Saturday, October 27, 2012

What I've Done in October: A List

October is nearly over. What have I been up to? Time for a list!

  • Monday, October 15: Saw Nancy Pearl interview Jasper Fforde (of Thursday Next fame) at Town Hall Seattle
  • Tuesday, October 16: Drove to Kirkland to hear Jennifer Brozek, Seanan McGuire, and Phil Foglio read their work and answer questions.
  • Monday, October 22: Went to Tina Connolly's reading at the UW Bookstore to promote her new novel, Ironskin
  • Tuesday, October 23, 12:30pm: Went to Cory Doctorow's reading at UW Bookstore to promote his new novel, Pirate Cinema
  • Tuesday, October 23, 7:30pm: Attended a lecture at Town Hall by an Egyptologist about the Curse of the Pharaoh
  • October 24-25: Visited family at a dog show in Portland. My first visit to the Kennedy School for dinner and drinks.
  • October 26: We voted! In Seattle we all receive absentee ballots. I dropped ours off at an official ballot drop box at City Hall.
  • Tomorrow: Planning to see a radio play for Mark Z. Danielewski's new novel. He's the author of House of Leaves.
  • Wednesday: Leaving for the World Fantasy Convention in Toronto.

I love living in a place where attending all of these events is possible (and cheap)!

In addition to all of those fun readings, I've been handling some responsible life stuff. We have an arborist coming to trim trees. We're in the process of refinancing the mortgage, so we have an appraiser coming out and we're cleaning house. After a recent doctor's visit I'm actively cutting down sodium in my diet. So you see, lots of little annoying, necessary things.

Aaaaand that's October. November should involve more writing.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New story acceptance

First item of business: I'm really pleased to announce that my story, "The Man at the End of the Chain," has been accepted into Jennifer Brozek's upcoming anthology Beast Within 4: Gears and Growls. The theme of this anthology is steampunk and shifters--meaning werewolves or other types of were-creatures. My story features one of the other types of were-creatures, and I'm incredibly excited that my story will be included.

Second item: If you're looking for a scary book to get you in the Halloween spirit, might I humbly suggest Fresh Blood, Old Bones on Kindle. (Also available on Nook.) You may remember from my last entry that I am one of the Fresh Blood contributors. I've been reading through all the stories and so far every story I've read has been fantastic, and just the right amount of creepy.

Third item: Life. Things and stuff are moving along at a decent clip. At the risk of being overly vague, a bunch of responsible life issues have popped up this week and I'm muddling through. I can sum up a lot of it by saying: Damn, I never realized how much sodium is in everything I like to eat!

But enough about life. Make-believe is infinitely more fun, and more accepting of potato chips.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New horror ebook anthology FRESH BLOOD & OLD BONES on sale

I've mentioned this on a few other social media sites, but I haven't given the news its own post yet. So here we go--apologies if this is a repeat:
I'm really excited to announce that I have a story in the new horror ebook anthology, Fresh Blood & Old Bones, edited by Kasey Lansdale. My 4300-word contribution is called, "Last of the Soul Eaters."

The ebook is now on sale and available to review at a variety of venues:

The 18 contributors to Fresh Blood & Old Bones are:

  1. Juan Perez
  2. Neal Barrett Jr.
  3. Tim Bryant
  4. Sheri White
  5. Del Howison
  6. Monica O'Rourke
  7. Scott Cupp
  8. Reid Kerr
  9. Chris N. Brown
  10. Sara Brooke
  11. John Paul Allen
  12. Rhonda Eudaly
  13. Nancy Collins
  14. Folly Blaine
  15. Steve Mertz
  16. Sam W. Anderson
  17. John Everson
  18. Joe Lansdale

If you're wondering about the title, it's meant to represent a mix of newer and more established writers. I fall onto the FRESH BLOOD side. It's a huge honor to be included among so many talented authors, and I'm really enjoying reading all the stories that were chosen. A perfect book for setting the Halloween mood.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Looking for a few good followers

First up: I am only 1 like away from meeting my goal of 100 likes in 2012 for my Folly Blaine Facebook page. Will you be my 100th?

Next up: Random pictures.

A sideways bowl of the pesto I made with basil from the garden:

Chiana in a small box. She loves small boxes:

The monster zucchini plant:

Zucchini! (At the end of the blossom)

Lettuce from the garden:

As you can see, it's business as usual around here. Other things I've done this week: hired an arborist to trim our trees later in the month, ordered currency for my various worldly adventures, and recorded a podcast.

Now I need to write down a story that's in my head. Toodles.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Subscribing to magazines on the Kindle

I'm a huge fan of technology, but I'm also a late adopter. My husband, Jeremy, sometimes has to drag me kicking and screaming into our glorious new age, which is good because left alone, my tendencies steer me toward inadvertent Luddite territory.

This may have something to do with beginning my career in desktop support. I eyed every new toy and new release suspiciously. You always needed a patch or a config change to make stuff work correctly. And after a full day of dealing with "known features," when I came home, the last thing I wanted to do was find the quirks on my own time. Let someone else beta test, was my motto.

So a little over a year ago, reluctantly, I purchased a refurbished second-gen Kindle from w00t for a very reasonable price. And, lo, it was a very good purchase indeed.

My single best discovery for making the Kindle viable for me was the Weightless Books store and e-magazine subscriptions.

Last November, I subscribed to Apex, Lightspeed/Fantasy, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clarkesworld, and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. And it's been fantastic. I love all the new content I get to read for one low price.

If you've never had an e-subscription before--especially through a seller other than Amazon--it's really easy. When you buy from Weightless, you can either choose to automatically deliver new issues to your Kindle (for a small fee to Amazon) or you can have your issues delivered to an interim folder at Amazon called "Personal Documents" for free. I do the second option.

In general, you need to tell Weightless Books what format you want and where to send the issues, assuming you want them sent somewhere. If you don't want to bother with Kindle delivery, you can choose to download issues manually each month instead.

To set up Kindle delivery at Weightless Books, buy your subscription and navigate to "My Library." Then you select your preferred format (MOBI in the case of Kindle). Next you need to enter an email address for delivery (More info at If you want to receive your issues for free, you can input the "free" address provided by Amazon, which looks something like, where xxx is your identifier. If you don't know your identifier go to Amazon and find the "Manage your Kindle" page and all the info is there.

While you're at the "Manage your Kindle" page you will also need to add the approved email addresses for Kindle delivery provided by Weightless Books, just so Amazon knows the emails aren't spam. Details at that link above.

Assuming you've input your address, new issues of the magazine are sent from Weightless Books to a "Personal Documents" folder in the "Manage your Kindle" section at Amazon. (You get notified by email when a new document appears there, so it's easy to keep track of.) And then you just have to use the drop down box next to each issue and select "Send to Kindle." Next time you turn on your Kindle wi-fi you'll receive your issue for free.

I let a few issues stack up and send them all over at once.

If you don't mind paying Amazon to receive magazine issues directly, you can use the regular Kindle email address and the issues should go straight to your Kindle reader. I prefer to keep it free, even if it means adding a manual step.

I love subscribing to e-versions of magazines for a few reasons. One: I constantly have new content to read all year long. Two: I get to read markets where I want to be published someday. It's all research. Three: As much as I like paper, the electronic versions are so handy and clutter-free. My smart phone has a Kindle app on it that syncs to the Kindle library stored at Amazon, so I can easily go from reading a story on my Kindle to reading it on my phone, without losing my place in the story.

Now that it's been a full year of reading on my Kindle, I can definitely say this is a good thing. I highly recommend e-subscriptions, and Weightless Books, in particular. And if you're wondering, I wasn't paid anything to say so.