Happy New Year!

[Rrain] January 3rd, 2015 Posted in on writing »
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The sky is blue, the ground is white, and I have three more days before I have to return to the grind of my day job!

I’ve been thinking a lot over the holiday about what I really want to accomplish this year. New Year’s Resolutions are well and good, but what I really wanted were goals. Things I wanted to finish. Things I wanted to start. Things I wanted to resurrect. I’ve had a lot of projects on the cusp of completion for a long time, so goal number one is to figure out just why they’re on the cusp and not actually completed, and either fix the problem or acknowledge that the project didn’t work out and set it aside for something else, guilt free.

It sounds so easy when I put it like that. It’s actually the guilt free that’s the hard part. Once you’ve invested a certain amount of time or effort or heart into something, it’s hard to shake the feeling that you ought to be working on it. And when you accumulate enough of those, suddenly you’re spending more time worrying about the things you’re not doing than working on the things you could be.

A new year is a psychological fresh start, so this year I’m using it to give myself the grace and strength to say “It’s okay that you’re not working on that. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you a failure. Now pick up that thing you are excited about, and get moving!”

Wish me all the luck!

New Story & C4 Winnipeg

[Rrain] November 4th, 2014 Posted in this and that »
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First of all, as of October 31 I have a new story in the wild! “The Long Night” in The Travelling Creepshow, an anthology of dark and horror stories. It’s sort of a science fiction noir fairy tale, set on the planet where nights last for weeks. It launched at C4 (Central Canada Comic-Con) this past weekend and sold out at the table, but it’s still available at McNally Robinson (at the link above) and should be out in ebook form by the end of the year!

Comic-cons are definitely not what they used to be when I was a university kid and first finding other people to geek out with. They’re truly a huge industry now, which doesn’t mean I didn’t have a fantastic time. The more people into fandom and geekdom the better, if you ask me, and when I see people from my tiny town going into the city to walk the halls in costume, it warms my tiny dark heart.

I haven’t forgotten my pledge to review more short fiction here, and now that we’re into November, I need to get started. New issues of Apex and the new Uncanny Magazine are sitting on my desktop impatiently waiting for me to get to them this week!

review mania

[Rrain] October 9th, 2014 Posted in this and that » Tags:
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Based on recent discussions on twitter—where, let’s be honest, I spend most of my time—I’ve been inspired to start reviewing short fiction (in addition to my reviewlets that I do on goodreads). So I figure, starting with the next batch of new fiction I receive in November I’ll give it a go!

[When I’m not stealing time on my work computer to update, I shall have to insert some links to the discussion, because it turned over some very interesting rocks.]

biting the bullet

[Rrain] November 5th, 2013 Posted in this and that »
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The longer I go without updating, the harder it becomes to jump back in again because I start thinking that whatever I come back with must be significant and important and full of good news or wisdom or at least something interesting. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a blog post that only a few of my closest friends are likely going to read.

So here is just an update on what I’ve been up to lately. Just got home from attending C4 (Central Canada Comic Con), which was mostly a shopping opportunity for me, as well a chance to show off some of my collection of geeky t-shirts—I’m not a collector of celebrity autographs or encounters, so I like my cons to have a little more in the way of panel programming, but that’s obviously not what this one was about. I bought art prints this year, because I actually have a house in which to display them right now, but framing is going to be a challenge.

I’m working on several projects, in various stages of completion. The trouble with having a job in a field that I’m also passionate about is that it eats up a lot of my time and mental energy in what are not always good ways. I keep saying I need to carve out more time for writing, but it’s not just something I need to make a resolution to do. I need a plan.

There. Now the next update ought to be easier.

At least evidence of my continued existence is always available through my twitter feed.

Hugo Weekend aka Worldcon

[Rrain] September 2nd, 2012 Posted in on speculative fiction »
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Wait, it’s tonight? Already? How the hell is it September? And how do I suddenly have so many deadlines looming?

Anyway, I’ve got some picks for the Hugos, though to be honest they don’t diverge very much from my picks for the Nebulas, some of which I got but most of which I didn’t.

Novel : I’m still a huge fan of Jo Walton’s Among Others, and it wasn’t a tough choice for me this time. I haven’t read A Dance With Dragons, but I’ve read the rest, and as far as I’m concerned, China Miéville is her only competition. That said, other people liked Deadline a lot more than I did.

Novella : Of the nominees, I’ve read all but “The Ice Owl”, and Catherynne M. Valente’s “Silently and Very Fast” is still my favourite. I love that story. It didn’t win the Nebula, but I’m crossing my fingers for the Hugo.

Novelette : I was able to read so few of these I can’t say I legitimately have a preference. That said, I haven’t read it but I’m a huge fan of Geoff Ryman.

Short Story : And once again, none of the nominees have been able to surpass E. Lily Yu’s “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” in my heart. Though I wouldn’t be disappointed if Nancy Fulda or Ken Liu took it either.

Nebula Weekend

[Rrain] May 19th, 2012 Posted in on speculative fiction »
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I’ve been doing a whole lot of reading lately, partly because I’ve spent the last week up at the cabin sitting in the sunshine and doing nothing else, and partly because I wanted to try to read all of the nebula-nominated stories and novels before the nebulas were awarded, which is…tonight.

I almost got there, too. The only novel I didn’t read was Jack McDevitt’s Firebird, because it was part of a series I haven’t read and there just wasn’t time for that, and I read every one of the stories that I had or that were available online, which was all of them except for five (most of which were published in Analog or F&SF, which I haven’t picked up in a while). So basically I’ve been gorging myself on good fic for the past few weeks. I don’t have predictions (well, okay, I have one) but I do have some favourites.

Novel : I think this is probably the toughest one. This is a good field, generally (though I’m not particularly well read this year). But ultimately, I would like to see this one go to Jo Walton’s Among Others. It’s at once a very grounded tale of fairies (as opposed to fairy tale) and a love letter to science fiction, and it stays with me. Although Genevieve Valentine’s Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti is hot on its heels, for entirely different reasons.

Novella : I love novellas, in general. What a wonderful length. But I digress. I’ve only read four of this six, but I can’t imagine this going to anything other than Catherynne M. Valente’s “Silently and Very Fast”. That story is a work of art.

Novelette : Of these, I only managed to read four of seven, and I can’t say I actually fell in love with any of them, though they were all quite good, but I think of those I would go for Ferrett Steinmetz’s “Sauerkraut Station”. Which earns an extra point for introducing me to Giganotosaurus, which I had not read before.

Short Story : This one is a toss up for me, between Nancy Fulda’s “Movement” and E. Lily Yu’s “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees”, but I think I have to give it to Yu on sheer originality. It was a wonderful story.

Next up, Hugos. But at least I have the rest of the summer to catch myself up. I love having so much to look forward to.

Microfiction Monday: Home

[Rrain] March 19th, 2012 Posted in fiction, microfiction monday »
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(140 words)

His body was threaded with microfiliament wires, a long-range transmitter nestled near his spine and feeding off his nervous system. He was filed in every database, pictures of his face, his body, his teeth, his bone structure, his retinas, his fingerprints and his DNA. She knew the names of his friends, his friends’ friends, his acquaintences, his classmates, his classmates’ parents. She knew where to find them.

A long time ago, people used to leave home and cross continents and be lost to their families forever. Technology brought everyone closer, for a little while, then flung them farther from one another than ever.

Maybe he was only twelve years old now, but her son was going to leave home one day, and it was a very big universe out there. She wanted to always be able to find him again.

silence is allegedly a virtue

[Rrain] March 3rd, 2012 Posted in this and that »
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Last summer I packed up my life, loaded it all into a moving truck and headed west…never to be heard from again. Or at least that’s what it feels like. The problem with working in arts administration, is that in the process of facilitating other people’s artistic endeavours, your own get a little dusty with disuse.

But slowly I’ve been clawing my way back to productivity, adding words here and there until the other day I realised I have a small body of work ready to do something with. Such as edit. Such stealthy progress makes me feel like Microfiction Mondays are within the realm of possibility again, starting next week! (And I’m not going to let a tiny thing like a potentially dislocated thumb get in my way. I have not had a good week.)

Hellebore & Rue contest!

[Rrain] June 13th, 2011 Posted in announcement »
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Unexpectedly, I ended up moving across the country for a new job these past couple of weeks, so forgive the radio silence. I haven’t written a word since May so believe me, I’m jonesing for a fix.

In the meantime—and I almost missed this because it went up right when I was hopping in a moving truck and heading out—JoSelle Vanderhooft, one of the editors of Hellebore & Rue, has made some jewelry inspired by the stories in the anthology and is holding a contest to win them. Up first is my “Bridges and Lullabies”, and you can find out the contest details at her site. Act fast, though—because I wasn’t on the ball about this, there are only two days left to enter!

Hellebore & Rue in print!

[Rrain] May 10th, 2011 Posted in announcement »
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Lest I forget, a print edition of Hellebore & Rue was released this week by Lethe Press! Links to purchase are on their site, and for my fellow Canadians, you can also buy it from amazon.ca, which is delightfully convenient.