My New Office Is Coming Along Nicely


I have officially moved house. If you need my new address and I’ve forgotten to send it, please contact me at one of the usual places. I’ve tried to at least update colleagues, but inevitably someone gets left off the cc: or it goes to spam.

My desk is the first thing we’ve set up here. That’s Toey, keeping me company. And snoring a little, after singing me the Song of Her People all night. I’ve been working on packing up the old house, moving, and doing revisions/rewrites on Hearts Are Jerks. I’m past the 25% mark, slowly but steadily giving it the polish and feels that it needs.

I don’t celebrate a Winter Holiday as such, but I wish you a pleasant one if you do.

Interview with the Editor

I was honored to have the opportunity to interview James L. Sutter for Lambda Literary. James was my editor at Paizo for Gears of Faith, and I was his editor when he wrote for my anthology When the Hero Comes Home 2.

Bisexuality is in an odd place in the matrix of queerness. It’s important to show out bisexuals in the workplace. We exist. We’re not defined by who we’re partnered with. And we bring a vision of diversity to the publishing workplace and the world of literature.

James L. Sutter Interview – Lambda LiteraryJames L. Sutter Interview – Lambda Literary

Hearts Are Jerks – update

So far, my query process has included two rejections, one request for the first fifty pages (followed by a rejection), and one enthusiastic request for the full manuscript from someone I would love to work with. The full manuscript request ended in a revise-and-resubmit invitation, with a ton of valuable feedback — all of which is dead on.

I’ve hired my long-time trusted editor to go over it for me, side by side with the agent’s feedback, so that my own blind spots don’t get in my way.

Meanwhile, I’ve submitted two new stories to short story markets. I’m currently working on a manuscript edit for a client, and an editing workshop/seminar to add to my repertoire.

Oh, and: Per my last post, converting an existing manuscript directly from first person to third person doesn’t work. At least, it didn’t work at all in this case. But I’ve discovered what my hard science fiction project actually needs, and that’s a full rewrite and present tense. It’s got a new first chapter now and it feels right.

And we keep moving forward, one word at a time. ❤

Despite Excuses

I’m at a writing retreat called Despite Excuses, up along the California coast. One week, nine writers, an amazing view of the ocean, and words words words.

This retreat is called “Despite Excuses” because there will always be excuses, reasons to not write, other things that take priority or precedence. But we get together somewhere beautiful for a week and we write anyway.

We workshopped my next novel for an hour before dinner. I got great feedback and new ideas, and was proclaimed “ready to go and write this thing.”

I’ve tried to write this thing before. This novel’s been in my head since 2010. It’s the hard science fiction manuscript that brought me to LaunchPad. I have eight(ish) chapters of a draft, which I apparently wrote to bring myself to the realization that I was using the wrong point of view, and possibly starting at the wrong part of the story.

Today I’m converting those 14,000(ish) words from first to third person, to see what they feel like there. Then I’ll build on them. They might all stay, they might all go, but I need to look at my foundation to decide whether it fits the house I want to build.

A Few Observations About Space

I recently re-found these notes in a notebook I hadn’t opened in a while (okay, in an Evernote notebook folder, but still!), and thought they were worth copying here for posterity. For writing science fiction, they’re good to keep in mind.

These are observations from the STARSHIP CENTURY conference in 2013, but they still hold true.

Three things I learned at STARSHIP CENTURY:
1. There’s a big difference between what’s actually possible with right-now technology, and what’s possible given some major leap we haven’t made yet. The people who deal with the “major-leap”-possible believe fervently in that condition being met and their idea being possible, so it’s important to apply critical thinking and listen for those hand-waving moments.
Like the astronaut mining venture: all this is exactly right-now possible IF we presume an established base on the moon. Well, we haven’t established a base on the moon yet, so none of this is exactly right-now plausible.
Figuring out the composition of interstellar matter is right-now possible. Designing ships that run on electricity or nuclear fission is right-now possible. Designing ships that run on nuclear fusion is not right-now possible.
2. Light speed is FAST. Like, really fast. Like, at just 10% of the speed of light you’d orbit the earth in one second. At just 3.75% of the speed of light, a dust particle hitting the windshield would impact with the nuclear force of a hydrogen bomb.
[Which means I seriously have to recalculate my ship and its speed. I think I can use charged particles as a shield to deflect dust (“deflector” shields, go figure), but in right-now-technology hard science fiction, 85% light speed is just not practical or plausible.]
We can theoretically right-now see our way to about 5-7%, which with exhaust propulsion becomes about 10-14%, but that’s all.
3. Other stars are far. Like, REALLY FAR. An Astronomical Unit (1 AU) is 100 million miles — the distance from the sun to the earth. A light year is 64,000 AUs. The next nearest star to our sun, Alpha Centauri, is 15 light years away.
It’s unlikely that there are other stars between here and there. We’d have seen them by now. But there may be habitable planets and moons that are, at their closest, about that far. It’s much more realistic to surmise that the other “goldilocks planets” that support life in our galaxy, if there are any, are on about the same position on their spiral arms as we are on ours. That’s, as the Californians would say, hella far.

PaizoCon 2017

Here’s a selfie I took with my book (and a bunch of other great books!) at PaizoCon last weekend. Forgive the sunglasses and any apparent sleeplessness — if you’re well-rested at a convention you’re probably doing it wrong.

[Image: the author in front of a rack of Pathfinder Tales books]


For many, PaizoCon was all about Starfinder, the shiny new science-fantasy RPG that Paizo is launching at GenCon this June.

For me, PaizoCon was all about Gears of Faith, and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.

I got to crash a panel with James Sutter and Erik Mona about writing fiction and comics. One highlight was a very interesting discussion about how the same things have to be portrayed differently in different media. For instance, take a “detect evil” spell. In the game, it’s a mechanic involving rules and dice. In fiction, a narrative medium, how do you know you’ve detected evil? Maybe the hair on the back of your neck stands up and your stomach feels unsettled. But in comics, a visual medium, you need to be able to show everything through visual cues and dialogue, so it might become a nosebleed and a character saying they’ve got a headache.

After that panel, I got sucked into the card game, specifically the “Mummy’s Mask” box, and kind of stayed there. Which was awesome. I’d never played the card game in organized play before. Designer Mike Selinker gets huge props for making the game mechanics fit the theme in fun and thoughtful (if infuriating!) ways. And I got to meet people I wouldn’t have met if I’d stuck to the RPG, which was also awesome.

The drive up to Seattle was gorgeous, and this was the first time I did it in two segments with a stop in the middle instead of just going straight through. There were rivers and mountains, and resident hotel-cats. Next time, maybe I’ll leave myself an extra day in the middle so that I can explore more on the way. For now, it’s nice to be home, happy, and inspired.


Gears of Faith – released!

grh_GoFBookwyrm RPG Convention in Fresno was kind enough to have me out as their Guest of Honor, the same weekend that Gears of Faith hit the shelves. A whole convention full of people got to see me with “new book glow.”

Thank you, Bookwyrm, Woodward Park Library, and Paizo, for making it all work out!