5 things

Dec. 18th, 2011 08:57 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. I'm seeing a sleep therapist now, because I would like to get off the potentially addictive hypnotic that is currently holding my insomnia down. She told me what I really already knew, that I need to get on a fixed schedule of going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. Which means getting up at 6:30 on weekends. I HATE THIS. I have always been a night owl, and mornings are my favorite time to sleep. But I am determined to give this fixed schedule a fair shot, so here I am, awake and fed and medicated and dressed at 8:30 on a Sunday morning. (Nobody says I have to move fast on weekends, just that I have to get up.)

The fixed schedule idea also means that I have to go to bed--as in, in bed, lights out, eyes shut, at 10:15. And ideally I need to try to decrease my computer usage in the late evenings, because of light issues (photosensitivity plus glow of monitor equals confused circadian rhythms). Which means I have even less time to get computer things done, and I am still trying to finish this goddamn book. Ergo, as little as I have been an online presence in recent months, I'm going to be even less of one, at least for a while. Which is Teh Suck, but I have to find a way to keep the insomnia chained in the basement, and long-term drug usage is just not the way I want to go.

2. So, when I was making my whirlwind trip to Boston, I discovered that O'Hare has a Field Museum store. This is a brilliantly terrible idea on the Field Museum's part, but it did mean I could take [livejournal.com profile] matociquala meerkat socks as a hostess gift (because seriously--meerkat socks). And I bought for myself a pair of tiny Sue earrings. They have become my favorite earrings--for the one set of holes I don't just leave rings in all the time--for days I don't have to dress like an adult.

3. Two really nice capsule reviews of The Bone Key: (1) and (2). And Somewhere Beneath Those Waves got a starred review from Library Journal (here if you're interested) and a very kind mention from Lesley Hall over at Aqueduct Press's blog.

4. These fossa pups, Ingrid, Heidi, and Gretchen, show that Madagascar really knows how to work the charismatic predator* angle.

5. Have a picture of Milo and me:

(Stepping Stones Studio 2011)
---
*[livejournal.com profile] ursulav came up with that useful designation.

podcast

Nov. 8th, 2011 08:59 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: kmb)
I did a podcast interview with Julia Rios at the Outer Alliance about The Bone Key (available in its shiny new edition here from Prime Books): podcast here.

5 things

Feb. 18th, 2011 02:07 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (horse: fd-milo)
1. We had a thirty-six hour internet outage yesterday and today. SO not amused.

2. Also not amused by Wisconsin's governor. But yay for the 30,000 protesters!

3. Sean Wallace has posted the cover mock-up for the new edition of The Bone Key. I am in love with the cover art.

4. 169 copies of Unnatural Creatures have arrived! I have signed and numbered the entire print run, and this weekend will be all about making up orders and shipping them out.

5. Today, Milo and I cantered off the lunge line! This is huge, because the last time I tried cantering off the lunge line, back in May, I fell off the horse. It's taken my instructor and me this long to get me to the point where I was ready to try again, and OMG it felt completely different and SO MUCH BETTER. Completely psyched.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (cats: napping)
Here's what's left:
  • 1 copy of A Companion to Wolves (paperback), $7 ea.
  • 2 copies of Corambis (hardback), $30 ea.


Please comment on the sale post to purchase.



And you can still buy Unnatural Creatures until midnight.



Also, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has participated so far. I'm lousy at math, but it looks like we'll easily have a $2,000 donation for the Companion Animal Fund by the end of the sale. And that's just EXCELLENT.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (tr: mole)
More terrible RLS last night. And the damn acupuncture clinic still has not called me back to schedule an appointment. (Dear clinic, this is deeply sub-optimal. Nolove, Mole.) And my Kinesis keyboard has died, like a Norwegian Blue parrot. (I'm typing this on a spare Mac keyboard [livejournal.com profile] mirrorthaw happened to have lying around, which is fine as a stopgap measure, but no good as a long-term solution.)

But.

1. I have 2100 words on a new story, tentatively titled, "Clouded Mary and Crawdad Marie," which seems to be what happens when steampunk crashes head on into The Wizard of Oz. Also, seriously, inspiration can come from anywhere. This one started in a rest stop in Indiana on the way back from WFC with a series of three doors labeled "Assisted Care," "Women," and "Mechanical." I'm hoping it will kick up something with which to simulate a plot soon, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying the characters and the world building and, well, the writing. It's a tremendous relief to discover that I can still do this and all the machinery works.

(I wonder if one reason for the popularity of steampunk is that many writers are secretly convinced their creativity is like one of those steampunk machines with the gears and the levers and maybe a steam whistle. ... Or is that just me?)

2. [livejournal.com profile] cmpriest is in town for TeslaCon, and although I am not doing TeslaCon, I do get to have dinner with Cherie tomorrow night.

3. Also tomorrow, I am going to make the grand experiment of getting back on my horse, and I don't mean that metaphorically.

4. Everyone involved seems to like my Whedonistas essay.

5. Truly lovely fan art for The Bone Key.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] britmandelo discusses The Bone Key lovingly and with sharp acumen at Tor.com.



The evil that grape vines do lives after them.



My life will be a lot easier this summer if I can teach myself not to walk into the Anthropophagous Rosebush.



I need to start writing again. I just wish my brain wasn't so damn empty.



I have a schedule for OddCon:

Friday, April 16, 4:30P.M.: Novel Writing Q&A (come grill an author!)
Saturday, April 17, 10:00 A.M.: Baseball, Fantasy, and SF (self-explanatory, which is probably good at ten in the morning)
Sunday, April 18, 11:30 A.M. But I wouldn't want to live there! (dystopian fiction panel)
Sunday, April 18, 1:00 P.M. Nonhuman & Other Human Protagonists (how to make aliens more than human beings in monster suits)

Addenda: (1) Unless I am about to be late to a panel (or, you know, obviously really busy just then), I am always happy to sign books.
(2) I am very shy and very near-sighted. But that doesn't mean I won't be delighted to talk to you!
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Megan Arkenberg and [livejournal.com profile] cheloya, things for you are In The Mail.

The [livejournal.com profile] con_or_bust auctions close Saturday, March 13, 2010 (11:59 p.m. Eastern). This includes (among a lot of other cool stuff) the auction for a signed hardback of The Virtu, in which the bidding has reached $65.

Corambis will be out in paperback (according to Amazon) at the end of this month.

Tomorrow, I'm doing a Friends of the NIU Libraries/Friends of DeKalb Public Library event. Info here. Also, yes, I will sign things after the discussion, and yes, I will sign things other than The Bone Key.

Sunday, I'm leaving for a week in Arizona with [livejournal.com profile] matociquala, [livejournal.com profile] cristalia, [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange, [livejournal.com profile] coffeeem, and [livejournal.com profile] willshetterly, which culminates in a Shadow Unit panel at the Tucson Festival of Books. I believe we're also doing a signing at the Mysterious Galaxy booth.

Other planned appearances for 2010 include:


There's probably something else, but I forget what it is.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: virtu (Judy York))
ONE! The auctions for [livejournal.com profile] hominysnark (who, I have learned, named one of her cats Mildmay, hence the icon) are in their final twenty-four hours, and the bidding has reached:
  • The Bone Key and 4 mss (plus a fifth when it ceases to be vaporware): 110 $125 $130 $160
  • 3-book set, Mélusine, The Virtu, The Mirador: $170 $200 $250 and a suggestion that both top bidders be allowed to win, which I am pondering.
  • Mélusine: $60 $75
  • The Virtu: $50 $60
  • The Mirador: $40 $45


That's $420 $435 $465 $475 $480 $485 $500 $550 $580 thus far. I said that if we reached $1,000 I'd do a serial podcast of The Virtu. Now I picked that number deliberately to be out of reach unless something amazing happened, because OMG that's a lot of work, but I have another offer: if we reach $500 total, I will do a free podcast, or podcasts, of up to 10,000 words of my published short fiction, stories to be chosen by you all via LJ poll.

ETA: We're past $500. Yay! After the auctions close (i.e., in about forty minutes), I will put up the poll.



TWO! In other auction news, the bidding in the [livejournal.com profile] helptheproject auction for all four DoL hardbacks is at $100 $200 $250 $300.



THREE! My Storytellers Unplugged column for February is about endings: "Both The Great Detective Explains It All ending and the Mawwiage Is What Bwings Us Togethah Today ending are artificial in the extreme, and frequently–as Elizabeth Bear pointed out when I mentioned it to her–awkward, obtrusive, and unsatisfying, but the thing is, I understand why people do them. Because it gets everybody to hold still for FIVE FUCKING SECONDS so you can END THE GODDAMN BOOK ALREADY. And I don’t care if your eyes WERE closed, Aunt Mabel, this is the picture that’s going to the newspaper."



FOUR! [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna speaks for every woman who has ever bought deodorant.



FIVE! FIVE BEAUTIFUL POINTERS! In case somebody else out there needs these as badly as I did, videos of dancing hexapods.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Here's the deal.

[livejournal.com profile] asatomuraki explains:
[livejournal.com profile] hominysnark needs a hysterectomy to keep an unpleasant medical condition from becoming a life-threatening one (it's already most of the way there) and she can't, because she doesn't have health insurance.

Why doesn't she have health insurance? Because she's self-employed, and as many self-employed creative people (she's an artist and writer - full disclosure, she writes for GC) know all too well, when you have to choose between eating and having a place to sleep or having health insurance, the health insurance loses. [...]

She needs $2700.00 for the operation, or she has to wait for her condition to become life-threatening. (It will get there long before she could save up that much, especially since she has $8,000.00 in medical bills from just having it diagnosed.) See, she falls in that sweet spot between having enough income to have health insurance or pay for health care herself and being poor enough to qualify for any sort of break from providers or government program.


Now, once again, the fact that I am not in this position is pure luck, the luck that my uterus, for all its bitching and moaning, has not started trying to kill me outright, and the luck that--because I am married to a person who has the right kind of job*--I have health insurance. Now, [livejournal.com profile] hominysnark's bad luck wrt her uterus is pretty much just that: bad fucking luck. But the fact that she's without health insurance, and therefore without healthcare when she needs it, because of our country's politics--it makes me angry, and it makes me sad.

And it makes me want to help.

If you feel the same way, here are three options:

1. Follow the link to [livejournal.com profile] asatomuraki's post and click the PayPal Donate button.

2. [livejournal.com profile] hominysnark's website is F-Bod Studios. Buy something from her.

3. Bid on The Bone Key!

Starting Friday and running through Monday, I will be auctioning off a signed copy of The Bone Key, plus signed manuscript copies (i.e., print outs) of the four published but uncollected Booth stories: "The Replacement," "White Charles," "The World Without Sleep," and "The Yellow Dressing Gown." The auction will start basically whenever I manage to haul myself out of bed tomorrow (i.e., NOT EARLY), and it will end seventy-two hours later at the same time on Monday. This, I hope, will give both people whose internet access is primarily M-F and people whose internet time is primarily Sat/Sun a chance to bid.

The winning bidder then donates via PayPal and sends me a copy of the email receipt, along with his/her mailing address and other necessary information (do you want the book and mss personalized? if so, to whom?). Book and mss will then go out as soon as I can get to the post office. I will ship anywhere in the world.

I think that covers it, but if I've left out some important piece of information, please ask! And please spread the word.

ETA: Yeah, I did leave something out. Bidding will start at $15. If it goes over $100, I will also mail the winning bidder a manuscript copy of the next Booth story I sell, whatever and whenever that will be.

---
*Like [livejournal.com profile] hominysnark, I have a job, thank you.



Feb. 26, 2010: For some reason, this post is attracting all the weight-loss spam in the world. Therefore, I am disabling comments.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: bone key)
Information about the event in DeKalb on March 3 is here (scroll down). Dessert and discussion of The Bone Key! What could be better?

Also, if anyone is wondering, yes, I will be happy to sign books. Yes, books other than TBK, even. Although it will probably be best if such things wait until after the discussion.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: bone key)
Thus far, there are four published Booth stories that are not in The Bone Key:
  • "The Replacement." The Willows 2.3 (September/October 2008): 48-54.
  • "White Charles." Clarkesworld Magazine 36 (September 2009).
  • "The World Without Sleep." Postscripts 14 (Spring 2008): 40-64.
  • "The Yellow Dressing Gown." Weird Tales 63.2 (March-April 2008): 63-69.


I intend to keep writing Booth stories--I'm working on several right now, for very loose definitions of "working"--so eventually there should be enough for a second collection, but it's not one of those things where you should wait under water.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Today I shipped books to Canada, Germany, and Australia.

You know who you are.



Also, [livejournal.com profile] kate_nepveu, two of those packages were my contributions to [livejournal.com profile] con_or_bust. And for the rest of you, a reminder that the [livejournal.com profile] accessiblehouse auction continues until April 25, where you may bid on--among many other items of great shininess--a signed set of the Doctrine of Labyrinths hardbacks (current bid $200) and/or a signed trade paperback of The Bone Key (current bid $50).
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] con_or_bust is an LJ community devoted to helping fans of color/non-white fans get to Wiscon. [livejournal.com profile] accessiblehouse is an LJ community devoted to helping [livejournal.com profile] jbru and his partner keep their house, which has been extensively renovated in order to accommodate his partner's disabilities. Both communities are running auctions with many nifty items available, and I have a question: if I were to put up for auction two complete signed sets--one in each auction--of the hardbacks of the Doctrine of Labyrinths (Mélusine, The Virtu, The Mirador, and Corambis), would people bid? (With the caveat that the sets won't be sent out until the publisher sends me my author's copies of Corambis: the one I got on Monday has to stay with me as my reference copy.)

Again, as with the ARC auctions I just did, I'm not asking for promises. I just want to know if there's enough interest to make it worthwhile.


--oh wotthehell, as mehitabel the cat says. I have posted auction items to both [livejournal.com profile] con_or_bust and [livejournal.com profile] accessiblehouse.
  • The Doctrine of Labyrinths, signed hardback set, here and here.
  • The Bone Key, signed trade paperback, here and here.


Given the rather startling value of a complete set of the Doctrine of Labyrinths (4 books at $24.95 each, and two of them out of print in hardback), I didn't feel right setting the starting bid lower than $50, but The Bone Key starts at $15.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (muppets: kermit-sgreer)
I need to brag share good news.

I got the first royalty statement for The Bone Key today. In its first year out in the big wide world, it sold out its advance approximately six times over. It is totally the Little Book That Could.

And so that this entry is not entirely me me me me me, if you have not already, I highly recommend you read Elizabeth Bear's short story, "Sonny Liston Takes the Fall."

cut for extraneous stuff )
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
The Lone Star Stories Reader will be out soon. (Features my story, "A Night in Electric Squidland.")

So will Fast Ships, Black Sails. (Features the story I co-wrote with the fabulous and talented Elizabeth Bear, "Boojum." Think Lovecraft as written by Tiptree.)

The September-October issue of The Willows features a new Kyle Murchison Booth story, "The Replacement."

Speaking of Booth, here's a story by story review of The Bone Key. I think Ryan Harvey thinks I think a little too well of myself (didja follow that?), which is totally his prerogative. I would like to confess, however, that I have never read Algernon Blackwood--aside from failing to get through "The Willows" (oh the cruel irony! the shame! I weep!)--so the presence of Blackwood that Harvey detects "echo[ing] as strongly" as Lovecraft and James through The Bone Key is illusory. I'm really sorry.

And speaking of Bear, two reviews of A Companion to Wolves, here and here.

Q&A 13

Aug. 28th, 2008 04:26 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: bone key)
Y'all gratified me with questions about Booth, so I shall gratify you by answering them.

Q: You said in the introduction that Booth was your most autobiographical protagonist. Why did you chose to make him a male character?

A: cut for length )

Q: will there be more?

A: Yes.

Q: do you plan on trying to shop around a second volume of Booth stories when there are enough?

A: I can't see any reason why I wouldn't.

Q: Do you envision the stories as eventually forming a complete mosaic, or are they written as new facets evolve, or is neither of these an applicable question? Also, am I the only person who would like to have seen them illustrated by Edward Gorey?

A: They're written as I find ideas for them. I was actually surprised at how nicely the ten stories in The Bone Key fit together into a narrative arc.

In its original publication in Alchemy, "The Wall of Clouds" had an epigraph from The Iron Tonic. I decided against putting that in The Bone Key because (a.) I didn't want to deal with the permissions headache and (b.) it didn't feel right somehow. But, yes, they're very Gorey-esque in my head.

Q: Have you ever thought about writing Booth a novel? It seems like Bone Key was only the beginning of the story, like one giant exposition.

A: No. There won't be any novel-length Booth stories.

My personal feeling is that horror, as a genre, is ideally suited to the short story. And that goes double for the James/Lovecraft style stories I write. I couldn't sustain Booth for a novel--not in the sense of sustaining the character, but in the sense of sustaining the incident. Long novelettes, yes. Maybe even a novella. But nothing longer than that.

Q: Also. Is there a reason you chose not to have continuously recurring characters that play a central role, besides Booth? I know Blaine shows up in a couple in memories and dreams and such, and...whatshisface shows up in "The Venebretti Necklace" and "Wait for Me," but I mean on a slightly larger scale.

A: Because they wouldn't fit?

If I'm doing them right, Booth stories are fairly tight, compositionally speaking. There's Booth and the Eldritch Horror of the Week and the character(s) involved in the Eldritch Horror. (I figure these stories are as close as I'll ever get to writing sonnets.) Also, all of the Booth stories are designed to stand alone, so other characters can recur, but they can't have continuity.

Q: I would love to know what the Bone key opened. More childhood background on Booth would be cool too.

A: WYSIWYG.

If you've read the stories in The Bone Key, you essentially know as much as I do.

Q: I could never quite figure out when the stories take place. Are they between the world wars, or after WWII, or in some alternate history that doesn't involve either?

A: To me, it's always been obvious that they're set between about 1920 and about 1935 (the same era as Dorothy Sayers' books). This is yet another of those things I didn't set out to make mysterious, but also, the point of the stories is so emphatically NOT to be historical fiction that it's never felt necessary to specify.

And one more so I don't lose track of it.

Q: When you can only write longhand, do you have a pen/paper preference, or will any old thing do?

A: Well, in a pinch, anything that can be deciphered later is a win. *g*

Given my preferences, however, I am exceedingly fussy. cut for geekery )

[To ask a question, go here.]

good things

May. 1st, 2008 07:19 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: bone key)
I went to bed last night with a headache, and it was still there when I woke up. It has, in fact, persisted all day--although I think it's easing off some--meaning that today has been (a.) less productive and (b.) less pleasant than I had hoped.

However, comma, my general state of decrepitude and despond has been alleviated by two things:

1. The most fabulous [livejournal.com profile] fidelioscabinet sent me porcupine quill hairsticks, which are both the platonic ideal of awesome and also useful.

2. The Bone Key is a finalist for the first annual Shirley Jackson Awards. I am pleased about this not merely for the obvious reasons, but also because I think it's incredibly cool that Shirley Jackson is being memorialized in this way. The Haunting of Hill House is one of the most elegantly terrifying books I have ever read.

If you have good things you would like to share, I'd love to hear about them.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. Having just finished The Wee Free Men, I point everyone to Match It For Pratchett.

2. Fourth Street Fantasy Convention is June 20-22. [livejournal.com profile] matociquala is the Guest of Honor, and I'm going as her date.

3. The last print issue of Subterranean Magazine has a story of mine in it.

4. As does the current issue of Weird Tales.

5. David Berberick is trying to answer the question, Why do people love Tolkien? If you want to help, take his survey.

6. If you've read A Companion to Wolves and noticed a typo, you could do [livejournal.com profile] matociquala and me a tremendous favor by commenting either on this post or on her post asking for the same favor.

7. L. Timmel Duchamp reviews The Bone Key for Strange Horizons.

8. [livejournal.com profile] muneraven also reviews it.

9. And from the Department of Head Trips, Alison Sinclair (whom I do not know, but I wish her well) has sold a fantasy trilogy which is described as being "in the tradition of Sarah Monette and Ellen Kushner."

o.O

I have a tradition?
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Jeff VanderMeer ambushed me yesterday.

And speaking of Jeff, his and Ann's anthology, The New Weird, in which I participated, got a starred review from Publishers Weekly. w00t!

[livejournal.com profile] orrin likes The Bone Key, as does Sam over at Whatta Fiasco. (I'm both pleased and amused that no one can agree on what the best/worst stories in the collection are, although, yeah, "Listening to Bone" is the slightest. I could explain what it is I think the story is doing and why I still think it belongs where it is, but, you know, that defeats the purpose of telling the story in the first place.)

[livejournal.com profile] tangeriner likes The Virtu, [livejournal.com profile] ethereal_lad gets the nutcase mishmash of genres, and [livejournal.com profile] schnaucl thinks the series should be longer (an idea which, I have to confess, fills me with terror and ennui in roughly equal measures--I love these guys, but I am done).

Poodlerat has a review of A Companion to Wolves.

I've no idea exactly what this is (oh the wonders of the internet and its daily doses of wtf?), but some of you may know and/or be interested in it.

Shadow Unit will be updating regularly Thursday night and Sunday night; the first full story will be posted in exactly one month (February 18). There's an RSS feed for updates, also a message board, so I'm not going to mention updates here after this, except as the spirit moves me. It's my blog; I can be capricious like that.

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