Tag Archives: ReaderCon

And when we play we tend to leave a trail a mile wide

Today is my mom’s birthday! Happy birthday, mom! My mom, in case it hasn’t been clear from my previous blog posts, is awesome. =) Tonight after work, Me, Kay and Baz, along with mom, my sister Joan and her kids Isaac and Ruth, are all going to the Big Apple Circus! I haven’t been for many many many years (I’m actually not sure exactly when the last time was). Baz of course has never been and is really looking forward to it. The circus was mom’s choice, so hey! It’s nice that they’re actually here on her birthday, though we could have gone another nearby day if it’d been necessary. Sadly it’s going to rain all day, which is annoying, but eh. I still anticipate lots of fun. *Knock Wood*

Speaking of birthdays, Baz’s birthday is next in the immediate family, on May 31. He’s going to be FIVE. *LALALALALAICAN’THEARYOULALALALALALA!!!* When did this happen?! He’s starting KINDERGARTEN in September! Eep! Fortunately we’ve got his school paperwork up to date. (Kudos to Kay for being on top of that!) We’ll find out soon which school he got into, but really – there’s a perfectly good K-8 school across the street from our house. Literally. If they try to put him anywhere else, they’re bonkers. We’ve already got some good ideas in the works for his birthday – which I’m not going to share yet because somehow he’d hear about it. Really. Just randomly we’ll be on a bus a month from now and some stranger will say “Yeah, so this guy on his blog was talking about what he’s doing for his son’s birthday…” and POOF, the surprise is spoiled!

Last night, we got confirmation that Crossed Genres Publications has been assigned a table in the dealer’s room (the ‘Bookstore’) at ReaderCon! We’re very excited! ReaderCon is very focused on the writing of speculative fiction, unlike other cons that also devote time to tv, film, etc. Nothing wrong with that, but the focus on writing/publishing is just what we’re looking for! Also, the guest list is very impressive, and I look forward to meeting some folks who I’ve conversed with but never met in person. If you’re in the area you should totally come to the con!

Kay and I have been talking and planning almost nonstop for two weeks now! We’re trying to lay out CGP’s plans/projects through 2012 so we can have a better idea how to plan our time. Of course, some of that will be effected by if we get floored by any novel submissions that we really want to produce. *hint hint!* At this point we have a pretty good idea of what things will look like, though of course details are changing and being firmed up constantly. A lot is what you might expect, if you’ve followed CG for the past couple of years – but there will be surprises. OH will there be surprises! 😉

One of the things we’re working on is a new website, something CG really needs. We’re just in the planning stages right now, figuring out what we need the site to do and coming up with designs. We’re aiming to (hopefully) have the new site ready to launch around September.

As I mentioned on Twitter, right now most of my projects are kind of in limbo: either I’m waiting for an email, or something won’t be decided for a couple weeks, or the project is long-term and something that just needs to be worked on a bit at a time here and there. It’s very strange, because over the past 2 1/2 years CG has been very much about NOW: Got to get it done fast, constant turnover, gogoGO! And right now it’s not really like that, not most of it anyway. There’s LOTS of stuff to work on but it’s all slow burn. And after 2 1/2 years of constantly racing to meet deadlines, I am NOT conditioned for Slow Burn.

Of course, this will not last. Soon the magazine will kick into high gear again, and some other projects will heat up, and it’ll be back to the fast pace… for a while. Part of the plans Kay and I are making involve more slow burn starting in 2012. I’m happy about it, but if right now is any indication, it’s going to take some getting used to!

Post title from “Banned From Argo” by Leslie Fish

Everybody’s smellin’ my potpourri

So many things to post about!

  • 1. Tiptree Award!

The Tiptree Award was announced last week, and a story originally published in Crossed Genres’ Characters of Color issue (#24) made the Honor List! “The James Tiptree, Jr. Award is an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender.” Sandra McDonald’s “Drag Queen Astronaut” was described as “a wonderful exploration (and ultimately an affirmation) of a gender presentation that tends to be ignored or ridiculed.”

We’re immensely proud of this. Since we founded Crossed Genres in September ’08, we’ve always had a goal for CG to be progressive, open and actively inclusive. We’ve worked to further this with issues dedicated to under-represented groups (LGBTQ, Eastern, Characters of Color). This nod is an acknowledgment of that work and it’s immensely satisfying.

  • 2. CG print subscription (?)

CG is also considering something we’ve wanted to do since we founded the zine: Print subscriptions! We’ve never been able to make it work before, but we might now be able to! We’re taking a sounding of people to see if there’s enough interest. If you’d be interested in a reasonably priced (~$30/year) print subscription to CG Magazine, go here and let us know! (Or reply right here, that’s fine too…)

  • 3. Ebook Coordinator / Promotions Coordinator

Also, CG is looking for an Ebook Coordinator. We need someone who can manage accounts for CG’s ebooks on various ebook distribution platforms (Like Kindle, iBookstore, PubIt, Smashwords, etc.). If you’re interested check out the listing on the site!

  • 4. Diana Wynne Jones / Geraldine Ferraro / Elizabeth Taylor

I was heartbroken to learn of the death of Diana Wynne Jones on Saturday. I read Jones’ books heavily when I was a kid, and have always remembered them vividly; The Lives of Christopher Chant in particular, as well as Charmed Life, Howl’s Moving Castle, Fire and Hemlock, Power of Three, and her short story collection Warlock at the Wheel and Other Stories, etc. The skill and beauty of her writing is something all writers of fantasy should aspire to.

In a nasty bit of irony, I’m a member of a Twitter “Tweetup” group: we get together each Sunday, all start playing a film at the same time, and tweet about it. We focus on the films of Hiyao Miyazaki, and this week we had already arranged to watch his adaptation of Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle. We did so earlier today; it was both fun and sad.

If Jones wasn’t bad enough, just 3 days earlier legendary film actress Elizabeth Taylor passed away; and then only hours after hearing about Jones, news spread of the death of Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman Vice Presidential candidate for a major party (D-1984). It was a bad week for talented, exceptional women. They’ll be missed.

  • 5. AKIRA Fail

You may recall my previous post in which I described the Utter Fail that was Paramount and M. Night Shyamalan’s handling of casting in the film The Last Airbender. Well apparently film studios are incapable of learning from each other, because Warner Brothers is at it now, this time with the seminal Manga/Anime Akira. Evidently, not only is Warner brothers relocating the story from Japan to “Neo-Manhattan”, but they are targeting a handful of prominent white actors to play the main male characters of Tetsuo and Kanedawhile keeping the characters’ original names. Apparently it makes more sense to WB to cast a mid-20’s white guy to play a teenage Asian character than it does to cast… a teenage Asian actor? (I’m particularly incensed about this one – the film of AKIRA was part of my introduction to Anime.)

  • 6. BarCamp Boston / ReaderCon

Kay and I are debating whether to go to Bar Camp Boston in a couple weekends from now. I’ve heard about it for a couple years now but never gone; this year 2 friends have independently asked if I was going. It does sound like it would be fun, and a good way to network. We’ll see. Anyone out there going?

Also, I’ve applied for a table for CG at ReaderCon in July. There’s no guarantees – apparently it’s a tough con to get a table at, especially for new/small presses, but I’m staying hopeful. We want to have the official release of Kelly Jennings’ Broken Slate be at ReaderCon! We should find out sometime in April.

  • 7. Taxes

ARGH! would be my general reaction to tax time. As it is for everyone I suppose. Our taxes tend to be complicated because of CG, and last year was quite a challenge to figure out; it was made worse when we ended up owing $1200 that we didn’t have.

This year I strongly considered hiring someone to do it, but it was too expensive and I figured we’d be losing $ again, though hopefully not as badly as last year – I didn’t want to add more to that. So I did it myself again, this weekend. Fortunately what I’d learned last year stuck with me and I remembered most of it, so it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared. Even better, I discovered that not only do we not owe $ to federal OR state, we’re actually getting a small but nice refund! ZOMGYAY! Huge relief!

  • 8. Birthdays

It is birthday time for my immediate family. Almost 2 weeks ago, it was my sister’s birthday, and then this past week was my niece Ruth’s. In a couple weeks it’ll be my mom’s, and then 1 1/2 months after that – BAZ’S! And then a couple more weeks until my nephew Isaac’s. Kay and I are the outliers – what else is new?

For my sister’s birthday we went to The Chocolate Bar in Boston. It’s an absurd amount of decadence that you can only do very rarely – not just for the cost but there’s only so much chocolate you can eat in one go! It was a lot of fun, and Baz, bless ‘im, ate mostly fruit that was intended for dipping in chocolate sauce. Fortunately kids under 5 are free! 😉




— Post title from “S.I.M.P. (Squirrels In My Pants)” from Phineas & Ferb —


We’re half the same, half distinct: writing, crazy schedule, and less stress

On Sunday, I had the chance to write! It was the first time I’d had to write since late August. More than six months? That’s no good. That will be fixed.

It’s already been partially fixed, obviously, since I had time. My aforementioned plan to divest myself of some of my responsibilities has been somewhat successful: As of now Rise Reviews is in the hands of 2 capable new Managing Editors; Kay’s taken over fiction editing for Science in My Fiction (SiMF is really her baby anyhow); we’ve finished with Boskone; and I sorted out a ton of small fiddly stuff. Though I still have plenty of stuff, I’ve narrowed the number of things. Much easier to track, and more importantly, much easier to schedule! 😉

One of the things I have on my list is writing stories for two anthologies. When I realized that I had Sunday free to write, I got to work on the one that’s due first.

I was worried that I’d be all rusty after so long without writing. Oh, how silly I was.

Most of Sunday spent writing produced 5500 words and a completed first draft. WOOT! I figured that it would take me through the first week of March to complete the draft – I am so far ahead of where I was expecting to be! I’m already working on the first edits, a week early. YAY!

I haven’t felt this gung-ho about writing in… a couple years, probably. I want to start on the 2nd story! But alas, must edit the first one first.

My schedule is still pretty crazy, especially over the next several months. But I should have time to finish both stories, and still poke at my writing until things settle out a little more, probably through the end of July. “Poking at my writing” in that time will probably mean developing one of my many novel ideas, so around the beginning of August I can get to work writing it. Yayz!

Tho Kay and I lost $ at Boskone, we still had a great time, and didn’t lose as much as we’d thought we would. We’ve decided to try and get a table at ReaderCon, too. It’s harder to get a table at, from what I’ve heard, but I like the con and the guests so we’re going to apply. and cross our fingers. If we do get a table, we’ll see some of you July 14-17!

Kay and I have been getting some early work in on projects that are coming up later this year – just working ahead like we prefer to. We got some terrific news on one of the projects a few days ago… can’t say what it was but we’re very excited!

And speaking of things I can’t talk about, my Sekrit Projekt is much further along! In fact, I’m just waiting for one more piece to fall into place, which should happen around the middle of this month. We’ll see how that goes, but so far, things are going well. The Projekt is a bit behind my initial schedule, but that’s really because of the overload of work I had recently. It’s moving along fine now.

Also, I’m very proud of us. Kay and I were presented with a chance to start a very neat projects, but we’ve postponed even thinking about it for the foreseeable future. It was a chance to work with someone (again) whom we really like/admire too, but we were realistic in assessing the time it would take up and restrained ourselves. I’m relieved, too, because my writing muse was poised over my head with a big blue rubber mallet just in case I got any funny ideas.

And yesterday, when I commented on Twitter about my writing binge, Harry Markov said “I’m glad to see that the stress is down and you are actually writing.” And I realized – I do feel less stressed. I’m still busy, but part of that busy is writing. I finally have the chance to do stuff for me again, not just for the CGP empire. Kay does, too, she’s making progress on her novel. It’s amazing how accomplishing writing can get the stress level down. Hurrah for Escapism-As-Therapy!

Post title from “Another Day” by Pomplamoose

I can stand up and face the world

What a week.

As some of you heard, Kay’s father died on Tuesday. I’ll leave comments to her.

Kay flew out to Arizona on Thursday. The funeral is this Wednesday, and she flies back to Boston on Saturday. That means that it’s just me and Baz for 9 days. Almost. On Saturday my sister Joan took Baz for a few hours while I cleaned like mad for the party on Sunday. Then on Sunday, mom took him around 3:15 and kept him overnight so I could drink at the party safely. 😉 She dropped him off at preschool this morning.

On Saturday I seriously spent a good 8 hours cleaning, doing laundry… Ugh it was exhausting. It was hot that day too, so I really needed the shower I took after. On Sunday, Baz and I drove out to the Burlington Trader Joe’s to meet Jaym Gates and Don Pizarro. After shopping, we all came back to my place; Baz went down for a (very short) nap while Jaym and Don prepped for dinner, and I tried to stay out of the way. Sadly Don couldn’t stay to actually eat, though he did get some of the salsa! Around the time mom showed up to get Baz, Jaym drove with Don back to the hotel that Readercon had been in, picked up another person, then took that person to the train station and Don to the airport, then back the hotel to pick up another person, Connie, then back here. In retrospect I wish I’d known/thought to offer/been asked to make at least one of those runs.

People started arriving at 5. There were 7 people total: Me, Jaym, Marlin, Abe, Kathryn, Athena, & Connie.

The food was amazing – if Jaym ever offers to cook for you, let her! 😉 After food we had a great time chatting about various things (many to do with SFF fandom) and getting tipsy. The last people left around… 10:30, I think. It’s a bit of a blur.

Today (Monday) I’d arranged to have off of work, and I’m glad I did because i was exhausted. I slept in until almost 9am, which is crazy late for me. I took my time with breakfast and played a bit of Wii Sports in the morning. I’d intended to use the day productively, but I was fried so I just spent the day relaxing. I watched the first four episodes of Avatar: the Last Airbender. It’s a fun show. I stopped because I think Kay would enjoy it, and I don’t want to re-watch too much later.

Also, mom’s iPhone finally arrived! It was delivered to me even though she paid for it – I guess because I’m the primary on the account. Great timing for it being delivered the work day I happened to be off work, but boo to FedEx for not coming until 4:11pm! Ironically mom’s out at the cottage for tonight so she can’t even get it right away.

Back to work tomorrow… boo. After 3 very full days off I’m just glad it’ll be a 4-day week. But the extra work of wrangling baz alone is probably going to completely wipe me out by this weekend.

The craziness begins

Okay, continues. Let’s be honest here.

I had a very frustrating couple of days dealing with the mess from the CG Flash Fiction contest. There were a lot of cheating votes – better than 20% of the total votes had to be tossed out. This is the 2nd year we’ve done the contest, and both times there were cheaters. It really pisses me off that a few people just want to ruin it for everyone. If we do the contest again next year – no guarantees – then it’ll probably be judges deciding the winners. No more open voting – I’m just sick of dealing with the crap that comes with it.

On the positive CG side, we got a good number of entries to the SiMF contest, and some good ones too. Plus there were plenty of submissions to the Invasion issue. That’s always nice to see.

Tonight we leave for the cottage for 4th of july weekend. Even though we’ll be doing a lot of submission reading out there, I’m looking forward to the relaxing. Plus, fresh, locally grown fruit & veg. NOM. And the weather looks clear. Yay!

The following weekend is ReaderCon, where we’ll get to see a lot of friends! Plus a drunken party to follow. W00t!

Two weekends after that, we’re going to the Cape for a couple of days: Hanging out with family. Hopefully with decent weather, yikes. I can’t really remember the last time I was at the Cape, and Kay’s never been.

And then the Saturday after that is W.Ink Day!

And the Friday after that is Kay’s birthday!

Did I mention that we’ll be wrapping up the SiMF contest and building/releasing issue 21 in that time too?


Other note: still loving my iPhone. The screen is amazing. I’ve been reading a TON the last few days and my eyes aren’t strained at all. I’m looking forward to recording some HD video at the cottage this weekend! (And I could care less about the still-only-alleged Verizon iPhone. I’m not so enthused by their service, and when they get slammed with 12 million iPhones all at once their network is going to lag, too. Plus AT&T will have a few million iPhones come off their system, which can only improve the service.)

Let’s end with a quiz! Today’s the 30th anniversary of the movie Airplane! I got every question right and I haven’t seen the movie in ages. How will you do?

Don’t Call Me Shirley
Score: 100% (11 out of 11)