Archive for the ‘Words Words Words’ Category

Open for bidness.

OMG, I almost forgot to squee about my new business cards!

I liked my old cards, I was pretty proud of my design, but the contact information was all out of date. I was thinking about redoing them, but I was already drowning in design work for other people and I was thinking a classic minimal design felt more appropriate to where I’m at these days.

… then I stumbled upon this video of Evan Calkins at

I’m incredibly into letter press. I love the natural embossing the process creates. Evan has a 1500 lb 1902 Chandler & Price 10 x 15 letterpress and his stuff is beautiful. He’s frankly incredibly friendly, professional and flexible.

The cards are just gorgeous.

mah new card

These are from his sweet deal on preset designed cards. (Also available through his etsy store.) This card would have had a capital GL at the top, but I thought it might be neat to extenuate the accented á in my name as a sort of logo. Evan was completely accommodating and I love the results.

Anyway, I love these and Evan was a complete joy to work with. Give him all your business. Now! Go!

Of what and when and where to share?

I work best when I’m showing off.

When I tell people what I’m doing, I get valuable feedback, I become accountable. “I’m doing THIS today!”

… then at the end of the day I get to say, “I did it! I did THIS. Love me?”

… or I have to say, “Um, I did NOT do this. I … I’m sorry.”

And I hate that. I hate it so much that I usually get off my butt and I DO THE THING.

Sometimes I con my friends into letting me send them an email check-in every day. That’s been kind of cool.

But what’s worked best is when I write to the WHOLE FLIPPIN’ INTERNET, “Hey! Look at me! I DID THE THING! … Love Me!”

So, the question is … is that cool?

Seriously, I’m asking. I have profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Livejournal and my personal site. Is it cool to share daily updates about what I’m getting done? (Or when I’ve failed.) Would you be annoyed to see it every day? Would you defriend me? (Stop following me, Block me, etc etc etc.)

I’d love to hear what you think is appropriate to share. What do you enjoy seeing? (as a friend/peer/colleague/stranger/curious passer by) What are you indifferent to? What would annoy you? (What would make you hunt me down and slap me?)

Just as some framing, I’m thinking things like my daily wordcount, maybe in the context of the larger work I’m on. Maybe a bit about what music I’m writing or what art project I’m in the middle of. I’d love to add a small bit about my exercise routine. Basically the main pieces of my larger goals.

What do you think? Okay as a one sentence tweet? But annoying as a wall update? Only okay as a side note to a more substantive blog post? When is it good to share?

Your thoughts, share them please.

An Update:

Yeah, It’s been awhile and I’d promised regular updates about the novel and stuff, so …


Me!The novel’s going well. It’s still not done (and probably won’t be done in time for the highly esteemed writing workshop I’m attending in June.) A few weeks ago I was really stressing about being behind on the book, but the coordinator, Bradley said that it wasn’t uncommon for folks to bring incomplete work. So … whew.

But, I’m extremely happy with it. It’s easily the best novel I’ve written so far. Not that it hasn’t had its challenges; I had to break up the original outline and the story’s gone in a different direction than I’d originally thought. Most importantly, it’s moving much faster than I’d plotted for, and … well, a faster moving book sounds a lot better anyway.

My initial readers have been incredibly helpful with the first fifty pages. I’ve rewritten based on their notes and sent the first fifty pages to secondary readers and the workshop. Last week I received everyone else’s first 50. Which means:

  1. I have 110,000 words of other people’s fiction to read … and soon!
  2. I’m having that same feeling I had when I first went to Clarion. “How Did I Get in Here?” Everyone’s stuff is so good and it makes mine look … well, not so good. I’m overwhelmed with all the talent in Wellspring. Whew.


I’ve also been rewriting tons of short stories from my to-be-rewritten folder and sending them out. I’m back up to thirteen stories in the mail, which … I know generally people think is pretty good. It’s low for how many I used to keep in the mail, but I’m working my way up again.

My brain has been an idea machine lately. To keep myself focused, I’ve basically been just jotting the ideas down for later and going back to the novel. It’s important to me to find a balance between the novel and shorter work. I didn’t like the feeling of spending all of 2009 with the novel swallowing my life while not producing anything else. I feel confident that I’m doing a better job now.

Other aspects of my life

My moving date kept getting pushed back, but I have a truck and a date and people helping. I and all my stuff will be in Portland on Saturday, May 14th. I’m still geeked about my new space and the people and Portland and and and … *squee*

My money-work life is also going well. I feel blessed that my work is challenging, interesting and creative without sucking up so much of my brain that I don’t have space for writing, art and music. I’ll be commuting from Portland to Eugene twice a week, basically spending half my time in Eugene and half in Portland. The train ride feels like a perfect time for writing and reflection.

Other details I’m geeked about: Biking around Portland, joining a gym near my house, maybe joining the Independent Publishing Resource Center and learning how to letterpress. (!!!) And I’m looking forward to connecting with more Portland writers.

I have some exciting news about my work at Shimmer Magazine, but I’ll save that for the next post. I’ve also been thinking about reposting my shimmer writing articles here when I get around to it.

Hmmm … I guess that’s everything lately …

Hmmm … But, once again I’d like to use this blog to keep a fire under my butt. So, I’m committing to a new blog post sometime in the next week and I plan to have another five stories in the mail and at least another 5000 words done on the novel by then. See you later this week.


A bit of good news.

Still slowly working at the novel and restarting my short story submission process. And of course time is still being fickle. It’s hard to find enough to work my money-job, read for shimmer, write, submit and make time for all the social opportunities around me (I guess it’s a pretty high class problem that there’s too many fun things to do.) 😛

Oh, and I need to find time to exercise. And do yoga. And relax. And eat. And sleep …

Anyway, before I sleep, I wanted to note that I’m feeling better and better about my writing progress, though I’m still aware of blowing out a year’s worth of cobwebs in my writer brain.

Anyway anyway, I was falling asleep when I was woken up by a notice of a nice review from Nathaniel Katz.

Of the fuller stories, most are quite successful. In his introduction to The Exit to San Breta (in Dreamsongs), George R.R. Martin says that he wanted to update the ghost story, taking the traumatized undead from gothic mansions and putting them in the middle of where modern tragedy occurred: the expressways. Taking Martin’s 1972 logic and bringing it to the 21st century, Grá Linnaea and Sarah Dunn explore death through facebook in Messages from Valerie Polichar. Over the course of the story, Valerie becomes a sympathetic character, and the way that she becomes obsessed and then is taken over by her obsession is chilling.


Standouts [of issue 2]: Sweepers, The Rat Burner, Messages from Valerie Polichar

Yay. Thanks, Nathaniel

You can read the whole review here. And of course you can still purchase a copy of Shock Totem.

Somehow, I’d missed this earlier review by Sheila Merritt, who also seemed to really like the story.

The outstanding story in the volume is Message From Valerie Polichar.

I never thought folks would go for such a quirky little story. When I read it out loud at Orycon, all I could hear was how … unstorylike its structure was. I was pleasantly shocked when “Messages from Valerie Polichar” was recommended for a Stoker Award. I guess I’ll just have to admit that some people like it.

All of which is to say it’s nice to be reminded that I can write.

Anyway, off to bed.

Visual representation of what’s left to do on my novel

250 words (one page) per chip

Finally back on track with my novel.

After getting derailed last week, I started to wonder if I even had time to finish this book by the deadline. After some outlining, plotting, math and calendar fu, I’ve figured out that I have just enough time to finish the first draft by the deadline for the first 50 pages. I’ll hopefully polish the rest of it by the second deadline.

I was thinking about something Neil told me about how he writes his books long-hand. He numbers ahead on blank pages and when he finishes a page he circles the number. He says, “There is little in the world that gives me more pleasure than circling one of those numbers.”

I still need to post about my awesome new “get shit done” game, but for the time being I’m excited about having a visual representation of every page I write.

Anyway, expect updates as the stacks shrink!

I think I will grow to love and hate these chips.