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 I spent a lot of today practicing my Japanese.  Normally, I'd have my Intermediate Japanese class tonight, but it's caucus night so no community ed. classes will be held.  I'm still practicing my butt off, though.  I have a lot of words to memorize this week and Tetsuya-sensei's quizzes are often pretty hardcore.  Plus, it turns out, the unit we're learning: family members, involves a very Japanese concept I'm calling "inside/outside voice."  For instance, if I want to say, "Hey, dad," to him, inside my own family, I'd say, "Oi!  Otou-san!" But if I'm being polite and talking about him to someone else, I would call him, "Chichi."  Like if I want to introduce my father to you, I'd probably (if I got this right) say, "Kochira wa watashi no chichi desu."

So, you know, it's good to not only have one word for everything, but even better if there are two!  


I'm beginning to understand why people say that learning Japanese is very difficult.  

In the world of writing, I have a couple of new installments for you.  First, I have a new chapter of UnJust Cause:  Adulting like a Pro.  Then, I have our last installment for School of Wayward Demons (for a little while.... there are THINGS in the works):  Erin Unravels in Excitement.  So, if you're curious what OMINOUS note Rachel and I plan to leave our story on, go check it out.

And I think anyone reading regularly here can guess that the THINGS in the works for School of Wayward Demons is that there is going to be a book version of this available for MarsCON (print and e- versions, btw), with, potentially, a Kickstarter/Indegogo fundraiser to, well, fund the production costs of said things. I'm am a leet-le nervous about the idea of a kick starter of any kind, because from what I can tell even the really successful ones can eat your brain in terms of time and money and energy.  But, you know: nothing ventured nothing gained. And I'm at least not doing this alone.  

Okay, that's all I know right now!

lydamorehouse: (Renji 3/4ths profile)
 I'm back to posting on UnJust Cause finally, so if you want to check that out, it's up on Wattpad now:  "To Err is Human (and Tomorrow is Another Day.)"  There's not a lot there, not too much more than 500 words, but I needed to get back in the habit.  Honestly, what I really, REALLY need to do with this is what Rachel and I just spent three weeks doing to School for Wayward Demons (SWD)... I need to take all the parts and get them into a huge document and start to really examine the whole shape of it.

Because if I'm going to make it into a book, it needs that.  I am learning, somewhat the hard way, that writing one's way into a book (and not planning it out like I used to do) might be hella fun, but it means a lot of work on the far end, the finishing end, as it were.

It's good for me to experiment with different ways of writing, though.  So no regrets.  I have learned much.

Besides, despite my belly aching, it's a well-known fact that I'm a heavy reviser no matter which method I chose: pants-ing or outlining.

In other news, Mason and I had some fun yesterday.  Shawn had to work late, so we went to our usual favorite hang-out place when we have time to kill but it seems foolish to go all the way home: the Roseville Library.  Mason tore through the shelves and took out old favorites and a few new-to-him books.  I'd settled down at a table and was starting to write when he did that kid thing, "Can we go to the coffee shop and get a scone??" I didn't think we should.  You know, it's money and treats, but then I thought about my own treat: a mocha, and so I was convinced.  As we were waiting for the staff to ring our stuff up and make my mocha, we overheard two guys behind us starting up a game of Munchkin. If you're unfamiliar, feel free to check out the Wikipedia article I linked to, but the short of it is that Muchkin is a card-game version of D&D.  Instead of role-playing you pull various cards and move through a very random "dungeon" as part of gameplay. It doesn't matter.  What you really need to know about the game is that 1) Mason LOVES it, 2) it is ridiculously geeky and often involves, like the best D&D games, arguing the rules, and 3) Mason constantly begs us to play and Shawn and I... well, we like it, but don't LOVE it, if you get my drift.  So, when these two nerdy college-aged boys asked if we wanted to join them, Mason was over the moon with joy.

I decided to opt out and sat nearby with my computer.  At one point one of the boys came over and said (in such an adorkable outgoing nerd way, honestly) "Your son is a delight." To which I replied, "Isn't he just."  But when nerd-boy looked baffled at that I said, "Yes.  Thank you."  Nerd boy wanted to let me know, too, that Mason was not only keeping up with them but, "talking just enough smack."  Which I honestly found deeply delightful to hear.  I wanted to say, "That's because I raised him right," but merely nodded and thanked them again for inviting us to join.  Because I mean, Mason is 11, I bet these two young men were twice his age: 22.

Mason was so happy afterward he not only nerdgasmed about the game play all the way home, he kept dreamily and happily muttering, "They argued the rules, Ima.  They argued the rules."

"Yes, my son," I said.  "You have found your people."
lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
 Today, (more like this evening at this point) I hope to get a new Tate bit posted on Wattpad, but I had to work today from 9 to 1 at Maplewood library.  It was really busy thanks to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  Normally, Maplewood is my favorite library because the people are so awesome and they have the best ever graphic novel collection in Ramsey county, I swear.

In other writing related news, Rachel and I are also trying to see if we can build more of an audience for our School for Wayward Demons project by x-posting that at Wattpad too.  So, if you find it easier to read an comment on things over there, you should feel free to check it out:  (Also, if you want to, you can follow us on Tumblr, too:

If you're still following along at the website, the newest chapter is up "Bad Magic Puppies."

Meanwhile, Mason and I are recovering from our sledding excitement.  His face looks like he was attacked by Wolverine, and I keep finding new "old lady" bruises all over my body. You know what I mean by that, right? It's like those ones where you're, like, 'what? where'd this come from... oh, right.' accompanied by general stiffness, despite liberal application of aspirin.  Ah well.  'Twas fun.  
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It's Tuesday, so there is a new Tate installment: Bringing Balance and Force in which we learn the TRUE mission of the demon Internal Affairs agents. Dun-dun-DAAAAHHHHH.

There is also new story up on my co-writing project with Rachel Gold/Calish called, "Demons, Demons Everywhere" and is the introduction to the character of Erin.

All of this is late getting to you because my morning was IN-teresting, as we say in Minnesota. I knew I didn't have much time to get everything done because I had to go pick up Shawn by 9:30 am to get to an appointment with our lawyer. We haven't changed our wills and such since being married, so we figured we should get that all taken care of finally. At any rate, I'd just settled in and stared writing when there was a shy knock on the door. I figured it had to be too early for Mormons so I opened the door. I discovered the eldest neighbor kid. He wondered if it would be possible for me to give him and his brother a ride to school. They'd overslept and they didn't have enough cash in the house to pay to take the city bus. I hemmed and hawed, but, seriously... it seemed like the thing to do. So, I ended up giving them and their dad (who, if you have been following along is a genderqueer person named Ebony.) They use the 'her' pronoun, but call her dad. So, there you go.

Ebony joined us because... everything is more fun when Ebony is involved.

As I told Shawn later, the thing that amuses me about every interaction I have with Ebony is that I feel like we could use subtitles provided by Urban Dictionary. Plus, she is so much bolder than me. I have exactly ONE question I want to ask. "What is your preferred pronoun?" It's not a rude question and with her kids in the back saying, "Hey, Dad..." this and "Hey, Dad" that, it seems like I could just pipe up and say, "Speaking of that, do prefer he or she or yo or what?" But, somehow I never manage this.

Ebony meanwhile, just asks all the things, shamelessly.

I ended up telling her all about how Shawn is Mason's birth mom, how I ended up warming up the vial of sperm in my hand during the insemination process, and all sorts of crazy things like that. SUPER personal stuff!

On the other hand, I found out more than I wanted to about their financial situation--none of which actually surprised me (they use the food shelf, etc.) but which just made things a little more awkward (if that's possible?) Shawn and I are very rarely food insecure, but that's because we made a decision in college that we would sacrifice nearly everything to be able to buy what we wanted for food. This is why we have no cable. This is why we don't have an X-box or flat screen TV or more than one car. We dumped all those things so that we can, if we want, buy our bread at a nice bakery and put decent dinners on the table and go out eat and have pizza every so often.

We do the same thing to keep ourselves and Mason in books.

But, we *do* have the luxury of that choice. It's very clear that our neighbors don't.

Ebony, who already works ungodly hours at the Wendy's down the block, is now trying to get a second job for the holiday so they can afford something really nice for Christmas for her kids. I heard all about Nicole's health problems, too. I have a lot of respect for them. They're really working it to make a go of things.

So... that was my morning.

I should pull out the best Ebony conversational moment though:

Ebony: (after learning Shawn was Mason's birth mom) "But he really favors you."
Me: (using internal translator) "You mean he looks like me?"
Ebony: Exactly.

At first, I thought she was telling me she thought that Mason liked me better/had bonded better with me than Shawn, but given my experience with "stud" I decided to double-check.

SERIOUSLY. I need subtitles.

At any rate, I managed all that and got us off to the lawyers in no time. Tonight is going to continue this running around trend because Mason and I have Japanese class tonight AND a new book he's been waiting forever for is out today. So there's a quick stop at Barnes & Noble too. Busy! Busy!
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I have a lot to announce today. As usual, I have updated my work-in-progress on Wattpad. In this installment, the werewolves are getting restless and the demons discuss fate vs. freewill.

A number of people have been curious about how Wattpad has been working for me. I have to say that it's gotten better. At first, I have to admit to being disappointed by the number of people reading. I'd had higher hopes that Tate's name would draw a bigger initial crowd. But, now that I'm fairly established (this is my 24th installment, which means there's AT LEAST 24,000 words up--I believe there's probably closer to 30,000 or 35,000 because my first few installments ran longer that a thousand words,) I'm pleased with the number of hits I'm getting. People seem to be slowly continuing to find me, too. I've been keeping up better on FB and Twitter and Tate's blog, so I think that's helped when people go looking.

At any rate, I still think that it's not a perfect model. I wish you didn't have to log-in to leave comments or kudos, and I wish more people were willing to critique me, like my colleagues do on AO3 with my fan work. That being said, Wattpad works really well for me and my needs, however. As I've said, what I need most of all is a reason to keep putting words on the page, and Wattpad is making me do it weekly. And I'm getting just enough feedback to make the whole thing seem worthwhile.

So, that's Wattpad...

My other big announcement today is that my friend Rachel and I are launching a website/serial novel WITH ILLUSTRATIONS by artists Mandie Brasington and Alexis Cooke. The main site is here: and you can read the first installment here:

So... this is another grand experiment. If you go to the website, you can see that you can follow us on Facebook and Tumblr. We've also put up a tip jar.... something I've never tried before.  We're also going to be going on a fairly aggressive publishing schedule: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays--though Saturday may be bonus content like more art or a podcast of the previous chapters.  

The story is going to follow four characters, an ensemble cast.  Rachel and I wrote a lot of the chapters together, but ostensibly we've divided the characters between us.  She had Theo, a thief and a shapeshifter, pictured above with some of the forms she can transform into.  She's also got Kitty, a half-demon with mommy issues.  I'm writing Gabe, a lost soul who can see things other people can't...

And Erin, a very special demon-spawn who has had an insanely awful life....

Anyway, it's been a very interesting process to work not only with a collaborative writer, but also with artists.  

Generally, though, the site is new and probably has some bugs yet.  So, if you go there and you see a problem or just have general comments or complaints, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.  I'd like to make this experience as pleasant and intuitive as possible.  

Okay, that's the general news!  Have a great Tuesday!

lydamorehouse: (Default)
 And... it's a bit messy.  

This is my way of saying that I've had some epiphanies about my work-in-progress, but since I'm writing this 'out loud' I'm having to wrestle the plot back under control in a very public way.  Still, I think this whole thing is kind of valuable.  I mean, how often do you, as a reader, get a chance to watch a writer figuring a novel out as she goes along?  

I feel like this is clunky, but it will be interesting to see what my regular readers make of it.  Because, maybe, it's not as obvious as I feel it is.  It's hard to say.  Go see what you think, if you'd like.  

I will admit that I nearly named this chapter, "Part 23: In which things come to a head and a decision is made..."  a very A. A. Milnes kind of chapter title, but I decided instead to call it "Part 23: Word Up."

I have to dash off to work... but I'm pleased to have managed this, warts and all!  :-)
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Having completely missed last week thanks to internet fail and school starting with a bang, Tate is back today with a new weekly installment of her work-in-progress, serialized sequel to Precinct 13 on Wattpad. Check it out! In this one, Valentine FINALLY shares some secrets...


I don't know what else I have to report.  I spent part of the weekend reviewing the e-book mark-up of my AngeLINK short story, "The Case of the Missing Devil Child," which Wizard's Tower Press is offering as part of the full AngeLINK e-book bundle that people purchased as a premium for (there are still a few left, btw.) Similarly, I need to go over the proofs for the e-version of Resurrection Code, so we can get that out the door.

I'm also working hard on revising the "seekrit" project I alluded to in the previous post.  So, soon there will be EVEN MORE places to read my stuff.

Our cat Inky gets to go to the vet today. He's been having litter box trouble again. This isn't a new problem, but we had it under control, or at least in a more tolerable way.  Something seems to have happened--either he panicked after all our various vacations or he's got some new irritation in his bladder.  We thought the vet ought to have a look, at any rate.  Fingers crossed that it's something fixable. Shawn is kind of at wit's end with all the extra laundry he's caused.
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Today is Tuesday, which means you can read the newest installment of my work-in-progress, UnJust Cause, a serialization of the sequel to Precinct 13. In this episode, Alex hangs out with the werewolf biker gang while on run from the demon agents...

lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
It's Tuesday, so that means Tate has posted the newest installment of UnJust Cause for you over at WattPad.  In this episode, Alex discovers just how much she sucks at being a fugitive....

Part 20: Shatterer of Worlds

Also, I'm still trying to decide what to do with this blog.  I wish I had a better sense of how, if at all, this site was viewed by may family and friends. In the meantime, I think I will take advantage of the no-limit photo sharing of Tate's Blogspot account and post my pictures there.  I have, after all, been trying to figure out a way to drive more traffic to Tate's site, so maybe being a regular blogger there as well as here might be the trick.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Nana Spider speaks in riddles and rhymes, but Alex finally gets some vital information about her true nature:

That's right, folks, the newest installment is up on WattPad for your enjoyment.  It's a little shorter than usual.  My apologies.  But this morning was eaten up by Mason's "celebration" (read: faux graduation) from Elementary School.  Certificates were handed out, applause were applauded, and there was cake.  I had to laugh though, because martial arts has kind of ruined my child.  We haven't been to Kuk Sool in well over a year, but after all the belt ceremonies and whatnot, it's still very ingrained in Mason that you shake hands and then you bow.

So, there goes my child to shake the principal's hand and then he her offers her a bow.

Afterward, he kind of realizes he's done something a bit off, looks vaguely awkward, and yet, when his teacher hands him the certificate and shakes his hand, he does it again.

It was kind of cute, especially given that none of the kids of Asian descent did anything remotely like that.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
So, the newest installment of my work-in-progress is up on Wattpad: in which tool-welding corvids stage a jail break.

I've veered off outline for these last couple of installments, but I think I'm pushing my way back toward the outline.  Wish me luck.

Also, I need to make time tonight to keep working on the e-book version of this.  Of course, being me, things are changing fairly significantly as I do revision.  This was bound to happen.  Ask anyone in my writers' group.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Yep, it's that time again. There's another short adventure for you to enjoy up on Wattpad:

There's a lot of magic happening in this bit, as Alex finds herself arrested for assault and tossed into a holding cell that seems to have been built to hold a very specific thing....


Sorry I've been absent from here. There's been a lot going on, and, for some reason, I was having a lot of trouble uploading pictures lately. I really wanted to show off some more cool con photos I took as well as me in my fancy new Renji shirt. Plus, this morning I was thrown for a loop as Bleach came out early and so I've been rolling around in the aftermath of that... like you do.

(Yeah, I just tried uploading again and got the same problem. It seems to say its uploaded 100%, but then never finishes the process so I can actually put the image in. Very weird and irritating.  I had this problem previously, fixed it by moving things to dropbox and going from there, but then it fixed itself.  I'm kind of being lazy about Dropbox because, honestly, I think I may have filled my free capacity and, I never remember my password....)

ANYWAY, enjoy the Tate thing.  I'll be back with more tomorrow.  Mason and I are going to record our podcast tonight, so I might put that up immediately after its done or first thing in the morning tomorrow.  Thing is, when you're doing this kind of immediate commentary, it can get stale if you don't post ASAP.  And there's a LOT to talk about with this week's Bleach as well as the new Ao no Exorcist (which you should be reading, if you're not.)
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Huh, I should have started posting this on a Wednesday so it could be "WattPad Wednesday" or something more alliterative. But, regardless, the newest section is up:

In "Unnatural Unleashed," Alex has to face the consequences unleashing her magic on Jack and his magpie familiar, Sarah Jane...

As usual, when you go to the site (or return here afterward), I would love any commentary you have, even if it's critical. I noted on the Wyrdsmiths' blog that the pacing for a serial-type novel is very different than writing a traditional novel. I took WattPad at their word when I signed up and have been tailoring these installments in very short, digestible chunks aimed at people who are using their smart/iPhones to read bits of things while commuting to work or wherever. I might be making these sections too short for other readers.

I will admit, as I have before, that I'm using this weekly deadline to make word count on a project that I've been struggling with. So, admittedly, much of what appears on-line is actually very first draft-y, very by the seat of my pants, oh-crap-is-it-Sunday-already--which is also why I would love suggestions for improvement. The work posted there is being collected and massaged into an eventual e-book, so anything people have to say will actually help me write a better book (even if I can't go back and change what's on-line.)

So, yeah....

In other news, I'm starting to gear up for CONvergence, which starts (for me), on Wednesday night. I'll try to post my schedule tomorrow, so if anyone in town wants to follow me around, they're more than welcome to.

Also, I just got my first Blogging for Books request, the graphic novel Harlem Hellfighters. I'll be reading that ASAP and posting a review of it somewhere, probably here as well as on my Tate blog.

You know all my whining about not feeling the love? I'm not alone. I read this in the New York Times Sunday Style section: "For the Love of Being 'Liked'" and saw myself just a LITTLE too much. :-)
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I just got that comment for something I posted over on AO3 and I just... wish that I could get the same kind of gushing enthusiasm (and its converse quick to point out flaws--you should have seen the wonderful pile on I got when I made an unpopular decision about a character's age) over at WattPad.

Here's the installment by the way:

I have to remind myself that OF just doesn't have the built in community that fandom does. I also have to remind myself that even when I started writing Bleach fic, I didn't get the kind of comments/kudos that I do now. It takes a lot of time to build an audience.

But today was a bit tough, because I finished posting a tryptic of fic over at AO3 that was filling up my in-box to the brim, and then I go over to WattPad and all I can feel is 'meh.'

Thing is, I KNOW it's unfair. I'm slowly building an audience and that's the point. I just have to let it happen.



Okay, now that I've had my little tantrum, I'll say that I'm still enjoying making myself do this though. It's good to go back to Valentine and Alex. In fact, in today's episode Alex's magic wells up... and she manages to curse a friend--friends, actually: Jack and Sarah Jane.

As I wrote it I could totally hear "Let it Go" playing in my head....
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I have posted part 11 of UNJUST CAUSE, Tate's serialized, work-in-progress novel for your entertainment on WattPad:

This one is titled, "Jazz Dance of Justice." In it, Alex attempts to get a message from the Dead (and rather wishes they could be clearer when making the effort to come back from Beyond.)


That took me longer than usual because I'm starting to get ready to head off for our honeymoon next week. I have many errands to do. Many, many. And I should warn you that since we're going to be up in the Boundary Waters internet access will be limited. You're going to hear from me even less than usual. (Sorry!) Though I should be able to get a few things out since the Lodge has wifi, and so I'm hoping to be able to continue to post this... though I think Mason and I will be skipping out Podcast next week, since that takes up a lot of bandwidth.

Anyway, I should go off to the post office and pet store now.

See you!
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
First of all, the newest installment in my serialized work-in-progress UNJUST CAUSE is up on WattPad. This one is called "Maggots and Magpies" and follows as Alex and Jack investigate the second drop victim who was found on the side of a county highway by Mac's motorcycle gang.

Secondly, you know that thing that goes around the internet that says: "How to Start a Fight on the Internet: 1) post and opinion, 2) wait"? Yeah, well, after yesterday, I feel like I could change it to just, "1) post, 2) wait" because SOMEHOW I managed to press the OMGYOU'REANUNREPENTANTPUPPYKILLER button by mentioning that I'm a klutzy gardener.

Really, I was posting about how I managed to dump mulch THROUGH the hole in the knees of my jeans and how funny it was that I had to use my leg as a mulch spreader, but, apparently, by mentioning the type of mulch I happened to have bought I became the target of three separate, well-intentioned... let's call them 'advice-givers.' One of whom even felt the need to stalk me on IM and harangue me about my mulch choices.

The problem I have with this is not with these people's passion. You love your dogs. I love your dogs. You don't want your dogs getting hurt. I don't want your dogs getting hurt. But, I don't have a dog, my backyard is fenced, and, MORE IMPORTANTLY, St. Paul has very clear leash laws.

You are very worried about my mulch hurting your dog because it smells like yummy, forbidden chocolate and it has trace amounts of the same poison. Okay. Fair. But, if your dog is in my backyard eating my mulch right now it's either because you're standing there watching them do it while holding his/her leash... or your dog is roaming leash-free.

My VERY urban neighborhood has much, much more serious hazards to puppies and dogs who are off their leash than my mulch, namely: cars!

Yes, we both agree that keeping dogs safe is a HIGH PRIORITY. If you have a dog, don't buy this mulch! BUT ALSO, KEEP YOUR PUPPY IN YOUR FENCED BACKYARD OR ON A LEASH AS THE LAW REQUIRES!!! St. Paul also has plenty of safe places for urban dogs to play off-leash. Go there. Avail yourself of those parks and playgrounds. If they have this mulch, you have my permission TO FREAK OUT. I will help you organize a letter-writing campaign. I will sign your petition.

Buying this mulch and using it is not illegal. It *is* illegal in St. Paul to let your dog roam free without a leash (for its own safety.)


I probably shouldn't even post my re-cap of this. Because people are wrong on the internet and I'm one of them.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
It's Tuesday, and that means there's a new installment of UNJUST CAUSE to read up on WattPad. This time, I feel like the title sums it up best: "Naked Dragons on the Lawn."

I'll be curious what people make of this installment. Things happen--and, in fact, we return to one of the first themes of this novel--but, if this were being written traditionally, I think I'd call this moment 'connective tissue' since it's not wham-bam action.

This is one of the weird things about writing serially. I feel like every tiny little 2,000 word bit needs to have a reason for the readers to keep coming back. There's not a lot of... hmmm, lingering? I'm not sure that's a bad thing, because it keeps me writing very tightly, with an eye on forward movement, but suspect this will read even faster than one of my more traditionally written novels.

Ah, it's all an interesting and grand experiment. Speaking of experiments, I'm thinking of spinning off a little sexy fanfic involving Valentine and his Phoenix lover who was mentioned in the previous chapters... I mean, why not, right? If I do this, I may publish it on AO3 under my fan pseudonym.

Of course, I have to find some TIME to do that. I write all the time, but I never seem to have enough time for all the things!
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
So, that means that I've posted Tate's latest installment. It's sexy times again... because Alex and Valentine have rushed back to Robert's house to try to play at a little B&D. And... let's just say Alex is not very EXPERT at the whole dom thing....

Because you know what? It's not all 69 Shades of Awesome. I don't know about you, but I'm lucky to be able to THINK during sex, much less plan out how to get someone tied to the bed. And, part of the fun of this particular experiment in self-publishing is that I get to write sex the way I want. I'm personally very fond of silly, vaguely-awkward, (more like my real life experiences) sex. I mean, I still hope, one day, to write the super-hot, yet not, scene in which the cat interrupts the sexy times, because YOU KNOW you've had that happen, and far too often we don't celebrate that stuff for the wonderfulness that it truly is.

Plus, I queered things up some. Not just by queering the dom/sub status of the traditional male/female (which I ultimately don't do in this one, but which I plan to by the end of this story), but also when Valentine is talking about this former lover, who is a phoenix. This person is reborn presenting as different gender with each fiery rebirth, but Valentine is VERY ADAMANT that Jin never CHANGES gender, just presents differently.

This is very important to me.

I suspect, if I were still being traditionally published, this would be one of those things I would have fought with my publisher about, and more likely than not, eventually capitulated on. To this day, I'm bummed that I gave up the fight for Matyas' queerness in the Garnet Lacey series. In the book in which Garnet gains the power to see people's inner gods and goddesses, I'd wanted Matyas to have a goddess inside. It wasn't going to change anything about him, not one thing, but I got a very firm 'NO. IT IS NOT DONE.' Boys had to have gods, and girls had to have goddesses, full stop. I THINK I managed to have a waiter in Paris who had a goddess, but that was okay because he was just a throw away character. Because GOD FORBID someone people liked be just-so-very-slightly-hinted at having queerness of any kind!! Dude was sleeping with a girl at the time, even. Though one, I might add, who wore sensible shoes and had a dog, but we won't talk about how CLEARLY I WAS SIGNALING HER QUEERNESS. (This was Izzy. In my head she was a butch bi-woman.)

Not that I have FEELINGS for REASONS.

Sometimes it's so very hard to remember that it was science fiction that taught me the radical notion that you can't judge who you'll love by your lover. A story written by Theodore Sturgeon in 1953 called 'A World Well Lost' was my very first exposure to a sympathetic queer character. I found much more relatable men and women in Elizabeth A. Lynn's books, and, a lifesaver, given that I grew up int the 1970s in a smallish town (though to be fair to LaCrosse, there was at least one gay bar, and my father had an out lesbian colleague at his Catholic college.)

And I did write queerness into my science fiction, rather blatantly. It was just less okay in romance. I will say, this is why I tended to capitulate on fights about this stuff. I mean, I always felt I was trespassing into a foreign land, anyway. (As some of you know, I was lucky to remember to include certain bits of male anatomy.)

Anyway, it's nice to be able to stretch a bit in this. Of course, now we have to see how it goes over with "my public."
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Tate's newest installment is up!

In this episode, Valentine reveals more about his past and Alex finds herself deeply jealous of someone who died over a hundred years ago...

Go get it!

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. I'm actually writing to you from the Blackbird Café in ValParasio, Indiana. If you go to the Wikipedia page I linked to, you'll actually see the block that the Blackbird is on. I also took a few pictures of this place to be uploaded when we get back. Particularly for my friend [ profile] empty_mirrors, I also took a shot of the vastness of Illinois. She didn't ask to see it, but we were talking about the distances in the US (because it *is* rather unfathomable that we drive for ten hours and don't even really go more than a couple of states in distance.) And, so when we stopped at a rest stop, we happened to be across from a giant wind farm and there's nothing but a whole lot of empty space and the giant turbines spinning in the breeze. It was rainy and overcast, so I hope the picture really shows how desolate and empty that part of the country really feels.

At any rate, we're here visiting my mother-in-law/Shawn's stepmom/Mason's grandma. Mason has this month off, so it's a good time to do our traveling.

One of my favorite things about visiting grandma is that there really isn't a lot to do. I finished reading Ben Aaronovitch's RIVERS OF LONDON/MIDNIGHT RIOT and I'm looking forward to starting MOON OVER SOHO. I also brought along Bleach 60 (which our library finally had and I'm looking forward to re-reading) as well as a couple of volumes of FMA.

My single LEAST favorite thing about visiting grandma is that she has no wifi. So, I have this tiny window to do ALL THE THINGS, when we sneak off to the coffee shop at 7:00 am. I feel bad about it, but it really kills two birds with one stone. Grandma is a Norwegian originally from the Iron Range of Minnesota, so her coffee is... typical of that sort of person. I won't say it's 'bad,' but I'd have to drink three hundred gallons of it to feel SEMI-human. So it's better for all of us, if we get up at the crack of dawn and hang for a couple of hours at the café.

On the Saturday before we left, I had a Loft gig that I knew was going to be... "interesting" to use another Minnesotan phrase from the moment I walked in and they did the classic, "And you are...?" The library had no idea I was coming or where my event was supposed to be held, despite the fact that it was the sort of thing people had to have REGISTERED for (I was expecting three, which was never sterling, but often, with proper signage and walk-ins, you can gather a larger crowd.) But, while the Teen library blushed in deep embarrassment, I found a spot to settle and made sure that the Circulation staff (what I usually am) knew where to direct people. I got two out of the three I was expecting, but it actually turned out all right. They were two boys, a little older than Mason, who really liked the READ part of the "Reading to Write" program. So, we talked books and exchanged recommendations (most of which I passed on to Mason.) We were having such a good conversation, actually, that we ended up going over by fifteen minutes.

But that whole day was crazy, actually, because we were packing to leave, Mason had swimming, D&D, AND it was the day that Shawn and I needed to pick up the wisteria we ordered from the friends of the parks. Alas, the friends neglected to inform us that the plants we'd be picking up were BARE ROOT, so, in the middle of all this chaos, I had to take time to plant FIVE WISTERIA. Of course, it was more than digging holes and plunking things in, because we're actually trying to replace the hops that we foolishly let cover our fence. Hops are... yeah. They grow fast. They spread. So, I spent most of my "planting" time actually tearing out giant, ropy rhizomes. It was fairly insane, so showing up to the "And you are...?" just seemed like a continuation on a theme....
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
So, first off, I proudly present the next installment in the continuing adventures of Alex Connor, Hughes County Coroner and magical detective: Part 6: A Dragon's Confession. The teaser this time: "In this chapter, Valentine makes a startling confession..."

Oooooh, what could it be? Go find out!!

In other news, I got asked to participate in an SF Signal's Mind-Meld again, so I'm going to be composing my answer to that soon. When it's posted over there, I'll link here. This one is actually kind of meaty, so I've been doing a lot of thinking, pre-writing. Hopefully this will NOT mean that I'll be scrambling the day before it's due (which is Sunday).

Speaking of this weekend, I'm also going to be making an appearance at the Ramsey County Library not as a page... though in a PAGE related way! I'm going to be the presenter for the Loft's "First Pages Program."

Here are the details from my website:

On Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 2:00-3:30 pm I'll once again be the Loft's "First Pages" instructor for te "Read to Write" program. This time it will be a little closer ot home at the Roseville Library (where I work as a page!). The library is located at 2180 Hamline Avenue in St. Paul, MN. For more information call (651) 724-6001 or check out:

The description for the program (which is a repeat of the one I did in Chanhassen) goes like this:

Can reading The Hunger Games teach you to be a writer? You bet it can! By reading as much fiction as you can get your hands on, available right here at your public library, you can become the writer you've always wanted to be! Come learn what Harry Potter can teach you about world building in fiction; what Neil Gaiman can teach you about creating memorable characters; and what Veronica Roth's Divergent series can teach you about plot! After this 90 minute session you'll be inspired to write your own mind blowing fiction.

Which isn't AT ALL DAUNTING as a the instructor...

Last time in Chanhassen, I had a blast, but I can't say we stayed 'on topic.' I think in preparation for this event, I may solicit ideas from other people about which books taught them what. I tried to do this with the students I had on hand at Chanhassen, but that conversation petered out really quickly. We ended up having fun talking about other writing challenges and trying out some bizarre story prompters, but it wasn't 'as advertised' and I feel a bit badly about that.

So... thoughts? Are there books that taught YOU something specific about writing?

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