Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Working Away Plus Teaser from “Paladin of Anger, Paladin of Peace”

I am grimly determined to finish Hearts of Tabat before the end of this year: I have my list of scenes and will get them finished by November 15, then crunch through a quick and hasty polish and get that to beta readers. At the same time I’m working on a couple of bespoke stories, several collaborations, and a few stories for Patreon.

Here’s a piece from this morning’s work on a Tabat story that is somewhat connected to the events in Hoofsore and Weary, which appeared in Shattered Shields.
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WIP: Teaser From “In My Brain Were Stored a Thousand Pictures”

Malady could understand the concept of the artificial hand and how useful it could be in this life, but she didn’t understand why they put so much emphasis on it at first.
After two weeks at University, though, she did, because here they spent most of their time in meat life and very little in mind life, even in classes. And when they went into mind life, the things they got there were like the meat hand to Malanie – fripperies, seldom used.

Still, even here, plenty of other ways to do things presented themselves: rather than reach your hand for food, have it come to you in a floating dish or handed to you by a helper, probably mechanical but here they even had human helpers, which was truly odd to her way of thinking.

She said as much to her roommate Michelle. Michelle was short and peppy and purple-haired today, with turquoise stars over her cat-pupiled eyes. While her appearance changed from time to time – she had full mods, the best old money could buy – she was invariably a combination of irritated and amused at her scholarship roommate’s oddities. She said, “For gosh sakes, Mal, surely you want to do things for yourself? That’s what humans do.”

“That’s what humans do,” was one of her more frequent expressions, along with “That’s just how it is” and “That’s how they always do it.” The latter two had figured plentifully in her orientation conversations with Malady, who’d spent her flight and taxi ride in her Memory Palace and had only fully come into meat when Melanie demanded it.
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Patreon Story: Snakes on A Train (Steampunk)

Hello! If you’re new to this blog, this story is part of my Patreon campaign, which you can support here. This story is a prequel to Her Windowed Eyes, Her Chambered Heart; I’m working on a third involving Elspeth and … Continue reading

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Retreat, Day 22

Today I am letting myself slack a little, feeling caught up from the weekend’s excesses and so I can game tonight. Today’s wordcount: 2592 Current Hearts of Tabat wordcount: 119954 Total word count for the week so far (day 3): … Continue reading

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Being Epic

I’m getting ready to head off to the Nebulas in about an hour. Ten years ago at this time, I was getting ready to go off to Clarion West for six weeks. I’d quit my job at Microsoft and my … Continue reading

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