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2019-12-31 06:49 pm

Where I'll be in 2019

The annual list, updated as new things arise; right now, there's a bunch of things that aren't confirmed yet but I'll update when I have details:
  • greydogtales - Online. Queer Horror Month Celebration (collaboration with Gingernuts of Horror). Monthlong through January. I have a lengthy interview up about my work and thoughts about queer horror; plus, my short fiction collection Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction will be on sale 1/21-1/27.
  • Queen of Swords Press 2nd Birthday Celebration at Bingley's Tea Salon - Minneapolis. January 19th, 2-4PM. Books, munchies, chocolate and excellent company! Come celebrate with us!

  • Wordplay, Minneapolis, MN - May 11-12th. The Loft Literary's new author festival. Michael Merriam and I will be reading on the Pop-up Stage at 2PM on 5/12.
  • Cream & Amber Author Reading, Hopkins, MN - May 19th. 2-3:30. Michael Merriam and I will be reading from Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space)
  • WisCon, Madison, WI - May 24th-27th. Awaiting approval for a Queen of Swords Press party for our new titles.


  • OutWrite 2019 - Washington, D.C. TBD. Had a great time last year, hoping to be back again this year.

  • 2019 Twin Cities Book Festival, St. Paul, MN. October TBD. Queen of Swords Press will hopefully have a book table and will be hosting author Michael Merriam again as a guest author.
  • Multiverse Con - Atlanta, GA. October 18-20th. Author guest - doing panels, a reading and so forth. My wife, Jana Pullman, will be an artist guest.

  • Minnesota Women's Art Festival - TBD. Queen of Swords Press is hoping to have a book table and feature artwork by book artist Jana Pullman once again.
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2019-04-22 08:00 am
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The Greening of Our Lives, Annual Earth Day Post

My standard intro: a couple of years ago, I started an annual Earth Day post on things we were doing to make our household greener. Previous posts: 2018 2017 2016
Some of these things may be useful to you and yours if you're looking to tread a little lighter on our poor planet. 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 a few new things 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 it holistically. I recommend Green America as a good resource for tackling environmental impacts from one social justice perspective.

What we've done so far:

Switched to reusables: lunch bags, dish towels, handkerchiefs, cups, straws, traveling utensils, grocery bags, yard waste containers, etc.
Switched to recycled/refurbished: all paper products, aluminum foil, electronics where feasible (refurbished iPads, router, etc.), some furniture, some clothes, plastic containers, food packages, garbage bags, etc.
Other things we reuse: wash and reuse plastic bags, recycle magazines and single use containers for art projects, buy bulk and reuse single use containers for storage.
Basic house greening: swapping out light bulbs to LEDs, additional insulation, improved windows, green cleaners, green care products, biodegradable cat litter, energy efficient appliances, solar fan in the attic to keep the house cooler in summer, water barrel, yard waste compost, city compost, city recycling, new plumbing with water efficient shower head, toilet and faucets, yard is completely organic and planted with pollinator-friendly plants, electric mower, we use grit to deice and our house is powered by 100% wind power through our utility.

Additional stuff: Committed to buying the bulk of our groceries at the local coops and farmer's markets.
  • 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.
  • Committed to not driving anywhere a few days out of the month and carpooling more and taking public transportation when we can. Biking is not a option for us physically or scheduling-wise and 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 do walk a fair amount.
  • Meat free meals and days multiple times a week
  • Carbon offsets, particularly for plane flights and longer road trips. Offset programs that I like: Nature Conservancy, MN Tree Trust, Cool Effect, Million Metres Stream Project (if we travel outside the U.S., I look for local organizations to donate to).
  • Use CREDO Mobile for my cell phone as a much greener alternative to other companies
  • Investments - I screen out oil companies and other big polluters from my 401K, have my mutual fund holdings with Pax World Funds and own small amounts of stock in our local coop and in Terracycle.
  • Switched out my credit cards to cards with B-corp banks or credit unions. Regular accounts are at a local credit union.
What we've done since last Earth Day:
  • This is the first year we've gone backward. We had to have to our big ash tree in the front yard cut down due to various factors (Emerald Ash Borer, roots growing into the foundation, etc.). We'll be planting a serviceberry in its place and getting something more durable, better suited to our small front yard and producing edible berries in the bargain.
  • Got rid of one air conditioner and put in insulating curtains in the bedroom.
  • Replaced the utility sink in the basement. No more leaks!
  • Added insulation in the garage.
  • Added more native plants
  • Doubled down on cutting our food waste with more meal planning, more freezing of leftovers and more focus on making sure leftovers get eaten by incorporating them into other meals and so forth.
  • Added scrap metal recycling and rag recycling, as well as getting a paper shredder so we can recycle more paper.
Next up:
  • Getting a new energy efficient furnace/AC this summer
  • Redoing the attic (finally!). Between this and the furnace, we should be able to cut our house's carbon footprint by at least 50%.
  • Digging up more of the lawn and replacing it with native plants
Other things as I discover them.
And that's it for now. Feel free to share the things that you're trying or any questions you have about what we're doing.
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2019-04-17 08:57 pm
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ClexaCon writeup

And we get double posts tonight because I skipped a week.

I spent a long weekend in Las Vegas at ClexaCon, which was an adventure. I flew out on Sun Country on Thursday morning in a blizzard, which was fun. 50 mph winds, snow, ice, other airlines canceling right and left, but Sun Country is hardcore and they just kept de-icing until it was determined that we could go (about 5 hours late).  It was pretty bumpy but we made it. By then, I’d been up since 3AM my time and just wanted to get to Tropicana quickly. I foolishly took a cab (the nice fans that I met traveling to ClexaCon from MN took a rideshare) and we both arrived at the same time. Then we waited and waited and waited. The hotel let us all hang out in the checkout line for 45 minutes before more staff arrived. Then there was something of a scramble to connect with my table assistant, Theresa, to get my badge, dump luggage and deal with FedEx, which charged an extra “resort fee” just for being there, on top a $200 shipping bill because I didn’t ship “early” enough (I thought 4 days would suffice). But they had my box of books and my table banner and we were able to get set up without too much pain. Then I went off to dinner with Rachel Gold, Andi Marquette and Rachel’s friend Patrice. This was followed by an hour or so of lounging in the lobby with Andi and sharing publisher gossip, writing careers, conventions and other fun stuff.
Friday was an amazing sales day. I gather it was not the case for many of the other vendors, but for our table, it was terrific. We had Queen of Swords Press titles, Blind Eye Books titles and Rachel Gold titles and everyone sold at least a few books. Lots of cards distributed, lots of newsletter signups, all good. We did a decent job of spelling each other and it was a fine, if overly long, day (the dealer’s area is open 10-12 hours per day, for 3 days running). I wandered upstairs, took a hot bath, read and collapsed. Saturday was about the same, only somewhat less so. I bought Season 1 of Wynonna Earp and some comics, chatted with a bunch of folks and sold books like mad. The hours continued to be pretty grueling. There were also many, many artist tables with similar items for sale and no signage for the vendor area, and no good way for the artists to make their table stand out, for the most part. This became significant as the day wore on. I noticed that foot traffic was definitely down from last year, but sales for us were better than last year. Sunday, foot traffic was nil, sales were very low and a lot of people were not happy on many levels for many sound reasons. In short, it was a very uneven con to vend at. Other publishers had not great weekends, but I think the comics folks had the worst of it.
I had already had some issues with programming, who after insisting on adding an author to a panel we had already set up, failed to ask either her or the rest of us when we were available. They then proceeded to schedule the panel in the last timeslot so that it overlapped with the close-out of the Dealer’s Room on Sunday (where closing out early is discouraged, taxes have to be paid in cash and Theresa would have had to deal with packing up if I wasn’t around). When I asked them to consider changing it, I was informed that I “could just close up early.” Given that tables cost over $300  and last year’s Sunday sales were pretty decent, I opted to not appear on the panel. The author they were so eager to add? Left Saturday due to a scheduling conflict. The moderator was never informed that half the panel had bailed, just to make things exciting.
And speaking of exciting, there was a Saturday night dance party, scheduled to run until 4AM. I was on the 4th floor. At 2AM, I got blasted out of bed by a wall of dance music. From the first floor. Neither the air conditioning nor ear plugs made a dent in the volume. In desperation, I called the Tropicana Hotel desk to ask if they could get the volume turned down (apparently on the lower floors, beds were shaking from the noise) and was informed that they had “no control” over the event space (which is in in fact part of the hotel) and that lots of other people were calling so maybe they’d send somebody by to ask about turning things down a bit. Reader, this did not happen and I thought a whole lot less of both the Tropicana and ClexaCon as I lay awake for 2 solid hours before finally falling asleep for another hour before having to get back up again for another long day in the vending area.
In the meantime, other vendors had a much rougher weekend. It turns out that there was a leadership shakeup between this year and last, which was definitely better organized. Lots of things went awry and responses ranged from the clueless to the disrespectful and people are pretty pissed about it. There were apparently differences in what people were charged for tables, no signage for the vendor area and other significant issues that made this a very expensive con to travel to, but not make money at. Sales wise, we did well, but it certainly didn’t cover all our costs. We worked the table in shifts, which helped with the ridiculously long hours. But it still sucked doing it on too little sleep, which was the case for all of us. Would I go back? It depends. I’d like to because I sold books and met some nice people and I had some good chats, but this year’s event has taken a huge physical toll on me and the various and sundry semi-spontaneous fees (FedEx, noted above for example, plus The Tropicana’s charges) meant that I spent more than I budgeted for. So very much a mixed bag. At the same time, it is a unique event that focuses on queer women and allies in fandom and I hope they get their shit together and that there are more of these to come. Apparently 6 members of the leadership team resigned in the last two days so it’s not too clear what will happen next. Sigh. Now to rest up and prep for the
UntitledTown Book Festival in  Green Bay in a week and a half.

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2019-04-17 08:32 pm


Queen of Swords Press Title #8! I feel a sense of accomplishment and such! :-)
Available at Queen of Swords Press and a bunch of other places. It's terrific, just saying.

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2019-04-07 07:11 pm
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Or something like it. Taught my second online class in a row this weekend, this one on editing an anthology. Lots of enthusiasm, great questions and...a power failure, plus several app issues (there was a local outage). Sigh. Cat Rambo did a great job holding things together, but then I got to spend the rest of the day pulling together support and extra materials so that people would feel like it was worth their while. We're looking at doing a followup as well as recording this one so stay tuned. Also, I'm getting fiber optic installed in the next month or so, which hopefully make it lot easier for online teaching and related activities.

Today was all about errands - shipping books for ClexaCon, dropping books off at the Little Free Library that I adopted, dropping copies of Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) at Cream & Ale for next month's reading and meeting with my publishing assistant. The big news is that I'll be posting a CFS soon for queries for book length manuscripts and we'll see what comes in.

Home now and wrangling the game proposal I was supposed to get done ages ago, writing and trying to get organized for day job insanity tomorrow. Also, I'm supposed to leave on Thursday morning for ClexaCon. Bets on whether or not the fear April "surprise" blizzard due on Wednesday hits the Twin Cities? I don't like our odds but am hoping for the best.

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2019-04-03 09:29 pm
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Teaching! And more teaching! Also, game stuff!

Last week's class on writing effective sex scenes went well, so now I'm prepping for this Saturday's class:
So You Want to Put Together an Anthology?- The Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers, April 7, online, 9:30-11:30AM PST. Workshop on what goes into editing an anthology, creating a call for stories, finding writers, paying for things, etc. I gather this one is starting to fill up but there are still a couple of slots available.

And I'll be offering a class on writing Gothic horror in October. Stay tuned!

Mostly, I'm engaged in frenzied prep to get a bunch of things out the door before heading off to ClexaCon next week. Lots of writing, organizational stuff, packing - the works. In the meantime, if you're interested in my gaming tie-in work, Onyx Path is running my World of Darkness: Ghost Hunters story, "A Cry in the Night" as a two part plug for the forthcoming anthology. Part One and Part Two. I've got another WoD story on submission now, so if they like it, I'll announce that when I hear back.

I'm also working on a couple of game proposals for Choice of Games. Here's hoping I come up with something coherent!

Back to the grindstone...

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2019-03-29 08:22 pm

My March, let me show it to you

One of magical things about having been connected to enough things to be “collectible” is getting to drop off a box of your papers and such, cheerfully announce what you were doing in 1993 or so and having someone get excited about that. I went by the Tretter Collection at the U of MN this morning to give them a box of files and books for my archive (I also have a satellite archive at the SFWA archives in Dekalb, FYI). This round includes some new books; Queen of Swords Press memorabilia; bisexual women’s organizing papers from the early 1990s (including my volunteer work for the 1993 March on Washington); bookstore info from Grassroots Books, my long ago feminist/queer bookstore; Iowa Women’s Music Festival memorabilia, also from the early 1990s; and miscellaneous activist memorabilia from various feminist and 1980s Central America solidarity and lefty activities. I think this adds another virtual cubic foot to my shelf space there so I have a great sense of accomplishment.

Other stuff that's been going on:
some lovely friends have been running interference for me for the last 6 weeks or so in order for me to get things done and some friends have been making sure I had some semblance of a work/life balance and Jana has been running errands and helping out and Alexa has been helping with Queen of Swords Press stuff and you are all awesome! Thank you!
Here's what I accomplished during that time:
1. New ghost story, "Lost Girl," written and accepted for the October 2019 issue of Fireside Magazine.
2. One new book set up for April release for Queen of Swords (WIRELESS AND MORE STEAM-POWERED ADVENTURES by Alex Acks - in preorder now!)
3. One gaming tie-in story draft nearly done, about which more later if the editor likes it when he sees it this weekend.
6. A couple of thousand words written on BLOOD MOON.
7. One requested gaming proposal outlined, the second in progress.
8. Two classes prepped - both are still open for registrations.
9. Two story pitches accepted.
10. One article accepted for the SFWA blog.
11. A talk on small press publishing given at DreamHaven
And probably stuff I'm forgetting.
One more push and I can take tomorrow (coincidentally, my birthday) off!

Birthday fundraiser, for those interested. I am once more raising money for SAGE, a national nonprofit that works with LGBTQ elders, seeing as I am now an elder. :-)

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2019-03-26 08:39 pm

Queen of Swords Press, talk followup

Last week, I did my second talk at DreamHaven Books about starting and running a small press. I gave the first one after 11 months of actual experience publishing and 2 years of planning and ramp up. Last week’s was the Year 3.1 talk so it was kind of cool to reflect on what I’ve learned and added to Queen of Swords Press in the intervening year and change. I was hoping to have my second talk recorded, but my videographer ran into problems at work and couldn’t make it. I’ll be doing a somewhat different version at UntitledTown Book and Author Festival in Green Bay in May and will see if I can get a recording of that. Some other differences between the talks: slightly  more people at the first one, almost entirely different crowd at the second than the first one and, of course, I have a lot more experience as a publisher now. Here’s a link to the first talk and this post includes some highlights from last week.

Here's a few things that have changed in the last 2 years of running my own small press

  • I got a bunch of pointers and good ideas from my lovely pals who run Blind Eye Books, to give credit where credit is due. They inspired me to get a table banner, new approaches to shipping, structuring sales and planning.
  • Queen of Swords Press now has a YouTube channel for readings and other related content.
  • I’ve put out 8 books total, built up a reviewer and book blogger network and increased the outreach footprint for each book.
  • I saw one book make it to the Colorado Book Awards Finalist’s list (yay for Alex Acks and Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures!). Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) got a really nice review in Publisher’s Weekly and Silver Moon got on the Rainbow Awards list.
  • I edited and published out Queen of Swords' first anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space), featuring stories by authors from 7 countries.
  • Thanks to Andi at Dragonbyte, we have a website shopping cart so you can buy Kindle and Epub format ebooks direct from us (we’ll do print on special request, at the moment).
  • I published my first author who is not me, namely the awesome Alex Acks, whose books you should be reading.
  • I started a monthly newsletter (you can sign up on the website!)
  • Had books in 2 StoryBundles so far. In addition to selling books and making money for the press and our authors, they both raised money for Rainbow Railroad, a nonprofit that assists LGBTQ refugees.
  • I've hired a part-time press assistant to help with monthly marketing, proofreading and other tasks and am contracting with a marketing person for bigger campaigns like book releases.
  • I've got a regular book designer, Terry Roy, who makes our print books look fabulous and several cover artists who do amazing things.
  • I've been trying something new additional for each book and trying to get on a schedule for something new each month: different promotion, more review sites, more announcements, more tie-in events, videos, etc. It seems to be working so far. Sales were up 23% in 2017 from 2018.
So, huge thank you to everyone who bought books, reviewed books, boosted, interviewed me or Alex, recorded videos, hosted us, came to our events and generally helped things move along!
What's next?
  • I'm going to be starting a line of mini-collections this year, with a small collection (5-6 stories) of my horror to be released around Halloween. I'm talking to another author about next year's collection and hope to announce it soon. I've noticed that people are more open to new to them authors at the $8-10 range at book tables, so we're going to give these a whirl
  • Blood Moon. Which I will finish this year, dammit.
  • Opening up to book submissions for a few weeks in late April - May. Stay tuned.
  • Plan at least one more title for 2020 and look into crowdsourcing for a second anthology.
  • Get books out sooner to make the 3-4 months before release print deadline for Library Journal and the Library of Congress.
  • Keep growing and start paying myself.
  • We'll see how it goes. Stay tuned!
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2019-03-21 09:41 am


I’ll be giving a talk at DreamHaven Books in Minneapolis from 6:30-7:45 about small press publishing  (also of interest to indie book folks). 

Other things going on at the moment or, where I’ve been lately:
  • New stories drafted for one end of month deadline 
  • Other new story in progress for, you guessed it, other end of month deadline
  • Article done and submitted
  • Two story/article pitches sent in, one accepted so far
  • Got Wireless by Alex Acks up for preorder. Ebook up now, print up by this weekend.
  • Did a ton of pre-release publicity for the book.
  • More words on Blood Moon
  • Occasional collapse
  • Blurbing people’s books, reading and plotting for my birthday next week.
  • Day job
  • Spring walks!
More soon...

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2019-03-12 09:24 pm

Big Queen of Swords Press news!

Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks is a 2019 Colorado Book Award Finalist! I'm very excited for Alex, who richly deserves this, but I'm also really pleased as their publisher. I think my cover and design artists did an outstanding job providing a setting for Alex's terrific stories and I'm very happy to see all that hard work recognized. You can get Murder on the Titania at all major outlets and even order it in at your local indie bookseller and the sequel, Wireless and More Steam-Powered Adventures is up for preorder in ebook now and will be in print preorder in a couple of days. More news coming soon1

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2019-03-10 04:25 pm

Preorder and updates

Queen of Swords Press' newest title, Wireless and More Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks, is up for preorder now at the Evil Empire, other platforms to follow soon! Print will be up for preorder in the next week or so too. The pretty, pretty cover is by Nathalie Grey of KaNaXa.

Home with a splitting headache and working like a mad thing. Good times! But on the progress front, finished two very short story drafts and starting on a longer one, all due this month, have a new article mostly drafted and making progress on sundry things.

I've also been using my "snowed-in" time to shop for my birthday at the end of the month. It's pretty lowkey, but I've found an infrared massager that's supposed to be good for knees, shoulders and elbows (fingers crossed that this works! I'll link if it does), copies of Peking Opera Blues (Brigitte Lin in a tuxedo - do you really need to know more?) and Sword of Destiny (Crouching Tiger 2, pretty much just about Michelle Yeoh) and literary chocolate from Open Book Chocolates. Normally, there would be books too, but we're  tackling the Great Cleanout in prep for the Great Furnace Replacement so we're getting rid of a lot more than we're buying.

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2019-03-08 08:06 am

New interview and a cover reveal (hopefully)!

Or not. I think that Dreamwidth is actually getting worse at handling images and it's quite frustrating. At any rate, I'll link directly when it's up for preorder (going up this weekend, available nearly next week). In the meantime, here's the shiny cover for Wireless and More Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks, coming from Queen of Swords Press on 4/15!

In other news, I'm up at Nerds of a Feather today with a "6 Books" interview! I give shout outs to some favs, old and new, and make a confession about what I can't reread any more.

On March deadline insanity: 3 story pitches out and a story draft done so far. And I've persuaded The Loft to let Michael Merriam and I do a reading from Scourge at their new lit festival, Wordplay. Basking in accomplishment, preparing to be snowed in and working all weekend.

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2019-03-03 04:53 pm
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Book sale and updatey things

My books, as well as Emily L. Byrne's, are on sale at Smashwords this week as part of "Read an Ebook Week." 50% off, just saying. Sale ends on the 9th.

I have cool new writing news, but can't announce it yet. I have cool new publishing news but will announce that when the cover is finalized in the next day or two here.

I have completed and passed my defensive driving class and once Jana passes hers, we get a reduction on our insurance. Huzzah!

Now to make dinner and write like the wind! In related news, am deeply sick of snow and we are expecting more later on in the week. Sigh.

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2019-03-01 01:15 pm

What I'm up to this weekend...

Or, at least in the near future.

I've got a new guest blog up today, this one on author Karelia Stetz-Waters'
blog, on the topic of writing good sex scenes. This an appetizer for my online class, In Flagrante Delicto, which I'll be teaching on 3/31 (assuming people sign up) at Cat Rambo's Academy for Wayward Writers, so if you like my post, the class may be for you. I'll also be offering a class on editing anthologies on 4/6. And we are doing our financial planning for the replacement and attic redo this summer so if you're thinking of taking a class, now would be an excellent time. See also: buying books.

Speaking of books, I'm in the process of pulling together the latest Queen of Swords Press title, Wireless and More Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks. Wireless is a sequel to Acks's Murder on the Titania and features more Ramos and Simms stories. They're both rollicking good reads and I highly recommend them! The cover reveal will be coming soon, along with preorder links, and the release date will be midApril (probably the 10th, but perhaps a week later), hopefully in time for ClexaCon and almost certainly in time for UntitledTown in Green Bay.

I'm also doing a talk on running a small press at DreamHaven Books on 3/21, "Running a Small Press: It's an Adventure!"  This will be a sequel to the talk I did in 2017 on getting started in small press publishing. There'll be time for Q&A, hopefully amusing anecdotes and some munchies, as well as QoSP books for sale. I'm also hoping to open up for book queries for 2020 for a bit in April and May, since i have a part-time assistant who i doing great work and can help me manage things. Fingers crossed.

Apart from all of this, I'm working on stuff. Blood Moon, the next menopausal werewolves novel, is moving along at a reasonably brisk pace. I hope to have a draft done by end of April, maybe sooner. I'm into that phase of pantsing where I know how it needs to end and that helps move things along. I've also sent in a pitch for an interesting project, am polishing up an essay for submission and will be getting some other things out the door this weekend while tackling my invite projects. I'm also looking forward to the Huldufolk Art Show on Saturday and Theatre Unbound's production of "Iphigenia and Other Daughters" on Saturday night (the same playwright's Fringe production, "Blood Noctourne" about Elizabeth Bathory was amazing). I'm also doing catch up on all my missed meetings and meetups from Snowpocalypse February. Should be fun.

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2019-02-19 02:29 pm
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It's official! As usual, I can't get the photos to embed so you'll have to follow the link if you're curious. :-)
GUEST ANNOUNCEMENT TIME! Say hello to Catherine Lundoff, another one of our FABULOUS Multiverse guests this year!

Lundoff is an award-winning writer, editor and publisher from Minneapolis where she lives with her wife, bookbinder Jana Pullman, and the cats who own them. She is the author of over 100 published short stories and essays. Her books include Silver Moon, Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories and, as editor, the fantastical pirate fiction anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). In addition, she is the publisher at Queen of Swords Press, a genre fiction publisher specializing in fiction from out of this world. Websites: and

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2019-02-13 09:08 am

New interview and upcoming stuff and a question

I've got a new interview up at author Vonnie Winslow Crist's "Whimsical Words" blog about editing Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) and anthology editing in general. If you like what you read, I'm also offering an online class on anthology editing at Cat Rambo's Wayward Writer's Academy on 4/6.

Upcoming events:
  • Not-So-Silent Planet: Love and Lust - February 19th, Kieran's Irish Pub, Minneapolis, 8-10PM. I'll be reading some Emily L. Byrne prose, along with readings by other fine local authors and performers and you should come!
  • Nerds of a Feather - March 8th. I've got a Six Books Interview going up - I get to recommend some books!
  • Running a Small Press - March 21, DreamHaven Books, Minneapolis, 6:30-7:45PM. This is the sequel to my previous presentation on running a small press, this one on how you keep going, what I've learned so far, etc.
  • Next up: ClexaCon info, UntitledTown updates, WisCon updates, when I have them
Current state: wrangling snow, day jobbery and deadlines and wishing I had more time to write.

Now for the question: I've got a couple of stories up at Curious Fictions, a newish platform where you can post reprint short fiction, serials, etc., one free, one at the subscriber level. So far, I've got no interest whatsoever - no followers, no subscribers, nada. I'm wondering what, if anything, I could do to make this a more appealing platform for both folks who already like my work and those just discovering it. Should I post more short fiction? Serialize a novel draft? Give up? If I go with the novel draft, it would be my alternate Regency about the Fay trying to stop the Industrial Revolution. I would love to hear from people on this, especially if you're already using the platform as a writer or reader. Thus far, whenever I post public questions along these lines, the only response I get is from the platform operators earnestly informing me that if I just did more work, I could make this site work for me, which is entertaining, but not all that useful. Tell me what you want and I'll see what I can deliver on.
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2019-02-06 10:06 am

New acceptance, upcoming events and sundries

I'm pretty pleased to announce that my new historical short story, "By Her Pen, She Conquers," will be included on Heather Rose Jones' Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast later on this year. "Pen" is about an aspiring questioning/lesbian playwright trying to get established in the madcap theater world of Regency England. This year's line-up looks pretty interesting! And, of course, you can listen to my contribution from last year, "One Night in Saint-Martin" here (follow the links to the other stories). Please give these a listen and boost them, if you like them. This is very much a labor of love for Heather and one of the few options that those of us who write queer historical short fiction have to earn pro rates. (And please pledge the Patreon for the host site if you'd like more of this kind of programming).

I've got a bunch of interviews coming up on various blogs soon and will post when I have links. I've also just turned in a short book feature to Nerds of a Feather and that will go up in early March. I'm finishing up my outlines for my upcoming classes at Cat Rambo's Academy for Wayward Writers and should have everything finalized soon. I heartily recommend the classes on this site - I've enjoyed the ones I've taken and have  found them to be affordable and useful.

Otherwise, I'm wrangling taxes, and snow and more snow and prepping for this weekend's 13 Gears Steampunk Festival, where Queen of Swords Press will be sharing a table with authors Michael Merriam and Patrick W. Marsh. There'll be music and tea and costumes and fun and we'll be bringing our steampunkish titles, including Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) and my own collection, Out of This World, which includes a steampunk ghost story. And speaking of both Alex and steampunk, we're working on the next Captain Ramos and crew book, Wireless and More Steam-Powered Adventures, which will be out in April from Queen of Swords Press. More on that soon!

After 13 Gears, I'll be performing (by which we mean reading my work) at the Not-So-Silent Planet Spoken Word/Open Mic Series: Love & Lust at Kieran's Pub in Minneapolis on 2/19. I'll be reading some sexy Emily L. Byrne fiction and I hope some of you can make it. Other performers include Lyda Morehouse, Laura Packet and Tom S. Tea, as well as brave open mic participants!

I'm hoping to be back working on Blood Moon again soon, so expect more updates on that as well.

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2019-01-29 03:50 pm
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This week's updates, from the Land of Ice and Snow

It is excitingly cold out, by which we mean dangerously so and well below zero with windchill. What am I doing? Well, Monday I worked from home in order to wait on Furnace Replacement Estimate #3. I shall be curious to see what they come back with. So far, we're at Company #1, whose estimate left out some critical things and was only provided at the request of our attic contractor (this would be a giant red flag); company #2, which is highly recommended by some friends but which our contractor thinks is too spendy (current estimate around $22k, not including additional attic work which has to follow immediately thereafter or the basement, which also needs to be heated); and Company #3, which seems sane but hasn't sent an estimate yet. So we'll see. But this week is making it very clear that we need something newer and more efficient so it's definitely an idea whose time has come. Sigh.

Jana opted to drive down to Northfield (she's teaching full days at Carleton College this term and it's about an hour and half drive) on Monday afternoon to skip the weather to be found at the crack of dawn this week. I worked from home, submitted my first short story of the year and started a Veronica Mars Season One rewatch. I picked up the dvds for Season 1 and 2 on sale a few months back because I wanted to see how it held up. 3 episodes in and there are some very talented actors with some snappy one-liners holding together a rather shaky storyline. We'll see how it looks further along. I've seen the movie a couple of times and quite like that so I'll still find the overall storyline enjoyable.

Woke up today with a migraine, a torqued up shoulder and still unhappy knee and opted to take a sick day (my sick days and vacation days are the same bucket so I try to work from home if I'm sick) since I have the old car, which isn't as good on ice and snow. This turned out to be a good idea since it's been a spontaneous nap sort of day. And it meant that I was here to receive my previously ordered Killjoys Season 4 dvds, so yay on that. I'm mostly functional now and wrangling tax prep, workshop outline prep and my next interview. Still not caught up, still have a ton of stuff to do but am making incremental progress. And I have tickets to see Split Britches on Friday so there's something to look forward to. Onward, excelsior and all that.

Edited to add: and now there are shenanigans at the day job. Again. Dammit.
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2019-01-20 07:19 pm

Queen of Swords Press update and sundries

The Queen of Swords Press 2nd Birthday Celebration at Bingley's Teas went splendidly yesterday! Bingley's made everything run flawlessly and a lot of people came to buy books and tea. You can check out the pictures on our Facebook. There's still time to sign up for the QoSP newsletter on our website tonight to be entered in tomorrow's prize drawing for free books and other fun things.

I just added another couple of events so there'll be more updates soon. Apart from that, I'm trying to get a bunch of things done before new deadlines appear. Our new boss gave us tomorrow off so I look forward to a jolly day of tax prep and other fun ahead. And next week, another furnace estimate (our third). I suspect that company #2 is going to win, but we'll see what company #3 has to offer. Still banking on my job lasting through the year; it's difficult to have much faith after having three years of layoff notice hanging over my head. Sigh. Onward! Excelsior! And all that.

And now to sit up until midnight working so I can see this Super Blood Wolf Moon.

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2019-01-17 08:23 pm

MayDay benefit and upcoming tea party and more

As many of the longtime Twin Cities folks know, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater's annual MayDay Parade and Festival is one of the most anticipated events in town. Thousands of people gather in Powderhorn Park to watch the puppet parade, the different contingents of dancers and musicians and other groups, then go down to the park for the pageant to dance and drum to welcome the sun back as it is rowed across the lake. But HOBT has been struggling and losing grant funding for a while now and they've had to announce that this will be their last MayDay unless a partner steps up. Their theater needs renovation as well and they need funds for all of this. MayDay has always been one of our reasons for living in south Minneapolis; it is the soul of our city. I'm sure that there are lots of plans afoot to try and save the event and the theater and I know a number of folks who are donating directly to HOBT and I think this is a great idea. I split my donation, gave some of it directly t the theater, and used the other part to start a Facebook fundraiser. It'll take a bit longer to go to them, but there's potential for raising a helpful sum of cash if it gets boosted enough. Every bit helps and donations can be as low as $5. It will run until 1/31/19 so there's some time to contribute, if you're interested. I've boosted it on Twitter and NextDoor so please like my post and/or RT so more people see it. Thanks for your help!

In other news, Queen of Swords Press is celebrating its second birthday this week (which also happens to be Jana and my 24th anniversary and my 6th year at my day job)! There'll be a party at Bingley's Tea Salon in Minneapolis on Saturday from 2-4 with books and tea and munchies and there will be a prize drawing for newsletter subscribers. You can sign up at the website or at the tea (current subscribers are automatically entered), and prizes include free books, a Queen of Swords Press mug, some tea from Bingley's, a literary candle from Frostbeard Studios and other fun stuff. The drawing will happen on 1/20 so I can announce it when I send the newsletter out. Hope to see some of you there!

I was interviewed last week on the British horror/dark fantasy/weird fiction site, greydogtales, for their portion of LGBTQ Horror Month, and as part of the wrap-up to the festivities, I'll be putting my short fiction collection Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories, on sale from 1/21-1/27.

Now back to organizing for talks and classes and getting a new story written and submitted.