Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pitches and Synopses Workshop: Some Highlights

[View the story “Pitches and Synopses Workshop with Jennifer Brozek” on Storify]

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Cat’s Schedule at GenCon 2017

Thursday 10 AM Story Craft: Where Do You Begin Your Story? 12 PM Writing 101: Careers – What a Writing Career Looks Like Friday Lunch plans 5 PM Business of Writing: Handling Problem People — From Divas to Needy Fans … Continue reading

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Cussin’ in Secondary Worlds

Cussin’ in Secondary Worlds Saturday, June 10, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time Cursewords, expletives, and more – those things your characters say when nothing else will do – tells you more about the world (including issues of class, cultural taboos, and … Continue reading

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Upping the Number of Plunkett Slots

Something I’m trying to do this year is pay things forward as much as possible. Recent technological upgrades means I can now fit more than 8-9 people in a class (can now handle up to twice that many, which is more suited to some classes than others), so I figured one way to do that is to make more class slots available to people who couldn’t otherwise afford the class.

So, each class now has three Plunkett scholarship slots, the third of which is specifically reserved for QUILTBAG and POC applicants. Everyone is encouraged to apply, but I want to make sure it’s getting to a diverse range. The only qualification for a Plunkett is this: you would not be able to afford the class otherwise. Just mail me with the name/date of the class and 1-3 sentences about why you want to take it.
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Reading Doc Savage: The Spook Legion

We return to a gentler, more innocent world again with Doc Savage number 16: The Spook Legion. In the intervening time since Quest of Qui, they’ve undergone adventures The Fantastic Island, Land of Always-Night, and Murder Melody. For people interested in undertaking their own reads, here’s an excellent post about which Doc Savage books to start with.

On the red-toned cover, Doc confronts a machine with what seems to be a cabalistic gesture of some sort. Maybe just jazz hands; the cover artist was fond of a particular kind of pose. Careful ok shows Doc is in the process of turning insibile; the bricks behind him are starting to show through.

Author Lester Dent tries to pull off some tricky stuff in this book and it sometimes trips him up, unfortunately. How much that actually affects the book is something I’ll leave to you to judge. It’s also a fairly convoluted book, presenting the information as though sliding things into place to give us the final picture. You have to respect Dent’s ability to plot and willingness to just go all the way with the weirdness at times.
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Free Halloween Story: The Silent Familiar

This is a fantasy story I wrote a while back for a Halloween story contest. It’s reprinted in fantasy collection Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight. The Silent Familiar The Wizard Niccolo was not happy. At the age of … Continue reading

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Nattering Social Justice Cook: Be Kind to Yourself

Being a little silly sometimes is also good for one’s mental health.[/caption]Gail Z. Martin has organized the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign, and when she asked me about participating, it seemed important to add another voice.

In knocking around this world, one of the few things that has sunk in well enough to make it a daily maxim is this, “Be kind to yourself, because you can depend on yourself.” Build a treat into your day that is aimed at increasing your happiness in some small way: lunch outside, a long walk, that book on Amazon you want every once in a while.

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Class Excerpt: On Creating a Story When You Have the Plot

I’m finishing up the year by trying to wrap up writing the on-demand version of my Moving from Idea to Draft class. This is a tough translation, because the live class depends heavily on what the students have brought: I try to help them go deeper into the idea each has brought to class and show them ways of fleshing it out.

For the on-demand class, what I’m doing is looking at each of the various ways I’ve seen stories develop and doing a section on each, looking at what it is, what it gives you to help with fleshing out the story, possible trouble spots, some ways to proceed with it, and then two or three exercises to refine skills with that, each with a basic and then an overachiever version, a model I used with the Description and Delivering Information class. There’s twenty-three sections altogether, but here’s the section on starting with a plot, minus the exercises.
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Early December Stuff

In recent news, I’ve got some stuff in recent bundles. The VanderMeer Winter Mix Tape Bundle includes The Bestiary, which holds my piece, Tongues-of-Moon Toad, and The Other Half of Sky, edited by Athena Andreadis, and containing space opera piece “Dagger and Mask.” The Holiday Fantasy Bundle includes my Christmas R-rated story, “He Knows When You’re Awake” in Naughty or Nice, edited by Jennifer Brozek

At the same time the current HumbleBundle holds one of the things that I’m happiest about from this year, Ad Astra: The SFWA 50th Anniversary Cookbook, along with a lot of other great stuff.

I talked about reading the classics in an Another Word piece for Clarkesworld Magazine. What prompted me to write it? Because there’s been a lot of discussion of the classics as though pointing out problems with a piece is the same as crossing it off the list of stuff to be read. I talked about the decision to change the World Fantasy Award bust back in January for Clarkesworld and emphasized that yeah, you can read H.P. Lovecraft and yet not want to accept an award bearing his face, and moreover, your objections could be pretty complicated and nuanced.

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Give Someone Something Classy For the Holidays

Interested in giving someone a Cat Rambo-themed holiday present? Here’s three ways to do it: Give a gift certificate usable for my on-demand writing classes, including brand new Description and Delivering Information for Genre Writers, each $29 for December. Give … Continue reading

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