A home for my musings, prose, poetry, story snippets, & other stuff... Some published, some unpublished. I've named this blog "The Voices in My Head" because my Muse often speaks to me as though she is a voice in my mind, needling me until I write down whatever it is she has to say.
I'm dangling my toes into the writing well again. This time, I'm going to try and stay grounded in the fact that I write because I love it, and because I must. Not for any one else's pleasure or approval. And I must do it in my own way, on my own time.
I'm excited and happy to have been accepted as a program participant for the upcoming Arisia conference. This is a large, annual science fiction/fan/lifestyle convention that takes place in Boston, at the Westin Boston Waterfront.
This is, I think, my sixth year as a panelist. Every year is so different in terms of the panels you get placed on. A few years ago I was on three gender-related panels. Two years ago I was very zombie-heavy. Another year I had several religion and spirituality-related panels. Last year I has two science panels, and a few very cool literature panels. My schedule this is year is very eclectic--one writing panel, a fan interest, gender, and science.
I'll also be participating in the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading, where I *think* I'll be reading from my current novel-in-progress, a contemporary fantasy novel. That takes place Sunday at 11:30 am. I hope you'll come listen! The conference itself runs from Friday, Jan. 16 to Monday the 19th.
Without further ado...
Do We Need Science Fiction?— Science, Panel— 1hr 15min— Marina 1 (2E)
The BBC's Business section recently asked whether or not we need science fiction to encourage the development of new technologies. What technologies have been inspired by SF? Would they have happened without SF? What devices in SF do you think are likely to be the next new technologies? As we enter the future described in SF books and movies, are our expectations changing?
Face Off: The Best Reality Show for Geeks— Media, Panel— 1hr 15min— Marina 4 (2E)
Plenty of geek-oriented reality shows have sprung up in recent years, but few have found the success of SyFy's Face Off, about to head into its eighth season. With its parade of Oscar and Emmy-award winners as judges and guest judges, some truly entertaining challenges, and incredible insight into the world of make-up and practical f/x, it's become a huge hit. Join us as we discuss what makes the show work creatively and how it's changed the way we view special effects.
Shame on Slut-Shaming— Communities, Panel— 1hr 15min— Douglas (3W)
Slut-shaming is the act of making a woman feel guilty or inferior for engaging in sexual behaviors that deviate from the norm, failing to uphold gender expectations, dressing in sexually provocative ways, requiring access to birth control, or even for being sexually assaulted or raped. What are the psychological and sociological causes of slut-shaming? What can be done to change people's attitudes?
Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading— Writing, Reading— 1hr 30min— Douglas (3W)
Broad Universe is an international organization of women and men dedicated to celebrating and promoting the work of women writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Come listen to dramatic live readings from works of members of the Broad Universe organization. Participants are members of the Broad Universe writers' group.
Worldbuilding with the Soft Sciences— Writing, Panel— 1hr 15min— Hale (3W)
Let's skip past geology and cosmology and go straight to the sciences that study culture: linguistics, psychology, cultural anthropology, and the like. How does knowledge in these areas inform (or laughably fail to inform) speculative fictions' world building? How can we use insights from these disciplines to build worlds with a realistic diversity in their cultures?
Well, NANOWRIMO was not exactly what I'd hoped it would be. As usual, life happened and I was beset by health issues and sick kids.
I did get about 6,000 words into the novel (fantasy) I was writing. I also began a new short story this past month (horror/scifi), and have about 4,000 words, and I will need another 1,000 to finish it off, which I hope to do this week.
This may be the most I've written in any month. Pretty good for me!
This is only the second time I've attempted NANO. I will not do it again. The reasons are:
I learned much of what I needed to learn--for example, yes, I can write every day (at least a little!) for two weeks in a row. (That's where my streak ended when I was sidelined with back and neck pain.)
I learned that when you DO write more frequently, it is easier to keep up your enthusiasm, and easier to see yourself improving.
I learned that the NANO forums and particularly the Facebook page were a colossal time waste. The messages coming through to the FB page were mostly inane. My local forum was not at all user friendly.
I will continue to write more frequently. I will continue to foster relationships with other serious writers.
I will get the short story draft done this week, and run it past my critique group. Then, I have a market I may submit it to if it passes muster.
Then back to the novel.
I'll do my best to stay focused, and get these projects done.
NANOWRIMO, for those of you who don't know, is short for "National Novel Writing Month." That's right--November is reserved for millions of insane people who decide they are going to give up sleep, television, socializing, and other vestiges of humanity for an entire month--all so that they can write a 50,000 word first draft of a novel..
For the math challenged, that is an average of 1,666 words per day.
Of course, even if (and that's a BIG if) I get to 50,000 words by Dec.1, I'll have just that. A big pile of words. You're not supposed to edit as you go, so it will be the draftiest draft that ever was. And December will be the beginning of editing the morass.
I've got to get to outlining (because as usual, I've joined this party late) but for any of you who want to follow my progress, feel free to come here for periodic updates.
I can tell you this:
I'll be consuming vast amounts of coffee.
I'm writing a contemporary fantasy novel.
The working title is Fragments.
I plan to get up at 5 am every morning and spend an hour writing (I have to get up 6 am on weekdays for my kids.)
I plan to judiciously split my time between the paying the job and doing this (instead of letting the paying job creep in and spending more time on it than I need, which often happens.)
Giving up evening TV--except for the Walking Dead. Because The Walking Dead.