About Mur

Herself who runneth this site.

Ditch Diggers #25: The Absolute Guide to Failure 2, Electric Boogaloo

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s doll hospital, and spend way too much time talking about doll hospitals in general and Morgan’s doll hospital in particular.
  • The Ditch Diggers bring you up-to-date on their professional lives. Mur starts over. Matt needs to write faster.
  • Mur experiments with delayed segues.
  • Neither Matt nor Mur have touched best-selling authors in inappropriate ways, they swear.
  • The Ditch Diggers’ Guide to Absolute Failure returns!
  • Matt and Mur read Guide contributions from listeners, including a former literary agent intern.
  • Matt doesn’t know how to use “shutes” properly, and a certain percentage of the food you eat is bugs and plastic.
  • Mur on “negging” in author interactions, and her new best friend.
  • Writing is easy, and the internet doesn’t really exist.
  • The second installment of The DD Guide to Absolute Failure concludes.
  • Email/Twitter questions and answers!
  • Guide to Literary Agents 2016: http://amzn.com/1599639408

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(Aside- dammit, Six Wakes has a cover, and it’s awesome, and Amazon hasn’t put it on the site yet…)

Brain Crack

Back in January I was talking about a lost Ze Frank video, and lamenting it because it’s one of my favorite arguments against people who are afraid to write their great idea. Luckily Michael Kohne found it for me! Thanks Michael!

This of course reminds me of the project I want to do in the vein of my Tea Party with Failure. I need to get on that. Else it will be brain crack.

(NSFW Language)

SIX WAKES Cover Reveal

I’m so excited to show off the cover of my new book, Six Wakes, out this October from Orbit (and you can totally preorder it*!).  I’m currently working on the final round of edits and I’m really proud of it. It’s a clone murder mystery IN SPACE.** Thanks to Orbit for an amazing cover!

A space adventure set on a lone ship where the murdered crew are resurrected through cloning to discover who their killer was — and the secret to their mission.

Six Wakes Cover

SO FREAKING EXCITED

* Affiliate link, natch
** Clone Murder Mystery in SPACE was a rejected title. Another rejected title was from my friend Alasdair: Murder Space Clone Bastard^

^ OK, so they weren’t rejected titles. I struggle with putting titles on books, but not that much.

The Artist’s Way

I’m going to be attempting a group Artist’s Way journey for Patreon supporters starting next week. The Artist’s Way is a spiritual guide to creativity and I found it very useful to me a few years ago. I’ve always meant to do it again but it’s hard to keep up (like any habit). I’m hoping the group atmosphere will help everyone out.

Aside from the struggle of learning a new habit, the biggest complaint against the Artist’s Way is its mentioning of God or the Great Creator. Atheists shy away from this, thinking it’s all woo and nothing useful is in it. As I am not religious at all, here’s how I look at it: working through AW helps your brain process things, i.e. work through problems through journaling. Studies have shown when you journal and write down gratitudes, it improves your look on life. When you are feeling good, you’re more likely to notice good things like opportunities. I don’t believe that trusting in God will give me opportunities. I believe that improving my brain’s take on the world will allow me to see things and have ideas I wouldn’t have thought possible before.

Here’s a metaphor: It’s a beautiful sunny day. Some people will say God brought the sunny day, and be happy and satisfied. Some will say weather patterns and cold fronts cleared the sky, and be happy and satisfied. But the end result, a sunny day, is the same, and that’s what I’m shooting for with my take of the AW.

So if you want to join us, check out the Patreon. I’m not putting this on any tier; all levels can join in. You can throw in just a buck and come do the Artist’s Way with us.

I’m going to check out the workbook, but you totally don’t need to get it, the book is enough. Here are links to both the book and the workbook. (affiliate link)

ISBW #360: Level up! Plus Dan Koboldt Interview

I’ve leveled up as a writer, and I interview Dan Koboldt, author of The Rogue Retrieval. We also talk about the online writing workshops, OWW and Critters.


Ditch Diggers #24: TV Writing with Margaret Dunlap

We welcome Emmy-winning writer Margaret Dunlap, writer for The Middleman, The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, and the serial Bookburners.

Show notes!

  • Coming to you live from Morgan Freeman’s tornado shelter with special guest co-host Margaret Dunlap!
  • Margaret is the bomb at calculus, yet cannot derivate a function to save her life (or anyone else’s).
  • On the tradition of passing the Campbell Award winner’s tiara which is actually a diadem.
  • Margaret talks about breaking into television writing, and how useless it is to ask the question, “How do you break into TV writing?”
  • On being a TV writers assistant, “freelance” scripts, and the power of getting coffee.
  • Hollywood as a cronyism town vs. a nepotism town (and why that’s a good thing for new writers).
  • Celebrating small victories, and how sushi, beer, and ice cream are scaleable.
  • TV writing vs. webseries writing
  • Margaret is adapting Seanan McGuire’s October Daye books for television with John Rogers’ Kung Fu Monkey Productions! (And the glacial pace of writing projects.)
  • Mur and Margaret talk about Bookburners, and the structure of TV writing meeting fiction books.
  • Q&A with Twitter.
  • Obligatory shilling of Matt’s books and the fact Ditch Diggers is STILL eligible for Best Fancast in the Hugo Awards.
  • Margaret’s website: http://www.margaretdunlap.com/
  • Margaret’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/spyscribe
  • Bookburners: https://www.serialbox.com/serials/555d1163ada6e26d95b9e785
  • Producteev Task Management Software: https://www.producteev.com/

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ISBW #358 – Periscope test

And I talk about writing rules. Do you REALLY have to write every day? Avoid adverbs? Is it do or do not, there is no middle ground?

I recorded this live on Periscope. It’s short, but I’ll be back soon with MOAR.

(Good lord has it been two months? Shame. SHAME. But then I was supposed to have a tea party with Failure, and accept it happens, so I’m accepting this failure and then moving on. I should probably do an episode on the tea with failure.)

Ditch Diggers #23: Organizamouional Prbklems

NOTE- Apologies, I accidentally put this in the ISBW feed. It’s fixed.

We talk organizing and distractions. It’s unorganized and distracted, just so you know.

  • Mur and Matt discuss Morgan Freeman’s obsession with Franklin Mint Collector’s Plates featuring older, fatter Elvis.
  • Mur restates the premise of the podcast, old school, as if it were an early episode.\
  • Matt and Mur talk about their current editing schedules.
  • Mur attempts to use the above to smoothly segue into the show’s topic, but Matt derails the conversation after an off-hand comment about his hair.
  • Matt and Mur finally reach the topic of the episode, organization for professional writers.
  • Mur talks about prioritizing.
  • Matt talks about being your own assistant.
  • Social media as a distraction and a tool, and the appropriate amount of time to spend on it to prevent the former and enable the latter.
  • Apps that help you focus on writing, including real ones like Forest and ones that don’t exist like Matt’s hostage bunny app.
  • Simple alternatives to app solutions, like shutting off your WiFi, and Post-it notes.
  • Matt and Mur debut a new segment, the Writer’s Torment Corner, and talk about World Fantasy Con’s woeful lack of harassment/accessibility policies.
  • Email and Twitter questions.
  • Matt and Mur remind everyone Ditch Diggers is an awards eligible podcast and it is podcast season.
  • Apps mentioned in this episode…
    Forest: http://www.forestapp.cc/
    Write or Die: http://writeordie.com/

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Hamilton + Undertale = AWESOME

When Jim and I first tried to explain the Hamilton phenomenon to our kid, I said, “You know how your friends are going crazy over Undertale? That’s what my friends are doing over Hamilton.”

She was curious, so we played the soundtrack over the holiday road trip. She fell in love with it, and decided that those two tastes would be great together, so she made her first music video. She worked hard to try to match the characters (with some advice from my friend Sunil Patel, who is also a fan of both media), and picked one of her favorite songs. Considering she’s also got matches for King George and the Schuyler sisters, I doubt this is the last video she’ll do.

So with great pride, I present to you: part of “Aaron Burr, Sir” performed by the characters of the computer game Undertale, created by our 13 year old daughter, Fiona.