Happy New Year 2019, everyone! “Que salga lo viejo y entra lo nuevo,” or “Out with old, in with the new.” I welcomed 2018 with those words, and with a pot of water tossed out the front door. I met many wonderful authors and artists in 2018 and hope to showcase their works in a future blog post dedicated to them. For now, here’s my #writerslife 2018 year in review told through pictures. If you want to get the full story behind the pictures, click on the image and hover over them. For mobile: tap the small white dot on the bottom right of your screen to enable the text.
Welcome back! Today, I want to share a podcast interview I did with the wonderful folks over at Unreliable Narrators, a few of whom I had the opportunity to meet at Fogcon 8. They asked some great questions that touched upon the premise behind The Ellderet Series, my literary influences, the pluses and minuses of being an indie author, the very important role my culture plays in my works, and if I have ever been stereotyped because I am a woman. Spoiler: yes.
At Worldcon 76, I was fortunate to be a speaker on a panel addressing imposter syndrome. The panel was excellently moderated and touched on a number of points that people with imposter syndrome can use to move forward. Some of the techniques discussed to help "make it to the end credits" included using writing as a cathartic release, viewing your insecurities as monsters that you can conquer, #buildaladder by adding rungs - no matter how small - to help you climb out of your darkness, learn to say "thank you" and to accept praise, or to reward yourself with something positive, like "cake".
The Mexicanx Initiative was a scholarship fund started by artist John Picacio to bring more Mexicanx representation in science fiction and fantasy to Worldcon 76. The scholarship was awarded to 50 people of Mexican ancestry and, let me tell you, those 50 people made a HUGE impact. The Mexicanx Initiative made Worldcon 76 a powerful experience for me because I got to see myself represented on those panels, in those stories, in the language, the idioms, the anger at the injustices of deportation, criminalization, forced separation and herding of children from their parents, and so much more.
Nerve-wracking. Empowering. These are the words I would use to describe my experience moderating my first Worldcon panel, What Turns People Onto Horror. So, why these words? Let's start with the "nerve-wracking" bit, which mostly stems from social anxiety and imposter syndrome. I was a speaker on just such a panel, Imposter Syndrome: You DO Deserve To Be Here (which I'll write about in a forthcoming post). Knowing that my insecurities were not going to vanish just because I wanted them to, I set out to make sure I didn't let them get the better of me.
Tomorrow, July 14 from noon-3pm at the San Mateo Public Library marks the third time I will be doing a professional reading as an author. Admission is FREE and there will be a slew of amazing local authors reading and vending as well. I plan to read from my dark fantasy novella To Nurture & Kill, though I am still trying to decide which bit to read. I always do the first chapter, but I kinda really want to read from a later section in the book, one where Kira is old enough to verbally interact with Eutau. After all, the novella at its core is about the relationship between these two characters.
This Saturday, 5/26, at 10am-4pm I will be a part of this year's Imagination Fair at BayCon 2018. BayCon is the Bay Area’s longest fan-run science fiction & fantasy convention. This will be my first time presenting at Imagination Fair, and it will also be the first time I have ever done anything like this since, well, middle school. Think of it as science fair meets literature and fandom.
Spoiler Free Run Down…THE CITY & THE CITY was amazing. It's mystery meets urban fantasy. The story is told in the first person by Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. He is investigating a murder that will take him from his home city of Besźel to its neighboring city, Ul Qoma. Imagine a city on a glass map that was stomped on. Now, follow the nonsense cracks to draw up invisible, at times overlapping, borders to create two cities--Besźel and Ul Qoma--and two very distinct cultures. Sound convoluted? Well, it is. But it works!
I'm going to be an extra in a horror film: The Last Showing, by my friend and fellow HWA member, Anthony DeRouen! I first met Anthony during the 2017 Bay Area Book Festival in Downtown Berkeley at the Horror Writers Association booth. Anthony happened to be at the booth that day, and what I remember most about that initial meeting was his enthusiasm for the horror genre and his upcoming films.
The above quote was taken from my What Am I Going to Blog (And Vlog) About post. When I wrote those words, I had this video in mind as it was initially supposed to be the first video I posted on my Youtube channel. Fear of being so open about how I felt convinced me that it was best to hold off on this video. And frankly, I'm glad I did because at that point I don't think I was mentally prepared to publicly post something so personal.