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"New futures from old horizons." Author of off-kilter sci fi/fantasy books. Fond of apocalyptic and fantastical things. Known for phuquerie. I bite. On Amazon.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

How to Act Like An Editor--A Brief List (Part 3)

Hello hello!

So *blows dust from blog again* I've returned with yet another post about the world of writing--and in this one, I'm tackling my own special breed--editors.

In the event that you find yourself impersonating an editor, I have compiled a few handy tips to ensure that the deception is perfection itself.





How to Act Like An Editor

1. Frighten other writers. When you walk through a crowd, a cold shiver should run down the spine of every writer present. Doing a "murder walk" helps, but generally, people should just know that you are coming, and that you are a barely contained force of nature. 

2. Wear slightly tidier clothing than the writers--though you needn't be less weird. Red spots, ashes/cremains, and flecks of ink are allowed, as are the fingernails of the last client who pissed you off--but those last ones make better earrings, generally.

3. Alcohol and caffeine are no longer food groups--they run in your very veins. You have become the caffeine and alcohol. You bleed them, breathe them, emit them in a fragrant cloud. 

4. A cold, haughty laugh and thousand-yard-stare are a must. "I've seen things," you should murmur to yourself, whenever the topic of your work comes up. "I've seen things you cannot fathom. Are you frightened? You should be frightened."

5. Being more aggressive, blunt, and experienced than other writers is also important. Basically, you are the shit--but you don't need to advertise it quite as much as the bestsellers. When people walk into a room with you, they'll just know. 

6. Elucidate your issues with various style guides at length, even when other people have stopped listening and just want to beat you to death with the Chicago Manual of Style. 

7. Don't nitpick poor grammar on Facebook--leave the amateur grammar Nazis to do that. Save your bile for bloggers and news articles, and complain mercilessly about typos in bestsellers--but only in private. 

8. Be a hunter, not a scavenger--don't stalk authors on social media and threaten them with crappy reviews for missing a comma on page 81 of the Kindle edition, and repeating a period on page 275.

9. Let your writing career slide, because oops, work is important.

10. Be extremely forgiving with authors and writers at all levels--after all, it takes time to get this crap down, and everyone was a beginner once. Actually snobbishness has no place in the writing world. Every author deserves a second chance, and often, a third.

11. Write love letters to every punctuation mark and obsess over the effect of sentence structure on phrasing and emphasis. You alone understand how beautiful semicolons and Oxford commas and em dashes are. But that won't stop you from telling everyone else anyway.

12. No matter how many bad ones you read, never stop loving books. 

Next time--we'll return to our regularly scheduled programming of thoughtful, intellectual blog posts. Stay tuned!


***
Thanks for dropping by the nest once again. Leave your comments, rebuttals, and vehement agreements below. Don't miss any of the phuquerie--get on the mailing list. Find Michelle on TwitterFacebook, and on Tumblr, and find her work on Amazon. Check back on the blog to see when one of the irregular posts has careened onto your feed. This is the one and only SciFiMagpie, over and out! 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

How to Act Like A Graphic Designer--A Brief List (Part 2)

Hello hello!

Shockingly, this week's update follows within a reasonable period of time. How very peculiar, eh? I'm hoping to get back to a more regular update schedule now that some of my medical issues are in better shape.

In the event that you find yourself impersonating a graphic designer, I have compiled a few handy tips to ensure that the deception is perfection itself.

How to Act Like A Graphic Designer

1.  Fonts. Fonts, fonts, fonts, fonts, fonts. Every conversation and walk, every casual browse on Facebook--it's all about fonts. The sizes, the textures, the colours, the serifs--you don't even read words anymore. You just see the way they're written.

2. Looking at advertising posters made by authors will hurt you. They don't know what they're doing wrong, but you know. You know, and you will bleed.

3. You are the fashionable younger sibling of a computer programmer. Even if you're an only child, pretend you're someone's younger sibling. By "fashionable", one merely means less dirty than a programmer, though not quite clean. A subtle sheen of grease is your natural state.

4. The grease may be a result of your diet. Ramen, Doritos, and mac and cheese are your main food groups. Lactose-intolerant? Celiac disease? That's okay, there will be no-one around to smell your farts.

5. Swear at pixels. A lot.

6. Caffeine makes up about 20% of your body weight at this point. Your cremated remains could be used to power several thousand high school students through their exams for the next ten years. You may be into the hard stuff--pills, powders, weird energy drinks you have to buy under the counter from patchouli-scented hairy people, or anything else suitably esoteric.

7. FUCKING PIXELS!

8. Seriously, another two hours and it'll be symmetrical. You swear.

9. What is sleep? No, really? You've forgotten how it works. It is a rumour, a legend, not a part of your life.

10. There is a purpose to your work, and no matter how many people give you a blank, confused look when you describe your job, they require your work to function on a daily basis.

11. The first thing people see when they look for a book is what you did. Not the words, but the picture. You don't have to remind authors of this--you just know, and you smile to yourself at night.


Next time--you'll learn how to impersonate an editor! Stay tuned!


***
Thanks for dropping by the nest once again. Leave your comments, rebuttals, and vehement agreements below. Don't miss any of the phuquerie--get on the mailing list. Find Michelle on TwitterFacebook, and on Tumblr, and find her work on Amazon. Check back on the blog to see when one of the irregular posts has careened onto your feed. This is the one and only SciFiMagpie, over and out! 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

How to Act Like A Writer--A Brief List (Part 1)

Hello hello!

So *blows dust from blog* this really isn't the best year for regular updates so far, is it? Well, never fear, because I have an hors d'ouvre to keep you satisfied while you wait for more gripping, meaty content. Or tentacles. Or gripping, meaty tentacles. Where was I? Ah, yes.

In the event that you find yourself impersonating a writer, I have compiled a few handy tips to ensure that the deception is perfection itself.

How to Act Like A Writer


1. Procrastinate. Deadlines should not only whoosh past, you should be able to make impressive Youtube videos recording their colour shift and Doppler effects as they fly by. In fact, they should fly by so quickly that the sound of their passing merely follows behind them.

2. Pants are for the weak. Writers do not wear pants. Socks, stockings, leggings, skirts, kilts, pyjamas, sure--but never true pants.

3. Alcohol is a food group. One near the bottom of the pyramid. It's made of grain, right?

4. Alternate between dominating all conversations with discussions about your book, and refusing to talk about it.

5. Any success should be met with an outburst of joy and gloating, followed immediately by crushing self-doubt.

6. Cultivate a rakishly unshaven look--regardless of your gender--and then skip a couple more days of shaving and personal grooming. If necessary, iron your clothes at weird angles to get the appropriately rumpled chicness down.

7. Show up either half-dressed or wearing something slightly odd. Maybe an in-jokey t-shirt. Look disappointed yet perpetually hopeful when people ask you to explain the shirt--someone might get the reference eventually.

8. Bust out peculiar archaisms or cross-linguistic swears at every opportunity.

9. Caffeine is also a food group. It supercedes water itself. Whether you drink tea, coffee, energy drinks, or the sputum of ginseng-eating monkeys from the Southeast Amazon, caffeine is how books are made.

10. Hiss when people damage books in public, such as by dogearing or, gods forbid, spilling something--then drop your Kindle, phone, or paperback in the bath while you're reading.

11. Treat all agents, opportunities for publicity, and book-signings like precious morsels of food that will keep you from starvation--because they well, technically.

12. Be broke. Even if you have money, find a way to not have any.

14. Be absolutely terrible at math.

15. If these steps fail to work, or already describe you, resort to actually trying to write something. When that fails, read rather a lot of books of every genre, go back, and write it again.

16. Love writing, and actually work hard at it, rather than just complaining about how hard you work while you flip through Facebook and search for alien dildoes on Etsy.

Next time--you'll learn how to impersonate an editor, and after that, a graphic designer! Stay tuned!

***
Thanks for dropping by the nest once again. Leave your comments, rebuttals, and vehement agreements below. Don't miss any of the phuquerie--get on the mailing list. Find Michelle on TwitterFacebook, and on Tumblr, and find her work on Amazon. Check back on the blog to see when one of the irregular posts has careened onto your feed. This is the one and only SciFiMagpie, over and out! 

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Bittersweet: A Short Story Anthology



From the editor of "Cult Classics for the Modern Cult" comes a bold new collection of love stories from the wrong side of the tracks. Romance is about having your heart's desires fulfilled...but what if they go wrong? Or what if you don't know what you really want?

Six authors tackle the flip side of happily-ever-after in this collection of sci fi, paranormal, and contemporary short stories and novellettes. But beware--these stories are shaded by tragedy and sorrow. Abuse, substance addiction, sex, and suicide colour these pages. But then...who said love was easy?






After the Garden (The Memory Bearers Saga)

After the Garden
(Book 1 of the Memory Bearers Saga)

Now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Smashwords, and Kobo eBooks




Memories of another life and lover guide her, but are they even hers? She is a Bearer—keeper of past lifetimes and gifted with strange talents. Ember must find her answers away from safe Longquan Village, snared instead in the sensuality and dangers of The City. Hidden among spider farmers and slaves, prostitutes and weavers, a nest of people like her are waiting.

A powerful man outside The City raises his forces, determined to hunt down the ‘demons’ who could taint his followers. Threatened from without and within, can the Bearers even trust each other?
Powers will rise and alliances will be forged in a dark new world. The Memory Bearers are coming.

This book includes violent and mature content. Reader discretion is advised.


Buy it here:
Kobo
Smashwords
Google+