Water Wings

Maybe it’s the age thing. Maybe it’s the approaching birthday. But I’m feeling a definite midlife crisis here, the feeling that my body is changing and slowing down and I feel like I have little to no control over it. Not to mention very little willpower.

I’m running more but it doesn’t feel like ENOUGH. You know?

So I told myself I would train for a triathlon*. Yeah. Me.

Why this is so amazingly funny ridiculous fucked up ambitious is

  1. I haven’t ridden a bike since the early 1990’s. Most of us didn’t have email when I last rode a bike.
    a. I don’t currently own a bike.
    b. Or a bike helmet.
  2. I hate swimming with my head in the water. It’s not a vanity, getting hair/makeup wet** thing. I think it’s because I had chronic ear infections as a kid when I would swim in my grandmother’s pool, so I equate swimming underwater with pain. (And yeah, I know I can wear earplugs. This is not a conscious fear; it’s an illogical aversion that I have to whip the lizard brain into realizing there’s nothing to fear here. Lizard brain doesn’t care about fucking ear plugs. Lizard brain says SHORTEST ROUTE TO NO PAINLAND IS NO HEAD IN WATER.)
  3. Running- well, I like running. So I’ve got that going for me…

I’ve got some friends giving me advice, and I have some books with some surprisingly good swim drills. I’m not even afraid of failing. I know I’m not going to leap in and suddenly start winning triathlons in the 40+ age range. I think I am afraid of just getting despondent and quitting. Some of what I’ve read said this is a mental game, it’s not just being in shape, it’s the training and the focus and the knowing you have a weak link in your chain and working on that harder instead of avoiding it like the lizard brain tells you to.

So me and my lizard brain. Gonna train for a triathlon. Step 1 is swimming lessons. Wish me luck.

I need a name for my lizard brain. Any suggestions? She’s stubborn and bigger than me. Tell me on twitter (@mightymur) cause I don’t do comments here.

* Sprint. Not an Iron Man. Are you crazy?
** “Sorry if I look like a beat-up hooker.” – Things you hear at your community pool. Well, mine, anyway. Hey, she was more charming than the guy with the white supremacy tattoos. HOWDY NEIGHBOR.

Standing With Irene

I’m not an eloquent debate enthusiast. My words dry up when struggling to defend myself or my positions. Fiction is easy. Arguing is not. It’s just the way I am. And as it’s the end of the day, more eloquent people than me have written about this. So I will link to them, and just say I stand with Irene. I definitely would want someone to stand with me.

So read the following to learn more:

  • Kameron Hurley- The Revolution of Self-Righteous Dickery will Not Be Moderated

    So here’s the deal: it fucking sucks to be a woman in the workplace, and to have your employer throw you under the bus for saying a true thing. It fucking sucks that guys who have been there longer and have said the same shit for years (and others who actively harassed people and had to be encouraged to quit their jobs because they wouldn’t even fire them for it!) get a private slap at best and the public shit hammer comes down on you because you’re the softer target.
    It. Fucking. Sucks.

  • Ditch Diggers co-host Matt Wallace- When We Drive out the Innovators We Are Left Only with the Sad and Rabid

    What is not open for debate is the fact Irene has helped and is helping innovate a major appendage of a major publisher and is one among several pairs of hands shaping a better, more interesting, more diverse future for authors and readers of SFF. That is not only needed, it is necessary. It is absolutely vital. She should be elevated for that, not sacrificed to a small clan of mediocre throwbacks because they can be the most vocal on the fucking internet.
    Tor’s position on this, among myriad other ways that position is f’ed up, is one of trading innovation and a wider audience for the utterly narrow; a narrow viewpoint expressed by a narrow demographic of the narrow-minded.
    The Puppies keep saying they want change, but what they want is things to go back to the way they were.
    That’s what really pisses them off so much.
    They want things to stay the same.
    They don’t want change.

  • Chuck Wendig- I Stand By Irene Gallo

    a) the publisher wants to publicly shame a woman editor for saying things that other editors have said in the past, and in publishing that apology out on the big wide Internet, they then:
    b) want to reassure the horrible people that hey, horrible people, you’re welcome under the tent, too, and we’re sorry for pointing out that you’ve been defecating on our beach for a while, no, no, it’s fine, keep defecating on our beach, we are inclusive to all beach-goers and that includes you feisty beach-shitters too here we’ll even put up a sign BEACH-SHITTERS WELCOME TOO!
    This is the publisher that housed a known harasser of women (and said nothing), by the way.
    So, we’re talking double — nngh, maybe triple? — standards going on here.

  • Mary Robinette Kowal- Comment on Tor.com, Letter to Tom Doherty

    The fact that you are now defending the Sad Puppies campaign, even implicitly, and apologizing to them for being offended is really distressing. It implies things about the priorities of Tor that I find uncomfortable and would very much like to be wrong about. At the moment though, I feel as though the safety of women authors, and authors of color is less important to the company than the feelings of those who attack them.

  • Andrea Phillips- Get Thee to HR to be Hanged

    But [demanding someone be fired is] not the very first step in the process. Unless you’re happy operating as an angry mob like GamerGate, and I am very much not happy with that. I want to be better than that. If you believe in social justice, you damn well should be better than that. Due process. It’s a beautiful thing. I believe in it, because I’d rather justice be slow than that innocent people have their lives ruined.

Prep the adrenaline cannon… FIRE

Edits, man. I have friends who cheerfully say, “rewriting is writing!” and love the edit process. I think these people are also the kind who enjoy putting laundry away. My approach to edits is different, and something I constantly struggle with. Picture a conversation, if you will.

Conscious mind: Your work needs other eyes. Your work has always, always benefitted by an editor’s hand. Most of the time the requested edits are pointing out unconscious repetitions in your work, or unintended cliches, or just misuse of a word. In short, editing is good. Editing makes the story better. You should feel grateful an editor has taken the time to suggest improvements to your work.


Conscious mind: Um, Drama Mama? Can you hold it down and stop flooding me with the desire to run away screaming that no one likes my writing? I have work to do here. And edits have never been bad, or personal. It’s about the work. So let’s edit the work.


Conscious mind: That was over 10 years ago! You were a baby writer! And besides, he was still commenting on the work, not you. Your writing was choady. You were fine.

Subconscious mind: You’re serious? Is this a joke? Choady writing is just fine as long as we don’t have Choady Mur?

Conscious mind: You haven’t been treated like that since! Get over it! Every time since then the edits come in, and you freak the fuck out, and then I have to spend days making you get up the courage to look at the edits, and how often are they more than an hour’s work?

Subconscious mind: Only on novel-length work.

Conscious mind: What’s that?

Subconscious mind: Only on novel-length work. But STILL. SCARY THEY DON’T LIKE US OR OUR WORK FEELS.

Conscious mind: Do you remember how good you feel when it’s done? Do you remember how we always say, “Why did we dread that so much?”

Subconscious mind: Fires the adrenaline cannon at Conscious mind, runs off to the weeping closet.

Conscious mind: Well. That was fun. Now I’ve got adrenaline all over me. Anyone got a towel? Maybe I’ll edit this afternoon…

Meet my subconscious. She’s kind of an asshole.

* Most people I’ve told this story to don’t know what choad means. It’s slang for penis. For more information, that link right there is text and descriptive, and safe for work unless people looking over your shoulder also like to read over your shoulder. And then they’ll only be reading about penis. Fun fact, according to the link above, choad was The Mavens’ Word of the Day, 2000 May 31, Random House.

Ghost Train to New Orleans nominated for the Manly Wade Wellman Award!

In today’s OMG Gazette, I’ve been nominated for the Manly Wade Wellman Award for Ghost Train to New Orleans! It was a huge thrill to win last year for The Shambling Guide to New York City, and I was super-surprised to get another nomination this year! The other nominees are:

  • Ghost Train to New Orleans by Mur Lafferty
  • Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by A.J. Hartley and David Hewson
  • The Sea Without a Shore by David Drake
  • Reign of Ash by Gail Z. Martin
  • Bad Wizard by James Maxey

This award was created to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. It’s voted on by the combined membership of North Carolina science fiction and fantasy conventions (illogiCon, ConCarolinas, ConTemporal, and ConGregate). It will be given out in July.

Thanks to everyone who nominated me!

Phoenix Comicon, status of me and podcastland

I’m heading to Phoenix Comicon tomorrow (would be there today but I have a family obligation here at home) and will be on panels tomorrow and Saturday. Here’s my schedule!

I’ve been depressed lately, and it’s been the evil stealth depression that I couldn’t see until I started to come out with it. Needless to say, my creative output, both writing and podcasting, has been low. I’ve hit my Bookburners deadlines but not much else. I’m doing much better and will be recording a lot today.

There will be things to announce in the coming days. Watch this space.

Have dinner with me this Saturday to benefit Durham County Library!

Just a reminder that I will be at the Buffet of Authors event during the Read Local festival in Durham this weekend. You can see me, Monica Byrne, James Maxey, and Clay and Susan Griffith and have sushi with us! Tickets are still available, so check it out here.

And I’ll be on WUNC’s The State of Things tomorrow to talk about the festival, so tune in at noon!


Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Southeast Reading Series – TONIGHT

Date: Friday, April 24, 2015
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Edge Workshop Room, Bostock Library

Tonight I’ll be appearing at Duke University with several other area SFF writers for the Southeast reading series. Should be fun! It’s free, so drop by if you like.

The SFWA Southeast Reading Series will present a panel on science fiction and technology with authors Mark Van Name, Mur Lafferty, Richard Dansky, Jay Posey, Justin Achilli, and (via Skype) Tiffany Trent. The panel will be moderated by Hillsborough author and editor M. David Blake.

The panel will be followed by a question and answer session, and a chance to mingle with the authors.

Join me at the Buffet of Authors for the Durham County Library

On May 16, The Durham Library Foundation is doing a “dine out with authors” event where you can, well, dine with authors. The SFF bunch, which includes, among others, me, Monica Byrne, James Maxey, and Clay & Susan Griffith, will be dining at Basan in downtown Durham, NC. (Sushi! I haven’t been there yet!)

If you want to be part of this, you can buy tickets at the Read Local site!

Stretch Goals!

I think I will put on my tombstone: Mur Lafferty: STRETCH GOAL. I love helping out friends on Kickstarter projects, and currently I’m a stretch goal on two!

One is the JR Blackwell photography project, In Their Own Worlds. I’ve mentioned this one before, but I want to mention again cause dammit, I’m a high stretch goal and I really want to do this project! I love JR and her work! It’s funded, but not to the Shambling Guide level yet! [NOTE- As of April 26, halfway there!]

[NOTE- Stretch Goal Made!] The second is from my good friend Dave Thompson, former co-editor of Podcastle, who is putting together a short story collection called And Welcome Back, Stories. It’s close, but not quite close enough to the $2000 stretch goal of the guest author chapbook (including Matt Fn Wallace and Ann Fn Leckie, winner of ALL the 2014 awards.)