31 posts categorized "self-promotion"

August 19, 2009

Publication News!

Amid the moany-groany there's some good news:

The awesome Timmi Duchamp, editor of Aqueduct Press, has accepted a short MS of mine for publication in her Conversation Pieces chapbook series! Yay!

The book will be called Slightly Behind and to the Left, and will contain four stories: "Pigs in Space," "Pinball Effect" (which will be published as the "gravity" entry here,) "Abducted by Aliens!", and "Vacation." There are also three drabbles (100 word stories) in it, all written for FarThing, although she only took two (beeotch!)

It'll be out most likely by the end of the year, although that's not yet locked down. Open the champagne!

July 14, 2009

I'm Teaching A Blogging Class (post #666)

Hey Bay Areans,

I'll be teaching a weekend blogging workshop through Kearny Street Workshop this weekend in San Francisco's SOMA district. Saturday is a free two-hour blogging 101 class for absolute beginners. The goal will be to set up your first blog. Sunday is a three hour blog writing and marketing workshop with me and Glenda Bautista that costs $50.

You can get details here or below. Please spread the word to those folks in your life who want more blog in theirs!


Weekend Blogging Workshop

July 18-19, 10:00am - 1:00pm
KSW @ PariSoMa, 1436 Howard Street

This weekend intensive blogging workshop will take you from beginner basics to blog bragging rights. Sign up for one day or both, and get into the blogosphere.

DAY ONE: Writing 101 with Claire Light
Saturday, July 18, 11am - 1pm

This FREE two-hour class will help absolute beginners get off the ground. We will discuss what a blog is; what things (skills, technologies) you will need to start a blog; how to actually create your blog; and how to connect with the blogosphere so you're not casting your pearls into the void.

Prerequisites: familiarity with email programs and web browers; moderate skill with Microsoft Word; possession of a laptop with wireless.

Cost: FREE
Minimum class size: 4

To register, please email [email protected] with your full name and contact info.

DAY TWO: The Art of Blogging with Claire Light and Glenda Bautista
Sunday, July 19, 10am - 1pm

This three-hour paid class is designed around examining blogging as a writing form, or a written art form. We will discuss blogging as a form; what are its opportunities and limitations; what is commonly done within the blogging form and what are some interesting outliers; what technologies exist to facilitate blogging as a writing form. We will discuss "blog marketing" not as a commercial enterprise but as a method of connecting to a community that furthers the art of the blog. We will also do writing exercises in various blogging forms, on the internet. The result of this three-hour workshop will be a number of blog texts and a group project (for example: a blog carnival, or possibly even a group blog.)

Prerequisites: you must have a laptop with wireless for the session and have an established blog; this session may not be ideal for absolute beginners.

Cost: $50 per person
Minimum class size: 5

To register by check, please send check or money order to: Kearny Street Workshop, PO Box 14545, San Francisco, CA 94114-0545. Or pay online by clicking here and then clicking on the Buy Now button.

June 12, 2009

First Book Trailer!

Wow! I'm super proud of this book trailer we produced for Kaya Press (Sam Arbizo did the work.) After having a look at the field, it seemed there was a lot of room for improvement. What do you all think?

(By the way, I'm still working on some longer posts. Just recovering from jet lag and getting back into the swing.)

May 25, 2009

atlas(t) Now On Twitter!

Just created a twitter feed for my mapping blog atlas(t). It's at atlastweet.

May 08, 2009

Busy Today


Brian 1 color300dpiWofford2

Brian Castro and Jenifer Wofford in conversation tonight at SomArts.

Now I have to go pick up Brian from the airport. Will be a headless chicken today.

December 29, 2008

10,000 Hours

I got a copy of Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers for Christmas and read it in one day. One of the things he talks about in the book  is the idea that, to achieve mastery over any field, you have to put in 10,000 hours of practice.

I'd heard theories like this before, but Gladwell unpacked it in a particularly enticing way. So naturally, the first thing I did was to calculate when I would have hit my 10,000 hours. I wasn't the only one.

It's hard to do, because I write, and have always written, everything: fiction, plays, poetry, screenplays, essays, articles, letters, journals, online discussions, and most recently, blogs. And I count all of this together. Although I recognize genre differences, and differences of purpose, as far as mastery of writing -- including the use of the imagination that is so necessary in fiction -- every kind of self-expressive writing that I do contributes equally to my development. I accept that other people may write differently, and may process their different kinds of writing differently. But I don't.

It's also a difficult calculation because I haven't written at a steady rate. There have been years when I would come home and just write for hours every day, and other years when I would write for a few hours maybe once a week ... and to no "productive" purpose. There were years when I wrote nothing "creative" at all, but rather handwrote letter after letter to friends who never received any of them. You know how it goes.

Anyroad, I decided to go conservative and average ten hours of writing per week. Starting at fifteen (the year I bought my first journal -- as opposed to my first "diary" which was bought for me when I was maybe 8 -- realizing that I could write down what I was ACTUALLY thinking rather than some boring YA version of "Dear Diary, this is what happened to me today ...") this would take twenty years; subtract four years (conservatively) for the long stretches when I was writing thirty hours a week, and that would put me at 31 when I hit my 10,000 hours.

I got very excited when I figured this out because 31 was, of course, the age at which I finished the first draft my "breakthrough" story, "Pigs in Space," the one that got me into grad school, got me into Clarion West, and then got published in McSweeney's. (McSweeney's subsequently asked me to record it for an audiobook, which you can download here.) It remains my sole big story publication, (although I'm sure that will change this year ;) ) so take that as you will.

More importantly, though, I remember writing that story, and it took me a while. I wrote the first part and it was a good idea, like a lot of "first parts" I had written before. But this good idea actually brought together a lot of social and political concerns that had been on my plate for a long time, but that I hadn't found a way to put into a story. I couldn't figure out how to end it, though, for a few months. After processing it internally, the solution popped into my head one day and I wrote the rest of the story. I then spent the next two years revising it, putting it through nine drafts, never quite satisfied that it was ready to go.

I turned it in as a writing sample for grad school, got in. Worked on it some more. Workshopped it in class. Wrote 20,000 words of backstory. Used it as a writing sample for Clarion West. Got in. We were supposed to workshop it the first week but I asked to do a new story, since I was sick of "Pigs." Fortunately for me, our first week instructor, Nancy Kress, had read and prepared a critique and gave it to me in our one-on-one session. It was a substantial, but simple, structural rearrangement that she suggested, and she was right about it.

It still took me a few months to see that she was right, but when I went over the story for that last draft, the scales almost literally fell from my eyes and I understood not only what Nancy had said about the structure, but why. It was a small moment that hid a huge transformation. After that, I could actually see story structure in my head: an amorphous, not quite solid, three dimensional shape.

When I look back on it, I think what I was doing was taking the last steps towards understanding story as an integral -- a living -- organism. Not thinking about it as a living thing, which is the same as saying "asking a question," but understanding it a such, which is the same as saying, "having an answer." Just one answer, of course.

That was also the point at which I realized that I had been struggling, without knowing it, toward an end goal which I had reached without ever defining it. And, in reaching it, I realized that it wasn't an "end" goal. The way I explained it to my students at the time was that writing is like running up a steep flight of stairs to a locked door at the top. You bang on and push against the door until it finally gives way ... and then you find yourself on a landing, at the foot of another steep flight of stairs with another locked door at the top.

What changed at that point for me was confidence in what I was doing, and in my ability to do it. This transformation actually took two years, but it started right around the time I would have hit 10,000 hours, and ended in the middle of a four year period where I increased my writing time to over thirty hours a week, adding over 5,000 hours to my total.

Okay, now you: when did you hit your 10,000?

November 30, 2008

I'm Boring

Don't agree with me!

Now that the election is over, I have nothing to saaaaaay! Argh.

But I've reshuffled some blogging dooties: I'm blogging again at Hyphen magazine, if you wanna check me out

November 05, 2008

Yay1000!

Over the next four years, there's gonna be a lotta Obama crit coming from this blog, so let me just take the opportunity right now to say: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Holy shit!

Last night was amazing! I spent the evening with some friends at their house and finally, we couldn't stay in anymore. We drove downtown. People were driving up and down Broadway in Oakland, honking and dancing. I stuck my hand out the window and a blockful of people ran up and high-fived me. Jaime said it was like we won the world cup but it was much, much heavier than that. People were elated, but also dazed and serious.

I hope this feeling lasts long enough for us to change the way we've been doing business. I'm so glad to have my country back.

Oh, also: Jaime made a chocolate cake with white frosting and an American flag on top in berries. Perfect.

October 23, 2008

Mono Lake Materials

Just a quick check-in: I'm up at my cousin's (bless him!) house on Mono Lake for a week (I'm halfway through the week now.) I had visitors with me the past five nights: Patty until yesterday and Sam the past three days until today. The next three nights I'm on my own. That's good, in its way, but it does mean that I'm not going to be reading Turn of the Screw in this phase of the retreat ;).

Patty was working on some sketches for her new calendar project, and Sam did some work yesterday on residency applications. I do not envy her. I've been working on an essay for Timmi, which I have no idea if it is good or not. (I also have no idea if I structured that clause correctly.) I'm hoping to get that done today so I can get at least two good days of work in on da Nobble, but I'm not sure that'll happen. This essay is a monster and it's killin' me.

Anyway, last night, after Patty was gone, Sam and I brainstormed. We are both looking down the barrel of Kearny Street Workshop's 10-year APAture retrospective (called Shifted Focus), part of which will be a reading and a performance night at the de Young Museum in conjunction with their Asian American art exhibition (called Shifting Currents, see what they did there?). I'll be doing a reading on December 3 and Sam will be doing a performance on January 23.

Anyway, we agreed a few weeks ago to a) both present new work created specifically for this event, and b) collaborate on that work by c) coming up with a set of "materials" from which we would both create our pieces. By materials, I mean characters (and names), concepts (like "fossil"), locations, (like "rooftop"), activities (like "two fisted drinking"), words, phrases, etc. The idea is that we'll come up with a short set of things--one in each category, perhaps five or less--which we will both be constrained to use in the pieces we create. (The examples I used above are probably not the ones we're going to use, by the way.)

So we're still brainstorming, but we'll have the set ready by next week. I don't think I'll post them here. I think, instead, I'll encourage you all to come to the reading (maybe I'll post a video of it on YouTube) and the performance and see the results for yourselves. Itsth an ecthperiment!

September 15, 2008

Carl Brandon Society Hispanic Heritage Month Book List

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month y'all!

If this looks familiar to you, it's because you've seen this sort of thing before.

Every national heritage month, members of the Carl Brandon Society (an organization of writers of color working in the speculative fiction genres) create a list of ten speculative fiction books in print written by writers of that particular heritage. The 2008 Carl Brandon Society Hispanic Heritage Month Recommended Reading List (I know, it's long) is below.

Please forward and post everywhere, take to your bookstores and libraries, tell all your friends! These are books worth reading, and it would be great if you could read one of them between Sept 15 and Oct 15 and blog about it! Yes?

*****

The CARL BRANDON SOCIETY recommends

the following speculative fiction books by writers of Latin American heritage

for Hispanic Heritage Month:

  • COSMOS LATINOS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF SCIENCE FICTION FROM LATIN AMERICA AND SPAIN: a terrific, five-year-old anthology of early-to-contemporary SF stories from Spain and Latin America, showing the breadth of Latino social concerns and imagination.
  • Jorge Luis Borges LABYRINTHS: A short story collection very like FICCIONES, his other book. Am not sure which one has my two favorite Borges stories: A) the story about the man who is on a bus trip and who is fated to die 2) the story about Judas being the real savior because he was the one who was despised and rejected of men. Just turning the entire Jesus story around and saying Judas was the lamb who sacrificed himself.
  • Adolfo Bioy Casares THE INVENTION OF MOREL: Casares was an Argentine writer in the circle of Jorge Luis Borges. MOREL steps directly into the realm of science fiction, in the tradition of THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, dealing with unnamed technology and its very specific effects on human psychology.
  • Julio Cortazar HOPSCOTCH: Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books where you get to choose your own endings, make your own timeline, and generally skip around and rearrange the chapters? This is the best of the best. It's a novel about philosophy and order and meaning and quite fun.
  • Carlos Fuentes DEATH OF ARTEMIO CRUZ: This is the first book (the only book?) I ever read where each chapter is written in a different person. First person, Second Person, Third Person. There is also the great f*ck chapter. An old revolutionary is dying and thinking about his life. We see a lot about the Mexican revolution and get tons of stuff about political corruption.
  • Angelica Gorodischer KALPA IMPERIAL: a quirky collection of stories about a fictional great empire that rises and falls and rises and falls. Translated by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • Mario Vargas Llosa AUNT JULIA AND THE SCRIPTWRITER: hilarious, mischievous, and masterful...a wonderfully comic novel almost unbelievably rich in character, place and event.
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE: Totally wonderful love story with folk-legend. It's like listening to one's hoo-doo believing grandmother telling you about events in her life. A lot of brothers, a lot of love, a lot of passion, a lot of spiritual cause and effect.
  • Guillermo Gomez-Peña THE NEW WORLD BORDER: the strangest book about performance art you've ever read, Gomez-Peña casts forward into, and writes news reports from a borderless future where whites are a minority and the language is Spanglish.
  • Juan Rulfo PEDRO PARAMO: A man goes back to his parents' village to try to find the father who abandoned him. Trapped there by ghosts, he learns the horrifying story of his father's evil deeds. One of the first "magical realist" novels from Latin America.
       

For more information, please visit www.carlbrandon.org.

July 29, 2008

Recent Figure-outey

Because of a recent post I did on my entertainment blog about the Bechdel test, I've been thinking about it lately. And the only big moobie I've seen this summer that passes that test is ... drumroll please ... the Sex and the City moobie. And I haven't even seen that movie.

Makes you think don't it?

July 03, 2008

My Entertainment Blog!

Hey all,

I know posting has been spotty 'round here lately. Partly because my outrage machine got broke when Obama won the nom. Now I'm keeping my mouth shut while I try to work up more than nominal (get it? nominal?) enthusiasm for his cause.

But it's also because I've been working hard to establish my new entertainment blog. It's called "EnterBrainment" and is my usual thinks-too-much maunderings, except this time, unrepentantly, about the trashiest trash trash.

I'm being paid, you see, to be a featured A & E blogger on a new blogging site called PNN, the personal news network. The innovation of this site is that you can lay out your blog to look like a newspaper, with different pages and sections. The result is halfway between a website and a newspaper, with columns and captioned photos, and headlines, and the works. You kind of have to see it to get it. The way the blogging software works is different from more "traditional" blogging software, and should appeal to people whose minds work in a more modular fashion. The software also rewards multitasking, unlike traditional blogging software, which pretty much restricts your blog posting to one track. Again, you have to see it to get what I mean.

What this all means for my blogging is that I'm getting an excuse to turn my formidable bitchiness on the lightest of pop subjects. It's pretty cool. It is, however, also taking time away from my other blogging.

So please go over and check out EnterBrainment (yes, I know, but I'm old enough to enjoy puns now) and slip me a link if you want. I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to have a blog roll or just a page of feeds. Feel free to make your entertainment blog known to me.

Yay!

June 21, 2008

I'm Gaius!

How did I miss this quiz?            
What New Battlestar Galactica character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Dr Gaius Baltar

You have betrayed humanity, for a blonde.  However you'd rather people learnt to just get past that.  After all, you never meant wipe out the human race.  Luckily you are cleverer than everyone else, so no one will ever know.  Even though they look at you with suspicion behind their eyes.

         

Dr Gaius Baltar

         
81%

CPO Galen Tyrol

         
75%

Tom Zarek

         
69%

Capt. Lee Adama (Apollo)

         
63%

Col. Saul Tigh

         
63%

Lt. Kara Thrace (Starbuck)

         
50%

Commander William Adama

         
38%

President Laura Roslin

         
31%

Number 6

         
19%

Lt. Sharon Valerii (Boomer)

         
6%
   

June 19, 2008

wordle

Wordlenobble
Via Justine, this wordle word cloud of the most used words in da nobble.

May 23, 2008

At Wiscon

Hey all!

Those of you at Wiscon who want to meet up should:

  1. Come to Opening Ceremonies at 7:30 tonight (Friday) for a Carl Brandon Society-led hootenanny.
  2. Come to the Carl Brandon Party tonight (Friday) after 9 PM in room 623, which we're sharing with the Speculative Literature Foundation. New and renewing members will get a special cocktail!
  3. Come to the Carl Brandon Society update panel tomorrow (Saturday) at 10 AM in Conference Room 5 to find out what's going on with the awards, the scholarship, our wiki, and other cool things we're doing.
  4. Come to my reading with Doselle Young and Alaya Dawn Johnson tomorrow (Saturday) at 4 pm at Fair Trade Coffee at 418 State Street.
  5. Come to the Carl Brandon Society panel "Some of Us Are Brave: Identity Intersections in an Election Year" on Sunday at 4 PM in Conference Room 5.

Plus, I'll just be around, dude!

May 07, 2008

My Wiscon Sked

Is as follows:

Carl Brandon Society Update
Join the Carl Brandon Society Steering Committee for some brainstorming, some celebration of people of color in SF, and an update including information on the Awards and the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship. The gang will mostly be there: Nisi Shawl, Victor Raymond, Candra Gill, Bryan Thao Worra, 'n' moi!
Saturday, 10:00-11:15 A.M.
Conference 5

Red Beans and Rice
A reading, starring Alaya Dawn Johnson, Doselle Young, Bryan Thao Worra, 'n' moi!
Saturday, 4:00-5:15 P.M.
Fair Trade

April 20, 2008

Death and Pop



Does anybody else find this video terrifying?

Sort of underlines why so little pop music deals with death.

April 07, 2008

One-Hit Wonder

Mcswe So it's coming up on four years since my story "Pigs In Space" was published in McSweeney's and it remains my only major publication.

Like a proper one-hit wonder, though, that same story is getting a new lease on life. Claire's greatest hit.

A month or two ago I recorded it on some portable equipment and now McSweeney's has released the first in what is supposed to be a series of audiobooks collecting pieces from various issues read by the authors.

The original idea was that we were to find some public place to record in that would put the recording in danger of being interrupted, or at times overridden by local noise. But that didn't work out for me, equipment-wise or in terms of ideas. (A friend of mine suggested an airport, but that had some obvious homeland security issues, and the nearest pig farm I could find on google is halfway to Sacramento.) So I just recorded it at home, interrupted only by my own amateurishness.

It's out now, and available on emusic. You can find it here. It's called McSweeney's Field Recordings: Close Calls and Dangerous Propositions.

I haven't heard it yet, but apparently, my "narration imbues [my] piece with an undeniably creepy tone." Hm.

April 01, 2008

I Knew That!

Space radiation endangers manned Mars expeditions.

Duh.

Hint: this is an issue in da nobble, WHICH I WILL START IN ON AGAIN THIS WEEK! YAY!

February 04, 2008

Carl Brandon's Black History Month List

Hey all,

As many of you know, I'm on the steering committee of The Carl Brandon Society, an organization dedicated to increasing representation of people of color in the speculative genres. We've polled our members and come up with a recommended reading list of speculative fiction books by black authors for Black History Month.

The idea is for you to read these books this month, forward this list around to your friends, take this list into your local bookstores and ask them to display these books this month, post the list on your blogs and websites, etc. I hope you'll all strongly consider at least picking up one of these books and falling into it. It's a wonderful list, and your February will be improved!

So, without further ado:

THE CARL BRANDON SOCIETY
recommends the following books for BLACK HISTORY MONTH:

  • So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
  • Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany
  • My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
  • The Coyote Kings of the Space Age Bachelor Pad by Minister Faust
  • Mindscape by Andrea Hairston
  • Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell
  • Futureland by Walter Mosley
  • The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
  • Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu

And the 2005 CARL BRANDON SOCIETY AWARD Winners:

• PARALLAX AWARD given to works of speculative fiction created by a person of color:
47 by Walter Mosley

• KINDRED AWARD given to any work of speculative fiction dealing with issues of race and ethnicity; nominees may be of any racial or ethnic group:
Stormwitch
by Susan Vaught

(cross-posted at Other magazine blog.)

February 02, 2008

Coolio

Looky, I am now a professional blogger! (Can you believe they're actually going to pay me for this crap?)

I got hooked up with KQED (the San Francisco NPR affiliate, for those of you outside of the Bay Area) and will now be blogging for their arts and culture section a couple of times a month. I'm covering the East Bay, so East Bay folks, bring your artsy fartsy to me.

Yay!

November 18, 2007

Blogroll

If you're the noticing kind, you'll notice that I took my categorized, annotated blogroll down because it was out of date and already too long.

I'm going to be revamping. It will probably still be categorized. It will probably no longer be annotated. Please consider this an opportunity to send me a link to add to my blogroll. Do it in the comments to this post, or send it to my email address, which you can access in my about page.

I WANT TO POST:


  1. My friends' and family members' blogs and websites. Please send!

  2. Blogs on topics of interest to me on this particular blog. This means that if you are not a regular reader of this blog, don't presume to know what would interest me.

  3. Blogs of organizations I have had something to do with, or organizations I would be interested in based on the regular content of this blog. This means that if you are not a regular reader of this blog, don't presume to know what would interest me.

I WILL NOT POST:


  1. Random personal blogs of people I don't know. I might not remember that I know you, so please remind me of how I know you ;).

  2. Corporate blogs of any kind.

  3. Blogs of organizations I don't know that don't have anything to do with my interests.

  4. Anything commercial.

  5. Any kind of randomness.

Seriously now, DO NOT SPAM ME! I will TAKE STEPS!

October 08, 2007

Come See Me Read!

Hey there, all! Yes, it's Litquake time again! Yes, I'm reading again during the very cool Lit Crawl. I'll be in Phase III from 8 to 8:45:

Mission Laundromat, 3282 22nd Street Lit Journals: Authors from On the Page and Tea Party Magazines Blair Campbell, Deborah Crooks, John Dylan Keith, Clara Hsu, Claire Light, Craig Santos Perez

Hope to see some of you out and about that night! I might even ... we'll see ... do a "blog reading," an as yet undefined type of performance which I might not have time to experiment with. We'll see ...

March 03, 2007

Octavia Butler Tribute Fundraiser!!!!

LAST CALL FOR BOOZE 'N' SCI-FI!

Yes, cows and cowboys, tomorrow's the big day. You DO NOT want to miss this one.

Nalo_1Nalo Hopkinson will be there, she of the interesting hybrid accent, straight from Toronto, author of two of my favorite books: Brown Girl in the Ring and Midnight Robber (wouldn't it be cool if she did a sequel to Brown Girl in the Ring and called it Tralalalala?)

Jewelle
Jewelle Gomez will be there, in all her former grantor glory! Four words: lesbian escaped slave vampires. I know that's enough.

Gomez_penaGuillermo Gomez-Peña will be there, mixing it up, literally, linguistically, futuristically, and poetically. A MacArthur Genius. Heh, like Octavia. Now how often do you get to see geniuses?

Susiebright_1 Susie Bright will be there, erotica'in like there's no tomorrow. Really, do you want to miss the woman who is the nation's true expert on sex fiction? I think not.

MartaacostaMarta Acosta will be there, and can someone please explain to me what could possibly be wrong with Latina vampire chicklit? Yeah, that's what I thought.

DeguzmanJennifer de Guzman will be there. Comix goddess, yes. That's "Woman of Color Comix Editor" to you, sucka, Ms. de Guzman if yer nasty.

So you see why you can't miss out.

Here's the info again:

The Carl Brandon Society presents an

Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser

with readings by

Nalo Hopkinson
Jewelle Gomez
Susie Bright
Marta Acosta
Jennifer de Guzman
and
Guillermo Gomez-Peña

A fundraiser reading to benefit the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship.
Fabulous fabulists honor one of our great writers and raise funds for the next generation.

Sunday, March 4, 5 - 7 pm

The Starry Plough
3101 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA.
510-841-2082
http://www.starryploughpub.com/

$5-20 sliding scale.

The Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship will enable writers of color to attend one of the Clarion writing workshops, where Octavia got her start. It is meant to cement Octavia's legacy by providing the same experience/opportunity that Octavia had to future generations of new writers of color. In addition to her stint as a student at the original Clarion Writers Workshop in Pennsylvania in 1970, Octavia taught several times for Clarion West in Seattle, Washington, and Clarion in East Lansing, Michigan, giving generously of her time to a cause she believed in.

February 26, 2007

Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser

Hey all! I know you're all sick or fighting it off, and it's cold outside and raining, and it's still February.

Me too.

So come shake it off and get inspired this Sunday with a terrific reading event supporting a great cause! I'm co-organizing this with Charlie Anders and it's gonna be a great time. Check it out.

The Carl Brandon Society presents an

Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser

with readings by

Nalo Hopkinson
Jewelle Gomez
Susie Bright
Marta Acosta
Jennifer de Guzman
and
Guillermo Gomez-Peña

A fundraiser reading to benefit the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship.
Fabulous fabulists honor one of our great writers and raise funds for the next generation.

Sunday, March 4, 5 - 7 pm

The Starry Plough
3101 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA.
510-841-2082
http://www.starryploughpub.com/

$5-20 sliding scale.

The Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship will enable writers of color to attend one of the Clarion writing workshops, where Octavia got her start. It is meant to cement Octavia's legacy by providing the same experience/opportunity that Octavia had to future generations of new writers of color. In addition to her stint as a student at the original Clarion Writers Workshop in Pennsylvania in 1970, Octavia taught several times for Clarion West in Seattle, Washington, and Clarion in East Lansing, Michigan, giving generously of her time to a cause she believed in.

October 12, 2006

I'm Reading at Litquake's Lit Crawl

Okay, it's time.

Time to tell you that I'll be reading (for eight! whole! minutes! I love festivals!) at Litquake's Lit Crawl event this year.

Lit Crawl is a nifty three-and-a-half-hour pub crawl, except you go from reading pillar to literary post rather than from dive to dive. (Most of these places will be bars or will be providing drinks, though, so don't worry. You can still get drunk and make an ass of yourself. I plan to.

I'll be reading with the Writers With Drinks group during phase three (there are three sessions or "phases"), which supports Other magazine, and yes, I will be reading something woo woo: specifically, an excerpt from a story in progress about what happens when all the men in the world disappear and the women get all predatory with the pubescent boys that are left. For eight! whole! minutes!

Here's the deets:

PHASE III, 8:30–9:30 p.m.

Latin American Club (21 and over)
3286 22nd Street
Getting Boozy: Writers With Drinks and Manic D Press
Writers With Drinks: Claire Light, Lauren Wheeler, and Alvin Orloff. Emcee: Charlie Anders. Manic D Press: Jennifer Blowdryer, Justin Chin, and Jon Longhi. Emcee: Jennifer Joseph

Come talk to me afterwards!

March 29, 2006

New Blog

Yes, I know, it's not like I don't have enough to do, what with this blog, and the great amerkin novel I'm writing, and packing to moobe, and my identity theft business taping shredded documents together, and trying to find a life partner/inseminator I can stand for more than two consecutive minutes, buuuuuut ...

I've started a new blog! Yes!

This one is called "atlas(t)" and it's about one of my continuous obsessions (or rather two of them): mapping and taxonomy. Mapping being not just geographical mapping, but conceptual mapping -- using a spatial metaphor to organize ideas, or whatever -- and artists' maps. And writing about mapping and jography. Taxonomy being any system of hierarchical (or other system) of organizing or naming ... uh ... things, which includes, but is soooo not restricted to, internet and computer taxonomies.

That's a lot, but basically it's about putting up pretty pictures and trying to say smart things about them. Some of my entries are gonna be me analyzing maps, so be wooooorned.

Please check it out and let me know what you think about the "design" 'n' stuff so far.

March 20, 2006

Mars Description II

I spent yesterday with my friend Jaime in his studio, reading through the novel and making notes (I'm still not done!) and I found this description of Mars, which comes in the first half of the book but which I added near the end of writing the first draft. So it's pretty much the latest description of Mars that I have, which is sort of an end parenthesis to the earliest description of Mars that I posted earlier. Compare and contrast, if you'd like.

(Note: this is Leonard Lord, about a year after the last description. He's just climbed Olympus Mons, the biggest volcano in the solar system.)

I had never been this high off of the ground, this far up. I've never been 16 miles high before. It seems like it should be a euphemism for something. It was nearly impossible to encompass. This was the view I came to Mars for. I had imagined that the bubble ships would be like real ships, approaching a goal slowly, so that for days you could see the shore approaching and approaching, and when you landed, you had the prospect of an unbroken line of land to breach, coming ever nearer, resolving itself slowly into trees, and brakes, and huts, and Indians in canoes ... details. I had thought -- imagined -- that approaching Mars would be something like that, that first we would see a star. Then, more and more, a ball of rock, like Earth, only redder and more strange. Halfway through the trip it would be like the moon to us: something with features we could see, barely, with much squinting, Then the slowing approach, as to a strange shore, with the disc of the planet growing larger and larger and more and more like a world to us, until we were no longer approaching it but in it, and the features on the ground resolved themselves into cities, then individual houses, then the tops of men's heads. I was really looking forward to this, to seeing what a world looked like from so far above, watching a world resolve itself out of a star.

As you know, I was cheated of this view. That is, until the past weeks, when I went up Olympus. The crater is only 75 miles across so it comes to a point and that point, if you think about it, is about as high in the air as I would have been when the details of the planet started to become clear to me on my imaginary ship. It is not quite the same thing, but it is so close that I feel that I have arrived again-or perhaps I have arrived finally, for I feel that something here belongs to me. I have earned something.

What does it look like? Oh Freddy, I've been avoiding the question, for it is nearly impossible to describe. How can you explain being on a planet and yet standing above it as well? You will be thinking of our trip through the Donner Pass (ill-fated trip as it was) and the views we had of the Plains, but it is so much more than that. From the top of Olympus I could not only see the entire disc of the planet 360 degrees around me, but I could also see the curve of the surface. We have never seen this, you and I. We've stood on mountain tops and taken measurements against the next mountain top and proven to our satisfaction that the Earth is, indeed, a sphere, but we have never seen the floor of the Earth curving, like the ball it is. On Olympus I saw the planet I stood on -- the ground beneath my feet that held me aloft -- I saw it curving beneath me.

Directly over our heads was a bank of clouds. As we climbed, we'd seen these collecting every morning and then dissipating in the afternoon. The cloudbank was thick enough to filter the sun and the top surface of our outer clothing was cooler than I'd ever felt it since I arrived on Mars. Also, the glare of the suns rays around our eyes was lessened. The very air seemed clearer. Thus, I had a better view of the world than I had had since I arrived. I could see the variations in pink and orange and brown and grey on the ground now. I could see the patterns of the wind shifting the bright yellow and white/salmon dusts across the desert floor. Here was a patch of dunes, like the rippling of burned skin, but much more regular and smooth and beautiful. The waved shadows on the dunes' dark sides grew shorter quickly as the sun rose to its zenith. There was a bare ground of rocks and gravels, the rocks looking more and then less black as I stared at them, trying to make out what their exact color was. They were volcanic rock, no doubt, as all the bedrock in this region is, but pocked with air bubbles, broken and jagged and occasionally reaching for the sky, laid bare -- today only -- who knows about tomorrow -- by the fickle, bright dust that went to play elsewhere for awhile, perhaps forever. And over there, if I turned entirely away, a river of lava, looking exactly like molasses spilled onto a countertop and left by a lazy housewife to harden. There are river flows such as these leaking from this mountain's every pore; this was, perhaps is still, a volcano, but a volcano of a might and power that we have no idea of on Earth. For eons this volcano has been bubbling and spitting and overflowing, with no soul to see it, hear it, or to fear for its life. Fire. Fire!

March 06, 2006

Multiracial Rant

Hey, that was quick! I did the podcast with Carmen Kerckhove of "Addicted to Race" last week and it's already been posted on the "Addicted to Race" site. (It's about halfway through the podcast.) I was originally supposed to rant alone about the subject of a ranty article I wrote recently, but writing the article had de-ranted me. So I asked Carmen to interview me instead. (Plus, I get to talk about porn! Pron!)

As usual, my voice sounded weird to me and it took a while for me to recognize it as my own. I did an exercise on writing "voice" with my high school students two years ago, where I brought in a tape recorder and had everyone read into it. Then I played it back and had everyone respond to how their recorded voices sounded to them. Almost no one liked their voice and most wrote that the reason was that their voices sounded either higher or lower than they had thought they were. No one said their voice was thinner, or richer, or dorkier than they thought. Just higher or lower.

That seems to carry a lot of meaning. The pitch of your voice, that is. Some of the students connected a higher pitch with less confidence and were surprised that they sounded so wimpy; or a lower pitch with masculinity or aggression and were surprised that they sounded so.

This is all by way of saying, I wasn't surprised at the pitch of my voice. I've done a lot of public readings in the past two years and so I've done a lot of rehearsing at home with a tape recorder. I'm not surprised by how my rehearsed voice sounds. I am surprised, though, at how dorky I sound. And I had no idea I said "um" so often.

March 02, 2006

A Podcast! A Podcast, I say!

I'm really, really excited about all the new technology. It's sooo kewl! Makes it possible for me to work my way through the different media (please don't ask me to use the non-word "mediums". It hurts) on a purely amateur basis. Frex, last September I got to read part of a story on the radio (I'm in the last five minutes of the show)! Now I'm bloggin'! And next week, I will be cast to pod!

Carmen Van Kerckhove and Jen Chau (both multiracial) have teamed up in the past few years to produce several vital projects dealing with multiracial and interracial relationship issues including New Demographic (a diversity training company that does more than just spin your wheels and reinforce positive stereotypes), Mixed Media Watch (a blog about media representations of mixed race people), and Swirl, Inc. (a nonprofit Jen started in New York City to address multiracial issues.)

Their relevant project here is Addicted to Race, a regular podcast on multiracial and interracial relationship issues. They do rants and interviews, and have guest commentary, and in Episode 15, they have what must be one of the last interviews with the late Octavia Butler. These two really keep their eye on the ball (well, it's their job), so if you have any interest in a non-traditional take on race issues, subscribe to Addicted to Race.

In any case, with regard to their eye on the ballage, Carmen and Jen caught my Pop and Politics article on the falsehood of the dream of ending race through fucking interracially until everyone is kinda brown. So Carmen interviewed me by phone yesterday on the subject and the thing will be part of their podcast sometime next week. I'll let y'all know when. Until then, do check out their other stuff. Much worth a look!

February 22, 2006

Tip Jar

Another new feature is that I've added a tip jar to the upper left. This means you can give me munny!

Unless otherwise specified (yes, you can say that you want me to have the munny!), tips to the SeeLight Tip Jar will go to the Carl Brandon Society, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction.

I'm a member of the CBS steering committee. You can read more about CBS here.

Our programs currently include two annual literary awards, and two annual writing workshop scholarships.

ps. I'm actually posting this on November 18, 2007, but I have to put it on the blog's first page for stupid administrative reasons.

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