Jul 13

Candles are Coming!

Candles are coming! If you’ve never heard of A Court of Candles, you need to rectify that STAT!

They do book-themed candles that are the best smelling candles I’ve ever encountered. Besides doing candles for things like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, they’ve done character-themed candles for Jesikah Sundin’s Biodome Chronicles and now…

It’s hard to read the labels on Margaret’s candle but the three candles are:

  1. Adelei: Sea salt and desert sage
  2. Ida Warhammer: Leather, steel, and whiskey
  3. Margaret: Pink chiffon, wildflowers, and books

They smell amazing! Soon you’ll be able to snag these for yourself!

Jul 10

Seattle Weekly

So today’s the last day you can vote in Seattle Weekly’s Best of Seattle Reader Polls, and thus, the last day you can vote for me for Best Author.

I’m still not sure how I made it be a finalist, but I’m happy to be one. If you feel like voting, the link is below, and if you’ve already voted, apparently you can vote more than once so you are welcome to vote again.

http://seattleweekly.secondstreetapp.com/bos17/gallery/66645614/Seattle Weekly

Jun 27

Locus Awards Wrap-Up

The 2017 Locus Awards were held this past weekend, an event requiring Hawaiian attire and a good sense of humor. I say the latter part because the MC is Science Fiction Grand Master Connie Willis, who has a sharp and sarcastic sense of humor. Absent was her heckler, Nancy Kress, but we made due without their awesome dynamic (Nancy was teaching at Taos Toolbox).

The panels are pretty short as this weekend isn’t meant to be a convention so much as a gathering of SF/F readers and writers. This year, the panels were:

“Polishing the Potato: The Best Story from the Worst Idea” panel with Annie Bellet, Robert Jackson Bennett, Curtis Chen, Carrie Vaughn, and Connie Willis, and “How Much Is That Trope in the Window? Repurposing Genre Elements to Tell New Stories” panel with Daryl Gregory (m), Seanan McGuire, Matt Ruff, and Nisi Shawl.

Polishing the Potato became Polishing the Turd among other things thanks to Matt Ruff. 😉 It was pretty awesome hearing about his book, Lovecraft Countryas well as hearing Nisi talk about her book, Everfair. Both are EXCELLENT books if you haven’t checked them out.

Here, Connie is not sure whether to laugh or cry at the guy wearing a shirt made of Connie’s face and her book covers.

Better shot of his shirt.

I discovered that Annie Bellet has an amazing Moogle tattoo.

Getting ready for Panel 2

I missed Friday night’s reading with Connie Willis and Carrie Vaughn due to my allergy test, which left me itchy and fatigued. Generally not a good way to be pleasant company! This means I also missed the Friday night party and a friend’s birthday party. <insert sad face here>

I was in good company in the autographing room. I got to sit next to the fabulous and dapper Bruce Taylor and on the other side of him was Nisi Shawl, Connie Willis, and Carrie Vaughn. Nisi’s mother sat in the chair beside me. It was a great honor to talk to such an awesome 82-year-old. I want to look that good at 82!

Autographing time

Also signing in the room were friends and colleagues Liz Argall, Greg Bear, Annie Bellet, Robert Jackson Bennett, Curtis Chen, Daryl Gregory, Eileen Gunn, Randy Henderson, Scott James Magner, Julie McGalliard, Seanan McGuire, Adam Rakunas, Cat Rambo, Matt Ruff, Jack Skillingstead, Patrick Swenson, Michael Damian Thomas, and Caroline M. Yoachim. You can see Bruce’s dapper hat to the right.

Authors Patrick Swenson and Jack Skillingstead across from me. Daryl Greggory was there, but hopped up to take a photo.

Connie Willis, MC of the Locus Awards and all-around awesome.

This is the trivia contest. Randy Henderson, Curtis Chen, and Annie Bellet competed, among others.

Connie Willis and Carrie Vaughn giving away prizes.

Connie announcing award finalists. 

Seanan’s book, Every Heart a Doorway, won Best Novella, which made me happy since it’s an excellent book. I was also happy to see Ellen Datlow win Best Editor. Other winners were:

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

FANTASY NOVEL

HORROR NOVEL

YOUNG ADULT BOOK

  • Revenger, Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz; Orbit US ’17)

FIRST NOVEL

NOVELETTE

SHORT STORY

ANTHOLOGY

COLLECTION

MAGAZINE

  • Tor.com

PUBLISHER

  • Tor

ARTIST

  • Julie Dillon

NON-FICTION

ART BOOK

Overall, a fun weekend. If you’ve never been to the awards, you should come some year. They’re held in Seattle and quite affordable to attend, not to mention the hilarity of watching Connie Willis as the MC. 😉

Jun 22

Write-A-Thon

It’s that time again for Clarion West’s Annual Write-A-Thon!

What is Clarion West? 

From their website:

CLARION WEST WRITERS WORKSHOP IS A NONPROFIT LITERARY ORGANIZATION BASED IN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, WITH A MISSION TO IMPROVE SPECULATIVE FICTION BY PROVIDING HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION TO WRITERS AT THE START OF THEIR CAREERS. AS AN EXTENSION OF ITS PRIMARY MISSION, CLARION WEST ALSO MAKES SPECULATIVE FICTION AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC BY PRESENTING READINGS AND OTHER EVENTS THAT BRING WRITERS AND READERS TOGETHER.

I’ve known many authors who have gotten their careers kickstarted via Clarion West. The annual Write-A-Thon raises scholarship money for those who need it to attend the intensive six-week workshop.

If you’d like to support my participation in the Write-A-Thon and Clarion West, you can sponsor me here:

https://www.clarionwest.org/members/ravenoak/

You are also welcome to sponsor other participants if you prefer. There are quite a few awesome people participating.

Come write with us this summer!

Jun 22

Locus Awards

This weekend is the Locus Awards Weekend, complete with readings by Connie Willis and Carrie Vaughn on Friday and a party, and a Saturday full of panels, food, awards, autographing, and more parties!

Locus Awards 2017

In fact, on Saturday, I’ll be autographing books along with Liz Argall, Greg Bear, Annie Bellet, Robert Jackson Bennett, Curtis Chen, Daryl Gregory, Eileen Gunn, Randy Henderson, Scott James Magner, Julie McGalliard, Seanan McGuire, Raven Oak, Adam Rakunas, Cat Rambo, Matt Ruff, Nisi Shawl, Jack Skillingstead, Patrick Swenson, Bruce Taylor, Michael Damian Thomas, Carrie Vaughn, Connie Willis, and Caroline M. Yoachim.

It’s shenanigans of the best kind + Hawaiian wear so if you don’t have plans, you do now. 🙂

Come hang with us!

Details on the entire weekend HERE.

Jun 21

My Love Affair with a Water Demon

My love affair with a water demon began as a child. I’ve always been a water-baby, born in California and raised at least a part of my childhood in Florida. I spent my summers in the water and hurricane season dodging a multitude of hurricanes with taped up windows and candles.

I love water. Sit me next to a lake or ocean on a beautiful day, and I’m set. I even love the ocean on those foggy days where the mist in the air sends my hair into the height of 80’s frizz and the gray permeates everything, even one’s mood. But something changed in adulthood, something that shifted water from friend to foe.

And I wish to bloody hell that I knew what that was!

In my adult life, my husband and I have had a long history with floods. Small floods, large floods, “grab the cats, we’ve got a flood” style floods. Whether it’s been an apartment, duplex, condo, or house, whether in the city or in the ‘burbs, water has soaked us, saddened us, or ruined us (or at least our stuff).

The first time something shifted was due to a couple in a volatile relationship who lived upstairs from us. To get back at her husband, she set their toilet to overflow and left. We woke up at 7 AM on a Saturday to dirty toilet water pouring from our ceiling. We were lucky that it didn’t ruin much more than the carpet.

Smell Bad!

Our next run-in with the water demon was fairly mild. Our toilet overflowed and ran down the stairs in our duplex.

But the first real flood we experienced as a couple was when we moved into our first house. It was a rental, but it was a house and thus, special. Two hours after the movers had left, we decided to go grab some food somewhere cool. Moving during the Texas summer sucks in ways unimaginable by those who’ve never lived in Texas. Hot. Humid. Brutal.

We came home to 4-5” of water throughout several rooms in the house. The hot water heater had busted while we were gone. I’ve never tossed boxes outside so fast in my life. Boxes and boxes of books were thrown outside in the sun. Despite our fast action, we lost a lot of books and furniture to water damage.

Fast forward a few years to our first house we owned, and the curse of the hot water heater continues. Ours leaked, though we caught it fairly quickly. Then we had the hail storm of the century, which cracked our windows and left water damage throughout. (It also required a complete roof replacement, a new garage door, a new front door, new exterior trim paint, a partial replacement of our fence, and a new window). As we were selling the house, a pipe in the yard busted, flooding our front yard and requiring a pipe replacement.

This was about the time we moved to Seattle and into a condo. The water demon settled down a bit and left me to enjoy my days writing in front of the water. With a job change came another move and a few weeks before we were set to list our condo, the hot water in the condo above us burst while everyone was away at work.

There’s little worse than working a writing conference and getting the phone call that a flood is a-foot. Water was pouring out of light fixtures, turned on light fixtures no less. Despite emergency flood people arriving within the hour (thanks home owners’ insurance!), the hard wood floors were toast. Instead of listing the condo, we spend the next two months having drywall and new floors installed, walls painted, and damaged household items and furniture replaced. Despite insurance, this flood hurt us financially, not to mention the stress of such an event on us and our kitties.

This was the flood that made me wish that water wasn’t attracted to me. (You can read more about it HERE.)

Drying Out

Dehumidifying fans trying to save the floors. They were unsuccessful.

During this time, we relocated to temporary housing since there was no way we could live in a house with no flooring and holes in the walls. Two weeks into our stay in temp housing, the water heater burst and partially flooded the apartment. Luckily it came furnished, so none of our belongings were damaged. Just about everything we owned had been packed up in storage during the transition, so this flood did little to damage us. But the timing on it—its proximity to the condo flood—set me on edge.

I hated water. Just a little.

The house we live in now has been a roller coaster from the get-go. I love it—it’s a beautiful house—but it’s a lemon. We’ve replaced most of the electrical wiring (including both circuit breaker boxes), 1 toilet, a shower door, parts of the other toilets and showers, the plumbing under two sinks, one full water line, all the window screens, some siding, the refrigerator (which was held together by velcro), the gutters, and a whole host of other things–some of them major and some of them minor. The place still needs a new balcony (ours is rotting away), a new exterior paint job, a new gas fireplace, and new windows.

Every house has issues and maintenance, sure, but without getting into the back story of this house, let’s just say this house is a lemon.

Last week, we sprouted a leak. Water pooled at the bottom of the stairs in the basement and in the furnace closet. One emergency plumber later and it was deemed to be the basement toilet. That was fixed, the carpet was finally approaching clean and dry, and then the water returned.

In all likelihood, it’s the shower. Possibly a lack of shower pan, which requires gutting tile and lots of money. The plumber will be checking that soon.

*sigh*

Anyone know an exorcist? 😉 I need to get back to writing.


Screenshot from Labyrinth, Copyright &copy; 1986 Henson Associates and Lucusfilm. Used under Creative Commons license.

Jun 09

Best Author!?

A reader informed me that I’m a finalist in Seattle Weekly’s Best of Seattle Readers’ Poll for Best Author! Whoever of you nominated me, thank you!!

This news makes me SQUEE like I’m standing in front of Nathan Fillion.

OMGIf you want to vote for the winner, go here:
http://seattleweekly.secondstreetapp.com/bos17/gallery/66645614

*still squeeing*

Jun 09

Another Interview & Giveaway

The amazing Lindsay Pierce is giving away a free, autographed copy of my book Class-M Exile as she gears up for the release of her book Trans Liberty Riot Brigade. She’s also interviewed me in a very silly and awesome way. You can check out all the details and the interview here:

https://www.piercebooks.com/single-post/2017/06/09/Class-M-Exile-Giveaway-Week-Two

Also, if you’re a fan of Marissa Meyer, there’s a great giveaway going on that’s being sponsored by multiple authors, including me. You can get all the details on it over here:
http://www.megancrewe.com/blog/?ks_giveaway=marissa-meyer-ya-books-giveaway

Marissa Meyer giveaway

Jun 06

Fantasy Fiends

Fantasy Fiends PodcastJust before Lilac City Comicon, I was interviewed on the Fantasy Fiends YouTube Podcast. You can check out the full 50 minute interview/discussion at the link below. The main focus of the interview podcast was to talk about family, which is an important theme in Amaskan’s Blood.

https://youtu.be/Ggozb9qWVI0

(They’ve disabled embedding the video, so you’ll have to click on the link to watch it.)

Jun 06

LCCC Wrap-Up!

This is your LCCC Wrap-Up!

I’ve been to Spokane before for Worldcon, but this is the first time I’ve driven out there without the chaos of multiple wildfires. Lilac City Comicon was larger than I expected, but full of fun fans who enjoyed cosplay, reading, and generally geeky things. I met so many people that my brain is still in a fog over the past five days.

(Yes, we’re wearing matching Legend of Zelda skirts, made by the fabulous Jesikah Sundin.)

On Friday morning, we drove in two vehicles packed to the gills with crates, grids, tables, and other booth supplies. I started out the day by forgetting my suitcase (*facepalm*) and had to turn around and go get it. I’m no good at a convention without clothes and a toothbrush at a minimum.

Setup for us was 2-4 PM. We arrived about 2:30 and didn’t finish setting up until 6:10ish. It was our first time in this size space with three people so it took some figuring out to set up. After a long set up, we checked into the Doubletree by Hilton hotel, which is attached to the convention center, and then ate a very overpriced dinner at the hotel restaurant. (I don’t recommend anyone eat at Spencer’s.)

The convention ran for two days and rather than rush home to arrive in the middle of the night, we stayed at the hotel until Monday AM for a more leisurely check-out and drive home. Overall it was a good convention.

Our booth Friday evening

Close-up of the chainmaille pretties

Me with my books.

Us with a Steam Cat who was very friendly. Hard to see but he had a very awesome revolutionary war jacket on.

Jesikah Sundin and I posing with Kaylee Frey and Captain Tightpants aka Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly, or at least two very awesome cosplayers. 

Awesome gender-bent Wonder Woman. Photo by Elise.

Relaxing after Day 1.

More relaxing.

Amazing picture of faeplayers by Elise.

Steampunk Sailor Moon (Photo by Elise)

Mother & daughter Whovians (Photo by Elise)

Does anybody know what time it is? Adventure Time! Mathematical! (Photo by Elise)

I don’t know what this cosplay is, but it’s beautiful! (Photo by Elise)

Amazing Link & Zelda cosplay (Photo by Elise)

Star Wars cosplay for the win! (Photo by Elise)

Me and a reader named Shad (which is the name of one of the Little Dozen Kingdoms in Amaskan’s Blood)

Two awesome ladies relaxing post-con Sunday.

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