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

Monday, October 16, 2017

Best Modern Fantasy (Last Call for Votes)

What is the best fantasy book or series written in the last 25 years?  

My hope is to futz with the usual update schedule this week and ratchet up the intensity of posts as the week progresses (and as time becomes more accessible), I'm double booked on pet sitting* and my nanny hours are higher than normal this week, but there should be time after tomorrow night to do some heavier posts that'll land at the end of the week.

*I know. I know. I said I wouldn't. I have already turned down some jobs that would double book me. This happened to be an emergency for a friend.

There are only a couple of days left for our second semifinal for best fantasy book or series written in the last 25 years. On Wednesday the results will go up (and later that day, the next semifinal round). I don't want this poll to go on for months more, so the quarterfinal rounds are going to be quick.

Don't forget you get three (3) votes, but that there is no ranking, so using as few votes as possible is better.

The poll itself is in the lower left at the bottom of the side menus.

I'm told if you're on mobile you have to click "webpage view" then scroll alllllllllll the way to the bottom, you can find the poll.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Renown Margin

[Note: Everything in brackets will disappear in a few weeks.

I'm trying to come up with little posts I can write while the smoke is still blowing down here from the north bay. As bad as the air quality is, I am still very fortunate. I can ameliorate the worst of the coughing and sore throat by staying inside (which isn't my favorite, but dry hacking is worse than being cooped up), but my eyes are also burning and I can't read or write for very long without getting a headache.

Today I thought I'd put together the menu for my latest "segment" here at writing about writing.]

I am not famous.

But I do have a following that is growing, a public persona that some people recognize, I run into strangers who know who I am, and have attracted enough attention that not every interaction is free of awkwardness and sometimes discomfort. Millions of people have read my work, and at the edges of my pedestrian perception of the world the edges have begun to crinkle toward something

This blog was always meant to be educational on the surface and the meta level, both in being writing about writing as well as a real-time disclosure of what I find that works (listicles like woah), what I find doesn't (posting college essays), and what deals are strangely Faustian (hello Facebook). You see the excruciating glacial progress. No overnight success stories here. If I start to carve out something, you will see how it took me years of writing every day to get there. You will watch me improve from old articles to new. You will see my career as it happens.

And now the first glimmers of something like fame are included in that career. So here are the articles about that.

Groupie Threesome Jokes and other Problematica (Mailbox)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Strange Obstacle

I started this just a few minutes ago as a "note" to a mailbox I was going to try to write (letting folks know why it wasn't going to be two mailbox responses today), but things have deteriorated in the last few minutes and this is going to have to be today's post...

It looks like I'm also going put up something light and fluffy tomorrow instead of the planned conclusion to 25 Things to Let Go Of If You Want to Write Creatively for Money. That post is mostly done but probably needs another four to five hours of solid writing and two or three more of revision before I'm ready to post it.

I'm experiencing sort of a unique writing obstacle here today. I live in the Bay Area about an hour from the fires that have made national news (not sure about international news). Basically fires usually skirt the edge of cities, but the city of Santa Rosa is a 200k population center on the border of the wilderness. There have been some fatalities and a lot of homes have been completely destroyed. In some cases, whole communities are unrecognizable but for the burnt out cars, chimneys, and major appliances dotting the rubble. An hour is no big deal to drive for a lot of the bay area's social events, and I know many people up that way. Most evacuated at some point. Some have lost everything.

As worried as I am for chosen family and upset about the fates of my friends, that is not the obstacle. The obstacle is actually the smoke filled air. It's really bad. (I mean REALLY bad.) When the winds shifted south, we got tons of smoke haze, and the air quality has gone to shit. I'm inside with the windows shut and already nursing a bit of a headache but the forecast is that it's only going to get worse. It's making it hard to focus on writing, so I think today I'm going to sit with what I've written on Triexta so far, and rest my burning eyes as often as I can.

What I'll try to do is make up for it this weekend when I'm pet sitting in Alameda. They get a bit more of the bay breeze, and the air quality might be better there. (It's not today, but they might be set-up to recover faster than anywhere else I can drive to in less than an hour.)

Writing is like flossing. (And really, we're only talking about writing with some sort of ambition of "making it" rather than just personal hobbyist fulfilment.) But yes...like flossing. It's your daily habit that matters-not the one day you miss because of extenuating circumstances. But just remember when the excuses start to include things you probably could work around rather than just things you can't, you might be on a downward spiral.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Best Modern Fantasy (Quarterfinal 2)

What is the best fantasy book or series written in the last 25 years?   

I randomize the titles that go up against each other, but today fate has decided that the choices are from a whole lot of heavy hitters and personal faves. It's going to be a rough round as these goliaths slug it out.

Everyone will get three (3) votes. The top four titles will go on to the semifinals.

The poll itself is on the bottom left of the side menus, below the "About the Author." 

For mobile users you click on "web page view" and then scroll ALLLLLLLLLL the way to the bottom.

These quarterfinals will only be up for few days each (less than a week) so vote quickly that we can move on without losing momentum.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Best Modern Fantasy (Quarterfinal 1 Results)

What is the best fantasy book or series written in the last 25 years? 

The results are in for our first quarterfinal round. (Just a quickie today as there is both much more to write and much to do that is not writing in order to try to catch back up to the Red Queen Race of life.) Thank you so much to so many for participating.

The top four will be going on to the semifinals. The next quarterfinal round will be up tomorrow.
Text results below.

The Kingkiller Chronicle Patrick Rothfuss 56 21.46% 21.46%
Percy Jackson and the Olympians - Rick Riordan 52 19.92% 19.92%
The Graveyard Book- N. Gaiman 49 18.77% 18.77%
Stormlight Archives- B. Sanderson 40 15.33% 15.33%
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell-S. Clarke 22 8.43% 8.43%
Who Fears Death N. Okorafor 17 6.51% 6.51%
Kushiel's Legacy- J. Carey 13 4.98% 4.98%
The Magicians- L. Grossman 12 4.6% 4.6%