120 Authors – 230 Tales – 1.1 Million Words! All Free!

Check out that title! That is what you’ll find if you go download yourself a copy of Up and Coming: Stories from the 2016 Campbell-Eligble Writers.

This mega-anthology was put together by writers SL Huang and Kurt Hunt, themselves Campbell Eligible this year, to showcase the vast range of new talent out there in the speculative fiction field. Continue reading

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The 2013 Reading Challenge I Totally Failed Was…

The Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge held by Worlds Without End, which is a great website for readers of genre fiction to check out.

The Challenge was pretty simple – within the 12 months of 2013 read 12 books written by women authors whose work you’d never read before and post a review. I failed pretty spectacularly at this, for several reasons. Chief amongst those was that I didn’t do much writing of any kind for most of last year, especially blogging or writing reviews. Secondary problems included starting the challenge fairly late and having way, way too many things on my ‘to be read’ pile.

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Reading and Writing: A Couple Challenges for 2013

A few weeks ago I took on two new challenges that will run the span of 2013. The first was a writing challenge and the second was a reading one.

The writing challenge came from the fantastic musician John Anealio. Well, to be specific this isn’t a writing challenge, its a challenge to be creative. He’s calling it “23 in ’13” and, as you might guess, it’s all about doing 23 creative things over the course of the year. His goal is to create 23 new songs this year. My goal is to create 23 new short stories that I consider good enough in quality to submit to editors. I’m a little behind myself but I’ve got one new story out in the slush piles (it’s already gained it’s first rejection) and one new installment of Empire and Animal.

You can join in the fun over at John’s blog. I recommend getting on his mailing list. You can also download the three instrumental pieces he’s made for the challenge so far or pick up his album “Laser Zombie Robot Love” which is really good.

The reading challenge comes from Worlds Without End. They are having a Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge. The goal is to read 12 books this year each by a different woman author that you have never read before. If you sign up they’ve got a great tracking page set up for the challenge and a huge list of authors to explore. Full participationi also includes writing at least a small review for each book you read but it gives you a chance to be featured on their blog. If that happens you also get put into a poll for a chance to win Amazon gift cards! I highly recommend joining in this.

I’ve read my first book for the challenge, Lauren Beukes amazing “Zoo City”, and I’ll be posting my review in the next day or two. I’ve started my second book, Kelly Link’s “Stranger Things Happen”. After that it’ll be Octavia E. Butler’s “Wild Seed”. After that? Who knows. Something awesome I’d bet.

Any of you participating in these challenges? Know of another great one? Got your own? Shout it out in the comments!

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I’m On a Podcast!

I talked about how cool The Roundtable Podcast is before. If you don’t know, they are are great show with a unique concept. Every week they put out two episodes. One is an interview with a professional writer or editor. In the second episode the pro returns to join the hosts in work-shopping a story with a guest writer.

The most recent pro (at the time of this post) was the fantastic Tobias Buckell (@tobiasbuckell), and the most recent guest bringing in a story to kick around was me!

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Useful Links: Podcast Edition

Since I started serious writing and blogging I’ve become hooked on podcasts. I love podcasts because they help me to multitask. I can listen to podcasts while cleaning, cooking, doing laundry (ok pretty much any household chore). I can listen to them while playing with my son. I can load them onto my iPhone and listen while shopping, walking to work or during breaks at work. So yeah – multitasking. I started my love affair with podcasts with news and politics shows. I’m a big politics junkie. The Rachel Maddow show and the various Sunday morning news talk shows are my preferred hits.

Soon though I discovered Mur Lafferty’s (@mightymur) “I Should Be Writing” (previously blogged about here) and that led me to discover other interesting shows. I’d like to highlight 3 of them for you.

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Useful Links: Armed With Pens, and More

Ok, it’s time for me to point out some more places that I’ve personally been finding useful or enjoyable on this here internet.

My main highlight for today is a new site called Armed With Pens (@ArmedWithPens). They’ve been going since about mid June and already have fifteen articles up. Topics so far have included getting an agent, why you don’t need an agent, marketing, ebook formatting, editing (both as a process and as a profession), and more.

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Useful Link: I Should Be Writing

So, things got suddenly quiet around here in the last week or so because I found myself surprised by a sudden onslaught of work and work related stress. It was a generally bad week for productivity on almost all writing related endeavors, but I’ll talk more about lessons learned from the experience in a post coming tomorrow or the next day to reflect on a month of having a blog about becoming a writer.

Today’s real purpose is a new addition to the useful links. Frankly, I feel a little weird writing a post about today’s link because I’m sure that most anyone coming by my little blog has probably been long aware of “I Should Be Writing” the blog and podcast of writer, editor and podcaster Mur Lafferty (twitter: @mightymur) for wanna-be writers.

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