Dec. 14th, 2012 08:03 am
marthawells: (John Sheppard)
Yay, Friday. I'm behind on everything, especially getting ready for the holidays. Partly it's because I've been doing some necessary house stuff when I'm not writing, like painting bathroom trim and a couple of doors, caulking the outside downstairs windows (the house was built in the late 60s and has been showing its age probably since the early 70s), and stuff like that. We had a minor issue with the garbage disposal clogging up but finding the directions to reset it plus using the plunger got it working again.

So I'm behind on answering comments and sending cards and presents, and right now we have an unornamented Christmas tree and one string of white lights in the living room. But the lights do look really good, they're actually my favorite part of this season.

I've got some books in the pool of prizes for the Worldbuilders Heifer International Fundraiser. They're pictured on that link and are 1) one of the hardcovers of Wheel of the Infinite with the beautiful Donato Giancola cover (shown above), a set of the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy (The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods), and a set of The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea. They're all autographed.

Worldbuilders raises tons of money in the SF/F community for Heifer International each year. You donate to be entered into the contest for hundreds of randomly drawn prizes of signed books and other cool stuff, or you can bid on individual cool items or things like manuscript or query package critiques. The main post telling how to donate is here, and the goal for this year is $500,000.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)

Article by Kameron Hurley: What living in South Africa taught me about racism in America
So when people tell me that including “so many” non-white characters in my fiction is “political” or that I’m trying to make some kind of “statement” I can’t help but counter with the fact that the “statement” made by every writer with a white monochrome world is also deeply political, even more so because it’s based on a false sense of normal that’s been carefully and systematically constructed for hundreds of years in this country (and others).


Worldbuilders has started! Worldbuilders, run by Patrick Rothfuss, is a giant fundraiser for Heifer International. Contributions enter you into a drawing for tons of books and other prizes, and you can also bid on auctions for specific items. First group of books.


Holiday shopping time is coming up, and I wanted to do a list of artists who sell their own work on the web, so people could check them out and maybe find some cool gifts and support small/tiny businesses. I have a few already, but if anyone has some suggestions, put the link in the comments and I'll compile them for a post later.


Feb. 5th, 2012 08:45 am
marthawells: (Indeed)
I finished the third Book of the Raksura on Friday, which was a huge relief for me. This book took much longer to write than the first two, and was just difficult all the way through. It still doesn't have a title, or a publication date. I'll post more about it as I know. But yay, finished!

(If you're new to this LJ, info on the first book (reviews, sample chapters) The Cloud Roads is here and The Serpent Sea is here on my web site.)

Also that night, there was a huge thunderstorm with tornado warnings and a little hail. A restaurant in town was hit by lightning and burned down (fortunately it was empty at the time), a friend's house flooded a little, we had leaks and there was a debris line across our porch where our house nearly flooded, and police and the fire department had to do a water rescue of a woman and two kids trapped in a car. Fun times.

Saturday I slipped in the mud, fell off the curb, and almost did a face-plant on our mailbox. I caught myself just in time, but had condensation from the mailbox on the right lense of my glasses.

I'm braced for what might happen today.


This is the last few days for Patrick Rothfuss' Worldbuilders Fundraiser for Heifer International. For a donation of $10.00 to Heifer International through the Worldbuilders team page, you get a chance to win one of hundreds of great prizes, plus helping to help people all over the world. Instructions on how to donate are here. You can also buy something directly through the The Tinker's Packs store, where all the proceeds go to Heifer International. There's merchandise from Pat's Books, plus foreign language editions from a variety of SF/F writers, including me.
marthawells: (Jack and Teal'c)
Links to things I have been meaning to link to:

* Patrick Rothfuss' Worldbuilders fundraiser for Heifer International ends Feb 7. Donate for a chance to win great prizes.

* The Mogg Pocket Map of London 1806 You can zoom in to see lots of detail.

* YouTube: Every Doctor Who Story 1963 to Now - A Babelcolour Tribute

* Kelly McCullough said nice things about The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea

* WriterBeware: Delmont-Ross Writing Contest: The Saga of a Fake Literary Competition and a longer article on the perpetrator: Marietta author accused of ‘circle of lies'. (Remember, sometimes online con artists don't want your money, they want your belief and attention so they can use you to support their story when they go after other people's money.)

* Anthology Unfit for Eden is out, with stories by authors Jessica Reisman, Lavie Tidhar, Michael Bishop, Neal Barrett, Jr., and many others.

* Ecstatic Days: Things I Know? After 25-plus years in the book world, I will admit I don’t know as much as I should, I suppose. In a way, I don’t want to have Things I Know, because the terrain shifts and you spend some portion of your time adjusting to the current even as you try also think strategically about how you can find the space and opportunity to create what’s most personal to you—and make it a success career-wise.
marthawells: (John and Ronon)
I think I've got most of my plot and logistical issues figured out and am hoping to get more actual prose hammered out today. It's the last couple of chapters but this part of a book always feels like a big hurdle. So close but so far.

Anyway. If you have been looking for The Serpent Sea at Barnes and Noble, most of the stores will not be getting the book. You can ask them to special order it, though I've heard some people have had trouble doing that. If a Barnes and Noble store is going to get the book, it doesn't seem to be coming in until the 17th. I don't know if there will be a similar problem with finding copies of The Cloud Roads but I wouldn't be too surprised.

In light of that, some cheery things:

[profile] maryrobinette: Very Funny Muppet Outtake Reel and Outtakes from Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas


Doctor Who Does the Proclaimers


All the proceeds from Patrick Rothfuss' The Tinker's Packs online store goes to the WorldBuilders Heifer International Fundraiser. He's selling posters, calendars, and now foreign language editions of his books, plus books donated by me, Carol Berg, Anne Bishop, Peter V. Brett, Stephen Deas, Laura Anne Gilman, Katharine Kerr, Scott Lynch, and Garth Nix. There's one copy each of the Spanish, French, and German editions of The Death of the Necromancer up for sale, plus others.
marthawells: Atlantis in fog (Atlantis)
I feel kind of sick this morning. I really hope I'm not, because a) I don't have time and b) can't afford it.

Questions from this post.

I'm going to do about two a day, in the order I got them:

[profile] princejvstin asked Is the ending of Serpent Sea intended to be a close to Moon's story as currently written? Do you have plans, desires or ideas for further stories involving Moon (or perhaps a completely different set of characters or even species) in The Three Worlds?

The book I'm currently working on now is about Moon, Jade, and the others, and takes place a few months after The Serpent Sea ends. At this point, I don't know if that will be the last book about them. I would like to do other books set in the Three Worlds, about the Raksura and/or about different characters, (like the crew of the Wind Ship Escarpment from this story), and I have a couple of books set in other worlds semi-started, but I have no idea yet what I'm going to work on next.

Eric Francis asked In today's market do you have a feel for whether short or long fiction is a better way to establish one's self? In other words, should I keep writing and trying to sell short stories, or should I focus solely on a novel?

I think it would depend on what your skill and inclination is. Some people are short story writers and never do novels or only do one once in a blue moon. Some people are novel writers and don't do short stories, except very occasionally. Some people can do both at will. If you write good short stories and they get published by pro magazines, get award nominations, etc, that will certainly establish you in the genre, but you probably won't get or be known by as many readers as a good novel would attract.

Writing the thing that excites your creativity the most, whether it's a short story or novel, is pretty much always the best way to go.

And there is a slew of exciting things this morning:

The Cloud Roads is a Salt Lake County Library Reader's Choice Book Salt Lake County Library patrons can vote on it or the other reader's choice books and enter to win a drawing for a gift card.

Three signed copies of The Cloud Roads are also prizes in the Worldbuilders fundraiser by Patrick Rothfuss Donate $10.00 to Heifer International and you'll be entered to win one of hundreds of prizes.

Paul Weimer of SF Signal has a review of The Serpent Sea yay, four stars! (beware of spoilers)

Keith West at Adventures Fantastic has a review of The Serpent Sea (not very spoilery at all)

Kate Elliott says nice things about me The Serpent Sea, Martha Wells, & talking up the books you love
If, in this age of social media, you ever wonder if talking about a book online, in person, over the phone, or anywhere, really — whether writing a review on your blog or up on goodreads or LibraryThing or Amazon — makes a difference: It does.

Visibility matters.

Visibility particularly matters for writers who don’t often fall into the territory of bestsellerdom or persistent critical or award acclaim. It’s hard to buy a book if one doesn’t know it exists.

This is very true. Sometimes people ask what they can do to help their favorite writers, and the answer is talk about their books, online or offline, in whatever venue you are comfortable with. All the advertising money (and unless the book is a bestseller there is zero advertising money) doesn't matter if people aren't talking about the book. Whether you buy your books or check them out at the library, this is a power that readers have now.
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.


Dec. 6th, 2011 08:31 am
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
The holidays march on and I still haven't gotten much done as far as preparations go. No cards sent yet, a few gifts bought. I want to hermit up and write, but I need to get busy.


Jim Hines on Supporting Victims of Sexual Harassment

Crossed Genres: Subversion: Science Fiction & Fantasy tales of challenging the norm
an anthology of stories about striking back at the status quo – whatever that might be. The Authority can be real or perceived; the act of subversion subtle or overt; and the consequences minute yet significant, or immense and world-shaking. and here's a review.

The Book Smugglers: Smugglivus Guest Post by Kate Elliott, with book recs, a free short story, and a book giveaway.

Book View Cafe: Lord of Two Lands by Judith Tarr is now available as an ebook. I loved this book and still have it in hardcover. It was a World Fantasy award nominee in 1994.
In 336 B.C., Egypt lies under the yoke of Persia. But a spirit of fire has risen to blaze across the world. His name is Alexander, and he is the destined conqueror of the Persian Empire--and the king foretold of Egypt. Meriamon, daughter of the last Pharaoh, journeys out of the Two Lands to find him and bring him home. From the battlefield of Issus to the siege of Tyre, from the founding of Alexandria to the divine revelations of Siwah, Meriamon both leads and follows her divine charge, who becomes her friend and her chosen king.

More signed book prizes listed for the Worldbuilders fundraiser. The total raised for Heifer International is already over $28,000!
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: (SGA Team)
Yesterday was a pretty good day, and I made some headway on the third Cloud Roads book, though I've been feeling kind of low energy and not so well this week.


A very neat Doctor Who and original trilogy Star Wars mash-up video.

Ron Hogan: Your Attacks on Genre Fiction Grow Tiresome

Deanna Raybourn: In Which it is Jane Austen's Birthday Collection of links for Jane Austen fans.

This is the last day of the Worldbuilders Fundraiser for Heifer International, and the total looks like it's over $174,000 in donations!
marthawells: (Miko)
Thanks to the people who linked to the Places to Donate Books post yesterday!

I wanted to point out that if you like to buy new books online and send them to strangers (which I sure do) the schools listed on the Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation have lists of specific books they need/want. (Just click on the link for a school, then look on the righthand side of the screen for the list of books, plus the addresses needed for either UPS or the post office to deliver them to the school. Then use the contact form to tell the site admin which books you ordered, so she can mark them as donated.) There are fun books and serious books on the lists, and getting the schools the books they need or the ones the kids really want is very cool.

They also have lists of other needed items, like like first aid supplies and tape and other supplies for the school libraries.

Julie Kenner has a donation post: Help build a library in Africa…and possibly win free books for you!

Patrick Rothfuss' WorldBuilders Fundraiser has raised over $100,000 for Heifer International and is still going! You can still contribute and a $10.00 donation will enter you in the drawing for fabulous prizes.

On the gift book side, Jeff VanderMeer has a post on Gift Book Suggestions for the Imaginative, the Curious, the Weird
marthawells: (Wheel of the Infinite)
It's December 3 and I feel like I'm already behind on Christmas. I need to get Christmas cards and get them in the mail. (And I like the kind that are a) pretty b) cheap c) use recycled paper plus bonus d) benefiting a hospital or charity or something. It's amazingly hard to find ones that combine all those elements.) I need to disassemble the house, clean it, and reassemble it. I need to do something about the great wasp invasion of 2010. (Fortunately the great sugar ant invasion of 2010 seems to be petering out.) I need to figure out good presents that are a) pretty and b) cheap.

In light of that, let's do a book recommendation post for the present-giving winter holiday you celebrate. Post about a book or books in the comments that you would a) like to get for a present b) planning to get for someone else c) think other people should get for you or someone else. Bonus points for SF, fantasy, mystery, or romance, but any kind of fiction or non-fiction will do.

Bonus links that are pretty but not cheap:

The WorldBuilders Fundraiser has already raised over $60,000 for Heifer International. Contribute and enter to win fabulous signed books as prizes.

The Warrior's Way is finally out this weekend and I am so there.

The Nervous Breakdown: 12 Common Misperceptions About Publishing especially number 10:
10. Authors are rich.

The most visible authors are often pretty well off, it’s true. But most authors who rely on writing as their primary means of support are poor indeed. Authorship, like it or not, is a form of celebrity, and we live in a winner-take-all society with very few winners. That said, even the top one percent of richest authors doesn’t hold a candle to the top one percent of creative people in, say, Hollywood. Becoming an author in order to get rich is like going to the desert in order to become wet.
marthawells: (Wheel of the Infinite)
We're into the cold and wet portion of our year, the least favorite time for me. Our cat Bella had apparently forgotten that it was going to get cold again at some point, and is shocked and offended by it. She's trying to spend most of her time wrapped around my arm, which makes typing difficult.

I'm looking forward to our friends' big annual Thanksgiving party next Saturday. It's been going on for years, and has its own cookbook.

Patrick Rothfuss' World Builders fund raiser for Heifer International has started. The info page with how to donate and how the drawing for prizes works is here. The first section of autographed books is here. (I've contributed two signed hardcovers of Wheel of the Infinite, the book my icon is from.) Last year World Builders raised over $190,000 for the charity.

The Carl Brandon Society's eReader prize drawing is still underway, a fund raiser for the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund. The drawing's tickets will cost one dollar US ($1) and can be purchased at Entrants may purchase an unlimited number of tickets, which will be available from November 5, 2010 through November 22nd, 2010. Sales will close at 11:59PM EDT on November 22nd. Winners will be drawn randomly from a digital "hat" and announced online.

Book I'm reading: The Native Star by M.K. Hobson. It's a fantasy-romance taking place in an AU version of the old west with magic.
marthawells: (John Eyes Closed)
After a couple of weeks off because of travel and deadlines, I've been going back to my bar aerobics class and now ache all over. It's basically lifting bars and hand weights very fast to music, plus other floor exercises like planks, push-ups, and something called "dancing pillars" which sounds way more fun than it actually is.

I've been going to this class for years now, and I like the fact that while the exercises are tough the vibe is relaxed. There's a lot of people like me who work at home, or have adjustable schedules, plus grad students, retired people, people who have injuries they need to compensate for, mothers with young kids at home for whom this is their only adult interaction during the day, etc. Our instructors are very good, though a few years back we had one for a while who was more of the bad gym teacher variety you remember in your nightmares from high school. Her technique with the exercises was okay, it was just her attitude. Generally at the end of the class you always do abs and then stretching. And the class needs to end on time because people have to get back to work or to university classes, kids need to be retrieved from the gym's day care, and so on.

Sometimes this instructor would do this really annoying thing where she would start a floor exercise near the end of class and just keep going with it and going with it and going with it to the point where it's actually bad for you. It was like one of those bad high school gym teacher tests of your endurance and obedience or something, with an added bonus of showing how tough she is and you are not. Except that doesn't really work outside of high school. (And she wasn't really that tough. We had other female instructors who could bench press her with one hand.) I would look around the room, and people would be doing different exercises, or just lying there looking at their watches. One day she was doing this and it got to be 1:00, time for class to stop, which was annoying because we still hadn't had our abs and stretching. (My OCD does not like it when things do not end on time in the way they are supposed to.) And I had stuff I had to get done, so I got up and started putting my mat and equipment up. And the instructor said, loudly, "You're leaving?"

I said, "It's after one o'clock."

And she said, "Oh, it's too hard?" Yeah, bad high school gym teacher, trying to humiliate me in front of the class.

Except most of the class then yelled at her "SHE SAID IT'S AFTER ONE O'CLOCK!!!!"

I didn't know these people except to say hi in class, but it was very nice to know we were all on the same page.

She said "Oh!" and ended the class, embarrassed and cheated of her prey. We never did get our abs and stretching. After a couple of months she left, and now we have all really good instructors again.


We just had to pay $1700 to get the transmission fixed on Troyce's aging truck. Augh. I'm ready for Thanksgiving, or possibly just ready to eat a large amount of food.



And the Magic Begins A masterclass in creative writing taught by Terry Pratchett.

First secret: everything is research. "When I was writing Good Omens I was typing away and the radio was on. It was a Shakespeare play – The Tempest , I think. And I found myself typing: 'Hell is empty and all the devils are here.' Be open to the universe."

[personal profile] jimhines: Reporting Sexual Harrassment in SF/F

Reported by Writer Beware: Author Sally Stern Wins PublishAmerica lawsuit


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