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Starting with State of the Catherine: I'm stressed out and rather anxious, but other than that, mostly okay. In between my day job, and Jana's teaching load and my Queen of Swords Press work and writing, we squeezed in a trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Art's Egypt's Sunken Cities show on Friday night. This was quite impressive and has some lovely pieces in it, as well as a lot interesting information about the Egyptian pantheon, crossovers with the Greek pantheon and related info. Saturday was a whirlwind of errands and sundry Queen of Swords Press tasks, followed by going to Theatre Unbound's annual 24 hour play festival, the X-Treme Smackdown. TU is our local women's theater and the smackdown features plays written, rehearsed and staged in 24 hours; it's generally a lot of fun and this was no exception. It was also rather poignant in that I brought a good friend who has been diagnosed with ALS and who generally goes to a lot of theater with me. It's not clear how much longer we'll be able to do that, but I'm hoping the day that ends is a long way off. Also, ALS sucks sharp rocks.

Also last night, my friend, playwright Anne Bertram, Theatre Unbound's Artistic Director, has decided to retire from that role after 19 seasons. I'm hoping that gives her more time to write some more amazing plays like "The Good Fight," "Murderess" and "Frankenstein Incarnate." But I will miss her smiling face at the box office.

Friday's other big event was a visit from a representative from the company we will be hiring to replace our furnace later on this year. In our 100 year old house, this will involve ripping out the ancient octopus furnace, including asbestos abatement and building the new furnace inside our basement. We will also need new piping run up through the bathroom (losing our bathroom storage cabinet in the process) in order to heat the attic. The attic will then require some swift contracting work on the insulation and the windows before winter. In return for the mayhem this will cause (we were Marie Kondoing our possessions before everyone else got on the bandwagon, the basement is Jana's studio, the cats and I may have to go hotel it for a few days, etc.), we get a much more energy-efficient furnace that will also replace our window unit air conditioner. And we'll have better control over the humidity in the house. And we can stop living in fear that our ancient furnace will conk out in the middle of Minnesota winter. The price ticket? Adding in the additional attic insulation work, which we don't have a firm estimate on yet, this will run around $25k. Which is so many zeros. And which we would need by April or so. Hence what follows. We've got a start on saving toward this rather vast amount of money, but I want to make sure that we're not in desperate Go Fund Me territory or huge amounts of debt at the end of this so expect more marketing-related posts and blasts for my writing, Queen of Swords Press, Jana's work, our classes and so forth. I'll try not to be super obnoxious about it.

Queen of Swords Press - if I could get the press to the point where I was selling an average of 40 books a week, it would be much less of a drain on the exchequer and would be pretty close to self-sustaining. I've got to come close to this goal this year or changes will have to be made, just saying. Boosts are appreciated too! Our books are available:
  • Direct from the Press website
  • Smashwords/B&N/Amazon, etc. here and here and here
  • Bella Books
  • Indiebound - your local independent bookstore can order our books in!
  • Libraries - ebooks available via Overdrive, print directly from Queen of Swords or via Ingram Spark. Most public libraries will order our books in if you request them, just saying.
  • Various international outlets too!
I'll be teaching classes online in March and April through the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers.
Miscellaneous other stuff: I have a Ko_fi account and a Curious Fictions account. You can pledge or do one-time donations.

Jana: Your support and enthusiasm for our various projects, all of which are done alongside our regular jobs, is much appreciated!
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It's been a full week!
  • My wife, Jana Pullman, has a new blog post up about creating a replica of a Shakespearian-era bookbinding and here's what it looks like:
  • Jana's also participating in a new book arts show at the MN Center for Book Arts. The opening is tonight, but for those who aren't in town, here's her new binding of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea:
Front cover - marbled paper and marbled leather, structure is a Bradel dos-a-dos

Back cover -

  • And in Catherine news, I sent out a brand new story (an Emily one), subbed two workshop teaching proposals and made progress on some Queen of Swords Press-related work. I  had realized that I'd like to do a soft launch of some of my own work before I do a bigger launch that includes other people's work, but it suddenly dawned on me that that approach had fewer dependencies that I thought. So going to be plugging away at those options. QoS will have it's own social media eventually, but not there yet, so please keep watching the sundry C. Lundoff's feeds here, on Twitter (@clundoff) or Facebook.
  • I did an author interview to promote the new Luna Station Quarterly: Best of the First Five Years anthology. You can read it here.
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my wife, bookbinder and conservator Jana Pullman! Jana just won Best Binding at  the 2015 DeGolyer Bookbinding Competition! Am quite proud. 😃
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Last week was whilrlwind of day job volunteering (my day job does paid time off for volunteering, which is really nice perk) on Wednesday, followed by a 2 day long small business training at WomenVenture, the Twin Cities women small business incubator. We covered basic bookkeeping, some legal stuff, funding options, office space options, business plans and about a zillion other things. Plus, good discussions every session. My brain is still mush but I plan to get back to set up and working on the big checklist/business plan that I started several months back. I'll be posting more as I process and get moving on things. In the meantime, getting some writing done, too, plus event planning for 2015.

Also, this weekend,Minnesota Center for Book Arts Winter Book! This year featured the awesome prose stylings of author Will Alexander (story set in Powderhorn Park! ) as well as a purty new binding by my wife, Jana Pullman, plus fabulous artwork by MCAD students and other general gorgeousness by local artists. There are still copies of both editions available.

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Jana's award for MN Book Artist of the Year. And yes, it is amazingly heavy, for those wondering. :-)
Addendum: I love the idea of Dreamwidth, but things like this drive me nuts. I can see the graphic if I opn in Edit mode, but can't save it to visible. It is up at my Livejournal and Facebook.

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For folks in the Twin Cities area, there will be a reception honoring my wife, MN Book Artist of the Year Jana Pullman, at the Open Book tonight from 5:30-7:30 PM. She's got a lovely exhibit in the second floor gallery (the one in the downstairs gallery is quite nice too, even if she doesn't have a book in it :-). It's free and it's always a nice party. Plus Jana books are spectacular.

Con-or-bust, the annual fans of color assistance project is open for bid tomorrow (2./9/13). I'm offering signed copies of Silver Moon, Hellebore and Rue and A Day at the Inn, A Night at the Palace and Other Stories as a 3 book package. Bid early and often! Many lovely things and a great cause.

Worlds Without End is doing a Women in Genre read and review challenge - read 12 books by female authors you've never read before and review them. Reviews are entered in a monthly poll and winner get prizes.

And again for Twin Cities folks, Theater Unbound, our terrific local theater that features plays written and directed by women, is doing a short plays festival later on this month. Really looking forward to this one.

In a Catherine-specific update, lost my wedding ring, probably permanently, this week. Hoping the restaurant staff turns it up but that hope is dimming. :-((( Otherwise, it's been planning for our International Women's Day radio show and some revisions to a short story I want to send out next week. Plus day job and errands, of course,

I did finish reading Whipping Girl by Julia Serano and highly recommend it. (My reviews go out on Goodreads under my own name).

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First and foremost, day jobbery changes from contract to FTE on Monday. We'll see how this goes. I think the adjustment may be a tad rocky but I'm trying to keep an open mind. We'll see how it goes.

And today, my entire oeuvre for less than $30.00 on Kindle (Hellebore and Rue is also available on Kindle) - Amazon's
Catherine Lundoff Page. Crave and Haunted Hearths are both on sale for $.99. But for $29 and change, you can also get 2 Goldie Award winners, 2 Lesbian Fiction Reader's Choice Winners, 1 Rainbow Award winner and a Spectrum Award winner. Just saying.

We spent yesterday taking a quick road trip to Northfield. Jana's teaching papermaking at Carleton College this semester, and if you're in the area on Thursday, Jan. 10th, there will be  an art opening for her binding exhibit at 5PM in the Boilou Gallery on campus. It is, of course, spectacular. :-D
Jana needed to do some processing of paper pulp so I write while she did that. New works are moving along and I'm excited about where the novels in progress are going. And there was some clothes shopping and a trip to an art store where I got a keychain Totoro. Because who doesn't need a keychain Totoro?

In other news, author Rachel Gold and I are plotting a thing. More new
s when I've got it. Now to go finish a guest blog post, then writing, then errands.


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