alanajoli: (mini me short hair)


Only 11 days until Hugo Nominations are due, and I'm still sorting through my list of titles, deciding what I'm going to nominate, figuring out what authors I read compulsively had titles out in 2013, etc., etc. I'm used to nominating for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, which require a single-book nomination to stand alone, so entries in the "Kate Daniels" series or the "Kitty the Werewolf" series aren't eligible. Not so with the Hugos! The stand-alone quality is not a judge of merit. (Notably, I'm behind on the Kitty books, which is why I haven't listed one below. I've no doubt that the two published in 2013 are awesome and worthy of consideration!)

Taking into account what a "typical WorldCon voter" is expected to be like (see Jim Hines on Larry Correia on Alex Dally MacFarlane; my comment is, of course, tongue in cheek), here are some of the pieces and people currently on my whittling-down list:

Campbell eligible:
Max Gladstone
Shawna Mlawski
Mark H. Williams
Brian McClellan

Short stories:
"Drona's Death" Max Gladstone, xoxo Orpheus
"The Best We Can" Carrie Vaughn, Tor.com
"Stranger vs. the Malevolent Malignancy" Jim Hines, Unidentified Funny Objects 2
“The Life Expectancy of Cockroaches” by Michelle Muenzler, Crossed Genres
"Galatea Odysseus" Madeline Miller, xoxo Orpheus
"The Squid Who Fell in Love with the Sun," Ben Loory, xoxo Orpheus

Novels:
Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone
Sleepless Knights by Mark H. Williams
Pen Pal by Francesca Forrest
Codex Born by Jim Hines
Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
Cold Copper by Devon Monk
Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews
Hammer of Witches by Shawna Mlawski

Graphic novels:
RASL by Jeff Smith
Saga vol 2 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
Hawkeye vol 1 by Matt Fraction and David Aja

Editors:
Moshe Feder
Marco Palmieri
Stacy Whitman
Erika Tsang

Dramatic Long Form:
Choice of the Deathless by Max Gladstone -- notably, this is an interactive novel game app, which may mean this isn't technically the category for it, but there's some buzz this year about nominating games for this category, and I'm all for that.

I'm still poking around the Internet to make sure I haven't miscategorized 2013 titles in my head as belonging to other years. What books and stories are appearing in your nominations lists (if you're voting), or which would you pick (if you're not)?
alanajoli: (mini me short hair)
What a year in books! As always, my book list is dominated by science fiction and fantasy (in part because of the long nominations list every year in the Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, which I love being on the jury for) with a healthy smattering of romance and comics. I'm facing a couple of big changes in 2014, the biggest of which is that I'm no longer reviewing SFF or comics for Publishers Weekly. My editors and I were all sad about the circumstances that led to this change, and I'm glad for things like Facebook and Twitter that will enable me to keep in touch when I'm not getting regular book shipments from them! Instead, I'm reading more titles for Kirkus, all self-published and many of them picture and chapter books, which suits my reading time with Bug (who is an excellent second opinion when reviewing such titles).

A portion of my still-ridiculous TBR pile
A small portion of my still ridiculous TBR pile


I read twelve fewer books in 2013 than in 2012 (in part because I count the picture book reviews in batches rather than individually), but my total was still 129 books for the year, an average of almost 2 1/2 books per week. A friend asked about the best book I read in 2013, and I said I'd have to consult my spreadsheet -- I forget in what year I've read what books! But here are some of my favorite picks for 2013:

  • Wrecked by Shiloh Walker, a very fun contemporary romance

  • Merrie Haskell's The Princess Curse

  • The manuscript for Max Gladstone's Full Fathom Five, which will be out this coming July; even in manuscript form, this is -- so far -- my favorite of the Craft sequence

  • A Man Above Reproach, a delightfully silly regency romance by Evelyn Price, which was so fun that I didn't even care if there were anachronisms

  • Digger by Ursula Vernon, which won the MFA in the adult category this year, and which I reviewed at Black Gate back in October

  • RASL by Jeff Smith, which I didn't love as much as Bone, but was good in a very different way

  • Vessel (the MFA winner for the children's category) and Conjured, both by Sarah Beth Durst, and both very different books, but equally good

  • Graveminder by Melissa Marr, which I think appealed to me particularly because my father is a funeral director

  • Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, by Barry Deutsch, which I'd been meaning to read for ages and finally picked up

  • Sidekicked by John David Anderson, which I already reviewed here

  • If I Fall by Kate Noble, which may be the best romance novel I've read

  • Sleepless Knights by Mark Williams, a comedic Arthurian novel that's my favorite Arthuriana in awhile


I also caught up on some series reading that I enjoyed:

  • Allison Pang's "Heart of the Dreaming" series

  • Devon Monk's first three "Age of Steam" books (and I can't wait for more of those!)

  • I always compulsively buy whatever novel in Nalini Singh's "Psy/Changeling" or Ilona Andrews's "Kate Daniels" series comes out, so I'm happily caught up there

  • After falling behind on Jennifer Estep's "Mythos Academy" books, I read three in a row, and I'm excited for the (soon to be out) final book in the series

  • I read the final books in Karen Mahoney's "Iron Witch" trilogy, Ally Carter's "Gallagher Girls" series, and Nicole Peeler's "Jane True" series, all of which were fitting conclusions

  • I'm still catching up on the Sartorias-Deles books by Sherwood Smith (because they're such a vast span), but I did read and enjoy her 2012 YA The Spy Princess.

  • I am finally almost caught up with "Safehold" by David Weber, but I find sometimes I need to take a break in the middle of them to get away from religious warfare; Weber writes it very well, but it can be so heart-wrenching in the middle that I put the book down and come back to it later.


There are several more titles I could mention -- I read a lot of good books this year, and several that earned a "great" or "great!" or "holy crap awesome!" ratings in my spreadsheet. As for my goals... I didn't quite make them. Let's check in:

  • 1 new to me nonfiction book Yeah, this one didn't happen. This goal is staying on my list for 2014, though; I think reading nonfiction, beyond articles at Cracked is important, and I should do more of it, even though I'm dreadfully slow.

  • 2 novels not SFF, romance, or YA Didn't even touch this one. Again, reading outside my genres is important, and I don't do enough of it. Keeping this goal the same for 2014.

  • 1 novel by an autobio author who I haven't read before Technically, this one's a no-go, too, but I did read some people this year and, because I enjoyed their work, subsequently invite them to the project. So I'll give this one a C for effort. Same goal next year.

  • 3 rereads I made 2 rereads, but I have this vague recollection of binging on the "Kate Daniels" books by Ilona Andrews right after reading the newest one. No record of it, so I can't count it. I'm pretty sure I can hit the 3 count next year.

  • 1 new graphic novel not a review book I aced this one -- I read 12. So, um, this goal is coming off the list. I don't need incentive to read comics apparently. I'm also buying some books in single issues (Saga!) from Comixology, which I count like webcomics (which is to day, I don't write them down).

  • 15 TBR books Another abject failure. I only read 3. I realized though that from March until June I didn't read a single book that wasn't for a review or for the MFA list, so it makes a little sense that I fell behind in pleasure reading. Especially as we move onto the next one...

  • 4 kids books not for the MFAs A bunch of pleasure reading apparently happened here instead. I read 16 kids books last year. Again, this goal is coming down -- no incentive needed here.

  • And though this one's not a goal, my reviews totalled out to 74 books. According to my January recap of reading last year, I read 80 review books in 2012. So that number looks to be holding just about steady.


What books did you read last year that you'd recommend? What reading goals have you set?

Fly-by Post

Nov. 2nd, 2010 10:10 pm
alanajoli: (Default)
Two quick thoughts of the day.

1) I really like working with Platinum's Dan Forcey. His editorial e-mails are full of fun, and they make me giggle. (He also offers excellent feedback, of course!)

2) For folks who read my article at Flames Rising and wonder what I came up with for my spin on being a shepherd, it dawned on me that I could be a Shepherd from the Firefly verse, so that's what I did.



That's me with my flock of one (as she's trying to eat my prayer book). :)

Edit: Also, [livejournal.com profile] devonmonk is posting over at Bitten by Books today. You guys know I am a huge fan of Devon, not only for her fiction writing, but for her blogging and general good advice in the writing life. So, buzz on over and say hi, and tell her Happy Book Birthday for Magic at the Gate.

Goals

Jun. 3rd, 2010 10:03 pm
alanajoli: (Default)
I've written here about using a few different goals strategies, and about how I particularly liked [livejournal.com profile] devonmonk's reasonable goals combined with above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty goals, as it's encouraging to land somewhere in the middle. I decided to set some for the summer, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] kaz_mahoney's Summer Camp. She's doing a writing goals thing (not a challenge, as that sounds too competitive) for the summer months, with a Tuesday check in, starting next week.



To share with you all, here are my summer writing goals:

Reasonable goal:
* With my cowriter, finish the draft of our serial novel. (We're at chapter 10 of 20 -- halfway there!)
* Complete typesetting on four essays written by other authors (this is contracted, so it's kinda cheating to count it).
* Write one short story.
* Write multiple book reviews (not contracted, but already arranged with the venues in which they'll appear).

Extended goal:
All of the above, plus:
* Write three chapters of the YA novel I'm working on.
* Write three short stories (including the one above).
* Restart the adult novel I haltingly began last year now that it's percolated and I have an idea of where it's going.
* Blog at least three times a week.

If you're looking for motivation, do check out Kaz's Summer Camp and join us!
alanajoli: (Default)
Some of you may have caught the two columns I wrote for Flames Rising (with the intention of writing several more) about the differences in the types of paranormal romances and urban fantasies that make up the scale of books inside the boundaries of the genre (or expanding them). After a conversation with my library boss, I decided to start putting together a big ol' list and synopsis of sub groupings for her, since it's what I read, and I recommend a lot of titles to our patrons. Just because someone digs vampires in Sookie and Anita Blake doesn't necessarily mean it's the vampires they're after -- in fact, the last person I was giving recommendations to started out from those two series and ended with, "Actually I'd like to have something a little more light hearted and funny," and so I sent her in the direction of [livejournal.com profile] shanna_s's Enchanted Inc. So in my list, I'm trying to suss out the qualities that might attract someone to a novel -- maybe they are vampire crazy, but maybe they're looking for something snarky with a Sex and the City vibe (in which case they need Happy Hour of the Damned by [livejournal.com profile] mdhenry). Maybe what they loved about Jim Butcher's Dresden Files was actually the private investigator angle, in which case you could go with [livejournal.com profile] devonmonk's Allie Beckstrom books, the Connor Grey series by Marc del Franco, of [livejournal.com profile] blackaire's Nocturne City series. (There are actually scads of PIs in urban fantasy -- I've just named a few.) Do they want an urban fantasy series with a con artist? Try the WVMP novels by Jeri Smith-Ready. And from there, if they love the radio angle, try Carrie Vaughn's Kitty the Werewolf books or [livejournal.com profile] stacia_kane's Megan Chase series. Maybe they totally dug the government agency aspect of Hellboy and B.P.R.D. in the comics, in which case, they should be reading [livejournal.com profile] antonstrout's Simon Canderous series. I could keep on this thread for some time -- the point is, while some people are vampire nuts, a lot of UF and Paranormal Romance readers might get a kick out of different aspects of the novels than just vampires vs. werewolves -- which is sort of a non-UF reader way to boil it down.

So, I thought it was hilarious today when Jackie Kessler posted a parody song about urban fantasy (using the tune for "Popular" from the musical Wicked). Did I make sure to include everyone on that list in my list? Who of those famed urban fantasists have I yet to read?

(Of course, I disagree with his looking down on Paranormal Romance, but that could be a whole other entry.)

Turning 30

Oct. 6th, 2009 08:21 pm
alanajoli: (Default)
I read an article, probably in the New York Times Book Review and probably in 2001 or 2002 -- whenever Zadie Smith was the new "Hot Young Writer" -- about the term "Hot Young Writer." (If only I could track it down, I'd link to it here.) The contributor wrote about how suddenly, a "Hot Young Writer" would be an "overnight" success -- despite the fact that they, like all of us, had slaved away at their apprenticeships. The benefit to them is that they were noticed early. The detriment? That at some point, you're no longer the "Hot Young Writer." Your second novel might not live up to the expectations of the first as you hit a sophomore slump. Then where will you be? Still at young writer, perhaps, but no longer hot? Or perhaps you'll hit 30 (the age I believe the contributor selected). You might still be hot, but you're not a prodigy any more.

As some folks noticed (via lj's and facebook's helpful reminder system), it was my birthday yesterday, and I've hit that fateful number the NYTBR contributor labeled as no-longer-young. A lot of my identity since I was sixteen has been about doing things early, ahead of the curve (which is, I suppose, a common experience for people who go to Simon's Rock). So, as I told my father over the phone, it's odd to just be a regular grown-up.

On the other hand, I feel pretty much like, for right now, I'm exactly where I want to be in my life -- give or take 30,000 words (which [livejournal.com profile] kaz_mahoney has faith I can write -- and with her encouragement, maybe I'll actually do the YaNo challenge this year, since NaNo is definitely not going to fit into my schedule). Do I need to do things to improve? Well, yes. If you've got nothing left to learn, and nowhere left to grow, it takes a lot of the fun out of life! So I think I'll get back to [livejournal.com profile] devonmonk's goals strategy: setting reachable goals and shooting for the moon and trying to land in between. This year's already set up to be a great year -- a huge, life-changing year -- and I'm excited for the possibilities.

--

Edit: I forgot to wish [livejournal.com profile] jimhines a happy book birthday! The Mermaid's Madness is officially out today. (I got my copy last week and loved it.)
alanajoli: (Default)
Picking the novels to come along with me as international travelers this year was a challenge. I packed course books and extra resources and had to hem and haw over which novels I would take along for this project. I also have a tendency to buy books while I'm abroad, so along with the large number of books in my bag, I knew I'd come home with more. Such is the way of traveling readers!

Books on the road! )

So that's this year's tour. Now back to uploading more of my photos for the students!
alanajoli: (mini me)
All right, one week to get myself back on my feet, and here I am, returning to ye olde blog. (I was delayed in turning in my short story to my editor, and one of the things I forbade myself from doing was blogging before it was finished and ready to turn in.) But a couple of cool things happened today, and I wanted to make sure to blog about them, and update you guys on my goals from the trip, before Saturday turned into Sunday. (Hopefully, the novel tourism post will go up tomorrow!)

So, first cool thing: my review of Caitlin Kittridge's ([livejournal.com profile] blackaire's) novel, Street Magic, went up on Flames Rising. Matt was kind enough to post it for me on a Saturday, because the book has just hit the shelves, and I didn't want to have gotten an advanced reader copy for nothing! It's a really, really excellent novel, which I expound upon in my review. Check out what I had to say, and look for the novel at your local bookstore!

Second cool thing: I finally got to meet Anton Strout ([livejournal.com profile] antonstrout) (who is, for the record, the most beloved low-to-midlist urban fantasy writer in America, or so I hear) live and in person. He did a book signing up in Pittsfield, his home stomping grounds and not distant from my college stomping grounds. So finally, I have my books signed. Hooray! I decided that bringing him a PEZ dispenser would border on creepy fangirl, so I decided to eschew it and just bring books and questions and a big smile. He did a reading from the first chapter of Deader Still, which was brilliantly creepy and got wonderful reactions from the audience (including me -- I'd forgotten how vivid, and, frankly, gross, that scene was!). The best part, however, was his commentary -- as he was reading, he'd interrupt himself and tell us little bits about the characters or his word choice or things that he liked about the scene, which was a huge enhancement to the story for me. Also (and I hope I'm not blowing his cover), he is super nice in person. Based on his blog and his books, I was expecting more snark, but he was totally gracious and sweet. (And I'm not just saying this because he might find this entry later. These are honest impressions here!)

The Barnes and Noble in Pittsfield is pretty darn great. They didn't have Pandora's Closet in stock, sadly, but I did pick up Red Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells and Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh. The staff was really great, too, but my favorite part was walking in and seeing a young woman reading manga with this huge grin on her face, totally oblivious to anyone walking by. Seeing the power of reading in person like that gives me a little thrill.

So, those are my good things. Now to catch up on my goals... )
alanajoli: (british mythology)
[livejournal.com profile] devonmonk inspired me with her goals system awhile ago, and while I haven't been keeping up with setting them (my to-do list keeps getting longer than my accomplishment list), I wanted to do that whole public accountability thing and set some goals here for the creative work I hope to get done on the England trip.

Reasonable Goals
Take photographs
Read 7 books
Finish one short story
Compose a photo essay for Journey to the Sea
Copyedit one autobiographical essay
Blog at least once

Unreasonable Goals
Take photographs and upload them for sharing
Read 10 books
Finish four in progress short stories
Finish a new short story for Baeg Tobar
Write the first three chapters of my Baeg Tobar serial novel
Write a hundred pages in either of my two WIPs (100 pages split between them would also be acceptable)
Compose the photo essay and an essay on sub-creation for Journey to the Sea
Copyedit both autobiographical essays and update the sketches that go with them
Blog once from every location with wireless internet

Aside from my goals, I'm still plotting out my book tourism.

Highlights of What We'll Be Seeing
British Museum
Stonehenge
Salisbury Cathedral
Avebury
St. Michael's Mount (Penzance)
Tintagel Castle
Cadbury Castle
Glastonbury Abbey
Glastonbury Tor
Chalice Well

I don't know if I'll have book tourists for all 10 of those highlights -- it's hard to decide what I want to take with me!
alanajoli: (advice)
I had the privilege yesterday of visiting Dona Cady's science fiction course at Middlesex Community College. The class sounds like something I would have loved to take as an undergrad: they study the hero's journey, talk about myth and literature, read a lot of really excellent books, watch some great movies, and are required to play Warhammer as part of the course, using that character as the voice for a travelogue that takes them through the hero's journey as a creative writing project. Amazing, right? Dona has a real passion for her course material, and is really dedicated to giving her students a really good picture, not only for what the academic/critical side look like, but also for what the industry looks like. That's where I came in. She has several other guests coming, including Christopher Golden, and all of the guests talk about their career and their writing.

For me, that meant telling the story of handing out business cards, getting my first gigs through EnWorld, and talking about Dungeons and Dragons. Most of the students weren't tabletop gamers, but a couple who were asked some really great questions. More of them were familiar with the Forgotten Realms through the fiction, so we talked a little bit about the way games and comics do ret-cons, and I discussed not only the Spellplague (more of a reboot than a ret-con), but also taking over Cowboys and Aliens II from a different team, and thinking about what details (sometimes culturally and historically incorrect) we felt we had to keep to prevent ourselves from doing a ret-con. It was overall a great experience, and there are things that I'll do differently when I return to the class next year, hoping to get a little more cross-talk instead of Q&A. But we'll see--I studied in a very conversation based environment for all of my undergrad classes, so I acknowledge I'm a little more on the everyone-talk-around-the-table side of things than the lecture side.

That said, sometimes Q&As are great on their own. [livejournal.com profile] devonmonk did a great Q&A on her blog the other day and addressed one of my questions about online presence (since I've been thinking about that since Monday). I loved her thoughts on the topic (and they reassert my opinion of her as a genuinely sweet individual). The online presence and how it impacts how people read your fiction is definitely I'll continue to explore--not only because it's relevant to me as a writer, but because there's something really interesting going on with virtual worlds and how we create ourselves. According to Professor Cady, there's a correlation between virtual worlds and Asian philosophy, and that's a paper I'd love to read once she has it published.

Thanks again to Shelley/Dawnsister, one of the original New England Browncoats, for the introduction and encouragement to come up. She's another person I'd only known virtually until yesterday, and it's lovely to put a face to her online identity. :)
alanajoli: (Default)
Just a quick post today, because I've been quite sick, so I'm behind on just about everything. (My editors, bless them, completely understand this sort of thing, so my deadlines have been extended and I don't need to panic.)

Do you remember the book Happiness Is a Warm Puppy? It was a great little book of Charlie Brown and the gang, each page bearing a single illustration and a "Happiness is..." quote. Today, I remembered Charlie Brown's Valentine's Day happiness (Happiness is a full mailbox on Valentine's Day, or something very much like it), because in my mailbox was a delightful little frog from Devon Monk ([livejournal.com profile] devonmonk). You'll recall that I posted back on her first Deadlines Dames entry about goals, and that they were a real motivator for me. Since then, she's sent out little reminders to people who participated that even if you lose sight of your goals, you can always get them back. The little frog in the envelope is a Japanese Kaeru Frog--kaeru means both "frog" and "return," so it's a wish to return safely to your destination.

I'm taping him to my computer monitor. (Devon--thanks for totally making my day!)
alanajoli: (Default)
So, back at the beginning of January, I posted some goals: one about developing a spiritual practice and one about returning to an actual writing practice. Then [livejournal.com profile] devonmonk posted another entry about goals over at Deadline Dames, and I set a couple of mini-goals, mostly about meeting my deadlines (with additional uber-goal of doing actual fiction writing between then and now). How am I doing?

With the spiritual practice, actually pretty well, comparatively. I'd been doing nothing, really, so anything is an improvement! Breakfast with Barfield is going well, and I'm pleasantly pleased with how easy Saving the Appearances is to read this time around. It's not as hard to wrap my brain around the ideas as it was when I first started contemplating them, and I'm glad of that. I've also been back to lighting candles for people with some regularity, which is in part due to the ridiculous number of candles we found when we moved, but largely because I've been thinking about people who need positive spiritual energy sent their way--and even if candles are only a representation, it's a meaningful practice for me.

As for the writing practice, I have say I'm not doing as well as I'd like. This is, in part, because I keep taking more work. I haven't yet gotten up to Jayne-level ("The money was too good. I got stupid."), but I'm keeping myself busy and working. If all goes well, I'll have an adventure gig shortly, and I've been working on Baeg Tobar shorts; I'll soon be starting the long project for them as well. That's definitely good work flexing my writing muscles, and I'm enjoying it. But "Good Company," "Chalice Girl," "Saving Tara," and the Blackstone novel are still just hanging out, waiting for me to pay more attention to them than I've been able to.

What about those mini-goals? I mostly made them. Considering my schedule being shifted some by new work that inserted itself, I think I met them all. Specifically, though, there's one piece that didn't get written that I still need to work on this week, before next week's deadlines catch up with me. To use Devon's technique, I'll put my goals here for my next two week period: one reasonable goal and one completely unreasonable, sky-high goal, and then I'll check back in two weeks from now and see how I did.

Reasonable Goal: Finish the essay that I meant to complete for the last set, complete the first set of copyediting/writing assignments that go with a three-part project, complete one reference writing project, and complete one large review/article project. Blog at least twice a week. Provide good critiques to the Substrate crew. Make progress on either "Good Company" or the Blackstone novel.

Unreasonable Goal: All of that, plus finishing another reference writing assignment early, blogging every day, and completing "Good Company," "Chalice Girl," and several Blackstone chapters.

For those of you who do resolutions, how are you keeping up with your January goals?

P.S. Congrats to [livejournal.com profile] devonmonk on getting contracted for six Allie Beckstrom books! I really enjoyed Magic to the Bone, and I'm thrilled that there will be that many in the series!

On goals

Jan. 22nd, 2009 10:16 pm
alanajoli: (Taru)
Two days in a row! It's been awhile since I blogged that frequently.

Since yesterday's commitment on Devon's Deadline Dames post, I've been thinking a lot about the nature of goals, and about the ones I set up for myself at the beginning of the year. It's easy to lose sight of goals when you're not doing anything about them, and I think I was headed down that path. But while studies show that people have a certain amount of willpower, and they have to spend it wisely, I find that sometimes, when I get going down the right track with things, it gets easier to stay focused on my goals.

Or maybe that's just bursts of inspiration. :)

So, I gained some weight over the holidays, and I'm working on bringing that back down to where it should be. (It's a matter of maybe twelve pounds, so it's not a huge issue--it's just something I need to be aware of to stay healthy.) I'm eliminating caffeine from my diet, also, which makes some of my standard techniques for putting off my sweet tooth a little difficult (no Cherry Coke Zero for me!). But otherwise, all of that seems to be going well.

I also started going back to karate this week, after adding playing outside and a little bit longer walking to my daily life. So I'm exercising a good bit more than I had been. And this is a good improvement, too.

Starting on those made me really think about the goal I set for developing a spiritual practice. I'm really bad about saying "I'll spend one hour doing X" or "From 5:00 to 6:00 is going to be my time to do Y." It's too restrictive for me, and I feel like I'm forcing myself to do things, rather than doing them because I want to. (Maybe that's where my willpower runs out!) But I realized last night, well, a girl's got to eat. And she might as well read philosophy and apologetics and books about the nature of faith, religion, and reality while she's eating. So my new idea is to use breakfast, and lunch if I eat at home, reading/studying some book from my spiritual bookshelf. I have quite a number of them. I figure this will also prep me for the England trip this May, where I'll be the TA/chaperon/driver for a myth course. I've been doing a reasonably good job keeping up with the students on the study tours, even though a lot of the material is a bit dated in my head (since I haven't studied it thoroughly since college). This year, I'd like to be a bit fresher on all the material they'll be studying this spring, so I can better delve into (and/or facilitate) conversations while we're at the sites we'll be studying.

Right now, it's breakfast with Barfield. (Better than Breakfast at Tiffany's! Try some in your own home!) I may try to bring in something from Saving the Appearances for my guest blog tomorrow (since I want to get back to doing those). There are some other excerpts waiting for me to get my act together and post them, however, so we'll see who rises to the surface!
alanajoli: (Default)
I just have to say: you livejournal people are far too interesting and difficult to keep up with. I had far more concrete writing plans for today, but spent a good chunk of the day reading other people's ljs instead.

Note: I am still not entirely caught up. But I think I'm as close as I'm going to get.

Today is a link day, in part because there's contests that require linking (and I'm a sucker for that) and in part because there were some fun Joss Whedon articles that got tossed around on my mailing lists, and dutiful Browncoat that I am, I must share them.

So, first, the Whedon:

WGA magazine has an article about Joss as a writer (and mammoth-drawer, were he a Cro-magnon) and about the Dr. Horrible phenomenon.

[livejournal.com profile] caitrin posted news about Joss's movie, Cabin in the Woods, which will apparently star Bradley Whitford. I didn't know anything about this project, so it's a nice head's up. (It's not Goners, though, which is somewhat disappointing.)

For contest number one, the Urban Fantasy Land Readers Choice Awards need your votes! There are so many good books up for awards that it's tough to narrow it down: [livejournal.com profile] devonmonk, [livejournal.com profile] blue_succubus, [livejournal.com profile] antonstrout, [livejournal.com profile] mdhenry, [livejournal.com profile] rkvincent, [livejournal.com profile] frost_light, [livejournal.com profile] blackaire, [livejournal.com profile] melissa_writing, [livejournal.com profile] stacia_kane, [livejournal.com profile] katatomic, [livejournal.com profile] ilona_andrews, Jes Battis, and Carrie Vaughn are among the nominees. The polls close on the 30th, and if you also link to the blog, you're entered for a $25 amazon gift card. Who doesn't need one of those?

And finally, the Deadline Dames (including [livejournal.com profile] devonmonk and [livejournal.com profile] rkvincent) are hosting a number of contests on the new blog, which launched on the 19th. Devon's involves setting goals--and one of mine is to post on livejournal at least twice a week. (The unreasonable expectation? Every day.) So, we'll see how I do!

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Alana Joli Abbott

July 2017

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