sticky notes

January 22, 2016

How did we ever research anything before sticky notes?

research

tales from the road

January 13, 2016

At long last, my long (2000 words!) review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is live at Lightspeed.  Scroll down past the movie poster for the spoiler-filled version.

Reading over it again, three weeks after writing it and after seeing the movie twice more (including once with my brother in Oregon, which was a real treat), I think it’s a pretty good review.  Emotional and fangirlish, with analysis that doesn’t have an ax to grind.  I think that’s the problem I’ve been having with a lot of commentary about the movie:  chips on shoulders and axes to grind.  Stunt nitpicking.  I’m finding I just want to bask in the glow.  Enjoy being a fangirl again.  (That said, apparently if I want to know more about Poe Dameron I should be reading a bunch of comics and the new Star Wars novels coming out, and I don’t have time for that! Argh!)

Related to this, some news:  Starting with this review, I’m going to have a regular movie review column over at Lightspeed.  That makes me a professional movie reviewer.  Isn’t that cool?

My niece came to my signing in Salem.  She and her mom had to leave early (bedtime!), and I was still talking when she came up to me and gave me a hug and a kiss before she left.  I totally stopped to hug her back.  Because dude.  So freaking adorable.

I did actually go to a wildlife refuge in Oregon.  The Ankeny refuge south of Salem.  Saw a flock of 40+ tundra swans, which was spectacular.  I also brought snacks, on principle.

And then I caught a wretched cold that I am still getting over.  Much sadness.  But, life is somehow getting back to normal, and I’m actually enjoying the post-holiday, post-travel normal.

 

book signing – Salem, OR

January 6, 2016

One of these days I ought to try to get to Salem, Massachusetts, yeah?

But for this week, tomorrow in fact, January 7, I’ll be at the Book Bin (downtown) in Salem OR.  7 pm.  Shenanigans await!

My first event of the new year.  Woooooo!!!

 

Work I did: 2015 edition

January 4, 2016

2015 was a strange year for me professionally.  I’m hoping to write more about that in a couple of weeks, because there are some implications for what’s going to be happening in the next year or so.  More about that later.  Remind me if I forget.

The important thing, though, is I’m still writing a ton of stuff that I feel good about, and it’s still getting published.  So here’s what was published in 2015:

Novel

Kitty Saves the World.  Yeah, that was a big deal.  Still proud of it.  And it’s been nominated for an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Urban Fantasy Worldbuilding.  I feel like this is recognition for the whole series, and it makes me very happy.

Novelette

“Bannerless,” The End Has Come, ed. John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey, May 2015. (reprinted at Wired.com)  This story’s been picked up for two Year’s Best SF anthologies, one edited by Gardner Dozois and one edited by Neil Clarke.

“Always Spring in Prague,” Wild Cards: Aces Abroad (reissue), Tor Books.

“El Hidalgo de la Noche,” e-book publication.

Short Story

“The Girl Who Loved Shonen Knife,” Hanzai Japan, Haikasoru Books.

“Crazy Rhythm,” Lightspeed Magazine, July 2015.

“Sealskin,” Operation Arcana, ed. John Joseph Adams, April 2015.

“Sun, Stone, Spear,” Beneath Ceaseless Skies, March 2015.

“Goodness and Kindness,” The Doll Collection, edited by Ellen Datlow, March 2015.

 

So yeah, a pretty good year.  One novel and eight short pieces, which is consistent for me.  And by my count I already have something like four or five stories lined up for next year, plus the collection.  Onward and upward!

 

I got nuthin’

December 28, 2015

This time of year:  there’s all the stuff that needs to get done by Thanksgiving.  Can’t even think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving.  Then, I can think about Christmas.  Oh wait, no, there’s that one big party and a trip to Santa Fe and some other stuff.  So, I’ll get ready for each of those things.  When those are done, then I can think of Christmas.  And then it’s like, holy crap, Christmas is here, how did that happen?!

And of course I can’t really think about New Year’s until after Christmas. . .so, that would be this week.  This week, to finish everything I said I was going to finish by the end of the year.

And then my next trip starts Monday.  But I can’t really think of that until after New Year’s.

GAH.  This method of planning ahead is not working.  I need to do something about that.

MEANWHILE:  My next event is in Salem, Oregon.  I’ll be at the Book Bin Downtown at 7 pm, January 7th.  And then I’ll be celebrating my niece’s birthday!  Woo!

 

’tis the season

December 25, 2015

I’m writing this a few days early, during a moment of gratitude for all the people who helped get me through this year, the friends and family and colleagues who made me realize how good my support network really is.  I’m lucky.  It doesn’t mean things are easy all the time, but it makes the rough patches more survivable, and helps me realize that I have a lot going for me.

I’m also super grateful for all the really great food that comes out during the holidays.  I realized something this year:  I love holiday food, from the baking to the roast bird and stuffing to fancy drinks and everything in between.  All the food that generally only comes out once a year because it’s time consuming and annoying to make but oh-so worth it.  If we had it all year it wouldn’t be special, and I like that it’s special.

Here we have a dessert spread I did earlier this week:  gingerbread, real fruitcake that was gifted upon me, and chocolate tea bread in the shape of a TARDIS.  Because that’s how we roll around here.

holiday baking

Happy Holidays, everybody, and may we all have a new year we can be grateful for.

 

I’ve been trying to find a quick way to explain why it’s so hard getting books made into movies/TV shows, and why it’s so, so rare when your favorite books (at least the ones that aren’t mega bestsellers) get made into movies/TV shows.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

It takes twenty people to say yes to a movie/TV project, and only one person to say no to scuttle the whole thing.

When I ran this idea past someone actually working on a TV show right now, he said twenty sounded low.  More like twenty departments/companies full of people saying yes.  And the author of the source material is the lowest person on that totem pole, in most cases.

The only reason I bring this up and that it’s an issue is that I occasionally encounter a small number of people who think I ought to be able to just turn my books into movies or TV shows.  Just like that.  “You should totally make Kitty into a TV show, that would be great!”  And yes, it might, but I have no control over that.  Recently, I was tired and not paying attention and facetiously answered with, “Oh yeah, I forgot, I totally need to get Spielberg on the phone about that.”  And the person responded, completely straight, with the suggestion that I totally should because surely I know people who can get me in touch with Spielberg and it totally works that way, right?

If it worked that way, we’d have tens of thousands more movies and TV shows than we currently do.  If it worked that way, the reason there aren’t tens of thousands of movies and TV shows is all those authors of those thousands of books published every year just didn’t think of it?  Trust me, we’re thinking of it.  We can’t not, when we get asked so often:  Is there going to be a movie/TV show of your book?

Seriously, I don’t know.

And I’ve been thinking about this because I’m so grateful for the miracle of the twenty — or maybe hundred — people who all said yes to making Leviathan Wakes into a TV show.  If it does well, I think it will open the door to getting more current, thoughtful SF made into movies and such.  It increases the odds that more of those people will say yes in the future.

Fingers crossed.

 

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