Unreliable Alumni on the 2016 Locus Recommended Reading List

February 5, 2017 0

Unreliable Alumni were well-represented on the 2016 Locus Recommended Reading List (and you better believe that both our TBR stacks and our TBI (to-be-interviewed) lists have grown!)

Congratulations, everyone!

Walter Jon Williams (Novels—Science FictionImpersonations: A Story of the Praxis)

Paul Cornell (Novels—FantasyWho Killed Sherlock Holmes?NovellasThe Lost Child of Lychford)

Richard Kadrey (Novels—FantasyThe Perdition Score)

Ken Liu (Novels—Fantasy: The Wall of StormsCollectionsThe Paper Menagerie and Other Stories; Anthologies—Reprints/Bests: Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation, editor/translator; Short Stories: “Dispatches from the Cradle: The Hermit – Forty-Eight Hours in the Sea of Massachusetts” (in Drowned Worlds); “Seven Birthdays” (in Bridging Infinity))

Fran Wilde (Novels—FantasyCloudboundNovelettes: “The Jewel and Her Lapidary“; Short Stories—”Only Their Shining Beauty Was Left“)

Stephen Graham Jones (Novels—HorrorMongrelsNovelettes: “Birdfather“; “The Night Cyclist“)

Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Novels—HorrorCertain Dark Things)

Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Novels—HorrorHEX)

Paul Tremblay (Novels—HorrorDisappearance at Devil’s Rock)

Yoon Ha Lee (coming soon) (First NovelsNinefox Gambit; Novelettes: “Foxfire, Foxfire“; Short Stories—”Shadow’s Weave”)

 

Productivity at Any Cost?

February 1, 2017 0

This month I wrote 2200 words, most of it on the revision train. I had expected to finish The Pawn of Isis and send it out to beta readers today. But…my mother died. Very quickly, of cancer. There were hospital visits, and then funeral arrangements, and apartment clearing, and grief, then grief with illness. Right now, I think I’m beginning to get back on my feet.  Ask me if I could write through any of that. I clocked 1.5 hours of sheer escape. And that’s it. Desperation writing, which I could not find more time to do.

There are those writers who will tell you that you must write every day, or else you are not serious. Well. I think that advice really, really needs to change. I am a serious writer. Hey, I am the turtle of writing. Slow and steady, in pre-planned time chunks, never a sprinter, always a plodder, moving forward in the way each book demands. I have a full-time job. Relationships I value. I am not a procrastinator. And yet, I don’t write every day.

Some days, I can’t write. Maybe work was too demanding. Maybe I’m tired or sick. Maybe the unexpected has occurred. As a matter of fact, many, many writers have full-time jobs and other obligations. I begin to think that most of us do these days. We value insurance, we value retirements. We value human contact. And a stable income that comes at reasonable intervals

I am not dissing full-time writers. I am saying that my career plan is very different. And even if my career plan weren’t, I suspect most writers would have a hard time finding voice with the month I’ve had. Many of us are having trouble with the current climate of our country.

I believe we need to be gentle and forgiving with ourselves. I could berate myself for my not reaching my goal, but I just can’t see it right now. I’m not a machine. We are not machines. We are human beings, artists, who feel deeply, else we would not be writers, artists, creators. And we live in extraordinary times. Sometimes the times inflict the extraordinary upon us.

Write when you can. Write when it gives you joy. Don’t make it a chore or a goal you didn’t reach. And when you can write, appreciate the gift of time, the gift of motivation, the gift of creativity. Right now, that’s what gives me light and hope.

Mission accomplished

January 31, 2017 0

The first (only?) round of E’ville is out the door as of yesterday. Many thanks to everyone who contributed in ways great and small–no way would this have been possible without all of you. I have quite a few thoughts about the whole process and what it’s taught me; rather than push all the podcasts off the front page, I’ve shared it on my own blog.

We’re just getting warmed up. Stay tuned for more off-kilter side projects!

57.0 – Paradise Lost

January 19, 2017 0

un_plAuthor and event organizer extraordinaire Sean Patrick Kelley joins us to chat about one of our favorite writing workshops, Paradise Lost in San Antonio. Sean has a lot of thoughts on community building for authors, and PL is perhaps the most successful blend of craft and merriment for burgeoning writers. A few registration slots remain, so what are you waiting for?

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