Saturday, September 16, 2017

He keeps changing my character!
Copy and paste if you're interested in how video game artists sculpt their ideas on the computer.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Still working on the adult version

I'm still working on the adult version of Writing Speculative Fiction: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Sometimes I have lots of energy and am productive. This is not one of those times. I don't know if it's due to breathing in the air of a state that is burning down or the enervating heat. Whatever. I will eventually finish this.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Now Making One for Adults

RealmMakers was soooo incredible. I love that conference so much. Anyway, as a result, I am making a website for the textbook Writing Speculative Fiction: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. And because somebody asked, and it seemed like a good idea, I am also making a self-paced adult version.
And Travis Perry is holding my hand and fixing all the things I broke while trying to make a website.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Leaving for RealmMakers 2017

I don't know why I'm suddenly feeling nervous about leaving something important behind when I fly to RealmMakers 2017 tomorrow. Everybody there is my friend or friendly. I will be selling the textbook Writing Speculative Fiction: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror which has excerpts from many of the attendees. The textbook is aimed at homeschoolers and 30-40 percent of the attendees are involved in homeschooling. Ah, I know, I'll be selling Advanced Reader Copies because I thought I could skip the proof copy step of publishing. I was in a hurry to get it ready in time for RealmMakers, and the publisher had hired a proofreader. And I was EXCITED.
Lesson learned: don't skip that step. I've printed up Addenda that I'll be inserting in the books but there's not much I can do about the egregious typos in a book about writing.......
The publisher has downloaded the corrected versions. I don't know how many of the typo-heavy versions were sold. What I feel worse about is the half of the contributors I left out of the recommended lists and the index after I promised the writers I would put them in there. They're there now, and there's the addenda.
If I make a textbook for the second semester, I'll be sure to add at least one chapter on publishing decisions, probably using myself as the example of what not to do.
And then to make sure I'll never become arrogant, yesterday I discovered two typos on the back cover. I need grace.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Skies of Dripping Gold

Skies of Dripping GoldSkies of Dripping Gold by Hannah Heath

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Allegories often leave me cold. Maybe I saw this story more as a metaphor, as I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and cannot recommend it highly enough. Beautiful book. I felt like I received a lot of value for my .99 cents. Beautiful writing, beautiful world-building, good characterization.

View all my reviews
I discovered a new writer to adore.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

It's on the Kindle

Here's the ebook version of Writing Speculative Fiction: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.
Print should show up for sale in a couple days. I ordered some print versions to take to Preview Night at a homeschool resource center where I volunteered to teach the class. Parents and students will be meeting us to see what classes we offer. I hope a lot sign up for mine.
I feeling just a little panicked or maybe more than a little. I'm also ordering the books to take to RealmMakers. How many should I bring? I think maybe half the people there would want to buy the textbook. But what if I'm wrong. If I take 15 Teacher editions and 10 Student editions, will I sell out, or will I need to be dragging books through the airport when the conference is over?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Feeling Old

I had picked a dark blue gray for the siding to my house, and thought maybe it should have been grayer because I thought with a gray color then many years down the road, if some paint flakes off, we won't notice and won't need to do anything about it. We're trying to make choices that are low maintenance and tough so we aren't doing a ton of repairing/replacing/changing/fixing/touching up/maintaining etc as we age in place.
So the hardie planks arrived. Do you know what color hardie planks are? YELLOW! A subdued sort of nasty yellow, but still YELLOW!  If I had known the base color of hardie planks was yellow I would have picked a gold metal roof instead of the bright blue I did pick and dun or gold-ish for the siding color. It hadn't even occurred to me to ask what the base color was. I mean, hardie planks are wood fiber and cement. Cement is gray! Attempting to come up with a color that wouldn't clash with the base, I ended up picking the exact opposite color of what I needed. The base hardie will glow like neon if paint ever wears off anywhere on the house.
I did not throw a tantrum I did not throw a tantrum I did not throw a tantrum. But I wanted to.
And then I wanted to know why I had such an emotional reaction to what, if you look at life in general, is pretty small stuff. What's the problem here?
The problem with picking the exact wrong color is this: it encapsulates what's been going on in building the house, making decisions about publishing, choosing appliances, choosing cars, choosing everything in the last years. I make an assumption, don't even know it's an assumption because it feels like background knowledge, and make a choice based on that assumption that turns out to be wrong because what I know is WRONG and now I have to live with the consequences of making the wrong decision.
Everything is changing so fast! Amazon changes its rules. Printing companies change their policies. Banks change their requirements. Zoning departments change their regulations. Companies change their manufacturing specifications. Factories that made great stuff last year make crap this year. Materials change their formulations and properties. Stores change what they sell.
I don't know why I bother to keep learning new things when that knowledge will be wrong six months from now. I don't mind, in fact I love, learning new things. But I cannot keep up with the sheer volume of new facts new facts new facts that come streaming my way every day. I have a TV I can't turn on and use because I don't know which of the three controls control what. Washing machines are precision instruments now. What they're precise at, I don't know because they don't wash anymore. Dryers don't dry anymore. Appliances that used to last thirty years now last six. Radios that used to have one knob now have multitudes. Which one will get me the station I want? I used to know how to invest money, approach a publisher, use a vacuum cleaner, go to a bank, drive a car frugally, use a phone, save money, talk to people, buy what I want etc etc etc. I don't know what I want anymore because I don't have the knowledge of the choices before me. I don't even know what questions to ask to gain the knowledge I need on a day to day basis. Every day I talk to the builder is another day I'm told that what I want isn't sold anymore, can't be done on my budget, will add even more time to the process, requires what I don't have, is illegal.
I write science fiction and am smart and have knowledge available with a few taps on a keyboard. This shouldn't be this hard. But it is.
And that makes me feel old.