Tuesday, September 27, 2011

There's Still Magic for Grown-Ups in Faery Tales

Faerytales Compact by Karen Meng Listen on Posterous

Welcome to the September 2011 episode of Broadly Speaking, a podcast about the adventures of women writing science fiction, fantasy, horror - and everything in between.This month's podcast is devoted to women writers and feminism in Fairy Tales for Grown Ups. This month's edition of Broadly Speaking is hosted by Karen Meng, current treasurer and DataQueen for Broad Universe.

Karen interviews Cindy Speer, Vikki Ciaffone, and Trisha Wooldridge about the importance of Fairy Tales and retellings to culture, how the gender of the storyteller may or may not affect the message, and why writers should take some time exploring Faery Tales.

Cindy Lynn Speer jokingly refers to herself as a swashbuckler and author, but it is not far from the truth.  A historical fencer who writes fantasy, murder mysteries and retold fairy tales, she divides her time between proving that the pen and the sword can be equally mighty.  Find out more about her at www.apenandfire.com.  
Vikki Ciaffone has been involved in SF/Fantasy for many years.  She is personally responsible for the destruction of Sodom and Gommorha (she apologises, but all the hype was lies, and the populace was obsessed with Pictionary and Charades, two games Vikki finds highly evil).  She then turned her attention to Troy, and once again, engineered its downfall in her quest to burn out the Pictionary Plague.  She claims no responsibility for Pompeii or the Fall of Rome, though she might possibly have had something to do with the sun setting on the British Empire.  In her spare time, Vikki has been known to shoot craps with the Fates and the Valkyries for shiny trinkets. Find out more about Vikki on the people page for Spencer Hill Press.

Trisha J. Wooldridge is the current president of Broad Universe, an international, non-profit supporting women in speculative fiction.  She's published in the EPIC award-winning anthologies (2010)  Bad-Ass Faeries 2: Just Plain Bad and Bad-Ass Faeries 3: In all Their Glory from DarkQuest books, several poetry and non-fiction venues, and is an editor of the UnCONventional anthology from Spencer Hill Press, being released at Arisia 2012. www.anovelfriend.com

The Broad Pod is sponsored by Broad Universe, an international, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, honoring, and celebrating women writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.  To find out more about our organization, including new fiction released by women, more podcasts, and information about writing and publishing for women, visit our website at www.broaduniverse.org.

Monday, September 26, 2011

These are a Few of My Favorite Things (About Editing)

Today, finally, I sent back my last MAJOR set of edits to one of the UnCONventional contributors.

I may have been stressing, I may have messed up my once-dependable blogging schedule, but damnit, I am so happy and proud of this project!  Having to get back on this "dependable blogging schedule" is SO worth it.  UnCONventional is already made of awesome--and it's not even out yet.

(If you're interested, though, you can SO preorder it here and make many of us even happier!)

Anyway, as I was getting through the edits, I was reminded of why I love this part of writing so much--well, at least when working with other people.

In the long tradition of online communications, here's a

Top 5 List of Things I Love About Editing

5.  The challenge of playing in parameters.  When you edit, you want to respect the author's creation, so offering suggestions and making changes need to be in line with the author's vision.  As much as free reign over a project is fun, it's even more fun to test one's creativity and writing skill by working within boundaries.
4.  The thrill of teaching.  No matter how many students I teach, or how many friends I critique, or how often I post tips on my blog, there are still people who have not heard some of my favorite proofreading and writing strategies, like reading backwards, using find & replace to count word usage, and comparing word usage to overall word count.  Having someone thank me for teaching them something new sets my heart all aflutter.

3.  Discovering new worlds and being able to help them.  Haven't you ever wanted to make the world a better place?  And do you love escaping into alternate worlds?  When you edit, you get to do both.  You discover fantastic realms/realities, and you can help the author make them stronger--or at least present a clearer picture of them to readers.

2.  Amazing surprises.  In many stories, I've made suggestions for changes or even had no idea what to suggest.  In so many of those cases, the author came up with a fix that was ten to a hundred times better than anything I could have thought of.

1.  The creative sum is greater than the whole.  We selected what we felt the strongest submissions were, and then we advised ways to make them even stronger.  The end result of the author's creativity and love, plus the hard love from both Kate and me, is a piece that each of our individual parts could NEVER come up with alone.  AND, as an anthology, we increase that by 22 of us, exponentially.

So, the next step is to put all these stories into galleys and see how it fits our page count and do yet another proofread.  (And maybe 1 or 3 more after that.)  Per Kate, we're still on good schedule for our release party in January and to get Advanced Reading Copies out for some reviews before then.

Thanks to all the authors and my co-editor for making this such a great project!  I look forward to the rest of this journey with you.

(And, in earnest appeal, you really should pre-order a copy right now. :)  )

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another "Bits and Ends"

My "New Year" September is really pushing me!

I have about six more Round 2 edits to review for UnCONventional, which should be done Monday.  (Pinky swear, Kate!!)  Also today, I have article calls & emails to make.  I'm doing a comfort food piece and a chef profile for Worcester Magazine due on Friday, I have an avocado article due in two weeks, a yet-unwritten short story that needs to be printed before Friday, edits on "Photo of a Mermaid" due… end of the weekish, and critiques for Traveling Java need to be done before Tuesday.

During the week, I will be traveling every day but Monday.

Oh, and on top of all that, there is another fabulous benefit to the Bay State Equine Rescue happening on Sunday:

Horse of Course Benefit!

It's taking place at Whip-O-Will stables and is one of those "family fun" events where we've got things planned for all ages… even if you're not all that into horses.  Check out the event page!

It's happening from 11AM-4PM this Sunday, September 25th. 

If you live in MA or CT or anywhere driveable, please try to come?  :)  Thank you!

I have this blog written on my to-do lists; let's see if it actually happens for more than this post. ;)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Life Before Blogging

Two conventions, a whole-engine overhaul, reuniting with my first writers group, family issues, a death, a pow-wow, ten anniversary of 9/11…

Really, I don't feel that terrible about not blogging for about two weeks.

I really can't do all that justice in one catch up blog post, so I'll move forward.

It's September!

September is my New-New Year, and this year it's particularly poignant.  Not only did Dragon*Con rejuvenate my writing spirit, as it always does, but hanging out with the Dragon*Writers, dinner with Ann Crispin, and being on some pretty fabulous panels just made it all the better.  Even before that, being Guest of Awesome and sharing a pretty fab dealer's room with friends and friends-to-be at Pi-Con had me flying with writerly joy.

The engine overhaul made us have to redo some major finances, so despite its hefty cost, we're starting September with what is likely to be a better financial grasp on things.

I have yet to sit down and re-evaluate my New Year business plans, but that's all right.  I'm working on my editing deadline for UnCONventional and remembering why we picked each of the stories we did; I can't wait for the anthology to come out so we can share it with you.

Besides my editing, I've got a bunch of local stories I'm covering for Worcester Magazine that are due in the next couple of weeks.  I also know that the Broadsheet is looking for articles, and I have to get off my but to get some of my existing writing out there.

Speaking of which, I just shared the opening my novelette, "Mirror of Hearts," on the Broad Pod this week.  I need to get on putting that out as an ebook.  :)

In any case, there is a lot to do, but at least most of this is on the computer, and it really just requires some major Butt In Chair syndrome.

And kinda being sparse online.

The lesson in all this?  It's never too late to do a little restarting, or a lotta restarting.  So long as you go and do it.

September 2011: Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups

The Broad Pod - September 2011 by Broad Universe Listen on Posterous

Welcome to the September 2011 episode of the Broad Pod, featuring Fairy Tales for Grown Ups.  Join L.C. Hu, writer, artist, and all around geek, as she hosts this episode. 

Dragons and magical beasts, peasants and princesses, heroes and tricksters­—fairy tales are some of the first stories many of us hear as children; is it any surprise that they continue to inspire us into adulthood? This month brings us five new interpretations of the fairy story, as varied and wonderful as the tales that enchanted us as children.

Catherine Lundoff  tells us of Vadija the Merry, whose laugh inspires a talespinner to begin a life-changing journey.  Shauna Roberts gives us a science fiction retelling of the old tale Maid on the Shore.  Theresa Crater leads us down beneath the Tor to meet the fae, as we follow a young woman's initiation to become a priestess. Vonnie Winslow Crist spins us a tale about a young man who makes a deal involving death, deceit, and devotion with a swan maiden. And Trisha Woolridge enchants us with the story of  a young woman wandering her uncle's manor, who discovers a curious portrait in a dusty side room. 

So sit back, and let yourself be swept away by these five fantastic fairy stories.

Posted via email from The Broad Pod posterous

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