What’s Up Wednesday, Edmo edition

March 5, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! (If you’re looking for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, that’ll be up tomorrow.)

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Well, I borrowed a book and a half from the library this week. 😉 Whoever published the original ‘Secret Circle’ trilogy in ebooks decided to make them two ebooks. I got the first half of the trilogy years ago, and finally finished up to the end of part 1 of ‘The Captive.’ The other half was available at the library, so I should be finished it another week or so.

Still listening to some Audible books, including ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood, which has become my go-to book for listening to when I’m washing dishes or doing other chores in No-screen time, because it’s what’s currently loaded on the little Audible Otis (which doesn’t have enough of a screen to count.) And enjoying the PodCastle and Escape Pod as much as ever.

What I’m writing:

NaNoEdMo is underway here, as well as a few places on twitter. I’ve been working on revising my novel “The Angel’s Charlie” on the Holly Lisle revision plan, as well as some shorter pieces to rewrite.

What inspires me right now:

The monastery playlist! Old ‘Brothers and Sisters’ episodes. Camp Nanowrimo on the horizon.

What else I’ve been up to:

Let’s see. The office move happened on Monday, went pretty well though our network was down until 4pm. Had another good write-in over the weekend, great to see Elizabeth Twist and bond with her about revision. And I got my invitation to The Never-Ending Odyssey reunion workshop yesterday!

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.

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Grinding through markets

March 1, 2014

First, a minor note: The official NaNoEdMo boards appear to be off-line for 2014. I’m still going to go for the 50 hours challenge, and Elizabeth Twist is apparently joining me. What about you?

Something else I’ve been working on lately is an item I put on my 2014 goals list: “Become familiar with plenty of possible markets.” I figured I needed to get organized for that, so I drew up a plan:

  1. Pick a good market search engine; I went with the Diabolical Plots Grinder because it was free and I’ve heard good things about it.
  2. To start with, I’m working on a simple list of criteria: Markets that take fantasy of about 1600 words, at pro rates. The first two criteria are specifically because of ‘Tough Love’, the first story I started submitting after Odyssey, which I’ve been scrambling to find markets for. (I also wanted to focus on fantasy markets because I know of some good markets like Analog and Asimov’s that will take science fiction but not fantasy.)
  3. Working off the list that the grinder spit out, I visited the website of each and built my own spreadsheet, listing how familiar I feel with the market based on my own reading and secondhand news, if I’ve ever submitted to them before, general notes, and the various options and price structures for reading what they’ve published in the past, if any. A few of the entries on the list are one-time anthologies or magazines that haven’t published an issue yet, so I suppose with those I’d just have to read the submission guidelines and hope.

Having gotten this far, I should be able to dive into the actual reading soon. I’ve been enjoying the stories I’ve been reading out of Strange Horizons, as well as the usual magazines on my Kindle; Asimov’s and Analog had new issues out a week ago, and F&SF for March/April just hit the stands today. And I still have plenty of Escape Pod and PodCastle to catch up on!


So much to read, and listen to–so little time!

January 25, 2014

I’ve been doing some planning for my reading of 2014 lately. So far, in the new year, I’ve read ‘Discworld: Reaper Man’ from the library, listened to a Vampire Diaries digital audiobook also from the local library, read quite a bit from my Kindle magazines, including the conclusion of the ‘Lockstep’ serial in Analog.

One thing I definitely want to get back to is making sure that I’m well read on the classics of SF. Two and a half years ago, after going to the Young Gunns workshop for the first time, I realized that I had some catch-up reading to do and downloaded several Audible books from the CSSF Institute curriculum for SF teachers. It took me over a year to finish the last of those five books, and I’ve added a few other books from the list, like Childhood’s End, The Puppet Masters, and The Time Machine, but I haven’t tried to tackle it systematically since. Until now.

For my first Audible picks of the year, I took the original ‘Dune’, which I never read, and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” I also picked a couple audiobooks that weren’t on the CSSF list: “Thuvia Maid of Mars”, which I tried reading on my phone last year because I liked the original Barsoom trilogy so much, but couldn’t motivate myself to continue, and “Sandman Slim”, a recommendation that’s been sitting on my wish list since last summer; one of a trio of suggestions for fans of Harry Dresden, actually. The Iron Druid and Kate Daniels books have worked out, so why not give Slim a try?

I’m also hoping to listen to ‘Neuromancer’ soon; I didn’t grab that one from Audible because it’s available for downloading from the library, whoo-hoo! Which brings me to some other reading lists I’ve been working on; series that I’ve enjoyed and wish to continue, like the Spiderwick Chronicles, Heechee Saga, Jeeves, Culture, John De Chancie’s Castle Perilous books; and authors who don’t have specific series I’m in the middle of but I know I want to read more of, including Neil Gaiman, Sophie Kinsella, Lani Diane Rich, Wil Wheaton, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C Clarke, Theodore Sturgeon, and Robert Heinlein. I’ve gone through a lot of these with the library catalog, figuring out which books I could borrow and in what formats.

Then there’s the books I’ve already got on my ‘to read’ piles: I got several paperbacks for my birthday and christmas, including Elizabeth Moon, the latest Iron Druid, and two Diana Wynne Jones. Also some Sherlock Holmes on this list, a Song of Ice and Fire, and the collaborated Myth-Adventures…

As if all this weren’t enough, I’ve finally taken Elizabeth Twist’s advice to check out the Escape Artists story podcasts. Now, I have eighty-some MP3 fantasy and SF stories sitting on my hard drive, and I’m not even sure where to start first. Thanks a lot, Elizabeth! 😉

So, what about you? Is there anything particular you’re looking forward to reading (either print or audio) in 2014?


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