marthawells: (Miko)
This has been a week of extreme highs and lows. The high points were awesome but the low points are...low.

I've got news I can't share yet so this is kind of a boring post. I need to get back to my book rec posts but Fridays are kind of a bad day for them.

We were supposed to have a hurricane but it turned and is now torturing a different part of the country.

Oh, I did a Reddit r/Fantasy AMA yesterday, and got a great question on Worldbuilding:

Question: One of my favorite things about your books is the incredible detail and authenticity to the cultures and societies you create. I've read City Of Bones and your Raksura books and I am always immediately engaged when the characters travel to a new city. The residents, architecture, customs, languages, and overall presentation feel well rooted and historical. It really adds an incredible flavor to your writing and inspires me to improve my own.

Are you willing to describe the process in which you develop a new city? When you sit down to create a new location, how you start the vision and do you have a system in how you begin to add layers of detail until the city/town/society feels authentic?

Me: Thank you so much!

I use different methods for different types of book. For the Ile-Rien books, where the locations are based more on real-world places, I did a lot of research into cities in similar cultures, climates, environments as my imaginary city. For the Raksura books, I tried to think of a neat setting for a city, then tried to make it as weird and extreme as possible. Like the Turning City, Keres-gedon, which started out as just a camp in the mountains.

Basically it's a process of coming up with an element you want in your city, like canals. You look at cities with canals, like Venice, and maybe Angkor Wat. What are the canals used for? Transportation, a reservoir, entertainment, defense, etc. You think about how the environment and climate of your city is going to affect your canals. Can they freeze over? Are they affected by drought? Sewage? Plant growth? Underwater monster issues? Etc. Why or why not are they affected by these things? Once you make all those decisions, you decide how they affect the inhabitants of the city, their culture, their everyday life. It can be simple or complicated, and ideally, it leads to ideas that can further characterization and plot. And the big thing to remember is that the reader doesn't need to know everything you know about your canal system. They'll be able to infer a lot from the bits and pieces they see as your characters move through the story, and the sense that the city is operating by a logical system is more important than knowing the exact details.

I also don't usually figure out too many of the details of my settings in advance, since I'm going to concentrate mainly on the parts my characters are interacting with. Like most of the city may be sketched in, but the characters are going to need this little train system and this temple hospital, so those bits are going to get more attention and development. Also keep in mind that cities change over time, with new buildings, new roads, and what stays in place and what gets built over or torn down all say things about the people who live there.

It also helps not to set too many boundaries. You never want to tell readers that there's nothing over the mountains, because it's going to make the world feel closed in, like a puddle instead of a huge mysterious ocean. And if you keep writing in this setting, you may eventually need those empty places to put things in.

I hope that helps!



I have a signed copy of The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red in the Authors for Grenfell Tower Auction:

There are tons of other great items up for auction to benefit the tower fire victims. Please check it out or pass it on.
marthawells: (Stargate)
Bidding for the Con or Bust Auction starts today, April 24, 2017, and runs to May 7, 2017.

Con or Bust, Inc., is a tax-exempt not-for-profit organization (EIN: 81-2141738) that helps people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions. Con or Bust isn’t a scholarship and isn’t limited to the United States, to particular types of con-goers, or to specific cons; its goal is simply to help fans of color go to SFF cons and be their own awesome selves. It is funded through donations and an online auction held annually.

Items to bid on include signed books, jewelry, critiques by editors, custom-made items, and much more.

My three items up for auction are:

* A signed personalized trade paperback of The Edge of Worlds
* A signed hardcover of The Harbors of the Sun
* A signed paperback of the novella The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red
marthawells: (SGA Team)
On Dreamwidth, [personal profile] grammarwoman asked Once you get an idea for a story/novel/work, how do you evaluate its viability? How much time do you put into it and what paces do you put it through to determine go/no-go?

That's a tough one to answer. It really depends on how excited I am about the idea, and if I stay excited about it through the first fifty pages or so. If I do, it does help me at that point to have other people (sometimes friends, sometimes my agent) read it and give me feedback. Good feedback on something will help keep up my enthusiasm for it. If I'm not enthusiastic about something I'm working on, I generally feel that prospective future readers won't be, either.

One thing I try not to think about is whether it will sell or not. I know I'm no good at judging that.

[profile] limb_of_satan asked My friend and I were recently discussing the rise of e-books and self-publishing. I feel like I'm seeing more and more authors (Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Liz Williams for example) doing projects and stories that are available directly from them, to their fans, without the benefits (or hindrances) of a traditional publisher. I'm all for this because I want the authors I enjoy to be able to make money and continue to share their stories, but I wonder a little bit about whether the quality suffers from lack of an editor. For most readers the editor is all but an invisible presence in a book. Do you feel editors, in the traditional sense, are important for a book to be their best? Do you think self-published work suffers from any stigma?

I think professional editors are really important. For me personally, even if you get feedback/beta reading/editing help from your friends and your agent, to have someone who edits for a living and comes at the book from an objective perspective is a huge help. A good editor will be looking at your work with the attitude of making sure your book is the best version of your book that it can be, not trying to turn it into a different book or into the book they would have written if they felt like it or had the time, etc.

And one thing that's important to remember is that the "hindrance" of a traditional publisher includes paying you an advance for the book, distributing the book to bookstores and libraries (especially libraries, where people who are too poor to afford books or ereaders can still read it), and paying for cover art, design, copyediting, etc.

Self-publishing is a lot of work, and to me, it would be a last resort for a new novel. For reprints of previously published books, or short fiction or novellas, I think it works great. I do think self-publishing still suffers from a stigma, and it's more likely than not that a good self-published book will get lost and go unnoticed among the thousands of bad ones. Unless you already have an audience of readers, or friends who have an audience of readers who can recommend your book, you can be out of luck. Self-publishing is something that's very easy to do, but very hard to do right.

Glad you are still writing - I started reading you with The Element of Fire and have always enjoyed your books and admire that you are willing to start new worlds and new characters and aren't churning out book 12 in a series (even if that would perhaps make you richer!)

Thank you very much! I appreciate that.


Con or Bust

[community profile] con_or_bust's fundraiser auction, which helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF conventions, ends Sunday, February 25, 2012. There are tons of great items up for auction here.

There are tons of signed books, jewelry, knitting, homemade cookies, and more. My auction for signed trade paperback copies of The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea is here.


Things I've been meaning to link to:

Mur Lafferty: Definition: Work For Hire: The latest publishing brou-ha-ha is the tale of LJ Smith and her being fired from writing “her own” series.

Book Smugglers: Smuggler’s Ponderings: Thoughts on Wonder by R. J. Palacio
I’ve been thinking about Wonder by R.J. Palacio a lot and about my reaction to it since I finished reading it. There are many things I loved about the book and I do recommend it to everybody, including its intended audience (Middle Grade) although I do so with reservations and the hope that the book can – should – engender thoughtful discussions.

Cherie Priest's ConDFW report: Dallas gives me nosebleeds: A love song for Texas

Lisa Mantchev: This is EXACTLY what's it's like to finish a new book.
marthawells: (Reading)
I want to do a post on editing and why good editing is a good thing, but I'm honestly too brain-dead this morning. I think it's sinus issues, since it's in the low 40s and raining. Tomorrow it's supposed to be back in the 70s.

Anyway, let's do this instead: Ask me questions, about writing in general, about publishing in general, about my books, about whatever, and I'll try to make some coherent answers, either here or in a later post.


The Element of Fire was reviewed on Heroes and Heartbreakers.


[community profile] con_or_bust's fundraiser auction started on Saturday, and it helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF conventions. Bidding ends Sunday, February 25, 2012. There are tons of great items up for auction here.

There are tons of signed books, jewelry, knitting, homemade cookies, and more. My auction for signed trade paperback copies of The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea is here.

Make sure you check the dates and that you're bidding on items for the 2012 auction, and not items listed on previous years.
marthawells: (Default)
Today starts [community profile] con_or_bust's fundraiser auction, which helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF conventions. Bidding starts today, February 11, 2012 and ends Sunday, February 25, 2012. There are tons of great items up for auction here. There are tons of signed books, jewelry, knitting, homemade cookies, manuscript critiques, etc.

My auction for signed trade paperback copies of The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea is here.
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
It's cold and rainy here today, but that's good, because we still need the rain. It would help the second summer of firey death we're probably going to have to be able to start it with all the lakes and rivers at capacity. I'm working on getting a stiff neck from sleeping weird, but I'm hoping going to aerobics class will take care of that.

I'm linking to this again because I can: I was interviewed at the Terrible Minds blog, where I talk about the time I almost got eaten by a tornado.

Other good things to read:

An article by N.K. Jemisin, on being a black woman writing genre: Dreaming Awake
Dreaming is impossible without myths. If we don’t have enough myths of our own, we’ll latch onto those of others — even if those myths make us believe terrible or false things about ourselves. Tolkien understood this, I think because it’s human nature. Call it the superego, call it common sense, call it pragmatism, call it learned helplessness, but the mind craves boundaries. Depending on the myths we believe in, those boundaries can be magnificently vast, or crushingly tight.

Kameron Hurley, on Because unless you get hit by a bus, life goes on
We just keep hearing the same mantra. “Just do good. Work hard. You’ll get everything you want.” When really, what they mean is DEAR GOD KEEP GOING OR YOU WILL GET EATEN BY SCAVENGERS.


Tomorrow starts [community profile] con_or_bust's fundraiser auction, which helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF conventions. Bidding in its annual fundraising auction starts Saturday, February 11, 2012 and ends Sunday, February 25, 2012. There are tons of great items up for auction tomorrow. There are tons of signed books, jewelry, homemade cookies, etc.

My auction for signed trade paperback copies of The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea is here. Remember, bidding doesn't start until tomorrow, Saturday, February 11th.


If you're on Twitter (I'm @marthawells1) Night Shade Books is giving a free book to a Bay Area public library for every ten followers they get. They're @NightShadeBooks.
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
The jury duty I was supposed to have today was canceled. This makes me very happy! I'll spend that time at the post office (I'm mailing the winners' books from Sunday's giveaway) and the grocery store. I'm also pretty much done with holiday shopping. I've only got about three presents left to get.

Next week on campus is not going to be fun. The heat for most of the buildings is provided by steam that travels through underground pipes. Last week, facilities tried to test the system by turning it up high, some pipes burst (causing some fire alarms and water outages) and incidentally melting the fiber optic cables for the campus internet backbone and taking out AT&T. AT&T brought in portable units to keep the cell phone coverage going, but the internet cables are literally held together by threads at this point, and they're hoping it stays that way until after graduation this weekend, then they're going in to fix it. Hopefully it won't affect the internet in town. Troyce is calling it Fibergeddon.


Patrick Rothfuss' Worldbuilders Fundraiser for Heifer International is still going. A donation puts you into the drawing for many fabulous prizes.

The fundraiser for writer/artist/editor Terri Windling and her family's medical bills is [profile] magick4terri and it ends on the 15th. Just looking through some of the incredible art, jewelry, food, books, stories, etc that have been donated is incredible. My auction is here.

N.K. Jemisin's post on the Book Smugglers Smugglivus book rec fest. She recs some great books, and says very nice things about The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea and that I make her think of LL Cool J, which is AWESOME.

Book Signing

I am doing a book signing on Saturday, January 7, 4:30, at Murder by the Book in Houston, Texas, with Kimberly Frost and Jaye Wells, and if you can't go you can order signed books from it here. The Serpent Sea isn't showing as available yet because it's not out yet, but I'll keep an eye on it and post again when it is.
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
I did a post yesterday on collecting holiday gift recs of books and people's etsy and craft and small business shops, but it tanked due to another DDoS attack. But there are a few comments with links to great shops and some YA and MG book recs that would make great presents, so please check it out and keep adding more, and I'll link back to it later this week to remind people it's there.


Patrick Rothfuss' Worldbuilders Fundraiser for Heifer International has started. Donating to Heifer International through Worldbuilders enters you into a lottery to win fabulous prizes, like tons of signed books and other items donated by authors, publishers, and fans, and Worldbuilders will match 50% of your donation. The fundraiser goes to January 31, and there will also be auctions and opportunities to donate to get specific items, like t-shirts, books, calendars, foreign editions, etc.

Last year this fundraiser raised $190,000. Yes, $190,000. It started like yesterday and it's already over $9000. Your small donation added in with everyone else's small donation can do an enormous amount of good, plus get you a chance for a nice prize. Check the blog for ongoing updates on prizes and other ways to donate.
marthawells: (Miko)
As of yesterday I'm about 105,000 words into the third Books of the Raksura, the one set after The Serpent Sea, probably with about 15,000 words to go. It's been going very slowly, but I really want to finish it by Christmas. Then I'd be on track for finishing a book a year since 2007. Not all of those books have sold to publishers, but still, they're finished. :)

Coming up on the end of this year, I'm in a much better place in my career/life than I've been since about 2004. I had a book come out, I had the audio version of that book come out (something that never happened before), and I have another book coming out in a month or so. There's no way to tell at this point whether it will continue, but I sure hope so. :fingers crossed: :knock on wood:


A few links:

Fanfiction: Brief article in the Guardian about something I feel very strongly about, since I was in the original Star Wars generation and first wrote fanfic back before the internet and we had to walk both ways uphill through the snow and fight woolly mammoths: Fanfiction can be an eloquent tribute – it deserves more respect
I've said it before on here, but again: if you want to write fanfic about any of my books, go for it, have fun. I can't say I'll read it, but I consider it an incredible compliment.

From Writer Beware: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: How Relying on Numbers Can Get You Into Trouble
I've seen these sorts of statistics (most of which appear to be plucked from thin air, and few of which are ever linked to actual sources of information) used again and again to justify bad decisions--from settling for fee-charging agents, to paying huge amounts of money to deceptive "publishers," to defaulting directly to self-publishing (there are good reasons to self-publish, but believing that it's impossible for a new writer to find an agent or a commercial publishing deal isn't one of them). It's unfortunately very easy for writers to buy into these faux numbers--whether out of fear, or inexperience, or simply because they vindicate writers' own frustration with rejection. But if you look at the numbers closely, they don't hold up.

Magick For Terri: The [profile] magick4terri fundraiser auction for writer/editor/artist Terri Windling is still going on, and there are some seriously incredible items up for sale, including jewelry, art, fanfic, original stories, signed books, knitted goods, delicious food items, and much more.

Terri and her family have been dealing with health issues that have drained financial resources, so if you can't bid, consider putting up an item for sale, or linking to the auction. But if you have money to spend this is also a great spot to find one of a kind holiday presents. (Those original drawings by Alan Lee could be once in a lifetime holiday presents.)

I entered signed copies of The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea The current bid is $150.00, which I am pretty thrilled with, because I would never have been able to donate that much on my own.

More places to do good things:

* Bastrop Public Library still needs Children's and YA book donations to replace books destroyed by wildfires. The Austin SCBWI is taking mailed books and donations up to December 8.

* There are a few days left in the GuysLitWire Book Fair for Ballou Senior High School. These books will go to the school library and there is still some SF/F and graphic novels on the school's wish list.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
I just posted an auction for [profile] magick4terri, the fundraiser auction for writer/editor/artist Terri Windling.

Signed copies of The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea, minimum bid $10.00

There are tons of fabulous items up for auction, including jewelry, art, fanfic, original stories, signed books, and much more. Christmas shop for one of a kind gifts and help someone too!


Nov. 23rd, 2011 12:07 pm
marthawells: (John Sheppard)
So far today has been all about laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and making an apple pie.


I'm part of an SF Signal Mind Meld on Writing Tools and Excercises for Nanomowrimo

Anne Aguirre's Big Honking Holiday Contest Enter to win signed books, an eReader, and other prizes. (One of the prizes is a signed copy of The Cloud Roads)


Don't forget about the GuysLitWire Book Fair for Ballou High School. There is SF/F, mysteries, graphic novels, romances, and more to buy for the high school library.


Guardian: Hugh Grant's supplemental witness statement to the Leveson inquiry - full text
This supplementary statement is written nine days after the story broke. Tinglan is still being followed and harassed. Yesterday she was followed in her car and photographed coming into her house. In his efforts to restrain these photographers my lawyer asked if it might be possible to get pictures of them and their registration plates. Tinglan's mother, a lady of 61, started to take photos of one photographer parked outside. He immediately turned his camera on her, took some pictures and then accelerated hard towards her so fast that Tinglan's mother had to jump out of the way. Then he did a U- turn at the end of the street and drove fast towards her again in a deliberately menacing way. She was, and remains, extremely frightened.
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
We had a pretty busy weekend. St. Michael's, the small private school that a friend teaches art at, was having another "make enough money to keep the school open" garage sale (the school is pretty vital for students who need special attention, have special needs, or who can't speak English. Plus students who just want a curriculum that includes everything from Latin and Greek to competing in robot-building contests.) So we donated our old and far too huge TV cabinet. Two very nice men from the school came to get it, looked at it, went away and came back with a third nice man and a furniture-moving dolly, and they got it out of there. I just hope they sold it.

This opened up a whole third of our living room which we hadn't seen in more than ten years. It feels like the living room grew a pseudopod. We had the cabinet for years and really liked it, but now I feel like that was Stockholm Syndrome. The tiny cheap cabinet we had ordered to replace it got delivered unexpectedly on Saturday morning, so we spent some time getting it put together and rearranging everything.

Then we went to a large Thanksgiving party that friends in town have been having every year for about twenty-six years. It sort of grew out of the SF/F club associated with the university (which has been around for longer than that) but the party has now taken on a life of it's own, with the grown kids of the original group showing up.

Woke up to rain this morning. That hasn't happened in a long time. When I first moved here, it started to rain in Fall and didn't stop till summer.

MSNBC Depleted Texas lakes expose ghost towns, graves

*** Five Old-timey Prejudices That Still Show Up in Every Movie

Malinda Lo: YA Heroines Outside the Straight White Box


Writer and editor Cat Rambo is offering an online workshop
As both a writer and editor, I bring a focus that lets me advise you from both sides of the desk. My experience as the fiction editor of award-winning Fantasy Magazine as well as short story collections and anthologies combined with the fact that I’m a working, selling writer helps me provide you with solid, up-to-date market advice for both online and print publishing. My teaching experience includes the Johns Hopkins University, Towson State University, and Bellevue College and I’ve studied with John Barth, Stephen Dixon, Octavia Butler, and Connie Willis, to name just a couple of people I’ve had the pleasure of learning from.


ETA: GuysLitWire: is doing another Book Fair for Ballou High School
Book Fair for Ballou High School

GLW is partnering up again with school librarian Melissa Jackson to get some more books to Ballou. While the year began with less than one book for each student in the Ballou library (the American Library Association advises a minimum of eleven books per student), after our successful spring book fair and the publicity that surrounded it and Melissa's own efforts, Ballou now has four books for each student which is a huge improvement. But, improving is not enough, we want to hit and then exceed the ALA minimum and so we are going to shamelessly take advantage of everyone's holiday joy and gift-giving mood this time of year and hopefully add to the stacks at Ballou with this smaller, but no less enjoyable book fair.

I love book fairs! The post includes the link to the high school library's wish list at Powell's online bookstore, plus the address to ship the books to.
marthawells: (Reading)
Hoping to get rid of a large piece of furniture that we no longer need today. Cross your fingers for us.


Austin Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators: Book Drive for Bastrop Public Library
The book drive is to replace books that were destroyed in the wildfires that burned so much of the town and the surrounding forest, and they're particularly in need of children's and YA books.

From now until December 8th, the date of our Holiday Hoedown, we are asking illustrators and authors from all over Texas to donate a book and/or make a monetary contribution to the ASCBWI Bastrop Library Fund. The library is in need of all kinds of children’s books – from picture books to YA – as a vast number of books were checked out and were sadly burned in the wild fire.
There are several ways for you to participate in this important outreach. If you are not able to bring your donation to the Holiday Hoedown on December 8th, you can either bring your book and/or monetary donation to the November 12th monthly meeting where Carmen will be available to receive your thoughtful gifts to be placed in the hands of the children of Bastrop. Or checks, made out to the Austin SCBWI with Bastrop Library Fund written in the memo portion of the check, can be mailed to ASCBWI, 709 Wood Mesa Ct., Round Rock, TX 78665. Book donations can be sent to that address, as well.
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
Does anybody have an idea for a cute (or grotesque, whatever floats your boat) promotional item I could do for the Books of the Raksura? I don't think these kind of things help sell the book to new people, but they are fun to give out free to people who have already read the book.

Usually these things are some kind of paper item, but that doesn't lend itself well to the world of the books. ([profile] falzalot came up with the idea for a plushie fledgling Raksura which would be awesome, but since the budget is hovering around zero, it wouldn't be practical.)

In other news, it did rain yesterday (finally) but now I have an allergy headache the size of my head.

I started a Pinterest page for inspirations a while back, so there's a link to it.


The Books for Boobs Auction
The Books for Boobs auctions end TOMORROW MORNING. We're currently at $950 in bids, and 12 of 26 auctions have no bids yet! Can we hit $1,000? Let's make it happen! Bid if you can, and spread the word!

Autographed books and charity donations make fantastic holiday gifts. Here's a great opportunity to give both together! All books are autographed, and nearly all auctions include a photo of the author with an Avon bear. All profits go to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
marthawells: (Ardeth Bey)
I'm still behind on comments, but here's some things:

Please, please, please pass this on:

The Romance Relief auction on ebay for for writer L.A. Banks ends on the 13th. L.A. Banks has late stage adrenal cancer and donations to help are badly needed.

The items being offered include signed books, ads for books on popular web sites, critiques for writers, etc. And there is a signed copy of The Cloud Roads by me.



This is another snippet post for the Clarion West Write-a-thon. And thanks very much to the people who donated so far!

Here's one from The Serpent Sea

The Serpent Sea )

A snippet from Wheel of the Infinite:

Wheel of the Infinite )
marthawells: (Zoe)
Had kind of a crappy day of the not feeling well plus everything going wrong variety. That's pretty much it.

Big Thing:

The Romance Relief auction on ebay for for writer L.A. Banks should be starting today. L.A. Banks has late stage adrenal cancer and donations to help are badly needed.

Among many other goodies is a signed copy of The Cloud Roads by me.

If you can't bid on any of the items, please pass on the link to the auction.

Something happy:

Tobias Buckell on What’s a Barbados Sci Fi Con like? AnimeKon Expo snapshots It's the ComicCon of the Caribbean, with books, comics, games, and media of all kinds.
marthawells: (Zoe)
Many Things:

First Thing: My email started working late yesterday morning so I should be caught up now. Also, hoping we'll get rain today or tomorrow. There have been a couple of forest fires in the area.

T2: This is going to be a crazy busy week for me because I'm going to be guest of honor at ApolloCon this weekend in Houston. We will all be having lots of fun without you. (Unless you're coming too, then we'll be having fun with you.) I don't know how much time I'll have for posting, but I'll try to do a few.

T3: The Clarion West Write-a-Thon: my goal is 15,000 words on the third Cloud Roads book, and yesterday I tore apart and re-wrote chapter 1 and part of 2. I have no idea what my word count was, because I took out a lot, wrote two new scenes, and re-arranged a lot.

T4: the snippet poll. Snippets from The Serpent Sea are winning by a large margin, but a lot of people also wanted random snippets from other books, so I think I'll do both. I'll try to do a snippet post later today when I'm more awake.

T5: Links:

SF Signal: Girl Cooties: A Personal History by Judith Tarr Judith talks about gender and publishing.

CBC News: Canadian Rioters Tried to Burn a Chapters Bookstore

Greg van Eekhout: The color of The Boy at the End of the World
I am multiracial. My skin is light brown. My features are a mix of, well, Dutch and Indonesian. People often don’t know what to make of me. When people see me, sometimes they see a person of color. Sometimes they see an Asian person. (Indonesia is in Asia, so that makes sense.) Sometimes they see a Latino person. Sometimes they see a white guy with a tan. When people don’t know what you are, they will sometimes project their own expectations on you.

The auction to help with author L.A. Banks' medical expenses starts today.

Cynthia Leitich Smith: It Gets Better: Authors & Illustrators Unite an "It gets better" vid from childrens and YA authors and illustrators.

Austin YNN: Copper thieves shut down Austin library indefinitely
Gillum said the Ruiz branch caters to more than 30-thousand Austinites a month.

"We're just filled with kids and teenagers normally all through the summer while they're away from school," Gillum said. "Not this year."

marthawells: (Manly Hug)
Hope everyone out there in Joplin is okay. If you can donate to help, remember to check out the Red Cross. On Twitter, The Weather Channel is saying The Joplin, MO #tornado appears to be the deadliest in the U.S. since at least Worcester, MA on Jun. 9, 1953 (90 killed there).

I have a couple of notes:

Brenda Novak's online auction for diabetes research is going to be over at the end of May. The SF/F section is here. My books are: an autographed hardcover of The Wizard Hunters, an autographed hardcover of Wheel of the Infinite, and an autographed trade paperback of The Cloud Roads.

I'm going to be guest of honor at ApolloCon 2011, June 24-26, 2011, in Houston, Texas. It's a small convention with writers, artists, an art show, gaming, a dealer's room, and is a lot of fun.

I finished up everything I needed to get done for last week, and so today I'm going back to the Raksura mines and work on the third Cloud Roads book.
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
It's gray and overcast today, but will not rain, because it will never, ever rain again here. I also have a dead tree in the backyard that really needs to be removed, before hurricane season and we end up with it in the living room.

From Liz Hand: Guys Lit Wire Book Fair for Ballou Senior High School in Washington, DC

At the time the video was made early this year there were just over 1,150 books on the shelves at Ballou; there are over 1,200 students in the school. So there was barely one book for each student (the ALA standard is 11:1). The WaPo ran an article about Ballou in January and I have seen a few follow-ups here and there (National Geographic sent over a bunch of books) but what struck me in all the efforts to help is what always hits me - people send books they have (publishers do the same) which is lovely, but not necessarily the books that the school needs or, most importantly of all, the students want. That’s where we come in and why we keep doing this, and loving it, every single year.

The article has a link to the school's wish list on Powell's online bookstore, plus the school librarian's address. You can purchase a book they need/want and send it directly to the school's library.

From Jody Hedlund: 10 Simple Ways to Support Authors You Love These all add up to basically one thing: tell people about the book you liked if you think they might like it too.

Speaking of which: the third book in David Anthony Durham's fantasy trilogy is coming out in a few months. If you loved Game of Thrones, the books or the show, you'll probably enjoy it, and it's all finished. The first book is Acacia.
marthawells: (Default)
I stayed up late to watch the announcement about Bin Laden, and am still processing. It's been a long ten years.

Brenda Novak's online auction for diabetes research started yesterday. The SF/F section is here. My books are: an autographed hardcover of The Wizard Hunters, an autographed hardcover of Wheel of the Infinite, and an autographed trade paperback of The Cloud Roads.

Some links from the Atlas Obscura: Ta Prohm and the Dinosaur of Ta Prohm.

The Nan Madol ruins, which I used for inspiration for some of the places in The Wizard Hunters

One of the few places in the Atlas Obscura I've actually been: Mary King's Close


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