The kindness of strangers

12 August 2014 | 1 Comment

It’s not the quenching of blazing talent that touches me most about Robin Williams’ death. It’s the moments of kindness and generosity that he gave while he was alive.

I hope that people were kind and generous to him when it mattered. I hope they made him laugh.

Enjoy your day. Make someone laugh if you can, because that joy is never wasted, and it is never lost.

Come chat with me!

25 July 2014 | Comments Off

The Clarion West Summer Workshop and the Write-a-thon are heading into the final stretch next week. It’s been exhilarating to cheer on the 18 hardworking students in Seattle, and the 263 writers from 11 countries who are participating in the Write-a-thon.

This Sunday, July 27, at 11:00 AM PDT, I’ll be Tweetchatting with the brilliant Henry Lien about Clarion West, writing, and… well, whatever you would like to chat about. Because it’s not a chat without you there! Please join us at hashtag #writeathon for an hour of conversation.

And please consider supporting one of the many terrific writers participating in the Clarion West Write-a-thon. It’s our primary fundraiser of the year, and every dollar you pledge encourages a writer to meet her goals, supports the creation of new work, and helps to sustain the Clarion West Workshop. Your contribution touches the lives of so many writers, and through them, so many readers. Every writer matters. Every reader matters. Every dollar you give to Clarion West matters.

Enjoy your day.

Write, give, help, grow

14 June 2014 | Comments Off

It’s almost time for the Clarion West Write-a-thon, and there is space for everyone at the table!

Clarion West is one of the world’s best and most highly regarded workshops for emerging writers of speculative fiction. Each year, the workshop receives submission applications from writers all over the world: each year, CW invites 18 of them to a six-week intensive residential workshop experience in Seattle. A different professional writer or editor serves as the instructor in residence each week. Stories are workshopped 5 days a week. Students are encouraged to write, write, write, and write some more as they stretch to embrace new ideas and internalize new skills. Clarion West writers reach for the stars, lose a lot of sleep, forge a strong community with their peers; many leave transformed by the experience.

The Write-a-thon is CW’s primary fundraising event, held in parallel with the workshop each year. Any writer anywhere can participate. Sign up; set a writing goal; find a sponsor (or several) to donate to Clarion West in support of your writing; and then join an astonishingly varied and vibrant community of Write-a-thon participants worldwide on Twitter and Facebook as everyone works hard, laughs a lot, shares their struggles, and offers each other support.

Come write. Come give to a writer. Come watch the writer and the work grow. And support a workshop that for more than 30 years has been changing writers lives.

And for those who have supported me in past Write-a-thons — thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am not currently signed up to participate, but I hope that you’ll pick a writer to support this year — maybe someone whose never had a sponsor before — so they too can experience how wonderful it feels when people have your back.

Thank you! And enjoy your day.

Coode Street podcast fun

3 March 2014 | Comments Off

Nicola and I had the great pleasure last night of a lengthy conversation with Jonathan Strahan and Gary Wolfe on the Coode Street podcast, in which we talked about Hild and the boundaries of SF/fantasy, and corporate politics, and outsider stances. It was fun, and I’m only sorry we weren’t actually all around a table with drinks in hand.

I love the opportunity for this kind of conversation that the internet has made possible. It’s funny, because I generally dislike doing panels at conventions, but I’m quite happy to hang out on Skype and have a discussion that I know people will hear. Perhaps it’s because I prefer conversation to staking out positions and expounding (which is sadly my experience of most panels). At any rate, this was a terrific experience for me and I look forward to finding more like it. I hope you enjoy listening.

Thanks so much to Gary and Jonathan for inviting us!

Enjoy your day.

Reminder: reading Tuesday night in Kirkland

13 January 2014 | Comments Off

I am reading Tuesday night in Kirkland, and hope you will join me.

It’s been a while since I’ve read in Seattle, and this one is special from my perspective: an opportunity to share work that I haven’t read to Seattle audiences yet. I love to read, and I’m excited to read something new.

Location details below, and you can head over to Nicola’s blog for more details about the structure of the event (because I am just that lazy, ).

Wilde Rover Irish Pub and Restaurant
111 Central Way
Kirkland, WA 98033

Starts at 7PM.

Enjoy your day, and come share some story with us if you can.

Local reading January 14. Drinks! Stories! Cool writers!

3 January 2014 | Comments Off

I’m delighted to be part of the SFWA Pacific Northwest Reading Series with Nicola Griffith and Janet Freeman-Daily .

It is FREE. It is AT A PUB. We will read Interesting Stories that perhaps have not been read in public before… Really, how much more do you need?

Please join me, Nicola, and Janet at:

Wilde Rover Irish Pub and Restaurant
111 Central Way
Kirkland, WA 98033

Start at 7:00 PM, event finishes by 8:30 PM

If you know now that you’d like to attend, please take a moment to RSVP at this link. You do NOT have to RSVP to attend — if you find at the last minute you can come, please do regardless of RSVP status. This is just a way for the restaurant to get a rough headcount.

Any questions, let me know! I hope to see you there. It will be fun.

Enjoy your day.

Grateful Project 2014

2 January 2014 | Comments Off

I’m doing a Grateful Project this year, for which I will take a photo of something each day that I’m grateful for, and why. You can see the daily photos on my brand new Flickr account, on Instagram, or on my Facebook album.

Here are the first two days of the year:

“I am grateful for Nicola every day, so it feels perfect to start my 2014 Grateful Project with her beautiful smile. Jan 1, 2014″

“We helped a hurt crow last year and now the crow tribe has adopted us. Their company makes me feel special. Jan 2 2014.”

Life is short and it’s forever. It’s hard and it’s beautiful. It’s full of unexpected treasures and everyday joys. It all matters. So thanks in advance for joining me for some of the daily moments.

Enjoy your day.


1 January 2014 | Comments Off

“A hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt action.” –Ralph Ellison

Hello, world. Happy New Year.

Because: Buffy!

21 November 2013 | 10 Comments

What does it mean that I read this entire fabulous post ranking every single episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer from worst to best in detail? And found myself nodding or making the Dude you are so wrong in your wrongness here frowny face? You tell me ::grin::.

I miss Buffy, and Firefly (heartbreak!), and I wish they would make Sherlock faster. What about you? What jazzes your TV world these days?

Also, I am testing a new plugin that automatically posts to Facebook and Twitter. Scary! We’ll see how it goes.

Enjoy your day.

Notes on the long game: Hild

15 November 2013 | 2 Comments

I’m crossposting this from Sterling Editing.

Writing is what I like to call a long game. It takes as long as it takes to write the best book we can. It takes as long as it takes to find the right editor and publishing path. It takes as long as it takes for the book to find its readers. Through it all, we must keep writing and reading. We must keep learning, stretching, reaching for the best within us. We must find our community of practice — the people who help us be better writers — and our community of support — those who encourage us, love us, feed us comfort food, let us give up writing for 24 hours because we’ve just been rejected again, but never let us give up writing for real.

All these things take work, energy, focus, commitment, the ability to find good feedback and do something constructive with it, and occasional long stretches of sheer stubbornness. And then one day the book is ready. And then it is out.

This week, Nicola’s novel Hild is out.

It’s been a long process. Nicola has been thinking about some aspects of this story for more than 20 years; researching for 10; writing and editing for 4; preparing specifically for this week with many months of very hard work. She has spent years building her relationships with her editor, readers, booksellers, reviewers, publicists, and other writers. She has been a part of the generosity economy that is so necessary to writing (to everything!) these days. And this week, her long-term investment is paying off with terrific reviews, many interviews, and lots of articles by Nicola about the book. Check out her latest update and follow the links. Read the reviews at NPR Books, at Vulpes Libris, at The Seattle Times, at Los Angeles Review of Books.

That’s the payoff for the long game of the writing itself. The payoff for the community came on Wednesday night, with a reading and launch party at Seattle’s Hugo House. Standing room only. Friends, family, readers, writers, people who read the reviews, people who love historical fiction. All sorts of people came to hear Nicola read from Hild and answer questions about the book. The goodwill in the room was so overwhelming that I thought my heart would burst.

People love a good story well told. People love to read. People love to connect with characters and the writers who bring them to life. Cue the Field of Dreams music: If you build it, they will come.

So today I want to say to everyone who writes: keep building. Believe in the long game. Don’t aspire to be a writer: go be one. If you write, you are a writer. If you stick it for the long game, if you play to be the best writer you can be, then you win the most important prize of all.

Thank you all for your support of Nicola’s work, and mine, and Sterling Editing. We appreciate you all.

Next Page »