Oct. 17th, 2018 12:48 pm
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 My car has new tires! Hooray.

I spent a goodly portion of my morning at the Dunn Brother's across from Dave's auto waiting for Tor to put the new tires on, however. At one point, I was writing some letters to my international pen friends and I think some kind of local politician sat down in the collection of chairs beside me. I could not tell which variety he was, but there was talk of the Minnesota legislature. I should probably have known him on sight. All I can say for sure is that I could have gone into politics--I swear most of them are annoyingly loud and aggressively 'working it'? They all seem to have something akin to what I used to call my 'con persona,' where I'm _not_ exactly FAKE, but I'm so hyper-aware of my performance that it has a veneer of 'acting,' even when I'm not... though maybe, yes, if you consider improv acting, which I do.  

Anyway, I got the car fixed and Tor and I had a funny conversation about my letter writing, because I saw that my car had been wheeled into the garage and so I mistakenly thought they were almost done with it. When I realized that they weren't, I pulled out all my letter writing stuff to pass the time. We got to talking as he was printing up my bill about "kids these days" and how we both remember having to have a "letter writing class" in school, where the teacher taught us the format for personal and business letters. He was also super-irritated that kids don't learn cursive writing any more. He said that Dave's grandson (who is a bit of a fixture around the shop) told Tor that he'd learned to "text" at school, and Tor was very "WTF are my tax dollars even FOR???" 

I have no idea what the politics of the guys are at Dave's Auto. I would suspect they lean Republican and i would not be surprised at all if any of them were the kind of run-of-the-mill bigots and racists you find in rural Wisconsin/Minnesota, because their reception area is decorated with deer skulls and taxidermy and there's a sign that says "Business hours are subject to change during hunting season." A lot of hunters can be very pro-gun, which often shunts them into the Republican camp. However, In Minnesota it's not always an easy 1:1. 

Still, it was nice to bond over cursive.

In other news, I finally officially went on hiatus for Twin Cities Geeks. It's a big commitment for a volunteer gig, which maybe sounds dumb coming from me. I mean, it's not like I have any other official reviewing jobs and I kind of have all the time in the world on my hands. But, I think coupled with the fact that I'm not feeling super-passionate about any comic book titles right now...? I don't know. I'm glad I left the door open and they seemed more than happy to have me back when I'm ready, because they are a good group and I like contributing. 

I was feeling very low about that when I also got asked to be on a half-hour segment of a podcast about writing: MF Galaxy. Malcolm (Minister Faust) and I have been friends since we were both up for the Philip K. Dick way back when.  When he asked, I was just fresh off the conversation with TCG and feeling very much like a has-been. He was very lovely about the fact that the podcast is about the process / craft of writing and that I was still relevant. I'm really looking forward to chatting with him. We have a Skype call set up for next Tuesday. 

Oh, and the vegetarian chili was apparently a hit yesterday with Mason's robotic team.  They scraped the crockpot clean and specifically told Mason to tell me that it was "bomb-ass," which at first I was unclear as to whether or not that was a compliment. Mason assures me it was. I tend to trust him, if only because they dang near licked the bowl clean.

So that was a win.

I should get up and go to the grocery store and pick up stuff for dinner tonight. I'm hoping to talk Shawn into making her sloppy joes.

lydamorehouse: (ticked off Ichigo)
I guess  I taunted the weather goddesses a little too much in my blog yesterday, because I came out of Magers & Quinn last night and snapped this picture:

snow falling outside Magers & Quinn Bookstore, Minneapolis, MN April 10, 2017

Again, if you can't see it, is shows a bookstore storefront. The awnings below a lit-up "Magers & Quinn Booksellers" sign are snow-covered. You can see grainy streaks of heavy snowfall overlaying the whole shot. The cars parked in front of the bookstore are likewise covered in snow.


Apparently, when I complained about the lack of moisture falling from the skies for the past few days, the weather Powers That Be heard my taunt to 'put up or shut up' and thought, "HA. We'll show HER. How about a half inch of SNOW, huh? YOU LIKE THAT, PUNK???!!"

I did not.  

It was fairly horrific to drive home in--there were points on the highway where I was fairly certain I was making up my own lane lines, since I really couldn't see where they were supposed to be...and that's never a safe feeling.  But I made it home fine, andI am happy to report,that  the new car handles like a dream in slippery weather.  I mean, the new car is funny.  Patrick, that is.  He's like a stately, yet somewhat cranky old man. He just doesn't do fast, even when you'd really like him to have a bit more pick-up and go.  So, to say he 'handled well,' really means that he was just not fussed to go any faster than all that and so took the turns and such in his own damn good time.  That's Patrick for you. He's kind of stubborn like that.  A good car, though. I'm still very happy with it. Especially pleased to have heated seats last night. (And a heater that works!)

The reading itself could not have gone better. Remember how cranky *I* was about Magers & Quinn not being able to get any copies of Precinct 13? Well, they managed it in the end. There were several copies available for sale when I came in. I was so pleased that I decided that whatever didn't sell, I'd just buy myself, because I always need giveaway copies around. I think I ended up taking home three of them (which was about half what they ordered, I'd guess. So a good night for them, too, I'd think).

The readers were all lovely. We were gender balanced (almost exactly), though all of us were white (as far as I could tell). There was a band that played songs as intermissions, which was... fancy?  There was wine and cheap snacks on a little table. We read at a podium with a microphone. I felt like I did pretty well. The story excerpt I read was from "Everything in Its Place" a story that I significantly revamped for this anthology, but which I originally sold to Tales of the UnAnticipated back in the day. (TOTU gets first publishing credit.)  When Eric first published "Everything..." he told me he didn't like the ending, which was bleak.  I'd conceived it as a horror story, really.  But, he asked me to rework it, and so I did.  It ended up still dark, but the ending has the heroine making peace with 'the thing' that lives with her.  A good, possibly better ending, but not my original intent. For the anthology I revised it back to its original, more horrific ending

One of the many nice things about having an archivist for a wife, is that I still HAD a readable electronic copy of my original. I'd saved it as Thing One (the version I sent to Eric which eventually sold to him was labeled, naturally, Thing Two.) But, it was.. clunky. So I had to do some significant revision.  I guess now I have a Thing Three, which completely ruins the Seuss reference.

Tonight, I teach!  

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: http://www.rclreads.org.

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?
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Mason accused me of being hyper after having eaten all the Reese's Peanut Butter chocolate eggs (which I may have done), but I don't think it's the sugar that got me all jazzed. I had a surprisingly good "First Pages" gig at the Chanhassen Library today. I mean, I actually don't know if I taught anything to the THREE (hey, I was only expecting ONE, so this was an improvement) teens who showed up. But, I had a blast playing with the plot generators that we found on-line.

A couple of my favorites:

For absolute zaniness (including robots poking each other at a funeral), you really need to press "random" and try out one of the generators at http://www.plot-generator.org.uk

The other one that entertained us (though probably me more than them): http://www.springhole.net/writing_roleplaying_randomators/plotgens.htm

From the springhole site, I got the prompt for how I got my superpowers: "Bought them from a fairy."

In response, I wrote this:

They told me if I wanted to get superpowers, I had to buy them from the fairy. The problem was you never knew what it’d cost you. Fairies are fickle, you know. Sometimes they just want something mundane in exchange. I heard of a guy who got the power of invulnerability and all it cost him was a slice of Munster cheese. Other times, they wanted too much, stuff no sane person would part with. Sure, you’re immortal, but your body is gone, and you’re just stuffed teddy bear without even the ability to move or speak.

I don't know if I'll do anything with it, but it's kind of a fun start, isn't it?

The 'First Pages' is an interesting concept, and I do mean 'interesting' in the Minnesota sense. There's a kind of a theme to it. This one was generally supposed to be about "Reading to Write" and the description talked about what kinds of things you could potentially learn from reading books. But, the way that the education department bills it to their instructors is that you're supposed to be far more flexible than that. You're supposed to go in ready to teach that OR ANYTHING THE PARTICIPANTS ASK FOR. We talked a little about what books had taught us about writing (the answer is, of course: EVERYTHING,) but, generally, I'm supposed to go in and ask them what they want to learn... and wing it. I happen to be really good at teaching on the fly for the most part, but I always leave wondering if the participants (I hesitate to call them students in a situation like this) got 1) what they came for, and/or 2) leave feeling as though they got something out of it. I mean, the good news is that it's entirely free. I get paid, but they don't have to pay to play. So, I supposed anything I give them is worth the price they paid, if you look at it that way. But, they are giving up 90 minutes of their day, so I do feel like they should leave feeling like it wasn't a waste.

I never know if I achieve that or not.

Being an extrovert who is pushed to improvise, however = wired.

So, I came home, ate a lot of chocolate and was a little too silly while playing a game of Star Munchkin with Mason and Shawn. :-)

Oh, and yesterday, with his day off, Mason wanted to go to the Mall of America with his allowance and buy a big ol' LEGO set he'd been saving up for for forever. He got a LotR's set "The Tower of Orthanc." It's massive.

Plus, I got an unexpected royalty check, so we decided to splurge a bit as a family. We went book shopping at all our favorite used bookstores. Mason came home with LITERALLY a box of books. I got these:


I got Black Widow 1-8 and Full Metal Alchemist volumes 1-8 (missing #6). I also picked up some Shonen Jump issues that had Bleach in them to added to my collection. I like getting those to see what else was running in Jump at the same time, and because there are often little asides that give you names written in Japanese and whatnot.

Now, I'm going to try to harness some of this energy to write! Wish me luck.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
First of all, I posted a new installment of my grand experiment up on WattPad. I might have been writing up to the very last minute, but that just means this newest installment of UnJust Cause is HOT off the press!

You can read it here: UnJust Cause Part 4: Mochas and Motorcycles.

In this installment, Alex discovers that demons have a weakness for mochas. Also, it seems that the sexy redhead werewolf biker, Mac, is stalking her!

So, there's my sale's pitch. Go read!

I have to say, it's very different, writing this way. I kind of think I might be meandering a bit, but that's alright. I mean, I intend to do revisions before publishing this as an e-book, and it's probably good for me to take some risks. Otherwise, I'd never get this out there.

Tomorrow, Mason and I will probably have another podcast for you, also. I'm all caught up on Ao no Exorcist/Blue Exorcist, so I'll have to squee about that. That's a good manga, I have to say. Very engaging and, at the moment, a very TIGHT story.

Not a lot of other news. We're kind of waiting on snow. The weather people say it might be coming, 40% chance, anyway. Mason is looking forward to having the day off on Friday (I guess there's a holiday???) He wants to try baking bread. So, we're going to give that a go. Should be fun, if nothing else. On Saturday, I was invited to go to Minicon to be on a panel that would have been PERFECT for me, "Anime for SF Fans" (Right???!!). But, it turns out that the panel is scheduled at the EXACT same time as the one writing gig I have this month: I'm doing the Loft's First Pages thing down in Chanhassen. But, you know, it occurred to me, who is going to show up for this thing on the Saturday before Easter? Ah, well, I guess I'll find out. My luck, I'll have crickets and the Anime panel will be packed.

Right, I'm off to have lunch and post some fan fic as well. (My, aren't I busy?)
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I'll tell you no lies.

I was scared to death that last nights' reading at Dreamhaven was going to be a bust.  Even, so I was determined to make the best of it.  I brought along several copies of King David & the Spiders of Mars and planned to read "God Box," my science fictional Biblical horror retelling of the "golden hemorrhoids" story from Judges. I even took my laptop along in case there was more than me and Eric (the coordinator) and I had extra time to read from my WIPs.  I got all dressed up.  I wore tie.  I left early (early enough to stop for coffee, even.)

Pre-show jitters (with cat):


And I kind of held my breath, expecting... crickets.

But... lo and behold, people came.

Lots of people came.

There was hardly an empty seat in the house and someone brought a very professional video camera (on a tripod and everything), so there may be a YouTube video of the reading at some point.  I gave the guy my card, so when/if it goes up, I asked him to let me know.  I'll be sure to link to it here (and anywhere else you're likely to go looking for me.)  But, of course, he was one of the first people to arrive, when all the seats were still empty, and we joked that he should splice in the ComicCon crowd where everyone is shouting, "Loki, Loki" and try to make it sound like "Lyda, Lyda" and I even raised my hands and said, "SAY MY NAME!"

I doubt he'll really do that, but it was fun to imagine, especially since I was still terrified I'd be filmed reading to an empty room.

But, so the reading went REALLY well.  As you know Bob, I'm a bit of an extrovert, so the more people, the higher my energy level.

Did I mention that I'd also stopped for coffee?

Yeah, it could be... "interesting," this film, but, honestly?  I had a BLAST.  I even read from Tate's WIP, the sequel to Precinct 13 (and mostly didn't blush or mumble over the especially dirty bits), and and let people know that they could read a bit more (and the updates as I post them) on WattPad.

So... yeah... a surprising success.

Plus afterwards there's a tradition at the Speculations readings of going out for pizza after, and I can't even remember the last time I has as much fun as I did last night.  A bunch of us were still there as they were turning off lights around us and we even stood around in the cold wind continuing to talk until almost 11:00 pm.  ON A SCHOOL NIGHT!

I have to thank everyone who showed, because I... I *really* thought this was going to suck so much.  So if you were there last night and reading this: THANK YOU.  Big time.  And, if you missed, well, fingers crossed the video will go up soon, and you can see what I'm liked hopped up on crowd and caffeine.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Susan yet lives.

In fact, she's staring at me right now, just hanging out on the substrate, as loaches do.

I'm actually beginning to have hope that maybe, just maybe the 30 gallon tank could have LIFE again.  Plus, damnit, Susan just has SO MUCH personality. Check her out:



Yes, she's "standing" on her fins in this picture, mugging it for the camera.  She does that.  I always used to wonder about that evolutionary moment of the fish crawling out onto land because I never realized JUST HOW MANY fish actually use their front fins this way.  Answer: a lot.  Loaches do it all the time.  There are others, too, who seem to prefer this method of locomotion.

I had no idea.

In other news, you may have heard that Minnesota got hit with "a little" snow.  I don't know what the final tally was, but they'd predicted 10 inches.  I'd believe we got close to that, because trying to get the car over to the other side of the street (for plowing), I managed to get so stuck around the roundabout, that I think I brought the entire neighborhood together to push me back out.

Also, who was the idiot who decided it was a good idea to try to go to work last night?  That's right: Moon-Moon, aka. me.  Getting there wasn't too bad. The roads were mostly slushy at 4:30 pm.  But, by 9 pm?  There were winds that gave me moments of intense white-out, particularly when I drove past the fairgrounds.  Worse, when we were doing "pros and cons" of ima calling in "sick," Mason "helpfully" calculated that, after taxes, I make about $30 a NIGHT.  As I was driving through the blizzard, I thought, "What? This for a measly $30??"

What was even stranger to me?  HOW MANY people looked out the window and said to themselves, "You know, I should go to the library right now and play some Grand Theft Auto on their computers."  Seriously, when I was shelving upstairs I saw easily a dozen people doing their library things, and I thought: "Really, your copy of Nora Roberts couldn't wait for a day when you might not DIE driving home???"

On the other hand, the bosses were happy to see me.  I think they expected a lot of people to bail.  I hope I get some brownie points for it, because my training days are over.  I now have to rely on need.  So I'm going to have a LOT FEWER hours coming March!

It's funny because that's already a good deal/bad deal.  I have to say it's easy to get used to the income.  Since staying home to write and take care of Mason, Shawn and I have always lived... tightly.  We have savings, but we've had to dip into it a lot recently, and with the little extra, we haven't  That makes life a lot less tense, because money is just one of those things, you know?

Plus, I actually secretly ADORE the work I do at the library.  None of it is particularly hard and I actually like helping people get library cards, renew books, and all the stuff I do at the front desk.  I also love getting a chance to see what people request, when I'm filing those, and browse through the non-fiction when I'm shelving that... I mean, I've come home with such a broad variety of books thanks to this job.  And libraries, like the university jobs I've had in the past, attract a very interesting crowd.  My colleagues are all smart and interesting and READERS.  Chatting with them is a highlight as well.

But, of course, not working means more writing... so... yeah.

They cancelled school today, which is no trauma for us, because Mason is still off school and will be for another week.  Hopefully, with all this snow, we'll get some more chances at sledding.  We also have movies to watch and games to play.  I've been working evening hours, so my days have been free.

I think that's all the news... oh, no wait.  I wanted to point people to this lovely review of Resurrection Code: http://booksfantastic.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/resurrection-code-angelink-universe-by-lyda-morehouse-mad-norwegian-press-paperback-isbn-9781935234098-14-95/

And to point out that, alas, Norwegian Press has put this book out of print.  So, if you want one, you'll have to contact me (best way? lyda.morehouse@gmail.com).

Also, I have a lot of up-coming appearances.  Here's the list from my web site:

MARCH 2014

On Wednesday, March 26 from 6:30 to 7:45 pm, I will be the Speculations readers at Dreamhaven Books and Comics. Dreamhaven is located at 2301 E. 38th Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55406. You can get more information about the event by calling 612-823-6161 or visiting: http://dreamhavenbooks.com

APRIL 2014

On Saturday, April 19 from 1:00-2:00 pm I'll be the Loft's "First Pages" instructor for "Read to Write" a program for teens at the Chanhassen Library. The library is located at 7711 Kerber Blvd., Chanhassen, Minnesota.

The program description reads: 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.

For more information call (952) 227-1500 or visit:https://www.carverlib.org/SitePages/chanhassen.aspx

MAY 2014

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. The program description is the same as for Chanhassen. For more information call (651) 724-6001 or check out: http://www.rclreads.org.

JUNE 2014

If students sign up, I'll also be teaching a course called "More Than the Zombie Apocalypse: Writing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novel" for 15-17 year olds as part of the Loft's Young Writer's Program. The class is currently scheduled forJune 16 - June 20, 2014, from 1:00-2:00 pm.

The course description reads: What do Hunger Games and Dr. Who have in common? They're both science fiction! Did you love fantasy novels like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief or How to Train Your Dragon? If writing stories with zombies, robots, vampires, fairies, (or even unicorns!) is your thing, then this might be the class for you. We’ll discuss the difference between science fiction and fantasy, learn how to build believable worlds, and make readers rip through the pages of your short story or novel. We will play story games and have idea prompts with a science fiction/fantasy edge. If one of your goals is to break in and get professionally published, we will also discuss strategies that can make that happen!

For more information check out:https://www.loft.org/classes/about_youth_classes_6-17/!

lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I have a short story called "The God Box" that will be out a Biblical Horror Anthology called KING DAVID AND THE SPIDERS OF MARS, which is available for pre-order on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/King-David-Spiders-Sonya-Taaffe/dp/0976654687

"The God Box" is the story of the golden hemorrhoids from... Judges, I think, except recast as a science fiction story set on Jupiter's moon Ganymede. I'm actually kind of proud of this story, so you know, if the rest of the book sounds at all cool to you, please consider pre-ordering a copy.

Tomorrow I'll try to write down all the excitement of my first day as a Library Page. I had training and a pop quiz and I got to watch the cool conveyer belt of books. But, I have to dash off to Wyrdsmiths in a bit because I'm going early to interview Eleanor Arnason about Icelandic Christmas elves.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
In a couple minutes I need to get up and do the dishes. These days that means watching a little "Samurai Champaloo" while scrubbing. Hulu+ did the weirdest thing with this show, though. It started with the show dubbed, which I was suffering through, and then suddenly, at about the fourth episode, it randomly switched to subbed (which I prefer.) It was almost like a test: Still watching? Okay, you get Japanese!

The only other interesting bit of news I have to share is that I got a call for an interview for a job I applied for. Yep, I kind of need gainful employment, alas. Writing isn't paying at the moment. However, this job required zero experience, so I figured I might be qualified. It's as an itinerant library page for the Ramsey County Library system. I go in tomorrow morning. Wish me luck.

Hopefully, between this, the odd dog walking and other work I can pick up here and there, we can make ends meet. That would be lovely. Money might be the root of all evil, but you kind of need it (which is why it's evil, in part.)

In happier news, I recorded more podcast on Monday night and spent a good portion of yesterday editing it. There will be another one up on the 29th, which is apparently our publication date (since that was when the first went up.) I'll post a link here, too, if you're curious and want to check it out. I have no idea what I'm doing with these, but I'm having fun and, as far as I'm concerned, that's kind of the point. This month we talk Torah with my friend Sean Michael Murphy (you were expecting something else with a name like Sean's?) The thing is, of course, is that Torah is one my fandoms, so I have no idea if anyone else will get as geeked-out excited as Sean and I. Because: angels (and we touch on satan, too. note small 's'.)

If nothing else, I may be inspiring myself.
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
First of all, I have to let people know that an anthology my short story "God Box" is going to appear in is doing one of those kick-starter things, so if you're inclined, please help them out at: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/king-david-the-spiders-from-mars-tales-of-biblical-terror. The anthology is a follow up to SHE NAILED A STAKE THROUGH HIS HEAD, which featured Biblical horror stories. This one will be called KING DAVID AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS. My story, alas, takes place on Ganymede, and while it doesn't feature any spiders, does retell the golden hemorrhoids story. Because golden hemorrhoids are horror.

In other news, I've been somewhat incommunicato because Mason returned from Indiana with a cough that was very reminiscent of Whooping Cough. So, we kept him out of school for the past few days until the test results from the clinic came back. I'm pleased to be able to say that they were negative. He's back at school today--although very, VERY bummed about it. I thought we might be out a while so I took him to the library yesterday and we had a little checking out "accident" of about twenty-one books. And, yes, he'll read most of them by the time they're due back--partly because at least five of those were Toriko manga, all of which he finished yesterday before bedtime.

Mason is not fond of school. It cuts into his reading time.

My only other "news" is that Shawn and I finally watched "Magic Mike," the stripper film. I should preface my review by saying, you know, I like pretty men. I like watching pretty men get semi-naked. Yeah, I'm a lesbian, but I can appreciate all the glistening rock-hard abs and whatnots. But OMG THIS FILM WAS BORING. Let me give you some sample dialogue: "So... um, like, hey." [long pause] "Hey."

I'm not making this up. It was as if the director decided to be "artsy" and go for hyper-realistic dialogue. That can be cool, but ONLY IF THE CHARACTERS AREN'T MORONS. Seriously, the two main characters Mike and Adam have mind-numbingly stupid conversations for hours. Most of which were made up of those kind of grasping, half-finished sentences that dripped into other thoughts without any context or preamble. Characters who were "fast talkers," ie anyone who completed a sentence in less than twelve hours, really stood out. Okay, that's an exaggeration, because it couldn't have possibly been actual _hours_, because the film is only a couple of hours long, but holy shit it felt like a glacial age was passing before these two dolts of supposedly sympathetic main characters said anything of substance. Oh, and I should say that substance usually was signaled by, "Shit. Fucking shit, man."


And the there was dancing.

The dancing was fine, honestly, as it picked up the pace of this film by lightspeed jumps, and Matthew McConaughy's charcter had potential. Actually, they all did, but the story was hampered by DULLNESS. The love interest spends half her time looking so depressed to be there that I finally decided she was a symbol of THE AUDIENCE.

Shawn kept saying to me, "Can we turn it off now?" I doggedly said, "No! It will get better! People said this had a story!"

People LIE.
lydamorehouse: (renji wedding)
Yeah, that's kind of all I wanted to say: CHECK OUT MY NEW ICON! Of course, in that dress, a few more of Renji's tattoos would show, but who cares, because THIS IS SO F*CKING AWESOME. Thank you, Frank Gosar! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer, [livejournal.com profile] haddayr and I spoke at the Regional MENSA meeting yesterday. Naomi says of it: http://naomikritzer.livejournal.com/271725.html.

Mine was like that, only without the need for a PSA. Although I didn't spill coffee on myself right before public speaking, Shawn and I did have a kerfuffle over a painting project that I'd neglected for a long time. So, I wasn't in the best head space either, and we had to rely on Haddayr to be the brains. Luckily, she has enough to cover all three of us.

I did, however, kind of wake up at the very end of the panel discussion to completely jump down the throat of an older guy in the audience who ended up asking this question, "Where were your grandmothers? When I was reading science fiction it was the golden age: Isaac Asimov, Heinlien, etc. I can only only remember a few women--"

I interrupted him right there and said, "Perhaps you've heard of this thing called 'sexism'?"

Where was my grandmother? WTF. Seriously? My father's mother was cleaning houses and lamenting the fact she only had a fourth grade education. My mother's mother was cooking and supporting her family as a widow. It wasn't until the invention of the pill that women of MY MOTHER'S GENERATION finally had the reproductive freedom to even CONSIDER the luxury of writing science fiction for chrissake! And YET, despite all those barriers, SCIENCE FICTION WAS INVENTED BY A WOMAN: MARY SHELLEY.

So f*ck you!

My response, I'll note, was only a little more measured and thoughtful.

But, I did finish painting the hallway. It looks great in "castle path." The ceiling (which was the original project) still needs doing, but we'd been meaning to do this hallway for a long, long time. I didn't take any pictures, because I'm not sure you could tell the difference any more.

Tomorrow, I may post the pictures of the beautious and delicious brunch I made today which included: fresh homemade cinnamon swirl bread, eggs, and sage sausage patties.

Anyway, great icon, neh? LOVE IT!!
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
I have a reoccuring dream/nightmare where I'm arriving at a science fiction convention bright and early on a Saturday morning, I make my leisurely way to registration and... discover I've missed half my panels.

After last night, I suspect I'm going to have a new writing-related nightmare: missing a reading.

So, yeah, I was sitting on my comfy chair doing a whole lot of nothing when the phone rings. Shawn answers it. I hear, "This is she. ... Oh my god!" I sit up, because I think, "Oh, crap, who died?!" Shawn's eyes are wide and she looks at me, "Lyda! You were supposed to be at a reading at Dreamhaven!" I run to the phone, and, sure enough, it's Eric Heideman who coordinates the Speculations Reading series wondering where the heck I am. I look at the time: it's 6:35 pm (the reading started at 6:30) and I say, "On my way!" At least he tells me, I'm not the only one who forgot--at the present time the only people in the store were Greg (Dreamhaven's owner) and himself.

Knowing there wasn't even a small crowd waiting meant to didn't kill anyone as I sped across town. Luckily, Dreamhaven, though it's in another city (Minneapolis), is no more than fifteen minutes away. I made it in 20, because (of course) not only did I hit every single traffic light, but the light rail train crossed at 38th and I had to wait.

On my panicked drive I called [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer because I really needed to share my horror with someone who would understand. Luckily, Naomi thought it was hillarious (just what I needed, honestly,) and I was able to tell her that what I wished was for that moment in "Practical Magic" where Sandra Bullock's character is able to "activate the phone tree!" People seem to be able to organize flash mobs on a moment's notice, but could I get anyone to show up at Dreamhaven for me?


In the end it was me, Eric, and one actual audience member. I really tried to wheeddle my way out of reading anything, but Eric insisted I read SOMETHING. He'd found a copy of a Tales of the UnAnticipated that I had a short story in, so I ended up reading the entire "Van Buylen Effect" (my time-travel couch story.) Since I was mostly reading for myself, I spent the time thinking, "Huh, that was a pretty good story." I don't write a lot of short stories because I tend to find them difficult--condensing a whole beginning, middle and end and all the other things you need like an emotional arc and all that into 10,000 words or less is a very daunting prospect for me. So, I was suprised I'd managed to pull it off pretty well. This is the story, actually, that was recently rejected for a time-travel anthology (the editors were specifically looking for reprints). I'd been feeling like maybe it wasn't as strong a story as I remembered, but now I think, well, actually it was all right.

Anyway, afterwards, the three of us went out for drinks at Merlin's Rest. It was quiz night at the pub, so we entertained ourselves by trying to answer the questions, even though we weren't playing along. I hadn't been in Merlin's Rest before really, and I tasted a bit of the fish and chips Eric ordered. I have to say, I'll be back there. Shawn and I have been looking for a decent fish and chips place since Molly Quinn's closed.

The night ended up being salvaged but OH MY GOD WHAT A NIGHTMARE.

A Wild Ride

Jan. 9th, 2013 06:17 pm
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Yeah, 2013, you certainly are planning on being IN-TER-esting, aren't you?

First, there's a lovely review of Archangel Protocol (e-book) by Joanne Hall on her blog "Making Things Up For a Living," http://hierath.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/book-review-archangel-protocol-by-lyda-morehouse/

In other news, it does appear that 2013 is going to be "The Year Lyda Does ALL THE THINGS." I've got a lot of things in the hopper all of a sudden, none of them sure-things, but all of them ridiculously exciting. I don't mean to be one of those people who is super-cryptic about 'seekrit projects,' so I WILL say that I have some interest from editors for a couple of the proposals that have been sent out to various publishing houses. TWO completely differnet editors looking for sample chapters FOR TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BOOKS. So this means I'm going to be doing a lot of writing on books that may-or-may-not ever see the light of day. However, that DOES really seem to be the trend (to have something in-hand), especially when you're in the boat I'm in, which is to say, where I'm potentially switching publishing houses (and yes, that means I haven't ruled out the possiblity of sticking with Penguin, should I come up with something they might be interested in.)

So, I'm going to be head-down over a lot of POTENTIAL these next few months. Proposals going to the old publisher and sample chapters going out into the world for new editors!

I feel like those guys from BAKUMAN all of a sudden! Hopefully, I won't end up in the hospital from exhaustion (though if I do, I hope I'm writing while recovering!)

As one (or rather several) sure thing projects for 2013, I'm also signed up to be in the Loft's catalogue for the Teen Summer Program for two potential classes. The first will be a somewhat straight-forward science-fiction/fantasy class called, "Beyond the Zombie Apocalypse: Writing SF/F For Teens," and second (which I'm super-excited about becaus it may be the only one of its kind) called, "ALL THE FEELS: Fan Fic 101" a how-to class for fan fiction writers. I've also gotten a proposal accepted for an on-line class for SF/F writers in the intermediate stage of their career called "Over the Transom," which will be a six week class.

I'm also considering offering a class on how to write slash for adults. That one is in the idea stage only, though I do possibly have some people willing to host me as a teacher.

Wow, right? It's crazy around chez Morehouse right now. But crazy in a GOOD way.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] mmerriamat Sky-Tinted Waters ToC #1 - Tutivillus by Lyda Morehouse
Lyda is one of the returning authors, having had a story appear in Northern Lights. Lyda is always a joy to be around at conventions and writer events: a bundle of energy and enthusiasm coupled with a sharp wit and keen mind.

I picked "Tutivillus" because it is a fine tale, delving deeply into temptation and redemption without being heavy-handed, I placed it first in the anthology not only because of its strength as a story, but because I wanted to hit the reader hard and let them know this anthology was going to be full of surprises.

“Tutivillus” originally appeared in the chapbook Tales from the Black Dog.

Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

SF Signals

May. 2nd, 2012 12:45 pm
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I was asked to participate in SF Signal's Mind Meld in which we discuss crossovers we'd love to see.

Notice how I manage to bring up Bleach without actually mentioning it by name. :-)
lydamorehouse: (me)
Yesterday was Alternate History (read: Steampunk) Day at the Minnesota Historical Society. I was invited to participate in a panel discussion about writing science fiction/fantasy. The discussion was moderated by Jody Wurl and my fellow panelists were Kelly McCullough and Kelly Barnhill, which meant it was basically Con. I mean, I was even able to look out into the audience and see people I would normally see at a local convention, including a bunch of folks who were cosplaying Steampunk.

I felt right at home.

I wonder what the MHS folks would have thought if I'd showed up in Bleach cosplay? Does anyone ever cross Edo period Japan and steampunk? How awesome would a steampunk samurai be, huh? ooooooh. Now I have a new idea swirling around in my head....

At any rate, the panel had the potential to be boring (though I knew with Jody moderating and with McCullough there, that was a lot less likely) since the topic was so broad and one that people have heard a ton of times. I mean, what's it like to be a writer? You sit on your butt a lot and type. Yawn. Luckily, we were asked interesting questions and we gave some surprising answers. The one that nearly did me in was this scene:

Audience Member: What's your revision process like?

McCullough and I: (standard answer, our version.)

Barnhill: Well, I might scare some people with this, but I open my document, hit "select all" and then delete.

McCullough and I: (sounds of heart attacks)

Me: Seriously????? You delete everything??? Even entire novels?????

Barnhill: Yes, then I recreate them from memory... (goes on about the awesome of "staying on the edge of the infinite page..." while McCullough and I struggle not to die of fright and horror.)

It took me probably a half hour to get over that. Thank GOD/DESS that Barnhill didn't bring that up until nearly the end of the session or we wouldn't have been able to talk about anything else, and, honestly, McCullough and I probably would have just continued to sputter like idiots. I mean, okay, it's her process and it works for her, but I nearly CRIED when I lost the first 30,000 words of Precinct 13. Okay, by chance, I think it is a better novel for that, but I can't imagine doing that on purpose... not without hiding a copy of the original somewhere at least. I know famous people have been known to do the whole "manuscipt goes into the fire" thing, but I think that's AWFUL. Plus, I have deadlines. Apparently, Barnhill has a deal where she doesn't have deadlines, which I can't actually fathom, but her publisher is Little Brown (not some nobody), so it's a good gig if you can get it, I guess.

lydamorehouse: (urahura)
I've been talking to another friend on e-mail about cosplay, and I think my problem is that I care much less for the costume and a lot more for the play. If I went in costume, (which, btw, I am considering for at least one day of CONvergence, depending on my schedule,) I would TOTALLY spend the day in character.

But, as I've determined, I'm a lot more playful than a lot of people. I was also always that RPGer who would demand to be called by my made-up name (and nearly always opposite gender pronoun) and jump up to act out various scenes during the course of the game/campaign. I also almost NEVER broke character out loud. I might pass notes to the GM about plans or plots or such, but most everything I said (outside of those moments when you HAVE to roll the dice) was in character. I came of age in a time before LARPs so I missed out on that trend, which is probably just as well, because I might never have put down the "dice," as it were, to write. I'd probably still be out in the woods somewhere in costume pretending to be someone else all day long (and well into the night.)

Now that I understand that's my own weirdness, I'll be able to cope much better at the next Detour, I think. If I decide *I* want to cosplay at Detour, I'll just be sure to bring along a posse of friends who are in on it with me.

Speaking of Anime, I feel so incredibly stupid. I only just yesterday discovered that I can stream ALL THE BLEACH at the Viz Media Anime site. See what happened was, I bought Shawn a new iPad for her birthday (technically it's a refurbished iPad, not the new, new iPad,) anyway, we were setting it up and I realized I'd forgotten my Shonen Jump password. I had to go through all the rigamaroll to reset my password and, in the course of all that, got shunted at one point to the main Anime page (as opposed to the Manga page.) Imagine my suprise (and Shawn's groan) when I discovered that EVERY TUESDAY there's a new translated Bleach direct from Japan!! Whoot. Okay, so I'm only about 200 episdoes behind where they currently are, but, what this means is, after NetFlix runs out of discs we can keep watching. Hooray. (Yes, I know Bleach is ending this year. But Mason and I aren't fast watchers, actually. We can burn through a disc in a weekend, but that's only four or five episodes usually. So basically I'm set for LIFE.)

If I may go on about this for a moment, I have to say that I think that one of the reasons this series has inspired so much energy from me is because, ultimately, it's both DEEPLY rich and UTTERLY broken. A lot like Star Wars, actually, which was very likely the last bit of fantasy/SF that stirred this kind of crazy devotion in me. The world of Bleach (particuarly the spirit world, the Soul Society,) is dense. There's a lot of cool stuff: magical swords, magical combat techniques, spectacular fight scenes, in-fighting, weird and unexplained characters who clearly come pre-loaded with a lot of issues that you never quite get all of, etc. Then, after this amazing explosion of awesome, it's like Tite Kubo couldn't quite cope with the pressure to remain super. Not unlike George Lucas. Because then he seems to fumble the pass (and I don't just mean in the Anime, which I totally get has a lot of "filler.") This sort of combination (awesome/awful) inspires a lot of fan energy, becuase a lot of fan fic (at least my own) comes out of a passion to "fix" what is broken in a show. For instance, my fav guy is clearly the Han Solo in a way. He stars out incredibly fascinating and then gets used as the punchline in all the jokes. It makes me crazy.

Okay, enough about that. In my real life (tm,) I am still a bit driftless. I sent in a couple of proposals to my agent, but today I should probably try to work on the one she wants--which is more fluffy Tate stuff. I'm having a really hard time coming up with this because I'm kind of tired of it... though I'd pretty much write to spec right now if it meant having a contract.

My Loft class is just about over. I was just asked if I'd be willing to teach on-line again, and I said yes. Despite the weirdness of teaching on-line, I think that there are some real advantages to getting to do this sort of thing from home. So, I'm going to give it another try. We'll see if this next experience gets any easier/better. I suspect it's a matter of getting the hang of things (not unlike my first experience with Detour.)

Mason is home from school today with an upset stomach. I think he just had too many weird foods last night as he got a pair of chopsticks from a tutor who'd traveled to China (she gave a pair to everyone in class, not just the kids she tutors) and so he talked us into Vietnamese food. He got pretty good at the chopsticks, but I'm not sure all the spice and whatnot agreed with him. Plus, afterwards, he had a bunch of desserts including both icecream and watermelon.

At any rate, I'm going drag him along to my Women of Wyrdsmiths meeting because I think he's actually already over it-- thanks to a bathroom trip this morning (TMI)-- and I really hate to cancel that get-together because it's one of my favorite weekly traditions.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Here's the link to the .mp3 archived file of my "Write On Radio" show, http://www.kfai.org/node/42318 in which I talk about (and read from) the newest book, ALMOST EVERYTHING as well as PRECINCT 13 (which I mistakenly refer to as another Garnet book) and go on to discuss a few plot spoilers, and spend a long time critiquing my response to THE HUNGER GAMES.

I only managed to talk over one of the hosts at one point, so I guess, for me, that's a success.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Hey, you groovy cats, I'm going to be one of the guests on this week's "Write On! Radio" show! So, if you want to tune in, here's the info: Tuesday, March 6, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm Central on KFAI (90.3 FM Minneapolis/106.7 FM St. Paul). It is also streaming live (or in archive) at: http://www.kfai.org/writeonradio.

KFAI has been delightfully loyal to my career all these years, and I'd love for y'all to tune in, particularly if you've never listened before. Steve McEllistrem (one of the hosts) is a somewhat-closeted-science fiction fan, so he's always willing to read my books, which is great. Plus, I'll be live, in-studio, which is just COOL. I get to wear the giant headphones and talk into a hanging microphone. It makes me feel like I'm Dr. Johnny Fever from WKRP in Cincinnati.

Also, I heard from my guest liason/all-around-god-of-Fandom yesterday and I will be on two panels at this year's Anime Detour. The first one on Saturday, March 31 on "Fullmetal Alchemist" at 10:00 am which means I should probably take the time to finish watching the series and get "Brotherhood" under my belt before then. Shouldn't be too hard. Once I got over my shock of "Cry of the Chimera" it's been easy to get back into it. Alas, Netflix only has dubbed streaming. The voices are OKAY, though I think I'd understand Mustang better if I knew what kind of voice he was really supposed to have. Perhaps I'll luck out and "Brotherhood" will be subbed.

The second one is about an Anime I know nothing about, but I sensed they needed a warm body to make the panel viable so I will be "the panelist with the (hopefully) insightful questions."

I'm still waiting to hear about this weekend's panels for MarsCON. But I'm expecting to be there Saturday (mostly), and possibly a bit of Sunday. If I'm scheduled for anything on Sunday, I'll have Mason in tow, since Shawn actually has to put in some weekend hours that Sunday. Hopefully, I'll see some of you there.

My guest liason also hinted that I will be on a "metric ton" of panels for CONvergence, which actually made me happy. As long as someone fetches me food (and probably more importantly caffeine) when I need it, I can pretty much talk all day. In this way, I am a true extrovert, particularly as defined by the Meyers-Briggs. I get my energy from interacting with other people. I leave the party late, with increased energy.

Speaking of weekend hours, Shawn had work on Saturday, so she's off today. Our big plans are to go fabric shopping, and possibly hit GoodWill (my pants, ehm, are too big. I need a size smaller. HOW AWESOME IS THAT???!!) I'm behind on taking care of the animals too, so the only other thing I NEED to do is change the fish tanks.

Such a glamorous life I lead!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
RESURRECTION CODE comes out tomorrow! Gah!

I spent a good portion of yesterday writing my "Big Idea" blog for Scalzi's WHATEVER. As I posted on FB, I'm not entirely sure how "Satan's quest for justice from an unfair God, and the transgendered identity of the universe" is going to play in Peoria. (The above was the phrase I used when describing it to Scalzi in my query e-mail.) On the flip side, I also decided that I have nothing to loose by being out there and bold. Sometimes making a few waves can be good publicity.

We'll see what he has to say about it. I handed it in a week early because I wanted Scalzi to have a chance to comment on it and have me revise it, if I'm too scattered (totally possible) or he doesn't really want me to hang all the way out in public, as it were (less likely).

So... fingers crossed.

I think I managed to be provocative, yet funny as well as "big idea"-y, yet personal. I looked back at some of the recent "big idea" essays and didn't find them quite as, shall we say, controversial as what I planned to talk about. But I think I got the general TONE of their peices into mine, which is to say, kind of chatty and informal without blathering. I managed to keep it relatively short -- about 700 words -- almost right in between the required 500 - 1,000 word length.

Can you tell I'm deeply nervous about this???

And, btw, thanks to all of you who pushed me to query "Big Idea." Even if this is a complete bust, it's been a challenging experience, and, as my Dark Side Sith Master always told me, "If you're not just a little scared, you're not really living up to your potential."

And, my other freak out about tomorrow's date is that it also means I have EXACTLY one month to finish Tate's #3 vampire princess book. Technically, I'm somewhere in the late middle, but I find I write the majority of the book in this crunch time.

Fingers crossed. Again.

Otherwise, the weekend was a lot of fun. Mason had his last swim class. He did not pass up to level 3, but, as this is a Red Cross certified deal, I'm not terribly surprised. He's a good swimmer with a lot of strokes, but not entirely confident with others. But now we're going to have all spring and summer to practice. We could sign him up for the next session, but we've discovered that his big swimming break-throughs tend to be when he's on his own (not literally, of course, but as in outside of class.)

I also attended a St. Patrick's day party on Sunday. That was fun, though I didn't stay terribly long because I'd left Mason and Shawn at home this time. I got to see some people whose company I really enjoy and met/re-met some people I don't see on a regular basis. There was corned beef and fixins' (nom. nom.) and probably some excellent beer and such, but I'm such a lightweight when it comes to alcohol that I stuck to pop.

Well, I should go have a little lunch, as we say here in Minnesota, and get head down over my keyboard.

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