Thursday, January 29, 2015

How To Write With Kids

A year ago today, I abruptly stopped editing my Nanowrimo novel to participate in the miracle of having my insides cut open to yank out a tiny human. My writing hiatus ends now, and since this is my third child, I've got a plan for how to jump back into writing.

Happy birthday, Linden! Mommy's running off to live with the squirrels! Enjoy your cupcakes.

How To Write with Kids:
1. Leave out snacks. Kids like candy, cupcakes, and chips. Remember that tiny humans are still very short (especially if they are MY tiny humans), so you may as well leave the food out in bowls on the floor.

2. Pretend to be deaf. What? I can't hear you! I'm sure that Jimmy can patch his eye by himself. This is how you learn not to hit each other, children.

3. Everything is closed. The other stores heard that Chick-fil-a is closed on Sundays and they got jealous. Marbles, jump houses, and everything else is closed for the rest of the winter.

4. Remove all the clocks. Your kids don't need to know that you are putting them to bed an hour early, and since you're deaf, you can't hear that they need a drink of water after the lights are out. See someone fighting in the middle of the day? Oh, must be nap time! Again!

5. Supply books and DVDs, preferably ones that teach children how to get dressed, make a sandwich, pour milk, mop up milk, vacuum up chips, brush their teeth, nap, apologize for hitting Jimmy, and first aid.

6. Get a babysitter. HAHAHA! (Wait. Do you know one that takes cupcakes as payment?)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Review: "Hunters Unlucky" by Abigail Hilton

"Hunters Unlucky" by Abigail Hilton is a moving, exquisitely complex epic fantasy about a long and bloody feud between the dominant talking animal species of Lidian, the deer-like ferryshaft and the lion-like creasia.

Hilton's deep, personal characters, meticulous species and setting development, and continually evolving plot pulls the reader along in constant suspense. This is one of those rare tales that has you constantly telling yourself "just one more chapter" until the beautifully orchestrated ending, 214 thousand words later.

"Hunters Unlucky" is just one of many highly engaging fantasy stories that I've read or listen to by Abigail Hilton. Visit her website at to find out more about the author and her works, which appear in both text and audio formats.

The sales copy says it well for "Hunter's Unlucky":

He's not bigger. He's not faster. He's not meaner. So he'd better be smarter.

Storm is born into a world of secrets – an island no one visits, names no one will say, and deaths that no one will talk about. The answers are locked in his species' troubled past, guarded by the fierce creasia cats. But when Storm's friends are threatened, he decides that he must act, pitting himself against the creasia to show that they can be resisted and outwitted. To prove his point, he must stay one step ahead of clever hunters, who have more to lose than Storm imagines.

Hunters Unlucky is an animal story for anyone who loved Richard Adams's Watership Down, Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, and Jack London's Call of the Wild. Kids who enjoyed Erin Hunter's Warriors books will also enjoy Hunters. The animals in this story do not carry swords, walk on two legs, or drink tea. They fight. They starve. Sometimes, they eat each other.

This 214,000-word novel is DRM-free and carefully formatted.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Tangent Online Recommended Reading List 2014

Here is the recommended reading list from review site Tangent Online. I'm seeing a lot of familiar names, and, of course, some that I recommended:

Tangent Online, 2014 Recommended Reading

Shout outs:

Cory Doctorow:
"Huxleyed Into the Full Orwell" by Cory Doctorow (Terraform, 11/17/14) SF** (CDL)

Stephen Baxter:
"The Lingering Joy" by Stephen Baxter (Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds, 4/14) SF (DT)

Juliette Wade:
"Suteta Mono de wa Nai" by Juliette Wade (Clarkesworld #90, 3/14) F** (MR)

Sarah Pinkster:
"Notes To My Past And/Or Alternate Selves" by Sarah Pinsker (UFO 3, 10/14) SF (CDL, WH)
"The Transdimensional Horsemaster Rabbis of Mpumalanga Province" by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s, 2/14) SF* (MR)
"No Lonely Seafarer" by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed #52, 9/14) F* (RH)

Nathaniel Lee:
"Stonebones" by Nathaniel Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #142, 3-6/14) F** (SB)
"Why I Bought Satan Two Cokes On the Day I Graduated From High School" by Nathaniel Lee (UFO 3, 10/14) SF*** (WH)

Alex Shvartsman:
"The Fiddle Game" by Alex Shvartsman (IGMS #41, 9-10/14) F (CW)
"The Golem of Deneb Seven" by Alex Shvartsman (IGMS #40, 7-8/14) SF* (HB)
"Fate and Other Variables" by Alex Shvartsman (Galaxy's Edge #11, 11-12/14) SF (MR)

Unidentified Funny Objects 3, edited by Alex Shvartsman:
"The Right Answer" by James A. Miller (UFO 3, 10/14) SF* (CDL, WH)
"That Must Be Them Now" by Karen Haber (UFO 3, 10/14) F* (CDL)
"Live At The Scene" by Gini Koch (UFO 3, 10/14) SF* (CDL, WH)
"Picture Perfect" by Matt Mikalatos (UFO 3, 10/14) SF** (WH)
"Into The Woods, With Zombunny" by Camille Griep (UFO 3, 10/14) F/H** (CDL)
"The Full Lazenby" by Jeremy Butler (UFO 3, 10/14) SF** (CDL, WH)
"The Door-To-Door Salesthing From Planet X" by John Vogt (UFO 3, 10/14) SF** (CDL, WH)
"The Newboy’s Last Stand" by Krystal Claxton (UFO 3, 10/14) F*** (CDL)
"The Real And The Really Real" by Tim Pratt (UFO 3, 10/14) SF*** (CDL, WH)
"The Fate Worse Than Death" by Kevin J. Anderson and Guy Anthony De Marco (UFO 3, 10/14) F*** (CDL, WH)

(More) Stories that I reviewed:

"The Inked Many" by Adam Callaway (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #150, 6/14) F (MR)
"No Sweeter Art" by Tony Pi (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #155, 9-4/14) F (MR)
"Zombies at Work" by Leena Likitalo (Galaxy's Edge #11, 11-12/14) SF (MR)
"Elsa's Spheres" by Marina J. Lostetter (IGMS #37, 1-2/14) SF* (MR)
"Extinct Fauna of the High Malafan" by Alter S. Reiss (IGMS #38, 3-4/14) F* (MR)
"Pocket Full of Mumbles" by Tina Gower (Galaxy's Edge #8, 5-6/14) F* (MR)
"Voices in the Black" by Jeff Stehman (Penumbra #34, 7/14) SF* (MR)
"Song of the Sargasso" by Marina J. Lostetter (Galaxy's Edge #11, 11-12/14) SF* (MR)
"The Burden of Triumph" by Samuel Marzioli (IGMS #42, 11-12/14) SF* (MR)
"Neep" by K. C. Norton (Galaxy's Edge #10, 9/14) SF** (MR)