Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

In Which I Am Wounded But Triumphant

May 29, 2012

Or: What a SciFi/Fantasy Writer Can Learn From A Gatoraid Bottle

I met and did battle with a worthy foe this weekend. He was tenacious and strong, with the heart of a warrior. But in the end, I went home and he went in the recycle bin. As a consequence, I woke up on the Saturday morning of my planned Writing Retreat with a swollen, infected finger and a bunch of crazy ideas about the connections between being a scifi/fantasy writer and life.

I think the first parallel is rather obvious. The fact that a Gatoraid bottle being so frickin’ impossible to open that I scraped half the skin off my finger trying to get a drink from that evil thing has now become a story worthy of a blog post and the words “warrior” “evil” and “triumphant” is, I think, a consequence of being a writer. It colors our lives in a way that makes it impossible to talk about the cap on a bottle of a sports drink being stuck without making it into an epic drama.

But what really made me write this post was to point out a way, not at all related to writing, that being a reader of scifi/fantasy, or of anything really, can improve your everyday life. See, that Gatoraid bottle, (which I FINALLY got open) took a chunk of skin out of the side of my finger. Now, me being that kind of girl, I was inclined to ignore it. Bit of soap and water and once it stopped bleeding, life goes on. At least, until I woke up in the morning and the area was hot, red, shiny, and there was a suspiciously yellow lump that yielded nasty, gooey pus when I squeezed it. Nice.

So as I’m showering and planning where I need to go to buy a first aid kit, it occurred to me that the last description I’d read of an infected cut was in a scifi book. (Specifically Hunger Games.) In fact, it’s something you encounter fairly often, especially in fantasy, what with all the swords and epic battles and primitive conditions and the fact that there always seems to be a need to take a journey on foot through the winderness. (You get a horse if you’re lucky.) And I thought that it was a good thing I knew all the symptoms from all that reading I’d done.

(Not that I wouldn’t have pulled up WebMD if I hadn’t known why my finger was hot and swollen and oozing puss. Not that I think I would have made it to 33 with two kids I haven’t killed yet and not have known what that meant already.)

Still, the moral of the story (yep, there was a point) is: READ! You never know what you’ll learn or when you’ll need it.

Oh, and in spite of my (hugely over-dramatized) encounter with a (minor, almost nonexistent) medical emergency, I managed to average 9,000 words a day over my three day weekend. That’s right folks. Nine Thousand Words a Day.

Holy $*#%!

Random Act of Kindness BLITZ!

May 14, 2012

A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community.

Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.

So many people take the time to make us feel special, don’t they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.

Kindness ROCKS!

To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I’m participating too!

There is no way I could quantify the amount of help I’ve gotten from individual members of the writing community and the community as a whole, either as practical help or just encouragement. So I’m putting all the names in a hat and randomly one. If it’s not you, that’s just luck, not because I don’t appreciate ya’.

Today I’m recognizing RC Lewis! She was one of the first people I met when I started this crazy writer thing. She gave me encouragement and practical advice on an early draft of Fighting Gravity and it meant a lot! She also let me read her manuscript, Fingerprints, and I thought (still think!) is was great. Plus I really enjoy following her blog. She’s a fellow science fiction writer, but even better, to me, is that she’s a math teacher at a school for the deaf. Teaching math in sign language. How cool is that?

So I’m going to send her a $10 gift card for either Amazon or Barnes & Noble, so she can enjoy the book of her choice.

Do you know someone special that you’d like to randomly acknowledge?

Don’t be shy–come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way. Kindness makes the world go round. 🙂

Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.

Have you ever participated in or been the recipient of a Random Act Of Kindness?  Let me know in the comments!

Excitement’s Over and Thank You, Internet

May 5, 2012

Wow, what a week! So all the brouhaha that started with a Cease and Desist letter I got Wednesday seems to have come to a satisfactory conclusion. As other authors began to hear about it, they got a smidge riled up over the whole thing and suddenly it seemed to be everywhere. (At least to me, as my phone kept declaring new emails/texts/tweets coming in faster than I could keep up with them.)

Well, long story short (long versions can be found on boingboing, here, and The Passive Voice, here) it appears to have died a quick death. Fighting Gravity posted the following on their Facebook page:

To Leah Peterson and her fans: Disregard the cease and desist letter that was issued by our lawyers. Although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, some people have taken that too far and we have had to deal with it. By no means is Leah Peterson one of those people, our lawyers were just doing their jobs and trying to protect our name and trademark. We wish the best for Leah and hope her book becomes a great success! 

(In case you’re looking for it, it has since been removed, though I assume that has to do with the fact that it was attached to a post by someone else that highlighted, albeit respectfully, a negative issue that I personally wouldn’t want on my FB business page either.) But I’ve also had assurance in a private message that I’ll receive an official retraction from their lawyer next week.

So looks like it’s all over, folks. And to everyone’s relief and satisfaction, I think.

Personally, I think Fighting Gravity has been very professional and gracious about the matter and I wish them all the success in the world.

And thank you, most especially, to my fellow authors who took up my cause and came rushing to my defense when it looked like it might become a very unpleasant situation. You guys rock, every last one of you.

I know this won’t be a comprehensive list, because I’m confident I didn’t find every expression of support or defense of my position, and for that I apologize. But here are some who I know went to bat for me:

R.B. Wood

Elizabeth Ann West

Jennifer Gracen

Jesse James (heehee)

Several people on Facebook posted on Fighting Gravity’s wall but I don’t have their names because the posts were removed pretty quickly. I’d like to thank them and the many people who tweeted about it.  Two in particular have my thanks for contacting others they knew could help:

Neil Shurley

BigAl of Books and Pals

There’s a lesson to be learned here, I think. In brief: Don’t piss off authors. They’re not only feisty, they’re articulate. 😉

Thanks again everyone!

Just Email it!

April 25, 2012

Not too very long ago I was just a blissful reader, never even dreaming of one day being a published author myself. And when I’d encounter a book I loved I’d just gush about it and tell all my friends and I’d just be glowing for days about how wonderful that book was.

You know what I didn’t do? Tell the author.

Me? Email or tweet or submit a comment to the author through their website? Oh well they must be so busy and important and wouldn’t want me spamming their inbox just to say I loved their book. Surely they already know that. I bought it, didn’t I? Sometimes I’d even written a nice review.

Well let me tell you now, every time someone tells me they enjoyed my book, every single time, it gives me a little glow of happiness and is honestly more important to me than whatever royalties I might have gotten from their one purchase. I’m not sure there’d ever be any amount of positive reader feedback I could get that would make me start to see those emails or tweets as spam. That’s not spam. That’s WONDERFUL!

So email that author, tweet them with an @message, post on their Facebook author page, comment on their blog. Most don’t make it hard to contact them. I promise, they’ll be so happy you did.

Here’s where you can find me besides this blog:

Contact info: email address





See You in 2012!

December 22, 2011

Just a quick, ‘see you in the new year‘ post. I hope you all have a great time with whatever’s left of 2011 and see 2012 in saftely. Be good, and be back for the first 5MinuteFiction of the new year on January 10, 2012!