Mar. 21st, 2019 09:41 am
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I’ll be giving a talk at DreamHaven Books in Minneapolis from 6:30-7:45 about small press publishing  (also of interest to indie book folks). 

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

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

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

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

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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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 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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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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I'm releasing the preliminary TOC for my new pirate anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space), due out from Queen of Swords Press in December, 2018. I am really excited about this anthology. I ended up with contributors from 8 different countries (including the U.S.), including award-winning authors and  first sale authors, and settings that range from the Trojan War to outer space. And there are gay, lesbian, bisexual, genderqueer and straight pirate protagonists. The cover artist will be Stephanie Johnson, who also did the logo for Queen of Swords and the covers of several anthos that I have stories in. More news coming soon!

Ginn Hale - “Treasured Island”
Joyce Chng - “Saints and Bodhisattvas”
Geonn Cannon - “Rib of Man”
Elliott Dunstan  - "Andromache's War
Soumya Mukherjee - “The Dead Pirate’s Cave”
A.J. Fitzwater - “Search for the Heart of Ocean”
Ashley Deng - “The Seafarer”
Michael Merriam - “Tenari”
Ed Grabianowski - “The Doomed Amulet of Erum Vahl”
Megan Arkenberg - “Between the Devil and Deep Blue Sea”
Peter Golubock  - “After the Deluge”
Caroline Sciriha -  “A Crooked Road Home”
Su Haddrell - “A Smuggler's Pact”
Mharie West - “The Serpent's Tail”
Matisse Mozer  - “Rosa, the Dimension Pirate”

On the writing front, I've had a personal essay accepted for the forthcoming Queer Voices anthology to be released by the MN Historical Society Press in the nearish future. More news as I have it. This essay is "Strange, But Not a Stranger" and I originally wrote it for the late, great Cheryl B. for an antho that never got published. It is the piece I read at AWP Minneapolis at the bi writer's reading, the one about community and identity, if you were at that.

I also have at least one piece accepted for the Outwrite DC benefit anthology, but I'm not sure which one they're accepting. I subbed two and they seem to like both? Awaiting confirmation.

Taking a couple of days off this week to work on a game proposal or two and get some traction on other projects. I'm editing the pirate antho as well as working on my own stuff so it'll be full steam ahead for a bit.

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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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 Other Me (Emily L. Byrne) has her first novel out! Medusa's Touch is a fast-paced sexy lesbian science fiction romance and you can read more about it here. Emily has had a very good week, seeing as it also included the acceptance of her story "Rainbow's End" to Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Vol. 3, the acceptance of "Nights in Red Satin" to Rose Caraway's anthology The Dirty Librarian's Dirty Thirty Vol. 3 and the reprint of her story "Phone, Sex, Chocolate" in Rachel Kramer Bussel's reissue of Candy Lovers.

In short, Emily is currently having a better writing year than Catherine, but we're working on. Catherine is finishing off pirate submissions and sending out a bunch of rejections (sorry!), but will be moving on to acceptances soon. SOON. I promise. 

Otherwise, I'm off to WisCon tomorrow. If you'll be there, please one and hear me on the Beyond Batty Old Ladies panel and come to the Murder on the Titania party on Sunday night. It will be fun!

I'll also be adding a new event in June - updates coming soon.
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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.

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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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 The new edition of SILVER MOON made Book Riot's list of 100 Must-Read Bisexual Books for Bisexual Awareness Week! I am very, very happy about this, not surprisingly. 

And now some background, for those just tuning in. The first version of MOON was released in 2012. It appeared at just the right time to be entered in the first Bisexual Book Awards and the Goldie Awards for Lesbian Lit.  It finaled in both, which was nice, if less nice than winning. Did I set out to deliberately write a middle-aged bisexual female protagonist? Not deliberately. I wanted to write about coming out at middle age, questioning your identity, menopause and werewolves, as you do. I started writing and getting my work published back before indie publishing and a lot of discussions about identity and orientation happened.

Writing a 'bisexual' book was, for most of my early writing career, equivalent to saying, "I'd like no recognition or sales for this book that is not nonfiction or erotica, thanks." Hard to find publishers, no awards, very, very few reviews, very difficult to find an audience. Which is how the first edition of SILVER MOON got slotted into "lesfic," which is short for "lesbian fiction." This is not a bad thing, but it runs into a common genre convention that all "lesfic = romance." So my little book about questioning and changing and finding yourself and turning into an awesome werewolf was not sufficiently romantic for the lesfic market, but too romantic for the fantasy or horror markets. It did okay despite this, but I have some scathing reviews from people who expected a different sort of book. 

Fast forward to this year and I had the chance to make some very necessary updates to the original book and re-release it. Re-releases are not popular with book awards or reviewers so there are still some significant challenges. Also, when you release a book into Smashwords, Ingram, etc., your choices are "gay" or "lesbian," not "considering bisexuality" or equivalent. But it seems to be finding some of its people and for that, I am very grateful.

Artistic bitterness, because I promised! So 7 books, 90 or so short stories, several juried awards, most of them queer-specific, articles and so forth should make me semi-famous, right? Sometimes! And yet! I'm literally looking at two upcoming events in my own city where I've been passed over as a guest. Deliberate malice? Probably not. But I'm too old/too female/too small press/too whatever, so somehow my work doesn't count and I spend a fair amount of time as an "also ran."

Some fun stories: when MOON first came out, I did a reading with a hot young lesbian author and local bi conference organizers very enthusiastically and purposefully ignored me and invited her to come and perform at the conference.


Not too long thereafter, I had a contretemps with a con com member from an unrelated con when I asked why my number never came up for writer GOH. I was offered a quid pro quo arrangement in which I could be writer GOH...if I slept with that person. It was not, of course, clearly laid out that way, but after I politely refused, I strongly suspect that the person they did ask for the next year was not asked to put out for the privilege. So, good times. I don't talk about the bad stuff as a rule because I'm a "living well is the best revenge" kind of gal, but yes, weird crap happens to me too. This kind of stuff, the publications that are looking for a specific "own voice," just not mine, which then turn around and choose a writer who riffs off my work, and all that other fun stuff, does sting, and I won't deny that.


But you know what? Someone thinks my work is good enough to put on a list of "must-read" books, I got some lovely fan mail from an unexpected source about some of my nonfiction, I'm working on a couple of new books and I've got some upcoming opportunities that I'm excited about. Take that, brain weasels and bad crap! And thanks, lovely Book Riot reviewer, for giving some great tools to combat the "why do I keep doing this to myself?" blues.

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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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After some consideration, I have realized that I cannot do 3 events in October, virtually back to back, then turn around and do World Fantasy in San Antonio in November. I'm bummed to not get to hang out with some awesome folks, but what between being in constant pain and wrangling odd crud since I got back (I'm on the mend, but slooowwwly), wrangling expenses and limited vacation time, I have to be somewhat realistic. So I have a WFC membership at the $150 rate and a transferable hotel room reservation - let me know if you're interested.

the good news is that I'm going to Arisia in January instead! Looking forward to seeing my Boston area and East Coast friends!

Other than, I'm wrangling stuff and getting prepped for my reading on 9/15 with author Rachel Gold at Boneshaker Books in Minneapolis, Queen of Swords Press tables at the WomenVenture Women Mean Business Marketplace on 10/14 and the Twin Cities Book Festival on10/15, followed by Sirens on 10/26-10/29. And some other events before and after. And writing - new books coming soon, more Queen of Swords Press stuff coming soon and more stuff in general!

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So many things! I'm embarking on draft 2 of my current gaming tie-in story -- more info when I can share it -- and now the sink is backed up, in a totally unrelated but tiresome event. At least I got the pesto made before that happened. Oooph.

Last weekend's shenanigans included Diversicon 25, which was...a mix of things. Hanging out with Melissa Scott was lovely and I got to introduce her to a number of my friends, who were all thrilled to meet her. We had lots of good conversations and a couple of fine panels. I also got to see some other friends who I haven't seen for far too long so that was lovely as well. On the less lovely side, a contingent of the Frenkel Fan Club turned up and apparently shared their enthusiasm with the room at large at the memorial panel for John Rezmerski (who definitely did not share their enthusiasm), Michael Levy and a longtime Diversicon fan. I missed the "fun" because I was on a competing panel, which was probably just as well. I also had to "guard" Melissa from some importuning which resulted in sulking. So many eyerolls. Never insist that anyone read your work when they are clearly otherwise engaged and are sending out very clear signals that this is not the time or the place. This is even more annoying when you clearly have the wrong person to begin with and are refusing to acknowledge it. There were some other behavior "issues" as well, and given that and all the recent deaths which I think made it a much lower energy and less pleasant con than some previous years, it was a hard weekend. I hope they can turn it around for next year.

In other news, I have seen Valerian and been mostly unimpressed. Pretty though. And trip planning is moving along. I've added a trip to Blue Lagoon, a Tom of Finland walking tour, a tour of Suomenlinna Fortress and we're discussing a tour of Stockholm and of course, tea. And the Abba Museum. Good times!

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 Next "Out of the Past" column up at Queer Sci-Fi. These are expanded from my original SF Signal posts, FYI, and I'm planning on increasing the timeline and talking about specific authors and works and such.


I am having a writing anniversary today! I've have just had my 20th story accepted for a Year's Best antho! I'm defining these as edited anthologies from a given year or publication with "Best" in the title.

So far, that's:

Best Lesbian Romance 2009 and 2011

Best of Luna Station Quarterly

Heiresses of Russ 2011

The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica - Vols. 4, 6 and 9

Ultimate Lesbian Erotica (Alyson Publications) - 1999 and 2001

Best Lesbian Erotica (Cleis Press) - 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017


And possibly something I'm forgetting, but hey, we'll call it even. At any rate, it's a milestone and I'm pretty proud of it. :-)))


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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.
catherineldf: (Default)
 Leaving tomorrow for WisCon, where I'll have a late Friday night reading, two Saturday panels, one on small press publishing and one on women and Gothic Horror and a newly discovered presentation on Monday morning at 8:30 on Aging in Speculative Fiction (fortunately, I have mylaptop with me). A Room of One's Own Bookstore will may have copies and DreamHaven Books definitely has copies of my new collection, OUT OF THIS WORLD: QUEER SPECULATIVE FICTION STORIES in the Dealer's Room. I'll have one or two copies on me as well as copies of RESPECTABLE HORROR, and Jana will have boxes and books in the Art Show.

Queen of Swords Press will be tabling and I'll be reading at the Queer Voices Pride Month Book Fair and Reading at the
Minneapolis Central Library on 6/27. They're doing some great programming this month!

The print edition of SILVER MOON is in progress and is going to be purty! And I should have an announcement on the StoryBundle soon. I also got a bio request for the Helsinki Worldcon Program so fingers crossed for panel assignments. In Sirens Conference news, Nivair Gabriel and I have submitted a round table proposal. I'm also waiting to hear back Diversicon and World Fantasy and have other events in the offing.

In other news, weird foot pain is weird and will get medical attention soon, new toilet is glorious and some day, if it stops raining, there will be new asphalt by the garage. Also, hoping to go back to writing new fiction REAL SOON NOW. 

See you at WisCon?

catherineldf: (Default)
My menopausal werewolf novel, SILVER MOON, originally came out in 2012. It got some decent reviews, including one in Publisher's Weekly. It debuted at WisCon and John Scalzi let me do a Big Idea post the weekend of the con and a lot of people bought it ("a lot" by small press standards). I talked to a number of book clubs, got on several podcasts and got generally kind responses. The book was a finalist for the first ever Bisexual Book Awards in the Speculative Fiction Category and a finalist for the Goldie Awards for Lesbian Literature in the Science Fiction and Category.

Then my life went to hell in a handbasket for a while. The planned sequel got sidetracked. I broke up with my previous publisher due to irreconcilable differences. Hurricane Mom descended, with the resulting impacts to time, money, energy and sanity. I nearly signed a three book contract for a different series, which got planned out with proposals and all, and then didn't happen because the publisher imploded. Plus, you know, stuff.

Fast forward to 2017, when the world is falling apart, but my personal universe is limping along, so far. I've finally gotten the small press that I've been working on for the last two years off the ground. Queen of Swords Press is about to release its third title; I'm working my way through my backlist (1 novel, 90 short stories, etc.) as well as some stories and books that haven't been released yet. Once I understand a few things a bit better, I'll open up to some submissions and we'll see how it goes. Starting with my backlist enables me to do some fundraising at the same time that I promote my own writing and learn how to do some stuff. So it works out all around, hopefully.

Which brings us back to SILVER MOON. So this was my first published novel. Hell, it was even my first completed novel. I developed it from an earlier novella and I pantsed like a wild thing through it. I had some great ideas, some not great ideas and some "I'm totally getting back to this" moments that never happened. Unsurprisingly, this resulted in miscellaneous problems, some of which got called out in reviews and discussions with readers (my sincere apologies for the more egregious issues). What's new in this version? There's a new cover by Terry Roy (who I heartily recommend). It's about 3300 words longer than the original. I changed a character name and a couple of scenes. I fixed typos and added more description and hopefully, more depth and much better transitions. Is it still basically the same story? Yep. Did I add smoking hot sex scenes between Becca and Erin? Nope. That wasn't the story I set out to write and shoehorning them into this book wouldn't have worked. On the bright side, now I have the outline for BLOOD MOON, the long-intended sequel, in my head and will be getting back to it forthwith. There's a third book that I'm contemplating as well. So, basically, things are going to back to where they should have been in late 2012, only I've written a lot more since then and am arguably a better writer. I completed a different novel in the meantime and have done a bunch of writing on another, so there'll be more books soon.

And we'll see how things go from there. Many thanks for the folks who believed in me and my werewolves and have been encouraging me all along! You rock!

Also, I should note that the ebook versions of both SILVER MOON and OUT OF THIS WORLD; QUEER SPECULATIVE FICTION STORIES will be featured in a Pride month Storybundle featuring works by Melissa Scott and other fine writers so please stay tuned for updates.


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