On Cutting: Sharpen the Blade

That machete was my Dad’s. In the 1930s he was a mining engineer in Argentina, working pack mules in the Andes. The machete saw a lot of use then, but when Dad died neither of my brothers claimed it. Heirlooms shouldn’t leave the family; I took it myself, feeling odd that the only daughter should inherit that gigantic phallic blade.

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Confronting The Tornadic Winds of Rejection: How To Keep The Faith

Photo courtesy of NSSL

Yep. It’s spring. Today it snowed, rained, cleared up and then hailed. I’m waiting for the dark of night so I can claim I’m a postman.

Spring is like that, a clash of two forces: Winter and summer. The metaphor reflects the hardships of writing as well: a winter of rejection versus the summer of a sale. Continue reading “Confronting The Tornadic Winds of Rejection: How To Keep The Faith”

On the Use of Archaic English: Prithee, Risk It Not

A friend who grew up rural poor says his grandpa’s advice was, “Don’t steal unless you know how to steal.” Mine is:

“Don’t use archaic English unless you know how to use archaic English.”

I’m pretty fair at it, yet I’d never risk it in print. I adore when the high-born Irish love-interest in the fantasy romance says, “Hast thee strided anon upon ye poop deck, milord, forsoothly begorra?”

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Writing and Drawing Snacks: Betsy James on Incarnation

Betsy shares:

At one point I was trying, with difficulty, to understand a group of five characters. Couldn’t get the dynamics right, even after writing too much backstory and doing stuff like assigning each of them a symbol—circle, square, squiggle and so on.

I remembered (finally) what I tell students: “In imagination, incarnate as your characters. Be them in their bodies. It’s how we are in our bodies that makes us who we are.”

So, being in the body of each, pen in hand, I asked, “Okay—how would I draw a cat?”

It worked.

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Dawn Vogel on Writing in Shared Universes


Covers by Luke Spooner*

Today Dawn Vogel has agreed to talk to us today about writing in shared universes.

GC: Dawn please tell us about yourself. What do you write? What themes tend to appear in your work? Which writers have influenced you?

I’m a Midwest native who transplanted herself to the West Coast almost 10 years ago. Though I’ve been writing all my life, I started getting serious about it after my transplanting. I write speculative fiction, though I tend toward a lot of fantasy, steampunk, and alternate history. Most of what I write is short stories, but I have published one novella, and my first novel is due out in 2017.

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