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What I'm up to...

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:36 pm
catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
  • Revising new Emily collection, Desire, before sending out for proofing. Over halfway there.
  • Working on Blood Moon, the sequel to Silver Moon.
  • Latest Out of the Past column is done and up - we're in the 1980s now, people!
  • 1st Patreon post of the month is out and away
  • 5th reading of the year is done. Went reasonably well.
  • New short story, "Firebird" is out in Renewal, the new Queer Sci-Fi anthology of flash fiction
  • Prepping for next round of events
  • Trying to sell my World Fantasy membership for San Antonio - please let anyone who's interested know
  • Various Queen of Swords Press things
  • Day jobbery and related
  • Stuff. So much stuff.
  • Also, saw "Wonder Woman" again last night. I didn't catch this the first time but when Etta Candy is talking about engaging in a "spot of fisticuffs" when it comes to women's suffrage, she makes a gesture that looks like a jujitsu move. All kinds of awesome, assuming I'm right.
  • Going to a staged reading by Prime Productions tomorrow night. Productions by and about older women - loving them so far.
  • More stuff. Also volunteering for Clare Housing (local nonprofit assisting homeless folks with HIV/AIDS) this week - yay!

My new story "Firebird" (bi apocalyptic, horror of a sort) is out today in Renewal, the new Queer Sci-Fi anthology from Mischief Corner Books! Details below. Lots of familiar names in this one - should be a fun read.

Press Kit – Renewal

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books

Author: Various – see Authors section below

Cover Artist: Gus Li

Length: 196 pages

Format: eBook, Paperback

Release Date: 9/13/17

Pairing: Various – covers many pairings and identities

Price: 4.99, 16.99 paperback (b/w illus); 28.99 (color illus – avail 9/16)

Series: SF Flash Fiction Anthologies – Book Three

Genre: Sci Fi, Paranormal, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Mainstream

Blurb: (noun)

1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or
2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or
3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out,
run-down, or broken, or
4) Rebirth after death.

Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut.

Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers.

Welcome to Renewal.


Because these stories are only 300 words each, we’re not supplying long excerpts, but here are the first lines of several of the stories. Enjoy!

“Griselda pulled the weeds from between the rows of Valerianella locusta plants in the garden, careful not to disturb the buds that would grow into the babies that were her only real income-producing crop.” —The Witches’ Garden, by Rie Sheridan Rose

“I didn’t know how truly the world was in trouble until I went journeying to look for Anisette’s bluebonnets.” —Bluebonnets, by Emily Horner

“The ship’s drive malfunctioned at the worst possible time.” —The Return, by Andrea Speed

“When I died they buried me at the bottom of the garden and returned to the fields.” —Below the Hill, by Matthew Bright

“The world is ending and I can’t look away from your eyes.” —Sunrise, by Brigitte Winter

“The day I was born again was damp, rainy—a good day for rebirth, all things considered.” —The Birthing Pod, by Michelle Brown

“‘You’ve reached Androgyne HelpLine. Press one to start service. Press two to interrupt or cancel service. Press three—’” —Auto-Renew, by Ginger Streusel

“‘San Francisco was the first to go dark, followed by Los Angeles.’” —When Light Left, by Lex Chase

“My fingers lingered on the synthetic skin, trailing soft patterns across my work.” —Miss You, by Stephanie Shaffer

Buy Links, Etc:

Mischief Corner Books (info only):


Barnes & Noble:




A.M. Leibowitz, A.M. Soto, Abby Bartle, Aidee Ladnier, Alexis Woods, Andi Deacon, Andrea Felber Seligman, Andrea Speed, Andrea Stanet, Anne McPherson, Bey Deckard, Brigitte Winter, Carey Ford Compton, Carol Holland March, Carrie Pack, Catherine Lundoff, CB Lee, Christine Wright, Colton Aalto, Daniel Mitton, Dustin Blottenberger, Dustin Karpovich, E R Zhang, E.J. Russell, E.W. Murks, Ell Schulman, Ellery Jude, Eloreen Moon, Elsa M León, Emily Horner, Eric Alan Westfall, F.T. Lukens, Fenrir Cerebellion, Foster Bridget Cassidy, Ginger Streusel, Hannah Henry, Irene Preston, J. Alan Veerkamp, J. P. Egry, J. Summerset, J.S. Fields, Jaap Boekestein, Jackie Keswick, Jana Denardo, Jeff Baker, Jenn Burke, Joe Baumann, John Moralee, Jon Keys, Jude Dunn, K.C. Faelan, Kelly Haworth, Kiterie Aine, Kristen Lee, L M Somerton, L. Brian Carroll, L.M. Brown, L.V. Lloyd, Laurie Treacy, Leigh M. Lorien, Lex Chase, Lia Harding, Lin Kelly, Lloyd A. Meeker, Lyda Morehouse, M.D. Grimm, Martha J. Allard, Mary E. Lowd, Matt Doyle, Matthew Bright, Mia Koutras, Michelle Browne, Milo Owen, Mindy Leana Shuman, Naomi Tajedler, Nathan Burgoine, Natsuya Uesugi, Nephy Hart, Nicole Dennis, Ofelia Gränd, Patricia Scott, Paul Stevens, PW Covington, R R Angell, R.L. Merrill, Rebecca Cohen, Redfern Jon Barrett, Reni Kieffer, Richard Amos, RL Mosswood, Robyn Walker, Rory Ni Coileain, Rose Blackthorn, Ross Common, S R Jones, Sacchi Green, Sarah Einstein, Shilo Quetchenbach, Siri Paulson, Soren Summers, Stephanie Shaffer, Steve Fuson, Tam Ames, Terry Poole, Tray Ellis,  Vivien Dean, Wendy Rathbone, Xenia Melzer, Zen DiPietro, Zev de Valera

Sundry updates

Sep. 10th, 2017 04:16 pm
catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
After some consideration, I have realized that I cannot do 3 events in October, virtually back to back, then turn around and do World Fantasy in San Antonio in November. I'm bummed to not get to hang out with some awesome folks, but what between being in constant pain and wrangling odd crud since I got back (I'm on the mend, but slooowwwly), wrangling expenses and limited vacation time, I have to be somewhat realistic. So I have a WFC membership at the $150 rate and a transferable hotel room reservation - let me know if you're interested.

the good news is that I'm going to Arisia in January instead! Looking forward to seeing my Boston area and East Coast friends!

Other than, I'm wrangling stuff and getting prepped for my reading on 9/15 with author Rachel Gold at Boneshaker Books in Minneapolis, Queen of Swords Press tables at the WomenVenture Women Mean Business Marketplace on 10/14 and the Twin Cities Book Festival on10/15, followed by Sirens on 10/26-10/29. And some other events before and after. And writing - new books coming soon, more Queen of Swords Press stuff coming soon and more stuff in general!

We flew into Reykjavik, Iceland, on Saturday morning after an overnight flight, which is always fun, by which we mean that other thing. But despite some sundry setbacks, we made it to the bus and got to our hotel. They were kind enough to let us into the room early and we dropped stuff off and then went hunting for brunch. It was a holiday weekend so a lot of places were closed or had irregular hours, but we found a nice little café nearby and enjoyed a good meal. I particularly loved the bathroom décor, which included a barred window piled high with…stuffed rats. Hey, port city humor, gotta love it. After that, we wandered around and around and down to Culture House, which is a museum/contemporary art gallery. 

 And by then, I had walked my feet into the first exciting set of enormous blisters for the trip. I had bought new walking shoes for the expedition and a second pair of broken in shoes that felt okay on my arthritic toes, but that, alas, was not enough. So limping through Scandinavia on bleeding and generally swollen feet was a thing that happened. At any rate, we went back to the Hotel Holt, which is a fabulous old pile in the artsy section of Reykjavik, filled to the brim with the former owner’s art collection and antiques. These were gloriously eclectic so there was a lot to look at. We also enjoyed our meals (one dinner, three breakfasts) there and our room was reasonably comfortable so wins all around. 

 Sunday was intended to be our queer history walking tour day, but the tour company cancelled on us due to sheer volume of tourists, so instead we wandered around some more, went to Volcano House and other fun places, then met up with Minnesota artist Sishir Bommakanti for dinner. Sishir’s father is a former coworker and current friend of mine, hence the connection, and Sishir was in Reykjavik on an art fellowship. He’s got shows up at MCAD and Greylab now of his horror-influenced art – I recommend checking it out! He’s very good (also, a fine and pleasant dinner companion). After dinner, we went our respective ways, in our case, to take a long stroll up the sculpture walk on the waterfront to the Harpa (big landmark concert hall) for “The Icelandic Sagas: The Greatest Hits,” which was mostly hilarious. Then it was back to the hotel to catch some zzzs before getting up to go to the Blue Lagoon on Monday. 

Blue Lagoon was blue, rocky and very crowded. I found the experience overrated, kind of like bathing in lukewarm pea soup. But we can say we went. After that, we headed back to the hotel, cleaned up and wandered down to the Reykjavik Pride headquarters, at the sign of the rainbow unicorn. We bought a few small odds and ends, then went in quest of dinner. An enterprising young man who had just opened his new restaurant that very day beckoned us in with samples and we had a nice dinner and chat with him. Overall, Reykjavik was charming and kind of reminiscent of Wellington, NZ. I would not go back again during high tourist season though - the country is really not built for the amount of traffic it's seeing and it shows. Though I might make an exception for Pride, which looks amazing.

The next day was the ever-popular  "Rise at the crack of dawn to trundle down to the bus station and catch a bus to the airport." Reykjavik Airport is not for the faint of heart and there were sundry issues before we could check in. After some unpleasantness, we managed to get on the plane and head off to Helsinki. About 5 hours later, voila! New country, next round of time zone adjustments. And off to another hotel, this time by taxi because I wimped out. I was quite right, as it turned out, since negotiating the trains and trans with luggage was a challenge. At any rate, the hotel was pleasant, though further from the main train station than we hoped (only an issue because of my feet, which got rapidly worse over time). After unpacking, we strolled out to the esplanade, hit the farmer's market for dinner, ran into folks, then collapsed back the hotel (after I stuck the swollen hamhocks on the ends of my legs under the shower for a bit).

The esplanade and Helsinki harbor were gorgeous, which was good because we were back there the next morning to catch a ferry to Suomenlinna Fortress with A.J. Fitzwater and other fine folks from the Con. The Suomenlinna tour was quite lovely and interesting and I heartily recommend it if you find yourself in Helsinki, especially on a nice day. From there, we went on to lunch, followed by a tram adventure! Apparently, "This tram has been rerouted. Please get off here and wait for the next one." translates splendidly, even into languages you don't understand. So we got off, after I double-checked with the driver, and immediately ran into the charming Caroline Stevermer and one of her friends. Hilarity ensued. See Part 1 for the con write up.

Apart from clothing shopping at Boutique 52 (thanks, Elise!), the next not con-related thing that we managed to do was the Tom of Finland Walking Tour, which we attended in lieu of going to the Hugos because we’re like that. We met our tour guides in the bar of the hotel that used to be the Sibelius Institute, where the artist used to play piano and watched a short documentary on him. We then got a tour of his old cruising grounds, an apartment where he used to live, a sex shop that sold Tom paraphernalia and whose owners knew him, a fabric store that sold Tom fabric designs (all made in Finland!), more cruising grounds, the Post Office for Tom of Finland stamps and finally, a coffee shop that served us Tom of Finland coffee. Our tour guides were charming and had lots of info as well as questions about being queer in the U.S.; Finland just legalized samisen marriage this year so they were pretty excited about that. And Tom is a remarkable cottage industry in Finland - a recent biopic is the highest-grossing film in Finnish history, queer men cosplay his characters on the esplanade, there are stamps and coffee and sheets and fabric and potholders and postcards and picture books and…a Tom of Finland dildo. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything quite like it. :-)

After that, there was more con. Then on Sunday night, we set sail for Stockholm on a cruise ship. We shared a berth with A.J. and I ran into author Kyell Gold and one of his friends on the ship so we all ate together and hung out. The scenery was gorgeous, the boat enormous and mazelike and the meals a tad overpriced. But at breakfast in the morning, the coffee choices were a. Moomin coffee or b. Tom of Finland coffee because Finland is awesome. Also, the islands in the Baltic between Finland and Sweden are beautiful. I'm very glad we sailed even though I was pretty groggy when we got there.

Stockholm is a very pretty, very expensive city. We took a cab to our hotel, then wandered over (more walking! Yay!) to a design/tea shop in a ritzy part of town for tea and lunch. The tea was to congratulate A.J. on their recent Vogel Award win - a tradition we started in New Zealand last year. :-) Swedish high tea is heavier on the nonsweet stuff but is quite tasty. After that, we wandered back along the Drottninggatan, which is a pedestrian mall and major shopping thoroughfare.

We found an Astrid Lindgren statue in the park across from the hotel (much smaller statue than the Strindberg one). And the park itself was lovely. Dinner was good, sleep was good and then we got up the next day and walked for blood ever looking for our damn tour bus. I hated my feet and life and anyone who suggested walking further but we did finally find the right stop and the city was pretty fabulous from its upper deck. We went to the ABBA Museum and soaked in all things ABBA for a few hours.

Then we took the water taxi to Old Town, which was epic and lovely and historic. We checked out the charming gay coffeehouse, the science fiction and fantasy bookstore, innumerable shops and parts of the Royal Palace, including the armory where we saw Queen Christina’s coronation coach, before meeting a local author and artist for dinner. Then we headed back, leaving A.J. to chat with her friend, did some frantic packing and foot showering and went to bed. The next day was a last wander of the neighborhood before heading out to the airport, flying to Reykjavik, scrambling between planes and heading home.

Overall, nice people, interesting countries, cool history, lovely scenery, utterly exhausting and fairly painful, through not fault of the countries visited. I’m still a bit loopy and worn down so while I admire my ambition in planning this trip, I think I stretched us too thin. I hope to go back some time and visit each at a more leisurely pace.