Betsy Nails didn’t go to The Big O, but a certain Ichabod ‘splain had her announcing debut.
Not all has been uploaded, but this is what’s available so far.
Arizona vs Sin City, first announcing gig ever! With the fabulous Fragglepuss the Chaste.
Humboldt vs Treasure Valley, with sophisticated man of mystery Phil Dirt
Lane vs Arizona with Phil Dirt again. Track 1 had its own live stream, so you won’t hear my words, but you will see Mike reffing
Silicon Valley vs Slaughter County with .00 Buck. A bout with 100% more nso dancing and at one point I might have serenaded .00 Buck!
Wasach vs Victorian Roller Derby League with John Masterati
…. has not yet been uploaded!!! Soon, I am sure. What an honor to be part of this bout. I was a little bit terrified, but hopefully I did alright by my countrywomen.
Falling Leaves will be appearing in Apex Magazine!
Chances are you won’t actually get to read it until 2014, but I’m super happy that Apex accepted and it’s a joy to work with such smart, caring editors.by Liz
Championship Bout for the home teams tomorrow!!! eee!!! I’ll be there in my labcoat (penalty box and score keeping). There are still tickets available, so you can be there too :-)
And a new highlights reel with some big hits, including a ref take down.
See you at the after party?by Liz
In news that is rad, PodCastle will be doing an audio version of Mermaid’s Hook (you can hook your eyeball-meats into the text version over at Apex Magazine).
You might recall the awesome audio version they did of The Rugged Track (my Roller Derby Fairytale), so as you can imagine I’m quite excited to have a second story with such marvelous people. I wonder who will read my story? It’s a little bit scary and a little bit marvelous to hear someone else breathe life into your work.
edit: oop! And I’m reminded I never posted a link on my website to this wonderful review. Mermaid’s Hook listed as one of the best online stories in February and March at I09.
edit edit: And apologies for lack of clarity. I’m announcing a sale, not a story going live. I don’t know when Mermaid’s Hook will be available to do the kissing, just that it will be able to kiss your ear-meats at PodCastle in the near future.by Liz
When I get professionally jealous it’s often an exciting thing. “Wow! I never thought of doing that, that’s amazing!” But excitement can turn into sad feelings… “I don’t know if I’ll ever be awesome, eloquent and organized enough to use a moment in front of doorknockers to do the sort of tight exposition, character development and micro-tension that’s now sucking me through this book.”
Fortunately these moments of wonder/jealousy/despair are the perfect place to find a writing exercise. I’m going to try to do this exercise more often. I think it will make me think about language more, find unexpected angles and, most importantly, keep me playing. I think I’ve encountered this exercise in a few places, but Bruce Holland Rogers teaching an online Odyssey class really made it stick in my head.
Step 2: Set timer for 5 minutes. Starting at page 1/beginning of chapter/scene, type up a copy of those words.
Step 3: Set timer for 15 minutes. Looking at the words you just typed, focusing in at the sentence level structure write fresh sentences, but alter the meaning (or better yet, reverse it).
Step 1: Read Ironskin by Tina Connolly. Feel a twinge of jealousy, but move on to pride, happiness, admiration and longing.
Ironskin, Chapter 1/ A House Cracked and Torn.
By Tina Connolly
The moor was grey, battlefield grey. It had been five years since the last fey was seen, but out here Jane could almost imagine the Great War still raged on. Grey mist drifted through the blackened trees, recalling the smoke from the crematory kilns. That was a constant smell in the last months of the war.
Jane smoothed her old pea coat, shook the nerves and fatigue from her gloved hands. She’d been up since dawn, rattling through the frostbitten February morning on smoky iron train and lurching motorcar, until now she stood alone on the moor, looking up at an ink black manor house that disappeared into the grey sky.
The manor had been darkly beautiful once, full of odd minarets, fanciful gargoyles, and carved birds and beast.
A chill ran down her spine as she studied the design of the house. You didn’t have to be an architecture student to recognized who had drawn up the plans for it. It was clear in the imprint of every tower and flying buttress, clear in the intricate blue glass windows, clear in the way the gargoyles seemed to ready their wings to swoop down on you.
The fey had designed this.
The frothy structures were still perfect on the south end of the building, on the carriage house. On the north the house had war damage. It had been bombed, and now only the skeleton remained, the scraggly back structure sharp and jagged, mocking its former grace and charm.
Just like me, Jane thought, Just like me.
The iron mask on her face was cold in the chill air. She wrapped her veil more tightly around her face, tucked the ends into the ends into the worn wool coat. Helen’s best, but her sister would have better soon enough.
*beep* *beep* *beep* finish the sentence I’m typing and reset the timer.
Step 3: I thought about writing something with a fresh concept, but I’ve also been wanting to rework my novel, make it juicier, more emotionally vivid. Doing this kind of exercise to look at something I’ve “finished” is a first for me. I took Tina’s alternative history Bronte post World War with the Fey and reversed many things to make a near future first contact science fiction.
New Scent of Memory fragment
by Liz Argall
The mountains reached for the sky, chasing the stars. It had been six months, she prided herself on no longer knowing the number of days, since Ambassador Hodge had been abducted by angry teens with AK47s, but when she looked at East Island she could not help but wonder what secrets its jagged hills hid. The chopper tilted and lurched, her body froze as it remembered her evacuation, stumbling down the mountain, whisked up and away to a debriefing that exchanged numbness for terror and blame. The pilot smoked apple scented cigarettes, she tried not to hate him for the sharp reminder.
Kristen pressed the headset against her ear, reassured by its muffling presence.
*beep* *beep* 15 mins already? But I want to keep writing. I love how the landscape and senses are doing more work. I like the way Kristen’s PTSD is influencing description and the opening line evokes astronomy and promises the stars. Reset the timer, I’ll keep going!
I’ve been trying to find other ways into my text and make it resonant. I’m pleased with the different angle and the words I never would have found if I hadn’t be joyfully jealous… although perhaps jealousy isn’t really the right word.
Pangfully admiring? Yes I like that, a hunger pang to be a better writer, a bit painful, quite delicious, and a call to action. I took what made me hungry and ate it! Nom nom nom.
I’ll be at the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum 5-8pm tonight. Rat City will be sharing the derby love during the Art of Computer Games exhibit. If you’re in town you might want to enjoy the late close as well as play a bunch of cool games.by Liz
On Monday I wrote about about Bruce Livingston’s TedX talk.
It inspired a sequence of Things Without Arms and Without Legs comics. Here’s a link to part 1 if you want to check it out.by Liz
I feel like a fool not mentioning this last week when Tina Connolly was coming into town as part of the SFWA Reading Series (great reading series, it’s in Portland, Seattle and I hear it might go to more cities soon).Tina Connolly’s fab eclectic podcast of short fiction, Toasted Cake, will be doing an audio version of “Shadow Play.”
I love performing my own work… I’m still a bit too intimidated/concerned about getting all the tech right to do my own audio recordings, but I love to do readings. The nice thing about Tina reading my work is a know she’ll do things that honor the story and do things I never would have imagined. It reminds me a little of comics – the thing I love about comics collaboration and the thing I miss when I’m not writing comics is the way a comic artist can take my script and vividly realize it in ways that add nuanced dimensions I could never have imagined.
If you haven’t read any of Tina’s fiction I highly recommend it. I was full of a joyous jealousy when I read the opening pages of Iron Skin. The way she builds the tension, back story and characterization through a simple door knocker inspires me! Writing this blog post has got me thinking, I’m going to put myself through a writing exercise where I take her opening pages, shift context and try to do exactly what she did. It’s not an exercise I’ve done outside of a workshop context, but it will be good for me.
Anyway, keep an eye out for “Shadow Play” on Toasted Cake and get your mittens on Ironskin (I’m sorry, I can’t give you my copy, I’m keeping it for writing exercises).by Liz
For anyone who creates or has hurts. And it makes me wonder, when I write, how often do I give myself nine seconds before silencing the vulnerable part, judging or running away to distractions? I think watching this will help me make better art, it is so easy to flinch away from the edge. I hope you find it useful too.
Coda: I had the pleasure of working the Bruce and PlayWrite when I lived in Portland. The research project and documentary were ambitious things in the works. Bruce has amazing ways of dreaming big and somehow getting it all to happen.by Liz
oop! I wrote this update last week. Then I got all shy and forgot about it!
I’m going to Launch Pad!
Launch Pad is an esteemed astronomy workshop run out of the University of Wyoming that gives writers and editors intensive immersion into the world of astronomy as well as hands on experience at an observatory. Writers and editors that I admire have attended the workshop and all have sung its praises.
I first applied to Launch Pad in 2010, a freshly minted Clarion Graduate who had just started work on an overly ambitious first contact novel. I didn’t get in that time, but try out early, try out often! I got in this time. My body of work has grown since my first application. The ambitious novel is complete (although I’m sure I could edit it forever) and I’m trying to figure out what marathon to run next.
I’m so excited by this opportunity. I thrive in intensive learning environments. I love being around people who are passionate about what they do. I love going into dark country and seeing the stars in ways you just can’t in a city or town.
I’m super excited… who knows, maybe I can get there by train!by Liz