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Posts Tagged ‘sale’

This is how I celebrate

Last week some of you may have seen me losing my mind on Twitter, because after nineteen years of trying, I finally sold a story to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF).

I did not actually set out to buy myself a present to celebrate this. But quite separately, I had managed to irritate myself by flushing out the fountain pen I use most frequently and then re-filling it with ink before it had dried out, resulting in extremely watery ink for a while. I commented to my sister that I should get a second one, and then I could just swap to the other one while the first dried off.

Now, I already have more than one fountain pen. There’s a Waterman I think was a birthday present decades ago, and a Padrino I bought myself in Rome on my honeymoon. There are also two random cheapo things whose brand nor origin can be discerned, and one probably not at all cheapo Jinhao that likewise seems to have materialized out of nowhere — seriously, we don’t have the faintest clue where this one came from. It’s very pretty, and also quite heavy, which is why I don’t use it often; the Padrino has the problem of a screw-top cap and no grip, so I wind up holding it where the thread screws are, and naturally that’s uncomfortable. The Waterman is fine, but I’ve never liked it as much as the pen I use more often.

The selling point of that pen — a Platinum Plaisir — is that it doesn’t dry out nearly as fast as any of my other pens. Some of them, I swear you come back the next day and the ink is already a bit stuttery. This one? I haven’t tested the theory that I could leave it in a drawer for a month and it would still write just fine, but it certainly feels that way. So I thought, okay: I will get myself a second Plaisir.

But I don’t actually find the Plaisir all that attractive. It isn’t ugly, but I already got the color that appealed most to me (a satin-brushed metallic green); when I was browsing the other options, the only one that stood out at all, a gunmetal gray, was out of stock. But in looking to see if I could find it elsewhere, I wound up reading a review of the Plaisir that said something interesting:

Its style of cap, which does such a nice job of keeping the ink wet, is apparently common across all of Platinum’s pens.

This is how I wound up on the Goulet Pens website at two thirty in the morning, browsing fountain pens, and coming across something which I told myself I wasn’t allowed to buy until the following morning, because one should generally not make expensive impulse buys late at night:

a Platinum Kanazawa fountain pen

I . . . swear I’m not becoming one of those writers, the ones who obsess over fountain pens. But that one was still so damn pretty when I woke up the next morning, and I’d just sold a story to F&SF the other day, and I decided I deserved a present to myself. It is as pretty in person as it was online, and it’s remarkably lightweight, and the nib is finer than my Plaisir, which as someone with default tiny handwriting I appreciate. The ink I put in it apparently does not play well with the paper of my Rook and Rose notebook, because I am too much of a fountain pen noob to understand the subtle nuances of ink-paper interaction, but writing with it pleased me a great deal anyway. We’ll see if it fares as well in the drying-out department as the Plaisir, but even if it doesn’t, I am very glad to have it.

It all started with a Tumblr post . . .

A little over year ago, I linked to a Tumblr conversation my husband had brought to my attention, and noted that debates of that kind are probably a regular feature of Lady Trent’s world, where there are a) dragons and b) a religion based on Judaism. And I said something about wishing I was conversant enough with Judaism to write a short story that would riff on that general idea — maybe not candles on Shabbat, but the intersection of dragons + religion.

A little over a year later, and thanks to the help of Noah Beit-Aharon in particular, I sold “On the Impurity of Dragon-kind” to Uncanny Magazine.

It will be out later this year, probably in their August issue, so as to coincide with the release of Turning Darkness Into Light. And because I must always find new forms of nerdery to explore with this series, the story takes the form of Isabella’s son Jake delivering a dvar Torah as part of his (somewhat belated) bar mitzvah. Whether I wind up writing the other “dragons + Judaism” story idea I had while trying to work this one out, we will see . . .

Three announcements

1) I sold a short story! “From the Editorial Page of the Falchester Weekly Review will be up at Tor.com some time next spring. As the title suggests, this is a Lady Trent story — the one I wrote while on tour this past May, in fact, and some of you may have heard me read it at BayCon.

2) I sold another short story! Continuing my unbroken streak, I will have a piece in the fifth Clockwork Phoenix anthology: “The Mirror-City,” which takes place in a Venice-like setting. Did I come up with it while in Venice? Nope; the idea is years old, and deadlines meant I actually had to write and submit the thing before I ever left for the real place. ๐Ÿ™‚

3) If you prefer to get your novels in audiobook form, you’re in luck: Warrior and Witch are both now available on Audible. With shiny new covers, no less!

And with that, I’m off to World Fantasy tomorrow. See some of you there!

Cold-Forged Flame

Remember that novella I wrote while on tour earlier this year?

Coming soon to a Tor.com near you: Cold-Forged Flame, the first of at least two, possibly more, novellas about Ree Varekai.

Yep, I’ve done it again; I’m turning another piece of RPG material into professional fiction. This one will be very different from the Onyx Court series, though. No faeries. I’ve instead run with the more epic tone fostered by the LARP where I played Ree, and turned her into an archon — a fallen demigod-like creature that humans can summon and bind to serve them. Cold-Forged Flame begins a particular “lifetime” for Ree, when a certain group of people bound her to retrieve something on their behalf . . . and more than that, I cannot (yet) say without spoilers.

I’m ridiculously pleased that this is a thing which is actually happening. While I was on tour and working on this, I commented to Mary Robinette Kowal that I was trying to write twenty thousand words about an angry, pessimistic amnesiac with no name who spends half the story on an island all by herself. How exactly did I think I was going to make this work? But apparently I succeeded, because Lee Harris has picked up both it and a sequel for Tor.com’s novella line. I’ll be trying to write the second before I buckle down to draft the last of the Memoirs, and we’ll see what happens after that.

Sale, convention

Apropos of complaining about reading The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus, I’m pleased to say it was not in vain; I have sold “The Damnation of St. Teresa of รvila” to the anthology Shared Nightmares, edited by Steve Diamond. I’ll post the TOC and so forth once I have it.

Also, if you’re a Bay Area local, I’ll be at Convolution in Burlingame the weekend of September 26th-28th. My tentative schedule is:

  • Friday 2-4 — You Got Your Science in My Fantasy (M)
  • Saturday 10-12 — Reading
  • Saturday 12-2 — Steaming Outside Victorian England
  • Sunday 12-2 — Social Worldbuilding
  • Sunday 2-4 — Dice on the Page

That last is a panel I proposed, focusing not on who has adapted an RPG into fiction, but what the craft-oriented challenges of doing so are. Not sure what I’m going pick for the reading. Probably a short story, since I rarely get to do those; I’ll have to see what seems good. Not “The Damnation of St. Teresa of รvila” — there’s no way I’m inflicting sixteenth-century Catholic mystical theology on people at 10 a.m. on a Saturday. ๐Ÿ˜›

Updates: Kickstarter, tour, sale, SF Novelists, WisCon

Five updates make a post . . . .

1) The Chains and Memory Kickstarter is a bit over halfway to the first stretch goal. The pace of progress has (unsurprisingly) slowed down; I welcome any signal boosting, and/or suggestions for other things I could do to spread the word.

2) While Mary and I were on tour earlier this month, Tor sent a camera crew to film our Portland event and interview us afterward. It was a fascinating experience; this wasn’t the “sit and have a conversation in front of the camera” kind of thing, but rather raw material for the following video:

If you’d like a sense of what our events were like, check it out!

3) Driftwood fans take note: I’ve sold the audio rights for “The Ascent of Unreason” to Podcastle.

4) My SF Novelists post for this month was “Pleaser Don’t Doed Thising”, in which I take aim at Bad Fantasy Latin, Bad Fantasy Japanese, and other such linguistic sins.

5) WisCon! I went. It was a thing.

Sorry, that’s just the tiredness talking. Going to WisCon was a good idea; going right after being on tour, less so. I feel like I didn’t take full advantage of the experience, partly because I was going easy on myself, partly because I’m new to the con’s culture and therefore didn’t know in advance about things like the Floomp. It was fun, though: lots of interesting people, some good panels (and some I really wish had dug further into their topics), some &@#$! awesome GoH speeches, etc. The good news is, now I know what to expect and can get more out of it in future years. Will I be back in 2015? Dunno; I’ll have to look at my schedule. But I do intend to be back eventually.

Various posts in alternate locations

“Keep Calm and Carry On” — my SF Novelists post for the month; a brief reflection on some of the recent trouble regarding gender and such.

Interview at SF Signal — in which they ask me about a variety of things, including photography.

“What Happens When Fantasy Novels Get Scientific?” — Me at io9, talking about the impulse to treat dragons scientifically.

Finally, not something you can read just yet, but: I’ve sold another story to Tor.com! “Daughter of Necessity,” which I read at FogCon after revising it half an hour before the reading. ๐Ÿ˜› It will be out some time in the fall, most likely.

Two — I mean three — more books!

Because late on a Friday is the best time to put out pieces of major news. ๐Ÿ™‚

Many of you know that my intent has always been for the Memoirs of Lady Trent to be a five-book series, of which Tor had already purchased the first three. Well, as of today I am allowed to tell you that now we’re set for all five: they have offered a contract for the remaining two, ensuring that the entirety of Lady Trent’s story will be told.

And! Bonus!

They have also made an offer for a third, unrelated book. That won’t be coming out until after this series is done, so it’s years off yet; don’t look for me to be talking about it all that much here. (Especially since it’s entirely possible that three or four years from now, we’ll decide that it ought to be something else than what we’re planning on right now.) But if you want a teaser, well, let’s just say it might be inspired by this song and involve a few weeks of research here. ^_^

So yeah, I’m bouncing over here. How about you?