sartorias: (handwritten books)
Indie writers have a tough time getting feedback if they cannot afford professional editing. (And unfortunately there are a bunch of folks out there who claim to be professional editors who . . . aren't.) So I'm hoping that someone has some time and can beta read for [livejournal.com profile] starshipcat, an indie writer I've known for many decades. [livejournal.com profile] starshipcat has some short stories that could really use extra eyes. If you have the time, hop over to the above journal and raise your hand, or do it here with a contact.

Thanks!
sartorias: (handwritten books)
Signal Boost for writing friend:

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] starshipcat at That Shall Live in Infamy
This Wednesday is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbor which brought the United States into World War II. As such, I'd like to take the opportunity to remind everyone of Joseph T Major's wonderful alternate historical family saga. While many works of alternate history begin with the big, visible point of divergence, his begins with the slow but steady cumulative effect of different choices by ordinary people in extraordinary situations in the US, in the UK, in Europe and at sea.



Bitter Weeds by Joseph T. Major

"There are bitter weeds in England." The Dunkirk Evacuation was a great deliverance. But some of the soldiers did not make it. If someone had only known . . . A troubled man, a man divided between two nations and several natures, delivered from the continent, pursues a twisted course in a wilderness of mirrors to serve his masters. A woman staging a great pretense that is almost true finds herself in the heart of darkness, seeing the advance of evil. Their relatives and connections each struggle with his or her own burdens as the horrors of war spread. The simple kindness of stopping to give the dead some small dignity begins a wave of change that will wash across the world, in this first volume of a series highlighting the great and the petty, the powerful and the victims, and finding both pain and hope.



No Hint of War by Joseph T. Major

As America is flung into the World War, a troubled man and a secretive woman are brought together across the world, while they and their families find themselves engaged all over the world. Against their struggled, the United States girds itself for war, the United Kingdom and its Empire settle down to meet their fate, and battles take place by sea, air, and land. The great and the small are set on the course to victory, the long struggle that must be won, In this second novel of the series, the story continues with its characters going forward to triumph or disaster.



The Road to the Sea by Joseph T. Major

On the world scale, the Allied powers mass their forces and prepare to confront the Axis on their home grounds.
On the individual scale, the newlyweds try to build a life together while the shattered groom tries to repair his spirit.
The home front sees more stringencies and more pressures while the fighting men and women have to prepare themselves to confront themselves and their foes.
However, some of the plans can have great effects, or great catastrophies, and as ships, planes, and poor bloody infantry slog it out across the world, the pressure of secret knowledge can be too much to bear.



An Irresponsible Gang by Joseph T. Major

It is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning has been accomplished. Allied troops (including our protagonists) have landed on the shores of Normandy, but the Germans are resisting desperately, striking at both the troops and the civilians behind them.
But plots lurk in the depths of the conflict, and when they come together, the war takes a different and bizarre turn, with allegiances shifting, conflict spreading and shrinking, and decisions being made.
Across the world, the armies and navies are massing to crush the Japanese -- but how? Where? Decisions must be made, egos accommodated, and lives put at hazard.
While in between the fighting, domestic politics suddenly is thrown into turmoil and tumult, as counsels are struck down, command is shifted, and new and old forces take the stage.
Much has changed but much remains as our characters seek to survive and to pull themselves along and together in this new twist in the war.



The Ten Just Men by Joseph T. Major

The fighting in Europe is over but the war is not yet done. The allies cannot agree. The defeated must rebuild, faced with the problem of overcoming the last eleven years, of creating a new structure of society, of making some sort of economy.
All the while, the former allies are facing problems inside and out.
In the not very pacific Pacific, the power of the Allies is converging on the last enemy. The price needed to be paid to overcome them may be more than can be paid -- even if wonder weapons provide a final out.
In the midst of this tumult, ordinary people try to pick up and carry on, to bring new life into the world and to reconstruct existing life.
The war is grinding to an end . . . but only the dead have known the end of war.

(And while the US was dealing with the shock of a surprise attack, the USSR was reeling from an invasion. Leningrad, formerly the imperial capital of St. Petersburg, spent the next two and a half years besieged, a time of heroic endurance and horrific suffering.

Leiningrad/St. Petersburg is also a place where, in Russian literary tradition, the boundaries between the material world and the supernatural are apt to grow thin, particularly during the period of light at midnight known as the White Nights. My own story explores the intersection between history and literature).



The Shadow over Leningrad by Leigh Kimmel

In Stalin's Soviet Union, Tikhon Grigoriev lives a precarious life. He knows too much. He's seen too much. A single misstep could destroy him, and if he stumbles, he will take his family down with him. With Leningrad besieged by Nazi armies, the danger has only increased.

He's not a man who wants to come to the notice of those in high places. But when he solved a murder that seemed supernatural, impossible, he attracted the attention of Leningrad's First Party Secretary.

So when a plot of land grows vegetables of unusual size and vigor, and anyone who eats them goes mad, who should be called upon to solve the mystery but Tikhon Grigoriev. However, these secrets could get him far worse than a bullet in the head. For during the White Nights the boundaries between worlds grow thin, and in some of those worlds humanity can have no place.



If you'd like to have your indie or small press publications promoted in upcoming promo posts, let me know at leighkimmel@yahoo.com.
sartorias: (candle)
Holdontothelight FB Banner

A bunch of writers, including me, will be participating in this Hold onto the Light thing through this month and next. I'm still mulling my entry. But today Laura Anne Gilman's entry is appropriate to the date.
sartorias: ("Butler sneaks a read" (Der Buecherwurm)
As the summer wanes for everybody else in the northern Hemisphere except for us (it will only get hotter and dryer over the next months), there is a lot of new reading out.

On the indie front, A new story bundle featuring Wild West and magic novels. This includes Judith Tarr's new series, based in Arizona and New Mexico. I haven't read it yet--looking forward to it.

Then there is the Noblebright bundle, a deal at 99 cents for twelve books, including one of my own, and Francesca Forrest's wonderful Pen Pal. C.J. Brightley explains the Noblebright concept here. Note: this is preorder, for an October release.

Yesterday, Mary Robinette Kowal released Ghost Talkers, which I reviewed here. Basically, loved it.

An equal pleasure was Kate Elliott's second book in her YA series Court of Fives, Poisoned Blade. I reviewed it at Goodreads, basically: loved it.

And my longtime writing friend has a new horror short story out, "The Other Side of Midnight", in which the great terror under Stalin opens to an even greater terror.

There, that's enough to keep anyone busy and out of the heat!
sartorias: (handwritten books)
A program for book discussion for prisoners could use some donations, if you happen to have some extra cash.

[livejournal.com profile] mamculuna writes:

I’m looking for help buying books to be read and discussed at a medium-maximum security prison in South Carolina. These will be works of literature, especially by black writers. The theme we'll follow this year is the question of personal responsibility, and these are probably the books we'll read:

( Collapse )

Butler, Octavia Kindred

Achebe, Chinua Things Fall Apart

Fitzgerald, Scott The Great Gatsby

O’Brien, Tim The Things They Carried

Morrison, Toni Beloved

Camus, Albert The Plague

Daley, James The World’s Greatest Short Stories (Dover)--although if I get full funding, I'll probably use James Alan McPherson's Elbow Room instead.

I'll buy the books (in paperback, possibly used), prepare background materials and reading questions, lead the discussions, and prepare for each book with a short discussion before we start--most books will take more than one discussion to cover, and some will take several. We'll probably meet once a week for two hours, though prison schedules are unpredictable. This will probably last from mid-October, 2016, through mid-April, 2017.

Last year a grant funded the first round of book discussions, but it was a one-time-only grant and also it’s very difficult to coordinate a grant’s schedule with the realities of prison life, so I’m trying crowd-sourced funding instead. The men were very enthusiastic and have told their friends about the group, and the prison also encourages us to repeat the group.

A number of small contributions to the project will show the men that there are many people in the community who encourage them to read and think, and I know they feel a responsibility to stick with the sometimes-difficult work of reading and thinking when they know that other people have made it possible.

This is not an expensive project—I can buy fifteen copies of seven books for under $1000, so that is my goal. My time and the prison space are donated. If it's possible to fund the group this year for less than that, I'll save the money for next year's group. I don't reuse the books, because one goal is have the books passed on to other inmates. In a setting where books are scarce, each volume will be read by many.

I first realized how much reading meant to men in prison when I taught English there for a community college, and since then I've led meditation groups for many years in prison settings. My own backgroup includes 30 years of teaching experience, many years of leading library book discussions, and a lifetime of reading and talking about books.

Studies have shown that exposure to good literature has the power to increase empathy, and we all know that reading increases literacy and cultural awareness. I hope you’ll be willing to help with a donation to this project.


Both the men in the group and I will be very grateful for your generosity, and you can know that you're not only making someone's life a little better, but you may also be making a small contribution towards turning him to a better way of living.

Help spread the word!
sartorias: (Big Ego)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll at Signal boost for Rachel Swirsky's Making Lemons into Jokes campaign!
Please repost.

"Humor can turn anything ridiculous. That’s part of its healing power. When that’s the aim, being mean-spirited or nasty defeats the point. I can’t promise I won’t make any metafictional jokes, but I’m not going to focus on it. The rare times I do, it will be silly.

That’s the plan! But I didn’t include the why of it all.

Short version: A bigot is using the Hugo Awards to harass me and LGBTQ people, so fuck him. Let’s follow the Scalzi strategy–and raise money for something he hates."

More details here

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.
sartorias: (1554 S)
I tried to figure out how to import it, but LJ coughs up a hairball at PDF files.

So a link instead.
sartorias: (1554 S)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] kate_nepveu at Con or Bust, Inc., Is Officially a Tax-Exempt Organization
Originally posted at Con or Bust by Kate Nepveu. All comments must be made there.

I’m delighted to announce that the Internal Revenue Service has determined that Con or Bust, Inc., is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which means that donations to Con or Bust are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Here’s the determination letter; the IRS’s online database updates monthly, so we’re not in it yet, but in a couple weeks you can search for our name or our EIN, which is 81-2141738.


Con or Bust does its utmost to minimize its ongoing administrative expenses and to pass as much of every donation as possible on to fans of color/non-white fans to help them attend SFF cons. It is entirely funded by donations, either made directly or through its annual online auction. If you’re in a position to donate, that would be extremely welcome (especially since, though I hate to say it, it cost $510 in fees to New York State and the IRS to incorporate and apply for tax-exempt status). Or perhaps consider offering something in this year’s auction–accepting items now through May 24!


You can donate to Con or Bust online, using either a credit card or a PayPal account; to use a credit card, after you click the button below, click “Continue” on the left side of the screen, above the credit card logos.









You can also mail a donation to:


Con or Bust, Inc.

P.O. Box 9432

Niskayuna, NY 12309


Thank you for all your past support, and please spread the word!


(I’m temporarily making this post sticky, so it doesn’t get lost in auction offers; please scroll down or see the sidebar for new offers!)

Home Truths

May. 3rd, 2016 04:40 pm
sartorias: (1554 S)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] dancinghorse at Home Truths
I'm continuing the editing and Horse Camp sale, and the Patreon page for new fiction is ongoing--many thanks to those who have joined the adventure so far.

Those who know me well know that when I break down and offer a sale, it's because I've run out of options. The past few years have been increasingly difficult, and last year was brutal. This year has been, emotionally, much less awful--and I have my writing mojo back. But in all other ways it's been worse than any year before it.

Right now I do not know how I'm going to feed the horses for the rest of the month. I have managed to scrape out enough to pay for the last load of hay (if that late check finally gets here), but once it's eaten, which it will be in about ten days, I don't know what I'm going to do. The farm will be gone by midsummer unless I find a steady source of sufficient income. I've been hustling like a hustling thing but so far with minimal results.

The market does not want either me or the horses. The horses are all old and therefore retired and unsalable, or else would require thousands of dollars' worth of training and show fees to have any sale value. No one can take them. The market is saturated with unwanted horses and the rescues are overloaded. I am over 60, hearing impaired (ergo, unable to use the phone), and with chronic fatigue syndrome which makes office or minimum-wage work difficult to impossible. And minimum wage would not support the animals, let alone me. All my income streams from backlist books, editing, writing, etc. have shrunk to a trickle or dried up. No one has booked a Camp in over a year.

I have had a few small things come through, but as with everything else, they've fallen short or failed to produce. I continue to push, and with the fiction writing regaining its old fluidity, I may manage to make something happen there. I've been urged to try an Indiegogo for a short novel, and I am closing in on that. (Indiegogo, unlike Kickstarter, offers an option that pays even if the goal is not met. The goal would be enough to cover mortgage, horses, and utilities for a month.) Since for the first time in my life I'm able to write more than one project at a time, that means I can continue to meet my obligation to backers of last November's Kickstarter for a science-fiction novel, and also write the novella (and short stories, too).

A friend suggested that I offer sponsorships for the horses. I feel weird about that, but they need to eat. What I would give in return is a little writeup about the horse being sponsored, with a digital album of pictures and a monthly update. And short fiction as it happens, if you are a reader with an interest.

Here's what the monthly "full ride" would be:

$200 Feeds and waters one horse for a month

$300 Feeds and waters the horse and contributes toward the farm (portion of mortgage and utilities)

$750 buys one load of hay, which lasts a little over three weeks

$100 buys a week's worth of grain and supplements

Email me at capriole at gmail dot com for details. Partial sponsorships are most welcome.

I welcome referrals for editing clients, bookings for horse camp, and writing gigs of various sorts including game dialogue and scripts. I do story commissions, too. Email for rates and details.

If you've read my books, there's one thing you can do that won't cost you anything: Post an honest review online, especially at Amazon. The more reviews a book gets, the likelier it is to trigger the algorithm that gets the book on recommendation and "If you liked this" lists, which means more chance of improving sales. Mentioning the books at conferences, recommending a favorite to friends, blogging about it--all these things help. I can tell when people are talking about my work; I see the spike in sales. And that's more feed money and bill money and money to pay the mortgage.

Please feel free to link and signal-boost at will. Last week's signal went everywhere and I was tremendously grateful, but the response has been in line with the rest of this year's efforts. I can only keep trying. And keep writing. And keep putting it out there.
sartorias: (Fan)
Linda Nagata, who has the indie published novel on the Nebula final ballot this year, has just come out with a hard SF story at Lightspeed. Looks like hard sf with good female representation, hoo!

BTW, tangentially, I just sold a novella reprint to Lightspeed.
sartorias: (Fan)
Sporadically I like to mention these. As it is just out, I haven't actually read Vera Nazarian's The Cobweb Bride, but she asked for a signal boost for its publication today. You can find reviews at the Amazon link.

One I did read and enjoy was Leah Cutter's The Raven and the Dancing Tiger, a tale about shapeshifters. Peter, comes to Seattle, and meets a girl. Disaster! He meets another girl, which goes way better; between those scenes are his memories as a boy attending a problematical school for raven shape shifters. The past and the present collide; though I foresaw his new girlfriend, who is not a shape-shifter, being grabbed as a hostage, she is no fridge girl.

I also read the second Doodlebug mystery by Susan J. Kroupa, Out-Sniffed, which I liked even more than the first one. This mystery series for young readers features a bedbug sniffing dog who, partnered with his young human friend, solves mysteries. This one had three threads twined together--a fast and fun read.

There is also a Kickstarter for a zombie press, aliens vs. steampunk!.
sartorias: (Default)
I got this request:
I'm an undergraduate student doing a senior thesis, and I'm trying to get participants for an online survey I'm doing. (I have approval to use human subjects and everything, it's all very exciting!) I was wondering if you'd mind throwing out a link in order to help chum the waters a little.

http://fandom-academic.livejournal.com/878.html

I'm doing a study on the formation of online relationships, specifically friendships, among members of fandom. I need to get the word out, though, because I can't contact everyone by myself. So I'm relying on the help of others to pass the link along.
Thanks for your time.
FandomAcademic
sartorias: (Default)
I got this request:
I'm an undergraduate student doing a senior thesis, and I'm trying to get participants for an online survey I'm doing. (I have approval to use human subjects and everything, it's all very exciting!) I was wondering if you'd mind throwing out a link in order to help chum the waters a little.

http://fandom-academic.livejournal.com/878.html

I'm doing a study on the formation of online relationships, specifically friendships, among members of fandom. I need to get the word out, though, because I can't contact everyone by myself. So I'm relying on the help of others to pass the link along.
Thanks for your time.
FandomAcademic

Book drive

Aug. 23rd, 2012 02:04 pm
sartorias: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija is holding an online book drive to benefit a middle school/high school in Compton. If you have any young adult or middle grade (children's) books in good condition, you can help create a school library by mailing them to the address at the bottom of this post.

If you don't have any books, please consider linking to this post.

Books with Latino/Latina or African-American protagonists would probably be especially appreciated, as that describes most of the students. The students also love manga and other comics, and were hugely excited when I donated some. Many students can read Spanish, and some primarily read Spanish. Other than that, send anything - fiction or nonfiction.

Lifeline Education Charter School is in a low income area, and textbooks are so expensive that they can't afford to buy other books. Mr. Obed Nartey, with whom Rachel spoke at the school the other day, is creating a new library/computer lab for the students. He is also starting a book club.

Students are already excited about this... but they need something to read. Please help them out, if you can. Rachel will put up some photos of the library which you helped create, when it launches.

Please send books there. Media mail is the cheapest way to mail books.

Attn: Mr. Obed Nartey
Lifeline Education Charter School
225 South Santa Fe
Compton, CA 90221

If you think you'll send something, please comment here, so Rachel can give Mr. Nartey a heads-up to expect some packages.

Book drive

Aug. 23rd, 2012 02:04 pm
sartorias: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija is holding an online book drive to benefit a middle school/high school in Compton. If you have any young adult or middle grade (children's) books in good condition, you can help create a school library by mailing them to the address at the bottom of this post.

If you don't have any books, please consider linking to this post.

Books with Latino/Latina or African-American protagonists would probably be especially appreciated, as that describes most of the students. The students also love manga and other comics, and were hugely excited when I donated some. Many students can read Spanish, and some primarily read Spanish. Other than that, send anything - fiction or nonfiction.

Lifeline Education Charter School is in a low income area, and textbooks are so expensive that they can't afford to buy other books. Mr. Obed Nartey, with whom Rachel spoke at the school the other day, is creating a new library/computer lab for the students. He is also starting a book club.

Students are already excited about this... but they need something to read. Please help them out, if you can. Rachel will put up some photos of the library which you helped create, when it launches.

Please send books there. Media mail is the cheapest way to mail books.

Attn: Mr. Obed Nartey
Lifeline Education Charter School
225 South Santa Fe
Compton, CA 90221

If you think you'll send something, please comment here, so Rachel can give Mr. Nartey a heads-up to expect some packages.
sartorias: (Default)
Anybody in the area interested, here's the data and a form for a discount on registration.

This is being offered by GLAWS and the LA Valley College
sartorias: (Default)
Anybody in the area interested, here's the data and a form for a discount on registration.

This is being offered by GLAWS and the LA Valley College
sartorias: (Default)
Over at BVC, one of our members has a son who is homeless. He isn't asking for advice or pity--and he doesn't explain the circs. (There are many of us who know that family dynamics can be complicated, painfully so.) What he is trying to do is save a homeless shelter that the government is trying to shut down, just when it is needed most.

This depressing situation is multipyling everywhere, but sometimes all we can do is put patches where we can, one little hole at a time.
sartorias: (Default)
Over at BVC, one of our members has a son who is homeless. He isn't asking for advice or pity--and he doesn't explain the circs. (There are many of us who know that family dynamics can be complicated, painfully so.) What he is trying to do is save a homeless shelter that the government is trying to shut down, just when it is needed most.

This depressing situation is multipyling everywhere, but sometimes all we can do is put patches where we can, one little hole at a time.
sartorias: (desk)
Debra Doyle offers editorial services.

Yeah, a lot of people are doing that. Some of them may actually know how to edit, others (so I've been told) can't sell their own books, so they're turning their hand to others' work. That might be a legit way to approach dealing with the process by which literature reaches the reader; some have insight they can't seem to employ with their own pen, others I suspect from what I've been seeing have the same issues in editing that they do in their writing. I guess the success of that combination would be shown in the resulting sales.

The whole field of editing is relatively new--so many of the greats never had editors in the sense we mean. Booksellers in the early days didn't edit, though they might proof.

Some say that Cassandra Austen was Jane Austen's editor as she was her chief reader. We do know from her nephew's memoir that Cassandra argued hard against the ending of Mansfield Park but Jane was adamant. Today, an editor would say, "Uh uh. You can't set up one book then end it a different way, and by telling without showing!"

Anyway, after a lot of conversations, I feel confident that Doyle knows what she's doing.

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