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great week. Low on cope, ouchy and sucked briefly into other people's drama. One good friend is very ill, another is ghosting, there are some additional issues with people in my life that I won't go into on an open post and I'm feeling low and sore and unhappy. So this is a cheering myself up post. 

I'm getting a bunch of stuff done for my new anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). Blurbs are in, cover is almost done, interior is done, announcements and review copies are flying out the door. I'm pretty anxious about the cost for this one, since it's the most expensive book so far and table sales notwithstanding, book sales for the Press have been in the toilet for two months now. But hopefully this book will do well and give some of the others a boost. Not getting much writing done, which probably isn't helping, but I'm hoping to dig back in very soon here. My goal is to have a draft of Blood Moon done by the beginning of December. We'll see.

I'm going to try and take most of tonight off and watch "I am Not Your Negro," a documentary about James Baldwin, and "Disobedience," a film  about two Orthodox Jewish women who fall in love, since they're due back at Quatrefoil on Saturday. Saturday is also when I'm taking a workshop on face-to-face selling techniques for artists from Springboard for the Arts and I'm going to see a production of "The Haunting of Hill House" at Hill House, a historic museum in St. Paul. Next week, I'll be reading at Kieran's Irish Pub for Wordbrew 6 so I also need to prep for that. 

Day job just canceled everyone's layoffs, not just my department, so there's a lively combination of mixed feels since people had made a bunch of life plans assuming they were getting severance packages and now are not. Fun times.

Onward and outward. 
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Not for me or my household, but for a good friend who just got a diagnosis for a nasty, unforgiving and almost certain to be fatal far too soon illness. This added to the several other less close friends diagnosed with a range of unpleasant, ghastly and or just plain unpleasant sicknesses and other fun in the last year and change. Add to that my mother is beginning to forget us. I had so hoped that she would be gone before that began to happen.

So between all of that and the national and international news, I'm feeling...less than cheerful.

So I'm doing what I always do and working and trying to deal with things. I went to see "The Little Stranger" yesterday with friends and found it okay, but not great. I've drafted an introduction for Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) and am about to embark on writing some article proposals. I've written 500 words of new fiction today and am hoping to break 1000. My day job layoff that I've been expecting for the last three years just got cancelled so I'm trying to wrap my brain around that (and the fact that I do not have time off to look forward to. My vacation time exists, but it's rolled up with my sick time, so I burned through most of my existing accumulation last winter and spring). It's good to have one less thing to stress about though. And the cats are snuggling with me a lot because it's a bit cooler (and maybe they know I'm upset).

In other news, I'm off to St. Cloud on Friday to give a reading and a talk at the Great River Regional Library and table at St. Cloud Pride. Both should be pretty interesting. Fingers crossed that it doesn't rain on Saturday. A friend loaned me a craft tent, but I'm not sure that we can set up easily. After that, it's off to Cape Code and Edward Gorey and pirates, so I'm trying to focus on that as much as I can. Now to go do some stuff so i can be more available to my friend when she needs me.

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 A large market listing helpfully listed the call for my pirate week before it closed. So I got swamped with last minute subs. I was on the ball and reading and sorting the subs I had (yeses, noes and maybes) but have to scramble to get caught up. Le sigh. On the bright side, I got submissions from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Singapore, India, Malta, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Denmark, Argentina and The Netherlands. And there's been quite a few good stories. It will be a fine, fun anthology when it's done given the quality of storytelling that I'm seeing. I'll be sending out the first round of rejections this weekend, acceptances later on in the week, depending on how things go.

This weekend will be the mad scramble to get things sorted for WisCon and the Sunday night party. I'm also planning events, figuring out my tiny ad budget and other fun itsy-bitsy publisher stuff. Murder on the Titania is getting some great reviews, which is lovely, though sales have not yet caught up to critical enthusiasm. Medusa's Touch by Emily L. Byrne lands next week, thus marking the publication of my second novel.  This puts me up to nearly a half a million words published, which is kind of cool as milestones go.

Blood Moon, the sequel to Silver Moon, is inching along, as is a novella project that I've been poking at for awhile and hoping to get done soon. I'm also working on a new Patreon post on the history of LGBTQ comics and I need to get moving on some proposals. Meanwhile, the basement is torn up for sink and drain work, I have to get back to someone about garage repair and someone else about starting on the long-delayed attic renovation. Still no word on whether my current job will still be around after November or so. And I need to do some serious exercising and drop some weight to calm my GP down. Because no stress at all. Back to the grindstone, one foot in front of the other...
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It's been a full week! Lots of writing, recording of a podcast and looking at plans for the year ahead.
So far, I've confirmed ClexaCon in Vegas, have in proposals and such for WisCon in Madison, confirmed OutWrite in D.C. and confirmed the St. Cloud Public Library for out of town events. Currently talking to folks about perhaps collaborating on several winter events, including Geek Girl Con in Seattle in October. Stay tuned!

This weekend is the annual (and fabulous), Women's Prison Book Project Breakfast on Saturday and the Cedar Commissions Concerts both Friday and Saturday. I won tickets from KFAI to both nights so I'm looking forward to bringing friends along to hear some new local musicians that we haven't heard before. I'm particularly excited to hear Julia Hobart's feminist response to murder ballads. Should be interesting!

Next week's adventures include a production of Pirates of Penzance at Park Square Theater for Valentine's Day, plus more writing - I've got deadlines and new projects and a novel to finish and more stuff. I have also started applying for internal postings at my day job so we'll see how that goes.


Jan. 27th, 2018 04:59 pm
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At some point, I planned on posting at least once a week. *Checks calendar* Well, that's blown. So, what have I been up to? I spent last weekend at a friend's house on a writing retreat while they are traveling. This netted me final edits to Alex Acks' awesome new book, Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures, coming soonish from Queen of Swords Press, several thousand words on new stories and on Blood Moon, the sequel to Silver Moon, and some sundry other things. I'm back in seclusion this weekend, trying to get one story done for an upcoming deadline, plus traction on other stuff. Blood Moon is about a third of the way through first draft, FYI, so progress.

I'm going to be interviewed on Hannah's Bookshelf, a North Manchester FM radio show hosted by Hannah Priest, who does a ton of great work. It will go live on the web next weekend, barring technical difficulties.
The week after that, I'll be recording an episode of the Cocktail Hour Podcast, which is always fun. I've also confirmed that I'll be on programming at OutWrite in D.C. in August so I need to plan for that. Got a party request in for WisCon in May and a table request in for St. Cloud Pride in September. Gonna be an exciting year! Other confirmed events include ClexaCon in Vegas in April, Anderson Library at the U. of MN in March and then, we'll see. Hoping for World Fantasy in Baltimore in November!

Other projects: new book needed for a multiauthor promotion this year, which will probably be Emily L. Byrne's erotic sf romance Medusa's Touch, since that's the only one that can be done by early May; a pirate anthology currently in the planning stages; another short fiction collection, either romances or historicals. Oh yeah, and planning for 2019, which will require me doing something about finding another book and author to get on the schedule. The big Queen of Swords Press plan has always been to build up gradually: 4 book a year (at most!) while I have to work full time, with the first year being all titles by me, the second being 2 titles by me, 2 by other people and year three being 3 titles by other people and one by me. So we'll see how that goes.

Work put toward finding a new day job: none, so far. Except for feelers, which may turn out to be the best idea. In 4 months, I've torn a ligament, gotten mild stomach flu, gotten Norovirus and had a concussion. Oddly enough, it's not inspiring a lot of job hunting mojo, go figure. I've got a few more months, in any case, and may yet get a short extension in 2019 so things are by no means urgent yet. Back to the grindstone for a bit now.

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I'm still dealing with shoulder pain from the tendon I ripped in the Fall, but it is somewhat better. I spent last night lying about on a fluffy hotpad with cats and a book and definintly felt better today so clearly more rest is in order. I'm getting quite close to getting Alex's book ready so I'll do the cover reveal this weekend. It is glorious! Then I just have to reconcile the books, figure out sales taxes, write a press kit, organize personal taxes...well, you get the idea. This weekend is a lunch with folks more famous than I, followed by a hair cut followed by Theatre Unbound's Smackdown (formerly known as the 24 Hour Play Festival). Then Mom visit on Sunday.

Christmas weekend, my mother got moved to the memory care unit of the facility where she lives and both the unit and her current condition are making visits quite...fraught. We're swapping off weekends right now to see how that goes, so I'll go on Sunday and Jana will go next weekend when I'm on my more or less writing residency.

Said "residency" actually means that some friends who are going out of town for a while have loaned me their house in a distant suburb. I get to hang out and commune with my muse, drink lots of tea and be generally unavailable for a few days. It will be both very cool and much needed, as I have several things in progress with imminent deadlines. And in the meantime, I want to go see Proud Mary and do a bunch of other things. We'll see how that goes.More updates soon!

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To which my first thought is, "No, no, no. Let's not relive it." But there were high points and good things and I always do a year in review post, so here we are.

Let's start with the good stuff, shall we?
  • So I decided it was now or never and I started my own small publishing company, a dream I've been noodling on for a couple of years now. Queen of Swords Press has a monthly newsletter (sign up at the website), a functioning website and four titles available on all major ebook platforms and in print. The new edition of my novel  Silver Moon did well at the Rainbow Awards, Out of This World is up for a Lambda Award and both Knife's Edge and Desire are up for Goldie Awards. There have been some nice reviews too! Plans for 2018 books are somewhat in flux right now, but definitely include Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Tales by Alex Acks.
  • I went to my second international con and got to visit Reykjavik, Helsinki and Stockholm, do fun panels at Worldcon 75, meet lovely people and have a generally interesting time. I also went to WisCon, Sirens and Diversicon, to round out my conventions for the year.
  • Other events that I participated in included: an episode of the Skiffy and Fanty Podcast; two readings at the Quatrefoil Library; a ghost stories reading at Bingley's Teas;  a Books and Beer Popup Store at a local brewery; possibly the last Queer Voices Reading at the Central Library?; two episodes of the Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast; a reading with Rachel Gold at Boneshaker Books; WomenVenture's Women Mean Business Fair and Luncheon; the Twin Cities Book Festival; Lounge Books Virtual Horror Festival; and a talk at DreamHaven Books about starting a small press.
  • I helped raise $1100 in donations for Rainbow Railroad through a StoryBundle I participated in, as well as raising nearly $300 through my Patreon for groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP and Ultraviolet.
  • I wrote a second gaming tie-in story for a World of Darkness game (release date is TBD) and had a travel essay accepted for a women and travel anthology (2018 release). Emily L. Byrne had a good year too, with stories appearing in Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms and Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Vol. 2. I got "unstuck" on Blood Moon, the sequel to Silver Moon and wrote several new stories or fragments of stories that I hope to get polished up and out soon.
  • I went to a lot of good theater, a couple of good benefits and a lot of interesting events. I also met a bunch of cool people.
And then the nonpolitical portions of the shitshow year:
  • Had several friends and acquaintances die on me. I miss them and my pseudo aunt, who died at the end of last year, an enormous amount.
  • Financial problems of the irritating, but not dire, variety.
  • I had annoying health problems, culminating with a painful torn shoulder tendon followed by contracting norovirus. 2017 has been all about the pain, on multiple levels. Sleeping, also not so great.
  • My mother went into memory care on Friday of Christmas weekend because, hey, why not? 2017 must suck as much as possible. It's a rule. :-(
  • Day job slowly collapsing in stressful ways.
So yeah, definitely a mixed bag. But here's hoping for better things in 2018, especially for those who have been hit hardest under the current regime. Make good art when you can and keep resisting!
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I'm home with norovirus this week and horribly behind on everything! Yay! But getting better and starting to miss food. If I owe you anything, I'm working on getting caught up. If I don't owe you anything, I hope you're having a fabulous virus-free week!
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Thank you, wonderful patrons!
I have matched your pledges and donated to the NAACP for September pledges.
So far this year, your pledges have enabled me to donate $275, including matching, to the following organizations working on social justice, civil rights, feminist and environmental issues:

Southern Poverty Law Center
Center for Biological Diversity
Planned Parenthood
Rainbow Railroad

Next up:

ADAPT - disability rights and healthcare direct action
Nature Conservancy Caribbean Projects - restoring habitat and biodiversity
National Center for Transgender Equality - social justice advocacy for transgender people

For folks thinking about signing up, to date, I've posted 4 short stories, 3 essays and 14 resource lists on topics ranging from socially responsible investing to my favorite comfort books, TV and films. $1 gets you 2 resource lists, $3 gives you the opportunity to suggest topics and $6 gets you all of the above, plus an additional essay or story.

NonPatreon stuff:
Accomplished so far today, apart from Patreon organizational stuff: one interview sent in for Lounge Books Horror Month event, about which more soon, one event description sent to DreamHaven Books for vetting.
Next up:

  • reading through the Queen of Swords Press contract to send out to writer in hopes that we can make bookish magic together (first contract as publisher! Am experiencing squee!)
  • Working on Blood Moon, Silver Moon's sequel
  • Writing cover copy and an intro for the new Emily Byrne collection
  • Prepping for Twin Cities Book Festival and WomenVenture events
  • Recovering from Hell Cold so I can go see the Delores Huerta and Billie Jean King movies
  • The health tally: stomach bug last week, Hell Cold this week, persistent should pain. Blergh
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  • Revising new Emily collection, Desire, before sending out for proofing. Over halfway there.
  • Working on Blood Moon, the sequel to Silver Moon.
  • Latest Out of the Past column is done and up - we're in the 1980s now, people!
  • 1st Patreon post of the month is out and away
  • 5th reading of the year is done. Went reasonably well.
  • New short story, "Firebird" is out in Renewal, the new Queer Sci-Fi anthology of flash fiction
  • Prepping for next round of events
  • Trying to sell my World Fantasy membership for San Antonio - please let anyone who's interested know
  • Various Queen of Swords Press things
  • Day jobbery and related
  • Stuff. So much stuff.
  • Also, saw "Wonder Woman" again last night. I didn't catch this the first time but when Etta Candy is talking about engaging in a "spot of fisticuffs" when it comes to women's suffrage, she makes a gesture that looks like a jujitsu move. All kinds of awesome, assuming I'm right.
  • Going to a staged reading by Prime Productions tomorrow night. Productions by and about older women - loving them so far.
  • More stuff. Also volunteering for Clare Housing (local nonprofit assisting homeless folks with HIV/AIDS) this week - yay!
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I thought I had posted a couple of days ago, but apparently it was all a dream. So, catching up:
  • DreamHaven Books, Comics and Art now has signed copies of Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories and Silver Moon: A Wolves of Wolf's Point Novel!
  • Sent off books to the Hennepin County Library to see if they'll pick them up for the catalogue (they requested them at the Queer Voice Book Fair) and Quatrefoil Library now has a copy of Out of This World. They'll have the new edition of Silver Moon soon too!
  • Emily L. Byrne is doing a week long fundraiser for the terrific sex ed website, Scarleteen. Comment on her blog post and she'll make a contribution at the end of the week.
  • Knife's Edge and Out of This World are on sale at Smashwords this month for 50% off.
  • I added another panel to my Worldcon 75 schedule and will update when I have the finalized details, got a reservation for a Tom of Finland Walking Tour of Helsinki (scheduled opposite the Hugos, alas), scheduled an LGBT history walking tour of Reykjavik, scheduled more stuff in more places, because yay!
  • Started work on Blood Moon, the sequel to Silver Moon again.
  • Sold an Other Me reprint (details coming soon).
  • Turned in a blog interview for Queen of Swords Press, which should be up soon.
  • Finished some pitches for a new gaming tie-in project, about which more soon if one gets accepted.
And on a personal note:
  • Foot problems, migraine, annual ear infection - all in the last couple of days.Whee.
  • Bookseller Dave Christenson was able to rehome some books for me, which is great! More shelf space and some trip cash (and check out the rest of his catalogue!)
  • Our accountant is dealing with the weird IRS letter saying we didn't claim something, something which is clearly recorded on our tax forms.
  • Went to a MN Lynx game on Thursday - they beat the L.A. Sparks in a tight and excellent game.
  • Went to Park Square Theater last night and saw Better Off Dead: A Nero Wolfe Mystery, which was quite entertaining.
So yay, full life, trip looming, plans in the works.
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Our LGBTQ StoryBundle ends tomorrow - thus far, we have raised over $1000 for Rainbow Railroad and their program for LGBTQ+ refugees. This is pretty amazing - many, many thanks to everyone who bought or boosted the bundle! You can still get it tonight, if you've been putting it off, BTW. Some good reading in this batch.

Last week, I was interviewed by author Heather Rose Jones for her Lesbian Talk Show podcast. we had a fund discussion about my work and historical inspiration. That should go live in August. In the meantime, check out her blog and her show.

Last night, I read with a bunch of other authors at the annual Queer Voices Pride Month reading at the Minneapolis Central Library, sponsored by Intermedia Arts, the Hennepin County Library and Augsburg College. This year, there was a resource and book fair, along with the reading. The traffic and mass transit deities conspired to keep our crowd smallish, but the readings were very good, I sold a few books and I got interviewed for the KFAI Radio show Fresh Fruit (airing soon). I made the evening for one of my editors by reading from the magazine he edited (Raymond Luczak, Callisto), which was fun. I also got some nice feedback on the story I read from the audience and the ASL interpreters, which was very cool. One of the great things about last night's reading was the diversity of voices: over half the authors were authors of color, several authors were trans or genderqueer and at least one publicly identified as having a disability. More than one author identified as Muslim American. And the singing was lovely. I also got to see some friends, so I would definitely count the event as a success.

In upcoming events, Rachel Gold and I will be reading together at Boneshaker Books in Minneapolis in September and I'm talking to Quatrefoil Library and DreamHaven about possible events later on this year. Speaking of DreamHaven, I just typed up my first Queen of Swords Press invoice for them: they'll be carrying Silver Moon (new edition) and Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories as of tomorrow evening! If you know an indie bookstore that might be interested, please send them our way. I'll be posting a bookstore contact to the web page in the next day or two here.

I've also got some new writing projects in the offing. And there's still time to pledge my Patreon for this month (proceeds going to the Southern Poverty Law Center).

And on a more fun note, I'll be at the Twin Cities Antiquarian Bookfair on Friday, shopping for books. Book dealer (and all around swell guy) David 
Christenson will be selling from books from the Lundoff Collection as well as some of Jana's fine bindings and boxes so be sure and stop by the Fairgrounds to check things out. I'm also hoping to do a Lark Toys run with friends, to be followed by 2 days of writing, with only minimal editing and other tasks. Fingers crossed that works out!

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SILVER MOON is going to be in print again! Release date is 6/16/17 and Terry Roy has done another amazing job on the interior. Seriously, this and Out of This World are some of the prettiest small press books I've ever seen (even if I do say so myself). I highly recommend her work!

The Pride Month StoryBundle is moving along nicely - it's raised over $500 in the first couple of days for Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian nonprofit that helps LGBTQ+ folks around the world escape persecution. We've got another 18 days to raise some more money though, as well getting some good books out in the world. Please check it out and boost if you're not inclined to buy (or even if you are!).

Apart from this, it's been a bit of a rough weekend. Back spasms that started on Friday afternoon, plus migraines and continued foot pain (I'm getting it checked out this week) and a truly hellacious storm front moving through town meant that I missed Equality March and Rally in St. Paul. The weather was bad enough that they called it on the March, but did hold the rally. It looked like fun but it's likely just as well as I stayed home. Overall, it's been a weekend of whittling away at the giant To-Do list; I'm thinking I need to look at carving out a weekend a month to work on stuff because it's the only way I'll make progress. We'll see if I can swing that.
Apart from that, I did get to go see Wonder Woman earlier this week and I loved it. Now to see if I can get one or two more things done before I fall asleep.

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Even by my standards, this has been a lively five months. Silver Moon (new edition) is once more out in the world, as is a print edition of Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories (see the Queen of Swords Press website for more info and available formats, if so inclined). And mostly right now is a spinning whirlwind of trying to get reviews, trying to do publicity, trying to get things together for events, surviving the world outside, surviving my work place which is currently collapsing and other fun. Next week, I go back to WisCon for the first time in several years so there's stuff to plan there too. Also, two doctor visits, a car part recall, several deadlines and some sundry other things.

Some recent high points:
  • I went to see a fabulous play last night by a new theater company, Prime Productions. Prime Productions will focus on stories about women over 50. Last night's performance was Little Wars, which depicts a dinner party that never happened, featuring Dorothy Parker, Agatha Christie, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Lillian Hellman, Muriel Gardner and a young woman with a secret, set in Paris  during WWII. Excellent performances, intriguing premise and I look forward to seeing what they do next.
  • Last weekend included a trip to the Franconia Sculpture Park, which is an open-air sculpture park about an hour east of the Twin Cities. It was a beautiful day, which also included a pottery tour, and we both saw a lot of work that we liked. And we got really good chocolate from St. Croix Chocolate.
  • Saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which I liked better than the first one.
  • I have a Daughters of Themyscira jacket coming in the mail, because why not?
  • Am I writing anything yet? No. Lots of editing, overdue on Patreons and a new column. But will be carving out some time at WisCon for writing. Dammit.
  • Current volunteer projects: nothing just yet. I will be going to the local Equality March for Dignity and Pride on 6/11. Check out the website for more information and to find the one near you. This is for LGBTQ+ folks and allies and I know they're looking for volunteers, donations and signal boosts all over.
  • In Queen of Swords Press news, A Room of One's Own Bookstore has ordered in copies of Out of This World for WisCon! Which feels very exciting and real to me, so I'm excited about that.
  • And on a more somber note, along with the passing of multiple acquaintances from fandom, my lovely friend Ama Patterson passed on. She was a warm and beautiful person, as well as a talented writer and the world is a poorer place without her in it. If you have a copy of Dark Matter to hand, I recommend reading her story "Hussy Strutt" in her honor.
And with that. to bed. Hang in there, lovely people.

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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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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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Because I did have them. I spent all of my evenings this week and part of my volunteer time from the day job reviewing scholarship applications for PFund. PFund is a regional foundation that gives grants to LGBTQ+ organizations and individuals in the Upper Midwest. I've been a donor for the last couple of years but decided I needed to up my game this year. It was on my list of things to do later this year anyway, but the various attempts to bring on the apocalypse accelerated things. So PFund does amazing stuff on a shoestring budget and if you're thinking of how to make donations go further and are looking for good LGBTQ organizations to help fun, I heartily recommend donating to them (it doesn't have to be huge amounts, though I'm sure they'd use that well). This month's amazing thing is funding queer youth for school and college age and older folks for miscellaneous projects. Oh, these applications were heartbreaking and amazing and damn, people are doing great work! I'm so glad I did this. Saturday morning was all about hashing out our final recommendations to the board so now we wait for the decisions.

And I got the first lovely review for Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories! I'm very pleased. :-)))

Other than that, I caught a cold, got over the cold, made phone calls and sent emails and did a job training thing and went to a steampunk festival with friends and made a few small donations to cool things, as you do. More ahead and onward!

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At this point responding to the political shitshow that is currently this country's government is counterproductive. My more insightful insights can be found on Twitter at @clundoff. Daily stuff goes on Facebook, if you're curious - feel free to friend me there. I accept most requests.
So here, we have a bunch of stuff and a couple of boosts.

Books and Writing:
  • Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories is now available for libraries on the Overdrive catalogue. Hennepin County now has it and other libraries can get it if you ask for it. Huzzah! It is, of course, also available at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, IBooks and Smashwords too. The more buzz and sales that it has, the more likely a print edition is, just saying.
  • New Emily L. Byrne book is nearly complete in the sense of being ready to go out for proofing and cover art. I'm planning a March release for this one, if all goes well. Another Emily book is in progress, as is another Catherine book, and novels under both names. If I didn't have to sleep, day job and Resist, I could probably muster a new book every 2-3 months for awhile. But that's only likely for the next couple of books which are already planned out. At any rate, more words and more fictioning soon.
  • Queen of Swords Press. Website still not quite finalized but when it is, there will be a book giveaway to celebrate. Also, email list to sign up for.
Life and Other Things. Well, Okay. Not Really. Resistance:
  • Tuesday night, I went to the Queer Voices Reading at Intermedia Arts to cheer on several young writers of color and a transwoman writer acquaintance. They were all terrific - remember that your writers and artists and musicians need support right now, too. Cheer them. Go to their events. Invite them to your events. Buy their stuff. Bonus: I got to hang out with cool folks I didn't know very well and several of them turned out to be fascinating.
  • Wednesday night, I went to my monthly dinner with some cool feminist activist friends and we consoled and supported each other while dining at a solar-powered queer and woman-owned organic restaurant. Hurrah for multi-tasking!
  • Thursday night, I went to a day job things for the LGBTQ+ and Allies employee group. We had a great discussion and I made a suggestion that people really liked. Now we'll see if anything comes up. But if it works out, it could be a really nice financial and visibility boost for queer-focused philanthropy in the region. Send good thoughts!
  • There was work, collapsing, errands, a vet visit (both cats are staggeringly healthy, shed like whoa when stressed and think the vet is swell with the skritches), and writing and stuff. Also, more emails and letters and petitions and boosting than I can remember at this point. And some periods of utter collapse to watch television (Elementary, Emerald City, Supergirl, Agatha Raisin, Jane the Virgin, since I know you want to know), read and so forth. In other news, get your butt out to Hidden Figures, because it is awesome and the best movie I've seen in ages, though I also liked Arrival a bunch too.
Some signal boosting - throw a few bucks at these, if you can, please:
  • Defense Against Carrier SLAPP Suit - an atheist blogger friend and some colleagues reported on some verified instances of sexual abuse and harassment by a prominent speaker and now he's trying to shut them and their network down.
  • Support for Arthur - Arthur's mom is local fabulous bisexual activist and organizer, Lou Hoffman. Her family has been through so much, between their house being hit by a tornado, Lou's illness and now her son Arthur getting horribly and unexpectedly sick. Lou is good people and if you've been to any bi event in Minnesota or attended WisCon, you've probably benefited from her work. And if you haven't, she's good people and she has a lot of folk's backs so consider helping anyway.
  • Vet and Medical Bills - writer Janice S. Smith could use a bit of help getting to February. She's been unemployed for a few months, but just got a new job. It was preceded by a couple of financial disasters and she's still a week or so out from her first full paycheck.
  • Council on Islamic Relations is filing a lawsuit against the Orange Menace's Muslim Ban. So is the ACLU. Either one or both could use a hand.
Anyway, that's it for now. Get out there and do what you can. It sucks somewhat less if you hang out with folks, so if you're able to to, go to meetings and gatherings and benefits and so forth. Meet good folks. Keep on resisting.

catherineldf: (Default)
 It has been, and continues to be a rough week.
  • Still having problems sleeping.
  • Still in some discomfort/pain (they did take the first round of staples out this week, which hurt a fair amount but does mean there's progress).
  • I'm working but haven't been able to drive to the office.

So what am I doing?
  • Gathering together my community and checking on people. Also, going and seeing people in person. I cannot emphasize this enough. Get offline and go see folks you know and trust. It helps them and you.
  • Planning small events and pulling in folks I don't see much.
  • Making some calls, sending emails, signing petitions, boosting signals. 
  • Focusing on spending my money at LGBTQ or women or POC  or immigrant-owned businesses and nonprofits that I know to be good for our communities, 
  • Working on my two latest short story collections.
  • Helping my wife create her new Etsy shop.
  • Seeing what I can clear off my plate so I can volunteer when I finish healing, feeding people, listening, talking, wishing I was doing more and recognizing that I will when I can.
catherineldf: (Default)
Since I posted last...
  • I went on a quick trip to my family-of-choice aunt's funeral in NYC. It was sad, but necessary, and I got to see many people I haven't seen in a long time and to give her a short tribute.
  • I came back in time for surgery prep and my presentation at the U. of MN on "Depictions of Aging in Speculative Fiction." This went well - engaged adult education class, interesting discussion and my presentation was well-received.
  • Then, surgery. This took longer than anyone originally thought it would, so immediate recovery was a bear. Amongst other things, I didn't get much sleep for about 8 nights. I'm doing better now, though still sore. I think I'll be pretty happy with the results when I heal, though. Guessing that's about 2 more weeks out.
  • Several days after my surgery, our friend, poet extraordinaire John Calvin Rezmerski, passed away. It wasn't a surprise like Pat was, as he'd been ill for awhile, but his is a loss that cannot easily be filled. Rez was the officiant at our wedding in Iowa in 2009. Insisted on it, in fact, and took his duties very seriously. We could not have asked for a better officiant or friend. He could be relied upon to be a fine dinner companion and discussion participant  at each WisCon and Diversicon, as well as sundry other events. His poetry ranged from the comic (his performances of the oeuvre of Grace Lord Stoke as a member of Lady Poetesses from Hell are to be treasured) to the deeply moving. There will be a memorial at DreamHaven Books in Minneapolis, December 7th at 6:30 PM. Bring your favorite Rez anecdotes and poems. We'll be reading excerpts of his work and celebrating his memory.
  • And then there was the fucking election...I'll comment about this separately. I have many thoughts. In the meantime, support queer and diverse and refugee and POC and environmental and prochoice and antidomestic violence and feminist groups, as well as anybody else likely to be immediate targets of the new regime. Donate. Volunteer. Recruit your friends. Go to or host benefits. Bring in speakers. Protest. Sign petitions. Talk to your representatives. Spend time with people you care about and take care of yourselves.
  • "If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately." Attributed to Benjamin Franklin, on the signing of the Declaration of Independence, subsequently printed by Mistress Mary Katherine Goddard (printer, publisher, postmistress, bookseller  - a woman who blazed some serious trails)
And on that, I have donations to deliver and a second collection of short fiction to edit and format and get out the door.


catherineldf: (Default)

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