Saturday, July 30, 2011

Broadly Speaking: Humorous July

Welcome to the July episode of Broadly Speaking, a podcast about the adventures of women writing science fiction, fantasy, horror - and everything in between.

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

This month three guests (well, sort of...) joined host Julia Rios to discuss the ins and outs of writing humor.

C.S.E. Cooney is the author of Jack o' the Hills, The Big Bah-Ha, and numerous short stories and poems. Claire mentioned Tom Lehrer's song, "The Masochism Tango" as an example of funny rhyme. You can see Tom Lehrer playing it here, and hear the way he rhymes mahogany with agony for yourself.  And then Claire's poem, "The Sea King's Second Bride" won the Rhysling award for long form poetry on the very day this interview was recorded! Congratulations, Claire! You can listen to and read "The Sea King's Second Bride" in the Spring 2010 issue of Goblin Fruit.

Gwynne Garfinkle writes short stories, poems, and novels, some of which you can read online. "In Lieu of a Thank You" is one of those, which came up in the interview. You can visit Strange Horizons to read this tale of a woman who gets captured by a mad scientist and doesn't do what one might expect.

Mary Robinette Kowal won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2008, and is the author of the Jane Austen inspired fantasy novel, Shades of Milk and Honey. She's also a puppeteer (Here is the book trailer for Shades of Milk and Honey, and here's Mary performing "The Broken Bridge"), and the Vice President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Her short story, "For Want of a Nail" is up for the Hugo award this year. Unfortunately Mary was unable to make it to the interview, so Claire presented her own left hand as "Mary-in-effigy". Stay tuned for a special message at the end of the podcast from Mary's Real Person!

And here's a picture of the three lovely interview guests:



Friday, July 29, 2011

Feeling Overwhelmed, Fur-Filled Friday

Guess what?  I'm still working on deadlines!

Please enjoy a cute tired kitty picture in lieu of a blog.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The New File Cabinet & The Mess

Here's my spiffy new file cabinet rescued from a tree belt* after a tag sale** down the street about two weeks ago.

 See how neat and clean and organized it looks?  At the bottom of the photo are two bags: a paper bag for burning (I'll likely have another of my burning rituals when the weather is cool enough to signify an end to this wave of clutter.) and a reusable bag that now houses the three-ring binders that used to house the paperwork that now resides in the spiffy file cabinet.

I can haz organization?! :)

There are still a few things that need to be filed that are on my desk, and they are getting in the way of my focusing, so I must attend to them shortly.  It's not the worst it's been, though.

Now, to the right of my desk is the rest of The Mess.

That is a three-shelf high book shelf.  Note the Pile O Stuff reaches nearly to the top of the second bookshelf, preventing me from actually getting to the books on that shelf and the one below it. It's kinda scary.  There may even be intelligent life evolving between the papers and books and Stuff in that pile.  If you do not see a blog post, Facebook update, or an email from me in over a week, I may have been consumed by the Stuff and the hypothetical intelligent life that lives in that environment.

When you have this kind of upheaval, it's really hard to get actual work done.  So, I need to give into the Cleaning Fairy and get this sh*t taken care of or she will beat me upside the head with her wand.  Been there, done that… not a pretty sight.  If I can do a certain amount each day, Cleaning Fairy will let me get bits of other work done… which is also what I need to do with deadlines and such.

Wish me luck… especially in negotiations with whatever Evolving Life Forms might be losing their Clutter-based Natural Environment.

* It's been brought to my attention that "tree belt" is a regional slang that may only exist in the 413 area code of Massachusetts.  Specifically, it's that swath of grass between your sidewalk and the road, which has a dubious belongingness to both you and the city.  For areas without sidewalks, it's the edge of your lawn separated from the road by the "curb." (Not called "curbing," which is supposedly the proper term is for that concrete separation, thank you Ms. Gilhooley, the faculty advisor for my high school newspaper.)

** "Tag sale" is the 413-ism for what everyone else in the nation (according to the H-of-A) calls "Yard Sale."  Personally, I like "tag sale" better because nearly all of these sales use tags to denote the price, while the actual sale may take place anywhere from a driveway to a parking lot to a hall to a basement… not just someone's yard.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Bits & Ends for a Manic Monday

Here comes the last week of July, and what's up with Trish?  A lot, actually!

The pics are old ones from a very messy desk.  My very messy desk… which is currently, horrifically, messy once again.  It's bled out to one side and the book cases and has been doing so for some time.  About a week or two ago, Scott got me a file folder cabinet and it has finally been moved into its new home beside my desk today, along with a new, narrower, bookshelf. 

So, Stuff is getting rearranged.  It makes for a great metaphor.  I'm doing an awful lot of rearranging life around stuff right now.  Here's a glimpse!


Good news!  I have an acceptance to announce!!

New England Horror Writers accepted my poem "Kali's Promise" into their upcoming anthology, Epitaphs, which will be available 11-11-11 for Anthocon, in New Hampshire!

I haven't written much about New England Horror Writers, but it's another grassroots group that I'm proud to be a part of.  If you write horror or dark fantasy and live in the New England area, definitely check out the group!


As I mentioned on Friday, I'm the new president of Broad Universe.  :)  There's a ton of stuff I need to do and reorganize for that… not the least of which is to write the press release. 

I also have to reorganize all of my Broad Universe stuff that I inherited from Phoebe.  I put two boxes in what I think will make a nice home.  I have two more, plus my own collection of stuff. 

That said, I am already talking about specific new projects on the horizon!  Stay tuned. 

Pi-Con just sent me my schedule!  I'm on a bunch of panels AND working on a Rapid Fire Reading for Broads!  I'll post it shortly.

Oh, and if you've missed it, I am their Guest of Awesome!

I'm also putting together a dealer's room with a few friends.  We'll have art, jewelry… and some very special surprises.  :)

Related to-dos: Um, actually fill out dealer paperwork, get party room for Broad Universe!


Come August, Kate Kaynak and I will start sending edits back to our fabulous contributors for UnCONventional!

As hard as some of the "no" responses were that we sent back, hearing so much excitement from all those we accepted is just amazing!  We do have an excellent line-up, so keep an eye out for the book.


I owe my webmistress a bunch of stuff so she can update my website… oi!


On the non-fiction writing front:

1.  I have a deadline on apples for the end of this week.
2.  I have a review deadline end of this week.
3.  I have to put together some horsey news within the next two weeks.


On the fiction writing front:

1. I owe my Trickster novel a synopsis; I promised the main character.
2. I need to re-edit "Photograph of a Mermaid" per various trusted people's advice and then resend it to Kate for UnCONventional.
3.  I need to finish editing Kelpie. 


And if you don't think that's enough to keep me busy (on top of my tutoring and training!), then you are far more sadistic than I am masochistic.  :p 

What am I doing blogging?  I need to get to bed so I can get to work!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Feminist Friday: Broad Universe Transitions

Here's my Broad Universe story.

I've mentioned the wonderful Broad Universe multiple times on this blog.  In a nutshell, we're an international, feminist, non-profit (501(c)3) organization dedicated to promoting, honoring, and celebrating women who write science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

I got involved through a colleague I met at Dragon*Con sometime in 2003 or after 2004, Katherine Mankiller, who introduced me to the group sometime in either 2005 or 2006.  Finding their goals in line with mine, and having then-recently re-discovered my feminist passion thanks to another brief, but powerful, friendship (she moved; we lost contact), I joined right away.

About that time I was also "discovering" fandom and convention-ness.  I'd been going to Dragon*Con since 2002, but despite being a total, bona fide, D&D-and-Magic-the-Gathering playing, Wizards-of-the-Coast-when-it-was-TSR reading, faery-seeking, science-loving, comics-collecting, honors-course-taking geek girl, I somehow totally missed the convention and fan culture.  Being a member of Broad Universe introduced me to how many local conventions there were to me!

Nancy Jane Moore was in charge of readings at the time, and readings were really only just the Rapid Fire Readings held at a few conventions. (A Rapid Fire Reading is where BU convinces a convention to give us some panel time, and we squeeze as many readers as possible into that panel time, which gives many women a chance to read who wouldn't otherwise be on programming, and also increases our audience ratio because each reader brings a few people; the audience gets a great variety of fast-moving entertainment.)  Between Nancy Jane and president, Phoebe Wray, and a few others I got invited to run the Rapid Fire Reading at Readercon.  (I might have read in an RFR before then, but I'm not entirely sure of that.)  I had plenty of help and coaching, and it was, indeed, an excellent RFR -as most are, particularly at Readercon, where a lot of Broads and friends convene.

Shortly after that, I got introduced to the idea of the Mailing Party, where our discussion list celebrates and pushes members to submit their work - as magazines and publications have often said they don't publish as many women as men because they don't receive as many submissions from women as men.  So, we submit!  Being a submission slacker, myself, I embraced the idea and was easily convinced I should "throw" a mailing party.

After some time of organizing more mailing parties and more readings around the New England Area - and even Balticon and a Worldcon! - Phoebe asked me if I was interested in joining the Motherboard as the new readings person, since Nancy Jane's term was up and she was ready to step down.  I was floored, honored, and humbled to be asked.  It took me a day to consider, but I said "yes!"

And then I really started to party.  >:)

I had ideas, I was self-employed so my time was flexible, I was doing what I loved (and still am), and I still am a truly insane over-achiever.  I always have been. 

I started making lists of conventions people brought up and pushing members who were attending to create Broad events, like more Rapid Fire Readings.  Our then-treasurer, Grace O'Malley, pointed out that only a small percentage of our members attended conventions, so we needed to do more things to serve those who didn't attend conventions.  We came up with the idea for podcasts, and I flew with that (and as much as I love doing them, I'm happy to hand over the reins for 2012 to the most excellent Justine Graykin and Tracy S. Morris, who, among several supporters, gave me the help I needed to accomplish something I knew nothing about.)  Readings got expanded to readings and events - at conventions and at local venues… and well, things continue to happen with more and more awesome volunteers stepping up to continue the group's growth.

Phoebe Wray, after 7 years of being a phenomenal president, was ready to step down and put her efforts into other places for the organization.  She announced this over a year ago just to the Motherboard, and we were at a loss, because, really, there is no one like Phoebe with her energy, kindness, wisdom, and just stunning presence. 

Earlier this spring, in a tiny and terrified voice, I chatted with Morven Westfield, who, other than Phoebe, had been on the board longer than I, and then to Phoebe, that maybe, if they thought I could handle it and if they thought it would be a good idea or if they thought I was totally crazy, unprepared, or whatnot… what did they think if, maybe, I stepped up to the role?

Both Morven and Phoebe thought it was a good idea, and that I was ready, and that they thought I was a good choice.

I started making plans… we would need a new Readings & Events coordinator, and I really couldn't expect anyone to be as masochistic as I was in regards to all my side projects, so I started working on my delegation and volunteer-requesting skills, and then, in May, still in a tiny and terrified voice, I asked the rest of the board what they thought about me stepping up to the position.  Upon the rest of the board's approval, I moved forward with working on more transitions and planning.

Finally, this past Wednesday night, we had The Vote and Changes Happened. 

Phoebe could step down and free up some time and energy to spend on the wonderful pet projects she had going on the side.  I am in the process of freeing up my pet projects (though, more are on the horizon), and am stepping up… not entirely cured of feeling tiny and a little terrified, but getting better.  On top of that, we have another strong and fabulous member and volunteer, Kimberly Long-Ewing, who is taking over the Readings & Events coordinator - now with an excellent assistant, April Grey!

On my to-do list is to make a formal press release about these changes, but I wanted to get down a little of the personal side for the blog.  Broad Universe has been, and continues to be, one of the best resources I could imagine that has helped me achieve my own dream of being a writer.  I have at least two short stories being published in 2012, possibly more, I've finished three novels, submitted more writing, built more confidence than I could have imagined, and met some of the most wonderful people who have become friends and colleagues - because I'm part of the organization.

That feeling of being tiny and terrified comes from a deep hope that I can return even a part of what everyone in Broad Universe has given to me, so far. 

Not just because I'm president now, but because I believe in what Broad Universe does, I want to finish up this post with an invitation to my readers who aren't yet members… Even if you're not writers, even if you write outside of the science fiction, fantasy or horror genres, consider joining because in being a member, you're helping some amazing people achieve their dreams.  And if you are a writer, genre or otherwise, I believe you'll be surprised at how Broad Universe can help you.

Thank you!

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 2011 Humor Episode

The Broad Pod July Humor Episode by Broad Universe Listen on Posterous

Welcome to the 2011 July episode of the Broad Pod.  Jody Lynn Nye, author of multiple science fiction and fantasy novels - mostly humorous - is proud to present the Humor episode in the rather silly month of July.


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.  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


July is full of reasons to laugh, from National Cow Appreciation day to Be Nice to New Jersey Week--and even Chocolate Day, so Jody and Broad Universe present a tickling collection of stories bits for our listeners.  Jean Marie Ward teaches an important lesson on the creativity of Sirens, Jaleta Clegg shares a new version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," Tracy S. Morris relates a Bubba vacation tale in Hawaii, while Justine Graykin introduces us to spies who just want a little job security.


As Jody says, "Grab your favorite cow and some chocolate," and enjoy this month's episode of the Broad Pod!

Posted via email from The Broad Pod posterous

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Some Horse Pictures for You

Here are some adorable pictures of horses that sponsors of the trail ride I did this past Sunday helped!

The rescue herd enjoys some hay.

Avoca and Flicka chill out in the barn.
Piccolo demands you appreciate his adorableness with a side of adorable.

Epona says, "Worship me.  I am a cute pony!"
Bailey says, "Nom-nom-nom. I haz a big pile o' hay!"
Piccolo wants to know if the camera is edible.
Because pony butts are just durned cute, Flicka and Epona model for you.

Keep an eye here for interviews and profiles of some of my donors!!  Thank you everyone who made this happen.  The horses appreciate it!  (And treats. But you supplied them treats, so they love you.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Meeting a Non-Writing Goal

Shortly after I adopted Calico, Amanda Miller - a personal life coach, Mary Kay salesperson, and friend of mine - asked me what my goals were with my horse.  My first thought was: um, goals?  I had some short term plans on learning more about horses and horse training and actually riding with certain frequency.  They were vague.  A far cry from the details of my yearly business plan.

"Are you going to show her?" Manda asked. 

I had absolutely no plans on showing.  With my history in doing physical activities, the best way for me to find my balance in the saddle likely wouldn't look pretty for judges - no matter how good the communication between me and Cali ended up.

Then an idea hit me.

When I started working for the Bay State Equine Rescue, the summer of 2003, Prez Susan told me about a Sponsored Trail Ride fundraiser.  Naïve me immediately thought of the trail rides often offered by farms where you hop on a stone-cold lesson horse and wander through trails in a big group of equally naïve horse people.  I could do that!


Susan asked if I had a horse, and I said no.  She asked me who I'd ride.  We both ended up confused. 

I had no idea that people who owned horses actually loaded them up in trailers to go walk on trails through the woods!  And that they needed, like, vaccinations and permits to do that.  And that there was organizations where you counted miles you did that!

Most horse people - at least those I've met - have this vague notion of the trail ride I was thinking of: clueless city refugees sitting awkwardly in saddles, afraid to actually steer their horses (I don't want to be mean!) and following each other in an guided line through woods or beaches or whatnot.  But that's not what they think when they think "trail ride."

So, now that I had My Own Horse, I could do a proper trail ride! 

That would be my goal.  My goal was to ride Calico in the BSER Sponsored Trail Ride.  And finish it safely.

(Now, earlier this year, I also learned about the Breast Cancer Ride for the Ribbon, which I took part in, but did not end up finishing that whole trail for a number of reasons - one of which, admittedly, was my confidence.  I was given an "out", and I took it.)

But today, TODAY, I finished the BSER Trail Ride.  Another of Amanda's students and her aunt were there, so I had companions to ride with (Phew! Calico doesn't like not being with other horses!)  We wandered through Old Sturbridge Village for about an hour, then spent a little over another hour doing the shortest loop trail.  Yes it was short, but we finished it! 

It was just the right length for us.  I have one saddle sore and some achy muscles, but I couldn't be happier!

It was an accomplishment for me and Calico as a team.  We took turns being the "confident" one in several situations.  Together, we'd never crossed bridges before.  On all but one of the dozen or so bridge crossings, we were in the lead… and I may be anthropomorphizing here a bit, but I swear she had a swagger to her as if to say, "Really guys?  This is a bridge!"

(Coming across a gentleman changing trash bags was an altogether different story, but I got to be the confident one there.)

Now, last week I had the good fortune of helping blaze this particular trail.  It had a lot of downed trees that we made detours around, a water crossing, and a few especially (to me, Ms. Horse-Owner for < 1 year) steep hills.  Ones I was being cautions on while on my own two feet.

Yeah, Calico didn't see any issue. (That may well be due to all the hill drills that Amanda had us do in lessons.)  She was through them before I even had a chance to think about falling.  And by the time we got to them, I wasn't the least bit wobbly.

In fact, there wasn't even a single time I recall feeling less than stable on her back.  And the group of us were handing cameras back and forth, chatting, and Calico even had that one spook with the trash bags.  With both of us, we were moving so easily together!  In the ring, on occasion, she has "choppy transmission" where she'll almost stop when going from a trot to a walk.  We transitioned probably about twenty times between walking and trotting through the trails and not once was she anything but smooth!

I've summitted a couple of mountains, canoed, gotten utterly lost for miles and then found on hikes… and as much as I love those activities, I've never felt near the ecstatic accomplishment as I did when we got back to the trailers after our ride.  It wasn't just me accomplishing something, it was me as part of a team that depended on each other and trusted each other in the unique way that only a horse and rider can do.

It was awesome.

* And apologies for the extensive blogging hiatus.  I've had a ton of deadlines and work - but it's all paid stuff!  Anyway, I've written a blog or two about having to get back into the blogging saddle… so here I go again! [Ok, I didn't tag my back-in-the-blogging-saddle posts…. and I'm ready for bed.

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