On Saturday, I found out that Christina Zarrella had awarded me a Versatile Blogger Award! Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyways), I’m so flattered that she thought of me when selecting her nominees! Christina’s blog, Turbulence in the Veins, talks about her journey from homeless teen to Yale grad, offering some incredible insight into the struggles she faced and overcame on the way and talking about issues faced by those in similar situations to hers. To be honored by such a blogger was immensely flattering, and I hope you’ll all check out her writing. She has a memoir, of the same title, on the way. Thank you so much, Christina, for your kind words about I Wrote This:
Rachel Lynn Brody’s blog is always informative – whether on tech/blogging/writing topics and tips: http://rlbrody.com
Part one of winning a Versatile Blogger award is nominating another 15 blogs – so here are my nominations (in no particular order)!
- Sare Liz Gordy (Inspiration, One Day At A Time) www.sareliz.com – Sare and I have known each other for years; her blog, which she updates with regularity, is always a window into her attempts to view her world with clarity and self-knowledge. Whether she’s posting about migraines, Feng Shui or finding enlightenment, her blogs are always a focused reflection of the world around her.
- Tony Noland (Landless) http://www.tonynoland.com/ – A Twitter acquaintance who I’ve known for a while now, Tony’s blog is a combination of his self-publishing exploits, flash fiction and the occasional DIY project. His sense of humor is always evident in his takes on everyday life.
- Jamie Broadnax (Black Girl Nerds) http://blackgirlnerds.com/ – Jamie and I have been chatting on Twitter for some time now, and her blog is a phenomenal resource for all things nerdy. She runs a weekly podcast of the same name, and both outlets dig into comics, culture and more. Through Black Girl Nerds, she’s built a phenomenal community that’s well worth checking out.
- C.D. Reimer http://www.cdreimer.com/ – This is actually a combination of three blogs, where C.D. posts about writing, Silicon Valley and poetry. His writing blog is incredibly informative and often offers helpful insights into the process of self-publishing.
- Johann Thorsson (On Books & Writing) http://jthorsson.com/blog/ – Icelandic author Johann Thorsson writes short stories and novels (mostly in English). His blog is a collection of book reviews, photographs and excerpts from his essays for megasite Book Riot. As an added bonus, those who follow him on Twitter often get to see, via photo, how jealous we should all be that we don’t live in Iceland.
- JC Rosen (Girl Meets Words) http://jessrosen.wordpress.com/ – Jess runs a few different book- and writing-related discussions on Twitter. She’s always supportive of writers and willing to chat about their work, and always able to give an encouraging word. Her blog includes flash fiction on diverse topics and write-ups of the different things she’s reading.
- Emily Suess (Suess’ Pieces) http://emilysuess.wordpress.com/ – One of my first Twitter acquaintances, Emily also runs a copywriting business – and when I met her, had taken on the beheamouth of online vanity publishing services to try and help new writers avoid unethical treatment. Seuss’ Pieces has been retired and archived to this URL, but still contains plenty of advice for beginning writers.
- Melanie Ardentdelirium (Lovely Like Beestings) http://lovelylikebeestings.wordpress.com – Mels is a Twitter acquaintance whose blog tackles issues of both mental health and Roller Derby. Her topics cover everything from broken bones to sick cats, all with a frank edge that gives you a real taste of her personality.
- Jo Clifford (Teatro do Mundo) http://www.teatrodomundo.com/ – Jo, my former MFA supervisor, is also a well-regarded, talented and prolific playwright in Scotland. Her blog is both a resource for understanding what it means to be a playwright in today’s world as well as a rich collection of ruminations on personal experience.
- Sarah Hartley (StoryGirlSarah.com) http://storygirlsarah.com/ – Sarah is a New York fashionista in the truest sense of the word, with her signature mod/vintage look stamped across her fashion and design work. (Did I mention she’s responsible for the cover of Hot Mess?) Follow her blog and on Instagram to get the full impact of her creative and clear-headed style.
- E.M. Thurmond (Count My Stars) http://countmystars.wordpress.com/ – While it hasn’t been updated in some time, E.M. Thurmond’s blog tells the story of an aspiring TV writer in Hollywood. From interviews with women writers to accounts of her own experiences developing her career, it’s a place where readers can find insight in the crazy maze of trying to make it as a screenwriter while staying true to your goals and ideals.
- Vossbrink and Kukurovaca (Hairy Beast) http://hairybeast.net/ – These two twitter acquaintances are quick-witted on Twitter, and the depth of analysis on this blog dealing with photography and culture will change the way you look at pictures. Well worth checking it out, but carve out enough time to really immerse yourself in the subject matter. You won’t regret it.
- Debbie Vega (Moon in Gemini) http://debravega.wordpress.com/ – Another blogger I found through #MondayBlogs, Debbie covers writing and pop culture. She participates in a lot of themed blog events, like “The Great Villain Blogathon,” and offers anything from advice on how writers can improve their craft to her perspective on popular films.
- NYPinTA (Talking to the Moon) http://www.nypinta.com/blog/ – Film, music, theater, travel and television all get their chance in the spotlight on NYPinTA’s blog. Her clear and direct writing style lets you enjoy her experiences as if you’d been there.
- Hugh C. Howey http://www.hughhowey.com/ – I read Hugh Howey’s Silo Saga last year, and was blown away by his intriguing dystopian vision. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with him once or twice on Twitter, and the thing I love about his blog is how generous he is with his advice for aspiring indie authors. As someone whose self-published stories went from blog entries to Kindle novels to being picked up by a major publisher, he’s walked the road many indie writers want to follow on, and he offers a lot of insight along the way.
Maybe it’s cheating to bring up a blog I help contribute to, but this list wouldn’t be complete without including Calming Brits & Irishmen. My friend @aboleyn started this Tumblr as a way to cheer me up after my back injury, and since then it’s gained nearly 4,000 followers and turned into a sort of Post Secret for Anglophiles. In addition to the meme-like photographs with calming sayings that we started out posting, we now answer anywhere between 3-15 “asks” a day – many anonymous – from followers dealing with upsetting issues from studying for exams to dealing with breakups, mental health issues and the deaths of family and friends — all through the medium of animated gifs of some of our favorite British and Irish personalities. Apparently the brings a smile to many peoples’ days, and if you’re looking for versatility, the topics it covers run the gamut of human experience.
There’s a second part of the Versatile Blogger Awards – sharing seven things about yourself – but as this blog is already topping 1000+ words, I’ll save that for a second part. Stay tuned tomorrow to learn more about me.
I’m currently seeking beta readers/advance reviewers for my upcoming collection of sci-fi and speculative fiction stories, SHORT FRICTIONS. If you’re interested, please click here to find out more.
Posted in Lifestyle
Tagged aboleyn, advice, analysis, black girl nerds, c.d. reimer, calming brits, christina zarrella, copywriting, count my stars, culture, debbie vega, e.m. thurmond, Emily Suess, fashion, Girl Meets Words, hairy beast, homeless teen, homelessness, hot mess, hugh howey, inspiration one day at a time, ivy League, jamie broadnax, JC Rosen, jo clifford, johann thorsson, kukurovaca, landless, lovely like beestings, melanie ardentdelirium, mental health, monday blogs, nypinta, on books and writing, Photography, post secret, roller derby, sarah hartley, sare liz gordy, sareliz.com, silo saga, storygirlsarah, style, suess' pieces, talking to the mood, teatro do mundo, tony noland, turbulence in the veins, versatile blogger award, vossbrink, Yale
Invisible Nursing Woman
Shoshana Rachel (great middle name!) talks about breast-feeding, cleavage and invisible women over at GirlBodyPride.
I Review Tear The Curtain
Earlier this month, I had the chance to interview one of the creators of a supposedly-groundbreaking new Canadian theatre piece. Schedules allowed me to chat with co-creator Kevin Kerr, and this weekend just gone, I was able to see the production in one of its final performances. My review is available through The British Theatre Guide, where I’ve been a contributor since 2003ish.
A Fan Letter To Certain Conservative Politicians
From @scalzi on Twitter. A letter to anti-choice politicians from a satirical rapist. Triggering, yet scathing on the order of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. A skilled piece of writing, whether or not you agree with his political views.
I’ve been following the campaigns, and one thing I’ve noticed is that the major candidates have refrained from significant discussion on the topic of climate change. Earlier this year, I did a project called Hot Mess: speculative fiction about climate change and I’d like to take this opportunity to suggest that sometimes, fiction can be an effective way of starting conversations on a grassroots level. Short stories include work by Sare Liz Gordy, RJ Astruc, Miranda Doerfler and Eric Sipple.
Trailer – Celeste Bright
I’ve mentioned a web series project in previous posts, and have to thank @thepowerobject for pointing me to this trailer. Gorgeously shot, the editing and music take you along for the ride – I’m going to pop in the first episode and see what I think of the product. This is part of my research on form and webseries; while I’m still trying to make it through Aidan 5’s full season, learning the language of a quality webseries is coming to the front in my ever-revolving priorities binder.
Ack. I just said binder, didn’t I.
We’re about ten days away from Election Day and voters in key swing states are already heading to the polls. If you spend time on “Twittah“, you already know my views, so I won’t bore you. Politics are, however, relevant, because of my new writing project.
Back in June, I had the idea for a novella that would look at the mechanics of a modern-day election, in scifi-punk terms. Having read a lot of cyberpunk in my teens, and growing out from the ongoing progress of my AI Anthology, Electalytics was meant to give me a chance to express some anxieties about the current election cycle, as well as the framing of political action/content within what I felt (and still feel) to be outdated models – all within a technopunk framework.
Electalytics started off as a challenge – could I write 30K words in a month? By July, I was still shy 2.5K, but I had the solid basis of a piece – and since then, I’ve been editing and refining the story. It’s lost mass and gained focus, and I’m excited to be offering a free look at the first chapter to the first 50 people who sign up on my mailing list. We’re about halfway to our subscription goal, so sign up for the free promo.
Also, come November 6th? Vote.
Posted in Activism & Politics, Lifestyle, Research
Tagged a modest proposal, aboleyn, adorable, aidan 5, babies, binders, binders full of women, bluma appel, body image, body pride, boobies, boobs, breastfeeding, british theatre guide, canada, canadian stages, canadians, celeste bright, climate change, confidence, conservative politicans, conservatives, conversations, electalytics, election 2012, eric sipple, feminism, fiction, girlbodypride, hot mess, human rights, independent election monitors, ireland, jill stein, jonathan swift, Jonathon Young, Kevin Kerr, literature, miranda doerfler, mitt romney, motherhood, mothering, mourdock, novella, nypinta, paul ryan, peter lathan, politicizing, Politics, pride, pro-choice, pro-life, rape, reproductive rights, republicans, rights, rj astruc, road trip, sare liz gordy, scalzi, self-image, shoshuga, Tear the Curtain, the power object, todd aiken, toronto, unfamiliar lives, united nations, vote, voting rights, war on women, women, women's rights
1. HAIKU OF THE LIVING DEAD is currently being uploaded to Kindle. Miranda will be managing the Smashwords upload, which will be where the coupon code for contributors, friends and family will be applied. More news on this over the weekend. Partial profits from this project will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.
2. A very, very special shoutout to Sare Liz, my favorite priest, who got married yesterday at the upper rapids in Niagara Falls. She was a beautiful bride and she trusted me to hold the rings for her and her lovely husband (!!!!) and I did not lose the rings. 😀 Edit: On the down side, I now have some kind of horrible throat infection and am missing the formal reception. 🙁
3. Later this afternoon, I will be on the #99report to talk about Hot Mess and the recent heat wave. It’s been almost a year since I first approached the other writers (my first post about it was from January of this year) about putting together that collection, so it’s kind of amazing to me that it’s come so far and is doing so well since then.
4. If my brain isn’t total jelly once all this is sorted, I’m working out ideas about a multi-part post about Amanda Palmer’s new music video, WANT IT BACK, and what it says about the evolution of the feminine gaze. She says some things in the Guardian article (other end of that link, includes video) that contribute to my central thesis, so who knows…I might just go there.
Posted in Lifestyle
Tagged 99report, amanda palmer, buffalo, climate change, doctors without borders, haiku of the living dead, hot mess, kindle, miranda doerfler, niagara falls, sare liz gordy, self publishing, selfpub, speculative fiction about climate change, the 99 report, upper rapids, want it back, watergate summer, wedding
Cover design by Sarah Hartley
When I approached Eric, Sare Liz, RJ and Miranda about working on HOT MESS: speculative fiction about climate change, one thing we agreed on was that a portion of the proceeds from the book should benefit climate-change-related charities.
Well, the first batch of royalty payments are in, and we’ve made donations to both the Climate Science Defense Fund and the Earth Island Institute, with more to come.
If you haven’t yet, buy a copy of HOT MESS, (available for Kindle, Nook, Smashwords and in print) and help contribute to spreading ideas and combating climate change.
Miranda and I will be releasing HAIKU OF THE LIVING DEAD, a book of Zombie Haiku submitted from internet users around the world, on Friday, July 13th.
Posted in Activism & Politics, Lifestyle
Tagged Activism & Politics, charity, climate change, climate science defense fund, createspace, creative writing, culture, donations, earth island institute, eric sipple, giving back, global warming, haiku of the living dead, hot mess, kindle, miranda doerfler, new writing, Nook, publishing, rachel lynn brody, rj astruc, sare liz gordy, self publishing, selfpub, smashwords, writing
In the early hours of Sunday morning, I sat down and wrote in my journal about the elation I felt after the successful completion of the Hot Mess reading and subsequent weekend of running around NYC with some incredibly talented writers. At the time, it seemed silly – almost self-indulgent – to write two pages in my new notebook about how happy I was that everything had gone so well.
After the last of the writers left town, though, a familiar sort of post-holiday malaise started to set in. It was like what my mom says about the holidays: everyone comes together and you go through so much planning just to have some time to do something fun, and then everybody goes their separate ways and it’s over.
I was so glad I’d written those two pages. Everything – from my handwriting to the words I’d written to the brevity of the notes – brought back the positive feelings that accompanied the weekend.
Sare Liz, my favorite priest in the world, makes a lot of noise about the emotion of joy, and the role it plays in allowing us to fully be ourselves and realize our goals in life.
Sometimes, particularly when the day-to-day starts to feel overwhelming, it’s easy to forget the times when that heavy feeling has been transcended and you’re in alignment with your goals in life, working toward the things you feel are important with people who contribute positively to your general sense of wellbeing.
That’s why it’s important to capture those moments. They’re like little seeds of positivity; quick hits that get you chasing a dragon far healthier than the one traditionally indicated by that metaphor.
You know that saying, “Do one thing every day that scares you”? Do one thing every day that delights you, too. (And heck, for some of you, those may be the same thing!)