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::.
Also, I am testing a new plugin that automatically posts to Facebook and Twitter. Scary! We’ll see how it goes.
Enjoy your day.
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.
12 November 2013 | Comments Off
There are many ways to buy it.
And there is already much praise!
It’s a wet, wooly day in Seattle. Who cares? It is made bright by my beloved and her astonishing, brilliant book.
Enjoy your day. Read something wonderful!
5 November 2013 | Comments Off
“A lot of people helped me, and my work is better for it. It’s a gift artists can and should give to each other…”
Many thanks to journalist and Seattle Wrote founder Norelle Done for a great conversation, and for the terrific collection of interviews with Seattle authors she has garnered (check out Louise Marley and Matt Ruff for starters).
Enjoy your day.
5 November 2013 | 7 Comments
And people are amazing. Watch what happens when a little girl in Spain drops a few coins into a street performer’s hat.
Watch the faces.
Enjoy your day
25 September 2013 | 5 Comments
Nicola and I think all our readers are splendid people. We’ve had the chance to connect with so many good-hearted folks through our work — it’s one of the gifts that writing brings us.
Now one of our splendid readers is bringing another gift. On October 20, Kevin Scarr will ride his bike 50 kilometers to raise money for MS research in Western Australia. Kevin is dedicating his ride, and the money he raises, to Nicola and me. See that smeary place right here on this post? That’s me getting misty.
Will you please consider sponsoring Kevin’s ride? We’d be honored and grateful for your support of him and of MS research.
And if you’re in Western Australia, please consider joining the team for the ride. Kevin is a great person who promises to do handstands on the bike and sing songs and wear a funny hat…. okay, no, he actually didn’t promise that at all. But it will be fun, nonetheless, to hang out with splendid people and talk about books and life and how much it matters when we help each other.
Kevin, thank you. Anything that helps people with MS somewhere in the world ultimately helps all people with MS and people who love them.
8 September 2013 | 10 Comments
Nicola and I got married on Wednesday, September 4, on the 20th anniversary of our first wedding.
It was a perfect day.
29 June 2013 | Comments Off
I’m looking forward enormously to Westercon next week. It’s an honor and a jazz to be a joint Writer Guest of Honor with Nicola, especially following the exuberant week we’ve had with our 25th anniversary and the lovely timing of the Supreme Court. I look forward to celebrating in the company of readers, writers, artists, editors, Clarion ’88 compadres, publishers, costumers, dancers, musicians, friends and friends-not-yet-met.
If you’re attending the con, I hope you’ll join me at one of my events. Here’s the schedule:
UPDATED TO ADD: I forgot to include my own reading! It’s on Friday morning.
4:30 pm panel, Becoming a Professional Writer or Artist
Our panelists will discuss how to make the transition to life as a professional. Bring your questions and go home with answers.
5:45 pm Joint reading with Nicola
Hear how it’s supposed to sound as Nicola Griffith and Kelley Eskridge, Guests of Honor, will read selections.
We’re still deciding between a couple of different readings, but this will definitely be a “joint reading” experience as opposed to two people reading different things in the same space.
8:30 pm Opening Ceremonies/Meet the Guests/Fireworks
Join our Guests of Honor and other participants for an opening reception. Stay for the fireworks from Cal Expo.
11:30 am reading
Guest of Honor Kelley Eskridge will read some of her favorite selections from her work.
5:30 pm panel, Gender Identity in Public Places
Recent legislation across the country has brought the issue of gender identity in public schools, locker rooms, and restrooms to the forefront. The American Psychiatric Association’s newly released DSM-V now emphasizes “gender incongruence” and has deleted other terms. As the nation debates how to determine gender, our panelists will discuss the issues surrounding gender identity.
6:45 pm panel, Marketing for Writers and Artists
There are many websites and self-help books claiming to help you market your works. Do they work? Do they hurt? If your work is being published by a “big house” do you need to do any of this yourself? Our panelists all have experience in navigating these rough waters and will explain what to expect.
12:30 pm panel, Publishing Options: Traditional vs On-Demand and Self-Publishing
The days of needing your own printing press are long gone. With modern publishing methods you can print one copy or 1 million. Our panelists will discuss the benefits and drawback of the various publishing options.
1:45 pm staged joint interview with Nicola, conducted by Fan Guest of Honor Warren Frey
Join our writer Guests of Honor, Nicola Griffith and Kelley Eskridge, to hear about how they met, how they write and all sorts of tidbits.
Staged means “on stage in front of live people,” not “rehearsed” (grin). Just so you know.
5:30 pm panel, Matrons and Crones
Protagonist or antagonist, matrons and crones are important, yet oft overlooked, characters in literature and media. Our panelists discuss the role and power of the older woman in both fiction and fandom.
10:00 am panel, The Clarion and Clarion West Experience
For over forty years the Clarion Writing Program has been nurturing new writers through workshops and mentorship opportunities. The Clarion West program is about to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Join these Clarion/Clarion West alumni as they discuss their experiences in the program.
Moderated by me, and Nicola is on the panel. We have both taught Clarion West, and both attended Clarion, and I have been on the board of Clarion West for several years. There will be other alums on the panel and we will tell all!
3:00 pm Closing Ceremonies
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. Join our Guests of Honor once more as we bring Westercon 66 to a close and hand off to the Westercon 67 team.
And you’ll find a complete schedule of Nicola’s events here.
Do please join us!
20 June 2013 | Comments Off
My 2013 Clarion West Write-a-thon is about other writers.
I have been very fortunate to have massive support every year I’ve participated in the Write-a-thon. So many wonderful people have sponsored me throughout the years, and in so doing have also helped support an organization I love. I am enormously grateful to you all for that, and for giving me so much motivation and encouragement to stretch.
That’s what I kept thinking about as I pondered the Write-a-thon this year: how amazing it feels when someone clicks the “Donate” button on one’s Write-a-thon page and offers money in support of a writing goal. And how much difference it really makes. There is so much fabulous work in the world now that happened in part because a writer participated in the Write-a-thon with the support of family, friends, readers, and strangers.
Consider this: Julia Sidorova worked on her novel Age of Ice in the 2011 Write-a-thon. A Clarion West board member who was impressed with one of Julia’s stories sponsored her not because they were friends, but because “It was clear to me that Julia is a very talented writer.” Julia’s novel will be published next month.
Author E.C. Myers worked on his novel Fair Coin in a Write-a-thon. The book won the 2012 Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Stephanie Burgis has worked on her Kat, Incorrigible series (three released so far) during the Write-a-thon over the years.
Cassie Alexander has worked on her Edie Spence novels during the Write-a-thon; again, three released so far.
These are just a handful of the bazillion examples of writers who put the pedal down during the Write-a-thon. I speak from firsthand experience: when you put money on the table in support of a writer’s goals, it makes a difference to the writer. And here’s another secret: there is no more powerful buzz than having a stranger do it. It holds the writer’s feet to the fire and encourages her to throw her heart into the sky in a way that feels a lot like magic.
I want as many writers as possible to know that magic. So this summer, although I will be doing my own writing — and am madly excited about it, oh my, so many things bubbling up! — I ask you this year to support me by picking another writer to support. Or two. Or as many as you like. It will be a gift to them, a gift to Clarion West, and a gift to me: a chance for me to spread some of the exhilaration and determination that you have all given me so many times.
There are, as of this post, nearly 250 writers signed up from all over the world. Check them out. Find a familiar name or a new one; an established writer or an emerging one. Give that person the gift of your support.
On my Write-a-thon page, you’ll find a dozen writers whose work I hope you’ll pay particular attention to. Tell them I sent you, and that you expect great things from them this summer:
They are all passionate and committed, and any of them will benefit from your support. And who knows what marvelous poems, stories, translations, novels, screenplays, or essays will result from their summer? Who knows what kind of magic might happen?
My deepest thanks to all of you who choose to support the Write-a-thon. And my very best to all the brave, fierce writers who participate!
17 June 2013 | Comments Off
Writers from all over the world are joining the Clarion West Write-a-thon. And if you’re a writer who wants to reach for a goal this summer with the support of an amazing community, I hope you’ll join too.
The Write-a-thon is a six-week writing commitment where you set the goals. What do you want to accomplish this summer? Writers use the Write-a-thon to make sure they sit down with their work every day; finish a story or novel; write an article or polish a thesis; outline a screenplay.
You sign up at the Clarion west website. Then you ask readers, friends and family to support you in reaching your goal by donating to Clarion West. It’s a win for everyone: you, the others in the Write-a-thon community, and all the writers who sometime in the future will attend the workshop.
I’ve done several Write-a-thons, and it’s an exhilarating experience. It holds your feet to the fire, and it blows your mind.
And we need you. We have more than 200 writers signed up, from (at last count) 14 countries. We’re reaching too: our goal is 300 participating writers. We’re accepting signups until June 22. And then the writing begins!
Won’t you join us? Whether you’re an emerging writer or an established professional, your participation matters to us. We want you to be part of our community, and write something wonderful, and help us ensure that the Clarion West workshop continues to provide one of the best workshop experiences in the world for writers like you.
Please help me spread the word. Tell all the writers you know: the Write-a-thon is coming!