blog posts and messiness

Wherein I wrote a post about Writing in Secondary Worlds.

House is rather insanely messy with construction, but tools are slowly coming out of the basement and items of ours are slowly going back in, so that's progress, damn it.

Head is rather insanely messy with revisions of ENEMY. I'm halfway through a very comprehensive edit. Hope to push through in the next few days.

Also, big news coming. Stay tuned.


This is a response I left to several comments I read on a private email loop, though it also responds to a much of what I've seen discussed about the #AskELJames event.  I read a little of the hashtag; my time has been limited. Much of what I saw was snarky and actually clever and funny to me because of my personal thoughts on the series.  Some was downright trollish and mean, of course. I have yet to learn how and if she responded to such comments. Feel free to enlighten me here or make other comments, though I can't promise a quick response because holiday. :)


While I can't condone some of the behavior, the conversation some (snarky)comments sparks is legitimate, particularly in the realm of misrepresenting the BDSM culture, perpetration of rape culture, misogyny,  and the disturbing psychopathic characterization depicted and glorified  in the story.  At least in SFF we are very much in the habit of discussing the social aspects and ramifications of the stories in our genre. Maybe crime fiction (which is where I personally would shelve the books) or in romance, that isn't the habit.  And yes, SFF gets our fair share of snark and trolls and disagreements during social issue discussions. (Google Gamergate and Sad Puppies/Hugo to see what I mean.)

Just because someone writes something snarky or rude on the internet doesn't always mean jealousy.  I think the writing style and popularity of the work is a conversation definitely worth having, whether we find the writing and subject matter "good" or not. Instead of responding with "you're jealous" why not ask, if someone crits the work, Why do you think it is so popular? What about the story appealed to today's culture? How important is sentence stringing compared to story? All really interesting writerly topics, at least to me.

Re: Twitter. It has a different look and feel than other online and personal interactions, but it doesn't mean the conversations there aren't worth having. Twitter is not all soundbites and snark, and to claim that shows probable ignorance. Language and conversational style are dynamic and living; Twitter is a great example of that. 

​I totally disagree with the "blame the victim" "she should have known better" attitude. It's  old-fashioned, narrow-minded, unrealistic, fails to recognize the constant barrage of hate many women experience online, and most importantly, ignores that folks are  still are out there having lots of fun and worthy interactions.   Of course assholes exist on the internet; I have no doubt the author and her publicists are well aware of them and of the negative opinions surrounding her work. Newsflash: we all experience that. But the very second we STOP talking and putting ourselves out there (or doing so in a pay-to-play/limited/victim-role-assuming/paranoid way) is the very day the assholes win. 

denver comic con

I know, this blog has become more of a "Where's Waldo?" than comments and thoughts. I still have comments and thoughts but not the writing energy to put them down here because I'm wrapped up in fiction words. Not that I'm not interested, but it's an energy drain and I'm realizing the next few years with kids doing middle schooly and high schooly and collegey (gulp) things, my energy is a limited thing.

That said, there is a soon chance to see me in the wild! 
Denver Comic Con

I got a slew of things to yap about: 

12:55 Room 205   Tales from the Slush Pile
3:15   Room 205   Strong Women in Film and Fiction
6:00   Room 203   Characters who Don't Suck

12:55 Room 505   Harassment Happens (at cons)
2:30   Room 203   That's a Laugh - Writing Humor 
3:15   Room 402   Star Wars: How will Disney alter the Universe
4:25   Room 205   Writing Sequels and the Series

12:10 Room 203  Developing Systems of Magic
4:25   Room 402 Wish You Were There: Worldbuilding

It's worth noting the con is of epic proportions for Denver, reaching 60K+ folks. THERE ARE LINES FOR EVERY PANEL and the con is stringent about only allowing as many butts are there are chairs. Plan accordingly. 

in other news

I've been asked a few times if you need to read Exile first before reading Emissary. I really don't think so. I did my best to write a story that can stand on its own.

Administrative publicity stuff:

There's a Goodreads giveaway for Emissary. It ends in three days.

I know it's early days of the release, but if you've read the book, leaving an honest review on various sites really does help. Emissary is available at Barnes and Noble now. In Boulder it was under Science Fiction New Releases. :)  Of course it's available everywhere, but if you want a copy in your hot little hands TODAY, your local B&N will probably have it.

On the work front:

I'm continuing to plug away at Enemy. There's a lot of emotion in the story so it's tough to get just right. I think, hope, it will be an awesome conclusion to the series.

We're about to meet for Electric Spec's next issue. WOOT. It's tough to believe I've been doing this for ten years. Sometimes I want to quit and then I start reading the great stories and I'm all STAYING.

My girlie-child got sick so our dragon contest was delayed. I hope to get that squared away and up and running next week. :)

skiffy and fanty interview

I had so much fun talking to Paul and Shaun at Skiffy and Fanty the other night, and the interview is already up! We talk about Emissary, fight scenes, writing women, politics, and editing, among other things.


Fantasy Fights 7 SF Room 2

Signing 12  
Objectification in SF 2 Saturday SF Room 2
Pro tips: Word Counts 4 Saturday SF Room 1

Signing 10  
Geek parenting 11 Sunday SF Room 1

Otherwise at the bar and parties. I'm wearing lace. I'll look innocent. It'll be awesome.

a few notes

I've submitted items for auction at Con or Bust. When I get links and deets they'll post here and everywhere. Con or Bust helps support diversity at cons. You can read more about it here. You also can submit items for auction too!

I'm going to be at Mary Robinette Kowel's blog today talking about my favorite bit of Emissary.

I've gotten contacted by a few folks looking for Emissary in B&N. I've been told by stores they are ordered, but scheduled a bit late? No idea why... we'll see what happens. It does help to ask; it helps me and it helps the book and it helps you get the book. :)

I had a thing happen last night. Briefly met a hardwood floor guy (we're doing lots o' remodeling this summer so expect bitching and moaning until it's finished; I'm a homebody) and he was not white. The event is rare enough here where I live (I don't have demographics, but seriously, I go actual days without seeing a POC) and I instantly had this surreal urge to give him the business. He also was young, and I like to support both. But what's strange, and kind of wonderful, is that I had the sense of sea-tide in my thinking and habits, which means brain chemistry. I spend a lot of time talking diversity, right? So my brain is getting trained to spot it and encourage it. You can change your thinking, your literal frame of mind, just by practice. I've done it before on purpose. But this time there's not been much meta-cognition around it; it's just happening. Cool. Actually, for me, it felt a bit like stretching and contracting muscle memory. Because I used to work with diverse kids so much and I lived in a prejudiced area, I had to acknowledge and overcome (to my best ability) my own prejudices.

And a final note: I get a METRIC SHIT TON of requests to support kickstarters and the like, both requests for financial support and publicity. I very rarely do either, and it's my choice when I do. Being asked almost guarantees a no unless we are good analog friends and I get so many requests there's no way for me support even half or a quarter of them. And honestly, I'm not sure I'm all into the public backing gig. I'm not against it, per se, but something about it rubs me wrong and I haven't had time nor inclination to dig into why. I just tend to leave it at, "It works for others. Cool." Anyway, I suppose I should start a policy page or something.

Last note, for realz, I am planning on revamping and moving the website at some point this year, so there hasn't been a ton of updating and probably won't be.