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I've been working on a short story that someone has invited me to send for an anthology. The working title is Kitsune Girl, but it will probably end up being called O-Taga-San. This is kind of cool, using my familiarity with Japanese culture in a very different way. And it's stretching me. The relationships in the story have thorns, much like they did in Sister Night, Sister Moon. However, I think the outcome of this story will be less tragic than the other.


The last day of Wiscon I had a good time lunching with Catherine Lundoff and her wife Jana. We had some good breakfast, and we talked about Catherine's upcoming guest appearance at Akon, which went pretty well for her last weekend.

There was the sign out. Let me tell you, signing books is pretty cool. Caroline found us some great seats. Ellen Klages sat on the other side of Caroline, so it was a rollicking table.

Wiscon gives each author a bag of goodies and takes orders for munchies. It's really something.

The most moving thing I saw all convention was when Lisa Cohen asked Caroline about when her new book was coming out. Lisa has had a very hard year. Caroline's response was to give Lisa the copy of the book she had at the table, even though the book isn't out yet (June 10th, folks!). Yup. I really am impressed by Caroline.

After the sign out, Ellen seduced Cassie, Dan, and Lisa with her iPad. I admit to getting pulled into that and all the Space Babe merchandise after checking out the Rothfuss baby. Cassie, Dan, Lisa, and I had lunch, and then I went back to Iowa with the other two musketeers.

A good time was had by all, and I look forward to making the pilgrimage again next year.

I may be a bit sparse for a bit. Interviews are heating up at work, and I need to get some writing done. Of course, just as soon as I say that, I'll figure out something I need to tell you about.


Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

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Urgh. I enjoyed the Aqueduct Reading Sunday morning, although I am sure I looked like Victorian zombie (actually, any era zombie.) Before the reading, I had breakfast with Kathryn Sullivan.

At Aqueduct, great readings. Suzy Charnas read from Dorothea Dreams. Eleanor Arnasson read from Tomb of the Fathers. Andrea Hairston read from her upcoming Redwood and Wildfire. Nisi Shawl read a Michael Jackson and voodoo story. Claire Light read from Slightly Behind and to the Left. While I'm not certain what Timmie Duchamp read from, it was horrifying and involved whole sale reproductive organ removal.

That was a pretty feminist and literary morning. I stumbled out, sleepy, but thoughtful, and grabbed lunch at a wonderful Tibetan place while reading some more of Pierre Pevel's translated The Cardinal's Blades. I was desperate for some introvert time, and it worked out nicely--delicious food and a good book. I came back to the con, looking for more books and more trouble.

And I found it! I went to, you guessed it, a reading! This time the theme was YA, and we were back at the Inn at the Park. This was a very different kind of reading from the previous one--intellectual feminist with a dark twist versus an intriguing variety of YA and MG well-crafted work. We started with Sarah Prineas reading from Magic Thief: Found. Jenn Reese read from Above World. Greg Van Eekhout shared some Kid vs Squid. For her first time reading, Rae Carson rocked the house with a terrific historical piece. And, God help me, I can't remember the name of the Australian writer who read the fantastic piece about the girl who discovered her dead brother. Any help you can render would be greatly appreciated...

Nnedi Okorafor read from Who Fears Death that afternoon, and I left thinking even more deep and broody thoughts.

I bought some more books. Dan, Lisa, and I had some dinner. We went to the dessert salon. Some guest of honor speeches. Some Tiptree awards. The best line of the evening: "I did everything James Joyce did, except backwards and in high heels" from Greer Gillman, one of the Tiptree winners. .

There were then some parties. I spent most of my night hanging out with the Canadians, very low key and tired at this point in the con.

One more day, and it's a wrap.


Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

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The previous occupant of our room left the alarm set for 5:30 am. As the alarm went off, I reassured Lisa it wasn't me as I scrambled for the alarm in a sleepy stupor, and after a few comments we went back to sleep until, for me, about 6:30. Off to the exercise room for a conversation with some other college teachers about our glamorous job. Andrea Hairston was one of them, so I reminded her that a friend and I were really looking forward to Redwood and Wildfire, and she let me know that it would be available through Aqueduct next year. That was a good thing.

After a quick shower, I threw what we needed for our reading into a bag, and I headed out to the farmer's market. I had breakfast, and then bought cookies and honey sticks for our reading over at the Inn at the Park.

Keyan story snippet featured a valley girl selkie, Carolyn read a piece from her new book Magic Below Stairs, and I read a snippet from Hulk Hercules. Kater Cheek, however, had the best piece of the day. She read this wonderful piece of a young adult novella that was spot on perfect voice with parents and kids, and even mind-controlling hamsters. If there is a god of publishing, we'll be seeing that one out there soon.

The reading went well. Carolyn and I went off to lunch with Dakiwiboid (whose actual name I'm not using, because I'm noticing she doesn't use it on her site, so we try to be sensitive to things like that) and her friend. After that, full of vegetables, I headed back to the hotel.

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Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

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This has been one crazy week. Every time I turn around, there is some life or work task that is keeping me from doing about anything. I've been asked to submit a story to an anthology (nothing definite, just an invite), the deadline is the 15th, and I really need to find some time to sit down and write it, so I can get some critiques before I send it out. I'm full of ideas and beans. I just need to see which idea works itself out on paper.


Last Friday, my good friends Dan and Lisa and I went to Wiscon. Even though I am now a writer seeking fame and fortune, that certainly hasn't always been the case. I used to be a frustrated wanna-be writer, and/or an SF/F fan and academic, and the three of us have made this annual pilgrimage for a long time. Friendship is one of the most important reasons to undertake this experience. Now I have the added bonus of meeting up with other writers as well.

We three got in around 12 pm. We ran into Lisa Cohen for lunch. Lisa was crazy, deciding that she was going to be at Wiscon Friday, drive home Saturday for a couple of Shape Note concerts, and drive back Sunday night. She did follow through with her crazy plan. I met Lisa through Dan and my Lisa last year, and have gotten to know her better on LiveJournal, and was very happy to enjoy her special (and occasionally spicy) sense of humor. Because we were destined to see each other about 22,000 more times that day, we said goodbye after goodbye after goodbye.

I spent a good chunk of my afternoon lunch time visiting A Room of One's Own, a Madison book store. It's a great indy place full of wonderful titles. They were kind enough to sell my book in the dealer's room. Sonya Shannon, Cats Curious Editor, was kind enough to set that up.

Then, I hung posters for our Saturday reading, and socialized around the gathering. Dan and Lisa introduced me to their friend Sumana. I ran into one of my favorite people, Caroline Stevermer, who impresses me more every time I talk to her. Oh yeah, she's also one of the finest writers I know. Kater Cheek and I caught up through a brief hello and confirmed our reading stuff, and I met Keyan Bowes, our fourth reader, and her friend Julie Andrews, one of their Clarion classmates. No, I did *not* make any of the obvious jokes.

Other features of interest at the Gathering: Margaret Ronald and Suzy Charnas reading tarot. I indulged last year, but it felt good seeing them in action.

Caroline introduced me to David Levine. We talked a little writing. Lisa Cohen was talking to Pamela Dean, and as a result, I had a nice conversation with her as well. I ran into local writer fledgling Shannon Ryan. It was his first Wiscon, so we kept checking in to make sure he was doing okay. Saw Evelyn with whom I went to grad school, another linguist turned writer. Had a nice conversation with Mary Ann Mohanraj about teaching community college. That's the highlights from the Gathering.

I'll cut here because we're getting unwieldy. More Friday hijinx and name dropping below.

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Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

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There will be two Wiscon posts this year, and rather than doing them chronologically, I'm going to do them thematically. This year, I felt very much like two people at Wiscon. First-time author Cath, who flitted around socially and went to readings gets the frivolous Wiscon post. Deep-thinking Cath who went to readings that she couldn't fit a square peg in, well, she's writing today.

One of the things that this Wiscon had going for it was that there were some fairly serious guests. Both Mary Anne Mohanraj and Nnedi Okorafor write books that no one else can write, given who they are and where they sit culturally.

I was particularly affected by Nnedi's readings from Who Fears Death. Nnedi told us the book is about what's happening in the Sudan right now. It also pulls in biographical experience, and is in part about the death of her father. It will be a book that matters. My innate professor sense tells me that it could be a book that transcends genre. It was a book that was emotionally wrenching to write, and she did not back away from that.

There were other authors that stepped right up to the plate, and wrote books that perhaps only they could have written--that spoke uniquely to who they were in space and time.

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Mirrored from Writer Tamago.


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