Thursday, January 18, 2018

Writing Mistakes!

So I HAD a blog post ready for my "trying to post every Thursday" experiment, but Things Changed and it's very exciting but I can't tell you why yet. *Kermit flail*

SOOOO... I went through some old files looking for something to post and I found a file full of over four years' worth of writing mistakes. I might have posted some of these before but most are new.

All I can say is Enjoy.

 

 

Roads stood still and unmoving (That's... generally the way with roads.)

 

it was overrun with zombies, drawn by the flames like undead moths to flames made of brains

 

Nohing in life is to be feared; it is to be understood. Now is the time to fear more so that we may fear less.

 

A looming shadow loomed (No, really? We must investigate this anomaly.)

 

the bodies piled up in the doorway like snow after a death blizzard

 

I tapped my forehead to my temple (Somehow I seriously doubt that.)

 

We stood like statues, unmoving and unbreathing (Both of which are things implied by the word "statues". Gold star for you.)

 

This claim hit me like a sack of bricks thrown by a proficient thrower of brick sacks

 

My palms were slick and my heart a tapdancing frog (I distinctly remember thinking "Oh, I should reference the Warner Brothers frog in a tophat at this point in the narrative".)

 

getting trapped with no means of escape (Which is exactly what trapped means.)

 

my right butt pocket began to vibrate like a bee in a paint shaker. I tore my eyes from the heavens and reluctantly de-pocketed my phone.

 

The field lay strewn with dozens of dead little goats which had once been live little goats full of little goat dreams. Now they were little more than rutabagas in waiting. (I couldn't think of the word "fertilizer," so I wrote "rutabagas" instead.)

 

I bent down to examine the body of a caramel-colored mare or doe or... goat bitch. To be honest, I grew up on a corn farm, so there wasn't really any male/female terminology involved there. It was a lady goat with two lady goat boobies, and that was good enough for me.

 

I struck my most authoritative pose and flashed my badger.

 

a chest so muscular that it looked like a tee-shirt filled with strategically-placed vegetables

 

buying a carseat seemed an awful lot like buying a collar for a stray dog while waiting for its owner to respond to the help wanted posters. (when most people find a dog, they make found dog posters. )

 

She set the body on a sliding thing and slid him into the freezer like a Flintstone push-up pop

Monday, January 15, 2018

Review: The Girl with Ghost Eyes

The Girl with Ghost Eyes The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I honestly don't know if this is 4 stars for awesomeness or 1 star for ableism.
Seriously. It's one of those "I love it but it doesn't love me back" books. I'm erring towards the lower end and giving it a 2 because I don't exactly want to encourage this harmful representation, but at the same time, it was a pretty cool story and I don't want to give it 1 star.

Pros:
-Wow, the Chinese spirit world is wonderfully weird.
-Kickass girl.
-Little eyeball ghost man!
-Talking kitty and seagull spirits!
-Murderous tiger man trying so hard to be a good boy! He's just the sweetest thing and I want to hug him and tell him it's all gonna be okay.

Cons:
-This book feels like it's saying it is bad to be disabled and disabled people are bad, like within the first 3 pages. Good language is not used to describe us and I didn't always feel safe reading it. Like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
-There's something about the way Li-lin talks about Wushi magic wit Mrs. Wei that feels really wrong to me. She calls it brutal and disturbing, says her magic is better because they cleaned up Wushi magic, and Wushi must be inferior because her people were able to defeat it hundreds of years ago. Like, get over yourself. Your culture is not the good one solely on the basis that it's yours. She's the wife of your father's friend and she's trying to help you - for a book that keeps talking about saving face, shrieking at someone to stop doing her magic because you find her rituals ugly is about the most disrespectful thing I can imagine.
-And the whole thing could stand another round of editing for clunky prose but that's just the writer in me.


View all my reviews

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Anachronism Acknowledgments

My time travel novella Anachronism is coming out in a few months with Kristell Ink, and I just sent in the final version of the acknowledgments.

And at the last possible minute, I realized I was misspellings the name of a doctor I've been seeing since I was three. *covers face in shame* I fixed it though, so no one tell him, okay?

 

It's a fun kind of stress, trying to figure out who to thank for helping me get published, and I've undoubtedly forgot someone.

One of the things I'm thanking my friends for is for teaching me not to pull a Dumbledore on Petra's sexual orientation, and I'm not sure that's a phrase everyone knows.

After the last Harry Potter book came out, JK Rowling announced that Dumbledore was gay, and people got upset because it didn't feel like good representation. If a character is gay, the readers should know during the story, not be told in an afterthought, "Oh by the way..." kind of thing.

My main character is gay. In the original drafts, I hinted at it and it influenced a major plot point, but I didn't say it outright.

But it's important for me to be a good member of the LGBTQIA community, and that means having the best possible rep I can. So Petra is now officially gay within I think the first chapter, and I have to thank all my writer friends for helping me realize how important that is.

 

Are you a published author? Who would you thank if you got a book published?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Review: Stars Above

Stars Above Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Stars Above. Or: How Jen Found A Character Just Like Her Only To Have Her Heart Ripped Out By Ableism
This is a short story collection based in the world of Cinder and the other Lunar Chronicles. As fun as it was to dive back into this world, I have issues with Star's story. Spoilers abound, sweetie:

Mech6.0 is a droid. But she doesn't think like other droids, and people think that makes her dangerous and unpredictable. So she runs away, gets a new body, and returns to work as Star. Her new body doesn't communicate well with her brain, and she has trouble walking, experiences chronic pain, and is mute.

My heart immediately latched onto Star and won't let go.

My brain and body are wonky. I've never been diagnosed with autism but I identify very strongly with the way autistic people describe their thought processes. I was also selectively mute until I was 13.

And the way Star's body and brain don't communicate well? That, like, describes spinal muscular atrophy to a T. She basically IS me, okay?

So here I am, reading about Star trying to survive in a world that wants to destroy her because of the way she is and falling in love with a man who she's afraid will never love her back because she's disab--I mean, because she's a droid. And this is the first time I've seen a character so much like me. Sure, she can walk and my pain isn't chronic like hers, but still.

She's a female character who's neurodivergent AND has a disability that isn't from an accident and is literally the robot version of muscular dystrophy. Do you know how rare it is to find more than one of those at a time?

And I make the mistake of hoping for her, for us, but do we get a happily ever after?

Of course not. Even in a sweet, fluffy book all about good people finding their happy endings, we die so two other characters can find theirs.

And it just pisses me off.

If we can't find understanding and the opportunity for love and a happy life in a silly future full of space and magic... then where?

View all my reviews

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Talking 'Bout Contracts

A lot of people have been asking about my contract with World Weaver Press for Jack Jetstark's Intergalactic FreakShow, so let's talk about contracts.

Is my contract the absolute best I could hope for? No. It's a small press and obviously I'm not getting a multimillion dollar advance and a movie deal. I'm actually not getting an advance at all, and my book will probably not be in many - if any - brick and mortar stores. I am not getting rich or famous from this book.

So what makes it a good contract? It fulfills the Big Three:

1. I get paid. Specifically, 39% of net profit. That means what I make is dependent on what they sell, but I am getting paid.

2. I don't have to pay anything. I'm not obligated to buy copies or pay for any part of the publication process.

3. I retain my rights. That means I own my story and my characters - if they decide not to renew when the contract is up in 5 years, I can publish it again and write sequels and generally do whatever I want. I'm not selling the story - just the right to publish it.

 

Also, one advantage to a small press is that I retain control over so much of my story. No one can change anything - except typos and the like - without my consent, and I'm going to have at least some say in the cover.

It's super important that you never sign anything you don't fully understand. A lawyer is nice, but asking for clarification (a simple question like "I think this clause means x; am I right?") is good, too. You've poured your heart into this book - don't lose it because of a silly misunderstanding.

 

I'm so excited by this whole process. I just sent in my latest round of edits (the eighth draft, by my count)!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Giftmas Cross Stitch

This is the completed cross stitch I made for H.L. Burke, the winner of the Giftmas raffle! It's her "ginger gentleman" Bruce playing with a dragon.



The books are the colors of her Spellsmith & Carver series. Check out her site here: http://www.hlburkeauthor.com/

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Editing Notes. IN. SPAAAAACE!

Hi, how was everyone's holidays?

I'm going to try to get on a schedule for posting here. Let's try every Thursday and see how it goes.

 
So, in case you missed it, my novel JACK JETSTARK'S INTERGALACTIC FREAKSHOW is going to be published by World Weaver Press!



And even though I've edited it so many times over the past year, an acceptance in this case means more editing. I'm working with a great editor, Sarena Ulibarri.

And I have editing notes!

 
  • That's what happens when your only exposure to Don Quixote is an episode of Wishbone.
  • It occurs to me that the long-range attackers should maybe be in the back and the defenders should be up front to... you know. Defend?
  • My editing process: "But what if everyone was queer?"
  • A typo changed my character's dad from a drunken oaf into a drunken oak. Go home, Treebeard, you're drunk.
  • Basically this round of edits is about making everyone 500% more gay and adding lemur shenanigans.
  • I'm editing a novel about sideshow freaks in space... so of course I'm reading an article called "Lemurs smell funny on birth control".
  • And now I'm reading about how "Lemurs share gut bacteria when they cuddle". What. Why are lemurs so weird.