Because over on facebook friends have been doing this (some tagging me, some just leaving it for anyone who wants to join in), and because apparently once I start talking about books that have touched my life, I go on at more length than facebook is comfortable with. (Facebook’s definition of TMI having nothing to do with content and everything to do with number of characters.)
In your status line (hah!) list 10 novels that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and don’t think too hard. They don’t have to be “right” or “great” books, just the ones that have touched you.”
1. A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Madeleine L’Engle (Can see the book’s flaws now, but still love its sense of hope that the awful things that haven’t happened don’t have to happen)
2. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle (Because I was Meg, and also because I needed to know there were Calvins in the world)
3. Arm of the Starfish, Madeleine L’Engle (“It’s the fall of the sparrow I care about. But who’s the sparrow? We run into problems there, too.”)
4. The Blue Sword, Robin McKinley (Because Harimad-sol)
5. The Empire Strikes Back novelization (This was my entry into the Star Wars universe, a lifetime love of SFF, and a whole lot of fanfiction that helped me become the writer I am)
6. Feed, M. T. Anderson (Most depressing book I ever … not sure loved is the right word here. But.)
7. Eye of the Heron, Ursula K. Le Guin (Shifted my understanding of non-violence and what it really is)
8. Tam Lin, Pamela Dean (Because I argued and argued with this book, and the results of those arguments have informed my own work)
9. Moonheart, Charles de Lint (Part of my introduction to urban fantasy)
10. War for the Oaks, Emma Bull (The other part of my introduction to urban fantasy)
Mirrored from Janni Lee Simner / Desert Dispatches.
Pope Francis will be 77 on Tuesday, 17th. More than 10,000 young people have signed a giant (4 feet high) Birthday Card promising prayers and offering good wishes for the occasion.
This is the first chapter of Emilie and the Sky World, the sequel to Emilie and the Hollow World. I don’t think it’s all that spoilery for the first book, if you haven’t read it yet. It will be out in March 2014 from Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry. It’s available for preorder in paperback and ebook in a lot of places, some of which you can find here: http://www.marthawells.com/emilie2.htm
Emilie took a deep breath and knocked on the door.
Twilight had fallen, and the quiet street smelled strongly of dinner. Karthea's house, like all the others, had a chunky stone façade and wood-framed windows with cheerful curtains and potted flowers on the stoop. The gas lamp on the corner had already been lit, glowing bright in the failing daylight.
There was no answer immediately and Emilie began to wonder if Karthea had closed the school temporarily and gone on some journey. If so, it was less of a disaster than it would have been a fortnight ago. Emilie had money enough for a room at an inn or boarding house, but it would be disappointing not to see her cousin. And wandering through town looking for a suitable place to stay was considerably less daunting than it had been a fortnight ago as well, especially considering that she had company.
"Maybe she didn't get my letter, or the package I sent," Emilie told Daniel, who stood patiently beside her. "Though I'm not arriving when I said I would."
"I think I hear someone inside," Daniel said. "It's nearly time for dinner, maybe she's just busy with–"
The door flung open, and Karthea stood there, wearing an apron and holding a partially peeled beet. "Emilie, you're days late! I was so worried!" Her eyes fell on Daniel, and she frowned in confusion. "Where have you been?"
"Karthea," Emilie said, smiling. "I have had an adventure!"
Karthea's eyes widened, then narrowed. She grabbed Emilie's arm and dragged her inside. To Daniel, she said, "Excuse us, please," and shut the door.
They stood in a dim hall, lit by a gas sconce and from brighter lights in the room at the far end. Emilie could hear the voices of young girls somewhere nearby, and a clatter of dishes. It smelled homey and comfortable, of books, dust, boiling beets from the kitchen. She took a deep breath. She had meant this place to be her refuge; it felt better to be coming to it as a guest.
Karthea still held her arm, and was trying unsuccessfully to look intimidating. Karthea was mostly Southern Menean like Emilie, with warm brown skin and dark eyes. She and Emilie looked a little alike in the face, though Karthea was taller and myopic and always wore eyeglasses. She had inherited their side of the family's somewhat unmanageable hair, and hers was just as frizzy and curling as Emilie's, in the process of escaping from the band she had tried to use to confine it. "Are you eloping?" Karthea demanded.
It was so unexpected, Emilie laughed. "Of course not!"
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means spending half your time doing things that are not writing, such as:
1. answering business emails.
2. talking to your agent/editor on the phone, sometimes several times a week.
3. going through multiple edits of every book.
4. arranging for book-selling opportunities, like signings.
5. answering fan email, snail mail, or other social media alerts.
6. traveling to conferences to speak about writing and your own books, often on your own dime.
7. making nice with people in publishing whose books you may not like and whose personalities you may not enjoy.
8. deciding how to write an email explaining your objections to the proposed cover of your book.
9. looking over contracts, yes—even after your agent has already done so.
10. doing your own taxes every year as your eyes glaze back in your head, sometimes on New Year’s Eve when everyone else on the planet is celebrating.
11. asking to be paid—again!—for a school visit you did a year ago.
12. looking for sites giving away ebook copies of your book for free and asking them to stop.
13. trying to avoid getting sick so that you can keep your schedule.
What it rarely includes, despite the hype:
1. spending a lot of time dreaming about who will star in the dream cast of the movie version of your book.
2. creating art for your book yourself.
3. deciding how much your book will cost, in either paper or ebook format.
4. choosing which celebrities will appear at your book launch.
5. planning how much space your new house will have for your writing office.
6. paying for other people to promote your book for you.
7. glamorous vacations without family so that you can research your next book.
8. hiring nannies and housekeepers full-time so that you can relax at your pool.
9. hanging out with Stephen King and JK Rowling.
10. sending away books to people for free who simply thought to ask you.
11. painting your car to match your book cover.
12. designing dolls to look like your favorite characters.
13. discovering the manuscripts of brilliant, unknown authors whom you can promote with all of your new found power.
(Not for everyone, naturally. I know people who adore spoilers, and find them an exciting roadmap to what's ahead. I am just as likely to go "welp, that was the greatest hits version of the story, let's go enjoy something new.")
But saying "spoilers are bad" and "spoilers are wrong" seems very...I don't know, privileged? At least to me. I have friends who cannot watch rape. Cannot watch any threat of sexual violence. Cannot handle the use of date rape drugs or other such devices in fiction. I know people who are so severely afraid of spiders that even spiders in movies are not safe for them, or who can't deal with certain forms of bodily harm (eyeballs, sure, but no fingers, no teeth...). Most, if not all, of these people have really good reasons for their fears, and if they don't go around wearing shirts that list them off for your comprehension and enlightenment, that's because it's nobody else's business.
So they seek out spoilers. They look for them everywhere, because a little loss of surprise is worth it for the comfort of knowing a piece of media is safe. I was lucky enough to see Thor 2 early (I love you, Disneyland Annual Pass), and while I refused, for the most part, to be a source of spoilers, one person asked me a very basic "this thing will be triggery for me, does this thing happen" question, and got an answer. Because my desire not to put spoilers out into the world is not stronger than someone else's need for mental peace. I knew why she was asking. Refusing to answer at that point would have been policing someone else's choices, and saying I knew what she needed better than she did.
I will absolutely roll with "involuntary spoilers are bad": I don't want to get spoiled for everything in the universe the second I turn on my computer in the morning. I will roll with "there is a statute of limitations," and while we haven't all agreed on what it is, I stop getting grumpy after a week or so for minor things (it takes longer for big, shocking, "this changes everything" revelations). But we have to remember that for some people, spoilers are safety and self-defense. Spoilers are what makes it possible for them to enjoy media, just like everybody else.
Sometimes, providing spoilers is the only kind thing to do.
- Current Mood: thoughtful
- Current Music:Sara Bareilles, "Brave."
( And after...Collapse )
( And while I'm at it, my kitchen with new, marble counters.Collapse )
Fun! I look forward to more saucydwellings!
A few days ago, I teased a silhouette of five characters, and here is the reveal! Behold, those who bear the Bahdj, the newly minted protectors of planet Earth!
These guys are part of a pitch for BEYOND, an anthology of queer sci-fi/fantasy comics, edited by Rachel Edidin & Sfé Monster (there’s still three more days left if you want submit a pitch!). The book is going to be in black and white, but I had to do these guys in color just once! Look how cool they are in their color-coded suits and neckties!
It’s a simple story of teenagers saving the world from monsters, and I’m clearly wearing my influences on my sleeve, but I can’t help but love this cast. They’re all queer in their own way (its why they came together, but not why they have super-powers), and personality-wise they’re all based on gay, lesbian, bi and trans people I know. Despite my queer activist tendencies, I haven’t done a lot of fiction with queer protagonists. That’s about to change in the next few projects, with these guys being the first.
They’re a fun group. I’m looking forward their adventures.
Unfortunately, this blooming LJ is acting up and not allowing me to print the result of my reflections. I mean that. Honest. I'll try again sometime.