Shattered Ones Collection

Shattered Ones cover

Surprise! The print collection of all three novels is out now! You can also get the collection in ebook or read it on Kindle Unlimited. And the first five chapters are available to read for free.

One of the things I’ve always meant to do for the books is post a playlist of songs. So here for your enjoyment is a YouTube playlist of 74 songs (!!!) that cover all three books. This is a mix of songs that could feasibly be about vampires, 80s songs, songs mentioned in the books, and songs that either remind me of characters and events or have the feel of the books to me.

The Shattered Ones Playlist (YouTube)

Here’s some of the specific songs and the reason I’ve put them on the list:

Alex:
Barcelona – The Takers : There’s a line in here “I’m a thief and I’ll take you.” along with the general admonishment to not try and hold on to other people too tight and people always leaving, makes this song remind me a lot of Alex.

U2 – Acrobat “I must be an acrobat, To talk like this, And act like that, And you can dream, So dream out loud, And don’t let the bastards grind you down” “And you can find, Your own way out, And you can build, And I can will, And you can call, I can’t wait until, You can stash, And you can seize, Responsibilities”

Hannah:
Concrete Blonde – I Don’t Need A Hero I think this one is pretty self-explanatory
Talk Talk – It’s My Life “It’s my life, don’t you forget, it never ends”
Fiona Apple – Criminal “I’ve been a bad, bad girl, I’ve been careless with a delicate man, And its a sad, sad world, When a girl will break a boy, Just because she can”

Alex and Hannah:
Snow Patrol – It’s beginning to get to me “all this fighting with aching joints. No one knows what this fight’s about.”
Heather Nova – Walk This World – If these 3 books had an end credits song it would be this one.

And as an EXTRA MEGA BONUS!!! Here’s a playlist I made myself specifically for Running Down A Dream to ground me to write in 1990 after the 4 year time jump.

Running Down A Dream Playlist (YouTube)

The Shattered Ones Collection is 628 pages!!! The story is face paced and a would be a great summer read. I’m so excited to get this out in print in time for summer vacations. I hope you enjoy it.

Good Night/Good Morning

RDAD Cover

SHATTERED ONES BOOK 3: RUNNING DOWN A DREAM IS OUT TODAY

KINDLE – KOBO – IBOOKS – NOOK

I am a night owl who lives on the West Coast of North America, so by the time I am going to sleep many of my internet friends are just about to wake up. I started posting a “Good night/Good morning” image as I went to bed to greet people as they were waking up. That’s pretty much how things feel to me now as the author as I’m now handing off The Shattered Ones to the readers. Just as I’m heading to bed, everyone else is waking up.

It’s kind of lonely sending a book out into the world. By the time people have discovered and started loving it, I’m no longer involved. When I was discovering everything about the world and then revising it, it was just me and the publication team. Now that it’s out in the world, Release Day is like attending its graduation party knowing that it has already left home. It’s a little bittersweet, but I’m deeply proud.

I wrote a little bit for Fireside about how The Shattered Ones came to be, including a never before seen scene that started it all. It’s set many years in the future so there are spoilers for all three books, but if you’re curious, give it a read. You can see how the books took shape from a few offhand comments in a fun drabble story I never intended to use for anything.

I also made a Spotify Playlist of songs that have meaning for the series, at least in my mind. I’m writing up a bit more about it, so look for that in the future. I think a lot of the songs are pretty self-explanatory as they appear in the stories or are otherwise general 80’s songs. It’s the outlier songs I figure I should probably explain why I picked to listen to the entire time I worked on these books.

These three books finish the story arc, but are not the end of the world or these characters. I have a lot more I can write. These books now belong to you, the readers. If you enjoy them please tell other people. If you have a favorite side-character you want to see more of in the future it doesn’t hurt to drop me a note (just saying!). It also doesn’t hurt to tell Fireside you want more of The Shattered Ones.

Thank you. Yes you. Enjoy these books. They’re yours.

Holy Moses! Too Many Links!

Writing:

William Gibson: how I wrote Neuromancer

John Chu – Stuff I Want People To Read

Kameron Hurley:Traditional Publishing, Non-Compete Clauses & Rights Grabs

Kameron Hurley: The Sad Economics of Writing Short Fiction

Kameron Hurley:On Kindness and Conventions

On Conventions and the People that Make them Great

Strange Horizons:The 2015 Readers’ Poll Winners

Terribleminds: 25 More Hard Truths About Writing And Publishing

Terribleminds: Some Thoughts For You Mid-Career Writers Out There

Terribleminds: Self-care for writers

“note to self” by science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler

5 Signs Your Story is Sexist

How Do You Like Your Science Fiction? Ten Authors Weigh In On ‘Hard’ vs. ‘Soft’ SF

The Expanded Universe: Character-Driven Narrative or, How to Make Fictional People Do All the Work, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Food and Fiction (Worldbuilding)

How To Keep Writing When No One Gives A Shit

My publishing journey: Ten things I believe about writing

Online “Best of 2015” Book Lists (A list of lists!) 

Kate Elliot is doing a Worldbuilding Wednesday series

Tackling the Dreaded Bio

Author Etiquette: Author Care – The BAD side of Creativity

The Science Fiction Writer’s Hierarchy of Doubt

Science:

Powerful Women Buried at Stonehenge

Human Brain’s Bizarre Folding Pattern Re-Created in a Vat

Neandertal–Human Trysts May Be Linked to Modern Depression, Heart Disease

107 Million Spiders Found in 4-Acre Nest at Baltimore Wastewater Plant

NASA astronaut plays space water ping pong with paddle designed by PSU student

ASU anthropologist heralded for exploring the science and social justice of mother’s milk

Life in Space: Comparing Science Fact and Science Fiction

‘Super polymer’ can change shape with body heat, lift 1000x its own weight

Loss for Words Can Be a Rare Brain Disorder, Not Alzheimer’s

The oldest physical evidence of tea ever found.

Cancer And Climate Change (“I’m a climate scientist who has just been told I have Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.”)

Iceman Otzi’s Maternal Genetic Line Is Now Extinct

Mammoth Find Moves Humans in Arctic Back 10,000 Years

Poor Sleep Tied to Hardened Brain Arteries in Older Adults

Archaeologists in Britain have discovered houses from the Bronze Age that are so well preserved, they appear frozen in time despite being 3,000 years old.

The Iceman’s Stomach Bug Helps Scientists Map Ancient Human Migration

Can Another Body Be Seen as an Extension of Your Own?

Chinese Tomb Yields Prosthetic Leg

Misc: 

Wet Bandits Arrested After Calamitous Rainier Beach Caper

Somerset police reveal weirdest paranormal 999 calls

Amazon’s customer service backdoor

Even Transhumanist Elites Are Worried Only the Rich Will Be Able to Hack Death

The secret ‘anti-languages’ you’re not supposed to know

Pornographic 17th century sex manual with advice on ‘actions of the genitals’ goes under hammer

How growing up poor affects your approach to food forever

Taxi drivers report ‘ghost passengers’ in area devastated in 2011 tsunamiSaturation Diving 

Why do people keep coming to this couple’s home looking for lost phones?

The Killer Mobile Device for Victorian Women

The Cornell University Witchcraft Collection

I’ve spent years trying to get skinny. Oprah’s Weight Watchers ads convinced me to stop.

Plane passenger snaps photo of shadowy humanoid walking on cloud

Data analysis of GitHub contributions reveals unexpected gender bias

Drink “Probably Involved” In Attempted Triceratops Theft

The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare

What it’s like to be a single woman at 60

This is the craziest story you’ll ever hear out of North Korea 

Before Google, Here’s What New Yorkers Asked The NYPL

When an Endangered Species Endangers a Culture

Buccaneer Bones: Possible Pirate Skeleton Found Under Scotland Schoolyard

Witness the Controlled Chaos of Boston Traffic, As Filmed From a Streetcar in 1906

Museum Stuff: 

Archaeologists believe they’ve found artifacts from Alaska’s ‘cursed’ warship, the Neva

The Forgotten, Macabre World of Mourning Jewelry

‘Phantom girl’ in century-old pictures

Cat Funerals in the Victorian Era

The history of the world, as you’ve never seen it before (graphs)

155 Year Old Mouse Trap Claims Victim 

Making a lace cravat mount

The CIA’s secret art collection

Ghoulish secret of painting of Queen Elizabeth I’s magician revealed

Tattoo artist turned monk: not your typical art story

Somerset monks find 1793 recipe book

Prague’s creepy alchemy museum

Recipes: 

The Moistest Very Vanilla Mug Cake

Reviews of My Books:

Vampire Book Club: Take On Me

Vampire Book Club: Cruel Summer 

Things I Achieved in 2015 And What I Learned From Them

Better a little late than never. It’s still January. It counts 😛

I published 13 Conversations Between Writers. 

  • I wish I’d done more of them, but I’ve found that people are more likely to accept an invitation than to volunteer themselves or others. I’m going to have to get better at inviting people to do them as well as reminding people they can volunteer themselves or suggest someone. (Hint: You can do that here)

I did 5 Fountain Pen Reviews

  • This has largely tapered off as I haven’t gotten a lot of fountain pens because I’ve got more than I can actually use at this point. I have I think, three, I own now but haven’t reviewed.
  • Also I did a lot less handwriting in 2015 because I was mostly doing revisions and edits on The Shattered Ones.

I applied for and received a major collections grant at work.

  • As many of you know I work in Museum Collections. We’re working toward upgrading all of our collections storage and this is the first major grant relating to Collections we’ve gotten in the 8 years I’ve worked there. It is A Big Deal. Also, as I am now implementing the plan that won us the grant, it is the first time I can show real demonstrable changes. My job is a lot of whittling away at a glacier, so it’s nice to hack off some icebergs and uncover new ground.

I made my short story reading goal for the year.

  • My goal was to read 365 short stories during the year. I read over 411 (I’m still sorting out my notes and things, when I count podcasts it might be closer to 450) without counting slush.
  • However, I feel like I read basically nothing for the year and all of the important stories I still have yet to read.
  • I am starting to realize that I will never feel like I am caught up on my reading, which makes it hard to focus on because it feels a bit of a pointless exercise.
  • I know it isn’t, but I feel really discouraged and I’m still trying to figure out what actionable things I can do to make my reading work more for me rather than feeling like I’m working to read.

My very first novel, TAKE ON ME was published in September.

  • The weird thing about hitting milestones is that the goal posts always move. I spent all this time writing and making the book, but it’s very much out of my hands and I’m in the throes of the next goal, the next problem, by the time it gets read by readers.
  • I’m really happy that many readers are enjoying it and indications seem to be that more people will discover it as each book is released and I think there will be a big jump in March when the third one comes out. *fingers crossed*
  • Going over copyedits was a lot more stressful than I thought it would be. I am VERY VERY lucky in that I get the same copyeditor for all three books, so the process dropped in difficulty by a huge % for the second book as we now knew a lot more about what the other was doing.
  • If you are publishing a book involving vampires you should probably find out when the 10th Anniversary of Twilight is and not release a book on the same day if you didn’t mean to do so. …Seriously it did not even occur to anyone to check this.
  • Also, if you are using song titles for book titles it helps to not release a book the same week of a major anniversary so that your book is extremely hard to search for on all platforms. …another thing no one thought to check, cause… what are the odds?
  • Getting reviews (both good and bad) doesn’t take up as much of my brain space as I thought they would. A lack of people talking about it or reviewing hurts more than any bad review. Also, no review is ever going to be as mean to me as I am inside my own head.
  • Getting a book publishing seems a bit like getting married. Bear with me… ultimately getting married didn’t change my relationship as it was between us, however, it did change how the government and other people treated our relationship. Getting a novel published didn’t change anything about how I write, how difficult things are for me, the speed I write, the insecurities I have- it just changes things that are external to me.
  • I wrote a good chunk of an unrelated novel and one short story outside of The Shattered Ones in 2015. I managed two submissions but zero sales. The novel business sucked up well over 2/3rds of the writing year even with completed manuscripts (there were a lot of rewrites and I did have to add a large chunk to Book 3, plus edits and copyedits)
  • A lot of people still don’t buy ebooks. Many of them are my relatives. 🙂

My second novel CRUEL SUMMER was published in December

  • Some stuff gets easier with books coming out closer together, a lot of marketing gets more difficult. How many reviewers will read Book 2? Do you promote Book 2 over Book 1, or do you just push Book 1 and mention Book 2? There are a lot of best guesses along with trial and error going on.
  • Putting books out closer together is better for readers but harder on writers and publishers. We knew it was ambitious, but yeah… it wasn’t any of the big things, it was always the little things that just added up and wore us down.
  • I am proud of TAKE ON ME, but each progressive book makes me feel so much prouder. I can not wait for Book 3 to get out there. It is slowly killing me that it isn’t out yet, because I can not wait for people to read it and see things really hit the fan.
  • Hey, you know all those people you mean to thank in the thank yous when you write a book? I should totally have a document where I write those down as I go, otherwise I’ll forget a few and have to put them in Book 3 which would be really awkward if there wasn’t already going to be a sequel. Cause the moment my editor asked for them my brain totally threw a cog and a document would have been great.
  • Copyeditors are your friends. Copyeditors you get to keep for sequels make everything so much better. It is the difference between a 1st and 2nd manuscript date. Copyeditors who call you out on messing up a geek thing that you swore you checked but clearly didn’t are SUPER HELPFUL even if it means having to cut part of a scene that would otherwise leave you looking foolish.

After I turned in the manuscript for RUNNING DOWN A DREAM, I took the rest of 2015 off.

  • Mind you this was a few weeks, but it was over the holidays and it made all the difference in not having a depressive episode.
  • Do not underestimate the need for rest and relaxation as it relates to writing.

 

Well, that’s not 100% comprehensive, but I think it’s a pretty good overview. I feel better for having written it down. Without qualifying what I actually did, I always feel like I did nothing. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. I focus so much on what remains to be done rather than what is done. So while this post might not have been made in the first week of 2016, I think it is just as valid and useful, at least for me.

Be kind to yourselves and focus on where you are and what you’ve done before planning what still remains.

 

Too Many Links (about Bowie)

15 years ago, David Bowie turned up at Berklee to give the commencement speech — and it was hilarious

Brian Eno on final email from David Bowie: ‘I realise now he was saying goodbye’

Micro SF/F Fiction

Something Happened on the Day He Died: A Tribute to David Bowie

David Bowie Answers the Famous Proust Questionnaire

The Return of the Thin White Duke – Neil Gaiman 

Huge list of remembrances and links to articles

Peter Gabriel’s haunting cover of Heroes 

You Don’t Have To Choose

David Bowie underwent his final transformation yesterday. He was 69 and his last album just released. In his last music videos it is painfully clear in hindsight that he knew the end was coming. Many have keyed in on Lazarus, but the imagery of the skull of Major Tom literally becoming a holy venerated relic in Black Star is equally haunting. He knew what would likely come after and that the things we would hold up weren’t actually David Bowie the person, but the relic of an old persona. I haven’t tried to rewatch either video since I heard about his death. It will likely be a little bit before I can steel myself for that experience.

I was 15 when I first discovered David Bowie. The specifics don’t really matter. All you really need to know is that it was at the height of grunge, I was really into Nine Inch Nails and industrial music, and I became increasingly obsessed with Bowie’s music as I explored his back catalog. Life On Mars? Is a personal anthem for me. So many of the songs seemed to speak directly to my experiences and perfectly encapsulated a way to safely express difficult things.

I remember going to a friend’s house to watch the music video for The Heart’s Filthy Lesson. Outside and Eart hl ing are hugely important albums in my life. Here was this individual I adored who was now doing new types of music I also loved. I couldn’t find out enough things about him. My obsession was inspirational and affirming. Bowie became something I could use as a touchstone to find other weird people.

He was an actor, a musician, a songwriter, a painter, a sculptor, a mime, – his identity, gender, and sexuality seemingly fluid and unimportant.  He became the voice in the back of my head that said “It’s OK not to pick one thing. You can be whatever you are and chase after anything. If something doesn’t fit anymore, set it aside and find something new.”

Do you have any idea how freeing it was to realize I didn’t have to pick an identity. That being me was enough, and I didn’t have to define myself for anyone else. They’d find a way to define me in their head no matter what I did. The critics tried to define Bowie every time he changed, but none of it changed him.

Bowie helped me realize the labels of others didn’t matter to the person I was internally, and the fact that my own identity tends toward fluid and changing just makes me weird, it doesn’t make me wrong.

I like weird. There are lots of people who like weird. We’re all weird, and life is about finding the people you can be weird with.

I realize that I have exactly as much Bowie in my life today as I did yesterday. I never knew the man, I’ve only ever had his work. But, without him, I wouldn’t be who I am and so I grieve. I grieve deeply and unashamed. I hold aloft my relic of him and let tears fall down my face.

Steely resolve
Is falling from me
My poor soul
All bruised passivity

All your regrets
Ride rough-shod over me
I’m so glad
That we’re strangers when we meet

Strangers When We Meet – David Bowie

 

Too Many Links

A bunch of cool things I’ve found and bothered to save the links for now listed here for your clicking pleasure and for me to find later when I’m like “What was that thing again?”

Writing:

Writers on the pain of hindsight in publishing

In search of a more nuanced discussion on women and gender in SFF

Chuck Wendig – Welcome to the midpoint of your novel

Delilah S. Dawson – 25 Hacks from a Hack Writer – This was a particularly good post IMO

Halsted M. Bernard: Critiques, Counts, and Quests: Motivational Tools for Writers

Ryan Macklin – How Destiny Made Me Rethink Setting Details

Kameron Hurley – I was never in this for the parties

Brandon Sanderson Lectures

2016 Tools For Writers – a color-changing word count spreadsheet,  submission tree, goals, career bingo. Super handy and easy to modify to your own needs

Recipes:

Swedish Cinnamon Star Bread – holy cow look how pretty this is and not hard!

Sima – a Finnish fermented lemonade-ish drink

Baked Red Cabbage

Tahini Cookies

Chocolate Granola

Chocolate Caramel Tart

Science:

Tardigrades have DNA from outside sources – omg neat

Cancer cells can’t proliferate and invade at the same time

Where do Seattle area crows go at night

New fingerprint powders can show fingerprints on ivory for up to a month

Pollution cleaning water-walking robot

What outer space does to your body

Plague is still alive and well in the American West

Stories:

The first Best of 2015 Short Stories lists I ound – I know I am using this to see what good stuff I have missed and need to make my own list soon. Please send me your lists if and when you make them.

Feels:

1998 profile of Mr. Rogers – Fair Warning this will punch you in the feels.

Chewbacca comic – Also a feels punch. Also spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Misc:

Crochet Mesh Bag Pattern

NYC Library uploaded 20o,000 public domain images

Traffic Camera Catches Snowy Owl in Flight

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

Creepy Skull Landscapes

NASA posts huge library of free-to-use space sounds. !!!!!