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A Very Spooky Autumn Update

A Very Spooky Autumn Update

Well, as predicted, it’s been a busy fall for me. Here’s what’s been going on:

  • Copyedits for Moonshine have come and gone. With the book shifting ever closer to its Final Form, I imagine things are going to start heating up on the marketing and publicity end of things for Moonshine, so I should have a lot more to share with you soon.
  • My first term in grad school is going well, though it seems all of my anxiety about feeling overwhelmed was fully justified. But I’m staying on top of my work for now, and with my copyedits already out of the way, that takes a bit of the weight off.
  • I have an Instagram now! Finally, a way to inject desaturated Fall Aesthetic directly into my bloodstream. And so much less existentially crushing than Twitter…
  • I’m making progress on my cosplays for Kumoricon, with Taako and pajama-themed Terra Branford essentially finished, and Edward (also from The Adventure Zone) close to done.
  • Speaking of Kumoricon, I will be there! Specifically, I will be a panelist on the LGBTQ+ Gaymes and Gaymers panel, and I’ll be talking about Final Fantasy IX’s Quina and neopronouns. If you’ll be at Kumoricon on Friday October 27th, please stop by! Still waiting to hear if I got into cosplay chess, too…

Aside from that, I’ve been spending my spare moments playing FFXII Zodiac Age and Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! (the two greatest games of 2017, and that’s just a fact), and working on the sequel for Moonshine, though of course I took a break from that when I was working on the copyedits. I should be able to really lock down on writing for a while now, but it’ll be a tight fit between midterms and conventions and holidays… ugh. When was the last time I had a vacation again?

Summer Reading Report

Summer Reading Report

Summer’s almost over for me, so I figured it would be good to review some of my reading escapades before I get slammed with grad school and copyedits and have no time for any books except those that I am directly involved in producing. So! Here’s a look back on my summer reads this year.

Last year, in my lumbering effort to catch up on Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings universe, I read through the Liveship Trader trilogy, which was a worthwhile effort but, damn, those books are heavy. In all senses of the term. This year, I wanted to focus on books that are a little more light-hearted or at least was more “creepy because zombies” and less “creepy because prevalent systematic sexual violence”. I also wanted to expand my reading to incorporate more men of color, since up until this point, the number of fantasy books written by MOC that I’ve read has been tragically tiny. Here are the books I’ve read this summer:

Half-Resurrection Blues and Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel José Older. The first two books in Older’s Bone Street Rumba series, a creepy urban fantasy series set in New York about an undead man named Carlos Delacruz who works as a sort of freelance MIB agent but, like, for ghosts instead of aliens. Both books focus on Carlos becoming entangled in the mechanisms of sinister supernatural groups who endanger both the humans and the ghosts of New York. These books were great fun, and Carlos is an incredible jackass of a main character who’s just sensitive enough to be sympathetic. The various types of ghosts and zombies and cultists made Oogey Boogey-style out of bugs bring a great fantasy element to the authenticity of the bustling New York setting (I assume, I’ve never been to New York, but Older sure makes it feel realistic). Midnight Taxi Tango was especially stand-out to me as Older expands the point of view characters to include Kia, Carlos’ teen friend who gains the ability to see ghosts after she gets caught in the crossfires of supernatural conspiracies, and Reza, a butch lesbian gangster who likewise becomes entangled. Older’s talent for character voice, which was already apparent in the first book with just Carlos’ PoV, is really showcased once he expands the main cast of the series. The third book, Battle Hill Bolero, is on my to-read list, so here’s hoping I can make some time for it before next summer rolls around.

Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi. This book has been on my to-read list since I first got in talks with Angry Robot about Moonshine. While I was researching them, the cover of Kojiki’s sequel, Kokoro, really caught my eye. I haven’t yet read Kokoro, but Kojiki was definitely worth the ride. I will admit: I learned in the course of reading this book that my stamina for long battle sequences is not what it used to be, and that slowed me down quite a bit. But if epic, landscape-destroying clashes between gods and their minions is your speed, this book should be very enjoyable. It follow Keiko Yamada as she travels to Japan to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance and encounters an old ally of his, a kami named Yui. Yui introduces Keiko to a conflict among the kami surrounding the kami of fire threatening to destroy the world in pursuit of his obsession over the kami of water. The story does end up focusing quite a bit more heavily on the kami than I was expecting, and I would have liked to have seen more of Keiko herself, but the conflict between the embodiments of the elements does make for some very vivid scenes and sort of cinematic battle sequences.

Silent Hall by N.S. Dolkart. This was an exception to my search for MOC authors, and I picked it up more because after reading through the above books, despite my immense enjoyment of them, I was really just feeling some high fantasy, and this was another book whose cover caught my attention as I was signing on with Angry Robot. Silent Hall follows five teens who are the sole survivors of an island cursed by a god, who then fall in with a mysterious wizard as they attempt to rebuild their lives on the mainland among the warring followers of various gods. The book follows them through a series of sometimes loosely-connected adventures which gave the story a very Earthsea-esque flow that I was really feeling. The five main characters were all excellent–realistically flawed but very easy to root for, which is exactly what one would hope for with a cast of frightened, desperate teens. It was only Hunter who came off a little weaker than the others in the first half of the book, but this was largely the result of his general stoicism and he grew into himself as the story went on. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Narky as the traditional roguish scoundrel who shined a little brighter to me than the others (plus, greatest naming of a fantasy character ever?), but they all had strong personalities that harkened to but didn’t rely too heavily standard fantasy archetypes. (Although, again, Narky’s adherence to archetypes really only bolstered my opinion of him, since he is very much My Type in terms of fantasy characters.) It’s a great, mythological sort of story that brings all of high fantasy’s good stuff to the table without having all that Good Ol’ Boy fantasy nonsense of its genre predecessors from the 90s and early 2000s.

As for what I’m reading now, I’m working on one print book and one ebook: Among the Fallen by N.S. Dolkart, the sequel to Silent Hall, and Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus, a steampunk novella about a Jamaican ex-spy on the run with a young boy wanted by multiple political factions (this is yet another book that has wooed me largely by the sheer beauty of its cover, but while the premise is pretty straightforward, the execution has been lovely.) I’m loving both so far, and while I might be able to finish up Buffalo Soldier in my last week of summer, I don’t know if I’ll get far enough into Among the Fallen before school starts to really count it as a “summer read.”

Overall, while I couldn’t get through as much recreational reading as I wanted, I made some solid choices with what I was able to get into. For those of you with more spare time to read than I have, I highly recommend any of these titles. In the meantime, despite my soon-to-be-limited free time, I’m hoping to carve out enough reading time this fall to finish Among the Fallen and get into Jeannette Ng’s upcoming Under the Pendulum Sun and Linsey Miller’s recently released Mask of Shadows.

Summer Writing Update

Summer Writing Update

Here’s what’s been going in my neck of the woods lately:

  • A Study of Fiber and Demons released! You can go here to find links to your vendor of choice. If you’ve already read it, it’d be swell if you could leave a quick review on Amazon or Goodreads.
  • Queer Summer Reading had me for an interview! You can read that here.
  • I’m still working on edits for Moonshine. It was tricky getting started on it, but now I’m having a good time rewriting some of my scenes that need a little work. I should be done with that soon, and then I can take an actual breather from these back-to-back edits for the first time since February. (You can see why I’m so excited to have my novella out? It means I’m all done editing that book, at least.)
  • Not writing-related: I’ve been working a bit on cosplay. I had to finish the sewing project I was working on (a skirt to replace the one I ruined because I got it covered in grease stains, whoops), but now I’m working on Taako from The Adventure Zone and a pajama-themed revival of my Terra Branford cosplay. I’m also planning on making Edward from The Adventure Zone but I haven’t…. exactly…… gottenstartedonityet… Well, summer’s not quite done yet, so now that I’ve got the ball rolling, hopefully I’ll get all these costumes done before school starts back up.
  • Also not writing-related: I’ve started learning Welsh on Duolingo! I’m very bad at it because I can’t roll my R’s!

As for what’s next, I’m still expecting to soon hear details on Moonshine’s Official Cover Reveal™, so stay tuned for that. Once I’m done with my Moonshine edits, I hope to also get back into drafting the sequel and perchance planning out a fun promotional thing I have in mind for Moonshine’s release. I’ll be updating here on all of that as things come along.

And, of course, I’ll be officially starting grad school in the fall, so that will be a fun challenge to balance against all of this writing stuff. But for now, it’s still summer, so I’m going to focus on these edits and watch the eclipse on Monday.

 

 

 

Content Warning page added

Content Warning page added

The content warning page is now live, although it currently only includes warnings for A Study of Fiber and Demons. You can find it listed under “About” in the menu at the top of the screen.

I’m likely to rearrange or add to that list soon, but for the time being, it covers the particularly notable content in as spoiler-free wording as I could manage.

A Study of Fiber and Demons Update

A Study of Fiber and Demons Update

Great news! A Study of Fiber and Demons is now available for ebook pre-orders on Less Than Three Press’ book market!

So if you need something novella-sized to read to fill your need for enemies-to-lovers polyamory, bisexual and asexual representation, or embittered middle-aged nerds… well, you’ll still need to wait until it releases on August 9th, but before then, you can pre-order for that sweet, sweet 15% discount.

Check out the listing on LT3’s book market linked above or the book’s page here for more details.

Site Facelift Part 2

Site Facelift Part 2

I decided the other new theme I was trying wasn’t working for me, so I’m trying out a different one instead. I’m also adjusting the color palette with it to fit better with “A Study of Fiber and Demons”/Moonshiners‘ aesthetic. This theme also allows for more visuals, which will matter once I actually get some images to include. I’m not a fan of where the main menu is located, but overall I think it’s more readable than my last two themes.

More changes likely to come!

ETA: Navigating off the front page of the site (say, to the About page) seems to sometimes flip back to the previous theme. I’m not sure why this is happening or how to fix it on my end, but it seems to behaving itself now, so hopefully that nonsense is done and over with.

ETA 2: Okay, I found out why it was happening and how to fix it, so now it should be fine.

Site Facelift

Site Facelift

Pardon the abrupt change while I tidy up around here. It should just be a mostly superficial change, but there’s a possibility that some links or pages will go a little haywire in the process. I’m trying to check on everything and get it fixed ASAP, though, so everything should be fully operational with the new site layout soon. In the meantime, there might be some random color or text changes until I lock down on a final look.

Please also note with “Red Blood, White Blood’s” rights expiring with the publisher soon, I will probably be taking down its page at that time, so if that goes missing, be aware that’s not due to the layout change. In its place, I hope to be adding some new pages soon. More on that forthcoming.

New Year’s Writing Update

New Year’s Writing Update

Damn, okay, so I didn’t finish my Moonshiners revisions by the end of 2016, but I’m so close now, you guys, I’m so close. I only have 3 comments left in my markup to address, so hopefully I can finish that by today or tomorrow (at least 2 of the comments are potentially pretty big things to address, which is why it might still take me a couple of hours to get through them.) Regardless, once I’m actually done with the revisions, I’ll revert my creative focus to Hellslayer while Moonshiners gets back to work trying to find a happy home.

I have been able to chip away quite a bit on Hellslayer over the winter break, though. I had ten full days free of either my day job or school, and while some of those days were spent doing family stuff for the holidays, I have been able to find time to do some good ol’ drafting. As I said, once my Moonshiners revisions are done, this will be the focus of my creative attention, BUT: A) once I get my edits for A Study of Fiber and Demons back, that takes top priority; B) I’m not sure what my class/work schedule for next term will provide me in terms of free time to write; C) I don’t know what “the mystery thing that I can’t talk about until I hear back on it” will mean for me depending on what, exactly, I hear back about it. So, the amount of time I’ll have to dedicate to Hellslayer and Hellslayer alone is one big, giant question mark. I’ve still got a couple more chapters left in TNW, but with everything else going on and Hellslayer having the most scheduling flexibility out of everything I’m doing, it’s hard to say what a timeline for this will actually look like.

Other than that, I don’t have much going on in terms of writing projects. With the shadow of edits looming overheard for A Study of Fiber and Demons, I’m trying not to take on new projects for fear of having to put them on hiatus pretty much immediately when the edits come back. I still don’t know exactly when those will come in, but based off my experience with For All the Gold in the Vault, I expect it will take 3-6 months from when I sent it in, which was in late September, so that now puts me in that range of expecting it to show up any day. It might actually be a while before I work on any new projects, because between A Study of Fiber and Demons and hopefully making headway with getting Moonshiners to publication, that’s a lot of writing commitment, and even Hellslayer is going to have its work cut out for it trying to get my attention. Most likely, my writing updates will pertain only to A Study of Fiber and Demons, Moonshiners, and Hellslayer for a good long while.

(Copied over from my Tumblr)

Quick Refresher

Quick Refresher

I’ve been pretty quiet on this site for the past few months, and I came by to do some small clean-up edits to some of the pages, so I figured it was a decent opportunity to drop a quick note, just to clarify that the site is still in use.

I recommend checking out my Tumblr for more regular (though less writing-related and more casual) posts. I’m also on Twitter but yet again that has fallen pretty dormant, too. I’m might endeavor to get a little more active there soon, but it’s mostly a time-management issue for me at this point.

Of course, I’ll update any major news on my writing projects here as it comes along.