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The Society of Voluptuaries
throwing ourselves off that cliff again and again
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pbf07, framed
I am very pleased to launch my new homepage, Approximately 8,000 Words.

I will be using this blog to post updates about my stories, reviews, and novels, tidbits from my life, and some thoughts on the art of writing. Check it out!

It is automatically crossposted to my lj, but you can also add approx8000words.
pen, insohaimo
Some excellent advice and cute pictures, applicable to any creative art.

also, mac users might want to check out Scrivener. It looks sweet and gives me mac envy.

via endicottstudio
1st-Jan-2008 05:23 pm - First Pro sale!
I got a story accepted! Dark Scribe Press has picked "Memory Box" as one of its first three acceptances for the anthology Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet, due out sometime in Fall of 2008.

I'm really excited about this and looking forward to sending out more stuff! I can't wait to cheer the rest of my fellow Voluptuaries on too!
6th-Dec-2007 09:40 pm - John Clute on the Fantastic
pencil, voluptuaries
John Clute on fantastic literature (including SF & Horror) and its influences.
via warrenellis
1st-Dec-2007 01:25 am - Livejournal's new flagging crap
pencil, voluptuaries
LJ has automatically set everyone's journal to moderate adult content, meaning that unless you change it yourself, you're potentially missing stuff right now. You may have to enter a birthdate as well if you don't have one in your profile now.

Go here: http://www.livejournal.com/manage/settings/ to change it.

My thoughts:

As usual, LJ has hidden a major change in policy on lj_biz. You can read more about it here and here. My sentiments on this are well summed up by 00goddess here. I have a permanent account, and I plan to keep using this journal more or less as I do now, but I definitely plan to move away from LJ for writing related posting. I'll be setting up writer blogs for both eposia and myself, and they'll be fully hosted by us rather than relying on LJ or any other service who can turn on you (other than my webhost, who I trust).

Yes, we have reason to be concerned -- both of us write about a wide range of topics, including explicit sexuality, drug use, kink, etc. If I decide to post an excerpt someday, I refuse to have it placed behind any kind of age verification wall. It is a parent's job, not mine, to police their child's internet use and I firmly believe the sexuality I was exposed to in fiction as a child was not harmful, and even beneficial. While I read at an advanced level from a young age, I remember skimming over/skipping sex scenes when I was too young to deal with them, and later when I devoured them (sometimes reading only the sex scenes in books during my horniest teenage moments), I believe they helped me shape my sexuality by helping me discover what I did or did not find erotic. I'd be thrilled if my writing helped a young person shape their sexuality in the same way, and in any case I refuse to have any potential reader scared away by an adult wall.

Since this doesn't affect friends-only content, the Society will remain on LJ for now at least.

(thanks to flamingnerd for giving me the idea to spread the word about the search settings)
13th-Nov-2007 03:22 pm - Poetry market : Strange Horizons
great hair
Dunno if this one has been shared yet, but here's a nice-sounding poetry market that pays 20$ per poem.

Strange Horizons

And another one with a cool name paying up to 50$ per poem.

Aberrant Dreams
pencil, voluptuaries
Would you like to write more in November?

Oh yes, we know about that thing other people are doing -- trying to write a whole novel in one month. But a novel is a lot to write in 30 days, so we'd like to suggest a more manageable alternative. For the first time ever, November is...

International Sonnet and Haiku Month!
(sponsored by The Society of Voluptuaries)

The task is simple yet challenging. For every day in November, write a poem in a structured form, such as (but not limited to) a sonnet or haiku, and post it to our new insohaimo community. You'll find complete rules for participation in the community profile. At the end of the month, we'll even provide all our "winners" with a sweet virtual certificate which you can repost in your LJ or on your blog. Not only is InSoHaiMo an easy way to increase your writing output, it also makes a great warmup if you decide to write a novel or undertake other creative endeavors in November. Participating in InSoHaiMo is compatible with participating in any other similar monthly writing goal.

So join insohaimo today! The fun (and writing) begins November 1st.
22nd-Oct-2007 04:25 pm - Burying sf magazines?
warren_ellis on SF Magazine Sales

Someone recently said to me, “Well, what could you do to save them?”And I said, well, no-one’s asking, but there’s probably about twelvethings that could be done. And they said, “Well, maybe, but what Ireally meant was — why try? Why not just bury them and start anew?”

And then someone else asked me why there’s still an sf magazine called “Analog.”
pencil, voluptuaries
Tonight at the Slutbarn (Kit & Reesa's House in College Station, Texas), the Society of Voluptuaries gathered for our first writers' salon. The event was attended by:

There were snacks, wine, and C.C. Major brought some delicious bourbon to gift us with*. We began the evening with 10 minutes of free writing. Next, we read and took notes on each member's work. When all the work had been reviewed, each member read their work aloud followed by critique from all the others present. There was a lot of excellent discussion about each work, and I know I got a lot of valuable feedback.

Then came dinner break, which featured vegetarian chili I had cooked, with plenty of fixings. There was much eating and merriment. Afterwards, Reesa treated us to a recitation of Lady Anne's monologue from Act I, Scene II of Richard III and a rant on the proper handling of Shakespeare. We finished with chocolate and fruit before our guests went home.

The evening was a great success and we look forward to many more like it.** It was also great to see Megan and Scott's posts, it felt like you were with us in spirit. I took a few photos, which you'll find below the cut.

*After all, what are writers without booze?
**Note: in the near future, salons held in College Station will also feature a hot tub.

photographic evidenceCollapse )*
pencil, voluptuaries
Author M. Christian offers this "Emotional Survival Kit" to having your works rejected or accepted. I'll keep this link in mind next time I hear back from a publisher...
16th-Sep-2007 07:12 pm - Elizabeth Bear on novel writing
Bear does it again. This is worth reading!

The Creative Process, or: How to write a novel.
8th-Sep-2007 06:04 pm - Rejection letters of great authors
pencil, voluptuaries
Suicide Girls Newswire author,_DictionaryGirl_, brings to our attention a New York Times article about bungled rejections from Alfred A. Knopf, in which we learn their reasons for turning away such great authors as Orwell, Keruoac, Plath, Nin and others.

In reference to the passing of the great L'Engle, I have seen a number of varying figures for how often A Wrinkle In Time was rejected before being published, so this may be a bit of apocryphal lore. However, the fact remains -- a great novel, story, or other work can be rejected many times before finding the right home.
hl good girl
I originally posted this at worldmegan.net, and it appeared in my LJ -- Kiki requested that it be cross-posted here for pertinence to writing, and der, she's right! I didn't even THINK of that! So, enjoy. :}

Remember this: Would you like to rephrase that more positively? Yes, that. Remember that?

Tonight Tim Ferriss made a post regarding the ejection of certain words from one’s vocabulary. He suggests this for slightly different reasons than I originally discussed, but still interesting, still valid! He takes familiar staples such as ‘should’ and adds grand old warhorses such as ‘happiness’ and ‘success’ (and ‘good/right’ and ‘bad/wrong’). I happen to think he’s absolutely right. And also, er, absolutely correct.

Tim (who sometimes links multisyllabic words to their entries in Wikipedia as if to say, ‘Look at this cool word I know’, which is exactly what I would do) suggests that the usage of words such as these does not require a lot of complex thought, which is why we have used them to the point of meaninglessness – and might consider exercising our brains in order to find suitable alternatives that better describe the situation at hand. We love them, he says:
Because they remove the heavy lifting of real thinking. These socially-accepted throwaway terms are crutches for unclear thinking, just like “thing”, “stuff”, or “interesting”–enemies of good writers worldwide.

If you stop for a moment and think about it… there are quite a few words that are likewise easy to use. I sure as hell use them! Perhaps we should all spend our next date night with a raspberry merlot and a thesaurus…

Should. You know, scouring this entry for instances of Tim’s outlawed words is a pain in the ass, this late at night. (And ‘should’ was the one I’d ditched already!) But I still think he’s got a point. I definitely see the weakness in myself, and it sounds like an interesting challenge – especially since half the words he listed are words I use over and over and over. And over.

Sounds like rather a fun game, actually. Want to play?
back of knees
As usual, Elizabeth Bear has some really interesting things to say about perceptions, cleaning up your older writings, and ignoring terrible writing advice. I think several of our Voluptuaries might benefit from reading this post - I certainly enjoyed it!

23rd-Jun-2007 02:38 pm - Learning how to swear
How will your characters swear and curse when things go wrong? What if your setting has no deities suitable for cussing at?

Marissa Lingen contemplates this topic, with lots of great input from her journal readers in the comments.
20th-Jun-2007 04:39 pm - Market: Queer Horror Anthology
Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet

Looking for horror stories involving gay, lesbian, or bisexual themes. Pays .05/word, accepting submissiong Oct 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008.

(via specficmarkets)
19th-Jun-2007 06:33 pm - Market: Clockwork Phoenix
Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness

A new anthology market. Will pay .02/word plus royalties and a contributor copy. Market opens August 1, 2007 and closes Feb 1, 2008.

Clockwork Phoenix is a home for stories that sidestep expectations in beautiful and unsettling ways, that surprise with their settings and startle with the ways they cross genre boundaries, that aren't afraid to experiment with storytelling techniques. But experimentation is not a requirement: the stories in the anthology must be more than gimmicks, and should appeal to genuine emotions, suspense, fear, sorrow, delight, wonder. I will value a story that makes me laugh in its quirky way more than a story that tries to dazzle me with a hollow exercise in wordplay. -Editor Mike Allen

thanks to jennybaxter for this one

Also check out Duotrope's Digest (writer's market search engine), specficmarkets, and my markets links
18th-Jun-2007 11:03 pm - Writer's Markets
pencil, voluptuaries
Some random interesting markets for writers I have found while surfing the net:

Interzone - Mundane SF issue

A special issue of Interzone magazine with unusual limits on the type of technology allowed in the story. This is pretty cool. Deadline Oct 31. Pays ~.05/word

Books Gone Bad

A Dead Letter Press theme anthology, small print run -- evil books. Pay .01/word and 2 copies.

Fishnet Mag

Online erotica magazine. Pays .04/word.

my writer's market links
9th-Jun-2007 09:58 pm - Hold Requests
kit fox
When you submit a manuscript to a potential publisher of your work, they can accept or reject it ... or reply with a hold request.

mrissa answers my n00b question, "What's a Hold Request?
8th-Jun-2007 02:13 am - dumb cover letters
pencil, voluptuaries
Right on the heels of my last post on the cover letter comes Joseph of storytellunplug's take on dumb cover letters and submissions.
6th-Jun-2007 07:17 pm - The Cover Letter (& SASE)
pencil, voluptuaries
Since I am prepping "Borrowed Time" to go out today, I thought I would review the guidelines for the cover letter. Here is an excellent guide to cover letters and the SASE. makinglight also offers this advice with a focus on novels. When the above authors say "short and sweet," they mean it. This is not the time to remember the "rules" from grade school about how every paragraph must have at least three sentences.

Since my previous publications, while paid, were in the poetry field (and printed on gourmet coffee labels, not in, say, The New Yorker) I won't be including them. Thus, my cover letter is going to be very short indeed:

Dear [name of editor]:

Enclosed is my 8000-word short story, entitled "Borrowed Time," to be considered for publication in [magazine]. I also enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kit O'Connell

Yup, that's it. If you've established a relationship with an editor, I've seen guides which suggest you can be a touch more conversational. Additionally, if an editor actually requests that you send him something, be sure to mention it in your letter. Neither are the case for a newb like me ...
5th-Jun-2007 04:26 pm - Noveldoubt
Since I am diving into some of my own novel ideas these days, mrissa's recent post on noveldoubt, a.k.a. the dreaded loss of shiny that comes at about page 150, seems like an especially timely warning. Maybe some of you will find it useful in your own projects.
4th-Jun-2007 05:25 pm - Not-Writing
This method from Marissa Lingen of "not-writing" books is right up my alley. I was doing a prototypic version of her method on my own already, but hers is more refined. I highly recommend it to any of my fellow Voluptuaries for consideration or use. It's a good way to keep track of those one-liners and ideas without having to actually commit to a scary big project.

bunny, Anthony
When I think of writing, I think most often of the result, and of the reader, rather than myself. However, in this Bill Moyers interview, Maxine Hong Kingston, best known as author of The Woman Warrior, reveals how her experiences working with veterans demonstrate the profound transformative power of writing on the author's psyche. Watching thing has gotten me to wonder what beneficial effects I might experience taking the pen to my inner demons, which, aside from a few works, haven't made much of an appearance in the Voluptuaries. Definitely highly relevant not only to writers, but to anyone being haunted by past experiences they'd like to purge.

Eposia's Crosstime Saloon!
Puns! Games! Music! "God's Blessing" and other drinks!

Eposia's Crosstime Saloon, based on Spider Robinson's "Callahan's" series, is a chill, relaxed location to unwind after your adventures, or socialize, rant or share your stories. We have space for playing card or board games or other similar social activities. We encourage musicians, poets, storytellers, prose readers, and other unamplified performance artists to use our stage at any time.

We offer irish coffee (better known as "God's Blessing") and other drink specials. Our special toasting ritual is the perfect way to get something off your chest, or vent about something you love or hate. Paper cups provided for toasting only -- all others, please bring your own cup. Alcohol donations are greatly appreciated.

We are bringing the fine Callahan's Crosstime Saloon tradition to Pyropolis this year. Eposia's is the perfect place to make friends when the grassy playa gets too big!

Eposia's Crosstime Saloon!
#3 Naughty St. (at the corner of Mysterious Way and Naughty Street)
Friday @ Dusk: Symphony of Puns Pun-off Competition
Saturday Afternoon: Unplugged Musicians and Poets Jam

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