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My drug of choice is writing--writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Worldcon 76 Report- Prologue

Our regularly scheduled programming around here (such as it is) is going to take a few days off while I bring you reports from Worldcon 76.

I'm going to Worldcon this year!

For those who don't know, Worldcon is a convention for writers. And while it has some overlap with costuming, and a lot of other general nerdery going on, it is specifically for writers. Topics of events run from how to self publish to including diverse voices in one's writing.

I never really expected to be going to Worldcon. Maybe in some halfway pipe dream future where I've got way more income going on than I do today. I like gaming conventions even though they're usually a bit more peopling than I am able to handle. I've heard stories about Worldcon that made me envious of the panels and stuff, but it is really outside my budget. It moves around the world and even when it's in the USA the travel expenses, ticket price for the con itself, and hotel booking for multiple days pushes it up to easily over a thousand dollars. That's big bucks for a little fifth rate blogger like me. And while Worldcon definitely sounded cool, I probably wasn't going to drop a thousand bucks on ANY vacation until I'd been to Disney World.

Then the perfect storm happened. The perfect storm....of awesome.

Worldcon is in San Jose this year which is only about an hour drive south from where I live. Cap is going there to do some work making the world a better place, and has a friend with crash space for the both of us. And she bought me the ticket for an early birthday present. I'm one of those people who sees what's possible and carefully manages my expectations. Cap is one of those people who says "Let's go get what you want––we'll find a way!"

And she did.

Thus, instead of our regular fare, I'm going to try to write a report every night. I'll do this like I'm a serious writer/blogger type, and pack a notebook and pencil and everything. I'll take notes and shit to write up in the evenings about the events I attended and what they were like. I'm not sure exactly how much time I'll have at the end of each evening, but I'll get as much up as I can and if there are lingering thoughts I'll put them in some subsequent write ups.

Sound good?  Okay, I need to pack. See you at Worldcon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

REMINDER: Seconds Needed (Best YA not by a Cishet White Man 2000-Present)

What is the very best YA book or series written by a woman or POC or member of the LGBTQ+ community from 2000-the present?   

This poll is from our Year of Diverse Polls. Please check this page out if you have questions about the narrowed focus.

So we're headed into a bit of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants spot here. Starting tomorrow I'm going to be talking a lot about Worldcon 76 since a perfect storm of factors means I actually get to go. I plan to go, and write a little about what I see each day. Then on Monday this poll is going live.

And it's absolutely going to need seconds. (And thirds...and fourths.) Remember, I no longer run quarterfinals and elimination rounds. I will at most run ONE semifinal round. So I will pick between 8-22 of the titles with the most "seconds." 

Please go to the original post for rules, to check out what's there for seconding, and to drop your nomination. The poll will go live on Monday.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Best of 2018 by Month


[Note: Everything in Brackets will disappear in a few weeks.  We now have enough months of 2018 to set up the newest part of our Best of W.A.W. menu––always along those tab menus at the top. It's been a tough year, but we've still managed to do some good writing.]

January

Ursula K. LeGuin (in Memoriam) 
2018 Update Schedule (Buckle up Broflakes and SQiD's) Letting out the throttle on those social justice posts.
A Dozen Ways to Help You Not Write Every Day (If That's Your Jam) "Write every day" is excellent advice, but if you can't....

February

Actual Protip: Don't Do This Terry Goodkind demonstrates what not to do.
J.A.Q.ing Off in the Comments (Social Justice Bard) But I'm just asking questions.
Writing About Writing Needs Your Help We could use your help.

March

Duck Shaped Bigotry Something about ducks and water and....bigots.
15(?) Things Dungeons and Dragons Taught Me About How to Write (Part 1) And not just what the word proficiency means.
Why are Movie Adaptations so Iffy (Mailbox) Book nerds are seldom happy.

April

A Baker's Dozen Random Bits of Writing Advice I Wish Someone Had told ME (And two that someone did) Sometimes the advice doesn't fit neatly into a single topic.
Writing About Writing Staff Meeting Oh those wacky guys.
Writing Prompt: Short Term Goals Where do you want to be this time next year?

May

Words Fucking Matter Calling immigrants "animals" has a long and sordid history.
Fortune Cookie XV Bite sized nuggets of something kind of like wisdom.
Can You get up One More Time (Success in the World of Art) Resilience trumps talent every time.

June

Inspiration: The Little Things (Also Some Little Things) Have you heard the news?
Leela Bruce fights ALL the Dialogue Attribution Advice A Yojimbo style tale of two warring factions.
Twenty Questions (Personal/Meta) Did you just ask me if I got involved with my fans?

July

That Moment We Knew Was Coming I blew up at 5 weeks into summer school. Right on schedule.
We Regret to Inform You Appeals posts shouldn't be this popular, but.....
Twenty Questions (Publishing/Blogging/FB and Social Media) What the hell was I thinking? This post is almost 20 full mailboxes.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

If You're Supporting Writing About Writing Financially


We interrupt your regularly scheduled admin post for an important announcement.

If you've set up some kind of recurring payment to WAW, I sure could use your help.

If you are currently financially supporting Writing About Writing through a monthly contribution to Paypal or through Patreon, first of all, thank you so much. We literally couldn't do it without you. Budgeting is the HARDEST part of the whole "working writer" part right now since my income can fluctuate as much as $500 dollars from month to month. A steady amount I can count on is the reason I've been able to phase out day jobs and side gigs to bring you more writing. Also having food is just....lovely.

However, if you set up your support as an ongoing monthly payment and then forgot about it, you could do me a solid by checking to make sure your credit card information is up to date? Part of Patreon is that a certain number of cards get declined each month, but the number has been aggregating, and it was a couple hundred dollars in August, including a couple of Paypal cards. That's over 15% of my current count-on-able income.

If this payment-fail matches a good time in your life to take a break, then I hate to see you go, but I totally understand. However, for those of you who intended to make the contribution, a quick check would do me a world of favor. Especially if recently you got a replacement card or something.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Patron Muses


The Patron Muses

Though Cathamel retains the Primary Muse status, and is the fiercest ass kicker muse there has ever been, there are a few staunch supporters of Writing About Writing who act as patron/muses.

I can try to sing their praises, but it will never quite be enough. Their name is not hyperbole for they really do inspire me sometimes from the dredges of apathy and the very edge of giving up on this whole "blog thing." When I drag my ass out of bed and want to do anything but writing, it is their unswerving support that gets me going. When I want a six week hiatus during summer school instead of a hybrid of writing as much as I can, it is honoring their contributions that I think of.

And while every single Patreon of even $1, one time Paypal contributor, or individual who dropped a line to tell me they appreciated my work is incredibly important to my continued success surviving capitalism and a lot of bullshit, a few people have gone above and beyond in their support, and deserve a shout out.

Whether they show up to social events with their entire family dressed in Writing About Writing t-shirts (which....don't actually exist, so these were HAND MADE), donate a non-trivial amount to my Patreon month after month, drop a donation on me that is so huge my mouth literally goes dry, assist me in post after post by helping to clean up my copy, or simply aid my social media proliferation by liking and sharing just about every damn thing I post (though this is a harder "in" these days since my social media is too big to keep up with the notifications anymore), and sometimes just being a great healer when I've Social Justice Barded too hard, and I'm out of hit points.  They are who I think of when the writing gets hard and who, when it gets really tough, I realize I wouldn't want to let down.

Right now there are fourteen patron muses (but always room for one more). Julia, Alex, Margaret, Heather, John
, Pol
, Ginger, Kelly
, Alex (another one), Alisha, Hélène, TM Caldwell and two Anonymouses.  I salute you.

I'd also like to give a special extra grateful hat tip to TM Caldwell who has, for years, been a significant fraction of the reason I have been able to phase out day jobs and dedicate more time and energy to writing.