be a significantly worse person than she thought she was.  Jaden's one of my rare characters who actually wants to be a good person, and the chaos starts from there.  This one features snarky demons, irritated horses and a setting that I'm oddly proud of.

 
The Others

Diadem House
I wanted to try my hand at writing romance, and the truth of the matter is that I SUCK AT IT.  I wrote a charged opening that looks pretty good and then I got bored and wandered away.  So then I decided to do what I'm actually good at and to try my hand at writing longer erotica.  Diadem House features a young female criminal who's sent to work off her debt to society in a fancy brothel.  That's it.  This one involves a system where you work off your time by acquiring rings, a creepy-if-you-look-at-it world, and a lot of sex. 

Snarky Novella
This one involves a genre-savvy warlord who's been hopping despotic regimes for the past twenty years and who has mostly survived by realizing that a fresh-faced young lad with a rag-tag bunch of followers  are sheer poison when you are an evil overlord.  He's just considering retiring from this type of job (maybe going into beekeeping) when he starts having complicated feelings for the high priest and when he notices that this year's fresh-faced country boy looks a lot like the face he sees in the mirror.

Dreams of Jade and Jet
This is a short story where a girl with a dream eater is dragged in to deal with the bad dreams of a murderous prince. This story takes place in Tang dynasty China, and so far, my favorite part is the noodle seller she talks to at the beginning.  The story is lightly stuck, though, so I need to take a stick to it.  I think I maybe have another 2000 words to go on it.

--------

With the exception of the dream eater story, these are all huge.  You never want to get mugged by a novel.  It is a bad idea.

Of course, with the way that my mood goes, there's every good chance that in about a week, I'm going to be curled up in a ball moaning that I never get any good ideas.  Then I can look at this entry and after a prolonged period of laughter, get back to work.

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Thursday, October 7th, 2010
12:51 am
Words: 500 on revolutionary nastiness, 2000 on my first stab at a romance novel, and 1000 on the dream eater story.  That brings us up to 3500 for the evening.
Writing Tasks: Tidied up the vampire lesbian story and sent it off.  We'll see where that goes.  Everyone think positive thoughts!
Mean Things:  Arrests by the crown prince's guard, a screaming woman in a museum, and violent sex as a response to trauma
Nice Things:  Sleepy dream-eater
Thoughts:  Man, I'm sleepy now
Plans:  Gonna go and do some writing longhand in bed.  It's gotten quite cold all of a sudden.

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Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
8:09 pm
Words:  500ish  (In my defense, this is a hard scene to write)
Outlining:  Working on outlining a new novel called Suits.  It started out as an urban fantasy romance and it's become something much weirder.
Editing:  I am one edit closer to being done with the thing that I've been calling the fridging story.  I hate it, so it must be close to done.
Mean Things: I'm actually trying to write a sexy mock execution scene.
Things Wanted: A desk chair, some pizza, a way to get into the dream eater story, which is tentatively called "Dreams of Jade and Jet"
Things Discovered: There are a bunch of Black Butler character songs online.

Anyway, things are plugging along for me, and I am very tempted to try Nanowrimo again this year.  I have an idea that would suit the word length and I kind of liked the accountability of the word counts.  I think it also made me a little crazy though.  Like, I read over the LJ entries from that time period, and I could see the crazy oozing out of them.

Now more writing!

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Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
9:26 pm
Well, when in doubt about what to post, just post something embarrassing; at the very least, it will be funny for someone.

Songs That I Love Totally Unironically:

Ladies Love Country Boys- Trace Adkins
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme- ABBA
Düm Tek Tek- Hadise
Canadian Please- by Julia Bentley and Andrew Gunadie
Vi Ar Dom Tuffaste- Nanne Gronvall
Lollipop- Aqua
Every Time We Touch- Cascada
Bad Boy- Cascada
Boys, Boys, Boys- Lady Gaga
I'm Alive- Becca
I Wanna Be There- Blessed Union of Souls

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Monday, May 24th, 2010
10:32 pm
It's been a great couple of days for milestones

1.  I got my first royalty check in the mail.  I always figured that royalties were mythical, like Mu or Atlantis.  It was for the anthology, Women of the Bite.  My story's "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth,"  which is actually a piece of erotica that I'm still rather proud of.

2.  Women of the Bite is up for the 2010 Lambda Literary Awards. It's up for an award and I helped! 

3.  I passed the 20K mark on Passing Strange.  What a strange trip it has been, what a long trip it is going to be.

4.  I FINALLY finished the airship Titania story and Kostya's story.  I love both of these short stories, and it feels like I've been working on them forever.  The fact that they are done makes me feel warm and happy inside.  At this point, I don't even care how long the happiness is going to last, it's just nice.

5.  I now own a musubi mold.  It's to make musubi, which is rice and Spam wrapped in seaweed.  You know, I tried to use the Spam can as a mold, but I am going to be perfectly honest: using the Spam can as a mold is pathetic.  I cut myself nearly every single time I do it.  This mold makes me stupid-happy.

Anyway, what's life been like for everyone else?  What are you all proud of/happy for?

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Thursday, May 6th, 2010
12:15 am - May there always be angels to watch over you
10 points and a pony to anyone who catches all the references.


The black nag's eating brawling hay,
And Charlotte's come to town.
The Earl of Salisbury's Maltese horse
Has drunk the Montard down.

Sellinger's round behind the wall,
Hiding in the hole,
And Jenny plucks the sweetest pears
For Alman, black as coal.

Gather your peasecods while you may
For Mairi's getting wed.
We're strange in love, but long at war,
We'd rather dance instead.

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Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
11:48 pm - I come from a land called secret Estonia
My god, have the last few weeks been an emotional roller coaster.  Nothing bad happened at all, I was just swinging wildly between absolute despair and absolute glee over the precise same things.  On one hand, exciting, on the other hand, I am not sure that the sum productivity was as good as it would have been if I had stayed relatively consistent throughout.

Hm, so what's been going on lately?

-Gutted novel, rewrite from the foundation up.  Could be worse, I am happier with it and some things are coming out that only seem to come out (for me, at least) after writing about the characters for some time.  For instance, it took me until this evening to figure out what Mei's job is.

-I found a bookshelf.  About the day I was ready to give in and ask Grace for a lift to Big Lots so that I could avoid having my my old bookshelf kill me, I found a sturdy bookshelf made of raw wood in my back alley.  I hauled it up the stairs immediately (trust me, you don't leave good furniture to sit in my alley), and then a massive book reorganization and purge took place.  Yay books, and yay possibility of buying new books.  

-I think I have figured out what I want to write for the Swords and Sorceresses anthology submissions call.  It's going to be heavily disguised fanfic, but given the fact that the disguises are going on two original characters who happen to be in that universe, my guilt is pretty small.

-One or maybe two erotica anthologies that I want to write for.  Lots of fun coming up, and I think that short projects shall set me free.

-I got the idea for a pretty upsetting erotica novel the other day.  I really want to write it but... so upsetting.

-I am knitting a gray lace scarf thing.  It's about the most simple lace I think you can knit, it's called the Feather and Fan pattern.  Acrylic yarn sucks less than it once did and it's knitting up very fast.  I started late this afternoon and I have about a foot and half of scarf at the moment.  Not sure what I'll do with it when I'm done, but I do have some ornamentation ideas.

So what's the score?

Words Written: 1029, with possibly more to come in a bit
Inches Knitted: 18 and done for the night
Food:  Rice porridge, mushroom sandwich, and bowligiri (our way of saying bowl of rice with assorted ingredients mixed in)
Exercise: 38 minutes on the Wii Fit.  I've not been on in ages, and the little balance board was a dick to me.  I stepped on it.
Weather:  I cannot believe that it might snow tomorrow
Books: Organized by subject
Erotica: About 28 inches of my shelf space.
Measuring Implement: 3 x 5 notecard

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Thursday, March 11th, 2010
7:41 pm - I want your everything as long as it’s free
Got more work done on my alter ego's Wordpress blog today.  Grace was kind enough to tweak the banner for me.  On one hand, even sleep deprived, I managed to make it look not obviously created by Paint.  On the other hand, from what she told me, using Paint for this is like trying to carve wood with a leaky ballpoint.

I figure that when I have some actual content up, I'll start begging people to link to it and to come check it out.  At the moment, all that's there is the pretty header, an About page, a Writing page and an FAQ.

Speaking of the FAQ, is there anything that you feel should go on it;?  What kind of questions would people like to frequently ask me?

New Words:  1,005
Total Words: 34.061
Reason for Stopping: I hit quota, and today that makes me feel nicely complacent
Current State:  Laid back with slight chance of anime
Mean Things: Mei realizing he has never seen someone die
Looking Forward To:  reinforcing my world building with struts and spackle
Location:  On my bed, 8 feet from my desk.  It's exotic.
Nourishment: I steamed broccoli for the first time!
Nourishment To Come: Someday soon, I am going to make mac and cheese in my rice cooker.

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1:18 am - If you've date in Constantinople, she'll be waiting in Istanbul
Well, that was a productive day.  I did all my article writing, bounced on Grace's DDR, met quota on Inkstones, did a fair amount of origami, made mushroom sandwiches, created a wordpress blog for my erotica-writing alter ego, and wrote a biography and FAQ for said alter ego.

It's funny.  I can be as shy and as self-deprecating about my work as I like as long as I am the only one invested in it.  The minute other people start investing time, money, effort and support, I don't get to bash it any more.  Which is hard, because that's like one of my favorite things to do.

What all that means is that I've got to get better at self-promotion, hence setting up a Wordpress account.  I'm not quite ready to roll it out yet, but it's there, there's an email set up for it and I think that I want to have a decent chunk of content there by, let's say, March 25th.  On one hand, content creation is what I do.  On the other hand, content creation is what I do, (cry).

New Words
:  1,032
Total Words: 33,056
Reason for Stopping: I hit quota!  I hit quota, goddamnit!
Current State:  Nervy and hungry
Mean Things: Corpse weddings where the bride is still alive, Mei knowing more about poison than Reizo does
Looking Forward To:  Going back to fix all the scenes that I know need fixing, a dead woman flirting with Mei
Fingernails:  One excessively long thumbnail.  I think I forgot to clip it last time I cut my nails.  
Boots:  Oxblood red and knee-high
Forecast:  Foggy with a strong chance of bagel

Anyway, so what has everyone else been up to? 

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