- My new column, "Out of the Past," which will discuss the history and some key figures and trends of queer science fiction, fantasy and horror, has just gone up at the Queer Sci-Fi blog.
- My flash horror story, "Firebird" has been accepted for the Queer Sci-Fi anthology, Renewal
- The Pride month StoryBundle which includes OUT OF THIS WORLD and SILVER MOON will be going live in the next day or two here
C. Lundoff - 2 part bibliography on older women as speculative fiction protagonists.
Gothic Blog: https://gothicfictionblog.wordpress.com/
Here's a good primer page: https://www.google.com/#q=Gothic+Fiction
Your friends at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1230.
Some suggestions from the panelists and the audience:
Windward Heights by Maryse Condé
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Affinity and Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Respectable Horror edited by Kate Laity
Speaking to the Skull Kings and Other Stories by Emily Cataneo
Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau by Jewelle Parker Rhodes
“The Specialist’s Hat” by Kelly Link
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Films and TV:
Penny Dreadful (TV)
The Woman in Black
The Girl from Raw Blood by Sarah Vaughn
Dude Watching with the Brontes by Kate Beaton
Queen of Swords Press will be tabling and I'll be reading at the Queer Voices Pride Month Book Fair and Reading at the Minneapolis Central Library on 6/27. They're doing some great programming this month!
The print edition of SILVER MOON is in progress and is going to be purty! And I should have an announcement on the StoryBundle soon. I also got a bio request for the Helsinki Worldcon Program so fingers crossed for panel assignments. In Sirens Conference news, Nivair Gabriel and I have submitted a round table proposal. I'm also waiting to hear back Diversicon and World Fantasy and have other events in the offing.
In other news, weird foot pain is weird and will get medical attention soon, new toilet is glorious and some day, if it stops raining, there will be new asphalt by the garage. Also, hoping to go back to writing new fiction REAL SOON NOW.
See you at WisCon?
Some recent high points:
- I went to see a fabulous play last night by a new theater company, Prime Productions. Prime Productions will focus on stories about women over 50. Last night's performance was Little Wars, which depicts a dinner party that never happened, featuring Dorothy Parker, Agatha Christie, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Lillian Hellman, Muriel Gardner and a young woman with a secret, set in Paris during WWII. Excellent performances, intriguing premise and I look forward to seeing what they do next.
- Last weekend included a trip to the Franconia Sculpture Park, which is an open-air sculpture park about an hour east of the Twin Cities. It was a beautiful day, which also included a pottery tour, and we both saw a lot of work that we liked. And we got really good chocolate from St. Croix Chocolate.
- Saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which I liked better than the first one.
- I have a Daughters of Themyscira jacket coming in the mail, because why not?
- Am I writing anything yet? No. Lots of editing, overdue on Patreons and a new column. But will be carving out some time at WisCon for writing. Dammit.
- Current volunteer projects: nothing just yet. I will be going to the local Equality March for Dignity and Pride on 6/11. Check out the website for more information and to find the one near you. This is for LGBTQ+ folks and allies and I know they're looking for volunteers, donations and signal boosts all over.
- In Queen of Swords Press news, A Room of One's Own Bookstore has ordered in copies of Out of This World for WisCon! Which feels very exciting and real to me, so I'm excited about that.
- And on a more somber note, along with the passing of multiple acquaintances from fandom, my lovely friend Ama Patterson passed on. She was a warm and beautiful person, as well as a talented writer and the world is a poorer place without her in it. If you have a copy of Dark Matter to hand, I recommend reading her story "Hussy Strutt" in her honor.
The new edition of Silver Moon has landed and is available in various ebook formats. We have started work on a new print edition and I plan to have it available in time for the Queer Voices Pride Month reading/book fair at the Minneapolis Main Library at end of June, as well as available in all the usual places. I also need to mention that for the month of June, both the ebooks of Out of This World and Silver Moon will be included in a Pride Month Storybundle including works by Melissa Scott and other fine authors, so if you are a reader who prefers to bundle, that opportunity will be coming up quite soon. I'm finalizing excerpts and such even now. So, cool stuff on the horizon!
Then my life went to hell in a handbasket for a while. The planned sequel got sidetracked. I broke up with my previous publisher due to irreconcilable differences. Hurricane Mom descended, with the resulting impacts to time, money, energy and sanity. I nearly signed a three book contract for a different series, which got planned out with proposals and all, and then didn't happen because the publisher imploded. Plus, you know, stuff.
Fast forward to 2017, when the world is falling apart, but my personal universe is limping along, so far. I've finally gotten the small press that I've been working on for the last two years off the ground. Queen of Swords Press is about to release its third title; I'm working my way through my backlist (1 novel, 90 short stories, etc.) as well as some stories and books that haven't been released yet. Once I understand a few things a bit better, I'll open up to some submissions and we'll see how it goes. Starting with my backlist enables me to do some fundraising at the same time that I promote my own writing and learn how to do some stuff. So it works out all around, hopefully.
Which brings us back to SILVER MOON. So this was my first published novel. Hell, it was even my first completed novel. I developed it from an earlier novella and I pantsed like a wild thing through it. I had some great ideas, some not great ideas and some "I'm totally getting back to this" moments that never happened. Unsurprisingly, this resulted in miscellaneous problems, some of which got called out in reviews and discussions with readers (my sincere apologies for the more egregious issues). What's new in this version? There's a new cover by Terry Roy (who I heartily recommend). It's about 3300 words longer than the original. I changed a character name and a couple of scenes. I fixed typos and added more description and hopefully, more depth and much better transitions. Is it still basically the same story? Yep. Did I add smoking hot sex scenes between Becca and Erin? Nope. That wasn't the story I set out to write and shoehorning them into this book wouldn't have worked. On the bright side, now I have the outline for BLOOD MOON, the long-intended sequel, in my head and will be getting back to it forthwith. There's a third book that I'm contemplating as well. So, basically, things are going to back to where they should have been in late 2012, only I've written a lot more since then and am arguably a better writer. I completed a different novel in the meantime and have done a bunch of writing on another, so there'll be more books soon.
And we'll see how things go from there. Many thanks for the folks who believed in me and my werewolves and have been encouraging me all along! You rock!
Also, I should note that the ebook versions of both SILVER MOON and OUT OF THIS WORLD; QUEER SPECULATIVE FICTION STORIES will be featured in a Pride month Storybundle featuring works by Melissa Scott and other fine writers so please stay tuned for updates.
- 10:30PM - Yes We Are Internet (Conference Room 4) - Group reading by Robyn Bennis, Seth Frost, Aimee Ogden and Catherine Lundoff (I've never met these folks other than on Twitter, so we will be living up to the name)
- The Business of the Small Press (scheduled) Sat, 10:00–11:15 am Conference
Small press publishers, whether just starting out or long-time owners, come to talk about the challenges of getting started and sustaining the business. What's the nitty-gritty that readers and writers don't get to see? How are contracts drafted? What legal know-how is needed? How do you balance the books?
- Red As Blood: Women and Gothic Horror (scheduled) moderator Sat, 1:00–2:15 pm Caucus
Women figure prominently in classic Gothic horror as victims, protagonists, or villains and Gothic horror has had a profound influence on fantasy as a genre (Tanith Lee and Angela Carter, to name a couple of examples.) Television shows like Penny Dreadful and films like Crimson Peak help keep the subgenre alive and appealing to new generations. What makes Gothic tales so appealing? What do we see as the future for Gothic tales and what would we like to see more/less of?
- Catherine Lundoff, Presentation. Assembly Room, 8:30-9:45AM
- Aging in Speculative Fiction - Aging is subject to a wide range of magical cures and fixes in the genre as a whole. On the one hand, older characters in genre can be powerful (and/or oppressive) authority figures. At the same time, older characters are subject to sacrificial redshirting or are rendered invisible. Works that include older women as protagonists are still a rarity (and the number of older LGBTQ+ characters and/or older women of color is considerably smaller) despite a number of factors that should have brought greater changes in representation over the last couple of decades.
And I'm down at Buster's on 28th in Minneapolis for lunch and dinner if you want to come say hi and support good stuff.
Barnes & Noble
IBooks - search on my last name in the iTunes store.
Overdrive for Libraries - Hennepin County Library has copies available for check out and your local library can order it in too!
Queen of Swords Press info:
Note that Queen of Swords press now has 2, count 'em 2 titles out! With a first print edition and a new version of Silver Moon on the way!
Twitter - @qospress
Queen of Swords Press has a monthly newsletter that you can sign up for on the website.
Twitter - @clundoff
Facebook (as me), also as Author/Editor Page
Me, as Emily L. Byrne, AKA erotica and erotic romance writing Me:
Facebook Author page
Emily's booklist is also available on my Goodreads profile above.
Most of Queen of Swords Press blogging will likely be out here for a bit. I'm still getting my proverbial ducks in a row.
A couple of years ago, I started an annual Earth Day post on things we were doing to make our household greener. In looking back, I may have skipped a year or two there, but now seems like a very good time to revive the tradition. Some of these things may be useful to you and yours if you're looking to get greener. I also do it for me since it's a way to remind myself of what we've done so far and what I'd like us to tackle next.
It is worth noting that we've spent years on this, making a few changes every year. My goal has been to add something new every year, which we are on track for. I will also note that most things on my list have had a direct cost savings in the longer term, particularly the ones with start up costs. But there are also things we can't do because of finances or the state of our yard and so forth, such as growing our own veggies (our trees shade much of the yard) and there are things that stay in the planning stages for years at a time while I figure out budgeting and so forth. We also own our own home in a very urban environment in a city which supports a lot of green programs and I've done quite a bit of research and planning on all of this to approach greening wholistically.
What we've done so far:
- Switched light bulbs to compact fluorescents and LEDs as they burn out.
- Had extra insulation blown into some of the walls.
- Replaced the interior windows throughout the house.
- Committed to buying the bulk of our groceries at the local coops and farmer's markets.
- As each appliance died in our 100 year old house, we upgraded to a more energy efficient version. In the course of 20 years, that's the washer and dryer, the stove, the AC, the fridge and the water heater. We're eyeing the ancient octopus furnace for the future.
- Installed a solar-powered fan in the attic which keeps the house at a more even temperature so we use less AC in the summer.
- Replaced old electric and plumbing setups with more efficient ones. Last year's much needed new bathroom sink and shower cut our water and gas bills, for example.
- Organized our reusable bags, put a set in each car and committed to using them for nearly all shopping.
- Recycling and composting. Minneapolis has really ramped up their recycling program and added a new citywide composting program. We already did some at home composting and are continuing to do that while participating in the city-wide programs. In addition, we look for reuse and donation opportunities for everything we want to get rid of that's usable: clothes go to clothing swaps as well as donation bins, books go to libraries and benefit auctions, jewelry to benefit auctions, reusable computing equipment to organizations that refurb and donate it, etc. At this point, we compost and recycle much more than we throw out.
- Replaced our collapsing front retaining wall with medium-sized rocks and bee-friendly organic plants (see below). We hired a local woman-owned green landscaping firm for this and they did a terrific job.
- Committed to not using pesticides or herbicides on our yard.
- Switched to green de-icer and grit in the winter to melt ice.
- Committed to not driving anywhere a few days out of the month, carpooling more and taking public transportation when we can. We also have meat-free days once a week or so. Biking is not a option for us physically and scheduling-wise, we still need two cars for the moment, but I hope to go down to one car and car sharing in the future and we walk a fair amount.
- Carbon offsetting, particularly for plane flights and longer road trips. We started including this in our trip budgets - when we went to New Zealand last year, for example, New Zealand Air and one of the B&Bs we stayed at offered some options for local organizations doing tree planting and environmental restoration so we kicked in some money toward those. When we take road trips, I donate a few bucks to the Nature Conservancy or Minnesota Tree Trust to offset the gas that our relatively-efficient roadtrip car burns off.
- Installed a rain barrel for the nonwinter months (yes, we have one). Also multiple bird feeders and a bird bath.
- Switched our electric bill to 100% wind power (check out utility programs and solar garden shares in your area if you're not in MN or Colorado).
- Had our yard dedicated as a "Pollinator Friendly Patch" by the City of Minneapolis - we'll be planting more bee and butterfly-friendly plants this year.
- Replacing our ancient toilet with a water-efficient one and replacing it.
- Starting work on refurbishing our attic to make it into an office space and make it more energy efficient.
- Replacing our driveway to improve rain run off and drainage.
in the meantime, I also donated to the PFund Foundation, which gives scholarships and funding to LGBTQ+ folks who are leaders in their communities throughout the Upper Midwest; Outfront MN, which does advocacy and support for LGBTQ+ folks here in Minnesota; Third Wave Fund, which funds queer youth and feminist activist groups; Charis Circle, which sustains Charis Bookstore, Atlanta's fabulous feminist and queer bookstore and its many events and groups; and BiNet USA, the umbrella organization for national groups run by bisexual folks.
there's lots to choose from! Please check out the site, donate what you can and post!
Queen of Swords Press publishing achievements:
- Found a new way to lock myself out of the website, after figuring how to successfully hack the WordPress database to fix the first problem. Yay. This impacts me, but not visitors, FYI.
- Submitted both books to the Rainbow Book Awards
- Contacted OutlantaCon about advertising
- Hired a contract book publicist
- Put out a second book
- Produced the monthly newsletter (sign up at the website)
- Tonight: learn how to set up a print book for IngramSpark
- Wrote and submitted a flash fiction piece to a contest
- Finished and sent out my first Patreon post of the month
- Began heavy revising and updating of LGBTQ SFFH history posts for new Queer Sci Fi column on the topic
- Prepped for reading tomorrow night at DreamHaven Books
- Tried to get on more programming at an upcoming con
- Made progress on SILVER MOON edits, as well as other editing project. SILVER MOON is getting revised but not will not be a completely new book,FYI
- Books and Beer Pop-Up Bookstore event on May 11, 5-9PM is officially a go! More details coming soon. Lake Monster Brewing, "My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors" style event.