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I've decided to start a Patreon - - and got the whole thing set up yesterday. Why am I starting a Patreon? I still have a job and don't need the money at this point on a personal level, but I do a lot of donating and funding and helping folks out when I'm flush. But one of the grants that kept my wife employed has been redirected to a different organization, her Etsy hasn't really taken off, I've had medical bills, the house needs work, some of my project fell through, I'm starting a business, etc. None of it is dire at the present time, but it is stressful and mildly uncomfortable. And it's cut into what I can afford to donate to things and people I'd really like to be supporting. That would be where this comes in. I get asked about a lot of things and provide tons of free advice and connections on all kinds of things. I'm also not always great about carving out writing time when I get stressed out. So the idea is that you pledge me, I donate your money to cool things, I produce recommendation lists on various topics and writing about interesting stuff (and fiction!). This is all spelled out in detail on my Patreon - I'm hoping this is enough to get you to check it out. Please let me know what you think; I am open to suggestions.

In other news, Out in Print gave my new book Out of This World a very nice review. I'm really pleased since I'm pretty certain that this reviewer is not familiar with my previous work so there's that moment of "Yes! New people reading me!" that's always cool. Out in Print gave my novel Silver Moon one of my all time favorite reviews so I'm really glad to see them up and running again. :-)))

And in appearance news, I've had to drop the Golden Crown Literary Conference trip I was hoping to make this year. I didn't get a workshop or programming items and at this point, pricier out of town conventions have to pay for themselves to one degree or another (no programming = less likely to sell books or be able to use as a tax writeoff). I have added one podcast appearance, a new reading at DreamHaven and am in discussion on some other things so I will be out and about.

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One of the high points of last week was this lovely, thoughtful review of Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories by Heather Rose Jones on her Alpennia blog (which you should be reading - she does a lot of great work on historical queer women). Amongst other things, she says "You will never feel like you’re reading the same story twice, and many of these stories will make you long for an entire novel expanding on that seed. Highly recommended. Whether you think you’re the target audience for “queer stories” or not." It is a wonderful thing to see other authors whose work you admire and enjoy really dig into yours. :-)))

Apart from that, I got one rejection and one realization that I have to shift directions on a story in progress. Sigh. In other writing news, I'll be appearing on the Skiffy and Fanty Podcast in late February (air date shortly thereater) and will be reading at DreamHaven Books in April (see pinned post for more details). Apart from that, Emily L. Byrne, my erotica/erotic romance writing self, has finished pulling together her new collection and has sent it off for edits and cover art. You can read the announcement and an excerpt here.

On a personal level, I had a bad bursitis flareup which slowed me down a bit but did not prevent me from enjoying the Science Museum of Minnesota's Mythical Creatures show on Thursday night. If you've haven't been there for a while, this show and Race: Are We So Different? are both phenomenal and I highly recommend a visit soon. I decided to skip the big Planned Parenthood rally in St. Paul on Saturday and opted for the online version instead on Saturday though, in hopes that my leg would feel better. We went to the annual Women's Prison Book Project Breakfast benefit on Saturday morning and had a lovely time. Then I went over to the American Swedish Institute with friends to drink coffee at FIKA Cafe, which is partnering with Tiny Footprint Coffee to raise money for UN Refugee Relief efforts (part of every cup and bag of coffee sold will be donated for the next couple of weeks). The ASI is hosting a photo exhibit called "Where the Children Sleep" about Syrian refugee children in various European countries as well as Lebanon and it is beautiful and wrenching and I highly recommend it. There is also an exhibit called "Swede Hollow," based on a novel of the same name, about Swedish immigrants in St. Paul and the stereotypes, poverty and violence that they dealt with as impoverished immigrants; the show does an excellent job of pointing out how each wave of immigrants gets treated and the obstacles they face. Also, highly recommended.

This week will be taxes and catching up and ongoing resisting. I just got a box of miscellaneous works and activist memorabilia together for my archive at the U. of Minnesota's Tretter Collection, which will be going over there this week. More sundry news bulletins 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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Benito Corral says: "Medium Mechanique by Catherine Lundoff is a wonderful story that successfully blends the steampunk and horror theme of the book with the desperation of wanting to be with that lost love just one more time..." Am v. pleased. :-D
And the link to the rest of the most promising

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One of my backlist titles (edited, not authored) "Haunted Hearths and Sapphic Shades: Lesbian Ghost Stories: Lesbian Ghost Stories" gets a nice new review -
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Looks I snoozed right through this one yesterday - my post on depictions of aging in SF/F has gone live on the Clarion Foundation's Writer's Craft blog. And it looks like we've got the start of a good discussion going.

Today, Silver Moon got a nice review from the
She-Wolf blog. The review also reviewed 3 other female werewolf titles so check out all of them to see if there's something you might like. I do love how nearly every reviewer has a favorite character, though I am beginning to wonder if I'll ultimately need to write a novel about each of them. :-)

And I got a nice note from author/reviewer/editor
Ashley Lister asking permission to use a scene from my vampire story "Twilight," published in Best Fantastic Erotica, Vol. 1 (Circlet Press, 2007)  for his new book on writing erotica. This is wildly flattering since Ashley does a ton of reviews and reads a LOT of erotica. I'm so glad that something I wrote to spoke to him enough to want to use it as a good example.

In other news, the trip back was pleasant other than torquing my arm and shoulder when my luggage rolled one way off a curb and I rolled the other last night. Ouch. Today is unpacking and working on a class proposal and laundry and working on interview questions for a blog interview. And stopping to ice frequently.

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The Rainbow Reader liked it. :-D

And my finalized Chicon
schedule, updated with volunteer times and what not. I will be around and about for meals and such - ping me here or by other means of communication if you're around. I'm okay with being hugged as long as people tell me who they are first. :-)
(it does occasionally happen the other way around). Looking forward to a fun time!
Now to go pack.

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Tomorrow's #FeministSF Twitterchat is on the topic of depictions of aging in sf/f. I'll kick things off at 1PM CST; follow the hashtag to read and participate.

And in "Silver Moon" news, Lavender Magazine, the Twin Cities LGBTQ mag, just gave it a very nice review. :-D
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You know those reviews that just make your week (if you're a writer)? "Silver Moon" just got one like that at Out in Print. :-D
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is always difficult, at least if you're really risking something. Sending your work out into the world to face rejection is a tough road. Sending your work out for reviews can be even harder. Then there's the joy of self-promotion, in which you have to ask people for things. Sometimes, they ask you, which is nice. But if you're new or small press or just new to a given market, you'll get to do a lot of asking. I have my ups and downs with it, both the asking and the results. But today, the asking paid off. I get to do a Big Idea post for Silver Moon on Whatever, author John Scalzi's blog! This is huge, since he gets a phenomenal amount of traffic. I am very grateful to him for sharing some of his bandwidth and taking some of the rest of us along for the ride. And I'm even more grateful that all I had to do to get this to happen was to send him the information he requested, in the time frame he requested, and ask.

(Of course, a few hours later when I was still OMGing about this opportunity, my publisher pinged me re: a certain other very large book blog and their interest in Moon in the wake of the PW review and my immediate reaction was, "No! They'll pull the wings off! It hasn't flown yet!"). Which just goes to show you that writers are pretty tightly wound and not necessarily well-grounded. Yes, the book got sent.

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Has just posted here.

I'm quite pleased. Okay, that and giddy with relief. There aren't a huge number of review venues for queer, let alone lesbian-specific, spec fic titles that aren't primarily romances. And few of those have a huge reach outside of their particular niches. While I've known smaller press authors to bounce back from bad/blah PW reviews, it's a long, hard painful road because it's so high profile, and I'm really glad I don't have to face that with my first novel. Now here's hoping it helps broaden my audience for this book too. :-D

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Woke up to a review of my collection "A Day at the Inn, A Night at the Palace and Other Stories" at Good Lesbian Books -
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I'm seeing the question of whether or not writers should or do read reviews of their work on a couple of lists I'm on. To some extent, the question baffles me. Why I wouldn't I want to know what's out there? But I'm a rip the Bandaid off kind of gal. Here's my take on it: if I don't read the reviews, I'm missing the good with the bad. And I've been fortunate enough to get some awesome, thoughtful reviews. I want to be able to thank and acknowledge those reviewers. I also want to be able to say, "Yay! Someone gets my work!" But what about the bad ones, the haters and the clueless or the reviewers who just plain hate my work? Well, I may not be reading those reviews but other people are. I want to know how my books and stories are doing and it's one way to tell. If I only want to see the rainbows and sparkle ponies, I'm not getting the full pictures. Writing is a business for me as well as a necessity and I try hard to treat it as one. I've survived and will survive rejection, I'll survive the occasional bad review. And someday, if I make it big, I'll have my assistant do summaries of my press, the good and the bad. Now there's a goal to shoot for. :-)


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