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Showing posts from February, 2012

What Do YOU Like to Write?

Today, one of my professors asked if I had considered taking the Short Fiction creative writing course next Fall. Another professor was teaching it, she said, but it would be a good idea and I would probably like it.

My response: meh. First of all, the short story form and I are not the best of friends. Arguably, that's all the more reason for me to take the course -- but I also happened to know that the professor teaching it does not like "genre fiction." He'll read it, critique it, even let someone do a project on it, but he Does Not Approve.

Most of my short stories are horror, some sci-fi, a couple variations on fairy tales, humor, straight-up adventure or survival, and the occasional abandoned attempt at something literary. While I believe that genre fiction holds itself to the same technical and, yes, literary standards as literary fiction, the general opinion in academia disagrees with me. This isn't the only professor I know who dislikes genre fiction -- c…

21 Minus Blogfest Teaser!

As you already know, I'm participating in the March blog tour 21 Minus, which showcases writers and bloggers who can't legally drink. (Sorry. Mardi Gras is making me resent my age.) I don't want to tell you everything, but there will be anonymous interviews and a sort of treasure hunt where readers try to figure out who asked and answered what. Fabulous tour hostess Anna Waggener will be giving away a copy of her soon-to-be-released novel Grim to the winner. But that's not the only giveaway -- I know for a fact that one of the other prizes will be donated by me, and it will be...

...a bag of coffee. Coffee and writers and college students kind of go together, don't you think? ;)

If a free bag of coffee doesn't get you excited for this blog tour, I don't know what will.

Happy Mardi Gras!

What's the Worst Thing You've Done as a Writer?

Heh. This should be interesting...

What's the worst thing you've done, had to do, or had happen to you as a writer? Did you kill off a favorite character? Did you delete your unfinished novel in a fit of despair -- or worse, did you delete it by accident? Were you laid off from your writing job? Did you get really drunk one night and write an orgy scene in the middle of your children's novel? Violate Godwin's Law when raging at the publishing industry? Offend someone critical to your career or cite incorrect facts? Yell "FIRE" in a crowded library just to get some peace and quiet? Make horrendous grammar mistakes, misspell your own name in a query letter, or make a really embarrassing typo involving the name "Denis"?

Tell me. I want to hear your horror stories...and I don't mean the Stephen King kind. Although if your Worst Thing I've Done as a Writer story involves Stephen King, by all means, please tell.

Now it's my turn. *evil laugh*

The …

A Quick Note on Whitney Houston, Drugs, Etc.

It amazes me how preachy people can be about the shit that happens in other people's lives.

Especially in regard to celebrities. It seems that celebrities are either upheld as icons or vilified. I know that when you are a public figure, much of your life becomes open for scrutiny -- but still. What we tend to forget is that these people aren't angels or demons. They might be famous, but they're still just people.

On that note, I think taking a moment to talk about Whitney Houston is in order. In particular, the attitude I've been seeing around the Internet that she doesn't deserve to be mourned because of the problems in her life. For example, on Twitter:

"I think it's more tragic when someone who isn't famous for going to rehab dies"
"I find it more tragic when someone who is not a washed-up drug addict who has pissed away their talent and career dies young. #justsayin"

My response: until you've been there yourself, you have absolutely…

Why Your Comments Are Important

Every time Laura goes to check her blog and sees no new comments, this happens:

I don't have that large of a following, but I like to think you guys read my posts every so often. However, pageview counts don't tell me what you're thinking. Comments, on the other hand, do! I assure you, my eagerness to read your comments is not born from a narcissistic need to see my opinions and thoughts affirmed by random people on the Internet. I really value your comments because...
- you do things like correct my grammar/spelling/facts when I have a brain derp - you give alternate opinions and perspective - you share your own experiences - you give feedback - you click the little "subscribe by email" link to get follow-up comments, and respond to what others are saying - you leave links to your own blogs/profiles - ...which lead me and other commenters to your own blogs, there to read and leave comments and maybe become members and consistent readers. So you see, commenting helps e…

YA Friday: Some Good YA Scifi

I could be wrong, but it struck me recently that scifi is underrepresented in YA lit. I could rattle off lists of romance, contemporary, paranormal in every shape and size, fantasy, horror, and other genres and sub-genres. But I don't think there has been a really popular YA scifi book out for a while now. I don't count The Hunger Games. Dystopian novels are "in" right now, but dystopia isn't scifi -- it's its own thing.

I happen to enjoy a good scifi novel. So this Friday, I thought I'd do a short list of YA science fiction novels that I or my friends have read and enjoyed. Please feel free to comment on them or add your own!

ThePendragon series (Merchant of Death, The Lost City of Faar, The Never War, The Reality Bug, Black Water, The Rivers of Zadaa, The Quillan Games, The Pilgrims of Rayne, Raven Rise, The Soldiers of Halla) by D.J. MacHale

Pendragon is a ten-book series about Bobby Pendragon, a kid whose uncle is a Traveller -- someone who can travel t…