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I'm headed back to WisCon for the first time in a couple of years. I've got a reading and a couple of panels and will be floating around. I will have the new print edition of Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories with me and will try to make it available in the Dealer's Room as well. Invite me to tea or breakfast ot such. My attention is drawn to shiny things, chocolate and good tea, just saying. :-)

Friday:
  • 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)
Saturday
  • The Business of the Small Press (scheduled)      Sat, 10:00–11:15 am     Conference
Moderator: J. Boone Dryden. Timmi Duchamp, Catherine Lundoff, Michael Damian Thomas
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
Moderator: Catherine Lundoff. Emily B. Cataneo, Katie Sapede, Cath Schaff-Stump , Sheree Renée Thomas
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?
Monday:
  • 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.
Come say hi!
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I'll be reading from my story "A Splash of Crimson" from RESPECTABLE HORROR and from "Medium Mechanique" in OUT OF THIS WORLD at Bingley's Teas in Minneapolis at 5PM today. It's Bingley's Teas first anniversary as a tea shop/salon so there are other fun festivities planned. I recommend dropping by some local indie bookstores for Indie Bookstore Day or checking out  the Guillermo del Toro show, "At Home With Monsters" at the MIA (closing soon!) on the way over, since Bingley's is down the street from the MIA on 26th. I will be steampunking out but costumes are not obligatory. :-)
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Volunteering for Dining Out for Life today! Eat out in Minnesota to support the Aliveness Project's programs for folks living with HIV/AIDS.
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.
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My new book, Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories, is out in ebook formats now and will be out in print on 5/1.  That translates to:
Amazon
Smashwords
Kobo
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!
Website
Twitter - @qospress
Facebook
Queen of Swords Press has a monthly newsletter that you can sign up for on the website.

Me:
Website
Twitter - @clundoff
Facebook (as me), also as Author/Editor Page
Goodreads
Google+
Pinterest

Me, as Emily L. Byrne, AKA erotica and erotic romance writing Me:
Facebook Author page
Twitter
Blog
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.









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 Happy Earth Day! Happy Science March or river cleanup or whatever project you are doing today!

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.
What we've done new for this year, so far:
  • 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.
Next up:
  • 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.
And that's it for now. Feel free to share the things that you're trying!
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Today is Give OUT Day in the U.S., the only national day of fundraising dedicated to LGBTQ+ nonprofits. At the best of times, organizations run by and for queer folks are wildly underfunded. That's programs that provide trans folks with legal support, LGBTQ+ kids with anti-bullying resources, support for queer safe spaces, food banks for folks with AIDS/HIV, suicide hotlines, scholarships, housing for queer elders, legal advocacy for employment discrimination, support for queer immigrants and refugees, the list goes on and on. And under the current administration, all these programs and organizations are expected to double down and provide more support and more services. I don't know what it's like elsewhere, but one of our larger local straight-run nonprofits just dropped its entire queer youth support program because they wanted "to bring their focus," which means that any help those kids were getting has to come from elsewhere. Which is turn translates to LGBTQ+ communities and better allies stepping up. I donate what I can every year and tonight, I'm going to go do a volunteer training for the Aliveness Project's Dining Out for Life benefit next week, which raises money for advocacy and support for folks living with AIDS/HIV.
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!
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Doubling down on the Doing of ALL the things!

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
C. Lundoff, writer and editor:
  • 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.
And more stuff ahead!
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 Author Anne E. Johnson interviewed several members, including me, of Broad Universe, an organization which promotes women writing science fiction and fantasy for the website WomenArt. We talk about some of the issues we've made in the field and some of the things we need to move forward on. Good stuff! 😃
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 For those just tuning in, reports are coming out of Chechnya (a Russian-controlled "subject state" in Eastern Europe) that the Chechen government is rounding up gay men and either executing them or putting them in a secret prison where they are being held and tortured. Current estimate runs to over 100 folks targeted so far and other queer folks are also very much at risk. All Out is an organization based in NY that is helping groups on the ground who are trying to get folks out of Chechnya. I've supported All Out for a couple of years now and been pretty impressed with their ability to mobilize support for LGBTQ+ folks in different countries so if they say they can rescue some people, it's definitely worth boosting and throwing a few $ their way. #Chechnya go.allout.org/en/a/Chechnya

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The following is a series of emails exchanged between editor Sigrid Ellis and the Odyssey Con Com. I have Sigrid's permission to repost. Since I don't have Odd Con folk's permission, I'm taking out their names and contacts but leaving the email text in. Know that I dearly want to include them but not wish to sidetrack this into a discussion of how "mean" I'm being to them or equivalent. Think of these exchanges as a primer of what not to do and how not to respond when folks attending your event tell you why you have a problem with safety at your event.
Sigrid:

Hello,

 It came to my attention today that the programming for this year's Odyssey Con has a couple of folks who've engaged in antisocial behavior at Wiscon. Specifically Richard Russell and Jim Frenkel.

 I've attended Wiscon for years, and have personally experienced and witnessed behavior from both of these men that does not support the ideals to which I hope we all subscribe. Russell has, for years, made explicitly and openly racist remarks during panels he ran. Frenkel has serially harassed multiple women for years and was finally successfully reported for it.

Neither of these men behave in a manner that supports an open convention that welcomes all fans.

 To accept them at your convention is a worthy thing to do. They can continue to grow and change and become the better human beings we all hope them to be, in a community where they have not yet acted so poorly. I thank you and your convention for this; everyone deserves a space in which they can try to improve.

But I am concerned about them being on your programming. That seems to indicate a certain level of endorsement of them, and their views, that I find troubling. Particularly when Frenkel is on a panel about how to be an adult, and Russell is on a panel about social justice going too far. I am concerned that they will ... double down, if you will, on their previous positions.

None of us can know the future, of course. And I always hope for the best, from everyone. But I would hate for Odyssey Con to find itself in the midst of another controversy with these men at the center. And I would hate for your guests of honor to develop a poor opinion of Midwest fandom.

 And I would hate, above both those things, for your attendees to suffer harassment or worse from panelists you selected, for those attendees to slink away from fandom ashamed and hurt and humiliated, unsure of what they did to draw such negative attention from men Odyssey Con put in positions of power and authority.

I hope, very much, that you have assurances that you can believe from Frenkel and Russell. I hope, very much, that you know, completely, that they will not harass or molest anyone at your convention.

 I am concerned. I hope my concerns are groundless.

 I wish you all the best,

 Sigrid Ellis

Con com response:

Dear Sigrid,

Thank you for your courteously expressed letter of concern.

I have been personally acquainted with both Richard and Jim for many years, and, as program chair, I am 100% certain that they will both conduct themselves in responsible and appropriate fashions. Both Jim and Richard have made valuable contributions to Odyssey Con for years and I expect that they will, given the opportunity, continue to do so for years to come. I believe Odyssey Con has a good record as a friendly and welcoming convention, which we intend to maintain.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write. I particularly appreciate your careful expression of your concerns. I am confident that they will be proven groundless.

 


More con com response, this time with the actual harassment policy included. Because, you know, you just put the words on paper. They don't mean anything.

Sigrid,

Thank you for your concern. We have as a con-com discussed the issue of harassment and have taken careful steps to allow for people who have been harassed to have a safe space to inform the convention staff and procedure in place which includes escalation to an ombudsperson if necessary.

 

The following is a copy of our harassment policy which is on our website and also in our program book:

Harassment Policy

It is the intention of Odyssey Con to create a safe, friendly, welcoming environment where fans of science fiction and fantasy can interact with one another in a respectful manner. We will not tolerate harassment of any kind, including but not limited to:

-stalking
-intimidation
-offensive verbal comments
-physical assault and/or battery
-harassing or non-consensual photography or recording
-sustained disruption of panels, signings, and other events
-bathroom policing
-inappropriate physical contact
-unwelcome physical attention

in relation to, but not limited to:

-race
-color
-nationality
-gender and/or gender identity
-sexual orientation
-age
-body size
-disability
-appearance
-religion

Our policy applies to everyone at the convention. Exhibitors, Attendees, Speakers, Guests, Professionals, Staff, and Volunteers are all subject to our anti-harassment policy.

"No" means "no." Not "Maybe." Not "Ask me again later." If, when responding to someone, you mean "Not right now" or "Ask me later", please say that. If you ask and don't hear something like that, drop it and move on. If a person engages in harassing behavior, Odyssey Con staff will take prompt action in any form they deem appropriate, including, as warranted, expulsion from this year's con, banning from all future Odyssey Cons, and calling the police.

Keep in mind that you may not know someone, including what might offend them, as well as you think you do, and the possibility that you may be making someone around you uncomfortable or unintentionally giving offense. If you're not sure, ask.

Please be aware of personal space in sitting or speaking with other people. If someone asks you to back up or give them more room, please respect that.

If ANYONE does something that makes you uncomfortable, ask them firmly, but politely, to stop. Be honest and don't try to spare their feelings, but be as civil as possible. They may not realize they are making you uncomfortable. If they persist, please report the incident to the Convention Security staff, who can be recognized by their bright yellow badges. In addition someone can always be found at the Registration Desk during registration hours, or in the Security office marked clearly on the map in your convention program book.

Remember: Cosplay is not consent. If you would like to take a picture with or of another fan, always ask first and respect that person's right to say no. Be respectful, be nice, be cool and be kind to each other.

Our goal is to create a fun, safe, welcoming, event where fans of all kinds can come together and enjoy themselves. As fans ourselves, we understand the importance of creating a safe space for everyone who attends Odyssey Con.

 Thank you again for your concern,

Me: note, if you will, the disconnect between above and the decision to put a known serial harasser, one with decades of accumulated bad rep, on your con com as Guest Liaison. Then to put him on programming with a GOH who has already notified you that they have had problems with that person in the past. Never do these things.




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Or, here we go again.
My friend Monica Valentinelli has withdrawn as one of the GOHs at Odyssey Con next month due to well-founded safety concerns about the presence of Jim Frenkel at the con, on the con com and in programming. You can read her blog statement as to why she felt she had to do this. I support Monica completely and think she made the right choice. At least one other pro, Patrick Tomlinson, has also withdrawn in support. I have heard one of the vendors had pulled out as well but awaiting confirmation before I post a name.
 
Now, gonna say another thing. As many of you know, I had a front row seat to WisCon's epic mishandling several years back of Elise Matthesen's harassment complaint against Jim Frenkel. Many of the same people who now run Odd Con used to be involved with running WisCon. They gaslighted, prevaricated, blathered about redemption narratives and ableist b.s. and in some instances, lied outright to protect Frenkel personally back then. And in a more than a few instances, they worked with other folks to circle the wagons to protect the con from allegations they didn't want to be true since after all, Frenkel was a former GOH, a local hero and buddies with a lot of folks. Those choices destroyed a bunch of friendships and it almost destroyed WisCon. Protecting and promoting serial harassers needs to have consequences. Folks reporting them need to have support. Let's learn from WisCon (and Readercon before that) and do better. I sincerely hope that if there are saner heads left at Oddyssey Con, they are able to turn the con around. I certainly won't be considering attending until they do.

In the meantime and in the following post due to Dreamwidth challenges with on phone postings, Sigrid Ellis has given me permission to post a couple of emails that she exchanged with Odyssey Con about Frenkel and another fun dude who was also asked to leave the WisCon con com. I'm posting these to support Monica as well as to forestall the inevitable responses that range from "This can't be true!" to "How does this keep happening?" It is real and this is how.
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But really, today has mostly been about the migraine. That and the dream that I was rudely awakened from this morning. The migraine and the starving, starving kitties got to me just as Sean Bean handed me an elaborate jeweled dagger and invited me to tea. I have no idea what weird corner of my subconscious that popped out of. I like Bean and all, but I'm hardly an obsessive fan. And why the dagger? The cats have once more deprived the world of a fascinating saga.

Other than that, Queen of Swords Press has achieved second book! Or at least, second book in preorder. Emily L. Byrne's Knife's Edge is up for preorder and will be out on 4/15/17. And I am now locked out of both  the Queen of Swords Press website and my own so tomorrow will be a lively day of help desk tickets. Why am I locked out? Miscellaneous security updates that didn't quite take. Lucky me. At any rate, I'm also about to send off a book intro to the artist who formatted the print edition of Out of This World, so I hope to have that out and about in the next couple of weeks. And Silver Moon is in edits for a new edition. I'm working on fixing up some of the problematic portions of it, things that didn't quite work for me in the first edition. It will be basically the same book though, fair warning. So a whirlwind of activity for another week ensues.

I'm also encouraging folks to sign up for the Press newsletter and to sign up for my Patreon. We're trying to keep things exciting! Now to carve out time to go back to see the Guillermo del Toro show again at the MIA.

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You, yes, you, can help me do good works! Which in this case entails raising money for nonprofits doing amazing things. In return, you get lists of useful things - book recommendations, films, easy food preservation, other fun stuff. If you pledge $3 a month, you get to request a list. At $6 per month, you get all of this, plus a story or essay per month. Such a deal!
This month's recipient of my Patreon dues will be the Center for Biological Diversity. The posts will be on some basic food preservation techniques and comfort films ($1-$6). And there will be a piece of unpublished short fiction ! ($6 level only).
https://www.patreon.com/CLundoff
 
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Last week was chock full of excitement, mostly good.
  • My interview on the Skiffy and Fanty Podcast went live.
  • My first Emily Byrne collection, Knife's Edge, is almost done. I should be announcing ARCS within the next couple of days.
  • I've had a request for a new Silver Moon edition, a reminder of some specific things to fix and a deadline imposed upon me so that's next.
  • Last week was my birthday, which entailed breakfast at the Seward Cafe, a trip to Stillwater, MN to bid our adieus to St. Croix Antiquarian Booksellers (owner decided to retire and got a splendid offer for the building, but Stllwater is now down to 2 used bookstores and 1 new one, which is less than great news. Sigh.) But we picked up some fun books and stopped by Black Letter Antiquarian for some more shopping. Then ate a good lunch and I picked up some new work clothes before we came back home and met friends for dinner. Good time all around!
  • Friday...sucked. Weird health stuff, multiple rejections, life.
  • Saturday was awesome. I kicked off brunch with a bunch of friends at Abi's Cafe, a terrific woman-owned Salvadoran restaurant on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Great food, really pleasant folks - Cesia Abigail, the owner, even made me a small birthday cake as a surprise. After that, we were off to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to see At Home With Monsters, the Guillermo del Toro show. OMG, this show is amazing! If you're a fan of any of del Toro's work or horror in general, this is a must see. We're going back to see it again soon! We followed that up with a trip to Uncle Hugo's and Uncle Edgar's Bookstore, where I acquired sundry titles including Alex Well's Hunger Makes the Wolf and Children's Fantasy Literature by Michael Levy and Farah Mendlesohn. From there, we met up more folks at the Midtown Global Market for dinner, then went on to DreamHaven Books to help celebrate their 40th anniversary. It was a splendid day all around.
  • I've also signed up for an interesting new event, assuming my sales id turns up in time. I'll be selling some books at the Books and Beer Pop-up Bookstore at Lake Monster Brewing in St. Paul on May 11. More updates as soon as I have them.
Otherwise all is a whirlwind of Press and books and day job and volunteering and such. More news soon.



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Big week coming up on the reading front.
  • Tomorrow, Sunday, March 26th from 1-$PM, I'll be reading at the Anderson Library at the University of Minnesota for the annual Quatrefoil Library/Tretter Collection joint event, Women Who Read. Also reading are Jessie Chandler, Rachel Gold, Stephani Maari Booker and a host of other talented queer female-identified writers. Just as a general observation about the kind of talent that reads at this event, Pat Schmatz won a Tiptree Award 3 days after our reading last year. So come by and check it out! The beauty of group readings is that there's always enough variety to find something you like.
  • Which is why I'm doing 2 readings this week. On Tuesday, March 28th, I'll be reading at Intermedia Arts for Queer Voices, an ongoing series featuring local LGBTQIA_ authors and creators. 7:30-9:30PM, sliding scale admission.
  • My latest Patreon posts on Comfort Reading and Comfort Television are out - check out some new stuff for only $1! Pledge $6 and get my essay on Irene Adler too. This month's proceeds will benefit Planned Parenthood.
It's also my birthday this week and I'm neck deep in projects so it's going to be a wild ride! Send good thoughts and virtual chocolate!
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 I've got a guest blog up for Sirens Con on the topic of some early feminist fantasy "buddy" novels ("She's a swordswoman, she's a sorceress and together, they fight crime!")
Sirens is a great conference on women in fantasy literature and I heartily recommend it. 
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It's here, it's here! Respectable Horror, edited by K.A. Laity, is out from Fox Spirit Books today and readily available on Amazon in the U.S. and U.K. as well as sundry bookstores. More outlets coming soon!


I will also have copies available at my April readings, including the one at Bingley's Teas. And Bingley's is just down the street from the MIA, which is hosting Guillermo del Toro's "At Home with Monsters" for the next two months. Plus a showing of Crimson Peak, just saying.

Other things of note:
- I got our yard designated as a "Pollinator Friendly Zone" by the City of Minneapolis. It's a cool program - answer 10 questions about your yard and get a flat of bee-friendly plants, a sign and a certificate. Our yard is ruthlessly organic and our landscaper put in some plants that are like bee catnip so it's nice to have that recognized.
- I attempted to go and volunteer at the MN Advocates for Human Rights International Women's Day miniconference on Saturday, but they had enough warm bodies so instead I went to a couple of interesting talks, one on Basic Income Guarantees and how it could be set up and the other by the Women's Initiative for Self Empowerment, which works with refugee and immigrant kids, teens and young women to help them access scholarships, mentors, job training, assistance with language skills and related stuff.
I followed that up by going to a several short plays about domestic violence at Theatre Unbound
to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Susan Glaspell's play, "Trifles."

Hoping to make it to a City Council candidate talk on affordable housing tomorrow night and planning on going to a Restaurants Rising, a citywide benefit for the Immigration Law Center of MN on 3/15. We'll see how all jives with needing to fix website problems, finish another Emily story and get some publicity stuff together for Queen of Swords Press as well as the next book. We like to keep it lively around here at least.


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I stopped by author Jennifer Allis Provost's blog to fan squee about "Victor Frankenstein." Everyone I know needs to see it. Really. :-) 
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Out of This World is on sale at Smashwords through 3/11 at 50% off as part of Read an Ebook Week. Pick it up for a mere $2 when you use the code RAE50 at checkout!

I'm plugging away at my posts for Patreon. This month's nonprofit donations will be going to Planned Parenthood and this month's post topics will be comfort reads, comfort TV and an essay on author Melissa Scott. Pledge at the $1 level to get two posts a month, at the $3 level to request future posts as well as to receive the existing ones and at the $6 level for all of the above + an additional piece of fiction or non fiction or whatever I'm currently working on. Such a deal!

Other than this, I'm looking at a print layout for Out of This World and have a fabulous new cover for Knife's Edge, the first Emily L. Byrne collection, both by artist and writer Terry Roy. Terry is great to work with and I heartily recommend her! Editor Carrie Cuinn is proofing the text for Knife's Edge, and once she's done, I'll do a final pass over it, get it formatted and turn it loose shortly thereafter. Carrie does a very thorough job and I definitely recommend her too.

I'm expecting my interview on the Skiffy and Fanty Podcast to go live soon, as well as some guest blogs on various topics on other folk's sites. I have another guest blog due as Emily, some editing to do, sundry other stuff related to Queen of Swords, then I start on the next book. And promo for my various readings and such. Whee!

Next weekend, I'll be volunteering at the MN Advocates for Human Rights International Women's Day event at Hamline, which I'm looking forward to. They've put on a good event in years past. Then I'll be off to Theatre Unbound's production of Susan Glaspel's Trifles and two other short plays. They'll also be hosting Little Black Dress Ink! Female Playwrights Onstage Festival on March 8th; it's free and open to the public. Come hear some new plays before they make it big.

Wednesday is also A Day Without a Woman  as well as being International Women's Day. Skip work if you can, limit any necessary spending to women and immigrant and/or minority-owned businesses, donate to organizations that support women and other targets of the Orange Menace and his merry band of evil and ware red. I'm taking the day off, because I'm fortunate enough to have that option, and will be supporting women-owned business. There's ERA lobbying day at the State Legislature as well (see the Women's March MN for more details) and miscellaneous other events. Or plan your own.

Now to go wrangle some more stuff.



catherineldf: (Default)

Catherine's note: I noticed that this project had gone live and wanted to make sure more people knew about it. Older Queer Voices: The Intimacy of Survival is free to read and filled with stories and poetry by older queer folks about hanging in there, about the things that did get better, about the strategies that we used to make it. I reached out to one of the editors, Sandra Gail Lambert, and asked her to do a blog interview about the anthology. If you'd like to interview her, her co-editor or the contributors, their contact email is noted below. Please spread the word and let's get more things like this out there.


Tell us about this project.

 SGL: Older Queer Voices: The Intimacy of Survival is an online collection of creative nonfiction and poetry from thirty-five LGBTQIA writers. Sandra Gail Lambert and Sarah Einstein are the editors. 

 

Where did you get the idea to do this on the Internet?

 SGL: Like a lot of us, Sarah and I woke up on November 9th desperate to do something, anything. Over the next few days, we flailed around for that first path of resistance. Sarah, who teaches at a university, was confronted with young queer students who were in a sort of shock as the world they'd always known was threatened. I live in community that includes many old lesbians who had a sense of returning to a world they had already survived. Some were in despair that they were going to have to do it all again, some were energized, but they all knew, as Sarah and I and so many other old queers did, that it was possible. We had the skills and strategies to resist and even thrive within oppression. As one of our contributors says, "we know how to do this." By November 12th, Sarah and I sent out a call for submissions to Older Queer Voices: The Intimacy of Survival.

We decided on an online anthology because that would be more immediate, less commercial, and it was what we had the energy to accomplish. Both Sarah and I are older and disabled and one of the skills we have to offer is knowing the limits of what we can accomplish and still be able to keep moving forward in our work.

How did you select the authors?

 SGL: We sent out a call for submissions for writing "in response to the harder times that have come back around again." We wanted pieces about our experiences, our successes, the mistakes we made, the voices of those who were left out, and celebrations of all the ways we lived our lives. We said we wanted to reach back and recreate that combination of care and activism and add it to the already formidable power of the younger generations of queer folk.

 The response was immediate and strong. Each day I'd wake up and there would be emails filled with stories of survival that helped lessen my own dismay. Poets honored and mourned the lives lost to the Plague. A young butch lesbian survived 1950's political witch hunters. A trans woman came to activism through the Civil Rights movement of the sixties.  

 For me, the anthology was already doing its job, and it gave me hope that these writings would work the same way for readers. We had originally decided on eighteen pieces being the right number for the anthology and then upped it to thirty-six as the wide variety of submissions poured in, and we still had to send out way too many rejections. But we had a specific mission for the anthology, so that helped us figure out which pieces to include.

What do you hope this project will accomplish?

SGL: We hope the anthology, as a whole, will be useful in the days to come as we figure out how to survive. Many of the contributors have agreed to be available to classrooms and organizations that want to take up the question of how LGBTQIA people and communities survive during times of oppression, and there will soon be tools available for book groups, high school teachers, and university professors who wish to include the anthology in their readings.

We also hope, as all editors of anthologies do, that our contributors will have their writings read and appreciated.

Will there be a follow-up such as a print edition or a new round of contributors?

SGL:We aren't doing a print edition. Everyone involved in this project—the writers, the publishers that granted us free reprint rights, the website interns, the editors—did this all as a labor of resistance and love in response to an urgent situation. It wouldn't be right to in any way commercialize the project. In addition, part of our mission is the anthology's free availability to students and teachers.

Any related projects in the works? 

SGL: Some of the contributors are organizing readings. Others have suggested a series of video interviews. Also, soon there will be materials to support the use of the anthology in high school and university classrooms. Who knows what our contributors will come up with? As has been proved, they are amazingly resourceful. To contact Sarah and I or any of our contributors for interviews or more information email olderqueervoices@gmail.com.  

 

 

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