stillsostrange: (Elbow sex)
My WorldCon was an unexpected whirlwind of delights. The obvious highlight was when [ profile] matociquala and I presented the Campbell Award and I got to give the tiara and brand new scepter to an astronaut. Then Jessica Jones won a Hugo for "Smile," which filled me with violent, vicious glee. But I think my true favorite moment came during the Losers Party, when the band struck up the Time Warp for the second time. I don't believe I've ever been to a two-Time Warp party before, and I'm very grateful to [ profile] grrm for providing that experience. I also participated in great panels, and had a blast with new friends and old friends and random passers-by. I am making every effort to attend in Helsinki next year.

And if you happened to see my Hugos dress, which I hope someone got a good picture of, I'll let you in on a little secret: Jobst: It Stays. I bought a backless bra to wear with that dress which completely failed to function. So in a moment of panic I borrowed [ profile] matociquala's sock adhesive and glued myself into the dress. Everything stayed where it was supposed to for ten (10) hours, perfectly comfortably, even through the aforementioned two rounds of the Time Warp. Sorcery!

My agent sent me her notes for The Poison Court just before WorldCon. Now that I'm beginning to recover from the excesses of the con--not to mention driving to Minneapolis and back in four days immediately afterward--I will buckle down and turn those around. I also need to get cracking on another project, and figure out the three short stories I have in various degrees of completion.
stillsostrange: (Elbow sex)
Like a message in a bottle tossed into a boundless sea, I will cast my spoilery snark here behind a cut.

The Force Awakens )
stillsostrange: (Valkyrie Air)
Dreams of Shreds & Tatters is loose in the world today! I'm so proud of my little book.

And as a lovely book day present, says nice things about it.
stillsostrange: (In case of Cthulhu...)
I am the worst LJer in the world, I fear. But! Today I bring you a thing of great joy and beauty!

My artist is Jeffrey Alan Love, and I adore this so much. It's nothing like anything I've ever imagined, and that makes it all the more delightful.

The release date for Dreams appears to be May 12, 2015, and it's available for pre-order from Books-A-Million and other sources.
stillsostrange: (Default)
The "Recent Entries" tab mocks me with inaccuracy.

Progress continues! Pieces fall into place!

In other exciting news, today I made anticuchos de corazon for the first time, and it was delightful. Although I'm not sure how you mess up anything as lovely as beef heart.

Also also, today my story "Snakebit" went live at Strange Horizons. I was so enamored of hearts I nearly missed it. There is also a podcast! This is so fancy!
stillsostrange: (Default)
Everything we've ever done or will do, we're gonna do over and over and over again.

I will always be writing Dreams of Shreds & Tatters.

I will always be revising Dreams of Shreds & Tatters.

I will always be selling Dreams of Shreds & Tatters.

I am thrilled to announce that [ profile] arcaedia and I have sold Dreams of Shreds & Tatters to Solaris.

More details to follow after the book mines.


Feb. 19th, 2013 01:11 pm
stillsostrange: (Trouble)

Words today: 532
Words total: 6680
Reason for stopping: THE END
Darling: THE END

It is a draft with many drafty problems, but I have finished a short story! It's been a year and a half since this happened, and I was starting to disbelieve in the possibility.

Now it's time to dig through the more folders and see if there's anything else that wants to be finished.
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)
Tonight I sent a 5.11. I sent it with the help of a serious power belay, so there is salt to be taken, but still. I hauled, pushed, and scraped myself up the wall. Between this and Run For Your Lives, I declare Project Valkyrie a wild success. Right now I'm only short one goal, which is unassisted pull-ups. But I start weight training again in January, so I am pretty confident it will happen.
stillsostrange: (Elbow sex)
I had hoped to have at least the chapters of this damn proposal done before Readercon, if not the synop, but that looks questionable now. Still, progress continues. So far we've had one corpse, one unexpected betrothal, and two unsettling revelations. Next I need to plant some clues about the murderer, and then figure out how to wring an interesting scene out of searching someone's room.

8018 / 10500

Today also brought the joyous news that I can finally announce the details about "Bone Garden." It will appear in A Fantasy Medley 2, edited by Yanni Kuznia, which will be released in late November. I share a ToC with Tanya Huff, Seanan McGuire, and Jasper Kent.

I'll be reading from "Bone Garden" at Readercon on Friday, if any of you are wandering by.
stillsostrange: (Prometheus)
I have lost the ability to write coherent essays, so I will break up my thoughts with bullets instead.

Spoilers, of course )
stillsostrange: (Prometheus)
So, I could attempt to write a somewhat thoughtful and complex response to Prometheus. Or I could write Michael Fassbender's name a hundred times surrounded by glittery hearts.

When I'm done with that, and my hand stops cramping, I may try the thoughtful approach again.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Originally posted by [ profile] squirrel_monkey at Circus: Fantasy Under the Big Top

So finally I turned in the manuscript for my reprint anthology, CIRCUS: FANTASY UNDER THE BIG TOP. Many thanks to everyone who suggested reprints — your help certainly pointed me to a number of stories I wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and the book is better for it. Now, for the good stuff, cover and table of contents:

“Something About a Death, Something About a Fire” Peter Straub
“Smoke & Mirrors” Amanda Downum
“Calliope: A Steam Romance” Andrew J McKiernan
“Welcome to the Greatest Show in the Universe” Deborah Walker
“Vanishing Act” Elise C Tobler
“Quin’s Shanghai Circus” Jeff VanderMeer
“Scream Angel” Douglas Smith
“The Vostrasovitch Clockwork Animal and Traveling Forest Show at the End of the World” Jessica Reisman
“Study, for Solo Piano” Genevieve Valentine
“Making My Entrance Again with My Usual Flair” Ken Scholes
“The Quest” Barry B. Longyear
“26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” Kij Johnson
“Courting the Queen of Sheba” Amanda C. Davis
“Circus Circus” Eric Witchey
“Phantasy Moste Grotesk” Felicity Dowker
“Learning to Leave” Christopher Barzak
“Ginny Sweethips’ Flying Circus” Neal Barrett Jr
“The Aarne-Thompson Classification Revue” Holly Black
“Manipulating Paper Birds” Cate Gardner
“Winter Quarters” Howard Waldrop

Mirrored from

stillsostrange: (Listen)
My story "Smoke & Mirrors," originally published in Strange Horizons in 2006, will be reprinted in Ekaterina Sedia's anthology Circus: Fantasy Under the Big Top. Since it was previously reprinted in Best New Romantic Fantasy 2, this means I finally have a most reprinted story. Woo!

"Smoke & Mirrors" is the child of my very first artist's challenge necklace from [ profile] elisem, two different dreams, and the song "Hoist That Rag" played on repeat.

Also, that isn't Loki. And it makes me sad that I've ever had to say that.

The same circus in S&M also appears in "Catch." I hope to eventually get another couple of stories out of it. If I ever get more stories out of anything.
stillsostrange: (fatale)
My mother read(s) mysteries, so I grew up in a house surrounded by Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh and others. We also watched a lot of Murder She Wrote and Columbo.

And while typing the above paragraph, I was also googling Tracy Grant, since someone on LJ recommended Daughter of the Game years ago and I adored it, and subsequently loved Beneath a Silent Moon. And what should I discover but a third Fraser book on ebook, and her Teresa Grant series. So I stopped typing, jumped in the car, and rushed to B&N to buy the latter fifteen minutes before they closed, and have now downloaded the former*. So, yay!

If I could make a niche for myself writing fantasy mysteries and spy thrillers, I would be a happy mammal indeed. I could get a lot of mileage out of dangerous women in fabulous hats that way. (I'm writing one now. Shh.)

I don't have a clever mystery tag. I should think of one.

* If I can ever open the damn thing. I appreciate that my Nook app is free. I would appreciate it more if worked.
stillsostrange: (Aeryn)
My day has been markedly unproductive, as the boy came home from work early and put in Mass Effect 3. This game is so awesome, you guys. This game is fan-fucking-tastic. This pretty much makes up for Dragon Age 2 and the boringness of ME2. Not having to deal with the Cigarette Smoking Illusive Man and the bigoted assclows of Cerberus is a huge help. Not to mention you get the band back together. I've teared up three times in one day watching this game--once for a death-or-glory stand that ended in glory, one that ended in death, and once in sheer unmitigated nerdjoy when you summon the [SPOILER] to deal with the [SPOILER].

So far everything in this game makes up for all the things I didn't like about the last two: namely how you were forced to deal with xenophobic douche canoes without being able to turn them into a fine red mist (or court-martial them). And somehow rescuing a damsel in distress bothers me less when the damsel is a giant psychic space insect who looks like the lovechild of Shelob and the Xenomorph queen.

Also, there seems to be even more queer content, most of it gracefully integrated. Except Kaidan--he's a douche no matter which gender he's hitting on. It's a pity Garrus appears to be straight. He might be ME's little black dress.

It is, however, a little weird how your subordinate officers keep hitting on you.
stillsostrange: (Ginger Snaps Back)
In a display of wonderful timing, Trent Reznor has made the Karen O cover of "Immigrant Song" available for download. It's like he knows what my book needs.

The Winter Road (The Ashen Throne? I can't decide! TWR is a better title, but TAT is more pertinent to the book.)
Words today: 1633
Words total: 12229
Darling: To be safe, she brought her boot down hard on his sword hand, feeling the crunch of bone through leather, and kicked the weapon away with her toe. I'm not happy with the construction of the sentence, but I love it when Isyllt is a bitch.
Mean things: Two weeks without a bath, assassins in alleys, gunshot in an enclosed space, watching your boyfriend get shot. (Isyllt isn't the only bitch here.)

Downum's Law: The time spent writing combat scenes is inversely proportional to actual combat time. But after spending hours on a five minute scuffle, I stumbled over an unexpected twist. I may rethink it, but a moment of auctorial nastiness could serve to leave Isyllt alone and off balance, and allow me to conserve characters.

When you find yourself giggling and clapping after shooting someone in the lung, writing or serial murder are really the only life choices left to you.
stillsostrange: (Rilke)
Last night I went on a night dive (by which I mean snorkel, as I do not have a SCUBA cert) with manta rays. Neptune Charlies--who were lovely, and I would recommend--took us on a boat to a point off the Kona coast, gave us wet suits, snorkel gear, and high-powered flashlights. (People with SCUBA certs were given diving gear and lights.) Then we jumped into the cool, night-black water of the Pacific* and waited for manta rays to come, following the plankton drawn to our lights. Then we spent an hour clinging to a styrofoam tube, watching the rays and the divers and the iridescent schools of fish that came to share the plankton.

The rays roll between the divers' lights and the snorkelers' lights to eat the plankton, all wide dark wings, pale, spotted, nearly nacreous bellies, and wide wide mouths. They come close enough to touch--which you cannot--and sometimes brush you as they roll. The water is cold, and the whole time you're hearing the guides talking and joking and the people next to you gasping, and being kicked and bumped the fins of your fellow snorkelers, but that all falls away when a ray is swooping inches from your face. It was probably the most beautiful, awe-full experience I've had. I took a lot of pictures--on film; how adorable!--and I can only hope some of them turn out.

* Several Kona beaches had closed earlier that day due to shark sightings. I went anyway, and was not eaten by sharks. Go me.
stillsostrange: (Elbow sex)
The Bone Palace is up for a Spectrum Award! As are [ profile] handful_ofdust and many others. Woot!
stillsostrange: (Blood)
I mentioned some time ago that I had sold "Bone Garden"--now I have a few more details. I've sold "Bone Garden" to Subterranean Press, for A Fantasy Medley 2, edited by Yanni Kuznia. I've been a fan of SubPress for years, and I'm thrilled senseless to be included in this anthology.

I don't have all the release details, but it will include a limited signed hardcover version. I'll get signature sheets! This is the fanciest I have ever been.

For those playing along at home, "Bone Garden" is a novelette set in Erisín shortly after the events of The Bone Palace, also known as "Demimonde Theatre Boys vs. Oracular Demons", or the story in which I kill [ profile] sovay.

And now I have to get back to page proofs for Kingdoms.


stillsostrange: (Default)

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