Albacon, Upcoming

Mar. 29th, 2017 11:55 am
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
Himself and I will be at Albacon in Albany NY this weekend -- it's at the western edge of our traveling periphery, and it's a small, low-key convention that we've always enjoyed when we've been able to make it. All too often, it used to coincide with the Viable Paradise workshop, but now it's moved back to the spring -- which is tougher on our pocketbook but easier on our schedule.

Right now -- such are the joys of the freelance life -- it's still up in the air whether we'll be doing the con in extreme shoestring mode or have at least a bit of leeway for nonessentials. (At least the hotel's complimentary full American breakfast takes care of two meals for the weekend, which helps to stretch out the shoestring.)

But if you're in Albany NY this weekend in a congoing mood, you could always drop by and listen to Himself do his presentation on "100 Years of Dead Magicians" on Saturday night.

I do love Housman

Mar. 28th, 2017 08:56 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
Her strong enchantments failing,
  Her towers of fear in wreck,
Her limbecks dried of poisons
  And the knife at her neck,

The Queen of air and darkness
  Begins to shrill and cry,
'O young man, O my slayer,
  To-morrow you shall die.'

O Queen of air and darkness,
  I think 'tis truth you say,
And I shall die to-morrow;
  But you will die to-day.

(Anybody want to expound on why it's "I shall" vs. "you will"?)

Yes, I Still Get Rejections

Mar. 28th, 2017 05:12 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

A while back, I posted something on Facebook about a rejection I’d received on a project. I was a bit taken aback when several people offered to “have a talk” with the editor. Others questioned the editor’s mental health for rejecting a Jim Hines story. It was flattering, in a way — I love that I have fans who are so enthusiastic about reading new stuff from me — but I think it might also reflect a basic misunderstanding.

Rejections are part of the job. They don’t suddenly stop when you become more successful. They’re less frequent, yes. Much less frequent, and my own mental well being is unspeakably grateful for that. But with the possible exception of folks like Rowling and King, we all risk rejection when we write.

Over the past year, I wrote a short story for an anthology that got cancelled. Another editor said they were interested, so I sent the story their way. They read it, said some nice things, and rejected the story. And they were right to do so.

I’ll be honest, I would have loved to sell a story to this particular editor and venue, but the story I had written didn’t match the tone and style of the venue. I appreciate them taking a chance on reading the story, but they have every right to turn it down. It’s their job to turn it down. Because it wasn’t the right story for them.

I have another project my agent has been shopping around. We’ve gotten some very nice rejections, generally saying things like it’s not quite right for that particular line, or it’s close but this or that or the other didn’t work for them.

In a slightly older example, I had a friend reject me because the story I’d written utterly missed what they were looking for in the guidelines.

Does it still sting? Sure. Twenty-two years into this, I still hate getting rejections. But I’m not unrealistic enough to think every word I write is made of gold and perfectly-suited to all editors and publishers in the world, bar none. Sometimes I’m able to sell the rejected work elsewhere, to an editor/venue that’s a better fit. Sometimes I’m not.

That’s how the business works. Even after 12 books and 50+ short stories in print. Not because the editors are misguided or wrong or blind to my brilliance, but because they’re doing their jobs.

As someone who’s currently on both sides of the desk (co-editing Invisible 3 with Mary Anne Mohanraj as well as continuing to write my own stuff), let’s keep in mind that being a good editor is hard, just like being a good writer.

As for those rejections? I recommend three things.

  1. Get the story back out there.
  2. Keep working on the next one.
  3. Eat ice cream as necessary.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Ugh.

Mar. 27th, 2017 10:18 am
malkingrey: (Rain)
[personal profile] malkingrey
We still have the snow-sleet-and-freezing-rain advisory up until 5 PM. The weather outside is disgustingly clammy and grey.

I still have the cold I've had for the past week and a bit.

And this entire month has been the sort of month where I wake up in the morning with the first thought in my mind being, "All right, what dreary obligation am I going to have to deal with today?"

And Today It Is Snowing. Again.

Mar. 24th, 2017 06:07 pm
malkingrey: (Snow)
[personal profile] malkingrey
We have a winter weather advisory up until 9 PM.

I am so tired of this winter.

Today's fun-that-isn't: starting the job of setting up our new web page, now that SFF-Net is going good-bye forever at the end of the month. (There isn't anything there, yet, but at least we've got the domain nailed down.)

Cool Stuff Friday

Mar. 24th, 2017 11:41 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

…and then the Fridays began.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Today's Wild Accomplishments

Mar. 23rd, 2017 11:23 pm
malkingrey: (Sunny Snow)
[personal profile] malkingrey
I bought groceries and paid the electric bill and took my brother to a doctor's appointment.

Such are the excitements of my days, at least this month.

Also, it is still cold, and I still have a cold.

That is all.

Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older

Mar. 23rd, 2017 01:38 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Shadowshaper Cover ArtI continue to snag books out of my son’s Scholastic book order forms. One of the latest was Shadowshaper [Amazon | B&N | IndieBound], by Daniel José Older. It’s an enjoyable, relatively quick read. Here’s the summary:

Sierra Santiago planned to have an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears… Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.

With the help of a mysterious fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family’s past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for herself and generations to come.

The “About the Author” section notes that Older lives in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, which is where the book takes place, and it shows. Sierra’s world feels real and fully developed, populated with interesting people and places. It’s a far cry from some of the generic pseudo-New York settings you sometimes get.

I love the concept of shadowshaping, the way the magic works as a collaboration between spirits and shadowshaper, and the possibilities of that power. One of my favorite scenes was watching Sierra discovering what she could do with a simple piece of chalk.

Sierra and the rest of the cast are great, all with their own personalities and flaws and conflicts. They feel like real people…it’s just that some of them can bring their artwork to life.

My only complaint is that the villain felt a bit flat and obvious. But the ideas behind that villain, the theme of the privileged cultural outsider barging in and making a mess of things, are totally valid and powerful. I wouldn’t want that to change; I just would have liked to see a little more depth to them.

And kudos for the awesome librarian.

I’ve seen a number of reviews praising the diversity in the book. On the one hand, I do think that’s worth recognizing, and I definitely appreciated it. On the other… I don’t know. I wish we could reach a point where we don’t have to praise authors for showing the world the way it is, and could instead just note when authors fail to portray a realistically diverse world. Does that make sense? I dunno…probably something that needs a longer blog post to unpack.

Anyway, to wrap this up, the ending was lovely and made me eager to read Shadowhouse Fall, which comes out in September of this year.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
Our master bathroom always contains three bathtowels, one on the top of the double rail and two on the bottom. Whenever I change the towels, I hang three; so does my husband. This weekend we found out that each of us thought the other needed two towels, and occasionally wondered why. As far as we can determine, the third towel got used only as an emergency handtowel.

Or maybe it was for the prophet Elijah, who knows.

Maybe This Will Help

Mar. 22nd, 2017 12:57 pm
malkingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] malkingrey
I just got through installing a Firefox add-on that purports to, among other things, enable filtering of Facebook posts by keyword. I'm going to see if it will help reduce the sensation of standing in front of an open sewer pipe fire hose on the occasions when I check Facebook to see how some friends who mostly just post on there are doing.

(That's today's big accomplishment so far, after making arrangements to pay this month's electric bill.)
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

The Book Smugglers are hosting the cover reveal for my next book, Terminal Alliance. While you’re admiring Dan Dos Santos‘ artwork, you can also enter to win an autographed copy of one of my published books!

I’m really happy with this one. I think it captures the feel of the book, and Dos Santos had a marvelous take on the ship’s computer tech Gromgimsidalgak (Grom) — that’s the yellow alien on the right.

The book comes out on November 7. But, of course, you can preorder any time you like! 😉

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Shameless Self-Promotion*

Mar. 19th, 2017 11:36 am
malkingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] malkingrey


For more information, check out the About page on my editorial blog.

*(Actually, I hate this part of being a freelancer. But bills must be paid, so needs must.)

Cold.

Mar. 18th, 2017 10:23 am
malkingrey: (Sunny Snow)
[personal profile] malkingrey
It got down below 0°F again last night.

Dammit, this is March. It's not supposed to be doing the subzero thing this late in the winter. Or this early in the spring, take your pick. This time last year, they were declaring ice-out on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Photobucket

Mar. 17th, 2017 02:41 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
Thanks to everyone who let us know that Photobucket images were not loading properly on some pages. The problem seemed to be mostly limited to HTTPS requests; Dreamwidth maintains a list of known high-traffic image sites that support HTTPS, so that our secure content proxy service doesn't cache them unnecessarily. Unfortunately Photobucket seems to have recently changed their site configuration such that HTTPS requests aren't being served as expected, and we've now taken it out of our list of "proxy-exempt" sites.

If you continue to have issues, make sure you're not using HTTPS Photobucket links. It's a bit counterintuitive, but if you use HTTP instead, it will be automatically transformed on our end to an HTTPS link that uses p.dreamwidth.org.

Hope that clears everything up for now! Let us know if it doesn't...
malkingrey: (Sunny Snow)
[personal profile] malkingrey
The cold that my brother reported having two days ago, and Twin B reported having yesterday, greeted me this morning when I awoke.

"Hello!" it said. "I'm going to be moving into your joints and your sinuses for the next few days!"

"Bleah," I said in reply, and reached for the decongestant and the ibuprofen.

If I'm somewhat less in charity with the world today than is my normal wont (and face it, my normal wont isn't anything to write home about at the best of times), then that is probably why.

At least the sun is shining.
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Life has been…let’s call it hectic. A random sampling of recent excitement includes a minor car accident (everyone’s fine), a $200+ insurance mix-up (I think they’re straightening it out now), a podcast interview (I’ll post links when it goes live), increased work at the 10 hours/week day job, and more.

All manageable, but there’s been an ongoing sense of running without ever getting a chance to stop. (Though Amy and I did sneak out to see Logan earlier this month. Yay!)

And then there are the various writing-related projects. Here are the updates on those!

Terminal Alliance

As some of you may have seen, the official release date for Terminal Alliance has been moved back to November 7. This is on me. Writing my first science fiction novel has taken longer than I anticipated, and I’ve needed additional time to make it as good as possible.

Happily, I turned a complete manuscript in to my editor last week, and am now working on final revisions. Everything is on schedule for that November release, and I’m happy with how the story and characters have turned out.

I’m particularly happy with the cover art Dan Dos Santos did for the book. The big cover reveal has officially been scheduled for this coming Monday, March 20. I can’t wait to show it off! There should be a giveaway to go with it.

Invisible 3

Mary Anne and I have responded to all but five submissions, and we’re hoping to get back to those people within the next week. I’m really excited about the essays and poems we’ve accepted so far. We don’t have a firm schedule yet, but I expect we’ll see some of the essays as guest blog posts next month, with the anthology going on sale in either late April or May.

Other Writing

I revised and returned a story called “The Fallow Grave of Dream” for the anthology The Death of All Things. The story has not been officially accepted or rejected yet, but regardless what happens, I’m very proud of this one. It’s short — only 2700 words, and the first story I’ve ever done in present tense, second person. It’s about death and dreams and disability and family and love and hope and despair, and it’s just really different from anything I’ve done before. One way or another, I look forward to sharing it with you.

Obligatory Hugo Reminder

For those of you doing your Hugo noms, my Magic ex Libris series is eligible for the Best Series Hugo, and our cat Chewie is eligible for Best Melted Cat.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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