truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (ds: trying to help)
So in the comments to my review of Wonderful Life, an alert reader mentioned purchasing a plush Opabinia. I think I withstood temptation for about 18 hours before I just couldn't stand it any longer and had to Google "plush opabinia," whereupon I discovered that not only does such a thing exist, there's more than one. There's Opabinia in brown, blue and red, yellow and blue, yellow and orange, blue and purple, mottled green and blue . . . Anomalocaris also appears in plush, as do Hallucigenia and Wiwaxia and Perspicaris and Ottoia and Amiskwia and, I admit it, my absolute favorite, Sidneyia:

I love Sidneyia inexpectans with all my foolish weirdo heart. Can't even tell you why.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: glass cat)
PURELY BY SERENDIPITY, I happened to pick up a National Geographic in the doctor's office this morning and found this. It is deeply surreal in its own right, but even more so for me because Brigadier General Edward S. Godfrey (a lieutenant in 1876) is notable as a reliable diarist/witness; he's someone I know well enough, historically speaking, to have an opinion about. (He falls into the category of men honorably trying to do their duty to the best of their abilities, and is also notable as being an officer at/near/around the Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876, who actually kept his head.)

I wish they had identifications for any of the Native American men.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: airship)
FIRST, Happy Book Day to Felix Gilman, whose book The Revolutions also comes out today. I don't know Mr. Gilman personally, but I admire his writing. And The Revolutions sounds awesome.

SECOND, Happy Book Day to me! To celebrate, my invaluable webtamer has put up the map of the Ethuveraz on

THIRD, there's also a FAQ. I'm sure that more questions will need to be added for The Goblin Emperor, but I haven't been asked them yet.

FOURTH, John Scalzi graciously let me do a Big Idea post about fantasy and technology.

FIFTH, for Forces of Geek, I did a post about inventing languages.

SIXTH, for Tor-dot-com, I wrote a post about coming-of-age stories and quests.

SEVENTH, I also did the Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe for Tor-dot-com and can't remember if I posted the link or not.

EIGHTH and furthermore, there's a Q&A up at Riffle.

NINTH, if you haven't had enough of me yet, there will be other guest blog posts cropping up as my gracious hosts' schedules permit. I will, of course, post links.

TENTH, not one atom of this post is an April Fool's joke.

ETA: ELEVENTH, Tor-dot-com's That Was Awesome feature, in which I explain why you should be reading Scott Lynch.


Mar. 17th, 2014 10:08 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: airship) has kindly collected the first four chapters of The Goblin Emperor here, for all your teaser needs.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (mfu: ik-geek)
Mateusz Skutnik has released Submachine 9. I am beside myself with glee.

(If you want more Submachine, the entire series is here.)

Gandalf checks his email. BEST PHOTO EVAR.

I believe Catzilla turned off the little Cthulhu machine this morning by walking on it. Proof (a) that the people who designed the damn thing have never lived with a cat and (b) that my cat is THE SPAWN OF THE DEVIL.

I had not known about EarlyWord until it was drawn to my attention that The Goblin Emperor got a nice shout-out on their GalleyChat summary for March 4.

There's also a very positive review from Justin Landon at Staffer's Book Review, who admits he went in prepared to hate the book and was won over anyway. I think that's the first time I've pulled that trick off.

(I know if you're reading this blog, you probably don't need to be persuaded to buy the book. Humor me.)

I finally have a day job that is both permanent and part-time (instead of working as a full-time temp, which is what I've been doing the past two and a half years). I am very happy with it; it has taught me that, oddly enough, I enjoy accounting, which is a piece of self-knowledge I wish I'd had in college. It satisfies the same part of my brain that likes Latin and calculus (and Submachine, come to think of it). And I totally get an endorphin cookie when my numbers balance.

Also, if anyone knows any good resources for DIY double-entry bookkeeping, please share! I took a Continuing Education Accounting Intro course, but the textbook, as it turned out, was not very reliable. And my employer is unlikely to be able to spring for accounting software any time soon, so it's just me and Excel.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (josephine baker)
The Con or Bust auction ends at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time today.

This is me encouraging you, if you were thinking about bidding on something, to do so!

(Please forgive any infelicities. I have a migraine.)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (lionsmane)
1. Yesterday I posed with a giant inflatable colon to promote colorectal cancer awareness. Most surreal Thursday morning ever.

Yes, a colonoscopy is not the most fun you will ever have, but speaking as a friend of the awesome Jay Lake and as someone who has had a polyp removed from her colon and will be going back for another screening in a couple years, colon cancer needs to be beaten to death with a stick.

2. Liz Bourke has reviewed The Goblin Emperor for As an author, positive reviews are great, but what you really want are good reviews, reviews that understand the book you tried to write and convey it well. This is that kind of review.

3. I am currently undergoing all kinds of adjustments to my . . . I don't even know what to call it. The victory conditions for sleep? They're shipping me a different mask to try with the little Cthulhu machine. It will still look like a disastrous attempt at an elephant costume, but hopefully it will (a) be more comfortable and (b) seal to my face better. Yes, I have seen Aliens. Please don't remind me.

But ALSO, my sleep doctor and I are trying to rejigger my RLS medications, because I'd gotten to the point where it was requiring way too much narcotics to club the damn thing into unconsciousness. The new medication is definitely working, so that's a plus, and I am re-weaning myself off the narcotics. Yes, there has been just a tiny bit of withdrawal. I haven't gone off them entirely yet, but I am working on it because I hate the damn drugs. I am hoping that when I can finally stop taking them, I will be less tired and also that my creativity will come back again.

It did come back in December and January before drying up again in February, and the creepy thing is that I can actually articulate the difference. When everything is working correctly (i.e., what I thought of as "normal" until the clusterfuck began in 2010), there are words in my head. Well, there are always words in my head. I am like Hector Puncheon, who "usually thought articulately, and often, indeed, conversed quite sensibly aloud with his own soul." So maybe it's more accurate to say that the staus quo ante, to which I desire ardently to return, is that there are stories forming, word by word. Because there are words, separate from my internal narration/dialogue. They form themselves into sentences, and the sentences form narratives. When it was working right, I would frequently "get" sentences from Booth out of nowhere.

Now, I can force prose. There are always days when you have to. But it's not the same, at least from my side of the proscenium, and I really didn't realize what I'd lost until I had it back. I didn't realize that there was a wellspring, that I wasn't imagining that writing used to involve joy instead of just grim desperation.

I had it back, and then the RLS went bad, and it was gone again. I knew that bad RLS nights correlated with low or nonexistent creativity, and now I know what it's attacking. I know that there's a thing that should be there that isn't. And I can only hope that it can grow back. Again.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (sock elephant)
So anyway, in my THIRD POST TODAY:

1. Publishers Weekly reviews The Goblin Emperor

2. Goodreads & Tor are apparently conducting a sweepstakes for The Goblin Emperor, which I know about because I know how to use Google.

3. My beloved friends Lynne and Michael's daughter Caitlin has Aicardi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes all sorts of problems, including potentially life-threatening scoliosis (spine gets too far out of whack, lungs can't work properly). Caitlin just had surgery on her spine, in which she nearly died, and one of her Aicardi sisters, Annie, is now fighting one of the worst possible outcomes this surgery can have. Please keep both Caitlin and Annie, and their parents, in your thoughts.

4. I have started watching The Magnificent Seven TV series on Hulu. I will probably make a post about it when I've finished, but for now I will just say that every single episode I have watched would be improved by MOAR EZRA.

5. Via @UrsulaV, a picture of baby Eastern Screech Owls and from @EmergencyKittens this really quite remarkable Persian in midair plus some kittens. (Because when in doubt, add pictures of (a) baby animals, (b) cats, (c) both.)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (tr: mole)
Frank Turner, "I Still Believe." Because goddamn it this song (and the video) make me feel better about just about everything.

Or if that doesn't do it for you, maybe this kitten-laden commercial for McVitie's chocolate digestives will.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (sock elephant)
1. The annual auction for Con or Bust starts February 10. I have donated two items:

(a.) the absolute last copy of Unnatural Creatures
(b.) a signed copy of The Goblin Emperor (yes, this is ANOTHER way you can win! aside from naming my sock elephant, that is)

There are many other fabulous items, also. Please check it out!

2. Katherine Addison has a webpage! There isn't much on it yet, and I welcome suggestions for material you all would like to see.

3. And while I'm on the subject, the release date for The Goblin Emperor is April 1st, should you desire to know. Katherine's currently minimalist website has links to pre-order options.

4. The Kelpies by Andy Scott is JAW-DROPPINGLY AMAZING. Also? Ponies! By which, of course, I mean draft horses.

5. The Locus Recommended Reading List for 2013 is up. Go read something!

+1. Peter Mulvey's Kickstarter for his new album Silver Ladder is going just swimmingly, but he's reaching for his stretch goal of $50k or 1,000 backers. If you know Mr. Mulvey's music, you know why I'm signal-boosting this. If you don't know Mr. Mulvey's music, I heartily encourage you to give him a try.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (lionsmane)
1. This guy's art is AMAZING.

2. The thing I forgot to mention in my previous post is that I now have a little weather prediction center in my right ankle that FAITHFULLY lets me know when the weather is changing. You know, just like characters in books always do. I must tell you, however, that it is not actually as much fun as you might think.

3. I love this proof that cats have always been cats.

4. I have rubbed a raw spot inside my nose with my sleep apnea tentacles. DON'T ASK ME HOW I DON'T EVEN KNOW.

5. If you are in need of laughter today, this site made me laugh so hard I nearly ended up on the floor.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (ws: hamlet)
Because the world is full of randomly awesome things, and the Internet helps you find them:

The South Bank Lion, photo & history here, another photo here. He's not made of stone, but of something called Coade stone, which was perfected in 1770 by Eleanor Coade--the Wikipedia article points out that she did not invent Coade stone, but she made it into something that could produce the South Bank Lion, who's been around, in one place or another, since 1837.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (cats: mfu-fandom)
Fum i Gebra

(It becomes very clear as you watch the video that, no, the cat is not trying to hurt the owl.)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (mfu: ik-geek)
1. The countries of the world in their own names and scripts--plus days, months, planets, and a wonderbox assortment of other proper nouns.

2. The Xerces Society has a whole section on their website about conserving bumblebees.

3. A Typgraphical Glossary--I now know the term for a written language that does not use vowels is an abjad, and that's only the first entry.

4. Nineteenth-century German marzipan makers. (I love this photograph with a love that is pure and true and not smirking even a little bit at the mustaches.)

5. I was looking up Richard Trevithick for reasons which I swear to god are totally research related, and learned that in Cornish mines, his technological children were called puffer whims. ...You're welcome.

Lagniappe: Wooden churches from northern Russia.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. [ profile] mia_mcdavid has discovered what it's like when moths get into your unspun wool.

2. An alert reader asked me to tell them that this isn't a Titan Clock. Unfortunately, I can't.

3. Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue could really use some help (scroll down just a little & be prepared for some distressing pictures of neglected cats).

4. In good feline news, the Jellicle Ninja's kidneys are functioning! Still not entirely sure what went wrong, but we are very happy and cautiously starting to taper back her meds.

5. [ profile] matociquala has some fabulous photo references for the horses in her Eternal Sky books.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (mfu: albie)
1. We have a new car. The elderly psychotic Swedish car had devolved into panic attacks (the car started setting the car alarm off randomly--and silently, so it was like panic attacks IN MIME) and we finally just said fuck it, and bought a new (used) 2009 Subaru Forester. With all-wheel drive, which I am going to be loving come next winter, I tell you what.

2. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has a hawk cam, which as I type this is showing three fluffy baby hawks. (Ooh, and a parent just showed up with a small dead thing. Rock on.)

3. And speaking of fluffy!cams: Kitten Cam! (via [ profile] heresluck)

4. Not a cam, but to complete the fluffy trifecta: Clouded Leopard cub getting some really primo chin skritches.

5. Neil Gaiman likes my Sandman essay!1 This is the first time in my life I've written an analytical essay about a work by someone who's still alive to have an opinion. And he likes it! I have some cognitive dissonance, but it is the most awesome dissonance in the history of things that jar your brain when you put them together.

1@neilhimself For the record CHICKS DIG COMICS contains the best SANDMAN essay I've read & I've read too many. Well done @pennyvixen2

2Oh, come on. How could I not footnote at a time like this?

5 things

May. 3rd, 2012 06:38 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. You know the faces people make when they're about to sneeze? Horses do that, too.

2. Sold "Coyote Gets His Own Back" to Apex Magazine & reprint rights for "The Watcher in the Corners" to Ghosts: Recent Hauntings, edited by Paula Guran.

3. Also, because I failed abysmally to blog on the actual launch day, Chicks Dig Comics is out! I contributed an essay on revenge tragedy and Sandman.

4. If arthropods give you a wiggins, DO NOT CLICK THROUGH to the story about the Cincinnati Zoo's Emperor Scorpion and her twenty-five babies. Seriously. Don't. Instead, may I suggest Point Defiance Zoo's unbelievably charming clouded leopard cubs?

5. Speaking of things I failed abysmally to mention, congratulations to all the 2012 Hugo nominees!
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
I'm not going to make it to five, but have a couple things that are better than my virus:

1. Lightspeed Magazine's free ebook sampler includes my story "The Devil in Gaylord's Creek."

2. The Taronga Zoo, which continues to have the world's most awesome animated logo, has a video of their three Sumatran tiger cubs (plus mom) which put some color back in my world.

5 things

Dec. 6th, 2011 08:16 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. The ebook of Somewhere Beneath Those Waves is available from Weightless Books.

2. Apex 31 includes my Booth story, "The Yellow Dressing Gown" (originally published in Weird Tales by the fabulous Ann Vandermeer).

3. Over on the Whatever, John Scalzi is hosting threads for authors to promote their own works as holiday gifts. If you're looking for ideas, I commend the Whatever Shopping Guide 2011 to you.

4. The pictures of these African Sulcata tortoises and their progeny fill me with delight.

5. We are still worried about our Jellicle Ninja. Good thoughts appreciated.


truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)

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