December 31st, 2009

Dean pen

Bye-Bye 2009, Hello 2010

Today and the next few days are going to see a lot of people making round-up posts--for the year, and for the first decade of our new millennium. We'll also see lots of goal setting and new year's resolutions.

My resolutions? I've got the basics: eat better, write more, and one new one learned the hard way: Don't offer help unasked for. (With the caveat: Unless the person is in physical danger.) That's right. I'm still the same helpful person as ever, but if you want my help, you have to ask for it. Yeah, there's a story behind it--a lot of stories actually--but I'm sure you know exactly what I mean without a lot of examples.

Best book I read this year: Hands down: Josh Bazell's Beat the Reaper. Nope. Nothing paranormal about it, although that's how I found it--while doing research for my Reaper novel. It's about a mafia hitman turned doctor. In addition to being brilliantly structured, the writing is clean--ever single little thing he mentions has a purpose later on. So pay attention to the footnotes. (Yes, footnotes.)

Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book runs a close second. I listened to both on audiobook. You know you can download audiobooks free from your library, if your library is participating in the Overdrive program. Just put your postal/zip code in the search engine to find a library near you: http://overdrive.com/

Biggest event of 2009 for me? I became a grand-aunt. Audrey Elizabeth was born 2 days ago... and already has her own Facebook. Awww. I also published my first novel, GYM DANDY, finished my second, SHIFT HAPPENS (currently being shopped around), and started my third, SCYTHE DOES MATTER.

An apology: After a dozen years of living on a steady diet of gay and m/m and slash fiction, I'm afraid I've OD'd on it. Erotica in general, too. So I apologize now, but I haven't been keeping up with anyone else's books. The only books I'm reading are research material and funny books (which are still research, really). Sorry. I still love you, though.

The future of this blog--is to revisit the past: I came across a post from a year or more ago. It was someone I didn't know telling someone I didn't know that they just had to friend Storm Grant's journal since I provided a lot of useful information. This year, between getting several pieces published and making the choice to concentrate on my own writing, I posted very little stuff that was of interest to others. (Yes, I realize my ongoing word count is not that fascinating to you. ;-D ) I figured there were enough helpful journals out there. But I miss being thought of as a useful, helpful person. I think a compromise between me spending a lot of time writing helpful posts and therefore having less time to write my own novels, is that I'll post a lot of useful links--sort of a writer's portal. I still cruise a lot of writing-related blogs so I'll just post the links. After all, most of you friended this journal in the first place because it offered interesting content.

If you see something you think would be good for other writers to know about, please post in the comments or email me or DM me on Twitter. Not just today, but all year long.

So here's the first useful link: A prediction post for the publishing industry from a break-out publisher: Excerpt:  Instead of auctions for the highest advance, there will be auctions in which a basic advance is established by the agent, with the auction winner being the publisher who bids the most in marketing committed to the book.

I'll post lots of small linky posts as I read on through my flist.

Congratulations to everyone who has had successes this year, writerly or otherwise.

So what's up with you as we leave 2009 and head into 2010?
Going Pro 101

Linky Goodness

Per my previous post, I'm going to link to a lot of useful stuff from now on. Here's a few.

If you're interested in Urban Fantasy/Paranormal or Futuristic Romance, either as a reader or a writer, here's a terrific site to follow:
http://www.scifiguy.ca/2009/12/urban-fantasy-paranormal-and-sff-book_30.html
Or the lj feed, here: http://syndicated.livejournal.com/ca_scifiguy/

And who doesn't enjoy and "Author behaving badly" story? http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2009/12/uhok-buddy-if-you-really-insist.html
lj feed to Janet's blog: http://syndicated.livejournal.com/jetreidlitagent/

Industry reporter Galley Cat is doing a year in publishing in review: http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/
You should probably friend them, too: http://syndicated.livejournal.com/gally_cat/ (The idiot was who made the lj syn link really does know how to spell. It's a typo, I swear.)

If you wish to check out the writing and publishing related blogs I have friended, I've made an lj filter, here: http://storm-grant.livejournal.com/friends/agents&pubbers
tea and books

Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris

As part of my ongoing research into what makes a successful urban fantasy, I picked up Charlaine Harris's Grave Sight at Bakka-Phoenix Books. (Support your local indie bookstore!)

Overall: I loved it. I was sucked in from the start. I will definitely read the next in the series.

But: Collapse )

So loved it. Charlaine is someone whose laundry list* I'd read.


(And btw--who makes a laundry list, anyway? 1. Wash whites. 2. Wash darks. What a weird expression.)

Going Pro 101

Queertype's January Round-up

Includes two open submission calls: http://queertype.blogspot.com/2009/12/january-2010-publishing-notes.html
lj feed here: http://syndicated.livejournal.com/queertype/

Open calls (remember to do the due diligence):

Open Calls: Hors-micro / Off-mic, a new gay literary e-zine organized and edited by Dominic Ambrose and a group of writers in Paris, is looking for poetry, fiction, prose, photos, and artwork in English or French with the cross-cultural life of Paris as its theme. Submissions can be sent to off_micparis@yahoo.fr. “Edition Zero” of the e-zine is viewable at http://issuu.com/hors-micro/docs/notre_magazine_lgbtnov3/32.

The Queer Foundation, a Washington nonprofit corporation, will offer the three winners of its 2010-11 High School English Essay Contest College scholarships in the amount of $1,000 for studies in queer theory or a related field at a US college. Deadline is February 26, 2010. For more information, a printable flyer, or an application form, please visit http://queerfoundation.org/Documents/essay_contest.html.