Stages of ereader love now up at Momentum! 

You guys already know I love ebooks and ereaders, but now I’m sharing the stages of that love with the world over on the Momentum blog. Check it out here

Advertisements

A Whirlwind of Things

I’ve been quiet here the last few weeks. My life has been something of a whirlwind of medical things, wedding things, job hunting things, writing things, and anxiety things.

ADORABLE

Steve and I looking perfect during one of the brief calm moments of the last month!

First, let’s talk about writing. With everything going on, my precious novel has mostly fallen by the wayside. I haven’t given up on it, but I also haven’t had the time or attention necessary to make it as great as I want it to be. So, it’s temporarily sidelined in favor of the easier to focus on short stories. In the last month I wrote the best (in my opinion) story I’ve ever written. I’ve also gotten it rejected four times. I’m determined to find it a good home, and in the meantime I’ve got many others that I’m working on and polishing up!

I’ve been spending a lot of time hiding in my favorite books. When I’m stressed about things, it’s difficult for me to fall in love with something new. I reread everything the library had of Connie Willis’, and I’m now working my way back through Jo Walton’s books. I read a lot of books, and apart from books I discovered as a kid, no other authors have impressed me, impacted me, and changed the way I think of writing as Connie Willis and Jo Walton. They’re amazing, the books are a delight to reread, and everyone should go read all of their books immediately.

Time willing, I’ll do a longer post this weekend reviewing some of the other things I’ve read and watched. Thanks for sticking around, readers!

Why do we have to share?

I am angry.

I’m angry about a lot of things.

Today, I am angry at the treasury, and at all the people who keep telling us that women aren’t good enough. We aren’t good enough to work in science. We aren’t  good enough for equal pay for equal work. And now we aren’t good enough to have a woman on one piece of United States currency.

In the last few months, the Women on 20s campaign worked to build support to put a woman on the 20. Thousands of people voted, and we picked Harriet Tubman. They took our signatures and suggestions to Washington, and everything was quiet for a while. It was quiet, but I was hopeful. The people at spoken! We wanted Tubman on our 20! It was time for a change!


Look at what we could have had!

Instead, the Treasury announced their own campaign for #thenew10. Instead of Tubman replacing Jackson (who hated paper currency and shouldn’t be on there in the first place) on the 20, we will get a yet unpicked woman on the ten. Oh, and she gets to share it with Hamilton. What, did we silly women REALLY think we could have one bill with only a woman’s face on it?

Their decision is incredibly insulting. I understand that designing a new bill isn’t as easy as sketching up some ideas and sending it to the printers. It’s a complicated process, and I respect that. I even understand that you have to go in order. I’m willing to make compromises, and if you can only give us the 10 for 2020, I’ll take it.

But why the hell do we have to share.

I’m not a historian, so I can’t tell you the full history of American currency. Maybe it used to be common for two people to share the spot on the bill (although a quick google search tells me no, that was not common.) Maybe they don’t mean this as an insult. Maybe they don’t mean to throw out the hard work, dreams, and desires of all of the people who worked, supported, and voted in the Women on 20s campaign. Maybe they aren’t saying that a woman isn’t good enough to stand alone on a piece of money.

But that’s sure how it feels to me. And I am very angry, and very disappointed.

I Just Keep Getting Older…

Today I’m turning 27. It’s not a milestone birthday–certainly no 21, or 30. I won’t have a big party or gain any new rights, but does feel worth remarking on. I’m saying goodbye to my mid-twenties, a time that was fraught with striving and uncertainty. I won’t be sad to have a reminder that that time of my life is passed, and I don’t feel bad about being another year closer to 30.

While turning 27, I can’t help but think about the 27 Club. I’m certainly no musician, and I have no intention of dying this year, but those artists and their early deaths make me wonder if there’s something about this weird space in time that drives people a little out of control. 26 was a weird age to be, and I feel like 27 will feel much the same. I’ve technically been an adult for almost a decade, but now I am really feeling that adulthood. Student loans, bills, regular doctors visits, and career worries fill up hours that used to be spent daydreaming. I’m getting married, doing lots of laundry, and worrying about if I ever want to have children. If that’s not adulthood, I don’t know what is.

My thirties are looming before me, along with all the things I thought I would have done by then. Thinking of the people of the 27 Club, I can feel sad about their deaths, but also in awe of what they did before they died. Not only did they do their best work by 27, they did all their work then. When I first learned of the 27 Club as a teenager, it seemed tragic, of course, but also not that terribly young. At 17, 27 was a million years away. Now it’s here. I can’t say that it feels like no time has passed, because I’m not going to dismiss the last decade as meaningless. Those years were full of hard work and pain, but also laughter, joy, and adventure. 27 is not 17, but it is still terribly young.

If I could go back, I would not relive those years, or any of the ones that came before them. Don’t get me wrong, I have fond memories from those years. But I don’t long for them, and I don’t feel like they were the most valuable years of my life. I am excited to turn 27, and to move boldly into the future.

Turning 27, I know that my best years, and my best work, is still ahead of me. I have big plans for the next decade of my life. I will get married to my best friend. I will keep writing. I will keep trying to figure things out, like how the world works and how I want to fit into it. In the words of the great Jeff Mangum, I will float until I learn how to swim.

Novel in Progress, Short Story Submissions, and Other Writing Tidbits

Yesterday I hit to 40,000 mark for my current novel in progress, and it felt pretty damn good. The ballpark goal is 100,000, so I’m not quite halfway, but after months of researching, outlining, writing, and trying to sort out the plot I feel like I have a good grasp on what needs to be done and where the book is going. This is without a doubt the most ambitious project I’ve ever done, and there are times where it feels overwhelming. But I know the story I want to tell, and I know that it’s a complicated one with lots of moving pieces.

A few weeks ago I finally got around to getting Scrivener. Why did I wait so long?? It really is an amazing writing tool. Up until then I had been using Google Docs, which worked well enough when Firefox was working… which was not all the times I wanted it to be working. My only complaint with Scrivener so far is that I didn’t buy it sooner.

I would really like to have the second draft of this WIP done by the end of the summer. This is 100% doable, especially in my current job hunting state of being. As long as I don’t let myself get too distracted by writing short stories and watching Netflix, I should be able to finish the first draft in a month or so, and get it cleaned up and edited enough for human eyes by the end of the summer. Ideally I’ll be able to start querying agents around the time of my November wedding.

Along with the novel (which is currently untitled. Titles are the worst.) I’ve been writing and submitting a lot of short stories. I’ve currently got 7 that I’m sending around. There’s 1 that I just got a rejection for that I want to rewrite a bit. There are 3 novellas that I work on when I’ve got writers block with the Novel in Progress. I find it very useful to jump around when I’m feeling anxious about a project. If I start to feel like one thing is shit, I move to another. It’s a slow way to get things done, but it keeps me writing.

I think the hardest part of writing right now for me is the bubble. Apart from the rare comment on a rejection for a story, I don’t know when what I’m writing is good or bad or somewhere in between. Sometimes I use Critique Circle, and I have a few friends that I’ll occasionally use as first readers, but most of the time it’s just me in my little writing bubble. I feel like I’m getting better. I can see a huge difference between the stuff I was writing two years ago and the stuff I’m writing now. On most days I feel like I’m going in the right direction, and not wasting my time. I’m making progress, and I guess at this point in my writing career that’s a good thing.

Three Things Making Me Happy

I’ve had a pretty wonderful couple of days.

First, I saw Mad Max: Fury Road. Like I discussed last week, it was a wonderful movie. After years of male-driven action films it was a revelation to see a group of women of various ages working together for the common goal of “we are not things.” I know it isn’t actually a response to the Sansa Stark storyline in this season of Game of Thrones, but in so many ways it felt like one. Here is how you tell a story about rape without exploiting anyone, and without showing the act itself. This is the kind of story I’ve been asking for. I hope that the extremely positive reaction to this movie means we’ll get more like it. I hope I’ll get to see more movies where it doesn’t even occur to me to try the Bechdel Test. I feel like jumping up and down and pointing at this movie screaming “this this this!” until they make more like it. I feel like we’ve been settling for good enough, but now that I’ve seen great I don’t want to go back.

So I was already feeling pretty great when my Offbeat Home article went up on Friday morning. I was a little nervous about it–body image is something I feel passionately about, but don’t often talk about, especially with family and strangers. I was completely blown away by the reaction. So many people, particularly family members I hadn’t even considered would read it, have told me how much they related to it. I’m touched that anyone even read my piece, let alone felt moved by it!

Beyond that, it feels very special to me to have had articles published on Offbeat Bride and Offbeat Home. I’ve been reading the Offbeat sites for years, and I’m not exaggerating when I say they’ve helped me become a better, happier person. The Offbeat Empire showed me that leading a “different” kind of life from everyone else was more than just okay, it was desirable. I’m probably more “offbeat-lite” than completely offbeat, and I probably won’t ever dye my armpit hair or take a band on tour with a small child, but I love knowing that other people do these things.

To top it all off, I started reading Kate Elliot’s marvelous Spiritwalker series. Even more than MMFR, this is what I want from fiction. Alternate history of 1800s Europe? Yes please! Strong, complex characters (especially women!) Yes please! People of different cultures and races come together in interesting ways? WHY DIDN’T I READ THIS SOONER!? I’ve been following Kate Elliot on Twitter for years, and I feel like her books have always been in my “to-read” pile. I’m so glad I finally picked this up, and I’ll probably have a longer review once I read the rest of the series.

So many things to be happy about today! I feel like this is a start to a good, productive week.