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shakennstirred July 9 2014, 11:51

Hello From Here

http://www.gwendabond.com/bondgirl/2014/07/hello-from-here.html

My workspace here

So far all I’ve managed is to edit down a prologue (openings are delicate and tricksy!) — but having a great time in Lisbon. And loving my little workspace.

More photos of this glorious city and our adventures here can be found in this flickr album I'm updating daily. Far too many, admittedly. Shoot now, curate later, I say.

Thanks, everyone, for the generous reaction and comments here and there on the last post. Happy it resonated. Now time for one of those decadent vacation lunches, with a little copo of wine.

fantasymagazine July 8 2014, 14:57

Cimmeria: From the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/fantasymag/~3/UOYcxfhuvN8/

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12705

Remembering Cimmeria: I walk through the bazaar, between the stalls of the spice sellers, smelling turmeric and cloves, hearing the clash of bronze from the sellers of cooking pots, the bleat of goats from the butcher’s alley. Rugs hang from wooden racks, scarlet and indigo. In the corners of the alleys, men without legs perch on wooden carts, telling their stories to a crowd of ragged children, making coins disappear into the air.


fantasymagazine July 8 2014, 14:57

Author Spotlight: Theodora Goss

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/fantasymag/~3/F9vLp_UpL9I/

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12640

The idea came to me many years ago, after rereading one of my favorite stories, “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” by Jorge Luis Borges. The Borges story is about a secret society that creates the encyclopedia of an imaginary world, Tlön. Eventually, items from that world begin appearing in ours. Archaeologists start finding artifacts from Tlön. The story is about how imagination creates reality.


fantasymagazine July 8 2014, 14:57

Artist Showcase: Udara Chinthaka

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/fantasymag/~3/LP9qwl3r_Es/

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12647

Sri Lanka has a rich heritage of art and culture strongly influenced by our neighbor India. Ancient Lanka was influenced by different forms of art from different eras of Indian history and therefore a lot of it still remains in our art styles. One can find the influence of Indian art in Sri Lankan art, from colour to brush strokes. However, Sri Lankan art has a tendency to show more subtle blends in colour tones.


veganabouttown July 8 2014, 02:13

bare burger [various locations, nyc]

http://veganabouttown.blogspot.com/2014/07/bare-burger-various-locations-nyc.html

My first and last nights in NYC saw me dining on food from Bare Burger. After being collected from La Guardia and depositing my belongings, I walked with my hosts to Bare Burger in Astoria, where the staff were friendly and delightful, offering advice, opinions and the ingredients list as required.

We started with two serves of fries: one sweet potato (or "yam", which is often not actually yam), and one of not sweet potato. This is served with a whole lot of sauces, which our waiter kindly replaced with some other options, more vegan, for me.

Bare Burger has a whole lot of options, but both times I've eaten there now I delighted in the Barest of Burgers, which is where you get to pick everything! I went with the wholemeal bun and filled it with this amazing black bean patty, smoke house sauce, avocado, tomato, spinach and mushrooms.

I'm not ashamed to say that tonight, my last night in NYC, we stayed in to do some work and ordered delivery from Bare Burger and I ordered something very, very similar. It was a good nom choice, as they also do gluten-free and were totally lovely. (Also there is vegan cake on the dessert menu)


Bare Burger
33-21 31st Avenue (also has other locations)
Astoria
shakennstirred July 3 2014, 01:14

Ten Reasons To Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Paper (or, Go Team Writers)

http://www.gwendabond.com/bondgirl/2014/07/ten-reasons-to-keep-your-eyes-on-your-own-paper.html

This post wasn't brought on by anything in particular, but I'm about to leave on vacation (Portugal!) and it's something that's been rattling around in my head for a while and also I didn't want to leave the heat death of an imprint post* at the top of the blog in the event I don't post anything from the road.

1. It's hard, I know it's hard, no matter what stage of the writing game you're at, not to feel like everyone is getting more money or attention or acclaim or invites to fancy events than you are. To not feel that you're stuck in neutral or first or something like that (I can't drive a stick). Writers three books in side-eye announcements about projects that sold for a bazillion dollars and sound terrible to them or maybe writers who haven't sold yet feel a sting of ire when someone further along tweets about how hard they're finding it to write that day or maybe a bestselling author longs for the ability to write something just because they want to, with no outside pressure again. Here's the key thing to remember. The main questions worrying most writers, by career stage:

  • Beginning writer, not yet agented/sold/published: Is this any good? Will anyone buy this? Am I terrible hack with no future?
  • Most published writers: Is this any good? Will anyone buy this? Am I terrible hack with no future?
  • Writer who has a legion of fans and great success: Is this any good? Will anyone buy this? Am I terrible hack with no future?

The who is at the end of 'will anyone buy this?' might change depending -- a publisher or readers, or both, ultimately it's always about the readers -- upon certain variables and some (lucky) people may have a touch less imposter syndrome, but the core concerns are more or less the same. No one ever really feels comfortable or assured of their place and always always confident in their work and whether it will succeed in the market. The more failure, the more pressure. The more success, the more pressure.

2. The only answer to all these questions is to keep writing and see. Keep trying to get better. Keep your eyes on your own paper. All writing careers are icebergs--there's more happening than what you see above the surface--but I can guarantee you that any news that would make you envious or sad or disappointed is probably the result of the person doing one key thing: Writing. It's much easier to focus on what you're putting on the page when you're not letting yourself be distracted by things that do not matter to your career and have no direct relation to it. And you will also have to learn to focus when you're being distracted by things that do matter to your career and directly relate to it. Learning to focus and work no matter what our circumstances (unless you're trapped in a cage with a tiger or similar, obvs) stands us all well.

3. All of this is also why it's important to remember that writers are not competing against each other in some sort of book sales Hunger Games, especially not in districts of self-published/indie authors vs. traditionally published authors, with hybrids as jabberjays or something. We're just not. If there are sides, writers are on the same one. But I don't think that there are sides. Last I checked, we aren't in a war (in my opinion, though some heated rhetoric wants it that way). I think there are just a whole lot of people trying to tell the stories they have to tell and find an audience, and as a backdrop to that you have a business that is in flux. I was at a festival several months ago, and a reader stopped by to chat and buy a book -- she held up her tote bag and told me and my neighbor author that she was an author too, but "not really, just self-pubbed." She then went on to tell us that she was feeling very low because one of her all-time heroes who was at the festival and who she'd come to see had said really negative things about self-publishers during a panel, and how no one who was serious would ever do it. And, friends, that is just wrong. I make to you a solemn vow -- the same I made to this author after telling her that her idol came up during different times in the business and that she should never give anyone the power to make her feel like less than an author -- and that is that I will never disparage another writer because of how they are publishing. I know this sometimes goes the other way too, and that's also wrong. There are plenty of reasons to trad pub, plenty of reasons to go indie and plenty of reasons to do both. Telling people they made bad career choices because you firmly believe you made the right ones is not the way to go about things because...

4. Your experience is your experience. Generalizing from it is dangerous, and so is not understanding what it is that makes you and your work and the place where you stand on the road -- beginning, midlist, bestseller list, or end and how you got there -- uniquely yours. All advice, all decisions, should take this into account. This is why there is no blanket "this way is better" or "that way is better"; it's going to vary based on the writer, based on the project, based on all sorts of other things. Every writing career is a fingerprint, the author's mark on the world. And they are all, by necessity, different.

5. None of this is meant to advocate not being part of the community or conversation or being inspired by other people. I suppose if I had to boil it down, what I'm saying is: Boost each other, celebrate each other's successes because this is a tough business and we need that. Celebrate. Cheer people on. Mean it, instead of being mean. It makes for a lot more fun than being Merriam-Webster's definition 3 of petty: "marked by or reflective of narrow interests and sympathies." Be broad and enthusiastic. Be a supporter, not a detractor. For things you believe in supporting. Don't be afraid to speak up with things you disagree with, but it still may wear you down. I know it sometimes does me. But giving a boost to someone else always raises my spirits. Seeing good things happen to other people is, well, a good thing in and of itself. A reminder that yes, this is hard, but there are good things about it too. Really good ones.

6. You're a writer, not anyone's battle troop or talking point or shrub to groom. The only person you're in a business relationship with who is always and forever looking out for you is your agent. (Assuming you have one. And, if so, I sure hope they are.) Don't jump to conclusions, positive or negative, without all the facts. Beware experts or, worse, visionaries and gurus. Put what they say in a heap and mix it together and what's left in the middle is probably closer to the truth of any given situation you find yourself in, or article about The Industry or trends, or startling developments, et cetera, than the outliers would like you to believe. Never forget the first rule of the internet: Drama means clicks. Well, the second rule. The first rule is: Cute animals will one day rule us and we will not care because OMG SO CUTE. (Also, publishing people tend to be slightly panicked and doomsaying. It's just our way. And it has to be adjusted for. I call it the standard "the sky is not actually falling" adjustment. YMMV.)

SealbabyKNEEL BEFORE SEAL PUP (from zooborns)

7. Again, to be clear, this does not mean to tune out all industry news or not learn from your peers and observe and discuss their experiences and careers. This is how we stay sane. It just means, put it in a context that isn't comparative. That isn't diminishing. That doesn't require obsessing over. Knowing about the business is good, as long as it helps you see more clearly. Or understand the bigger picture (please explain it to the rest of us, if you do). If you can't follow it without obsessing about how X doesn't deserve Y, or thinking there's some angle you should be working and then everything would be perfect, then you'll always be better off keeping your eyes on your own paper instead and writing the next thing in oblivious bliss.

8. If there is something you really want to happen for your career, and you feel like it just isn't, and you're having a why-oh-why case of the green envies, well, I would suggest stopping for a second and asking if you actually have been working toward that thing. An example: it doesn't make sense to obsess about not ever winning or almost winning a certain award, if the books you write are not the kind of books that ever do. (Also: never do anything just to win an award. Or hit a list or etc. It will almost always be a waste of your time. Writing books is too hard.) But if you find what you want to do is write that kind of book, the kind of book that would get you that dream, then you can adjust what you're doing. Always ask: Is what I think I want what I really want? Is it something in the realm of possibility? Then what can I do to get closer to that? This is hard, because I think most of us writers are very organized about writing and willing to have any conversation and make any decision about the story we're telling, but often find it harder to buckle down and do it where the career path is concerned. At least, it is for me. And being busy and in the middle of other things makes it even harder. But our careers are stories too, and we should give them the same attention.

9. Sometimes terrible things will happen. Or it will feel like they might happen. Medium-terrible things will happen (not involving an Arquette). Or you may just be in a period of uncertainty. This can happen at any stage of anyone's career or seemingly every Wednesday, and it may manifest in different ways. So be kind to other writers. Be kind to yourself. Remember that all this started with you sitting in front of a blank page and filling it up, and if the worst happens, that's all you need since...

10. If something good happens, you write your way through it. If something bad happens, you write your way out of it. Rules to writer's life by.

Just as you celebrate other people's achievements, celebrate your own. The ones you can control are no less meaningful than the ones you don't. Maybe they're more.

The TL/DR:

Keep your eyes on your own paper and tell your story, don't judge other people's career choices but do cheer them on when you can, rinse, repeat. Go Team Writers.

And now I am going to look at this beautiful view (well, I arrive Friday and tomorrow is all travel and I still have to put out the stuff for the house and Hem sitter, but):

View

*Thanks again to everyone for all the supportive messages and emails about Strange Chemistry. I'll share any additional news when I have it.

veganabouttown July 3 2014, 00:37

grasslands [toronto]

http://veganabouttown.blogspot.com/2014/07/grasslands-toronto.html

I know it’s a big call, but breakfast at Grasslands was the best meal I had during my time in Canada, despite the amazing pie at The Wallflower. 

At first we were really only going because it was one of the few places that could cater for vegans and coeliacs and also took bookings. But it was so good. SO. GOOD. 

Having had a big night before (we got back to our accommodation at well after midnight, having consumed many alcohols, spent the day in the sun, and hung out in an indoor hotel pool for many hours), it was with a gentle stride that we navigated our way on public transport to Grasslands, located on Queen Street West. 

We arrived to find a beautiful puppy lying across the doorstep, and I fell upon a lovely coffee. 

I wanted to eat everything on the menu, but in the end went for the Hangover Helper, on the grounds that I was a bit delicate. The Hangover Helper is comprised of scrambled tofu (with mushrooms and daiya cheese), salsa, guacamole, spinach (which I asked to be withheld), toast, chips, salad and watermelon. The tofu was a lovely texture with the daiya adding a slightly cheesy creamyness. The salsa and guacamole added a nice little flavour, and then I added a big of sriracha sauce for a little spice and it was perrrrfect. The salad was bland but a nice addition to the friedness of the rest of it, and finishing it off with three slices of watermelon was just right. 


ALSO AMAZING: the bite of french toast I had; the bite of gluten-free waffle I had, so light and fluffy and, as Dr F said, you couldn't tell it was gf + vegan at all (unlike the pancakes at Fresh, so sad). 

I am disappointed that I didn't get a chance to return to Grasslands. If you get a chance, HIGHLY RECOMMEND. 

478 Queen St W
Toronto

Stairs to enter and down to the toilets. Payment at the table. CC accepted. Lighting okay but it was daytime.  Get there on the streetcar. Service really helpful and lovely. 
fantasymagazine July 2 2014, 07:23

The New Provisions

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/fantasymag/~3/EpXQAWfSCgQ/

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12693

Phil called the toll-free number he’d been given, and after the usual twenty-minute hold time, reached a human being who explained that the tow truck driver really did have the right to haul away his car. It didn’t matter that the car had been parked in his driveway or that it had been completely paid for, and it certainly didn’t matter that it was the only form of transportation he and his wife had for getting back and forth from work.


fantasymagazine July 2 2014, 07:23

Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/fantasymag/~3/7CsPyp8Gqjg/

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12562

This is the thing about my sister and I: we’ve never gotten along, even when we’ve gotten along. This is what happens when you have parents who fetishize family, and the viscosity of their blood relative to water: you resent the force with which they push you together with this person who is, genetics aside, a stranger. And that’s what my sister is: a stranger.


fantasymagazine July 2 2014, 07:23

Author Spotlight: Adam-Troy Castro

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/fantasymag/~3/NiLlXY0wZKc/

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12623

This is not only anti-corporate ranting. It happens to be a function of the human animal that when people are given power over you, whether as employers or governments or even as condo associations or family members or lovers, they continue to test the limits of that power until you say, “No, that’s all you get, no more, the line is drawn here.”


fantasymagazine July 2 2014, 07:23

Author Spotlight: Carmen Maria Machado

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/fantasymag/~3/Lx7FuHq2Yrc/

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/?p=12639

The structure was complicated because Kickstarters have so many moving parts, and there are so many decisions to be made: Do I put the updates in chronological order, or backwards like they appear on the site? ... Because a Kickstarter page is so visual, I had to try and figure out the most natural and dramatically appropriate order in which to present these sections.


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