Find me at the Tucson Festival of Books

I’ll be at the Tucson Festival of Books from 1-5 Saturday (tomorrow!) at the Pima County Public Library’s Bookmobile near the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium on the UA Mall.

I’ll be talking about the Writer-in-Residence program and its upcoming workshops, and I’ll also be holding my office hours right there on the Mall–so come on by, and bring your writing questions with you!

Reviews (of Finding Your Sense of Place) and Appearances (with the Pima Public Library)

Two reviews of Finding Your Sense of Place!

Katherine Cowley: ” I highly recommend it for an exploration of setting and emotion.” (Check out her post on Emotional Beats in Fiction, as well.)

Janet Lee Carey at Dreamwalks: ” These forty pages could change your writing life. I know they’ll change mine.


I’ll be at the Pima County Public Library’s SummerMania/Megamania! July 11. It’s a free mini-comicon sponsored by the library–if you’re around, come on by!

When: July 11, 2015, 2-6 p.m.
Where: Pima Community College, Downtown Campus, Tucson, Arizona

Department of how did I not know about this?

You know the awful “it’s all just fine” ending to the movie of The Golden Compass? The one that anyone who’s read the book all the way to the end knows is a lie, because the real ending is one where nothing is at all fine?

The real ending was actually filmed. And there’s a fan video piecing together footage and storyboards to recreate it as closely as possible:

(And yes, I did get here via thinking about “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” in my last post. Blame TVTropes.)

Thoughts while working on a story arc

So maybe there’s the one who walks away from Omelas. And maybe that doesn’t seem to matter much, at the time. Maybe it even seems an easy way out

Only then there are also the three or five or three dozen people who watch that one walk away and think: okay, we’re not willing (can’t) (choose not to) do that. But maybe it’s about time we worked on fixing this thing from where we are.

Both these people: the ones who walk away, and the ones who witness the walking away and are changed by it are needed, and of equal importance, and intimately interconnected.

And the time that passes between these two responses matters too. It’s time during which, somewhere beneath the surface, receptiveness to change can shift in subtle ways.

Where I’ll be the next few months: Arizona, Oregon, Nevada

Thursday, August 16, 2012, 7 p.m.
Young at Heart Bookclub
Bookman’s Mesa
1056 S. Country Club Dr.
Mesa, AZ 85210

Thursday-Sunday, October 11-14
Sirens Conference
Skamania Lodge
Stevenson, WA (near Portland, OR)

Sunday, October 14, 2 p.m.
Powells YA Fantasy Signing
with Cindy Pon, Malinda Lo, Mette Ivie Harrison, Janni Lee Simner, Sarah Rees Brennan
Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd.
Beaverton, OR 97005

Friday, November 16, 2:30 p.m.
Fae-Tal Attraction: The Timeless, International Appeal of Faerie Folk in YA Literature
panel with R.J. Anderson, Aprilynne Pike, Janette Rallison, and Janni Lee Simner
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Convention
Las Vegas, NV

“We move to grow and learn to know / what the world was always supposed to hear”

“[We] don’t lift weights in order to look hot, especially for the likes of men like that. What makes them think that we even WANT them to find us attractive? If you do, thanks very much, we’re flattered. But if you don’t, why do you really need to voice this opinion in the first place, and what makes you think we actually give a toss that you, personally, do not find us attractive? What do you want us to do? Shall we stop weightlifting, amend our diet in order to completely get rid of our ‘manly’ muscles, and become housewives in the sheer hope that one day you will look more favourably upon us and we might actually have a shot with you?! Cause you are clearly the kindest, most attractive type of man to grace the earth with your presence.

“Oh but wait, you aren’t. This may be shocking to you, but we actually would rather be attractive to people who aren’t closed-minded and ignorant. Crazy, eh?! We, as any women with an ounce of self-confidence would, prefer our men to be confident enough in themselves to not feel emasculated by the fact that we aren’t weak and feeble.”

–Olympic Weightlifter Zoe Smith

Two other strong women at the Olympics this year:

Holley Mangold
Sarah Robles
(who, since this article was written, has indeed gotten a sponsorship)

Makes one want to take up weightlifting, it does.

Quote of the day

“Women who start out as ugly ducklings don’t become beautiful swans. What they mainly become is confident ducks. They take charge of their lives.”
–Maeve Binchy (via Annette Curtis Klause)

I love this, because the ugly duckling narrative feels more flawed to me the older I get. Longing for transformation doesn’t seem half so powerful as owning and loving and rocking what one already is.

I wonder if it’s common, a natural sort of progression, to start off dreaming of secretly being something else (a changeling, an alien foundling, the secret heir to the king and queen of a far off land), and then to come around to wanting to be more fully oneself.

A version of oneself, of course, who visits faerie realms, and alien planets, and other far-off lands. But nonetheless.

Tuesday afternoon linky, Star Wars edition

Now that you mention it, the idea of moisture farming is pretty suspect. Why did I never realize this?

XKCD’s new “what if?” feature looks at just how much force power Yoda can output. With numbers. Awesome.

Also from XKCD, what would happen if you gathered a mole of moles? Come on, you know you’ve always wondered.

Video of flood waters in the vicinity of this summer’s New Mexico wildfires.

Perfume that smells like a fresh-printed book. My amateur bookbinder reaction is, “But I already own a bottle of book glue.” (Via lnhammer.)

Olympic athletes versus wild animals. Though the races seem a bit rigged, if you ask me. I mean, if you put Michael Phelps up against the migratory birds, the results would be very different. Also, I count a gymnastics loss for the hummingbird there.

Another olympic-qualifying female athlete is given a hard time for not being rail-thin. Apparently we just can’t get our brains around the idea that “skinny” and “fit / healthy” are not absolute synonyms.

Writer Beware guest post in praise of ripening. Or, why publishing faster is not always better.

When Tolkien meets … well, just click. Again, why did I never realize?

Sometimes a story requires detailed explanations. Other times it requires the author at least know the detailed explanations. But still other times, you just need to play the story game well enough to say with conviction, “He’s the goddamned Batman, that’s how.” This is, of course, harder than it sounds. (From Swan Tower).