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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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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.

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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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  • The annual list, updated as new things arise; right now, there's a bunch of things that aren't yet confirmed but I expect updates soon:

January:

February:

  • Hannah's Bookshelf - February 2nd, 4-6PM (U.K. time). I'm getting interviewed by the amazing Hannah Priest, editor, writer, scholar, politician and radio host on North Manchester FM. Check out the livestream if you're not in the area.
  • Cocktail Hour Podcast - February 7th. Air date shortly thereafter. I'll be interviewed about my current and upcoming work and Queen of Swords Press
March:
  • Quatrefoil Women Author's Reading - March 18th. 1-4PM. Annual event at the Anderson Library at the University of MN. Come and hear your favorite queer women authors read their latest! Readers include Rachel Gold, Catherine Friend, MB Panichi and other writers, including me.
  • "One Night in Saint Martin" on the Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - March 31st. My work read aloud! By someone else! With theatrical flare!
April:
  • ClexaCon - Las Vegas, NV. April 5-9. I'll be on the panel "Labels: Why We Need Them. Or Do We?" with the publishers from Blindeye Books and Sapphire Books. Queen of Swords Press will also be splitting a table with Blindeye Books in the Dealer's Room.
  • Shelfies Interview - April 30, online at Underground Book Reviews. Interview about my writing process, publishing, plans for Queen of Swords Press, etc.
May:
  • WisCon, Madison, WI - May 25th-28th. Programming participant. Also hosting a release party for Queen of Swords Press' new title, Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks and sundry other works.
June:
July:

August:
  • OutWrite 2018 - Washington, D.C. August 3rd - 5th. Author reading and a panel discussion.
September:October:
  • 2018 Twin Cities Book Festival, St. Paul, MN. October 13th. Queen of Swords Press will have a book table and will be hosting author Michael Merriam as a guest author.
  • Wordbrew 6, Kieran's Irish Pub, Minneapolis. October 28th, 1-5 PM. The annual extravaganza of local science fiction, fantasy and horror writers reading their work. Different line up every year!
November:December:
  • Books and Beer Popup Store, AZ Gallery, St. Paul. December 1, 1-6PM. I'll have a book table and there will be munchies and art and other authors.
  • Book release party for Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) - DreamHaven Books, Minneapolis, December 5, 6:30-7:45. Featuring readings by yours truly and Michael Merriam. Also chocolate.
  • Minnesota Women's Art Festival - Minneapolis. December 8, 9:30-4:30. Queen of Swords Press will have a book table and will feature artwork by book artist Jana Pullman.
  • Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) Reading - Eat My Words Bookstore, Minneapolis. December 13th, 7-8PM. Michael Merriam and I will be reading and signing books.
  • Queer Holiday Fair at the L Spot - Minneapolis. December 15th, 4-8PM. Stop by Minneapolis's new fun LGBT shop for a holiday craft and book fair.
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Well, 2018 was a year...and so very much of one. It's difficult to disconnect my personal life from the national and global trainwreck, but I'll do my best. It was still a hard year: bad health news for close friends, bad financial and other news for others, the unexpected ending of a long-term friendship, my mother's increasing dementia, the sudden and abrupt news that I wasn't going to be laid off after all (bear in mind that I had three years to plan and prep for a nice break and down time, which I'm not getting), other sundry things. On the other hand, there was a lot of good stuff, too. Queen of Swords Press grew, I went to a lot of great events and met nice people, I'm ending the year with almost all the same people in my life that I hoped would still be there, I had some interesting new experiences and have been learning a lot, I don't have to go job hunting at the moment and I'm a lot healthier than I was this time last year (Norovirus recovery takes longer than you would think).

Starting with the events and experiences part of things, I was interviewed on North Manchester FM's radio show "Hannah's BookShelf" by the amazing Hannah Kate herself, then appeared a few weeks later on the Cocktail Hour Podcast. I did a reading at the University of Minnesota's Tretter Collection in March for the annual Quatrefoil Library's Women's Reading, went to ClexaCon in Las Vegas as a vendor with my pals from Blind Eye Books and hosted a Queen of Swords Press party at WisCon. I got interviewed at Shelfies by Bill Kieffer,  got interviewed with author Rachel Gold in the St. Cloud Times (best headline ever!), interviewed by Paul Weimer at the Skiffy and Fanty Blog and answered 5 Questions for author Loren Rhodes. As Emily L. Byrne, I did the WLW Blog Hop, and had guest posts up at I Heart Lesfic, Women & Words and on Sacchi Green's blog, Reaching Out. In addition to ClexaCon and WisCon, I did readings and panels at Outwrite in Washington, D.C., DreamHaven Books and Eat My Words Books and WordBrew 6 in Minneapolis. Queen of Swords Press had tables at St. Cloud Pride, the Twin Cities Book Festival, the Minnesota Women's Art Festival, 2 instances of the Books and Beer Pop-up Store, the Queer Author Holiday Fair and probably something I'm forgetting.

Writing and editing
. Queen of Swords Press/me and company put out three books this year: Catherine had 6 stories published this year:
  • “A Winter’s Tale” in A Few More Winter Tales edited by Matthew Bright. December, 2018 (Fantasy).
  • “A Cry in the Night,” forthcoming TBD. World of Darkness: Ghosthunters (final title TBD).
  • “The Letter of Marque” reprinted on Curious Fictions. August, 2018. (Historical)
  • “Faceless” and “Firebird” reprinted in the OutWrite 2018 Journal, Issue 1. August, 2018 (Fantasy).
  • “The Mask and the Amontillado,” Tales of the Unanticipated #32, edited by Eric Heideman, July, 2018. (Horror)
  • “One Night in Saint Martin,” March, 2018. Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast, edited by Heather Rose Jones. (Historical)
  • And had an excerpt from Silver Moon in D.C.'s Metro Weekly

Emily (Other Me) had 4 stories published this year -
I also helped raise money for Rainbow Railroad, The Aliveness Project and SAGE: Advocating for LGBT Seniors, donated book packages to Con or Bust and Sirens, and volunteered for my second year in a row as a member of the Community Review Board at PFund Foundation. Wow! I did more than I thought I had! Plus more fun stuff in progress, of course. Big shoutout to all the venues that hosted me, the Press and colleagues, all the other writers who tabled with or did appearances with me, to my wife Jana for helping out and splitting a table at the MN Women's Festival, to my authors, cover artists, copy editor, book designer, videographer and web guru (not all the same person!), to the folks who interviewed me, bought books, reviewed my work, the folks who boosted the signal and recommended books to others, folks who helped with marketing and to my friends who were there for me this year - thank you all very much!

Now for a brief respite, then on to 2019!

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Here's wishing all of you celebrating a merry Christmas! And a lovely Tuesday, filled with good things for everyone else!

Also, book sales!
On Smashwords (12/25-1/1/19):
Silver Moon and Out of This World by Catherine Lundoff are on sale.
Medusa's Touch, Desire and Knife's Edge by Emily L. Byrne are on sale.
Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks is on sale.

I HEART LESFIC MEGA SALE (12/26-12/30) -
Desire by Emily L. Byrne

And stay tuned for Queen of Swords Press birthday events in January! For local folks, we'll be having a party in Minneapolis on 1/19/19. There'll also be an online celebration, prize drawings for newsletter subscribers and so forth so stay tuned on that as well (you can sign up for the newsletter on the website).
I'm trying to wrangle my workload into submission this week, see friends and do stuff, plus day jobbery. It's exciting to say the least. Year in review post coming this week as well.


Big news!

Dec. 7th, 2018 06:43 pm
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*Taps mic, clears throat, croaks from stupid, lingering cold* Publishers Weekly LIKES SCOURGE OF THE SEAS OF TIME (AND SPACE)! Rather a LOT! This is a very nice review and the first for a Queen of Swords Press title. :-D I am chair dancing to David Bowie and singing Labyrinth songs to one of my cats, in case you wondered.

You can find copies at DreamHaven Books, at the Queen of Swords Press table on Saturday at the MN Women's Art Festival,  at Eat My Words Bookstore on 12/13 or at the Queer Author Holiday Book Fair and Benefit at The L Spot on 12/15. Or any of the usual places fine books are sold. :-D

Off to go recover from Hell Cold in time for tomorrow's event.



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Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) is imminent - just 3 more days and I have the jitters like whoa. I also have 2 readings coming up (DreamHaven Bookstore and Eat My Words Bookstore), 3 forthcoming interviews about the book, multiple announcements, 13 potential reviews, including one in Publisher's Weekly, 4 upcoming book tables and 3 online events. And that's just December. While working full time and trying to write my new novel (Blood Moon - werewolves!), gaming-related stuff and a new short story. Not to mention planning next year's events and books. In my defense, I thought I was getting laid off.

And through it all is the constant thrumming terror that this book will tank, that it won't sell, that I won't get it together to do another book. I also worry about the horror perpetuated by my country's government, my family and friends, environmental and social collapse and the insanity of my day job. But I function best with more manageable worries, so the book and the Press are front and center right now. Alright, nose to grindstone, off to do more work and hope for the best.



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Some of my lovely friends invited me to camp out at their house for a few days while they're out of of town so I get a couple of days off in blissful solitude to work. It is awesome! So far, I've managed an interview for the Skiffy and Fanty Show Blog, more words on Blood Moon (Silver Moon sequel), created a YouTube channel for Queen of Swords Press, nominated Alex Ack's Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures  for the Colorado Book Awards, worked on a blog post for an upcoming blog tour for Emily L. Byrne and done some analysis on revisions for my gaming proposals for Choice of Games and started reading up on my next Onyx Path tie-in adventure (about which more when there's something to talk about). More to come because i have a whole week off and no travel planned!

Now for the announcement. I was waiting until some more things got finalized, but since folks are beginning to ask about my 2019 events, I'll do the preliminary announcement now. A lovely new convention, MultiverseCon, has invited my wife, Jana Pullman, and me as guests to their inaugural launch! Jana, in addition to being a participating artist at the WisCon Art Show, has done design binding for Shelley's Frankenstein, Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, several Ursula Le Guin-themed projects, Minnesota Center for Books Arts Winter Book projects with science fiction and fantasy authors Will Alexander, Eleanor Arnason and Bryan Thao Worra and a bunch of other things. It is quite rare for a con to invite a queer couple as co-guests - the only other examples that I can think of are headliners like Delia Sherman and Ellen Kushner or Nicola Griffith and Kelley Eskridge or writing teams like L.A. Graf, but there may be other folks that I'm forgetting about or am not aware of. So anyway, it will be awesome and you should come to Atlanta 10/18-10/20 and participate in the fun!


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I added a few more events in December because sleep is for the weak or something. Last December, I was still recovering from a torn shoulder tendon, norovirus and my first bout of stomach flu of last winter (followed by a second bout AND a concussion) so I didn't do much by way of holiday book promotion. This year, I'm making up for lost time and doing ALL the things. In addition to 2 readings and 3 book tables, I'll be participating in the Women & Words Hootenanny and Emily Byrne will be on the Best Lesbian Erotica Blog Tour and the I Heart Lesfic Holiday Sale. Going to be lively!

In other news, my forthcoming pirate anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) is starting to get some good buzz. There's a nice review on NetGalley already and geek blog The Nerdy Girl Express just posted an excellent review this morning. It's up for preorder for both ebook and print and other print now and you can add it to your Goodreads list and all that good stuff.

This week is doing some catch up stuff, then going to see Raiders of the Lost Ark at the new Parkway Theater on Thursday, then checking out a reading at Eat My Words on Friday and going to here some friends read at the Subverted Fairy Project Reading at the Phoenix on Saturday. After that, I'll be sequestered at a secret location to writer and edit for a few days. Then I'll be enjoying some Friendsgiving times with various friends. More on all of that later though. Now to go empty the foot spa and get some sleep.

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I'm up to 2 readings, 3 event tables, a blog tour and two online promo things. Huzzah!
November is lower key - I just got Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) submitted to Ingram and reviews are starting to trickle in. It's out for preorder and up at NetGalley so here's hoping that's enough to give it some serious lift when it launches at the beginning of December.

How is Queen of Swords Press looking so far? Well, the learning curve is really exciting and I'm putting out some swell books. Financially, I'm actually a couple of hundred bucks short of what the Press brought in last year and I'm still not paying myself. My royalties are keeping things afloat at present, though Alex's book has generally done pretty well. Scourge will be the most expensive book I've done so far, what between paying 15 contributors, a copy editor, cover and interior work and production costs, so I'm really doubling down on book tables, events and so forth. It's under consideration at Publisher's Weekly, so hopefully they like it and a rising tide lifts all boats. I'll have to do a check-in post at the end of December and talk about how it went.

Writing. Well, I'm working on Blood Moon and I have a new secret project in the offing and revisions I have to do on a different secret project and another thing kicking around that I want to write. I'll probably spend part of Thanksgiving week sequestered away at a friend's house where I'll have to get some work done. Day job is super stressful right now and I'm running my usual round of ear infections and migraine that come with weather changes.

Apart from that, we're going to have to have to have the big ash tree in the front yard taken down. It's getting too big for the space we have for it and is sending roots into the sewer line and the house  foundation. Add to that, we're not treating it for Emerald Ash Borer because we knew its days were numbered, so our tree guy says taking it out now is the most sensible choice. But spendy. And I'm kind of sorry to see it go. We'll have to find something smaller and more suited to our space to plant in the spring. We're also into discussions about replacing the furnace in the spring, which will mean asbestos abatement and changing our ductwork and other fun. We'll be spending the winter getting rid of a LOT of stuff to make it possible to even get at things to do this. Our furnace guy assures us it will be worth it in the long run. Eep.
Never a dull moment...

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 Things to do today - a list so I do not forget:
1. Quote for article
2. Bio and pix for a 2019 con
3. Marketing plan and application for 2019 event
4. Books out to reviewers
5. Check new Square 
6. Sales tax form and tabling fee for  December event
7. Review docs for 2019 event (different from above)
8. Finish Emily guest blog due next week.
9. Get back to writing Blood Moon.
Also day job, sleep, hang with kitties, eat, walk and function. Then plan for everything that has to get done this weekend. Huzzah!
More events and announcements coming soon. Stay tuned!
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On the happy, jolly end of things, I'll be doing a short reading and selling books at Wordbrew 6 this Sunday at Kieran's Irish Pub in Minneapolis. I also won a tea sampler in a contest that I don't remember entering. Desert Sage Natural makes some lovely spiced coffee so I look forward to trying their tea. I saw Colette last night and enjoyed it quite a bit. Lovely to see a movie about a pioneering woman writer that isn't carefully dequeered and/or defeminized. Splendid performances too; this is a role that Keira Knightley suits perfectly and the filmakers do a good job with the other queer characters as well. Other films seen in the last week that I also enjoyed: I Am Not Your Negro and Disobedience.

On the less happy end of things: Arisia seriously fucked up and I'm very angry and sorry to see it. I won't be going back again until the wronged parties say that things have improved a lot.

In the rest of life: work on Blood Moon continues slowly, but steadily. I'm taking an actual week off in November to write and do things of that ilk. Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) is puttering toward the release date of 12/1/18. I'm hoping to load the print version for preorder in the next week. Ebook preorders may be found here for those hoping to get a jump on things. I'm blitzing the universe with announcements and review copies and such so hopefully it soars. There are some wonderful stories in it.
Now off to unwind before bed.





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 This will be a grab bag post of updatey things. I've got going on right now, even by my standards. 
  • First up, author Jason Sanford interviewed me about Queen of Swords Press on his Patreon market report.
  • It's Queen of Swords Press newsletter sign up time again! Sign up on our website by 10/15 to be entered in the quarterly ebook drawing!
  • Twin Cities Book Festival! This Saturday, 10/13 10-5 at the Fairgrounds. Queen of Swords Press will have a table and author Michael Merriam will be our guest.
  • Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space), my new pirate anthology, will be going up for preorder by next week. Early reviews are quite glowing! ARCs will be available - it releases 12/1 from Queen of Swords Press

In other news, my day job layoff, originally scheduled for the end of this year, has been cancelled, so no frantic job hunting on top of everything else. The world is a shitshow, but I've seen some great local theater, am checking out new events and going to benefits. Getting offline helps a bit, just saying.

Hang in there, folks.

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On everything in a day, as is my want.

Had a fine and splendid time at the Minnesota State Fair yesterday, which was capped off by a nice guy who gave us tickets for the Sky Ride so we didn't have to claw our way back through a billion people. Good crop art, excellent miniature displays, discovered a new to us band, enjoyed grilled peaches with goat cheese, all the good stuff.

Also, hey, I have a new book coming out in December from Queen of Swords Press! Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) has an awesome lineup and now, an awesome cover by artist S.L. Johnson to go with it!



Also in the works: a print edition of Emily L. Byrne's Medusa's Touch, just in time for our St. Cloud events on 9/14-15!
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I just learned that I have had a personal essay accepted (contingent on an edit) for the MN Historical Society Press's Queer Voices anthology. More news as I have it!

In Queen of Swords Press News, the Smashwords July sale is still in progress. You can get our entire ebook catalogue for the cost of a not very spendy dinner out (and it helps the Press grow! Which greatly improves our longterm prospects!). If Smashwords is not your thing, we now have direct sales off the website  (Kindle/standard ebook only for now) - Paypal or Square, take your pick. This month's newsletter also included the table of contents for the pirate anthology I'm editing, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space). That will be going up on the Queen of Swords Press site soon, then trickle out from there. Cover art coming soon!

Had a good weekend, with a MN Lynx game on Friday night with friends, then blueberry picking at Rush River Produce in Wisconsin on Saturday, followed by lunch at the Smiling Pelican Bakeshop and shopping at Cultural Cloth, Secret Heart Gallery and Limbo Records in Maiden Rock. After that, we drove down to Alma, Wisconsin, to see the Castlerock Museum of Arms and Armor and have coffee at the gay-owned Fire & Ice Coffee and Ice Cream Shop. Both are must-sees! The ice cream shop is part of a hotel (same owner) and has a glorious garden courtyard. The decor is eclectic and quite cool and we are now eyeing a trip down to stay at the hotel. After that, we drove back up to Stockholm, WI for a trip to The Palette (a kitchen store with useful things) and the bookstore whose name I always forget. The bookstore owner fired up his Wimhurst Machine and proudly showed off his Tesla coil and we bought a book on Tesla, all of which was quite fun.

Sunday was a work and Mom visit day. There was also bonus fun when I stumbled off a step ladder while trying to cut back the neighbor's tree from the power line. So now I have a sprained ankle and the neighbor is supposed to get their landlord to cut it back before I call the utility company. Sigh. Just a general nuisance, though it will be worse than that if it damages the power line.

On tap for this week, more work, healing my ankle, actual writing, Killjoys (Season 3), a reading at Quatrefoil Library and a play.


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I went and volunteered at a work thing on Thursday, helping recycle a bunch of day job office supplies with a group of students from one of the international high schools. It was okay (the schools that send students get a bunch of office supplies), if a tad disorganized. I gather it was a first run on this. I do have to agree with my colleague who completely freaked at the number of hanging and regular folders we were putting in recycling - it does seem like a missed opportunity for reuse. But we did pull out a bunch of stuff; the teachers took some, I grabbed a couple of usable books to donate/give to various places (my mother's nursing home was pleased at getting a couple of medical dictionaries that staff could use for studying for certificates and such, for example), the schools got a bunch of stuff. And it didn't go to the landfill, so that was good. But yeah. So many file folders....

Thursday evening, I went to a PFund Foundation reception for the grantees that we selected for awards back in February and March. I've been on the Community Review Board for the last couple of years. It's a fascinating process: the applications for trans and genderqueer folks who are people of color and/or immigrants get special attention because of the various social obstacles and lack of support they often face. Then there's criteria for community leadership, contributions to their communities, what their plans are, whether they are in North or South Dakota (because there's not a lot of support there) and some other criteria. After we do our review, which includes an online review process, online evaluations, then several hours in which we thoroughly discuss our favs at a meeting at the Foundation, the Board adds some additional folks based on targeted funds. All told, 32 people got funding this year for a bunch of amazing work, everything from researching femme-centered spaces, to traveling to international conferences to going back to school to organizing events for LGBTQ+ POC folks in different areas. So good stuff all around and I'm happy that I bumped my twice a year donation to a monthly sustainer schedule. And it's great to work on something that is majority-run by POC folks and mostly funds POC and immigrant queer folks.

Friday was the new Print Matters show, formerly known as the Twin Cities Antiquarian Book Fair. It takes place at the MN Fairgrounds in an building without air conditioning during what is often one of the hottest weeks in summer and I think they're going to have to evaluate that. But we went, we bought a few books and I bought a signed Edward Gorey poster from a delightful older gay couple who were celebrating their 46th anniversary. We also walked a lot on concrete, which becomes pertinent shortly.

Saturday, I was really hoping to go to the Save Our Future (No Baby Jails) March, so inevitably, I woke up with a migraine and my bad leg acting up (every now and again it has enough of my shenanigans, which in this case was all the Thursday and Friday running around) so we had to cancel. Instead, it was a day of slow moving productivity and redecorating the bedroom (around the new Gorey). The bedroom looks much better, and other than having to take a hot bath to be functional at all, I was doing somewhat better at the end of the day. And there was news! I am applying to do a gaming-related thing and have moved up in the process! Next up, actual proposals. More on that when/if there's more on that. Did a few other Press-related things, did some writing, did some reading. Progress!


Book sale! Lest I forget, all Queen of Swords Press titles are on sale at Smashwords for July! Smashwords pays a higher percentage of royalties than Amazon does and well, they're not Amazon, so you should go check them out and pick up a few ebooks, preferably including ours.

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Queen of Swords Press/Release Party for MURDER ON THE TITANIA AND OTHER STEAM-POWERED ADVENTURES by Alex Acks/Alex Wells at #WisCon42 tonight in Room 627! There'll be munchies and games and special guests! Costumes welcome! MURDER and our other print titles, SILVER MOON and OUT OF THIS WORLD by Catherine Lundoff, are available at the Room of One's Own Bookstore and DreamHaven Books tables in the Dealer's Room - get yours signed tonight between 8:30 and 1. Room of One's Own also has Alex's Angry Robot series so you can collect the set!
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 A large market listing helpfully listed the call for my pirate anthology...one 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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The gearing up for the annual expedition to Madison for WisCon has begun - I've got one panel and a Queen of Swords Press/Release Party for Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks. Also, shenanigans. Jana's work will be in the Art Show and our books will be in the Dealer's Room with DreamHaven and A Room of One's Own. The party will feature tea and munchies, some lowkey games, book signings by Alex, me and our special guest Robyn Bennis, for as long as chooses to hang out. Probably other guests too, depending on how things turn out. Stop by and say hi if you're there!

       
Beyond Batty - Old Lady Characters In SF&F (scheduled)   Sat, 2:30–3:45 pm Wisconsin
Moderator: Timmi Duchamp. Catherine Lundoff, Isabel Schechter, Georgie L. Schnobrich about this item. 
Older folks remain underrepresented as protagonists or major characters in SF&F films, books, and TV shows. Older women rarely appear even as supporting characters, and often only as batty old broads or other stereotypes we wish would go away. What stories break this mold? What stories are there yet to be told for older women in SF&F?
Queen of Swords Press Book Release Party for Alex Acks's Murder On The Titania (scheduled)   Sun, 8:45 pm–Mon, 3:00 am Room 627
 
Queen of Swords Press (Catherine Lundoff, Publisher) is releasing author Alex Acks' Murder On The Titania And Other Steam-Powered Adventures in April 2018. The party includes a signing by Alex and promo information about Queen of Swords Press' other books, as well as tea and light refreshments.

Good times!



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