mrissa: (Default)

1. Yesterday my friend Ginger Weil and I both had stories in the new issue of Apex. Mine is called The New Girl and is in the same universe as some other stories you’ve seen from me–most recently “The Salt Path,” also in Apex. Ginger’s is The Stagman’s Song and happens to be her professional fiction debut. Go, read, enjoy. (There’s also the rest of Apex I haven’t gotten to yet.)

2. Today I have a story in Nature, Boundary Waters. There is also a guest blog post from me on the Nature blog about it. So if you don’t have time to read “The New Girl” and “The Stagman’s Song,” “Boundary Waters” is much shorter but one hopes also a good read. (My two pieces go thematically together more than I expected, since I didn’t write them together and couldn’t plan that they would be published together. Very different settings and so on. See what you think.)

3. Speaking of my stories, there’s still time left in the Not Our Kind Kickstarter. It’s more than 60% funded, and there are new backer rewards that are worth checking out.

4. Not at all speaking of my stories, Tim is having his holiday print sale early this year. Lots of excellent new work in that as well as old favorites, and an easy way to see the existing photo gallery behind that link if you’ve been trying to remember what it was you wanted.

5. I have been doing a new craft project or art project or something. I have been making things. And the problem is, I am surprising people with these things for Christmas, so I cannot say what they are. I am even surprising Mark, so when he isn’t traveling for work, my materials get bundled away into my office closet. I am really not good at not talking about this kind of project, and it’s driving me a bit bazoo to not be able to talk about what I’m figuring out from first principles and what I’m learning from other people’s successes. A few of you are getting this on email. The people I would most want to say it to, though, are my mom and Stella and Sherry, and they are the people who most need surprising. It keeps coming up naturally in conversation and making me go, “Nnnng!” There was even a Terry Pratchett joke I couldn’t make yesterday. It is so unfair, and we’re nowhere near Christmas yet. (On the other hand, we are near enough to Christmas that I do need to keep working steadily on these items when Mark is out of town!) I finished Kev’s yesterday, and it’s lovely, it’s–

Not a pony. It is not a pony. Nobody is getting a pony.

That’s all I have to say about that.

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

mrissa: (ohhh.)

1. With the Reader: War for the Oaks Kickstarter closing at 4 Central Time, I hear that it now has a Pamela Dean essay included in the photo book. Very, very cool. Go, little Kickstarter, go!

2. You can add to the pool of dragons in my friend Marie Brennan’s Memoirs of Lady Trent series if you want to design your own. Write up a description of no more than two hundred words of your new dragon or draconic cousin sub-species, send it to with the subject line “DRAGON: [your dragon name here],” and if your dragon is among the chosen ones, you’ll get an ARC of the new book, which is full of sea serpents. I should totally do this, because I can easily be bought with sea serpents, but since I often get ARCs as a reviewer, I’m going to leave it to those of you who imagine draconic species but don’t usually get sent free sea-serpenty books. But think of your 12-year-old self (or if you are 12, think of yourself): “you just write a short description of a new kind of dragon, and if they like it, they send you a free fantasy novel.” That’s a pretty good deal.

(If you start noodling with dragons and writing it up and think, “Wait, this new kind of dragon is too awesome to give to Marie Brennan, I will go write my own dragon story,” I bet she would consider that a pretty nifty outcome too. More dragons for everybody! But no free book in that case.)

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

mrissa: (happy)

1. I sold a story, “A House of Gold and Steel,” to Beneath Ceaseless Skies. It’s not actually very much like “Minnie the Moocher,” although that’s where the title comes from. When I announced this on shorter social media, I linked to Cab Calloway singing in Blues Brothers, which is classic, but I also always do get Stephen Fry in my head saying, “Yes, His Majesty King Gustav does seem to have been extraordinarily generous with the young lady, sir.” But really, His Majesty King Gustav is Sir Not Appearing In This Story.

2. Tim’s Kickstarter funded! If you’re interested, there’s still time to back it and get yourself a lovely photo book, or the related cards, prints, etc. This is a thing that will definitely happen now–he’s completed all the photos, the Kickstarting is for the cost of printing etc.–and as Kev said in another social medium, it is a lovely bandwagon to jump on. Mostly I am pleased that it funded before the last minute. You may not have known this about me, but I am not the least anxious person ever, and knowing that this very cool project will actually exist in the world has been a very happy relief for me.

3. It’s raining. I like rain. I like rain almost as well as snow, and everybody else is a great deal less grumpy than if it was snowing today, so hurrah rain.

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

mrissa: (Default)

Today is Monday, and Tim’s Kickstarter is over 75% funded. The funding is the point at which it can happen, though; going over “funded” is still quite a good idea and gives more room for him to develop awesome projects in future.

Saturday is my mother’s sixtieth birthday. Don’t you think my mother should have nice things? I do. Like beautiful photo books. And kooky fantasy stories. She likes things like that!

That’s why for this week, as a special promotional for my mom’s birthday, if you back the Reader: War for the Oaks Kickstarter at the photo book level or higher (that’s $30 or higher), you can let me know and pick your own brand new Carter Hall story. Choose a title (I’ve never written “Carter Hall Returns to the Point” or “Carter Hall’s One Timer” or “Carter Hall and the Broken Blade” or…well, that’s the point, whatever you like), or choose a mythic or folktale element I should incorporate in a new Carter Hall story. I’ll send it to you when it’s finished.

There is no requirement that you have to be listed as a friend of my lj or anything else to participate in this promotional. My email is publicly available: it’s a gmail account at marissalingen.

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

mrissa: (Default)

The Kickstarter is up for The Reader: War for the Oaks, and Tim has done a beautiful job. You can see some of how gorgeous the photos are on the page for it, but they’re even better in person. There’ll also be essays in appreciation of War for the Oaks in the photo book (possibly one from me–we’ll see what he thinks!). And if you’re so moved, there are gorgeous prints and photo cards for extras. Some of you have gotten examples of Tim’s photo cards in the mail from me–way better than Hallmark, frankly, suitable for pretty much any occasion, festive, congratulatory, consoling, pick your mood yourself.

This has been a lovely project to support, and I would really like for him to be able to do more beautiful nerdy things in this vein. The Kickstarter is starting strong, but it still needs support. Please go look at the page and think about backing it. Thanks so much.

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

mrissa: (themselves)

Over at Tim’s blog, he’s got his top photos of 2013 on sale until February 7. There’s some really cool stuff going on there–panoramas, the dragon from the Montreal lantern festival, snow, tapirs, and more–so check it out while the sale is still going.

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

mrissa: (Default)

This morning I sold a story, “The Stuff We Don’t Do,” to the Futures department at Nature Physics. I am always pleased to be in Nature Physics because it reaches the professors who did so much for me in college.

This story has two positive inspirations and one negative one, among authors whose work I enjoyed in my teens and early twenties. We’ll see if anybody recognizes the other two when the story comes out, but the positive one I want to call out specifically today is Diane Duane. Her Wizard books remain humane as well as clever; she armored them against the suck fairy, and I am as grateful for them now as I was in younger days. (And if you’re puzzled at how a fantasy series could help inspire something SF enough to make it into Nature Physics, possibly it’s time for you to give the Wizard books a look.)

Of course, I have counted wrong; Timprov is an author whose work I enjoyed in that period, and he was at least as much an inspiration for this story (also positive). I wrote it for him, sparked by a conversation we had in the car once. Sometimes it still amazes me that not only do I get to tell stories inspired by crazy conversations I have with the Prov, but I get to do it as my job.

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

mrissa: (reading)
Another awesome photo project that you, Twin Cities people or people who are visiting the Twin Cities soon, can help with! War for the Oaks Reader Photos. Awesome, or awesome? Yes. Awesome. Check it out. Be a WFTO reader. It will be good.
mrissa: (themselves)
[ profile] timprov is having a print sale! Gorgeous vivid color--go look, but honestly, it's even better in person. Here. $30 for refreshing art in a grey time. Hard to beat that.
mrissa: (timprov)
[ profile] timprov is having a sale on his prints. Go get good photos at really good prices!
mrissa: (themselves)
Me: I was telling a story and mentioned her friend Harold and then turned to my mom and said, "Not actually a giraffe," and she broke up laughing. Grandma sort of patiently sat there and waited for us to start making sense again.
[ profile] timprov: I hope someone's bringing her food.
mrissa: (helpful nudge)
I bet you were smart and did not try to go to Mall of America to spend all your money this weekend, unlike ten million other monkeys. So do I have a deal for you! Three deadlines are coming up! One of them is a hard and fast deadline. The other two are just for prices going up.

1. Spellbound Kickstarter. If you do not support this, it will not fly.

2. 4th St. Fantasy. There is no membership cap on 4th St.--I heard a rumor that there was! there is not! I would know!--but the price does go up on June 1. So if you're thinking of coming to 4th St.--which you should! it is awesome! so much nerdly fun!--it is worth your time to get your membership before Friday.

3. Tim's print sale. Again, you can buy Tim's prints whenever you want! They are always there! So are his cards. But the prices go back up on Friday! They are only discounted until Friday! So buy now, save money on good photography!

Aren't you glad you dodged Mall of America?
mrissa: (themselves)
[ profile] timprov is having a print sale--his photos are 33% off for the rest of May. He's been taking all sorts of gorgeous new things. Go check it out!
mrissa: (winter)
I really like both what [ profile] timprov says in his blog post here and the song and video he's talking about in it. I can't watch the vid again, though; we didn't have enough snowy winter for me this year, and I miss the Minneapolis winter it shows too much. Next year. I'll get through to next year. In the meantime, go read about things that have nothing to do with snow, winter, or Minneapolis.
mrissa: (alec)
[ profile] alecaustin has a new story up at AE, "Empty Houses".

[ profile] timprov has a new blog about songwriting.

Me, I'm doing stuff, too, but mostly not finished stuff that I can show you and like that. Still and all: good stuff yay.
mrissa: (timprov)
It came to my attention last night that [ profile] alecaustin had missed [ profile] timprov's post featuring Tim singing his new song about Sir Humphry Davy. And I wondered how many other people had missed it, and I thought that'd be a darn shame. So here you go, far too early on a Monday morning: better living through songs about chemistry!
mrissa: (hats off)
This morning I am leaving for World Fantasy Con. The hotel doesn't have free wireless in the rooms. I packed a cable, but I'm not likely to be online very much in public space if there isn't free wired internet in the rooms, and I'm not likely to pay for wireless in the rooms. So by all means still e-mail me or whatever, but don't expect me to be getting stuff regularly, and especially not on social media rather than my very own e-mail box.

Before I leave, [ profile] timprov and I are celebrating Teddy Roosevelt's birthday by going to Wirth Park and charging up the sledding hill or the tubing hill, whichever is not golf course at this time. We're also getting pancakes at Maria's.

The idea of celebrating TR's birthday came from a friend of my parents. His youngest needed picking up from grade school, but when he went to fetch her, she and her next-older sister were both there, even though the next-older girl was supposed to stay after for special reading help. "J---, what happened?" he asked her. "Oh, I told the teacher I had to go home because my family was celebrating Teddy Roosevelt's birthday," said J--- airily. It was, in fact, Teddy Roosevelt's birthday, but my parents' friends had no plan to celebrate it, so he sent her back in to her reading help.

"This is the difference between you guys," I said to my dad. "If I'd gotten myself out of something with the deftly applied knowledge of TR's birthday, you would totally have said to me, 'Okay, what are we going to do to celebrate'?" And he laughed and agreed, but then [ profile] timprov and I looked at each other and said, "All right, what are we going to do to celebrate?"

Also I have silly new icons. FYI.

Okay, onwards. Don't leave the internet in a mess for when I get back.
mrissa: (question)
People want to answer questions, but no one seems to want to ask them. Except [ profile] timprov! Here are his questions and their answers.

(I will give you one of my secret methods for questions. [ profile] yhlee said she wanted random distractions, so I hit "random entry" on Wikipedia pages to see if they reminded me of anything that might be a coherent question for Yoon but would not feel too directed/non-random for her taste. "How do you feel about Carver County?": not a coherent question for Yoon. "What's the furthest north you've ever been?": coherent question for Yoon.)

1. Does Angela get to blow something up? Pretty please?

Heh. [ profile] timprov is showing off. He has read the recently-finished manuscript of The True Tale of Carter Hall. Angela is Janet's best friend from college. And no, I'm pretty sure she does not get to blow anything up. She's a social worker from Minneapolis! Where is she going to get the stuff to blow stuff up? I mean, if she was a social worker from Thief River who was living in Minneapolis...and anyway, mostly what she's got to go on is Janet's uneasy feelings; I don't even know what she could usefully blow up. That's the problem with dealing with Faerie: it's not where you can blow it up.

Dammit, that's the first line of a Carter story, isn't it: The problem with dealing with Faerie is that it's not where you can blow it up, and all the other solutions are less satisfying. That one is totally on you, Prov.

Also I am not changing Angela's profession so that she is a demolitions expert from Minneapolis instead. Or the kind of landscaper who gets to take out stumps and stuff. I might do a story wherein Carter and Angela have to take out stumps and also fight crime Faerie forces and stuff. If you're nice to me.

2. Am I actually impossible to encourage, or does it just feel like that from in here?

You're, uh. Pretty difficult. I might say impossible if I was good with impossibilities, but you know how I am on that front.

Because I'm uncreative: 3. If money was not a consideration, what would you do/where would you go if you kidnapped Rob for a week? How about Lily? (You're allowed to bring helper-grownups in this scenario.)

I think Rob could have a field day in Washington DC with the Smithsonian and like that, and we could take day trips out into the Virginia countryside to look at plantations and stop at the roadside and things if he got overstimulated in the city. Also it is not so distant from visiting a [ profile] jonsinger, which Rob would also like. I'd want to take Lily somewhere with a lot of flower gardens and good chocolate, so...well, Montreal actually. There are lots of good kids' parks in Montreal even aside from the Jardin Botanique, and she could practice her French and discover where she could usefully know more French, and she could ask [ profile] papersky questions about everything under the sun and [ profile] zorinth would probably argue with some of his mother's answers and Lily would like that. And so would I.

4. I found that The Weepies were pretty much the ideal music for Pt. Reyes. Can you come up with other unexpected music/location combinations?

My most recent music/location combination was entirely predictable: "The End of the World As We Know It" came on the music at the Berkeley Whole Foods, and [ profile] alecaustin and I rocked out and joked that everyone in their 30s in the entire store had just said, "Leonard Bernstein!" in unison. That is not the least bit unpredictable. That is demographic.

I think Josh Ritter on the plains south of here is entirely predictable also.

Now I want to listen to Meg Hutchinson in the fog in California hills, though. I don't know that that counts as unexpected. But I think it would be nice.

5. What's a cool, unboring thing for me to do with a race of semi-intelligent commensals?

Architectural structures from the weird things their partner race does? Or quasi-architectural at least? I don't just say that because I know you like architecturalnessitude.
mrissa: (winter)
I have said before that one of the best things about being a grown-up this time of year is that my Christmas list means the list of things I want to buy or make for people for Christmas. And one of the implications of this is that the gift I get most excited about each Christmas, while it varies from year to year, is always a gift I'm giving instead of a gift I'm receiving. Usually it's something quirky, something that's no major thing.

This year was no exception, and I gave it last night to quite gratifying response: I found goats' milk so I could make [ profile] pameladean goats' milk fudge. She can't have cows' milk, and the noises of joy she made when she saw the slabs of fudge that she could enjoy were so good.

I had been distressing [ profile] timprov by referring to this as "goat fudge." Walnut fudge, you see, has giant chunks of walnut in it, so...yah. Goat fudge did not seem to him like a thing that would give [ profile] pameladean a very merry Christmas. Or anyone else, for that matter.

What present are you most excited about giving this year?

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