Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October Update with Book Recommendations

Hi there! Here's what's been going on with me this October.

I started the month in a different state: Ohio. A convention I like very much, Context, capped off my September. Unfortunately for me, the throat-aggravating virus I thought I had shaken off before I left actually lingered in my throat, plotting and scheming, until I got to Columbus, where it made a comeback. In other words, I spent the weekend trying not to cough in people's faces, with limited success, and I didn't go to as many convention events as I would have liked. I don't think I was contagious, at least. However, I had enough useful conversations to initiate a nifty project for the first half of next year, which I will write about when I have more details to share. (Hint: It will involve Kickstarter, and lots of words).

While I was there, I also made some changes to my latest short story that (imo) completely fixed it, and since then I've sent it to the Writers of the Future contest. I was a semi-finalist in it a couple of years ago, but it sure would be nicer to win that thing! Or even upgrade to finalist. :)

Since I've been back in Wisconsin, I've made progress on a new short story, and I've gotten a new nonfiction assignment that I'll post about whenever it's published. But my most exciting nonfiction news for this month is that my interview with Tim Powers will be published in Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy, because its Kickstarter was funded! I'll post about that when it's available.

I've read several good books this month, too:

  • The Dreaming Jewels – Theodore Sturgeon
  • Adventures in the Screen Trade – William Goldman
  • Screenwriting Tricks for Authors – Alexandra Sokoloff
  • The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
  • Fragile Things – Neil Gaiman
  • I can recommend all of the above with a clear conscience, but I LOVED The Night Circus.

    In entertainment news, I went to a SPECTACULAR Amanda Palmer show in Minneapolis earlier this month. The music is great on her new album, but hundreds of times better when it's performed live. Her new band is made entirely of geniuses. I also watched some movies. Looper is now my favorite science fiction movie, so I recommend that at my highest level of enthusiasm. Frankenweenie is exactly the kind of fun one can expect from Tim Burton, imo. Cloud Atlas is impressively ambitious, and I think it's worthwhile to see for anyone who's looking for something different than the standard movies being cranked out all the time, but it's also challenging to follow at times because of its structure and a couple of choices I can't talk about because of spoilers. Very good, but not flawless. It's several movies in one!

    So between all of the above and the standard childcare, household maintenance, and a birthday party for one of my sons, I have had a busy month. I should do a monthly summary, like, monthly. It makes me realize that I actually DO get a few things done here and there. :)