Fiction Reading: The Silent Familiar

Was thinking about Halloween and ended up taping this story.

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Rambo Academy Campus Calendar for November

November’s a lighter month than most, because I’m taking a two week vacation for my birthday. I’ve tried to make sure everything continues as normal for the most part during that time, which is November 2 through the 15th. Zoom links will be posted on Patreon and Discord; events are open to Patreon supporters, subscribers, and other denizens of the Chez Rambo Discord server. All times are Pacific.

Sunday, November 1
Worldbuilding as a Banquet with Fran Wilde, 9:30-11:30 AM
Unique Concepts with Henry Lien, 1-5 PM (class is full)

Monday, November 2
Morning Co-working for Feral Writers 8:30-10:30 AM
I’ve got the session set up; people should be able to join without me, but I will be double-checking to make sure it works. This is a Lord of the Flies situation; it’s up to participants to elect someone to lead check-ins, or else just all write together.
Afternoon Co-working led by Jennifer Brozek 1-3 PM

Tuesday, November 3
Morning Co-working for Feral Writers 8:30-10:30 AM
Evening Co-working led by P.J. Manney 6:30-8:30 PM

Wednesday, November 4
Morning Co-working for Feral Writers 8:30-10:30 AM
Afternoon Co-working led by Jennifer Brozek 1-3 PM
Writing Games and Prompts with Monica Valentinelli 4-5 PM
Bring a prompt or not, but come prepared to write!

Thursday, November 5
Morning Co-working for Feral Writers 8:30-10:30 AM
Journaling and Handicrafts with Monica Valentinelli 1-2 PM
Evening Co-working led by P.J. Manney 6:30-8:30 PM

Friday, November 6
Morning Co-working for Feral Writers 8:30-10:30 AM
Clean and chat with P.J. Manney 10-11 AM
Afternoon Co-working led by Jennifer Brozek 1-3 PM

Saturday, November 7
Any events will be impromptu.

Sunday, November 8
Flash Fiction Workshop guest taught by Evan J. Peterson, 1:00-3:00 PM

Monday, November 9
Morning Co-working for Feral Writers 8:30-10:30 AM
Afternoon Co-working led by Jennifer Brozek 1-3 PM

Tuesday, November 10
Morning Co-working for Feral Writers 8:30-10:30 AM
Evening Co-working led by P.J. Manney 6:30-8:30 PM

Wednesday, November 11
Morning Co-working for Feral Writers 8:30-10:30 AM
Afternoon Co-working led by Jennifer Brozek 1-3 PM
Writing Games and Prompts with Monica Valentinelli 4-5 PM

Thursday, November 12
Morning Co-working for Feral Writers 8:30-10:30 AM
Journaling and Handicrafts with Monica Valentinelli 1-2 PM
Evening Co-working led by P.J. Manney 6:30-8:30 PM

Friday, November 13
Morning Co-working for Feral Writers 8:30-10:30 AM
Clean and chat with P.J. Manney 10-11 AM
Afternoon Co-working led by Jennifer Brozek 1-3 PM

Saturday, November 14
Cat’s Birthday! There will be virtual cake and a chance to hang out on Zoom; link and times will be on Discord and Patreon.

Sunday, November 15
Stay the Course workshop with Evan J. Peterson. You’re halfway through the month, do you need a dose of encouragement, creativity, and enthusiasm? In this two hour workshop, Evan will help you figure out how to keep going, and how what you’ve accomplished already can be used to guide the next two weeks.

Monday, November 16
Kickoff Day for Week of Words and Thunder! During co-working, you are welcome to participate in the word sprint races. At the end of the week there will be special prizes for the top three as well as the three people who come closest to the average number of words, as well as participation prizes. You are welcome to come and do other work in order to watch what’s going on.

Words and Thunder Session #1 1-3 PM

Tuesday, November 17
Morning co-working 8:30-10:30
Words and Thunder Session #2 1-3 PM
Evening co-working 6:30-8:30 PM

Wednesday, November 18
Writing Games 9-10 AM
Words and Thunder Session #3 1-3 PM
Story Discussion 4-5
Cat reads with William Gibson as part of the KGB Reading series

Thursday, November 19
Morning co-working 8:30-10:30
Words and Thunder Session #4 1-3 PM
Evening co-working 6:30-8:30 PM

Friday, November 20
Morning clean and chat 10-11 AM
Words and Thunder Session #5 1-3 PM

Saturday, November 21
Reading Like a Writer with Tracy Townsend, 9:30-11:30 AM
Hooray for Evil: Fearsome Monsters and Effective Villains with Evan J. Peterson, 1:00-3:00 PM

Sunday, November 22
In Flagrante Delicto: Writing Effective Sex Scenes with Catherine Lundoff, 9:30-11:30 AM
Moving from Idea to Finished Draft with Cat Rambo, 1:00-3:00 PM
Monday, November 23
Afternoon co-working 1-3 PM

Tuesday, November 24
Morning co-working 8:30-10:30 AM
Evening co-working 6:30-8:30 PM

Wednesday, November 25
Story discussion group 9-10
Afternoon co-working 1-3 PM
Writing games 4-5 PM

Thursday, November 26
Morning co-working 8:30-10:30
Handicrafts/journaling 1-2 PM
Evening co-working 6:30-8:30 PM

Friday, November 27
Morning clean and chat 10-11 AM
Afternoon co-working 1-3 PM

Saturday, November 28
Dunking Your Reader in the Details: Toolsets for Creating Immersive Worlds with Cat Rambo, 9:30-11:30 AM

Sunday, November 29
Setting the Stakes: How to Pull the Reader (and Yourself) Through the Story with Tobias Buckell, 9:30-11:30 AM (class is full)
Diversity Plus: East Asian Storytelling Forms and Themes with Henry Lien,1:00-3:00 PM

Monday, November 30
Afternoon co-working 1-3 PM

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Vacationing, plus Reinvented Heart Update

Mentioned this on Patreon yesterday and putting it here now. I’m taking November 2 through the 15th off and going to chillax and recuperate a bit. I’ve got that section of time blocked off in my schedule with big letters that say “DO NOT SCHEDULE” and I’ve managed (for the most part) to avoid doing so.

Here’s the anthology update so you don’t have to wade through the rest for it. Yes, the anthology is still happening, but right now I’m working to get it handed off to someone else who has more bandwidth (and organizational skills) but everything should go as planned. But I am gently easing much of it off my plate.

Why? Because I’m tired. So tired. Between teaching and Zoom sessions I haven’t had a single day where I wasn’t working in one form or another in recent months. I’ve been keeping on keeping on unrelentingly since the beginning of 2020 and I need to spend two weeks recharging after 10 months of staying cheerful and finishing two books and a bunch of stories in the face of the pandemic, dealing with the death of two close loved ones, an attempt to move to Portland that fell through, a lot of ongoing online harassment, and the general state of American politics.
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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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