I've been remiss in not mentioning this to my f-list before, but if you're looking for a thoughtful and consistently updated blog about Christianity and Speculative Fiction, with a good variety of reviews, essays and talk about the craft and business of writing SF for the Christian market, Speculative Faith is a good place to start.

And last Friday (which I foolishly chose out of a handful of available dates, forgetting that it was the weekend of American Thanksgiving and hardly anybody would be reading) I had the opportunity to do a Guest Blog for them about why I chose to write for the general rather than the "Christian" market.

Primarily of interest to my co-religionists (as Lewis would say), but there it is.

***

And now, more to shore up my own weak resolve than anything else, I am going to announce that December is going to be a No-Social-Networking month for me.

I have a major deadline coming up for Ultraviolet, and the more time I devote to working on that, the better -- plus, we all know how many other things go on in December, especially when you are involved in church activities, kids' music lessons, and are hosting your family's Christmas dinner.

So that's it. I am disappearing for the entire month of December, apart from checking e-mail and answering any really urgent requests that come up.

Have a great month, everybody! See you in January!
It occurred to me tonight as I was doing dishes that there's a reason Hamlet is my favorite of Shakespeare's tragedies. (Yeah, I think about stuff like that while doing the dishes. I'm a little crazy that way.)

Anyway, even as a teenager I sympathized and identified with Hamlet even when I could see how his actions were leading him to disaster. I totally get how Hamlet behaves in that play, with his moral indignation at odds with his need to consider things from every possible perspective, and his fatal tendency to "think too precisely on the event" when he ought to be taking action. Because he's so very like me that way.

I overthink everything, and more often than not I end up talking myself out of doing anything whatsoever. (This is particularly disastrous when I go shopping, as you might imagine.) It's really easy to convince myself that having given the matter some serious thought, even if nobody else in the entire world but me and God knows that I thought about it at all, is enough.

So no wonder I don't blog much these days. I think so hard about what I should post and whether I should post and whether I have the mental energy to write a really good post or not (and the answer is, most often, "not"), that nine-tenths of my thoughts and opinions never make it to the end of my fingers. Which has the advantage of keeping me from saying things I might later regret, but that hardly seems important if I don't end up saying much of anything at all.

Which is a rambling way of saying that I'm going to try and overcome that, and blog more often from now on. Just so I don't end up killing myself and my whole family leaving only my best friend to mourn me, you understand.

(P.S. I said that I get Hamlet, but I should mention that my favorite character in that whole play is Horatio.)
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In case you're wondering why this blog has gone from a post every week or so to posts every day, I should probably tell you that I seem to have accidentally-on-purpose signed myself up for Blog Every Day April (BEDA), which is the brainchild of the very funny Maureen Johnson.

Maureen is one of those author bloggers whose books I haven't read but whose blogs I thoroughly enjoy -- and since I've just bought a copy of 13 Little Blue Envelopes, I suppose she's about to become one of those author bloggers whose books I have read...

In any case, Maureen innocently mentioned that she was thinking of blogging every day during the month of April, and within a few hours it had turned into a Movement. Last I checked there were something like 400 bloggers signed up, and Maureen was gallantly trying to read every single one of their blogs (I have no idea how successful she's been in this endeavor, but I applaud her for trying).

There's just one problem with my BEDA subscription, which is that I am going to be away for almost the whole last week of April. On the 25th and 26th I'll be speaking at a women's conference, doing a seminar on the book of Proverbs (which is so practical and pertinent in so many ways that I am having serious trouble narrowing it down to something I can talk about in just one hour).

Then I'm driving six hours or so to Ottawa for the International Writers' Festival, where I'll be doing three school readings a
City of Ottawa

Ottawa Image via Wikipedia

nd Q&A sessions on the 27th and 28th. After that I drive home (on the 401, so help me) and I've got three days to get ready for my book launch and party on May 2nd. So if I have anything to blog on those two days it will probably be along the lines of "OMG I AM SO TIRED I COULD DIE" or possibly "WKRFSTSFADJJJJJJD" as my forehead hits the keyboard.

Oh, and at some point in all of this I am expecting another round of edits on my second faery book. Excuse me while I sit in the corner and gibber a bit, won't you?

*gibbers*

Right, I'm okay now. Anyway, the upshot of all that is that I highly doubt I will be able to Blog Every Day April, but I am certainly determined to Blog Every Day Until I No Longer Have Internet Access in April, and to try and carry on blogging on a more regular basis in the months to come. So, if you have any questions or topics you'd like to see me blog about between now and April 25th, now is the time to tell me so! I am open to suggestions.
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As I mentioned I'd be doing a few weeks ago, I drove to Kitchener today to participate in the "Teens, Fiction, YouTube and the Internet" panel at the Word on the Street book festival.

I knew before I went that no matter how small the turnout, I would have great fun with the subject and my fellow panelists [livejournal.com profile] james_bow (Dundurn Press) and James Alan Gardner (HarperCollins/Eos), since we are all enormous geeks and have been online practically forever. I also knew that I would be paid for my time, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy and professional-like.

What I did not know was that when I stopped at the booth to get my cheque, they would also give me a gorgeous totebag and a free t-shirt with the festival logo on it. Whee! I love me some swag, I do.

(Yes, I am easily pleased, so sue me. I still have my little HarperCollins purse/nametag holder from Bouchercon 2004, what of it?)

Anyway, there are no pictures of the panel because I was too stupid to bring my camera, as usual. But about twenty people came, including James Bow's lovely and talented mother Patricia, who had to hurry off about three-quarters of the way through to do a reading from her latest children's fantasy novel The Ruby Kingdom in another tent, but who asked some good questions and helped keep the discussion moving while she was there. There were also a few teens in the audience who seemed genuinely interested in the discussion, including one girl who nodded and smiled in a most encouraging way.

What we talked about )

But anyway. It was a good discussion, and even though nobody I knew personally showed up except for the ubiquitous Bow clan, the people in the audience seemed to enjoy the panel well enough, and afterward we chatted with a teen services librarian who was very nice and appreciative, and furthermore I HAS SWAG, so there.
Gone, gone, gone, gone, yes my book is gone,
Now my soul is free and in my heart's a song...


Except not really, because now that I have finished obsessively line-editing Knife and forced myself to mail it off, I can now look forward to spending the next few weeks/months chewing on my fingernails and wondering if the editor and the two agents who requested the full ms. of Knife are going to say "yay!" or "pphhllbbttt!"

To reward myself for rewriting a 104,000 word novel in five months, I am going to buy this book, which I hope will make writing my next book a lot easier. It was [livejournal.com profile] superwench83's review that convinced me. However, I have determined to take a sanity break from writing for the rest of December, so I'll have to wait until January to find out if the book's system really works.

Things I must now do, the sooner the better:
  • Get my two younger children immunized against chicken pox, since my oldest has already succumbed. I do not want to be dealing with poxy children over Christmas if I can help it.

  • Go over my message for our church's Coffee Hour this Thursday.

  • Round up the choir for another couple of practices before the Christmas program on Sunday night.

  • Make Bible-type costumes for my two sons who are in said Christmas program. (Note to self: look for bathrobes at Goodwill. You will not find them since 1,000,000 other mothers with children in Christmas plays will be doing the same thing, but it will make you feel better that you tried.)

  • Shop for 16 nephews and nieces. (Fortunately, most of them like books. Even better, most of them like fantasy/SF. Win!)

  • Make Snickerdoodles (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] kizmet_42), Alaskan shortbread, and Carrot Pudding. Possibly The Thing as well, if I feel up to it.

Also, I have a question of deep and abiding import:
[Poll #886973]

Thank you for participating in our survey. Your name has been automatically entered into our draw to win a no-prize!

Also, thanks to everyone for the virtual stocking gifts, many of which made me sporfle.
Well, as you have no doubt deduced from looking at this, I have succumbed to the trend and gotten myself an LJ. I think this site I'll keep for fanfic and fandom-related posts, quizzes and surveys only, whereas the blog will have my RL, parenting, theological, and original writing stuff plus everything else that comes to mind.

Now I just have to get this journal looking half-decent...
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It's time for the Friday Five!

1. How long have you had a weblog? Since January 2002. I'm amazed I've lasted this long, and updated so often. After all, my home page gets shockingly neglected most of the time...

2. What was your first post about? Purely self-referential nonsense about how I'd just started this blog, and warning that I would probably get bored of it and give up on it within a week. Ha.

3. How many changes (name, location, etc.) of your weblog have there been, if more than one? None, although I kinda feel bad realizing that I must have subconsciously stolen the latter half of the blog title from Teri, and so I did think about changing that. I can't think of a better word than "Musings", though. Any suggestions?

4. What CMS (content management system) do you use? Do you like it or do you want to try something else? Blogger's OK, and although the system goes down occasionally and I am currently living with weird error messages about my template file, it still seems to be more reliable than LiveJournal, so I figure why not stick with it?

5. Do you read people who have both a journal and a weblog? Or do you prefer to read people who have all of their writing in one central place? Tiffany is the only one I know who has both. In her case I like reading both, but I'm not sure I see the need to put longer entries in a journal when one could just sling 'em up on the blog with the rest of the stuff.
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Well, here I am, starting a blog. Not exactly sure why, other than that it gives me a chance to vent, blather, and otherwise muse aloud about whatever happens to be on my mind at the moment. Of course, knowing me, I will play with this thing for about a week before I a) realise that I don't have time for it and/or b) get bored of it. Be forewarned...
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