Last WorldCon Post – Wrun With Writers

I haven’t said enough about Wrun with Writers. Adam Rakunas and I were chatting about going for a run at WorldCon and we thought it might be fun to get others involved. Suddenly it was a 5k run (run, not a race) with ribbons as the reward. I’ve been training.

Sign up here (just so’s we know who’s coming!)

Other WorldCon news, I’m liveblogging the Hugos again (yeah, that should be interesting), my Kaffeklatch is full (cue astonishment), and I’m arriving tomorrow midday. Ack. Too much to do. In case you missed it, my schedule is here.

42

6x9Hullo 42.

Hullo, Mur.

I’ve been looking forward to you. Big dork, big fan of Douglas Adams, etc.

You should. I’m awesome.

Cool. So before we get into the introspection, I’m going to tell you what’s been on my mind right now. See, I bought this awesome tshirt with a unicorn on it, to represent nerdy girls. It’s a white shirt, and not very bulky. In fact, it’s so see-through that you can see my skin tone and my tattoos through it. I put a tank top under it, and that helped, but now it’s obvious I’m wearing a tank top and then the white shirt, and I feel self-conscious.

… are you fucking kidding me? 

Uh, no.

Because you have got to be kidding me with this bullshit. You just wasted a minute of your year of being 42 writing that paragraph up there. And gawd knows how long you spent fretting about it before you wrote it down.

One question: Do. You. Like. The. Shirt?

Well, yeah.

Then fucking wear the fucking shirt. You are forty two fucking years old. You don’t need to explain anymore. You don’t need to apologize anymore. If anyone looks at you and thinks, “gee, that shirt is see-through, she ought to-” AND IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THEY THINK AFTER THAT BECAUSE THEY DO NOT FUCKING COUNT IN YOUR WORLD. Any time anyone says “she ought to” then stop them right there. You’re done with that. You’ve paid your dues. No more explaining. No more apologizing. Wear that shirt. Write that book. Play that music. Wear goddamn technology on both wrists because you fucking love gadgets. 

Listen, when they are thinking “That Mur ought to…” that is mental energy they are wasting when they could be making themselves more awesome. You should feel sorry for them, projecting so much energy in a direction that is going to just keep on going being awesome no matter what. Haters gonna hate, lady. Poor bastards. You don’t worry about them and their “oughts.” You worry about yourself and your awesomeness.

You let Douglas Adams himself wander away when you had a chance to meet him. You were too shy, you were too worried about “oughts”. Then he died. You promised yourself not to let opportunities go by. Where is that moxie?

You’re 42, dammit. Act it.

You’re right. Dammit, you’re right. Unicorn shirt on. I’m going to the comic book store. Thanks, 42.

I’ll be here all year.

WorldCon Schedule

I fell down the stairs this morning. I’m fine, but I’m shaken up. So no writing this morning while I get myself back together. (Then, I realized this afternoon, I forgot to post it.)

Today’s Music: Unsupervised, I Hit My Head, Mono Puff

But hey! I can blog about WorldCon. I hope some folks are getting there early, because according to Mur, THURSDAY IS THE HAPPNIN’ DAY AT SASQUAN, BABY.

Thursday
Autographing
10:00 – 10:45, Exhibit Hall B (CC)
Mur Lafferty, Elizabeth Leggett

Autographing, Thursday morning? OK… I’m going to have to give out prizes to anyone who manages to make that one. I hear there’s a cupcake bakery nearby.

Ditch Diggers Podcast Recording
12:00 – 12:45, Conference Theater 110 (CC)
Mur Lafferty, Matt Wallace

HELL YEAH. Although…. noon? I guess I can bring a flask. And we don’t have a panel description, which could hurt us.

Space Casey (2007) – PG-13
17:55 – 20:50, 203 (CC)
Casey just wants to con her way out of a backwater port, but finds herself in more trouble than she could ever have imagined when she learns just whose spaceship she’s stolen. Luckily, a con artist might be exactly what the galaxy needs! The only work ever to win both the Parsec and Gold Mark Time Awards.
Mur Lafferty will be introducing this audio presentation.

I LOVE SPACE CASEY. Christiana Ellis deserves a great deal more attention for this work. It’s so fun. And apparently we’re starting at 5:55pm. Be there on time.

Match Game
20:00 – 22:00, 300B (CC)
Get ready to match the fannish stars! In this SF/F-themed game show based on the popular 1970s game show, audience members will be randomly selected as contestants to match wits with our panel. The object of the game is to guess how the panel answers fill-in-the-blank questions like “Captain Kirk has the biggest ___ in Starfleet.” Winners receive prizes such as gift certificates from Worldcon dealers, book packages, or convention memberships. All contestants receive Lovely Parting Gifts™.
Kevin Standlee (M), Scott Edelman, Tom Galloway, Leigh Ann Hildebrand, Mur Lafferty, Kevin Roche, Amy Thomson, Mary Crowell

I am sad Paul Cornell isn’t involved with this. I guess I associate him with WorldCon game shows. But this should be fun.

Then, BARCON, baby. That’s a full fucking day.

Friday
Certainly Not For the Money: Why We Write Short Fiction
11:00 – 11:45, Bays 111C (CC)
Why do we put ourselves through the angst of writing short fiction? It certainly isn’t the money. Why else would we do it?Mur Lafferty, Sarah Pinsker, Stefan Rudnicki, Rick Wilber, Mark J. Ferrari

Hm. No one is listed as moderator. I’m first, and it’s not alphabetical. I better prepare just in case.

Writing For Video Games
15:00 – 15:45, Bays 111C (CC)
How does experience in writing SF novels translate to writing scripts and backstory for video games? What are the new skills that authors hoping to work on video game stories need to learn?
William Dietz (M), Brian Campbell, Jason Hough, Mur Lafferty, John Scalzi

This will be an interesting panel.

Saturday
Podcasts for Young Adults
10:00 – 10:45, 303A (CC)
Adults love podcasts and podcasting, but what about teens? Is there a market for YA podcasts and where can kids find cool new content? What topics, guests and issues should podcasts for younger listeners address? What about kids who want to create their own podcasts? Your in luck! Our panelists will also share tips for teens who want to create their own podcasts.
Mur Lafferty (M), John Joseph Adams, Kate Baker, Jason Snell, Dan Wells

Hell yeah. I’m all over this one.

Kaffee Klatche – Mur Lafferty
13:00 – 13:45, 202A-KK2 (CC)
Join a panelist and up to 9 other fans for a small discussion. Coffee and snacks available for sale on the 2nd floor.

I know that, unlike February in Boston, most of the people won’t be driven home by a blizzard, but I have flashbacks to my completely empty kaffeklatch at Boskone. I’ll be prepared. Might bring giveaways to this one, too.

Sunday
Reading – Mur Lafferty
12:00 – 12:30, 303B (CC)

I’ll probably be reading from Six Wakes, since that’s the book I just sold, and stuff. Or I’ll read from a SEEKRIT project. Or maybe both…

Hope to see you there!

Ghost Train to New Orleans won the 2015 Manly Wade Wellman Award!

I’m thrilled to announce that this past weekend at ConGregate, my book Ghost Train to New Orleans won the 2015 Manly Wade Wellman award! I was super surprised, especially since The Shambling Guide to New York City won the 2014 prize and I didn’t expect Ghost Train to win 2015. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. It’s voted on by the member of four NC conventions: illogiCon, ConCarolinas, ConTemporal, and ConGregate.

I was up against some amazing authors, including my friends James Maxey (NC Piedmont Laureate), Gail Z. Martin, and David Drake, so there was some fierce competition.

My friends Rebecca and Dennis picked up the award for me, so I haven’t gotten it yet, but I’ll post a picture when I do!

I have recused myself from the 2016 award consideration.

Get those award winning books! (affiliate)

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.

Subconscious mind: OH SHIT AN EMAIL HAS ARRIVED WITH “EDITS” IN THE SUBJECT LINE, FIRE THE ADRENALINE CANNONS, PREPARE THE SORRY-FOR-MYSELF HUGGY BEARS, AND MAKE SURE THE WEEPING CLOSET HAS FRESH TISSUES.

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.

Subconscious mind: WRONG WRONG WRONG THERE WAS THE TIME. THE CHOAD* TIME. YOU KNOW IT. RPG EDITOR SEND REDLINES BACK WITH THE WORD “CHOAD” WRITTEN AMONG THE EDITS THREE TIMES. ONCE AS A VERB. OR MAYBE AN ADJECTIVE. “CHOADING.” WE DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.

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.