Welcome to the EOFY Follies

It’s the first of July! A time where we traditionally look back upon our accomplishments of the previous twelve months and wonder how much extra tax we will have to pay as a consequence!

Oh yes. Doesn’t that sound like fun.

But rather than calculate my writing earnings since mid-2011 (sob), or write another great long diatribe like I did last week, I thought I’d take this as a chance to quickly memorialise the cool things that happened in June around this here internet and see what they promise for the 12-13 year. Which will perhaps finally be the year when I make enough money from writing to quit the day job and just drink Old Fashioneds in my underwear by the pool all day.

And now that I’ve said it, you can’t unsee it.

What I’ve been doing

  • I just finished laying out the pages of The Obituarist’s limited print run! And I do mean limited – I’m planning on running off maybe 25-30 of these through Blurb. And once I have them, I don’t really know what I’m going to do with them. But hey, the important thing is that they’ll exist! In any event, I should have the rest of the details sorted out this week and the books by the end of July.
  • I also just had a meeting with Ben McKenzie about the audiobook version of The Obituarist, where we hashed out various points and scribbled down our to-do lists. It’s super-exciting! Especially since crime is probably the single most popular genre in audio fiction. Stay tuned for more on that as we put it together.
  • I did some work on Raven’s Blood, but time spent on promoting the last book is time I can’t spend writing the next book, which is one of the frustrating things in this life. I hope to get more time for that in July and start building up a head of steam, probably by adopting the same 1000-words-a-night program that got The Obituarist finished.
  • There was the EWF and Continuum at the start of the month, but I’ve already talked about those things at great length.
  • We playtested the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons. I can’t say I’m a fan at this point.
  • I created a fan page for myself on Facebook and began spending more time on Google+, because I have a terrible fear that I’m just not talking about myself enough.
  • I read a lot of comics and not enough books.

What other people have been doing

  • Jay Kristoff launched a stunning new website for himself and his soon-to-be-released novel Stormdancer, which is shaping up to be one of the biggest things to hit YA fantasy in ages. He’s a top bloke and a good writer and (believe it or not) even taller than I am, so go check it out – and check out the first three chapters of Stormdancer over at Tor.com.
  • Foz Meadows has been on fire this month with a series of scorching blog posts that ask tough questions and (sigh) bring trolls out of the woodwork. Her initial post on rape culture in gaming (there’s that topic again) drew attention and a flood of comments, both positive and negative; her follow-up post about the attention and commentary is also really interesting as a look at the kind of discussion and conversation this topic creates. And on a different note, this week’s post on sex scenes in YA fiction and why they matter is also really interesting, particularly for those of us thinking of writing in that genre.
  • Margaret Weis Publishing put out the Civil War supplement for their Marvel superhero RPG, and speaking as a comics nerd and roleplayer, guys, this book is pretty goddamn great. Significantly better than the Civil War comics, in fact.
  • Mur Lafferty released all – yes, all – of her ebooks for free! I think the offer’s only for a limited period, so don’t delay, go download the zip file and fill your Kindle/Nook/iPad/direct neural interface post right now.
  • Indie nerdcore hip-hop artist Adam Warrock is running a donation drive, and it’s worth giving him some cash so he can keep putting out free mixtapes of tracks about Firefly, old Marvel comics, popular TV shows and other cool shit. Because that shit is awesome, guys.
  • After being axed by Campbell Newman and the appalling reactionary politics of the new LNP government – who, hey, are also fucking over GLBTs, women and pretty much anyone who didn’t vote for them – the Queensland Literary Awards are being revived by local readers, writers and decent human beings. But it all takes money, so that’s why you should go pitch in to their fundraising page at Pozible.
  • While you’re there, you should also donate some money to Fee Plumley and The Really Big Road Trip, a project to create a mobile art space for creative digital culture and technological art. I met Fee at the EWF and was blown away by her passion and dedication to creative digital culture; help her share that passion and bring it to spaces around Australia.
  • You probably already know that Chuck Wendig has a new book of writing tips and advice out, 500 Ways to Tell a Better Story, because Chuck has approximately eleventy-billion readers and you all think he’s Piss Christ. Which is fair; he is in fact Piss Christ. But on the off-chance you didn’t know about the release, well, go here and read all about it.
  • And finally I just want to link to this post by comics writer Gail Simone, who – in addition to being fucking hilarious on Twitter – also presents one of the best, simplest pieces of advice to any writer, artist or creator in any field.

What you could do next

  • Remember how I said I was writing a crime story to submit to Crime Factory? Well, they passed on it as not right for them, and that’s completely fair enough. I’ll look for another home for it or maybe just give it away here. But, much more importantly, they’re gearing up for another special edition collection, Horror Factory, and they’re looking for horror stories! If you’re a horror writer (local or international), why not put together a story and submit it to them by the end of August? I know I sure as hell will.
  • And then I’ll write another horror story and submit it to Nightmare Magazine, which is currently open for submission and paying a very respectable 5 cents a word for pieces! It’s a good time for writing horror, so don’t let me do it alone – get those fingers bleeding onto your keyboard and write.
  • If you live in Melbourne and want to see me in the flesh (eww), come along to Dungeon Crawl this Wednesday night! The monthly improvised comedy show is drifting from its D&D-flavoured roots to celebrate all things superhero – so this one-time impro hound and long-time supers fanboy is pulling the costume out of mothballs and rejoining the Fantastic Four! Or, more precisely, joining the Dungeon Crawl team as the fourth member of this month’s performance group! Come along and laugh at me, preferably for the right reasons!

And now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s a cold and rainy night, and I’m going to go join my wife under the doona and watch a kung-fu movie. Happy Carbon Tax Apocalypse Day to you all.

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