Last week, I attended my first World Science Fiction Convention (better known as Worldcon) at the amazing convention center in Dublin. No one welcomed me home when I arrived, but after a day or two I realized they may as well have. This wildly varying collection of geeks are my people, too, and I feel every bit as at home with them as I did out on the playa with Burners.
What is surprising is the many things I found in common between these two different events, both of which spoke to me with such force.
Read more about the many similarities between last year’s time at Burning Man and this year’s time at Worldcon at Feeling at home.
We discovered we both loved science fiction, and by the end of the conversation (and the bottle of wine) we were talking about attending Worldcon 2019 together in Dublin. I’m still not sure how our conversation got there.
And yet, here we are. You gotta love how things sometimes work out.
Read more about how I ended up at Worldcon 2019 at An Irish Worldcon: I’m here!
By the time I’d driven home, I knew what I had to do. You see, the only time I struggle with writers block is when I (okay, some part of me, let’s call her the adult manager in charge of my head) insists I write whatever Ms. Manager has decided I must.
No matter how hard Ms. Manager insists, it doesn’t happen.
The little kid in my head who makes up the stories simply stops making them up until she is once again allowed to tell her stories, in her way.
Read more about how I discovered my next novel while having a day at a spa.
Most of my life I’ve considered time, not money, to be my most valuable resource. Maybe I should have put it second to love, or joy, but if I’m honest with myself, I didn’t. Maybe I always thought I was going to die young. Lucky for me, I’m getting a little too old to do that …
Read the rest of this post about the importance of rest (and fun) at Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
You see, I’m not a person who likes to be told what to do. I’ve had a problem with TSA and airport security since the start of this millennium, largely because of what I considered petty enforcement of rules taking priority over common sense. (You’re going to take away my tube of mascara? Why? Oh it’s a 3.6 ounce container and 3.4 is the limit. Right.)
Read more about how my fascination with empathy may have kept me out of serious trouble at
In contrast, Facebook offers the promise of being able to select potential ad readers with a LASER like precision. Oh boy.
For my first novel, I sought out mature women who liked science fiction and fantasy, were interested in telepathy and (I’d been told this was very important) liked or owned a kindle. Wahoo. This group was going to LOVE my spec fiction e-novel about Lola, a forty-something telepath. I mean, how many of those are out there?
It took no time at all for me to have 4823 such women view my ad 10,527 times and click on my link 275 times. It took no time at all for me to spend $48.98 to make this happen and to sell, you guessed it, not a single book.
Read more at Can you sell books on Facebook? Can I?
I’d tried a mess of keywords for first book “One of One” and got one impression. That’s right, one. It was a very cheap ($0.22) and highly ineffective experiment. Forget keywords.
So for Shape of Secrets, I looked through Amazon’s suggested sub-genres. One was LGBT Fantasy Fiction. That was a category? Okay, the book is about a young gay man who can alter his appearance to look like anyone, so I guessed it fit. I tried it and got 87,684 impressions, 170 clicks, and sold three books. Hot damn. Yes, I’d spent $63.22 to do it, so I was losing money while Amazon was laughing all the way to the bank, but at least something was happening.
Read more at How about this ad?
You know what? It was a LOT of work to get this all the way done. Not fun creative stuff, but I-just-want-to-quit-this-shit-and-go-take-a-nap type work.
Why stick with it?
Read more at … is still a thousand miles.
So. Let’s be blunt. I think sex is wonderful. I agree love is the greatest thing in the universe. I like it when people live happily ever after, or at least I’m allowed to think they will. However, romantic love (in all its trials and tribulations) doesn’t carry a plot for me.
I like action, intrigue, and surprises. I enjoy puzzles, and profound thoughts. So why do I end up reading so many romance novels and then complaining about it in the reviews?
Read more about my frustration with romance writers at What makes it a romance novel?
I’ll never know quite how I got the idea of writing a one page poem that managed to encapsulate my life story, but it’s where I landed. Two hours later, I had this. Turns out it takes a LONG time to say things in a few words.
Read more about one of my rare attempts to write poetry at Warm-up Exercise: Your Life in One Page.
I know I’ve loved books others don’t like, and missed the charm many found in popular books. Reading is an interaction between the author and the writer, and the two don’t always match up well, even when an intelligent reader comes across a well done story. We’re all different, right?
Read more about how refreshing it is to get a review from someone who happens to get you at Nice to be understood.
I’m back to doing the occasional review, and hope to do many more after I get my own book number six out there.
My latest is for a short, fun story called “Fresh Off the Starship” by Ann Crawford.
I intended to read this book over a few days, but laid it aside reluctantly on day one (company was coming) and zipped thru the rest on day two. I applaud (and thank) the author for creating a world that held me spellbound and happy for many hours.
Read all about what I liked a lot, and not so much, at Fresh Off the Starship.
This thought sends my mind spinning off onto all the lists I read on other peoples blogs. 10 ways to make your hair behave. 14 things you cannot live without.
So? What are other things that improve almost any bad situation.
Read the full list at 5 things that always help.
Looking at it forced me to see other photos of this model, however, and I found several I liked so much better. Doesn’t she look so much more interesting in the other three photos?
I persuaded DDD to try an edgier look and I was happy with the result. So were most people in my informal focus group, although one person thought she now looked slutty. Sigh …. Not what I intended.
Read more at That’s her!
When it came time to create the last cover, we needed Teddie to make a second appearance, but not with an identical face. This particular model had dozens of photos to choose from, but unfortunately many of them had to do with selling beauty products.
Read more at So that’s what she really looks like?
Lucky for me, my sister disagreed. She didn’t know what Alex looked like either, but she was so positive it wasn’t this that she went to Shutterstock and emailed me photos of several other models.
Okay, it looked like we’d have to find another Alex. Option one she sent was clearly too young, but the other six could work. I went searching for any of them.
Read more at So that’s what he really looks like?
When it came time to create the last cover, we needed Zane to make a second appearance, but not with an identical face. This particular model did have many options to choose from, but unfortunately most of them weren’t so appropriate for the sort of book I was writing.
Read more at How does he really look?
When I first wrote One of One (called x0 at the time) I was obsessed with giving form to my mental picture of Lola, the main character. I wished I could draw well enough to show the world how she looked. I can’t, so I scoured Shutterstock for artists images that captured what I was seeing in my mind. These were some of my favorites.
Read more at How does she really look?
Then, someone pointed snag number two out to me. They thought Cillian, who is supposed to be in his forties, looked a little too old and could even be mistaken for Ariel’s father Alex, who is in his fifties. At first I didn’t think so, but upon reflection I saw the vague resemblance.
Read the end of the cover saga for the fifth book at The fifth one
My book Layers of Light is not only about human trafficking and female heroes, it is a book about the obstacles faced by women everywhere. It was written before the Me Too movement, and before we had a major candidate for president who was a woman. It was written before “grab ’em by the pussy” and Stormy Daniels. In some ways, it feels to me as if it comes out of a more naive time. How much of the world of 2019 should go into a rewrite?
Read more at How much changes in six years?