seanan_mcguire: (Default)


Sometime in the past few days–between the end of June and the start of July, between the anniversary of my return from New York and the anniversary of my betraying my cats utterly by shoving them into a carrier and heading for the horizon–we quietly passed the one-year anniversary of my move to the Seattle area.


I will be honest: I was nervous as all hell when the time came for moving.  I had been looking forward to this move for years, ever since the Christmas I’d spent squirreled away in Vixy’s dining room trying to reconstruct my heart from the echoes of a very bad breakup.  Seattle is where I keep the bulk of my physical friends, where I know I can find someone to hold onto if I need them.  But there are things about the Bay Area I love too, things I knew I would miss, some moveable and some not.  Kate and Chris could come and visit me when I was gone.  My comic book store and my dentist could not.


(Borderlands Books, one of my heart’s homes, sort of falls between the two.  Alan and Jude could come visit if they had time, and I have a guest room now if they’re ever in the area.  The store itself, not so much.)


But I missed rain, and frogs, and having a social life that included more than two people.  I was no longer in a stable local living situation, and I couldn’t afford a house large enough for me and my mother in the Bay Area real estate market.  I wanted to go.  I needed to go.


I went.


I am so happy I did.


My house–my house, no one else’s, which I bought using money I made from telling stories, which is all I’ve ever wanted to do–is my home now.  My bedroom walls are orange.  My cats are happy.  My housemates, who live with me because they want to, who help keep the lights on, are pleasant and fun and have lives of their own, allowing me to travel and retreat as I need to.  My mother is thriving.  I am thriving.  I go back to the Bay Area to do appearances at Borderlands and to see my dentist, and I love where I live now.


One year in Seattle.  No regrets.

seanan_mcguire: (zombie)
...is currently in France (la la!), and on pretty crappy wireless. All email bounces through her, thanks to The Great Profanity Storm of 2012, which means that some things may have gotten lost. Specifically, the emails from two of our ARC winners have not been received.

Jill, we have yours; if you are one of our other two winners, please re-send your mailing address via the website contact form ASAP.

Cranky blonde is cranky with the world, not with any of you (or with Kate).
seanan_mcguire: (barbie)
So shirt orders are closed, and this is an update! Specifically, the update is this:

Kate, who is handling the administrative side of this shirt order, just got a new job, and is thus somewhat behind at contacting people to clear up things about their payments, shipping info, etc. She is still doing it. People are being contacted, and payments, once received, are being entered on the spreadsheet. Remember that "we're not making any money" disclaimer? Unfortunately, that means I'm not paying her, which is why she needed the new job, and why she's slow right now.

Everyone's order will be dealt with. Queries should go to the merch address; if you send them through the contact form, they have to go through Kate, and this is what happens:

1. You email.
2. Kate bounces the email to me.
3. I bounce the email to Kate, because I literally know nothing about where she is in the process.

It is not efficient, and it takes time away from her processing the pending orders. I promise, it's happening; we just need to be patient while we work the latest batch of kinks out.

Shirts soon!
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
This is your reminder that we will stop taking orders for a new run of Wicked Girls shirts, as well as the first-ever run of "My Story Is Not Done" shirts (for those of you who have asked for something a little more gender-neutral), at midnight PST on Monday, June 30th. So the second it becomes July, we are no longer taking requests.

Instructions on ordering, and what our options are, are all lain out on that initial post. Kate, using the "seananmerch" account, is reaching out now to confirm people's requests. I have no involvement with this part of the process, and emailing me directly (either via my contact form or because you have a contact address) just gets you bounced to Kate.

What does this mean for me?

It means that you must have commented on the original post by midnight June 30th to be included in the order.

But I haven't heard back from Kate!

No one who has commented on the post will be left out. Kate had real life loom on her a bit (as sometimes happens to even the best of us), but she's getting caught up, and everyone will make the spreadsheet. This does mean I won't be submitting the T-shirt order at 12:01am July 1st, but let's be honest: that was never going to happen anyway. For one thing, I was going to be asleep. I like sleep.

Please make sure you have added "seananmerch" to your spam filters.

Kate has been emailing people, but not everyone has gotten back to her to confirm mailing addresses and provide payment. This is a problem, since your shirt will only be printed if you pay for it (that being the nature of this particular ordering process). If you have commented on the original post and received a reply saying that you're on the spreadsheet, that means you should also have received an email. Please check!

We mean it when we say we can't promise delivery before October.

We opened this order period as early as we did because we want to be able to get the shirts back from the printer and shoved into envelopes before I leave for Europe in early August, but there are a lot of moving parts involved, and it's possible the printer will miss the deadline for mailing by as little as a day or as much as two weeks. If the shirts hit while I'm out of the country, they're not going to be mailed until October. We will not give refunds in September because you expected a shirt in August. I'm being really upfront about how long this could take, and this is part of why. Which brings us to...

I am not a store; we are not making any money off of this.

The last two shirt runs have netted cost of shirts + cost of postage and packing materials + one pizza party for the people who pack the shirts to mail. I am not a big shiny clothing manufacturer who prints her own shirts and can afford a shit-ton of extras. Teefury can do $11 shirts because they print their own and have runs well in excess of anything I've ever done. I am fighting to keep from needing to raise prices for these short bespoke runs. This is why I request non-CC PayPal and do my best to avoid transaction fees, which nibble away at the already very narrow overage.

Kate and I are both going to be as open and responsive as we possibly can be; transparency is best in a situation like this one. But please, please don't buy a shirt if you're going to approach it like buying something from Hot Topic. We're not that kind of operation. It'll be a long, long time before we can be.

Thank you.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
All right! We are still taking orders for a new run of Wicked Girls shirts, as well as the first-ever run of "My Story Is Not Done" shirts (for those of you who have asked for something a little more gender-neutral). Instructions on ordering, and what our options are, are all lain out on that initial post. Kate, using the "seananmerch" account, is reaching out now to confirm people's requests.

Now, the notes.

Please make sure you have added "seananmerch" to your spam filters.

Kate has been emailing people, but not everyone has gotten back to her to confirm mailing addresses and provide payment. This is a problem, since your shirt will only be printed if you pay for it (that being the nature of this particular ordering process). If you have commented on the original post and received a reply saying that you're on the spreadsheet, that means you should also have received an email. Please check!

We mean it when we say we can't promise delivery before October.

We opened this order period as early as we did because we want to be able to get the shirts back from the printer and shoved into envelopes before I leave for Europe in early August, but there are a lot of moving parts involved, and it's possible the printer will miss the deadline for mailing by as little as a day or as much as two weeks. If the shirts hit while I'm out of the country, they're not going to be mailed until October. We will not give refunds in September because you expected a shirt in August. I'm being really upfront about how long this could take, and this is part of why. Which brings us to...

I am not a store; we are not making any money off of this.

The last two shirt runs have netted cost of shirts + cost of postage and packing materials + one pizza party for the people who pack the shirts to mail. I am not a big shiny clothing manufacturer who prints her own shirts and can afford a shit-ton of extras. Teefury can do $11 shirts because they print their own and have runs well in excess of anything I've ever done. I am fighting to keep from needing to raise prices for these short bespoke runs. This is why I request non-CC PayPal and do my best to avoid transaction fees, which nibble away at the already very narrow overage.

Kate and I are both going to be as open and responsive as we possibly can be; transparency is best in a situation like this one. But please, please don't buy a shirt if you're going to approach it like buying something from Hot Topic. We're not that kind of operation. It'll be a long, long time before we can be.

Thank you.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
For those of you who missed it, we opened orders for a new run of Wicked Girls shirts this past weekend, as well as the first-ever run of "My Story Is Not Done" shirts (for those of you who have asked for something a little more gender-neutral). Instructions on ordering, and what our options are, are all lain out on that initial post. Kate, using the "seananmerch" account, is reaching out now to confirm people's requests.

Now, the notes.

We cannot provide any special mailing options.

A few people have offered to pay extra for expedited shipping or tracking, and that's swell, but we can't. We are not a store, and the size of these shirt runs means that we have enough trouble just feeding them through the post office as all-the-same. The only way we would be able to offer other postage options would be to cap the shirt run at something around 50, and a) we've already passed that point, and b) no. I can only handle this about once every two years, and capping things like that would be mean.

We mean it when we say we can't promise delivery before October.

We opened this order period as early as we did because we want to be able to get the shirts back from the printer and shoved into envelopes before I leave for Europe in early August, but there are a lot of moving parts involved, and it's possible the printer will miss the deadline for mailing by as little as a day or as much as two weeks. If the shirts hit while I'm out of the country, they're not going to be mailed until October. We will not give refunds in September because you expected a shirt in August. I'm being really upfront about how long this could take, and this is part of why. Which brings us to...

I am not a store; we are not making any money off of this.

The last two shirt runs have netted cost of shirts + cost of postage and packing materials + one pizza party for the people who pack the shirts to mail. I am not a big shiny clothing manufacturer who prints her own shirts and can afford a shit-ton of extras. Teefury can do $11 shirts because they print their own and have runs well in excess of anything I've ever done. I am fighting to keep from needing to raise prices for these short bespoke runs. This is why I request non-CC PayPal and do my best to avoid transaction fees, which nibble away at the already very narrow overage.

Kate and I are both going to be as open and responsive as we possibly can be; transparency is best in a situation like this one. But please, please don't buy a shirt if you're going to approach it like buying something from Hot Topic. We're not that kind of operation.

Thank you.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Because nothing says "Seanan has a lot on her plate right now" like me deciding it's time for a project, I am going back to the printer for a third limited batch of "Wicked Girls" T-shirts. How limited? "The number of orders I receive, plus maybe a few extras, but I don't make any promises"-limited. We will also be doing the first ever run of "My Story Is Not Done" T-shirts, again limited to the number of orders I receive, plus maybe a few extras.

The designs, thanks to the ever-lovely Tara:



These are mock-ups; the actual shirts will use these designs, but will vary a little. We are using the same local shop that we used for the previous two batches, and they are remarkably flexible about everything. I love them so. Here are some real people wearing real shirts (all "Wicked Girls," since this is our first time with "My Story" shirts):

http://a.yfrog.com/img864/1994/wdmqi.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahandbrian/6879521872/
http://pics.livejournal.com/tithenai/pic/0005p48p
https://twitter.com/#!/gienahghurab/status/183599757132955652/photo/1

We are offering four types of shirt, as follows:

The standard girl-cut T (click here to view the basic shirt) is available in small through 2XL. We can print with visible text on black, dark chocolate, dark gray, heather gray, indigo, kelly, light olive, midnight navy, neon orange, plum, purple rush, raspberry, red, royal, scarlet, shocking pink, teal, or turquoise. We cannot promise visibility on any other color, as white text is hard to read on light-colored shirts.

The girl-cut T with a shallow V-neck (click here to view the basic shirt) is available in small through 2XL. We can print with visible text on black, dark gray, heather gray, indigo, kiwi, midnight navy, neon orange, plum, purple rush, raspberry, or red. We cannot promise visibility on any other color, as white text is hard to read on light-colored shirts.

The larger girl-cut T (click here to view the basic shirt) is available in small through 4XL. We can print with visible text on athletic maroon, jet black, cardinal, charcoal, dark chocolate brown, dark green, kelly, navy, orange, purple, red, or royal. We cannot promise visibility on any other color, as white text is hard to read on light-colored shirts.

The unisex T (click here to view the basic shirt) is available in small through 6XL. We can print with visible text on athletic maroon, jet black, brown, cardinal, charcoal, dark chocolate brown, dark green, dark heather gray, deep marine, eggplant, fiery red, forest green, kelly, navy, olive, orange, purple, red, rich red or royal. We cannot promise visibility on any other color, as white text is hard to read on light-colored shirts.

HOW THIS IS GOING TO WORK.

If you want to buy a shirt, comment here with:

a) how many shirts you want, of which type ("WG" or "MS").
b) which size and style each shirt should be.
c) which color each shirt should be.
d) an alternate color, in case your first choice is out of stock.*
e) your email address.

(*Colors for which we receive fewer than three requests will be automatically considered "out of stock.")

Either Kate or I will add your information to our ongoing spreadsheet, and Kate will contact you to arrange immediate payment, using the "seananmerch" Gmail address. Shirts are $20 for sizes S through 2XL, and $25 for sizes 3XL through 6XL. Shipping is $5 per two shirts within the US, and $10 per two shirts outside the US. (So one size S to a US address would be $25. The same shirt to a UK address would be $30. Adding a second shirt to either order would not increase postage costs; adding a third shirt would.)

Orders will close on June 30; the goal is to have the order submitted to the printer by July 15th. Anyone who has not replied to three requests for payment will be deleted from the spreadsheet at that time. We're going to do our best to get these printed and mailed before I leave for Europe in early August. If this is not possible, shirts will not be mailed until I return in early October. I know that's a long gap, and I'm sorry about that; at the same time, it may be another two years before I do this again.

Because this came up last time: I understand security concerns, but if you want a shirt, you must provide an email address. The actual spreadsheet is being generated by Kate, who cannot access any more private mechanism you may decide to use for contacting me. No email address on the entry, no shirt. You can delete your original comment after you have received a comment from either me or Kate confirming that your information is on the spreadsheet.

Game on!

ETA: Game over. This shirt batch is now CLOSED, and no further orders are being accepted.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)


Click the thumbnail to see the details!


Wicked Girls being nominated for a Hugo Award made me stop and think about just how many wonderful, wicked girls I know. This comic is just a few of them. (Seriously. Every girl I drew, I realized two more I had forgotten.)

Top row, left to right: Seanan, Vixy, Erin, Kate, Amy, Patty.
Second row, left to right: Rachel, Kaja, Brooke, Betsy (with Arial).
Third row, left to right: Devany, Teddy, Kirsten, Morgan, Emily, Torrey.
Fourth row, left to right: Jude (with Frost), Tara, Bear (with GRD), Catherynne.
Bottom row, left to right: Beckett, Teddy, Tara, Vixy, Seanan, Amy, Dr. Mary, Kate.

I am sorry I couldn't fit more people into a single sheet of paper. You are all, forever and always, amazing.
seanan_mcguire: (discount2)
Saturday night was my belated natal day celebration, wherein several* of us gathered at The Mint in San Francisco to get our karaoke on. Now, if you're going to get your karaoke on, The Mint is the place to do it. They have an incredibly large, diverse catalog of songs, and their resident KJ**, Frank, is a snarky miracle. Plus they have pear cider on tap. It's a perfect storm of karaoke awesome.

Because it was my birthday, Vixy actually flew out from Seattle on Friday night, and we were able to spend a good chunk of Saturday ambling around San Francisco. I showed her Toby's new neighborhood, and we ate lunch at the Phoenix. All was well. Our reservation was for six; we reached The Mint about ten minutes early, and secured our tables. Several people were already there, karaoke-ing away. Some of them were even sober.

The rest of our party trickled in by dibs and dabs; you never knew who was going to show up next. Naamen, for example, spent an hour at the wrong bar before he checked his email and realized he was in the wrong place. Oops.

Successful karaoke requires an odd mix of "taking it totally seriously" and "not taking it seriously at all." You either need to choose songs that sound good in your range, or songs that are utterly ridiculous, like our lengthy run of Disney standards (Kate's "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" was awesome). You need to have a sense of humor, but not clown it up so much that it hurts to watch you. Because we are a group of lunatics, we're very, very good at successful karaoke. Not all of us can sing, but we can all laugh at ourselves while still being PROFOUNDLY SERIOUS about the source of our laughter.

We sang rock. We sang country. We sang "Bohemian Rhapsody" en masse. Morgan claimed not to know Melissa Etheridge, so Kate did "Come to My Window"; Morgan allowed that she knew Melissa Etheridge after all. Morgan sang "The Final Countdown," and we were all kazoos. Vixy sang "Barracuda," and I watched all the drunk sorority girls hate her forever (it was adorable). Victor and Lara did "Istanbul," which was hysterical and amazing. Sunil sang "Dragula," JUST FOR ME. In short, we had a seven-hour karaoke party of karaoke party awesomeocity.

At one point, having already exhausted the songs that other people wanted me to sing ("When You're Good to Mama" for Kate, "Raise Your Glass" for Vixy), I decided to do "Independence Day," by Martina MacBride. Only I don't really know her version. I know Talis's version, which has less spousal abuse, and a lot more alien invasions. So I figured what the heck, if the scansion worked, I'd run with it.

The scansion worked. I ran with it. Turns out I know the whole thing! The drunk people looked confused, since they could tell I wasn't singing what was on the screen. The sober people cracked up. One nice man even came up to me after to tell me that I was his favorite performance of the night.

Kate and Morgan saw us out with a duet of "Don't Stop Believing" that got literally the entire bar singing, and then we all limped, exhausted, home.

And that was my karaoke party. We're going to do it again soon. Frank promised me he'd get the new Taylor Swift***, and I need to get my karaoke on.

(*The Mint is not a massive establishment, so "several" was defined by how much space we could successfully reserve. Another party had already reserved most of the seating area for their loud drunk bridal shower. In the balance of things, I wish we'd reserved first, but we live with what we get.)

(**Karaoke DJ. Basically, he's the guy who decides whether you get the song you asked for, or the obscure Swedish cover that's been pitch-shifted up an octave and shifted to a faster tempo. Be nice to your KJ. Tip your KJ.)

(***"I think her ever-present frown is a little troubling. She thinks I'm psycho 'cause I like to rhyme her name with things.")
seanan_mcguire: (one salt sea)
The first weekend in October was my fifth Toby-related book event at San Francisco's Borderlands Books, home of naked cats, tolerant employees, and, every six months or so, the Traveling Circus and Snake-Handling Show. We've appeared in other locations, but Borderlands is the one we keep going back to; Borderlands is the home base for this particular flavor of insanity. Why? Because we like them.

Normally, I try to be a little prompter with my write-ups of the parties and their aftermath, but let's face it here: I have been a little busy. Anyway, we started super-early on Saturday, since we all had to rehearse if we wanted to not suck. Rehearsal took place in Kate's basement, and featured the day's entire planned slate of musicians. Many things happened. Many of them were lovely. And then we all piled into a variety of cars and drove to San Francisco, hence to Make Things Go. The bookstore is used to us by this point, and no one batted an eye as we invaded the office, turned it into a green room, and began trashing the place like the good little circus that we are.

Jeff set up the sound system, which is both little and awesome, while Jude got the house in order, Mia set up with the pendants in her corner, and Shawn took over maintenance of the raffle table. I got cupcakes and candy set up (the important things), and we got that party started.

As always, the festivities were divided between music, Q&A, baked goods, and drawing prizes in our raffle. The questions were new and different, the raffle prizes were an awesome mix of standard and surprising (including some special additions by the bookstore, which made things even more spectacular), the cupcakes (from Cups and Cakes Bakery) were delicious, and the music was rocking. The set lists:

SET ONE:

1. "Let's Get the Monkeys to Do It." Paul Kwinn, lead vocals, guitar; Jeff Bohnhoff, guitar; Maya Bohnhoff, Michelle "Vixy" Dockrey, backing vocals; Betsy Tinney, cello; Beckett Gladney, harmonica.
2. "Caledonia." Paul, lead vocals, guitar; Maya, backing vocals.
3. "When I Go." Paul, lead vocals, guitar; Beckett, harmonica.
4. "The Dark Man." Paul, lead vocals, guitar; Jeff, guitar; Maya, backing vocals; Seanan McGuire, backing vocals; Betsy, cello.
5. "Where the Magic is Real." Paul, lead vocals, guitar; Maya, Vixy, backing vocals; Jeff, guitar.
6. "My Story is Not Done." Seanan, lead vocals; Paul, guitar; Betsy, cello; Beckett, harmonica; everyone in the store, backing vocals.

SET TWO:

1. "I Am the Walmart." Maya, lead vocals; Vixy, backing vocals; Jeff, guitar; Betsy, cello.
2. "Dairy Queen." Maya, lead vocals; Vixy, backing vocals; Jeff, guitar.
3. "Dance in the Darkness." Maya, lead vocals; Vixy, backing vocals; Jeff, guitar.
4. "Wil's Song." Maya, lead vocals; Vixy, backing vocals; Jeff, guitar.
5. "Turn the Page." Maya, lead vocals; Vixy, backing vocals; Jeff, guitar; Paul, guitar; Beckett, harmonica.
6. "Get Off Of My Lawn." Maya, lead vocals; Vixy, backing vocals; Jeff, guitar; Betsy, cello.

SET THREE:

1. "Still Catch the Tide." Seanan, lead vocals; Vixy, backing vocals; Tony Fabris, guitar; Betsy, cello.
2. "Eight-Legged Blues." Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar; Beckett, harmonica; Paul, percussion.
3. "We Can Be Anything." Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar; Betsy, cello.
4. "Six String Love." Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar.
5. "Build That Wall/Setting Sail, Coming Home (medley)." Vixy, vocals; Maya, backing vocals; Tony, guitar; Betsy, cello.
6. "The Ocean." Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar.
7. "Got To Fly." Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar.
8. "Wicked Girls." Seanan, Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar; Betsy, cello.

"The Dark Man" and "Where the Magic is Real" are on the first Puzzlebox album, Assembly Required.
"Caledonia" is on Dougie MacLean's album Craigie Dhu.
"When I Go" is on Dave Carter and Tracy Grammar's album, When I Go.
"Six String Love" is on Vixy and Tony's first album, Thirteen.
"Dance in the Darkness" and "Turn the Page" are on Jeff and Maya's second album, Manhattan Sleeps.
"I Am the Walmart" and "Wil's Song" are on Jeff and Maya's fifth album, Grated Hits.
"Build That Wall/Setting Sail, Coming Home (medley)" are on the Bastion Original Soundtrack.
"The Ocean" is on Dar Williams's album, Mortal City.
"Got to Fly" is on Marian Call's second album, Got to Fly.
"Still Catch the Tide" is on Seanan's second album, Stars Fall Home, and on Talis Kimberley's recent live album, By Request at Duckon.
"My Story is Not Done" and "Wicked Girls" are on Seanan's fourth album, Wicked Girls.

A good time was had by all, and the cupcakes lasted almost fifteen minutes this time, because we finally ordered enough. We're already making plans and getting our ducks in row for the next time that the Circus comes to town. And if you're curious, or want to see some pictures, you can check out Beckett's fantastic (and more timely) writeup of the event.

Thanks to everyone who attended, and to everyone who didn't...see you next time!
seanan_mcguire: (sarah)
This is me, inchworming into the future. I'm stealing a page from Bear's book, and hoping that a little rolling accountability will make me, if not saner, then at least easier to understand when I start to flail and cry about the ice worms coming out of the wall. ICE WORMS EVERYWHERE.

In other news, Kate and I canceled dinner last night, which turned out to be a good thing, because I have the clingiest clinging cats in Clingycatdonia. They are distraught by my recent travels. I think that if I hadn't come home last night, I'd never be seen again after tonight.

Not everything is on this list yet. Some things aren't announced, some things aren't confirmed, some things may have been forgotten. I expect coherency to come with trial and error.

2012

Publications:
"The Flower of Arizona," February 2012.
Discount Armageddon, March 2012.
"We Will Not Be Undersold!", March 2012.
Blackout (as Mira Grant), May 2012.
Ashes of Honor, September 2012.

"Rat-Catcher," middle 2012.
"Laughter at the Academy: A Study in the Development of Schizotypal Creative Genius Personality Disorder (SCGPD)," late 2012.

Travel:
Conflikt, January 27-29, Seattle WA.
Consonance, March 2-4, Newark CA.
San Diego International Comic Convention, July 11-14, San Diego CA.
Confluence, July 27-29, Pittsburgh PA.
Chicon (WorldCon 2012), August 30-September 3, Chicago IL.
World Fantasy Convention, November 1-4, Toronto.

No fixed deadline/being written/unsold:

"Fiber"
"Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea"
"These Antique Fables"
"Pixie Season"
"Martinez and Martinez v. Velveteen"
Sparrow Hill Road
"Velveteen vs. the Alternate Timeline, part one"
"Velveteen vs. the Alternate Timeline, part two"
"Velveteen vs. the Retroactive Continuity"
"Hell of a Ride"
"Loch and Key"
"In Sea Salt Tears"
Midnight Blue-Light Special
The Chimes at Midnight
"San Diego 2014"
"Misfit Toys: A Chronicle of the Velveteen War"
Parasitology
Echo
"How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea"
seanan_mcguire: (sarah)
Hey, gang, this is your friendly reminder that the fifth iteration of the Traveling Circus and Snake-Handling Show will be appearing this Saturday, October 1st, at San Francisco's own Borderlands Books. Festivities will commence at five, and will include delicious baked goods, live music, our inevitable raffle, and a Toby Daye Q&A.

This iteration of the Traveling Circus and Snake-Handling Show includes, in alphabetical order, Jeff "Heavy Metal Squid" Bohnhoff, on guitar and sound; Maya "Sonic Boom" Bohnhoff, on guitar and vocals; Michelle "Ceiling Cookies" Dockrey, on vocals; Tony "Code Monkey Likes You" Fabris, on guitar and vocals; Beckett "Don't Lick That" Gladney, on harmonica; Paul "The Cute One" Kwinn, on guitar and vocals; Betsy "Living Improbability" Tinney, on cello and vocals; and me, doing my usual mix of vocals and random stage patter.

Kate and Ryan will be running support, because they are awesome, and my mother will be running around like a chicken with her head cut off. Jude and Naamen will be keeping the bookstore from burning down (respect the bookstore). Mia will be on hand for pendant sales, and Victor and Lara will be on hand for AWESOME (and inevitably getting drafted).

It's going to be an awesome time, with signings and questions and cupcakes, and you should come. If you can't attend, remember that you can contact the bookstore to place orders for delivery, and get your books signed by attending our Circus in your heart.

See you Saturday!
seanan_mcguire: (me)
I am slammed, and so you're getting one of those dense little fudge-like blog posts where everything fits easily in your mouth and also, you probably don't want to eat the whole box. You're welcome. And so...

The Return of the Traveling Circus and Snake-Handling Show.

The Traveling Circus and Snake-Handling Show will be coming together again on October 1st, to blow the roof right off of Borderlands Books! It's going to be a party. This time, the lineup includes Vixy and Tony, Betsy Tinney, Katie Tinney, Jeff and Maya Bohnhoff, Paul Kwinn, and the always-awesome Beckett Gladney. Mia Nutick will be on hand, with pendants. Kate Secor will be on hand, with sticks. Come for the music, cupcakes, readings, raffles, and fun; stay to buy books and make the bookstore like me. Hooray, Circus!

Ashes of Honor.

The sixth Toby book is trekking right along, and is currently on-schedule to have a finished first draft by October 26th. I even have a progressive daily word count goal sheet to prove it. Once the book is done, it goes off to the Machete Squad and The Agent for review and severe physical harm, and I can really buckle down on Midnight Blue-Light Special, a few YA projects, and the next Mira Grant book. This is what we call "Seanan rewards herself for working by creating more work." This is also what we call "Seanan has no social life."

Social life.

Except that I do have a social life, honest! I'm flying to Seattle this weekend for a Counting Crows concert (yes I am flying to another state just for a concert DON'T JUDGE ME I LOVE THEM). The Pirates of Emerson are getting ready to re-open their annual haunted house park, and I'm very excited about that. And I'm already making sure to plan dinners and lunches with the friends I'm going to see during...

My fall convention schedule.

The first full weekend of October (7th-9th), I will be the Literary Guest of Honor at Conclave, in Romulus, Michigan. The weekend after, I will be appearing at the LitCrawl!, this time in the Borderlands Cafe. The weekend after that, I will be flying to Ohio for OVFF, where I will sing in the Pegasus Concert, share a room with Brooke, hug Vixy a lot, and wear a pretty dress.

And after that, I nap.

Too much TV.

All my fall shows are coming back on the air. Right now, as of this week, I'm watching Eureka, Warehouse 13, Alphas, Castle, NCIS, Glee, The New Girl, America's Next Top Model, Fringe, Haven, and Doctor Who. Some of these shows are ending for the season very soon. Others are just getting started. Still others have not yet made an appearance on the schedule. Thank the Great Pumpkin for Tivo.

Toys!

The spring line of Monster High dolls has just been announced. I have acquired the Modern Doll Collector's Convention Evangeline ("Soul Sweeping"), but not the centerpiece doll (which I want very much). I have arranged a proxy for the Halloween convention. I am, in short, insane. But wow, do I have lots of toys staring at you while you try to sleep.

Cats.

Insane.

"Wicked Girls" T-shirts.

At the printer now! Soon, I shall have them, and soon, we shall begin sorting out the shipping process. Since some of you did order them as gifts for the holiday season, I may try doing a "priority boarding" post, where I say "let us know if you need yours soon for any reason," and bump those people to the front of the queue. If I do this, however, I need to trust that only people with real need will ask; more than fifty such requests, and we won't be able to handle them, so no one will get out-of-order shipping. And the spreadsheet is really random, the order in which your request was placed has nothing to do with it.

...and that is all, for right now. More to come later.

I need a nap.
seanan_mcguire: (knives)
I am home from Reno! Finally. I think I may be half-dead, and I definitely need a lot more of a nap than I'm going to be getting in the near future. Here, then, is my extremely truncated and specialized convention report.

The Good.

* Joe's Diner! Kate, Victor, and I arrived early, and were able to wander around, running errands. This led us to discovering an awesome little diner, just far enough from the convention center to be inaccessible if you didn't have a car (and thus entirely uncrowded throughout the weekend). Cheap, delicious food, real malts, and a waitress who came to know us all by name as we returned again and again for delicious meals. Yay!

* Also during our running around, I found a hardcover copy of Hellspark, one of my favorite hard-to-find books. (Actually, Victor found it. But he is a loving Victor, and he gave it unto me.) I will love it always.

* I wound up in two hotel rooms, one shared with Kate (and connected via adjoining door to Victor), one shared with Wes, Mary, and Amy. Both rooms were awesome in different ways, and I couldn't have asked for better roommates.

* "Just A Minute," where I not only became the new champion, I got to do it while hanging out with awesome people (including two of my favorite people, Paul and Caroline). Betcha John regrets telling me that lists were legal...

* Lauren Beukes's sloth! I nearly stole that thing. I still want to.

* Delivering an impassioned verbal smackdown during the zombie panel.

* Interviewing Tricky Pixie, Bill Wellingham, and this year's COMPLETELY AWESOME Campbell nominees. All on different panels, but still. I could not have shared a stage with more delightful people.

* Kaja hugs.

* Having a signing line longer than George R.R. Martin. It was bizarre and confusing, and totally fantastic.

* Brunch with Daniel and Kelly.

* Breakfast with Sheila.

* Surprise DDR with Kate and Vixy and Lauren and Amy.

* Dinner with Mike and Marnie and the posse, during which I received my official Barfleet tags. They're orange and green! I am truly loved.

...honestly, there were a lot of amazing people at WorldCon this year, but if I try to list them all, someone will be left off, because I am exhausted, and then we will all be sad. So please believe that I love all my friends, and I am so excited to have seen them, and I would not have survived this convention without them. Seriously. I would be dead.

The Bad.

* The one day when I didn't have, basically, a team of people handling me, I was unable to get any food for eleven hours, was repeatedly grabbed by people I don't know, and was even followed into the bathroom stall. Not the bathroom. THE ACTUAL STALL. Needless to say, I was not left alone again, resulting in my friends feeling put-upon, my feeling like I had to hide in my hotel room to have any privacy, and everyone being tense. Being grabbed is bad. It scares me.

* Smoking is allowed indoors in Reno. We were in Reno. I am not as sensitive to smoke as some of my friends, but I still feel pretty lousy, even after being home for almost two full days.

* The convention center was almost a mile away from my hotel, resulting in lots of walking back and forth in the extreme heat. Also, if I managed to forget something at the room, it stayed gone until I went home in the afternoon. This decentralized layout prevented a single Barcon from coalescing, and I am hence still faintly sad.

* The decentralized layout also meant that I saw some people I really care about rarely, if at all. Kate put it best when she noted that if you weren't part of the amoeba, we barely saw you.

* Finding things was almost impossible. I didn't even figure out where open filk was until Friday night, when I was doing "Whose Line?" across from it (an 11pm to 1am panel, so no, I didn't join the circle afterward). I made it to the dealer's hall twice, both times for under twenty minutes.

The Unhappy.

So. The Hugos. That happened.

You're not supposed to talk about being sad that you lost; it's considered poor form. Unfortunately, in this internet age, it's impossible to avoid addressing it at least a little if you have any sort of decent web presence. Not only is it obvious that you're avoiding an elephant, people keep hijacking other posts and other threads to tell you how sorry they are. That's worse for my sanity than having a few people sigh meaningfully at me, so I'm going to talk about this once, and have done.

Yes, I lost.

Yes, I am very sad about that. I wanted to win. Everybody wants to win. Wanting to win is human nature, and if you don't want to win, you decline the nomination. End of story.

Yes, I am aware that I lost by a very narrow margin. This doesn't make it easier. If anything, it makes it harder; what could I have done to make my book just twenty votes better? Rationally, I know this isn't a quantifiable thing, but, well. Me and numbers. It's a thing.

Yes, I hope that I get another shot next year.

No, I will not be responding to comments directly relating to the Hugos. I hope you understand why not. Congratulations to all the winners, and huge, huge thanks to everyone who voted. I came in second. I beat Bujold in the voting. That's a damn big deal. Maybe next time, we can win.

That was WorldCon, and now it's not. See you next year, in Chicago.
seanan_mcguire: (me)
So, as you may have noticed, I am currently stretched...well, pretty thin. I am thus bringing on some help here in the salt mines, to make sure things keep running smoothly. Yaaaay!

The lovely Deborah ([livejournal.com profile] talkstowolves) has been handling the "Wicked Girls" T-shirt orders, which are almost ready to go to the printer, and will now be stepping in to help with basic website administration work. She'll be updating the news and appearances, fixing typos, and making adjustments to pages as needed. This will free me up to actually get some of the major things done in a more timely manner.

Also! While I will continue trying to answer all comments on this journal in a vaguely timely fashion, it...isn't always so possible. To help prevent confusion, I thought I'd give you the names of the folks who are Fully Authorized (tm) to answer direct questions on my behalf.

[livejournal.com profile] porpentine does my website code, and can answer any and all questions about how it works.
[livejournal.com profile] talkstowolves and [livejournal.com profile] vixyish do a lot of administrative duties for me, and can answer practically all questions about what the hell I think I'm doing.
[livejournal.com profile] aiglet has the best grasp of my schedule of anyone who isn't me, and can usually answer questions about where I am and when I'll be back.

In short, if you ask a question, and one of these four people answers it, you can take their answer as coming from me. (I realize there will always be less general questions, like "where did you get that icon?" and "hey, didn't I see you last Tuesday at the Gwar concert?" But there's been some confusion lately, stemming from people asking questions and then getting them answered eight ways, by eight different folks. I'm just trying to make it all a little less bewildering. As if that's possible.)

Thank my brave volunteer staffers, and do not throw things at them. They bite.
seanan_mcguire: (rose marshall)
Let me tell you about Rose Marshall—
Might be the last thing you’ll ever see.
They say some stories will never die,
Well, she died back in fifty-three,
Kept her prom night date with the cemetery.


—"Pretty Little Dead Girl."

"Have you ever heard the story of the woman at the diner?"

—Rose Marshall, "Good Girls Go to Heaven."

Sparrow Hill Road is finished now. Twelve stories, twelve stops along a single stretch of highway. We didn't blow a tire or take any unexpected detours along the way, and that's good. And now here we are, and it's time to get out and stretch our legs, at least for a little while. The first part of the story's done.

I knew when I agreed to do Sparrow Hill that it was going to be a one-year commitment. Not only was I not sure how much of the story I'd be able to get through in a year—there was a very real chance that I'd finish the setting completely, leaving nothing untold—but I knew that 2011 would be extremely busy, which would make agreeing to a two-year tenure suicidal for me, and dangerous for Jennifer. A year looked just about perfect. That didn't stop it from being nerve-wracking at times. A few of the stories were turned in just as the ragged edge of my deadline was approaching, and the schedule I was on didn't really give me time to say "you know what? This story needs to be benched, let's do something else." But I never missed a deadline, and I never turned in a story I thought was bad. I can look back on the year with a sort of smug pride. I did that. I turned in one complete narrative a month, every month, for a year. And now I'm finished.

If you know me through filk, you may have met Rose as far back as 2004, when I wrote the song "Pretty Little Dead Girl," although most people didn't "meet" her until I was the OVFF Toastmistress in 2005, and did the song, along with my Rosettes, in a bright pink prom dress on the convention's main stage. I went on to write a bunch of songs about Rose, showing different sides of her story. I always knew I wanted to write the "what really happened" version, eventually, but it seemed too complex for lyrics.

Then Jennifer asked if I wanted to be one of the 2010 Universe Authors, and everything started falling together.

Sparrow Hill Road was challenging, exciting, and complicated in a way that neither novels nor short stories tend to be complicated. It was, essentially, my Green Mile: a serial novel told in strange installments. And like The Green Mile, I'm planning to revise it, turn it into a coherent whole, and see about finding a publisher. But that's going to need to wait a little while.

My big, big thanks go to Jennifer, for being the best editor I could have had on this crazy project; Amber, for taking amazing pictures; Torrey, for being Rose Marshall (and doing a bang-up job of it); Vixy, Amy, Brooke, Kate, Rebecca, and others, for editorial, copy-edits, and letting me talk things through with them; and Phil, always Phil, without whom none of this would have happened.

It was a good ride. It's over now, and there were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys I sent away, but it was a good ride.

Thank you for taking it with me.
seanan_mcguire: (princess)
Back in mid-September, Borderlands Books in San Francisco played host to the third Traveling Circus and Snake-Handling Show, assembled to celebrate the release of the third (yes, already) October Daye book, An Artificial Night. Yay! I love Borderlands, I love the Circus, and I love book release parties, so this was like a whole casserole baked entirely out of pixie dust and joy. PIXIE DUST AND JOY.

We began with me, Amy, Brooke, Ryan, and Mia at my house, getting ready for the day ahead of us. This largely consisted of "putting on clothes" and "packing the event kit," a large orange plastic box that carries all the non-perishables needed for a big book party (raffle tickets, raffle prizes, bookmarks, paper plates, pens for signing stuff, occasionally one or more of the cats if we don't seal it fast enough). Ryan and Mia drove off with Amy. Mom picked the rest of us up, along with my youngest sister* and her girlfriend, and we drove to San Francisco, only stopping off to buy classy, classy cake from the warehouse store.

We got to the bookstore hours early, and stowed our stuff in the bookstore before scattering to find food. Amy, Brooke, and I would up going to a tacqueria down the street, which fed us delicious Mexican food, and kept Brooke from killing and eating us all. I ate a chicken burrito, nom, and we walked back to the bookstore to find a Kate sitting outside, reading a book, and the rest of the descending Circus waiting inside. Hooray! CIRCUS TIME! The entire Circus was wearing orange and black and green. ORANGE GIRLS OF THE WORLD, UNITE. Seriously, it was MAD AWESOME.

The night was divided into five distinct activities: music; raffle drawings; cake; reading; Q&A. We had breaks between activities, so people could mill, visit, use the bathroom, and shop (being as we were in a very large, enticing bookstore and all).

MUSIC: Musicians from everywhere! Alphabetically by instrument, we had Brooke Lunderville on banjo, Betsy Tinney on cello, Amy McNally on fiddle, SJ Tucker on guitar and vocals, Michelle "Vixy" Dockrey on vocals, and me on occasional "flustered author is flustered" vocals. (We did close with "Wicked Girls," so that's all right.)

RAFFLE: You got one ticket for showing up, one ticket for a purchase from the cafe, and one ticket for a purchase at the bookstore, for a maximum of three tickets per person. The drawing included everything from books to pendants to toys, and was fun, as always, with the usual amount of fuss and cheering for the winners. Buckets of fun.

CAKE: We had two cakes, and no cake cutting device. So Alan, glorious Alan, cut the cake with a gladius. I love having events at Borderlands. I love it SO DAMN HARD.

READING: Because I didn't want to read from the third Toby book, I read "Lost" from Ravens in the Library. When I started the story, the store had three copies left in stock. When I finished it, they had...zero. Literally, I started to say "I think this may be the last one," and Jude signaled that no, it had been sold while I was reading. Super-fun! Also, I made Vixy cry. Flawless victory.

Q&A: The Q&A was, as always, insane. You should come to one sometime.

During the milling sections, people talked, bought books, bought pendants, and bought copies of Sooj's new album, Mischief. (We wound up selling out of that, too.) Many books were sold, many hugs were given, and at the end of the night, we bid the bookstore a fond farewell and went down the street to Fritz, where we ate fries and mussels and crepes, and were joyful.

Everybody loves a night at the circus. Don't you?

(*The one who looks like a zaftig gothic Betty Page.)c
seanan_mcguire: (knives)
While I was in New York the week before last, I did a lot of traveling via the PATH Train, a fairly simplistic transit system whose entire purpose is to get people from Jersey City to Manhattan, and vice-versa. This is normal for me. I am an old hand at riding the PATH, and no longer become in any way distressed about it.

Only the thing is, on Sundays, the PATH bounces through Hoboken on its way from Jersey City to Manhattan. This is a very jerky, bumpy, throw-you-around-y section of track, since it's not part of the everyday commute. Also on Sundays, they run fewer trains, resulting in a greater density of people on each individual train.

Can you guess what's coming next? I bet you can guess what's coming next.

Sunday, Kate and I got on the PATH to head into the city to have lunch with The Agent and another of her clients, followed by dinner with Betsy (Wollheim, not Tinney; it would have been a clever trick to somehow have dinner with my Seattle Maine Coon breeder whilst in New York). The train was very full when we got on; we had to stand. I got whiter and whiter as the train moved, trying desperately to keep from crying.

When I started screaming every time the car jerked to one side or another, some nice people let me have their seat. Thank you, nice people. I took my emergency pain killers and cried. "Take more painkillers and cry" was pretty much the mantra of the day, which would otherwise have been absolutely lovely. Because Betsy is a golden goddess who shall be renowned in song and story, she even drove us back to Jersey City after dinner. I have sent her a thank-you card.

My back has been out ever since. It's getting better, slowly, but it's been long enough since I had a flare-up this bad that, well, I'm being sort of a wimp about it. I cry a lot. I've been to the doctor for more painkillers, and I'm trying to schedule a spinal epidural, but right now? Right now, I just cry a lot. Part of me is glad that I'm missing OVFF and World Fantasy and my Alabama corn maze, because I am in SO MUCH PAIN right now that I wouldn't really enjoy them anyway.

So if I seem a little curt, or a little out of it, that's because I am either in extreme pain, or legally stoned to prevent the extreme pain from being a problem. Show mercy, I beg of thee. And please, Great Pumpkin, let this be over soon.
seanan_mcguire: (princess)
Last night was all about me and Cat Valente and the SoHo Gallery for Digital Art, home of the New York Science Fiction Review series of readings. Because, you know, when you import yourself a couple of fairy tale girls, the only thing to do is stick them in front of a large crowd and wait for the fun to begin.

But the fun has to begin at the beginning...

My flight got in right on time, which was a small blessing, since I wasn't really sleeping very well. Mind you, the fact that I was able to sleep at all made me a lucky girl. I had actually upgraded my ticket to Main Cabin Select, as that was the only way to get out of being crammed into a middle seat for five hours in the air. I turned out to be the only person in my row, and was able to pull the "belt yourself into the middle seat, curl up like a pillbug, and sleep" trick. Blessed empty seats, how I adore thee. But there were screaming babies on the plane, and there was turbulence, and it was not a restful night.

Jon and Merav collected me from the airport, and—after dropping Merav at work—Jon drove me home...where Kate was already waiting on the front stoop. Whoops. We went inside. I plugged in my laptop to make sure nothing was on fire, and the phone calls began, making it quite clear that a nap was not in my future. Well, fine, be that way, universe. After showering and changing my clothes, we were off, to meet The Agent in lovely downtown Manhattan, and eat lunch. Because without sleep and without food, I was going to murder someone.

(Incidentally, this was the first time The Agent got to meet Kate. They got along. So when they destroy your puny planet, don't worry. I'm sure they'll make you a nicer new one before long.)

Lunch was challah French toast and mussels, at least for me. Om nom. From there, we went to a lovely tea house The Agent knew about, where she and Kate drank lovely tea, and I passed out on a love seat. Eventually, The Agent went off to do something else, and Kate stole my headphones, while I...passed out on the love seat again. But then! A Cat Valente came and joined our party! Hooray! Kate and Cat sat and chatted while I achieved that nebulous state known as "wakefulness," and we set out for the venue. With one of those "only in New York" stops along the way, to buy hand-crafted artisan popsicles. No, seriously. I mean it.

We ate our popsicles, giggled a lot, and walked onward, to the SoHo Gallery of Digital Art...and into our very own fairy tale. The walls were covered in our books, our faces, our everything, and it was incredible. It was like a dream. I squeaked. We stared in awe. And then, because we needed our fairy tale faces in this fairy tale place, we ran off to change our clothes, Cat into a mad awesome tailored suit, me into a bright orange skirt and green top. And then the flood began.

We were both a little worried, in that abstract author way, that no one would show up. It turns out that what we should have been worried about was violating fire code, as the room wound up so packed that we ran out of chairs, then ran out of wall, and finally, ran out of places to stand. Wow. Everyone from DAW came—I got to meet Saladin!—and so did most of my New York friends, along with people like K. Tempest Bradford and Ellen Kushner and Teri Windling OH MY GOD I MET TERI WINDLING.

Ahem.

Cat read an absolutely gorgeous piece from The Habitation of the Blessed. I read "Laughter at the Academy: Field Studies in the Development of Schizotypal Creative Genius Personality Disorder." Everyone sighed and swooned at Cat's reading; everyone laughed in the appropriate places at mine. I got to shout "IGNITE THE BIOSPHERE!" in a room full of people who'd actually come to hear me do just that. It was magical.

In the Q&A afterward, someone asked us if we'd ever considered doing a photo shoot as Snow White and Rose Red.

And Cat and I laughed.
seanan_mcguire: (me)
I have arrived safely in New York.

I have arrived safely in New Jersey.

I have arrived safely at Jon and Merav's house, where I have a bed, and a shower, and Internet access, and Kate.

I will now take a shower, put on clothes, and get ready to head for tonight's reading at the New York Review of Science Fiction. If you're local, you should totally come. It's going to be a blast.

New York!

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