Laundry Day!

Hey, look at that SUPER EXCITING BLOG POST TITLE!

Shut up. I know.

But it is laundry day and I have some time. First I would like to take a moment to celebrate the fact that this laundry day, at the laundromat, all of the machines into which I flung quarters functioned. HOORAH!

It has been a while since I have done laundry in a public space like this and while I was in college, I was not particularly bothered by the event, it has been years since I’ve lived in an apartment and there are things that you forget. Such things include the Russian roulette of throwing quarters into washers and dryers that are in use pretty much constantly and therefore prone to breaking down. Like, a lot.

(As I was complaining about this a friend sent me a link to this cool device…a foot powered washing machine.)

So, um, yes. I have recently moved.

Lots and lots of change is happening over here in Reggie Land. It is difficult, but positive. I’m hoping to have things to blog about that are more relevant to the writing life in this space. Or to be able to talk about the other things going on that are infinitely more interesting than laundry. Right now, however, I have got some folding to do…

 

Hey Look! A Blog Post! And a Song! And Me on a Stage in Chicago! WUT?

Hello interwebs, are you out there? I am still here. DESPITE THE ODDS, I’M STILL STANDING! *somebody queue the Elton John*

Right now I am listening to Peggy Sue and considering all of the things that have happened so far in 2016. A lot has been going on in Reggie-land. There has been a unbelievable mix of amazing and terrible things here this year. There has been a lot to process, I’m still not sure it has all registered which is a long way of saying that if I have been silent in this space for too long, there are Reasons. Yes, that capital r is intentional. For purposes of this post, I shall set aside the terrible for the moment and focus on the amazing.

It might be a bit late, but can we talk about the Nebula Awards from May of 2016? BECAUSE I WAS THERE AND IT WAS AWESOME. There have been more timely write-ups of the event than the one you will find here. I can’t even begin to tell you how incredible it was to be there. The SFF community is a vibrant, welcoming place and I was lucky to be able to attend. The conversations alone were well worth the trip to Chicago. It was a once in a lifetime experience. This is literally true as it was the SFWA’s 50th anniversary.

In honor of that, Henry Lien, aka Emperor Stardust, composed and performed an anthem. I am honored to be able to say I helped, a little. And yes, it does mean that for a few glowing seconds of my life, I shared a stage with some of SFF’s luminaries, and John Hodgman. Yes. THAT John Hodgman.

There is videographic evidence of this help which can be viewed here.

And, for purposes of more visual fun, here is a gratuitous still shot:

Nebulas2016dance

 

 

I am perhaps most proud of the fact that I managed NOT to pee my pants.

I think that’s a good note with which to end this post. A pee-free pair of pants is always a good thing. Right?

 

Misadventures in Blog Neglect

Well, hello there blogosphere.

It has been a while.

A lot longer than I thought.

So, I have been out in the world, doing things, being social, writing novels and working all of the jobs. And it is the season of Cookiegeddon, during which I bake a whole mountain range of cookies from scratch. It is both glorious and frightening.

The frightening part is when I just sort of make up recipes. The glorious part is when they work.

Hello, Cherry Chocolate Chip deliciousness…

Behold! COOKIES
Behold! COOKIES

Cookiegeddon is not over. I have more work to do. The mountain range of cookies remains incomplete until there is shortbread, snicker doodles, and something I haven’t tried to do yet. (I haven’t decided. I am procrastinating.)

Speaking of things that need to bake, I also have a handful of novels that require more ingredients before they are ready to be put in the oven. Which means I’ve got more work to do.

I’ll be back here when I have more news-type news to report.

 

 

 

…So here’s something kick-ass that happened…

13 Morbid Tales by Devon Miller HAS BEEN RELEASED INTO THE WILD!

The officially official release date is meant to be October 1, but for all intents and purposes it is available.

You might be asking why I’m bouncing around like a kid with a serious sugar buzz. Mostly I am just really excited for my friend. And, uh, I edited it. Which is also cool.

She also put my name on the cover which is a huge honor. I am proud to be tangentially a part of this collection, and excited to say, CONGRATULATIONS, DEVON!

WOOO!

13MorbidCover

 

Misadventures in the Writing Life: Random Updates and Writer-talk

So, I had a vacation from ye olde daye job recently during which I, of course, overbooked myself. I also had an awesome time and I have to admit it was really painful to go back to work after spending most of my week with other writer/book folk.

I went to my first writer’s retreat, an event organized and hosted by Penn Jersey Women Writers. It was, to use an overused word, awesome. I fear I may now be addicted to these sorts of events, but you know, time and money factor in and after some figuring, I realized I won’t be able to attend something like this again until spring. (Which maybe accounts for some of the difficulty in returning to ye olde daye job.)

One of the most important aspects of attending an event like this is hang time with other folks who are going through the same, or similar things, that you are as a writer. Most of the time I am sitting on my mountain working on stuff alone, and sometimes this is great, but other times it helps to be reminded that I’m not alone, that there are other folks struggling with the same things in regards to the art, or who have struggled with the same thing, came out the other side and who now have wisdom to impart. Perhaps that’s just a really long way of saying that attending events by and for writers reminds you (okay, me) that you are connected to something beyond yourself. Plus, there is always more to learn. Writer-brain likes learning.

The first speaker at the conference, Megan Hart, was really energetic at an early hour, which, for me was perfect after a long, early morning drive to the event. She spoke about productivity, which reminds me of this article that’s been floating around writerly internet this past week.

So, here’s the thing. I am committed to writing four books a year. Of course, when I say that, what it means is that I am writing four first drafts in a year, it does not mean that I am also publishing four books a year. It goes, first draft, let it sit while I work on the next thing, then I finish the next thing and circle back to the first thing for first round edits. Then the first thing goes out for feedback. Then I work on the third thing and circle back to the second thing and so on. That’s just how I do it. A publishing schedule is a totally separate animal from the actual act of writing. I think what pokes me the most about the article is that it appears to conflate the two things. Anything more I could say about this has already been said by Chuck Wendig’s post responding the article. I’m with him. There are so many different ways to approach this thing that we do, and no one person has the answers. While essays like that Huffo-po piece certainly provide food for thought, and stuff to consider, nothing anyone tells you about writing is gospel. Some advice will work well for you, some of it will be useless. Take what works and throw out the rest.

So, back to vacation. I got to visit my old stomping grounds and dropped off copies of Aliens in the Soda Machine and Other Strange Tales at Webster’s Bookstore in State College, PA and Café Lemont in Lemont. You know what that means, right? IT MEANS I DRANK ALL OF THE COFFEE IN THE LAND!

WHEEEEEEE!!!

Of course, here’s where what happened to my time also gets a little bit hazy…

MMMM CAFFEINE….