Shades of Green

The contract has been sent, signed and sent back to the publisher. That means it’s official! My novella, Shades of Green has been accepted for publication by Sam’s Dot Publishing. *squee* The publication date is January 1, 2010 and I can’t think of a better way to start the year.

Shades of Green is an Aphanasian story, it was originally part of my novel-in-stories, Swamp Story, before I decided to rip it apart and make the stories stand on their own. Shades of Green is about a swamp elf, Z’thandra, who lives with the reptar, a fierce race of lizard-people who resent her presence and want her gone from the village. When she discovers a human in the swamp and falls in love with him, she needs to make a difficult decision, the reprecussions of which will affect the Reptar for generations.

It’s a love story…of a sort, and I am really proud of it. I can’t wait to see it in print and be able to share it with readers!

*does a little happy dance*

Falling Behind

I’m sick. When I’m sick I pretty much turn into a useless lump of self-pity. I try to force myself to continue to be productive and I can usually trudge through my day job stuff, but when I’m sick doing anything creative is nearly impossible. So, I’m falling behind. I am working on a collaborative project but I seem to have hit a wall on it, plus the story I wanted to write for the Trafficing in Magic / Magicing in Traffic anthology from Drollerie Press is fighting me with every word.

Plus, NaNoWriMo is creeping closer and the deadline for the new Niteblade anthology draws near as well, which means I’ll soon have a lot of submissions to read.

Yet, despite all this I wanted to blog. And I didn’t want to blog about something depressing like being sick (oops) so I decided to start a new ‘thing’ here called ‘I Shouldn’t Have To Tell You…’

When I am wearing my ‘editor’ hat and reading submissions for Niteblade I am often surprised by the things people do that I feel like I shouldn’t need to tell them not to. Obviously I won’t be sharing names or details, but I thought this could be both amusing and educational. Plus it’s something I can do on those days I want to blog but have nothing else to say.

So, the first thing I Shouldn’t Have To Tell You is:

I shouldn’t have to tell you to spell the name of the magazine right.

It’s also generally considered good form to spell the editor’s (my) name right too.

Family Face Time

I spend a ridiculous amount of time staring at a computer for one reason or another, be it work or play. We, as a family, play a lot of video games. Jo and I are addicted to World of Warcraft, and Dani plays a little bit but prefers her DS. With that in mind I make a special effort to make sure we do stuff that involves family face time.

This weekend we went to the grounds of the Alberta Legislature, or, the Leg for short (pronounced ledge). It’s a lovely public space that I really enjoy…so long as it’s not Canada day when it becomes ridiculously overcrowded. I digress.

I took my camera with me and I’d like to share a few of my favorite shots from the afternoon.



Before we left to go to the Leg Jo said to my sister (on World of Warcraft LOL) that we were going to take pictures. When she asked of what he answered “Given Rhonda’s predilections of late, birds and flowers.” Part of me resents having things I typically take pictures of, but the other part kind of likes it. Plus, these flowers are pretty.

Continue reading Family Face Time

NaNoLJers Sponsors

I moderate a livejournal community called NaNoLJers. NaNoLJers began as a NaNoWriMo community but has grown to be active year round with writing prompts, exercises and challenges and our own month-long writing challenge Writo de Mayo in May. The community has gotten big. Right now we have 1432 members, with 948 of those members actually watching the community. That number tends to balloon in October and November, then settle back down to around what it is now shortly after.

That’s a lot of people. Many of them don’t post, but hopefully they draw inspiration from the group, just the same.

When NaNoLJers started there were only a handful of us and we were able to get to know one another and cheer each other on toward the finish line for NaNoWriMo. As we’ve grown that has become more and more difficult as names begin to blur into one another when you haven’t the time to get to know the personalities behind them. So last year I created teams on the community. The teams were optional, but the idea behind them was that with the community broken up into smaller chunks people would actually have a chance to get to know one another and that sense of being a part of a community, rather than a face in the crowd, would be preserved. In addition, the teams were competing against one another, and that sense of friendly competition seemed to help spur people on as well.

The teams last year were a rather impromptu thing and so I didn’t have much time to organise team-based events or prizes. We pulled some off, but it wasn’t nearly as organised as I’d like. We are going to have teams again this year (I’m also hoping to do something special for people who aren’t in the teams) and I’d like for it to be better organised than last year.

One thing I’m looking for is sponsors.

Last year we had a few fantastic sponsors who donated everything from books, to additional user pics or paid time on LJ. I’m looking for more people like that 🙂

If you would like to donate something to be used as prizes in some of the mini-competitions or part of the over-all prize package that the winning team will receive, please email me at . Some of the competitions and prizes we had last year are listed here –> Partial List of Challenges and prizes There were also word wars and that sort of thing going on throughout the month.

What do you get if you sponsor the event? Well…gratitude. That would be the biggest thing, really. I will also link to you (or your chosen website) from the NaNoLJers page as well as the mirrored blog at . I will be sharing a list of sponsors here as well ( plus my LJ) and I promise to rave about you on the NaNoLJers community as much as I can. Truly.

I wish I could offer more, but the group will appreciate it (I promise).

If you are willing to donate anything email me, please. You can specify a challenge you want the prize to be used for, or let me put it where it’s most needed. It’s up to you.

If you can’t sponsor NaNoLJers events, for whatever reason, I still love you 🙂

The Mermaid’s Madness

MermaidsMadnessBeing a writer changes a lot of things in my life, including how I read a book. I can’t read the same way I could before I started writing ‘in earnest’ for lack of a better phrase. I judge books differently too. These days when I’m finished a book and it’s time for me to assess what I thought of it I tend to ask myself questions beyond ‘Did I like it?’. Did I enjoy my time spend within its pages? Was I able to suspend my disbelief throughout its entirety? Did it make me think? Was it well-written? Were the characters real? Did they grow?

In the case of The Mermaid’s Madness the answer to those questions, for the most part, was yes.

Okay, biases out on the table, I adore Jim C. Hines. I like him as a person, a blogger and a writer. Thus far I’ve enjoyed every novel of his that I’ve read and I’ve paid (via charity auction) for him to critique my work. That’s a double-edged thing though, really, because while it means while I was pre-disposed to like The Mermaid’s Madness, I also had high expectations that could easily have been disappointed.

They weren’t though. Yay!

The Mermaid’s Madness is the second in Jim’s princess books, the first being The Stepsister Scheme. I thought this was a great book and enjoyed it more than I did the first. It had a darker feeling to it than The Stepsister Scheme, which could well be one reason I liked it better, but I think there’s more to it than that.

The characters were very real, three dimensional beings who grew and developed over the course of the story. Jim built on what he’d started in the first book and made it even better. This is where I find it difficult to really make points without giving things away…so forgive my vagueness.

One of my favorite things about this novel is that actions had consequences. The consequences from the first book weren’t simply forgotten, they carried over and touched this one. Not heavily really (except in one case…man I suck at vagueness), but they were there — just like in real life. I can’t abide stories where everything works out well in the end and everyone lives happily ever with nothing changing except for the better, blah blah blah. That is great for children’s tales…I suppose…maybe…in pre-school…occasionally… /digression . Happily, Jim doesn’t do that. Bad things happen, and they can’t just be made better by waving a magic wand or kissing the prince. I like that.

That’s not to say I think this book was perfect. In a couple places in action scenes I got a little bit lost and had to read back to re-imagine the scene and exactly what was happening, and I struggled a bit with suspending my disbelief at how quickly some people recovered from…things (stupid vagueness). Occasionally people seemed to have supernatural endurance/recovery powers that didn’t fit with what I thought probable, that sort of thing. But I wasn’t bothered enough by those things to set down the book or even slow my reading.

On a pseudo-related note, no matter how hard I’ve tried (and I have tried) the Danielle in my mind doesn’t even come close to matching the Danielle on the cover. Not. Even. Close.  I’ve given up on making the two match and I’m just going to enjoy how Danielle looks in my imagination.

Right, back on track.

The Mermaid’s Madness made me think, about lots of things. Stuff like reprecussions, character growth, real emotion and magic. Quite specifically about magic, magic systems and mechanics. I had a few revelations related to my own writing that was sparked by thoughts about The Mermaid’s Madness. This, as you can imagine, makes me happy.

I also enjoyed the ending, and the way Jim has started subtle mysteries in this novel I look forward to seeing how they develop in the next book…though waiting for it to come out may be painful. What do you suppose the chances are of my picking up an ARC of it before its release date?

Niteblade #9


Issue #9 of Niteblade went live very early this morning. Issue 9! That’s crazy. That’s the third September issue…somehow it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long LOL

Dead Teenagers at Make-out Point

There’s the cover. It’s pretty awesome, isn’t it? I think it’s my favorite cover yet, and that’s saying something.

I am so proud of Niteblade, and it wouldn’t be nearly as awesome as it is if it weren’t for several people lending me their skills. The authors, poets, book reviewers and art blogger of course, but also those people who work on it in more depth.

I’m talking about Marge who illustrates the stories and does the cover illustrations for far less monetary reimbursement than she deserves. I mean Jo who does the layout for the .pdf, the cover and edits each and every issue, even though my publishing schedule is in pretty strong conflict with his teaching schedule. I mean BD who does the web layout and is always looking for ways to make it better (and really succeeded this time. Check it out!). Thank you guys. This couldn’t happen without all of you. I adore you all — you rock my world.

Know what else is cool? We’re selling more copies with every issue. Still no where near enough to make money or even break even, but enough to show me that we are growing, and that makes me happy.