Friday, July 30, 2010

One musing on the future of other creatures

Humans are the new great evolutionary pressure. Only lifeforms that adapt to live with us or upon our leavings will continue existing. As we tinker with every system on this planet, pushing the world into arrangements more perfect for human life--or rather, for those living the American imperialist lifestyle--we destroy the people and organisms that do not seem to serve our purposes.

The fight to preserve the natural world will not succeed unless it is waged against the juggernaut of 21st-century Western culture.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Like a vacation, I guess

Well, my in-laws left this afternoon, leaving our house quieter, less full of mayhem and but somehow more full of potato chips. I think they have a plot to make me even chubbier ...

But on the good news side of things, I have 2 stories coming out in the new Rigor Amortis anthology! I feel really good about it, especially since I arm-wrestled a couple of friends (the charming Aussie-turned-Londoner, Dom McEiben & the amazing Ed Morris) into submitting. My friend & muse, Galen, is doing some illustration work on the book, too! It's sure to be a riot, since it's ZOMBIE EROTICA!! I'm not sure when the release date is on that book, but I'll keep you posted.

Peace out!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cherries, Fruity Pebbles and love

I'm having the kind of week where paragraphs just won't come into my mind. So in no particular order, here is a list of odd-ball thoughts and activities going on in my world.

  • We picked a gajillion pounds of cherries on Saturday. After snacking on cherries, baking with cherries, freezing cherries, juicing cherries and cleaning up cherry juice, I am now the only person in the family who will still eat a cherry.
  • I am once again snacking on Fruity Pebbles before bed. I'm a lazy snacker, and I'm trying to eat less wheat (hey, you'd encourage it if you lived downwind from my house), so rice cereal is a lovely treat. It's also a become a wonder bond with my lovely friend Geardrops. This week has been so nice--now that she's unemployed, we've had way more time to chat!
  • In the past five days, I've had four rejections and two acceptances. And no, I can't tell you who the acceptances were for. Not until August 6th.
  • Wedding planning continues. I'm not sure what's worse: finding a place we like or trying to imagine an outfit that I'll look exceptionally cute in. My party-expert sister, Kristina, looked aghast when my answer to the question "What do you envision yourself wearing?" was answered with "A cardigan!" Welcome to Fred Rogers' wedding, gang.
Well, those are the top thoughts in the cobwebs of my brain. There are a few other stragglers--"How DO Chinese restaurants get the tofu so chewy on the outside and creamy on the inside" topping the list--but at least these all make sense.

May your week be productive and your Pebbles fruity!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Easing off the metal

Now, normally, my writing work schedule is "Put the petal to the metal, dude!" But recent events are nudging me toward a slightly more break-a-licious sort of schedule. And by recent events, I mean that school got out and now I have a kid to entertain all the time. Anybody else think Japan's got the right idea with that year-round school business?

But seriously, I have found that my brain likes to cycle between inputting information, ideas and images and outputting literature. I'm probably lucky I've made it this long before the old noodle blew up on me.

Anyway, taking suggestions for summer books and movies. I'm looking for delicious science, art and historical stuff--nonfiction being the mental equivalent of pumpkin pie. That stuff puts bulk on, fast!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The headshot process

The email that sparked all the terror was brisk, businesslike and perfectly unassuming: Sheri Gormley, Virtual Tales' awesome (and adorable!) publicity coordinator asked for my bio and headshot for the company's website and the back cover of the book. Bio, okay. HEADSHOT? As in a picture? Of me? Why not just an extra shot of one of the werewolves--they're much more photogenic!

But you don't argue with the people who are putting your book together. You instead turn to your brilliant artist significant other, the one with the nice camera, and begin to wail about the situation. And that's how I came to spend the morning of the 4th of July in our yard, frightening my neighbors with my six pounds of makeup and three changes of ensemble.

Sweetie-Pie took 110 pictures. Most of them looked like this:

But some looked like this:

And a few just reminded me how quickly I was going gray:

But thankfully, there were quite a few pictures that I really, really liked. I decided that a couple were better for online images, like my avatar on Twitter and this new Google Profile image. But some seemed positively book worthy!

It wasn't easy to pick which picture I liked best, but after extensive polling--in fact, 62 people jumped into the fray, and took a survey on my main webpage--one image was a clear winner. I drew up my bio and sent off the picture, and THIS shot will wind up gracing my book's cover:

I'm not one hundred percent certain that this picture isn't WAAAY too sexy for a boring old fantasy writer, but you can't argue with what the people demand!

Monday, July 05, 2010

As American as Ernest Hemingway

When I think of American literature, I think of Ernest Hemingway. Sure, there are other, more boring literary Americans: Hawthorne and Melville spring to mind. John Steinbeck begs to be mentioned, too. But can any other writer so magically capture the spirit of America?

Papa was a man of massive talent, over-flowing with talent. (Just as the United States began as a nation overflowing with resources and possibilities.) He spent much of his life exploring foreign countries (that's the US all right, always sticking its nose in other countries' affairs!). He was a physically powerful, rugged individual who devoted his free time to consumption, be it booze, women or trophy animals. And he utterly destroyed himself, finally committing suicide in 1961. (Here in my analogy, all I can say is: o_O)

But beyond being a man infused with the American spirit, he was also an amazing artist. He earned the Nobel prize in 1954 for the novel The Old Man and the Sea. His words have influenced the following generations of American writers more deeply than almost any other compatriot--his style has been aped or rejected or lauded in almost every writing instruction book I've ever picked up.

So I celebrated the 4th of July, our American national holiday, with a dessert inspired by Papa. Hemingway spent a great deal of time in Florida and the Caribbean, where he may have become enamored with the wonderful treat of Key Lime Pie. I whipped up a very basic Key Lime pie and gave it a red-white-&-blue flair, with a blueberry garnish and an ad hoc red berry sauce. The red berry sauce is especially American, since it is made with Concord grapes--a truly American grape varietal!

Here's my recipe for the sauce:

Ad Hoc Red Berry Sauce
1/2 C fresh or frozen strawberries & raspberries, defrosted if frozen
1 tsp sugar
1/4 C Concord Grape Jelly

Thoroughly mash the berries and stir in sugar. Heat grape jelly until liquidized and pour over the berry mixture. Stir together and chill until cold.

So go out there and celebrate your favorite American authors! If Hemingway leaves you cold, and you're desperate to escape literary fiction, try enjoying some great Speculative Fiction writers. Whip out some Ursula K. Le Guin. Try Octavia Butler if you've never read her work. Or try my favorite, Sheri S. Tepper, another fantastic feminist SF/F writer. Craving something darker? Anne Rice, Stephen King and Peter Straub are all patriotic choices.

Whatever you read, enjoy it with a slice of Key Lime Pie!