stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
I mentioned that I ran the 3M Half last month? Well, this month I'm running in the Austin Half Marathon. February 19th, to be exact. Some of this is masochism, but mainly I'm fundraising for Out Youth. So if you'd like to contribute to Central Texas LGBT+ kids' services, programs, and safe space, you can do so at:

www.crowdrise.com/amandadownum

Anything is appreciated, including good wishes for my poor limbs. This route has hills.
stillsostrange: (Riff & Magenta)
Erisín is a haunted city, and her specters are hungry. When demons prowl the streets of Oldtown, preying on the poor and the weak, a young actor must face the ghosts of his past and of his family to protect his new home.

"Bone Garden" is a novelette set in Erisín following the events of The Bone Palace. It was originally published in Subterranean's A Fantasy Medley 2 (ed. Yanni Kuznia) in 2012. It's now available on Kindle and Smashwords.

If anyone has any other platforms or file types they prefer, I can make it more widely available. This is my first attempt at self-pubbing anything, so feedback is appreciated.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
First of all, everything at Still So Strange Studios has been deeply discounted for the holidays.

But, that is not the only reason I have called you all here today.

I have purchased many beautiful necklaces from [livejournal.com profile] elisem over the years. Many of them have given me stories, but too many have been languishing in my jewelry box for years, not spreading delight in the world as they should. So with their maker's blessing, I'm now offering them to new homes. I purchased most of them on sale or through the Artist Challenge program, so I'm passing those savings on to you. (Also, silver has tarnished over the years. I'll polish them as best I can before I send them on, but they may never sparkle quite as bright.)

"Big Bad Frog Witch" (Recent photo) $100

"Circus Angel II", which gave me my story "Catch." (Recent photo) $100 SOLD!

"Doll With a Ghost In It". 153 inches long, and full of stories. (Recent photos) $150

"The Etiology of Angst In Angels, Volume II", sandcast glass, mother of pearl, glass, dyed shell, moonstone, aquamarine, mysterious recycled bead and spacers, sterling silver. About 52 inches long. (Recent photo) $100

"Somewhere In The Sky", glass, labradorite, picasso jasper, moss agate, various stones; someone described this as neo-Victorian mourning jewelry, which has a good bit of truth to it. (Current photos) $100

"Summer-Colored Where The Bones Shine Through" I don't have the original description of this. It's long, and full of things. I can measure it if anyone's interested. Current photos) $150

If you're interested, please email me at exoblivione AT gmail DOT com. I have PayPal and Google Wallet, or we can work something out. Shipping is $10 (including insurance) in the US and $15 for Canada. For overseas sales I'll calculate shipping as needed.

I don't have the original cards for most of these, but I'll recreate them to the best of my ability.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Two updates. Or maybe three.

1. Still So Strange Studios is now a functioning Etsy shop.

2. I have launched a Patreon campaign. This is specifically intended to help lift the weight of the world a fraction of an inch so I can finish The Poison Court in a timely fashion. Savedra partisans, please check it out.

3. I haven't been quite as slack at blogging as this LJ indicates. Right now the Necromancer Chronicles is getting the bulk of my updates while I'm trying to shake the kinks out of my primary website.
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
1. Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
2. Red Delicious - Kathleen Tierney/Caitlin R. Kiernan
3. The English Girl - Daniel Silva
4. Critical Space - Greg Rucka

Books! Lists! Lists of books!

And speaking of books, Publishers Weekly has reviewed Dreams. Believe me, it's not just the characters who are intensely beleaguered.
stillsostrange: (Default)
My fundraiser for Still So Strange Studios was a success, and I'm now making jewelry again. Getting my Etsy shop up and running is slow going, but if you'd like a preview of what I've been working on, click upon my links, ye mighty, and despair.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Today I'm excited to announce the launch of Still So Strange Studios.

The roller-coaster that was 2013 and 2014 has left me with the desire for creative outlets, and the need to make money on those creative endeavors. And while writing will always be my first love and career, it's not exactly known for its steady paychecks. So I turn back to jewelry-making.

Necromancer fans take note: the uppermost perks are made with you in mind.



And LJ doesn't want to embed, apparently, so follow the link to my IndieGoGo page.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/still-so-strange-studios/x/8472252#home
stillsostrange: (Read)
Friday July 12

4:30 PM VT Reading: Amanda Downum. Amanda Downum reads a work in progress.

Sunday July 14

1:00 PM F Egalitarian Character Trauma. Amanda Downum, Natalie Luhrs, Daniel José Older, Julia Rios (moderator), Sonya Taaffe. In 2008, Ekaterina Sedia wrote a blog post titled "PSA: Female Trauma!" in which she generated a list of traumatic things that can happen to female characters (spanning a scale from "high heels" to "losing a limb") that don't involve sexual violence. In 2012, Seanan McGuire blogged about an anonymous correspondent who asked her "when" her female protagonists were "finally" going to be raped, implying that rape is an inevitable outcome of being a woman. How can we counteract the predominance of sexual(ized) threats to female characters? Is it enough to simply write other things and move the Overton window, or does the status quo need to be directly subverted? Who's doing it right and what are some examples of doing it wrong?

2:00 PM F Stranger Danger: Secrets and Discoveries in Urban Settings. Amanda Downum, Lila Garrott (leader), Maria Dahvana Headley, Stacy Hill, Patricia A. McKillip, JoSelle Vanderhooft. In folk stories the forest is full of dangerous secrets and the village is usually safe as houses. When the village becomes unsafe, it's because the forest has violated the sanctity of civilization, as when the wolf takes the place of Red Riding Hood's grandmother. However, a slew of recent books find their dangerous secrets within the confines of cities: the many neighborhoods in Kathleen Tierney's Blood Oranges, the occupied city in N.K. Jemisin's The Shadowed Sun, the monster-populated New York in Seanan McGuire's Discount Armageddon, the gas-filled walled Seattle of Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century series. What is it about modern life that leads writers and readers to look for discovery and the unknown in cities? How do we cross the border from safety to danger when it's not marked by anything so concrete as the edge of the forest?

9:00 AM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Neil Clarke, Amanda Downum.
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace UK)
Through the good offices of Katie Cowden, I once again have new photos. Some of them shall become author photos. Does anyone have opinions on which one I should send to the nice people at HPLFF?
stillsostrange: (Heartless)
Octavia by Amanda Downum
Octavia, a photo by Amanda Downum on Flickr.

Yesterday I sat through the latest coloring session for Octavia. I love her so much. I would kiss her, but that would currently be painful and unhygienic.

And then this morning I woke to my official invitation to the 2013 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland. I have been longing to go for years, and now I will be a panelist and everything! So if you're attending the festival, or will be in the Portland area from May 3 - 5, let me know.

stillsostrange: (Default)
The good news is, The Drowning City has earned out its advance. The bad news is, the devils of basket accounting keep me from those delicious royalties until the other two earn out. (The Bone Palace is close! Kingdoms, alas, has a way to go.)

So, just to get the tackiness over with: Necromancers make great presents for the holidays! So do manticores! Consider giving your loved ones the gift of angst and setting!

Okay. Sorry. Had to get that out of my system.

We now return you to your previously scheduled programming.
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace)
Publishers Weekly gave A Fantasy Medley 2 a a starred review. Money shot: "The best of these four is Amanda Downum’s “Bone Garden,” an exciting gothic tragedy set among actors and refugees in the world of the Necromancer Chronicles."

I like being exciting and gothic. I also have a crush on PW.
stillsostrange: (Conscious)
Today I sent the final* draft of Dreams of Shreds & Tatters to [livejournal.com profile] arcaedia. Selling the damn thing may be a new nightmare, but it will be one that is mostly out of my hands. There is suddenly a book-shaped hole in my life. And since there's no pressing need to kill myself over D2 until I know the fate of D1, this means I get to cruise the city looking for sexy novels to have torrid flings with. Maybe Salvage wants to tell me more about its alien scientists and speedboat chases.


In other news, I will be at Monster-Con on Saturday, October 13th. I'll be signing books dressed as a fish monster. As one does.


In other, other news, I hope to participate in Run For Your Lives on December 13th. This depends on me getting the day off work, since large contingent from my bookstore wants to go, but I'm going to start training for a 5k anyway. December is the best possible time to run 5k. This means I have to abandon my beloved elliptical tomorrow in favor of the dreaded treadmill.


On Friday I made a last minute decision to go see TKK after work, and am glad I did so. It wasn't like seeing them 12 years ago, but the show was fun and the venue pleasantly small, and Groovie was ambulatory the whole time. And they played "After The Flesh," which I'm been waiting to hear live since I first saw The Crow. And in an added bonus, my recent love affair with the elliptical means that I can now wear the striped tights which are the custom of my people without looking like a hobbit.


And on that note, I'm off to the gym.


* Yes, I know. There will be a revision for an editor, copy edits, and proofs. Let me cling to my delusion for a time.
stillsostrange: (Default)
It's time for me to revamp my website. The question is, would I gain anything substantial by turning it into a WordPress site or something similar. Tag clouds and search features are fun, but I'm not sure I really need them. And WP, while perfectly usable, is also a pain in the ass sometimes. Theme design is entertaining, though.

What do you think? Do I need any features that my current site doesn't possess? A flapping bat gif?
stillsostrange: (Agony)
I'm not so good at this posting every day thing. But tomorrow! Tomorrow is my dental surgery! So I'll come home full of anaesthetic, take some Vicodin, and wake up eight hours later convinced I can write something coherent.

I believe this is the really real functional link to my write-a-thon page: http://clarionwest.org/writeathon/amandadownum. If you sponsor me now, you'll be paying for incoherent opiate wordage. None of which will make it into the final book, of course, but I might be foolish enough to post snippets to LJ.

I may have possibly spent tonight drinking cocktails to fortify myself for the many days of yogurt and pudding in my future. And as practice for the incoherent days to come.
stillsostrange: (Agony)
I was under the impression that the write-a-thon started today, but some people swear it started yesterday. So I wrote an extra day's worth of words just to be safe.

My goal is 250 words a day. My primary project is The Poison Court, but I may work on other things as soon as I have finish its proposal and send it to [livejournal.com profile] arcaedia. I need to get ahead this week, because on Friday I have my very exciting dental surgery (in which I get a titanium screw in my skull), and will spend several days knocked out on Vicodin.

You can, if you're so inclined, sponsor me here. I might be willing to name characters or landmarks after my patrons.

518 / 10500
(4.93%)
stillsostrange: (Words)
I'm taking up the A - Z meme that's making its rounds on my friends-list, a few days late. I don't have a theme, but I'm open to suggestions. If Sue Grafton can manage a whole series on this premise, I think I can manage LJ entries. (I'm really curious about what her X will be.)

Since there seem to be new readers around here, I'll begin with a shamelessly self-centered post. Consider this a brief summary of the past several years.

As you may have deduced, I'm Amanda Downum (nee Van Metre-Oestman). I'm the author of the Necromancer Chronicles, as well as a couple handfuls of short fiction. My latest book, Kingdoms of Dust, came out in March, the third contracted Necromancer Chronicle. I'm currently working on a proposal for a fourth book, as well as revising a Lovecraftian dark fantasy novel. I write slowly.

I'm a goth (though often too lazy to dress the part, especially in the Texas summer); I dayjob at a used bookstore; I rock climb, though not very well, and would kayak more often if Texas would turn down the killing light of the daystar. Upon moving to Austin, I got a tattoo, took up a sport, and got a dog. This may be a requirement of residency. I enjoy dancing and spy movies and absinthe bars.

I've been married for several years, and my husband and I are trying to adopt through foster care. I talk about this more under friends' lock, so if you're interested in the process or have stories to share, let me know and I'll add you.

I'll be an adult hobbit this July. Tomorrow I'm going to dress up like a zombie and go dancing. Today I'm cleaning my house.

And now I'm out of things to say. If anyone has any ideas for themes, or for a more interesting A post, let me know.
stillsostrange: (Driven)
Today was not as productive as I might have liked in wordcount, but I did also manage to take my car to the shop (cracked ignition coil), buy [livejournal.com profile] jmeadows' brand new book, meet [livejournal.com profile] commodorified & co. for coffee and mutually assured corgi destruction, and spend some time chatting with a strange and tiny new cat in my driveway.

Dreams of Shreds & Tatters



70105 / 80000 words. 88% done!

I have five chapters left to revise from the old-old file, or around 13,000 terrible awful nogood words. I'm not sure what that will become in new words. On the one hand, the old stuff was overwritten and repetitive sentence-wise, so things will shrink. On the other hand, I'm adding more useful bits in this draft, and have two new plot points I want to squeeze in. And the original denouement was atrocious, and needs to become completely different. I would guess the final product will turn into 85k, but I've been wrong before.

Tomorrow I have dayjobbery and climbing, but Thursday through Saturday shall be a bookmarch of epic proportions.

Also, Publishers Weekly has nice things to say about Kingdoms.
stillsostrange: (Veil)
Time for the next installment of Kingdoms of Dust. Here is Chapter 2, wherein we see the return of another old friend. (Also available on the necromancer blog.)
stillsostrange: (Default)
This is just to say that The Necromancer Chronicles site is up and running. So far it duplicates the extra content from amandadownum.com, because that's the content I have. I would appreciate help filling out the FAQ, which would involve you guys asking me questions. And if you ever had cause to link to it, that would be cool too--right now Gail Z. Martin and her Chronicles of the Necromancer beat me in Google ranking. I think we need to arm-wrestle over this.

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