Monday, June 29, 2009

The Highlights and Pitfalls of Anthology Editing

I recently blogged on Ripping Ozzie Reads about the highs and lows of putting together a short story anthology, and the first part is now up on their blog HERE.

You can also download a free copy of my short story "Outside The Box" (short listed this year for the Sir Julius Vogel Award) on ROR's Visiting Author's page HERE

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dreams. Dreams? Dreams!

Yes, I'm one of those annoying people who believe we dream what we dream for specific reasons. Why? I have no idea. An interesting article at Scientific American addresses some of the more popular theories. I'm a great admirer of Jung, and most of my own theories tend to relate to his archetypes. I'd be very keen to hear some of your own ideas about dreaming, no matter how far-out they may seem...In fact, the weirder, the more likely that they're true.

Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

What I've noticed most online today is the split between comments of shock and grief against those of derision and making jokes about someone who has just died. The former consists mostly of the generation that grew up with Jackson's music as part of the cultural landscape, while the latter consists primarily of a younger generation. It's a complicated issue, and I won't get into it because there is no way you can discuss a complicated issue like this online. But really, isn't it better to feel compassion than to judge?

I will say that I'm quite flabbergasted at the lack of compassion, regardless of personal opinion. In hindsight, I shouldn't be surprised. Besides, It's easy to make shitty and hurtful anonymous comments online.

That Michael Jackson was a creative genius who forever changed the landscape of popular music remains undisputed. For those who spent their formative years listening to his music, the earthquake that was Thriller at the time of its release, this is a loss that cuts deep. The associations of childhood are powerful. They shape us in ways we are not even aware of and become the mythical landscapes of the personal. I understand where the shock comes from.

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Yes Please!

I don't know about you but I certainly can do with a few cocaine drops before and after visiting the dentist.

<<--- Or even better

Saturday, June 20, 2009

So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction Re-Released!

So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction (originally published by Haworth Positronic Press) has just been re-released by Lethe Press.

The anthology features my short story "How Laura Left a Rotten Apple and Came Not to Regret the Cold of the Yukon", as well as contributions by Holly Black, Delia Sherman, Christopher Barzak, Melissa Scott, Laurie J. Marks and Eugie Foster.

Buy it from:

Lethe Press

Barnes and Noble

Giovanni's Room

Kindle Edition

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bilbo, Cram and Me

I recently started taking new medication and on the first day it made me feel quite spacey, thus I made the informed decision to not operate heavy machinery and instead retired to bed with The Hobbit, which I just finished re-reading.

Half an hour later, I'm reading about Bilbo and the dwarves starving of hunger (again), and they retire by the side of the mountain to eat something. All of a sudden the meds take a turn for the unexpected and I find myself starving, too. So I run to the cupboard, which is filled with all kinds of sugary and salty goodness, but my eyes see only one thing: a half eaten box of old cracked pepper wheat crackers.

It's all I want.

I grab a few and get back in bed, pick up my book and start reading while I nibble on an old-ish cracker. I'm telling you: I felt like I was there, on the mountain, like I could feel the wind blowing off the Lonely Mountain and feel the presence of Smaug, and that my cracker really was the same thing as the cram Bilbo and Co. were crunching on. I felt, for a moment, like was in Middle Earth. That, kids, is what the real world can never do for you.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Smoking: Yes? No?

Have you noticed that more and more television shows and movies are slowly starting to show people smoking again? (Get the Caprica DVD-they light 'em up almost from the very beginning) This delights me, for several reasons:

  • Most important: from my writer's perspective, it highlights the character with a certain brushstroke; they do what they want, they enjoy a guilty pleasure and (maybe) they take responsibility for their actions.

  • From a social perspective: I'm so fucking sick of all this PC crap around tobacco and smoking, honestly, it drives me batshit-crazy. Governments seem intent on taking every last bit of self-control and responsibility away from people. (The better to control them with, my dear) And if you started smoking within the last 25 (really, 30) years and get cancer related to your habit, for the love of god, DO NOT sue a tobacco manufacturer. Have the balls to accept that you did it to yourself.

I'm an ex-smoker who quit about two years ago. I can still smoke a cigarette, even two when someone offers me one on a social occasion, go home and not have a craving to buy a pack from the dairy ten steps down the road. I don't even consider myself to have the best self-control in the world, but even heroin addicts have said that smoking can be harder to kick than their junk habit.

I usually rant in the privacy of my own home. What set me off this morning?


In my view, this is yet another instance of trying to hide real life from children. What are your thoughts? Should there be no display of anyone smoking anywhere or should we just chill the frak out and let kids grow up, be informed, make their own decisions, and live with the consequences?