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Cat Valente – how I learned to love her work

Full disclosure:  I'm doing this as part of a series for BookRiot.com, and I’m entering Book Riot’s START HERE Write-In Giveaway. I'm also doing this because Catherynne Valente is one of my favorite writers ever, and I want to share the love. Cat Valente is one of the most poetic modern writers I've ever come across.  Her work is dense with imagery, fascinating characters, and world-building that I can only aspire to.  She draws from mythologies all over the world and takes a careful mortar and pestle to them, keeping the flavor, but altering them to suit her stories.  My first exposure to her work was in an anthology called Ravens in the Library, and while there are big names aplenty in that lovely charity work, it was Cat Valente's short story 'The Ballad of the Sinister Mr. Mouth' that I remember best.  I read the story in a breathless state of wonder, and ended up weeping at the end of it.  It wasn't necessarily a sad story, but it touched me in that artist's place and managed to lay me raw.  Since then, I've been buying everything she writes, in hardcover. The woman is incredibly prolific.  She writes short fiction, poetry, and novels.  I've decided to recommend one of each. 1)  Short Fiction - Silently and Very Fast This novella is up for a Hugo this year, and I can see why.  It's a gorgeous dreamscape that slowly shows you its underpinnings until you realize you've been reading a treatise on how we may treat other forms of intelligence, how the human race may slowly become redundant, how the smallest of families can protect themselves in such a world.  Both plot and prose are [...]

By | August 7th, 2012|book review, kickstarter|1 Comment

Video shoot today

We're shooting the video for my Kickstarter project today, and oh lord, do I need to clean my house.  The bunnies lead to timothy hay in little itchy tendrils all over the apartment, and I haven't done dishes in over a week.  Yikes. It's also extremely hot here in Minneapolis, so I've got the little window AC running.  It's LOUD, so I may not be able to run it during shooting.  Which would be miserable, but preferable to trying to foley in sound later.  I don't have that much time, since Convergence is next week!  I'd prefer to be able to have the project up and running, so that when I tell people about it, they can go directly to the website and pledge.  I'm gonna be busy this week. Now I just need to break the inertia surrounding a pants-free Sunday morning.  OK, here goes.

By | July 1st, 2012|kickstarter, self-publishing|Comments Off on Video shoot today

Kickstarter decision making

Crowd sourcing seems to be the next big thing in artistic funding.  Can't find a big company to supply the money you need to produce a children's book or concept album or video game?  Go places like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and crowdtilt (and there are more and more of these sites popping up all over, from what I can see). So how do I make up for my lack of fame?  I'm a first-time author with what I and many others think is a fantastic first novel, but no one knows me from a hole in the ground.  I was hand-writing my script for the video while thinking on that very issue.  Now, writing by hand is a different cognitive process from typing - more creative and less analytic, at least for me.  Therefore, it helps me to make intuitive leaps, and is great for outlining, plot breakthroughs, and problem-solving.  So a plan popped up in my head like a defiant finger. "Dude.  Don't treat it as a donation.  It's a *loan*." I've thought it over, and it makes sense.  I don't want to make myself a bajillion dollars, especially at the expense of other wonderful people.  I just want a leg up.  That means a loan, not charity. So here's my pledge:  anyone who backs my project (link to be added to front page shortly) at or above $50 will be paid back out of the book revenue. Now, if I don't make my minimum funding requirement, of course, the money never changes hands, and I go back to saving the old-fashioned way.  But this - I think this could work.  And it appeals to my Midwestern discomfort with taking help from others. I don't [...]

By | June 27th, 2012|kickstarter, self-publishing|Comments Off on Kickstarter decision making