Tag Archives: #sfwapro

Home Stretch For Hearts of Tabat

So my promise to myself is that the sequel to Beasts of Tabat, Hearts of Tabat, will be DONE by November 14th, which is my birthday, and which I plan to spend with Skyrim and a nice sativa (legal here in the marvelous land of WA) and not one ounce of work throughout the day as a thank you to me for working my butt off the last six weeks and getting this DONE.

The book is scheduled to be released at Emerald City Comicon next year, so you may see why the time pressure has stepped up in intensity. I told myself I’d get it done this year, and I have, along with a whole bunch of stories, not one but two collections, the update of Creating an Online Presence for Writers, a bajillion trips, and opening the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers, including cool new classes from Rachel Swirsky and Juliette Wade, so I feel darn good about how much I got accomplished this year despite SFWA’s demanding maw chewing up my time on a consistent basis.

I thought, however, it would be useful perhaps to people to see what the last bits of work involve.
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Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 33 Comments

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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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Nattering Social Justice Cook: DIY Cooking Kits

Within the last few years, an industry has sprung up aimed at people who don’t know how to cook but yearn to do so. The basic model of such companies is that they deliver kits for making a homemade meal: the ingredients, with any pre-work like peeling or trimming already done, and a set of instructions that includes step by step photographs pretty enough to be in a food magazine.

I tried one of these services a year or two ago, lured by a good coupon deal, and did get some value out of it, but cancelled the subscription before they could start hitting me with the non-coupon costs. For someone utterly foreign to the idea of cooking, these might be useful to show how easy it is to create a tasty meal, or for someone scared of failure, they might build confidence. But the amount of wasteful packaging was striking, and that seems a bad thing to me. I don’t like creating garbage, because among other things, it means I must expend effort taking it out, but also because it’s bad for the planet.

The average American generates 4.3 pounds of garbage per day. That’s over a pound and a half over what the figure was in 1960. So we’ve gotten, overall, less efficient rather than more, while at the same time depending on resources that are diminishing.

Every one of the kits came in cardboard packaging around a styrofoam box with two large ice packs. I stuck a few of those ice packs away for re-use but there are only so many ice packs any household can use and they’re not recyclable because they’re filled with some sort of chemical solution. Every ingredient was packaged separately, down to tiny plastic bottles holding approximately a teaspoon of soy sauce. IF I had weighed the garbage against the end result, I would have found the garbage far in excess of the end result.

I think people should know how to cook, because it’s a skill that helps them make their life better in a number of ways. I freely acknowledge that people with few resources will have a hard time cooking, yet be in a position where the practice would benefit them tremendously. There are some low-cost appliances that can be of much use here, like a rice cooker, hot plate, or toaster oven, but using those efficiently takes a certain degree of skill and knowledge. These kits aren’t going to teach people some important basics, such as how to shop economically/efficiently, how to store ingredients, or how to prepare food.
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Posted in daily life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Fireside Fiction Report and SFWA

Like many folks, I read the Fireside Fiction report with dismay and anger, but not a lot of surprise. We’ve been talking on the SFWA Board about the findings this past week.

What can SFWA do about it? I could go in full guns blazing and demand that every editor involved in the situation resign and threaten to take markets off the Qualified List if they don’t shape up immediately. This action would, however, probably get nipped in the bud the minute I proposed it to the rest of the board. As I’ve noted before, SFWA is slow and hard to steer. Enforcement on this level is also difficult and impractical, I think, because this selection doesn’t usually happen in the open or in an overt way.
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Posted in SFWA | Tagged , , , | 41 Comments

What SFWA Offers Game Writers

n light of recent discussions, I wanted to jot down a few things that come to mind when what I think about SFWA has to offer game writers, because there’s actually quite a bit.
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Posted in SFWA | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments

SFWA is Many Things, But Not a Gelatinous Cube

I was looking at Twitter the other day and reading through mentions of the Nebula Conference Weekend, including celebration of our new Grandmaster C.J. Cherryh, when I hit a tweet saying something along the lines of, “I hope SFWA doesn’t think this excuses the choice of picking (another author) in the past”. The way the sentence struck me got me thinking about the sort of perception that allows that particular construction.

No, SFWA doesn’t think that. Because SFWA isn’t a person. It doesn’t think. Sometimes I like to imagine that SFWA. It lives in a basement somewhere and looks much like a pale green gelatinous cube, covered with lint and cat hair, and various unguessable things lurk in its murky depths, like discarded typewriter ribbons, empty Johnny Walker Black Label bottles, and that phone charging cable you lost a few weeks ago.
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Posted in SFWA | Tagged , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Your Online Presence: Is It Fun At Parties?

I’ve updated my book, Creating an Online Presence, and it’s part of this Storybundle of writing books. Since the Internet moves at the speed of pixels, I had a lot of work to do with the update, and it included adding a few essays. Here’s one of those additions, talking about how you present yourself online.
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Posted in blogging | Tagged , , , | 36 Comments

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers News: SFWA Chat Hour Debuting May 30, 2016, Noon Pacific Time

I talked to some folk about this at the Nebulas, and I finally figured I need to just go ahead and start making it happen. So starting May 30, every two weeks I’ll host a SFWA Chat Hour that will … Continue reading

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Storybundling the Write Stuff

I have several maxims that I have developed over the course of my writing career. One of them is, “If Kris Rusch invites you into a project, you say yes.” Because Kris is one of the people who understands independent publishing and its possibilities, and she is a savvy, savvy marketer.

When Kris came and asked about including my book Creating an Online Presence in a Storybundle, I was thrilled and also a little panicked, because I knew it had to be updated before it went in there. Too much had happened on the Internet in the two and a half years since I’d first put it up. I was also flattered that she thought the book was worth including, because I value her opinion.

And the truth is, if you’re a writer, you do need to at least think about this stuff enough to make an informed decision. If you’re being traditionally published, your publisher will probably expect you to be helping out with the marketing in the form of social media or other Internet efforts. Every book launch, for example, seems to involve a slew of guest blog posts and similar promotions.
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Posted in publishing | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Celebrating Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Almost a decade ago I was part of a terrific workshop run by Walter John Williams and Connie Willis in the Taos Ski Valley. It was a talented group, and the two week session was a happy blur of lots of writing, lots of critiquing, and lots and lots of shop talk, plus assorted movies and a lot of wine.

One of the participants mentioned that he planned to start a literary fantasy online magazine. Since he happened to like the stuff I was workshopping, I figured that would be a surefire sale. So as soon as he opened up the magazine, I fired off a submission.

And he rejected it, because he didn’t feel it had the right flavor for his magazine.
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Posted in online fiction | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments