Happy Spring! SEA Steampunk, Workshops, and More, Oh My!

And I could not be more glad to bid farewell to winter. I don’t know exness about you guys, but the blizzard that swept up the Mid-Atlantic at the end of January wiped any enthusiasm I might have had about snow! It’s true I’m not the biggest aficionado, but I do enjoy a few inches of conversational snow.

Two and a half feet far exceeds conversational — especially in this area of the United States.

But moving on from weather chat, let’s talk about SEA Steampunk. Guess what? The SEA is Ours is getting a Czech translation! How exciting is that? Last week, I exchanged emails about the cultural nuances of “The Last Aswang” with the lovely person who’ll be translating the anthology. I never even considered the possibility that any writing of mine would be made available in another language. Oh, I knew the chance existed. It was in the contract, after all. But potential is exness trading legal in india is not the same thing as reality or as I like to say: You don’t know until you know. I’ll be sure to update with more information as it becomes available because this is just so cool.

Even more exciting, The SEA is Ours is now readily available in the motherland! Gerak Budaya will be distributing the anthology throughout Southeast Asia. So if you’re from that side of world and Amazon’s shipping costs were making you cringe (and I don’t doubt they were), check to see if Gerak Budaya’s shipping costs for a copy of The SEA is Ours are more friendly. From what I’ve heard, it’s certainly kinder to people living in the Philippines!

In other, non-SEA Steampunk news, I’ll be attending this awesome workshop next week. So many awesome authors, so many cool fellow writers. I can’t wait. It’s like camp except with writers. There’s just something about the energy from other creatives, you know? I’m not sure what the signal will be like out there, but I’m hoping to make use of my dusty Instagram account. (What a failure at social media I am.) If all goes well, pretty pictures will be abundant.

So what have you all been up to?

A New Month, A New Writing Year

Happy New Year! I know I’m a couple weeks late but better late than never, right? I hope your holiday season was great and that your 2016 has been kind to you so far. Let’s make this year a great one!

Looking back, I realize I haven’t updated since last October — a bit embarrassing on my part, but that’s the way life goes sometimes. So what have I been up to in the time since then?

Well, for one, The Sea is Ours officially came out at the end of November! I’m a published author! Exciting, right? The reception exness trading platform seems be good so far and a little birdie told me that foreign rights have been sold to a couple territories. I know, right?

In less bright news, NaNoWriMo was a bust for me. That particular idea seems to be dead in the water, but at least I figured that out now rather than later. The good news is that I’m toying with another idea, one that I’ve been wanting to write for a couple years but just hadn’t gotten the chance to. It seems like 2016 will be that year!

What have you guys been up to? Do you have news to share? New projects you’re excited to write in coming year? Do tell!

Updates on the Southeast Asian Steampunk Anthology

Has it really been a month since I last updated? How embarrassing! I certainly didn’t mean to drop off the face of the earth, especially since major things have been happening. Don’t worry. Good things! Good major things have been happening.

(Let’s be real. If it were bad major things, I wouldn’t be making this post probably.)

First of all, after my last post talking about whether or not authors should read reviews, The SEA is Ours, aka the Southeast Asian steampunk anthology, received a starred one from Publishers Weekly! Kind of funny, huh? Still, it’s pretty exciting. None of us really expected a PW review, so this is like an early Christmas present.

Then, we launched an Indiegogo campaign for the Southeast Asian steampunk anthology a couple weeks ago. We’ve already reached our main goal, but we have a little over a week to go and some fun stretch goals still in play. Will we reach them? Who knows? Fundraising campaigns like this can be a little mysterious to me. Good thing I don’t manage them, or we’d all be in trouble.

As for me, on the personal front, we’re heading into NaNoWriMo territory. After some waffling, I’ve decided to do it this year. I’ve taken a break off from fiction writing the past couple months to recharge my batteries, but I feel ready to start drafting again! Which is good, because I miss creating new things. Creating new things is fun and keeps me happy.

What about you guys? What have you been up to? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Let’s catch up.

Book Reviews: To Look or Not to Look

Can you believe it’s already September? The year’s just zipping by. And you know what September means: fall, cooler temperatures, and pumpkins! (I’m a big fan of the last one, because I associate pumpkins with jack o’lanterns and I associate those with Halloween, my most favorite time of the year!)

September also means we’re one month closer to the release of The Sea is Ours, the Southeast Asian steampunk anthology. It’s almost a real book! I don’t know if I’m ready, to be honest. Things are about to get very real soon. The anthology has its own Goodreads page. With book reviews. Yikes!

Which brings us to another topic every author faces: book reviews.

If you put a book — or short story — out into the world, it makes sense that someone somewhere is going to read it. That’s what every writer wants, right? An audience.

But not everyone will love it. That’s something every writer must accept. In fact, the writer’s journey depends on learning to live with rejection. That unfortunately doesn’t end with publication. You might have found that agent or editor who loves your writing, but now it’s time to face another group: readers.

I’ve always maintained that book reviews are for readers. Sure, a writer can learn from them but ultimately, they’re not meant for us. Some authors know this and still look at reviews while others avoid them completely. I’m still not sure which camp I fall into. I can see the merits of both approaches. If book reviews cause you anxiety and paralyze your writing, then it makes perfect sense to avoid reading them. But if you tried something different and you want to see how readers are receiving it, then how else will you know if you don’t look at book reviews?

I admit I’ve looked at the Goodreads reviews for The Sea is Ours. Advanced reader copies are floating around, after all. It was more of a surreal experience than anything else. Wait, is that my name they’re mentioning? Huh, is that my story they’re discussing? So weird. What’s good is that I’m not feeling the urge to stalk the Goodreads page.

Maybe I’ll figure out which camp I fall into later down the road. For now, I’ll enjoy the journey.

Comfort Reads: A Balm to the Sick Writer

In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been around the past couple weeks. I wish I could say this was because of something exciting — like a vacation or unexpected road trip. Those make great stories, after all. I can’t even say it was because of more internet woes. Nope, wasn’t that — and you know things are bad when I wish my absence could be explained by technological mishaps.

Alas, it was something worse.

I came down with a summer cold.

I don’t know about you, but summer colds are terrible. Not that any colds are great, but summer colds seem to be so much worse than their winter counterparts. You can’t breathe. You feel gross. Your throat is sore. None of it is good. All of it is bad.

I seem to have gotten over most of it, but the cough is persistently lingering. This happens whenever I get a respiratory bug. Not great but still better than where I was a week ago. I’ll take it.

So what do you do when you’re sick and tired because you’re having trouble sleeping through the night due to your inability to breathe? You read. And what do you read? Comfort reads!

Comfort reads are great when you're sick!

Everyone has them. Books you read when you’re feeling down or sad or, in my case, sick. For me, Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels books are my perfect comfort reads. They’re very id-tastic, with larger than life characters and over the top plots. I especially like the later books in the series, after the world has been saved, for this purpose. The novels about Cassidy are lowkey compared to the ones about Jaenelle, and that’s soothing when you feel like crap. Perfect reading for when you’re curled up in bed, sipping tea and asking, Why me?

What about you? What are your favorite comfort reads?

An Anthology of Southeast Asian Steampunk

Look at how time flies! It seems just like yesterday when I announced that my short story, “The Last Aswang,” had been accepted as part of the table of contents for The SEA is Ours. My very first short story acceptance and it was for a Southeast Asian steampunk anthology! How cool is that?

The SEA is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast AsiaBut guess what? You can now pre-order the anthology on Amazon! Or request an ARC from NetGalley! Or bothThings have suddenly become way more real. I don’t feel at all prepared either. November isn’t that far away! (And here I was used to associating November with NaNoWriMo. Looks like it’s going to mean something different this year!)

I’ll be sure to post updates here on the blog as we approach the publication date. From what I hear, there are definitely plans in the works, and I’m personally hoping to do a couple things myself.

For now, you can check the Southeast Asian steampunk anthology’s Facebook page for the latest news or read more about my short story, “The Last Aswang.”

Living Without Internet: Survival Tips for Writers

I spent a good chunk of this past summer living without internet. Some of it was planned. Some not so much. Unplugging from the constant noise of social media can be useful and, in fact, healthy for a writer, but sometimes you need that connectivity. Emails, research, deadlines — how are writers supposed to do these things without an internet connection?

In this age of 24/7 connectivity, living without internet can be difficult.

It’s tricky, but it can be done. I learned through experience over the past few months, and I thought I’d pass along that advice to you. After all, knowledge is power.

Besides, knowing ahead of time what to do? Can save you time spent in the throes of panic. Believe me. It’s not a pleasant experience, and I’d like to spare other writers that, if at all possible. Read more

It’s a Cruel Summer When You’re Gone

Or, in my case, an eventful summer filled with technological hurdles.

Let me count the ways:

  • travel to locations without internet connections or cellular reception.
  • utility workers cutting the fiber optic cable feeding into my house.
  • the unsurprising trial of getting my internet access reconnected.
  • my laptop’s up close and personal encounter with water.

Summer at the Beach

It’s a good thing I found time to go to a beach very like the one pictured above!

At any rate, I’m glad to leave that mess behind me.

How is everyone? I hope your summer’s been free of tech mishaps!