Reading: Summer Night in Durham

This short urban fantasy story originally appeared in Stamps, Vamps, and Tramps, edited by Shannon Robinson. It takes place in Durham, North Carolina, and involves a tattoo artist who’s got a different purpose in mind than her latest client does. It seemed like it would be a fun Halloween story to share!

Like, subscribe, comment, and share if you like what I’m doing!

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Video: Interview with Shoshana Edwards

I interviewed Shoshana Edwards, author of Death Lives in the Water: A Harper’s Landing Story from Ring of Fire Press and A Roman Wilderness of Pain. We talk about her writing, neurolinguistics, and current political rhetoric.

Shoshana Edwards was born in rural Oregon, attended Portland State University and California State University, Los Angeles. She later earned advanced degrees in English and Rhetoric. Now retired, she lives near Portland, Oregon where she continues to write.

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Video: Reading Three Wishes

Here’s a reading of “Three Wishes.”

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Video: Weird Classes for October

Here’s some of the weirder stuff coming up for the Rambo Academy this month:

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Rambo Academy Campus Calendar for October

Thursday, October 1
Co-working 8:30-10:30 AM
Handicrafts/Journaling 1-2 PM
Co-working 6:30-8:30 PM

Friday, October 2
Clean and chat, 10-11 AM
Co-working 1-3 PM
Cat Reads at Cmonfluence at 2 PM
SFWA Panel 4 PM

Saturday, October 3
Power and Politics in Worldbuilding: Schemes, Factions, and Culture with Michael R. Underwood, Saturday, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time.

Sunday, October 4
Get Weird! How to Make Your Fiction Original, Compelling, and Deeply Weird with Evan J. Peterson, Sunday, October 4, 2020, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time.

Monday, October 5
Co-working 1-3 PM

Tuesday, October 6
Co-working 8:30-10:30 AM
Co-working 6:30-8:30 PM

Wednesday, October 7
Writing games 9-10 AM
Co-working 1-3 PM
Story discussion group 4-5 PM (story is “Full Chicken Richness” by Avram Davidson)

Thursday, October 8
Co-working 8:30-10:30 AM
Handicrafts/Journaling 1-2 PM
Co-working 6:30-8:30 PM

Friday, October 9
Clean and chat, 10-11 AM
Co-working 1-3 PM
Join Cat in another adventure with Petra Cinis on the ArvanEleron twitch channel, starting at 6 PM Pacific time!

Saturday, October 10
A Mixed Bag: Combining and Manipulating Genre Conventions with Tracy Townsend, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time.
Writing Steampunk and Weird Western with Cat Rambo, 1:00-3:00 PM Pacific Time.

Sunday, October 11
Letting the I Ching Write Your Story for You with Henry Lien, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time.
Writing Fight Scenes with Marie Brennan, 1:00-3:00 PM Pacific Time.

Monday, October 12
Co-working 1-3 PM

Tuesday, October 13
Co-working 8:30-10:30 AM
Co-working 6:30-8:30 PM

Wednesday, October 14
Story discussion group 9-10 AM (story is “The Ugly Chickens” by Howard Waldrop)
Co-working 1-3 PM
Writing games 4-5 PM

Thursday, October 15
Co-working 8:30-10:30 AM
Handicrafts/Journaling 1-2 PM
Co-working 6:30-8:30 PM

Friday, October 16
Clean and chat, 10-11 AM
Co-working 1-3 PM

Saturday, October 17
Queer is a Verb: Disrupting the Norm with Evan J. Peterson, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time.
Literary Techniques for Speculative Fiction with Cat Rambo, 1:00-3:00 PM Pacific Time.
Cat leads a team for the Clarion West Trivia Night!

Sunday, October 18
There may be ad hoc co-writing, but it’s Wayne’s birthday, so Chez Rambo denizens are taking most of the day off.

The work week from Oct 19-23 is writing sprint challenge! Join Cat and Jennifer Brozek in an epic battle for wordcount every weekday from 1-3 PM Pacific time. There may be prizes for participants.

Monday, October 19
Wordcount challenge: 1-3 PM (You are also welcome to just co-work)

Tuesday, October 20
Co-working 8:30-10:30 AM
Wordcount challenge: 1-3 PM (You are also welcome to just co-work)
Co-working 6:30-8:30 PM

Wednesday, October 21
Writing games 9-10 AM
Wordcount challenge: 1-3 PM (You are also welcome to just co-work)
Story discussion group 4-5 PM (story is “The Ugly Chickens” by Howard Waldrop)

Thursday, October 22
Co-working 8:30-10:30 AM
Wordcount challenge: 1-3 PM (You are also welcome to just co-work)
Co-working 6:30-8:30 PM

Friday, October 23
Clean and chat, 10-11 AM
Wordcount challenge: 1-3 PM (You are also welcome to just co-work)

Saturday, October 24
Horror in Games with Monica Valentinelli, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time.
Working in Other Worlds: Writing for Franchises with Jennifer Brozek, 1:00-3:00 PM Pacific Time.

Sunday, October 25
Crimson Peaks and Menacing Mansions with Catherine Lundoff, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time.
Creating an Online Presence for Writers with Cat Rambo, 1:00-3:00 PM Pacific Time.

Monday, October 26
Co-working 1-3 PM

Tuesday, October 27
Co-working 8:30-10:30 AM
Co-working 6:30-8:30 PM

Wednesday, October 28
Story discussion group 9-10 AM (story TBD)
Co-working 1-3 PM
Writing games 4-5 PM

Thursday, October 29
Co-working 8:30-10:30 AM
Handicrafts/Journaling 1-2 PM
Co-working 6:30-8:30 PM

Friday, October 30
Clean and chat, 10-11 AM
Co-working 1-3 PM

Saturday, October 31
Principles for Pantsers (Special NaNo Prep Edition!) with Cat Rambo, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time.
The Algorithms of Storytelling: Design Patterns and Fiction with Cat Rambo and Wayne Rambo, 1:00-3:00 PM Pacific Time.

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Video: Writing for Franchises with Jennifer Brozek

Jennifer Brozek is a multi-talented, award-winning author, editor, and media tie-in writer. She is the author of the Never Let Me Sleep, and The Last Days of Salton Academy, both of which were nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. Her BattleTech tie-in novel, The Nellus Academy Incident, won a Scribe Award. Her editing work has netted her Bram Stoker Award and Hugo Award nominations. She won the Australian Shadows Award for the Grants Pass anthology. Jennifer’s short form work has appeared in Apex Publications, Uncanny Magazine, and in anthologies set in the worlds of Valdemar, Shadowrun, V-Wars, Masters of Orion, and Predator. Jennifer is also the Creative Director of Apocalypse Ink Productions.

In this interview, Jennifer talks about writing for franchises, including Shadowrun and Valdemar, what has surprised her about the process, what worlds she hasn’t written in but would like to, and which of her original worlds would make the best franchise, as well as what advice she’d give to people working in it.

Jennifer teaches Working in Other Worlds: Writing for Franchises with Jennifer Brozek, for the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers. The next class will be Saturday, October 24, 2020, 1:00-3:00 PM Pacific Time.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to write fiction for your favorite RPG, movie, TV series, videogame, or comic book? The Writing for Franchises workshop can give you an idea of what it is like to write in a universe you do not own—the benefits, the pitfalls, and some of the details you should be aware of. This workshop is focused around writing short stories, novellas, and novels for popular franchises such as Shadowrun, V-Wars, Predator, Master of Orion, and Valdemar.

More information about the class

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Guest Post: Mike Baron on Horror Comics

Cover of Nexus Origin.Literature is the best medium for horror, and comics are the worst. Literature succeeds because of the power of words to suggest, to take you ninety percent there, and leave that final ten percent up to you. The horror we imagine in the darkness of our minds far exceeds anything that can be set down on paper in words or pictures. We love horror because it allows us to exorcise our fears in a safe and fun manner. It usually delivers a moral epiphany, as Mary Shelley intended.

There’s also existential horror with no good guys or bad guys, like The Devil’s Rejects. Without a moral epiphany no film can hope to reach a wider audience. Exorcist is not only the scariest movie ever made, it’s one of the most moral.
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Video: Interview with David Steffen

If you’re not familiar with the Submission Grinder, it’s a web utility that many genre writers spend a lot of time staring at. I thought it would be interesting to talk to David about how the Grinder came about and what it does.

Other links referenced in the video:
“Hakim Vs. the Sweater Curse” by Rachael K. Jones
“The Dictionary For Dreamers” by Cislyn Smith

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New Book, and Various Exhortations of an Inspirational Nature

This is an elaboration of the first part of my most recent newsletter, because I wanted to spread the message a bit farther, and expand on some of it. If you want to see the rest of the newsletter, which has class news and a giveaway for a copy of the new book, it’s here.

It’s always exciting for me when a project comes out, and particularly when it’s an actual book. Last week marked a special “book birthday” because my collaboration with James Morrow and Harry Turtledove, And the Last Trump Shall Sound, came out. I wrote the novella pre-pandemic, and it was an interesting challenge in multiple ways, partly because of the subject matter and where it is placed in time and partly because of the wildly different natures of the three novellas.
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Guest Post: Carrie Vaughn on That Ineffable Quality of Voice

Ask many writers what got them to the next level, what separates great writers from good writers, sparkling writing from the merely competent, and they’ll often give the same answer: voice. A voice that stands out, that grabs the reader and yanks them in. The thing that makes an author’s writing completely their own.

Of course, nobody can agree exactly on what “voice” means. I’ve collected a few quotes:

“Voice is the author’s style, the quality that makes his or her writing unique, and which conveys the author’s attitude, personality, and character; or. Voice is the characteristic speech and thought patterns of the narrator of a work of fiction.”
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