I’m getting geared up for the posts in this series that are probably what people are actually interested in, i.e. the bit where I signed with a literary agent and eventually got a book deal. But first I have to talk about everything that went before!
— Well, maybe not EVERYTHING. But let’s talk about a couple of important things. One is social media.
“Make sure you have a social media platform” is now hoary advice for published writers and writers working towards publication. I enjoy social media and it’s one of the things I make time for, other than writing and, y’know, actually socialising. It can be a horrible distraction as well, but everyone just needs to work out a way to control that for themselves lah.
But with this and my next post, which will be about conventions and networking, I want to talk about what I think is the real point of going to all the effort of being on Twitter and Facebook and having a blog. The point is not advertising or marketing or boosting yourself and your work constantly. The point is not having millions of followers on Instagram, or making lots of connections, useful as those can be. Those are obviously side-effects you might want to achieve, and there are also the practical aspects of it — you do want some form of online presence which makes your work available, so that people who hear about you can find and read your writing easily if they would like to. But even that is not the point.
The point is connection.( Read the rest of this entry » )
Mirrored from Zen Cho.
It's especially annoying since I work best in the mornings atm, given how really hot the afternoons get and I'm just tired all the time after noon.
But I did get started on my dissertation stuff. Re-reading stuff in my proposal, and I realized there's a bunch of things I just cannot do while I'm here. So I might go back early August after all, so I can get to writing. For now, though, I'll just read all the articles I've downloaded and start synthesizing some ideas. Hopefully I'll have enough scribbles to really get started once I'm back in California, and will have exploded my proposal a bit more.
Some of the comments make me realize just how vastly far apart my writing style is from my adviser's... she's got "this is a convoluted sentence with ten ideas in it" and I go "well, yes, that's the point, because all told breaking them down is not for the proposal to do and anyway, I come from Twitterland where economy of words is important."
I don't think I've had more than one or two full nights of sleep since we got to Toronto, mostly because I keep waking up before my alarm. (Or, the night before last, because scruloose was out with our most gourmand friend, who's been waiting literally years for us to say, "Okay, choose whatever restaurant you want and scruloose will go with you, no questions asked" [apparently it was INCREDIBLE, and also not at all my thing. There was a lot of pigs' blood involved], and then we had to get up early to go to Ajax for wedding ceremony #2. ^_^)
So here, have another round of linkspam:
Melinda Beasi, who's responsible for Manga Bookshelf, is also a voice and theater teacher at Act Too Studio, which is currently fundraising via Indiegogo: Act Too Studio Opera Workshop: The Medium. Melinda (disclaimer: who's a friend of mine) is dedicated to and passionate about her work, and if you've had any contact with her, you probably know she's generally awesome and always doing awesome things. So if you feel so inclined, chip in to support teenagers singing opera!
On a similar note: I linked this last week, but ICYMI, Sparkler Monthly Magazine is Kickstarting their third year!
trope_bingo sign-ups are open, with some changes from previous rounds: "We have one main list of 75 tropes that will be the base list, but since many people had issues with working with AU and Kink type tropes we broke them into short add on lists instead of including them in the main list. There is also an add on list for the visual arts inclined, all of these short lists are optional, take them or leave them as suits you. How you use them is up to you as well. / We are also allowing more tropes to be opted out of this round. You can opt out of no more than 12, yes one dozen, tropes. Keep in mind that that the more you cut, the less choices there are for your card but at 62 there shouldn't be any repeats on a 25 space card.".
At ANN: "Avengers: Age of Ultron Episode 0 1-Shot Manga's Main Color Visual Posted". Yes, that is indeed a manga prequel to AoU.
Jason Thompson is wrapping up his "House of 1000 Manga column at ANN after five years of writing it with Shaenon Garrity, and lists ten of his favorite manga titles that he reviewed. (Garrity posted her farewell and list of ten favorites last week.)
(Have you read her post about Basara? Amazing manga.)
I haven't seen Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (yet?), so I haven't read sovay's post about it. But based on sovay's other film/TV posts, it'll be well worth reading. (Did you know she has a film-review Patreon? She does!)
firecat has posted not one but two link roundups for Mad Max: Fury Road. (Spoilers.)
metaphortunate made a thoughtful post on Fury Road the other day.
"Classic shojo manga Kodomo no Omocha getting first new chapter in 17 years".
Via yohjideranged, , there's going to be a two-part live-action film adaptation of Chihayafuru. (Which I haven't read yet, but shiroiko tells me I really should.)
Torontoist's "Reel Toronto" column tracks down various shooting locations for season 3 of Orphan Black. (Some spoilers, of course.) "The show has a rather convoluted relationship with Toronto. It’s been broadly implied we’re in the city and you can see Ontario plates and Canadian money and yet they never say it outright and many locations are not at all what they’re supposed to be. For example, the first season established that suburbanite Alison lives in the fictional neighbourhood of “Bailey Downs,” ostensibly in Scarborough. The filming location, however, has been the Angus Glen neighbourhood of Markham." (Yeah, I remember Ginny's reaction when the show claimed that was Scarborough. *g* I kinda wonder if they used "Scarborough" entirely so they could say "Scarberia".)
[Speaking of chameleon!Toronto, the article also mentions "We’ve seen the historic Schmidt-Dalziel barn in a couple of things recently, including last season’s Hannibal. (It’s sometimes accessible during Doors Open and it’s, like, one of the biggest Pennsylvania-style barns in North America so check it out, if you’re into barns and stuff!) This lovely house is on the same property.".]
rmc28 is looking for Book/comic recommendations for 8-9 year olds.
Via muccamukk: "an index of Ta-Nehisi Coates' posts on the US Civil War and Reconstruction, from 2008 to present". (Shamelessly copying muccamukk's link text.)
Via giandujakiss, "Revamped Bubble Wrap Loses Its Pop". End of an era, y'all. "Sealed Air, maker of the iconic packaging material, is rolling out a new flat version to cut down on the high costs of shipping air." [WSJ link, so the full article isn't accessible to non-subscribers.]
"6 Well-Known Health Tips (That Don't Work At All)". [Cracked.com]
"37 People Who Are Worse At Cooking Than You". (We have a friend who's guilty of #19. Lookin' at you, Chaos. [Who doesn't read this.])
At the Mary Sue: "It’s Harder Than It Should Be to Have a Socially Conscious Cell Phone".
Photos of cats in kimono.
"Stray Kitten Befriends Famous Wildlife Photographer By Using Irresistible Cat Tricks".
At Jezebel: "New Study, Also Everyone You Know: Dudes Lie When They Feel Weak". "The study’s co-author, Benoit Monin, says both studies reinforce the idea that “men are under very strong prescriptive norms to be a certain way, and they work hard to correct the image they project when their masculinity is under threat.” [...] These sorts of assumptions about gender make for some of the thorniest relationship problems, because in order to sort them out, you need an incredible degree of awareness in the first place. So many men learn compensatory behaviors—stoicism, aggression, flat-out lying—from so early on that these traits become ingrained to the point of permanence."
lizcommotion posted "Why you should talk to your kids about consent early, because sex-parts don't just turn on at 18". [Content warning: non-graphic accounts of sexual harassment and assault.]
Via jjhunter: "Why Are There So Many More Disabled People Now?" "A common refrain that is often espoused these days by the able-bodied is, “Why are there so many more disabled children today than when I was growing up?” To many, the seeming “epidemic” levels of disabilities such as autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, and so on is frighteningly high. Looking to answers such as an abundance of pesticides, vaccines, ultrasounds, “chemicals” and other culprits is increasingly common as people search for an answer... the answer to the burning question of why there are so many more disabled children now is this: They used to be institutionalized and were kept out of society at much higher rates."
At Everyday Feminism:
--Comic: "What If We Treated All Consent Like Society Treats Sexual Consent?"
--"The Media Is Lying to You About Men’s Emotions, And It’s Really F*cked Up – Here’s a Healthier View".
--"Gaslighting Is a Common Victim-Blaming Abuse Tactic – Here Are 4 Ways to Recognize It in Your Life".
Cosplay: "This Asgardian Iron Man armor is better than anything Tony Stark has".
"[Japanese g]overnment begins study into tattoo bans in public baths".
--"Forget Pink Plastic Flamingos, These Lawn Ornaments Are Where It's At". (Spoiler: dragons!)
--"Discarded pet goldfish are multiplying and getting kind of ginormous, officials say". (The New Zealand Herald...talking about Canada.)
--Entertaining washing instruction labels from clothing.
--"10 Warm Facts About Huskies".
So this is a quick post to say a few things. First, I'm still here! Offline life is keeping me very busy (starting grad school, mainly, in addition to continuing to be a parent to the dragon and spouse to Mr Creek - some intentional balancing is required to keep school from just swallowing up all my time and energy). But I'm reading DW most days, and sometimes commenting, and you all are often in my thoughts. Texting and Twitter are better than chat or Tumblr for me right now and for the foreseeable future, so if you have my number feel free to text me whatever/whenever (comment if you don't have my number and want to make arrangements to that effect) or @ me on Twitter (wintercreek).
Fannishly, I just fell into omgcheckplease and read ALL of it. (This is familiar from the last time I was in grad school, at which point I abruptly found myself in SGA fandom. :D?) And because Check, Please! is hockey with adorable college students, I think it's turning into a gateway to hockey fandom proper. So, uh, primer and links, please? I need a big new fandom like a hole in the head, but see previous parenthetical re: starting grad school and joining a massive fandom.
Like a lot of the Americans around here, I am simultaneously overjoyed at some of the news and brokenhearted at other parts, and filled with a sense of how very far we have to go. As they say, the world doesn't change unless we make it change. Here I am, trying my best to do my little part, trusting that everyone else is doing the same. Strength and peace to you all as you do your parts, which might simply mean some good self-care today - never forget that taking care of yourself is a radical act. ♥
I was interviewed by Australian fantasy blog Smash Dragons! I talk about Sorcerer to the Crown, explain what measures I’d institute as Empress of the Earth, and quote Diana Wynne Jones and S. I. Rosenbaum on historical novels and writing respectively.
A couple of nice mentions of Sorcerer to the Crown in the book press:
It was one of Publishers Weekly’s top 10 SFF picks for Fall 2015, along with such fabulous books as Aliette de Bodard’s The House of Shattered Wings and Fran Wilde’s exciting-sounding Updraft. You need a PW subscription to read the piece, but it calls Sorcerer a “glorious debut”. :D
And it showed up in Kirkus‘s feature on What to Read in the Second Half of 2015. Again, Sorcerer is in fabulous company, cited alongside, among others, Cindy Pon’s Serpentine and Kate Elliott’s two (!) new books this year, The Black Wolves and her YA debut Court of Fives.
An excerpt of Sorcerer will also be included in Apex Magazine’s special world-themed issue this September, guest-edited by Cristina Jurado. There’ll be interviews with me and Escape from Baghdad author Saad Hossain.
Finally, a new pro-rate SFF magazine from the fine folks behind Rosarium Publishing: Shattered Prism will open to submissions in August for its first issue, due out in November. Check it out! Write! Submit!
Mirrored from Zen Cho.
What I want to know is with Tuesday only just starting again how is it possible for me to be so exhausted exhausted already and the week is nowhere near letting me rest?
Anyway on to important matters at hand, what are you going to stop procrastinating about accomplishing? Something big? Something small? It doesn't matter, so long as you do one thing...
So let's say that's it for today - just one thing, doesn't matter what. Going to join us? If you're feeling great, feel free to do more than one of course.
My suggestion for the one thing as it's the middle of the year, end of one month/beginning of the next, it's a good time to check the smoke alarms are working in your house. It may not make a visible difference but it's one of those things that it's worth keeping in order.
Before we begin, Ms. G wanted to give everyone an update -- she submitted a survey one of her students was working on as a research project, and wanted to thank everyone for their participation:
"When I checked her stats by the end of that first Monday, she had over 150 respondents, and when I caught her in the hall during class change and told her to check her Google form on her phone, she burst into tears. In her previous mentoring meeting with me, she'd talked about how hard it was to find people willing to take a lengthy survey and answer honestly, and she was worried about meeting the requirements of the project. Thanks to your signal boost, she had more than 300 usable responses by the end of the week. While many of her classmates were panicking and desperately trying to find *any* sort of data to use, she had her collection done nearly a month in advance of her deadline, which meant she had more time for thoughtful analysis in her paper and presentation."
Thanks for helping out, everyone!
Ways to Give:
eimearkuopio's friend Kia died suddenly and unexpectedly this past week, and her wife is now trying to raise two children alone, with no life insurance to help with funeral expenses. You can read more and help out here and also read Eimear's post about Kia and Sabrina here.
HawkeyeState linked to a fundraiser for a family who desperately need repairs to their van; the mother is underemployed and the father has several health issues, and their daughter has Angelman Syndrome; they need a larger car to fit themselves and their assistive equipment. You can read more and help them out here.
Anon linked to a fundraiser for a family friend, who recently lost her oldest daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren in a suspected murder-suicide on Father's Day. They're taking donations to help with funeral costs and other expenses as they deal with this loss. You can read more and help out here.
rynia just moved to the Pacific Northwest; they're raising money to cover household bills while they search for work. While they've reached the goal, extra always helps; you can read more and find the link to the GoFundMe here.
Selkie linked to an article about an adoptive mother who is raffling off Grateful Dead reunion tickets to raise money to stay home and raise her children. You can read more and find a link to the fundraiser here.
maschalismos was recently diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia, and is struggling to cover medical bills for her diagnosis and for ongoing attempts at treatment. You can read more and help out with her medical bills here.
editrx has been struggling a lot lately, and is now facing huge water bills, plus a lien on her house for a property tax bill that has gone past due. She needs to raise $6K to keep her head above water. You can read more about her situation here and help her keep her home here; she also has jewelry for sale on Etsy and her bookshop, Star Cat Books, sells through abebooks here.
v827 linked to a fundraiser for their friend Ware, who is raising money for his first semester of graduate school studying physical theater in Italy. You can read more and help out here, including what perks he's offering, and follow updates here.
taragreen89's sister Uma has been accepted into the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training program in San Francisco, but because it's not considered a "college" there's no federal financial aid available. She's raising money for tuition and also for housing in the Bay Area. You can read more and help out here and check out updates here.
Help For Free:
Anon linked to information about a huge archive of handwritten records about newly freed slaves in the 1860s which is coming available; not only can you access the records for research purposes but (here's why it's Help For Free) you can volunteer to help digitize them. The news story is here and you can find out more and volunteer to help here.
News to Know:
shrewreader linked to a helpful and informative post with a series of writers discussing how to get federal financial aid for college in the US if you are LGBTQ+ and have been put out of your home by your parents (or if they otherwise refuse to help you finance your college studies). You can read more here.
magdalynia is having top surgery and has several high-coverage sports bras from Champion in XL size that they've been using as a binding aid which they soon won't need anymore. They're offering to other trans/gendervariant people in need for the cost of shipping; you can contact them via their tumblr inbox if you're interested.
heidi8 has a post up about some interesting panels happening at San Diego Comic Con this year, including ones she'll be participating about fandom, storytelling, and the law; she's also got info about various fannish events. You can read more here.
in_the_bottle's current housemate is moving out and she's looking for a new roommate to take over a double room in West London (W6) less than ten minutes from the Hammersmith tube station. They're looking for professional, non-partying, non-smoker preferred, £825/mo inclusive, with a once-weekly cleaner. You can read more and contact the landlord here or get in touch with the residents directly through private message to in_the_bottle or email to email@example.com .
And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!).
But Toronto is not "vacation". (And even if it were, the linkspam would continue to pile up, because I still haven't remotely learned the knack of simply not clicking on links or wanting to pass them on just because I don't actually have time for any of it.)
So here, have an unsorted heap of links:
Do all interested parties know that the100 is a thing now? ^_^
Going by the YouTube vids at Undented.com's post, Tori Amos' (second) recent show in Finland was amazing. I love the "Beauty Queen/Horses" performance, and "Secret Spell" is so much more appealing to me as a slower solo song than the album version is. (Alas, while the YouTube vid of "Secret Spell" is good enough quality to listen to while knowing it's an audience-shot video, the audio levels are too inconsistent to make it worth ripping and tossing into a general playlist. ;_;)
"31 Times Chris Pratt Was Perfection In Human Form".
"Director John Waters On How To Live A Creative, Disruptive Life". [I've only read the article, not watched the full video.]
Via alisanne, "21 Incredible Photos Of The Places Where One Country Ends And Another Begins".
The clickbait headline is even more awful than clickbait titles generally are (can this trend please go away?!), but the photos are neat: "Shocking Pics Of People Living In Incredibly Tiny Rooms In Japan".
Drone footage of Halifax (filmed, as the article notes, by "by one of Canada’s foremost privacy lawyers").
At Buzzfeed: "This Is What Ariel Would Look Like If She Evolved In Different Ocean Environments".
--A Humane Society executive director breaks down the stats on how homeless cats wound up at their shelter. ;_;
--"Toshiro Mifune to get a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame".
--"Rolling suitcase with built-in desk is perfect for mobile businesspeople and cosplayers alike".
--"Dalai Lama's 80th Birthday Wish Is That We All Live #WithCompassion".
--"Couple Sails the World with Their Cat".
--Photos of the incredibly colorful Pantone hotel (described in the article's subheader as "a perfect vacation experience for those who prefer their colors in numbered blocks").
--"Meet the Hijabi Lolita".
--"Cat stationmaster Tama mourned in Japan and elevated as goddess".
--*g* Buzzfeed discusses "Disasters You Can Expect Now That Marriage Equality Is Here". The horror!
I did catch two movies:
ANNIE -- OMG SO GOOD SO FUCKING GOOD. Quvenzhane was AMAZING, her character was so charming. The updating of the plot was really well done, used social media in a great car/helicopter chase scene. The presence of whiteness is SO interesting considering the racial make-up of the side characters. I've not seen many reviews commenting on Ben Stacks becoming more connected in a community way (that the movie ends with Annie cutting the ribbon on a literacy center) (Stacks' heart visibly breaking when he finds out Annie is illiterate after that AMAZING performance) (Annie covering up with performance art) (UGH ALL THE FEELS) (WHY DIDNT I SEE MORE META ON ANNIE ON TUMBLR I DONT KNOW) (ALSO, wtf that MoonQuake Lake movie scene with THE RIHANNA AND MILA KUNIS CAMEOS and everyone geeking out after?? SLAY ME HERE WHY DONT YOU) I'm going to get diabetes from this movie omfg. Definitely something to buy on DVD.
SEVENTH SON -- ..... This could have been a better movie except for the shitty world-building. Why would you construct a world where there are people hunting down witches because witches are categorically evil and most of the plot revolves around the complicated question on whether witches deserve to be left alive because they can actually do good? How do you manage to balance a cast with POC characters who are all antagonists and hella exotified? UGH. What I did appreciate was that there wasn't a lot of Male Gaze Fail (no gratuitous gore, no gratuitous sexual violence, there's a sweet fade-to-black love scene and the emphasis is clearly on the feelings the characters express for each other) and the witches were actually interesting, and the main character, who IS the Seventh Son, is also grappling with some interesting ethical issue (which fall flat because of the scripts dedication to the good/evil dichotomy and status quo rather than continuing to challenge it as he did throughout the whole film).