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My Own Kind of Firefly

my-own-kind-of-freedom-cover

Steven Brust wrote a Firefly novel?

I heard about My Own Kind of Freedom at the tail end of an announcement of an official line of Firefly tie-in novels. I admit that the tie-in news didn’t interest at all, but what did get my attention was learning that over a decade ago, Steven Brust wrote a Firefly novel on spec and submitted it for publication, was ultimately turned down, and released the finished work under Creative Commons Licence as a free ebook. Like Scott Lynch’s Queen of the Iron Sands, the combination of author and subject matter was too perfect to resist. Continue Reading »

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Updates for February

I’m fresh dry on ideas for blog posts (as you might notice from my increasingly erratic posting schedule), so some scattered thoughts for February, the cruelest month, instead:

  • The most rote feature of any writer’s blog is posts on writer’s block. I’ve had a really long spell of sitting in front of my computer and words not coming out, and none of the strategies I’ve tried to far have really worked. That being said, there are a few anthology calls that would be a real shame to miss since they fall right in my wheelhouse. I now have a small notebook I carry around to jot down ideas.One thing I noticed is that the last two stories I did manage to finish came right out of drawings and paintings I’d done, and maybe I’m onto something there.

 

  • On that note, probably the best thing I’ve done for improving my artwork was buying a cheap, 500-sheet pad of newsprint from the local office supply store. I have had a weird relationship with sketchbooks where I was adamant on only including “good” work in books most people wouldn’t see. For newsprint, over the past few months I’ve filled it every day with small sketches and concepts, almost all out of my imagination, and that freedom to just dump out any idea no matter how rough has really helped improve my ability to pose figures, make compositions and create diverse people and landscapes. Experimenting and just moving onto the next iteration when you fail because you don’t perceive the sketchbook as a place for “quality” work is really helpful, and if I’m out of ideas for finished pieces I can always go back and flip through my thumbnails until I find something that catches my eye.

Continue Reading »

ursula-k-le-guin

A reflection on the life and works of Ursula K. Le Guin in light of her recent passing.

Download the Podcast (archive.org page)

Marie’s blog

Cory’s blog

Source of our theme song

Comrade Commissar Lúthien

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Mae g’ovannen, tovarisch.

One last painting

…before the year is over.

bluedressviking

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So little of 2017 left, but just enough time to post our year in review! We discuss media we enjoyed this year, whether it was objectively good or not, including the University of Alberta murder-mystery-but-not-really-a-murder-mystery The Next Margaret, Haruki Murakami’s slow melancholy, Nausicaä  of the Valley of the Wind (again!), Roger Zelazny’s fiction, and more.

Download the Podcast (archive.org page)

Marie’s blog

Cory’s blog

Source of our theme song

Farewell to 2017

farewell-1895blog

The year is winding down, and the best I can say is that humanity hasn’t ended in a nuclear conflagration just yet. I have no personal accomplishments to really crow about this time either—no short story sales, very little work done on my still-in-progress necromancy novel, and a general feeling of creative malaise towards the written word.

However, I did turn my efforts towards art, and it’s been a fantastic year on that front. I started seeing some marked improvement, in part because I’ve managed to follow through on the pledge I made some time ago to create something every day, building up from the basics. I tried Inktober for the first time this year, and in balance, it was a hell of a lot more enjoyable than my last experience NanoWriMo, with some tangible benefits at the end.

Now for the usual rundown of media and culture that I either enjoyed or at least made me think.

Continue Reading »