Signal Boosting

Today you get a bonus post in the form of signal boosting.

Tomorrow (September 16th, if I recall on CDT), Elizabeth Barrette will be holding a poetry fishbowl crowdfunding event. Give prompts and receive poetry. It’s an additional fishbowl with a set theme. This event is all about P.I.E.

Meet Brenda Cochlain, Private Investigator Extraordinaire. She deals with the really weird cases. She also happens to use a wheelchair; and she can kill with guns, blades, or her bare hands if necessary. That guy kissing her is Darrel Finn, undercover cop. He thinks that smart, tough women are hot. This puts him ahead of Nate, a lawyer; and Rick, a construction boss — the other two guys interested in her.

The series, as you can guess, is urban fantasy. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might have noticed that urban fantasy isn’t really my thing. If you’re an avid reader of urban fantasy, you’ll also have an idea of how difficult it is to fit that genre into poetry. But it works really well.

Elizabeth has also made a few posts discussing disability issues the past few weeks, some inspired by the fishbowl. There’s a post about the use of the terms disabled vs handicapped here on LJ and here on DW. There’s also a post about disability in SFF (on LJ and on DW.)

This discussion on narratives of diversity in SFF is also linked courtesy of Elizabeth.

If you’re interested in seeing more diversity in (SFF) fiction, Elizabeth has a lot of different series for you to check out and I highly recommend them, but this Tuesday/tomorrow, you can request specific things set in the P.I.E.-verse so if there’s anything you’d particularly like to see in fiction, visit Elizabeth’s LJ or DW tomorrow and leave a few prompts. Or, if you know you’ll be busy or fear missing the fishbowl, you can leave an advance prompt. (Please see either the announcement post on LJ or the one on DW.)

Maria Stanislav, meanwhile, is writing a neat guide on her experiences as a freelancer. The first post in the series can be found here. So far the posts cover self-care and time management. They’re filled with practical advice and very accessible.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald, editor extraordinaire, has just started up a professional blog. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what Elizabeth plans to discuss and I hope she’ll have a blast!

Grace from Books Without Any Pictures, has written up a book blogger’s guide to managing ARCs.  I’d add that a review policy that allows physical books mentions roughly where the books would need to be sent. In my book blogging days I’ve been offered ARCs only for the author/publisher to rescind when they learned they’d be shipping to Europe. Adding the information is no guarantee it’ll be read by everyone (in all cases, the information was right there on my policy page), but it’ll save both you and the person offering you the book a lot of heartache. (On the flipside, authors and publishers offering paper review copies, be sure to check whether you’re willing to ship to a reviewer before offering. You’ll make reviewers super-excited and then super-sad.)

Lastly, a few days ago, Amy Rae Durreson linked me to Queer Romance Month. As I understand it, it’ll run for all of October. Amy’s got a story ready for it, so more on that when I can. For now it has some pretty interesting articles on queer romance on the site.

And that’s all I’ve got. ^_^ May there be something useful in it!

Serial: A Promise Broken, 32

Wherein there are kittens! Briefly. Blink and you’ll miss them kittens. Wherein there is also Arèn still trying to be a good parent and he bonds with his niece over magical theory. Also wherein Eiryn realises her mother is really, really gone.

A Promise Broken is a WIP serial fantasy novel that updates every Monday for free. You can read more about the project here. For every €20 in donations, an additional Wednesday post will be unlocked.

A Promise Broken

Lynn E. O’Connacht

Part 32

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Seven Deadly Sins (of Gaming) Meme

 I did sort of imply I was going to do one of these, so… Here it is. ^_^ Seven gaming meme questions and my answers to them all. Have fun!

GREED – What is your most inexpensive game?

Probably Super Amazing Wagon Adventure. I forgot how big the discount was, but I got it on discount and, barring games I’ve received for free, that makes it the cheapest game I have. Quite fun too, though I’m utterly and entirely abysmal at it.

WRATH – What game do you have a love/hate relationship with?

(Heroes of) Might and Magic, the franchise before Ubisoft rebooted it. Love the world, love the setting, love the story, love the games. Suck at strategy big time and the one map I had where I was doing awesome and kicking major butt (HoMM2, Resource Wars map scenario with only the purple wizard who only had its island of all the monsters ever standing between me and total victory) got lost forever when my mother, in all her infinity wisdom of computers, broke the software enough to require reformatting the entire drive and no one bothered to check whether there was stuff I wanted to maybe, you know, back-up.

No, I am totally not bitter about losing that save file. Absolutely not.

But I never did manage to get back to such levels of awesome and I still adore the games. The RPGs as well. 4-7 are some of my favourite games. (Even though I’m terrible at them. I am awesome at Arcomage, though.)

GLUTTONY – What game have you devoured over and over with no shame?

Apart from (Ho)MM and the built-in version of Arcomage? Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 with ToB expansion pack. (Yep. Not Tales of the Sword Coast.) So much fun. Also, King’s Quest 7, only my favourite KQ game ever. And Quest for Glory 3 and 5. Thief 1. Thief 3 had some nice replays. Sword of the Stars: The Pit. Minecraft.

… Yeah, okay. No wonder I can never reduce the size of my gaming backlog. I keep replaying things.

SLOTH – What game have you neglected reading due to laziness?

Consortium, I think. Actually, if you want to count it that way, everything remaining on my list. That probably makes it… Gabriel Knight 1 since that’s been on my list the longest. Or possibly Syberia 1. No. No, wait. Planescape: Torment. That’s been the longest on my list. (But it’s looooooooooooong. T_T)

PRIDE – What game do you talk most about to sound like an intellectual gamer?

Those games that have awesome stories. I like stories. I like seeing how they work on their own as well as how the game mechanics fit around them. (DEATH TO THE PIXEL HUNT. And also THE ILLOGICAL PUZZLES OF ILLOGICALNESS. Still so totally looking at you, KQ5.)

LUST – What attributes do you find attractive in male or female characters?

Pretty much the same thing as for the reading meme: kindness, compassion, intelligence… I like well-rounded characters that seem like fun people to be around or be friends with, really. Beyond that I’m not too picky. Being nice to look at does not hurt.

ENVY – What game would you most like to receive as a gift?

Er… A DRM-free copy of Child of Light? That one sounds interesting, but. UPlay. Alternatively, I would also quite like a complete (non-UPlay-dependent) version of HoMM6 sorry, MM:H6) that I could gift to my mum who still really really loves the franchise. (I’ve been trying to get her interested in similar games, but nope.) Dragon Age: Inquisition would be a good gift too, but that’s not out yet, so.

But, other than that, I’m still pretty much set. I can spend several years gaming before I run out of backlog, especially with the added replay value that some games have.

Serial: A Promise Broken, 31

Wherein Arèn has an interesting talk with Radèn and runs into his niece. This is also where adults start to notice that hey this bullying thing is actually a really big problem that needs addressing and how helpless people can feel to stopping it.

A Promise Broken is a WIP serial fantasy novel that updates every Monday for free. You can read more about the project here. For every €20 in donations, an additional Wednesday post will be unlocked.

A Promise Broken

Lynn E. O’Connacht

Part 31

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Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Reading Month Wrap-up

And now… a week later than planned, the wrap-up post for the Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Reading Month! (dun dun DUUUUN) I hope everyone who participated had a lovely time with the book or books they chose to read! At the bottom of the post you’ll find a shiny new linkie for any posts I may have missed and thus failed to include.

For my own participation, I set out to read 7 books:

And, as I mentioned earlier, I read all seven of them. WHOOHOO! And I also went out and used my emergency funding to buy a few more. Notably:

  • Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier
  • Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon
  • Shadowplay by Laura Lam

I am excite! They’re not on the September list of things I want to read since I’ve pushed books by friends or books I’ve been promising friends I’d read for months to the backburner to revel in Strange Chemistry books in August. It’s their turn this month. I opted not to review two books since I could not, in good conscience, do so in the spirit of the month. (I’m really sorry! I wanted to love everything.) I also didn’t manage to read any Exhibit A Books. I’m a very mixed bag about this, because I knew from the get-go that’d be a tough one. It’s just not my genre and I don’t know where to start or what to look at. Mostly I’m sad I couldn’t give those authors a better shout-out.

Grace from Books Without Any Pictures has read several books for the reading month:

The latter two are short story prequels. Grace has also reviewed a few Strange Chemistry books before the Reading Month began and was kind enough to round up the links at the beginning of the month here and I heartily recommend checking them out.

Ellie from Curiosity Killed the Bookworm has also read several books:

I’m really sorry if I’ve missed anyone or any specific posts that people have made! Drop the link in the comments or use the Mister Linkie to let people know about them if you have any I missed.

Thanks to everyone who participated or wanted to participate and spread the word! May the authors affected by the closing of Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Books all find good new homes and may their careers continue on an upwards slant!

Farewell, Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Books. You shall be missed, but the stories that you published shall live on in the authors and their careers. May they write and publish many more works for us to enjoy!

Monthly Goals August/September 2014

And that’s the end of August and almost the first week of September gone! Back to day job work I have gone. ^_^

I Want to Read:

  • Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
  • Pantomime by Laura Lam
  • Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon
  • Playing Tyler by T. L. Costa
  • Stolen Songbird by Danielle Jensen
  • Feather Bound by Sarah Raughley
  • Essence by Lisa Ann O’Kane

I Want to Write:
– at minimum 1 chapter of A Promise Broken
– rework at minimum one scene from the Space Ghosts tale

I made everything! Except for the chapter of A Promise Broken, but I got distracted by another (and supposedly single-month) project and I got several chapters of the Space Ghosts done, so that’s still not too shabby. I didn’t get a whole lot more than this done, though, and I’m not entirely sure why not which bothers me. Still, I’m reasonably happy with the progress I’ve made on things.

For September I’m going to stick to keeping things fairly simple.

I Want to Read:
– Earthrise by M.C.A. Hogarth
– Unbound and Free by Becca Lusher
– Solitary Star by Clare K.R. Miller
– The Revenge of Kaivalya by Sumana Khan

I Want to Write:
– this dratted collection of train-stories already so I can publish it in the last quarter of the year ><
– rework at minimum 1 chapter from the Space Ghosts
– rework 1 scene of A Promise Broken

Since I have a delightfully massive buffer for A Promise Broken at present, I’m going to go ahead and scale that book’s goal down a little for September. Just a touch. I want/need to focus on the other two projects at the moment. ^_^ (I’m soooooo sloooooooow nowadays.) It’ll be a pretty interesting month to be sure, but hopefully it’ll be a good one too. ^_^ I’ve got plenty of books to look forward to at least. ^_^ The day job is also starting up again, which is also nice. There have been some changes in the way things are run, so I’m not sure how it’ll affect my hours yet. Hopefully not too badly. (But then I was hoping that the dental woes would be on the home stretch by now and… they’re kind of not. Ugh. I would like that to stop hovering over me now, so onwards we go.)

Book Conversation (with Memory Scarlett): The Angel’s Cut

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As my good friend Memory said a few months ago: so many wonderful things begin on Twitter. Like reading a book together and then discussing it. Sometimes they continue on Twitter, but this conversation about the sequel to The Vintner’s Luck wouldn’t quite fit there. (It’s over the character limit. Just a tad. A smidge.) After a nice brief break and then life intervention on both our parts, Memory and I finally managed to align our reading schedules enough to do a buddy read of The Angel’s Cut and so we present to you today, the ensuing discussion. Wherein there is much squeeing and pondering of things. And cats. There are also cats.

The Angel's Cut by Elizabeth KnoxThis is part 2 of our conversation, as a note. Part 1 can be found on Memory’s blog here. (If you’d like to see our conversation about The Vintner’s Luck first, you can find part 1 here and part 2 here.)

For those of you who’d like a summary, it is provided below, courtesy of the back cover:

Hollywood, 1929. While Conrad Cole is working late on elaborate plans for his aeroplanes and his films, a mysterious stranger appears at his door. Xas soon finds himself caught up in the glamorous and treacherous world of movie-making and entangled with both Cole and a young woman who owes her life to the eccentric director. Both of them are drawn to Xas without knowing his secret – that under his shirt he hides the remnants of great snowy wings that set him apart from humankind, and that he is destined to wander the earth forever, always hearing the beating of feathers behind him, threatening him that his dark brother has found him again.

The Angel’s Cut will actually stand alone fairly well, so if it sounds like your kind of book, don’t be put off by the fact that it’s a sequel to another book. It will help if you’ve read The Vintner’s Luck because some things will make more immediate sense, but it’s not necessary. I’ll let Memory introduce herself again too:

Hello, Lynn’s readers! I’m Memory, a writer, reader, and watcher of trashy television (and/or movies where lots of stuff blows up). Lynn was one of the first people I met when I jumped into the blogosphere in late 2008, and she’s introduced me to a fair few wonderful books over the years–including THE VINTNER’S LUCK.

And I think that’s it. So with very little further ado… Let’s move on!

!!! REMEMBER! THIS IS PART 2. YOU CAN READ PART 1 HERE. !!!

!!!! HERE BE SPOILERS! THIS IS YOUR SPOILER WARNING! !!!!

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Serial: A Promise Broken, 30

Wherein we have more adult meetings and kerisaoina politics. This features Myrtan once more, so this is your standard reminders that he’s a xenophobic, racist, kerisaoina supremacist and gets to talk in this part. (If you’re wondering why they don’t just chuck him out… Well, you’ll learn why soon enough.)

Yep, I copied this over from last week. And now that you’ve got the whole scene in full. This was one of the hardest scenes to write. I don’t like writing politics, which is obviously why I keep finding myself with stories that have them. But I don’t and I have all the anxiety about how well it actually works. The general dynamics are there, but I’m not sure how well they work for readers.

A Promise Broken is a WIP serial fantasy novel that updates every Monday for free. You can read more about the project here. For every €20 in donations, an additional Wednesday post will be unlocked.

A Promise Broken

Lynn E. O’Connacht

Part 30

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Reading/Watching/Gaming/Etc August 2014

August kind of ran away from me for some reason. But, still, I can’t really complain, as you’ll discover below. The goals post will be up a few days later than normal, just as a heads-up, and the Reading Month will have a final round-up post in the second week of September. (So if you wanted to join in and haven’t yet read a book, I’ve just snuck you in another week and a bit. I won’t tell.)

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