seanan_mcguire: (knives)
I am currently too sick to die. I picked up a cold in Minnesota, which slammed down on me hard enough and fast enough that I thought it might be strep (it's not strep). I currently have a bone-rattling cough, so much snot in my head that I think my brain may be liquefying, and a general sense of full-body malaise.

This is where you come in.

Please, please, do not prod at me for the next few days unless you have something that absolutely will not wait. Let me rest and recover, because this is slaughtering me, and I have a book release next week, which means I need to rest more than I can say.

Thank you.
seanan_mcguire: (me)
All right, y'all: shit's about to get real busy from here on in.

March was the first of four months in a row in which I have a book release. I have a Library Gala tonight, and tomorrow I start traveling. My cats are going to kill and eat me, assuming the stress doesn't get there first. I haven't talked about it much, because I'm not in a place to answer questions yet, but I'm prepping to move from California to Washington, with all the house-selling, house-buying, packing-and-cleaning that entails. (Please, please do not ask me about the move. This topic is actively embargoed, unless you are someone I have brought the topic up with directly.)

As you can guess, I'm a little underwater right now. And so I am asking you for a favor.

You know I love interacting with people: I wouldn't maintain this blog if I didn't. LJ is largely abandoned these days, and it's not like I'd be giving up a huge and thriving community (as I would have done if I'd left LJ ten years ago). I adore comments, and enjoy answering them. But--and this is a pretty big "but" here--I am really, really outnumbered.

So please. If you have a question for me, check my website before you ask it. There are FAQs, which are pretty detailed and self-explanatory. There are landing pages for the individual series. If the answer to your question isn't there, there's a good chance I'd be happy to answer it. But please, please, check the FAQs first.

I understand that we all prefer to get our answers in a "one stop shopping" sort of way. I do it too. But I don't have time to answer the comments that aren't answered on my website and keep answering "what is the release date of _______," "will you be at _______," "why aren't you coming to_______," over and over and over again.

I try to keep the website as up-to-date and informative as possible. So many of your answers are there. Please check there first.

Thank you.
seanan_mcguire: (knives)
Basically what it says on the tin.

I am about to embark on a huge and terrifying purge of my belongings, in part because I need to have less stuff (because reasons), in part because I need to have more money (because related reasons). One of the things I have a startling supply of is BPAL (Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab) perfume.

Does anyone know, from "I have done it and here's how" experience, how to mail perfume/essential oil within the US? I've found both "it's a hazardous material and you can't" and "it's possible, just hard." Well, I need to know how.

Help?
seanan_mcguire: (knives)
I hate making posts like this one, so I'm just going to go ahead and get to it. Here we go:

I am not a vending machine. You can't put a quarter in me to get free stuff exactly when you want it. You can't actually put a quarter in me at all. You can give me a quarter--I like quarters--but I am not a coin-operated story dispenser. I am a people.

I give away a lot of free fiction around here, both via my website (InCryptid shorts, Toby Daye shorts) and via this blog (Velveteen stories). In the case of the website shorts, they represent a lot more than just my writing time. I commission (and pay for) the story covers. In order to make the reading experience as easy and pleasant as possible, I have to ask my friend Will to convert the text files to ePub, MOBI, and PDF (which is, by the way, why I tend to shrug when people report typos; they're free, and the conversion is done on a volunteer basis, which means I am not going to ask him to completely reformat a file unless the error is so catastrophically large as to make the story unreadable). Once the stories are prepared, all the uploading and formatting on my website is done by hand, by me.

There is a lot of invisible back-end labor involved with bringing you a free treat. That's part of why I do the tip jars: they don't just justify my making time to write the stories, even if it means I might have to pass on an anthology. They pay for the covers, and for the administrative time I have to take away from writing in order to make sure everything is working correctly.

This is not me gearing up to asking for money, by the way: there was no tip jar in October, in part because one of the stories funded by the last tip jar has not been posted yet. Because even a "prioritized" story has to fit in around all my other publications and commitments, all the release dates I have to promote, all the conventions I have to attend. Because at the end of the day, while I want to tell you these stories as much as you want to hear them, I still have to be able to tell my publishers that they will come first. They pay my bills. They keep my main series going. They have to come before the freebies.

So why am I saying all this?

Because people keep emailing me going "hey when do we get the next free story." And this makes me feel terrible. It makes me feel like a party trick, like a vending machine, like I have no value apart from what I give away for free. I released a novel in November! I had several short stories come out, in several different genres! But when is the next free story. When is the next free story. Why don't we have it yet. Why aren't you doing it.

I understand eagerness. I genuinely do. I understand wanting to know what happens next now. I used to follow Kelley Armstrong's free fiction, back when she posted it regularly on her website; I get frustrated when my favorite fanfic writers don't publish chapters on schedule. But I am so outnumbered, and when all I hear is "why aren't you giving us more," it's really demoralizing. It kills my desire to give things away for free, and it makes it harder to keep working on those stories.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring. But please, remember that I am a person, not a vending machine; I am not just here to give things away. And if I'm not posting something new, it's probably because I'm working my ass off at the things that keep the lights on, not because I'm lounging on a beach somewhere. Please have patience.

Thank you.
seanan_mcguire: (knives)
We are deep into the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch now, which means a new giveaway post is going live every day. Starting tomorrow, a new winners' post will also be going live every day. Fun!

Thus far, all of this year's giveaways have been RNG drawings. This means I am using a random number generator to select the winners, and this is where my request comes in. See, I'm seeing a lot of people replying to other peoples' giveaway entries. I need you to stop doing that. Please. Only top-level comments can win; if a reply to a comment grabs the winning entry, I choose another winner. So if I pick, say, #15 to win, and #15 turns out to be a reply to #14, I don't go down a comment. I hit the RNG again. That means that whoever replied to #14 has just caused the "real" #15 not to win.

I do this for a lot of reasons, the most important being that the sub-comments throw off my count, I start second-guessing, I'm doing this manually, and so it's just easier on my peace of mind to draw again. But it's still not fair to the people leaving the top-level comments. Please, please stop replying to other peoples' giveaway entries.

Also, please remember that when I say "the rules of this giveaway are...," that there is no room for negotiation. If I say "name your favorite fruit" and you comment with "I love fruit!," you actually cannot win, because you didn't follow the rules. This is to filter out the free stuff blogs that send their followers here to harvest prizes, but who don't actually have any investment in the things I'm handing out.

Thank you all. Today's post will go live in a few hours.
seanan_mcguire: (indexing)
Okay, folks:

I am not Amazon.

I do not control what Amazon does, or when they do it.

Please do not tell me when Amazon fails to push an episode of Indexing: Reflections: tell Amazon. They are in a position to help you. I am not.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but...I had literally thirty people tell me when the episode pushed late today, and there was nothing I could do. I have no power here. You, as customers, honestly have more. So please, tell the people who can fix things, and let me live in my candy wonderland where nothing goes wrong.
seanan_mcguire: (rose marshall)
So.

Apparently, something is wrong with the contact form, in that somewhere along the line (between it and my PA and me), some email is getting eaten. We don't know how, we don't know why, and most importantly, we don't know how much. We only know this is happening at all because I was able to confirm two instances of "I tried to contact you and it didn't go through." (One was resolved by resending with a different return email address. The other, we're not sure.)

Chris is working on a way to make sure this doesn't happen anymore. For right now, giveaways are going to have to be handled in a two-step authentication process, for which I am sorry: specifically, rather than saying "email me," I'm going to be saying "comment here and then email me immediately, so I can tell you if your email is not received." Inconvenient? Yes. Annoying? Yes. The only way I can continue to do giveaways until this problem is resolved? Sadly, yes.

I am deeply sorry for any inconvenience this has caused, especially if you were someone who didn't get a prize because your email was eaten. (Please do not contact me saying "this happened to me a year ago, give me a book." I will believe you. I just don't have the books, or the postage budget, to do anything about it.)

Whee.
seanan_mcguire: (coyote)
Three weeks ago, I was Fan Guest of Honor at Westercon in San Diego. This was a huge privilege, and I am so grateful to the convention for having me. (I am slowly ticking off the Guest of Honorships available to me at Westercon, having been Music Guest of Honor several years ago, when the con was in L.A.)

Two weeks ago, I was back in San Diego as an attending professional at the San Diego International Comic-Con. SDCC is one of the last cons I do "for me," attending because I want to as much as because it's part of my job. It's a big, sprawling, exhausting nightmare of a con, and I love it so.

This past weekend, I was Guest of Honor at Camp Necon in Portsmith, Rhode Island (the only con that involved changing time zones, for which I am deeply grateful). I got home last night, about an hour before midnight.

I.

Am.

Done.

I am not physically as tired as I have been after other adventures, but three weeks of virtually no down time doesn't do good things for my psyche. Right now, I am wiped, I am wasted, I am no longer among the living, and I don't actually get to take a break from things like "the rest of my job." Page proofs must be reviewed; word counts must be made. A book must be edited. Conventions seem like the fun part of what I do, and they are, but they're also the most draining, and I wish I could take a few days to just sleep.

Please don't take this as an invitation to tell me to take care of myself: I am taking care of myself. Part of that is that email responses and the like will be slow for the next week or so, and my social media will be 95% cats and dolls. Please try to use Google or check my FAQs before asking me questions, if you can, just to give me a little more bandwidth, and be patient with me?

I am doing the best I can.
seanan_mcguire: (winter long)
I still have not received mailing addresses for...

[livejournal.com profile] desolate_noir
[livejournal.com profile] mage_cat

Now, normally, this would result in a "well, you can't get your prizes now," and me either drawing new winners or putting the ARCs back into the prize pool. But at least one of these winners has indicated in so many words that they have submitted their info, which my PA has not received.

So please, if either of you sees this...

1. Go to my website contact form: http://seananmcguire.com/contact.php
2. Fill it out, including an email address where I can reach you with questions.
3. Select "Seanan McGuire" as the destination.
4. Include your full mailing address and LJ name in the body.

I can't do another giveaway until I know that the contact form is not losing mail.

Thank you.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Let's have some good and some bad together, shall we? First, the good. Today's winners of an ARC of A Red-Rose Chain are...

[livejournal.com profile] jillheather
[livejournal.com profile] desolate_noir
[livejournal.com profile] mage_cat

Congratulations! Please send me your mailing address via my website contact form (identifying which of our winners you are, since email addresses don't always give it away) to receive your prize! I must receive your information within twenty-four hours, or the prize is forfeit.

Now, the bad. Or well, the confused.

Look, y'all: rules matter. Sometimes they matter because without them you never get your stuff (see the above about sending your mailing info via my website contact form). Sometimes they matter because they're "filter rules"—IE, "are people paying attention to what I ask, or are they just here for the free stuff?" I've been featured on the "this person is giving away free stuff" blogs a couple of times, usually at Hogswatch, and you know what? It sucks. I love giving things to people who care. I hate giving stuff to people who just want it because it's free, or because they think it has good resale value (both things I have been told by folks who found me via the "free stuff here" lists).

So yeah. If the rules say "you must include the word banana," then you must include the word banana, or you cannot win. If the rules say "name your favorite book in the series," then you must name your favorite book, or you cannot win. There were several entries in this most recent giveaway that could not have won, even if the RNG had chosen them, because they did not follow the (very simple) posted rules. (To be clear, the RNG did not pick any of them, so I didn't have to choose between the rules and breaking someone's heart.)

Please, please, follow the posted rules. For everyone's sake, but especially for your own.
seanan_mcguire: (barbie)
The tip jar closes tomorrow! This is your twenty-four hour "time to get out of the pool" reminder! For those who missed the initial post, basically, this is where I take "tip jar" donations to fund the next InCryptid story or stories. To tip, please PayPal to...

delirium@xocolatl.com

Please choose "friends and family," not "goods and services," as I have no physical goods to send, and PayPal gets weird (and takes fees) when there are physical goods to send. The tip jar will close tomorrow, and I will post a total.

If I get $200, I will prioritize finishing and posting "The Way Home," aka, "the next generation begins."
If I get $300 or more, I will prioritize finishing and posting "Lay of the Land," aka "Thomas and Alice are awkward cookies."

"Star of New Mexico" will be posted this year even if no one tips me a penny; I'm not holding anything finished hostage, just trying to justify my perpetually shuffling things around. Thanks so much to everyone who's ever donated in the past; you've done a lot to make my current situation possible.

Thank you!
seanan_mcguire: (average)
This seems to be an "every six months or so" thing, which is nice: I don't feel too demanding, but I'm able to keep prioritizing the free shorts in my lists. And so, as promised, I am now taking "tip jar" donations to fund the next InCryptid story or stories. To tip, please PayPal to...

delirium@xocolatl.com

Please choose "friends and family," not "goods and services," as I have no physical goods to send. The tip jar will remain open from today (Friday, April 10th) through next Friday (April 17th). I will then close it and post a total for what was collected.

If I get $200, I will prioritize finishing and posting "The Way Home," aka, "the next generation begins."
If I get $300 or more, I will prioritize finishing and posting "Lay of the Land," aka "Thomas and Alice are awkward cookies."

"Star of New Mexico" will be posted this year even if no one tips me a penny; I'm not holding anything finished hostage, just trying to justify my perpetually shuffling things around. Thanks so much to everyone who's ever donated in the past; you've done a lot to make my current situation possible.

Thank you!

ETA: Thank you so much to those who have already chipped in. Please do remember, however, that I am not selling anything; there's nothing to ship. Please choose "friends and family," to avoid both PayPal prodding me about sending your non-existent product, and to keep fees at bay.
seanan_mcguire: (knives)
I am really excited about this, y'all.

Basically, I have a story in the forthcoming anthology, Genius Loci. Which is very exciting for me! I am very excited. Only I'm a lot more excited by the fact that several of my friends—Carrie, Sunil, among others—have stories in the same book. We're gonna be ToC buddies! Squee!

The Kickstarter is running now.

While the project has already funded, there are still exciting perks to claim, and even more exciting stretch goals to be unlocked. Help us bring the spirit of place home, and blow the roof off.

Squee!
seanan_mcguire: (me)
Hello, happy people!

As you may remember, I have been selling leftover Slasher Chicks tank tops. Some people have requested shirts, which have then been pulled from the general stock, and have not used my website contact form (located here: http://seananmcguire.com/contact.php) to send me their mailing addresses.

Y'all, I'm not kidding when I say I need you to submit your address through that form. Yes, even if you gave your address to PayPal. I am not a store. I am one person using a non-graphic interface to package things, and I cannot easily access your mailing information if you don't send it to me via my website. The longer you leave your shirts in the "going away" pile, the more chance there is that they get misplaced and I have to give you a refund. Which, if you chose "paying for goods and services," means it costs me two dollars (roughly), and you don't get your stuff. Please. Pretty please with a cherry on top. If you're waiting for a tank top from me, and you have not already sent your contact info via the website, please send it.

(If you have already sent your info, you're golden. I'm just mailing a ton of stuff right now. The contact form has never been found to lose mail.)

Now, if you're waiting for a T-shirt, that's a different ball of wax. That was a group effort, with Kate and Deborah doing a lot of heavy lifting, and everything has a mailing address. It's just that "everything" was over two hundred packages (well over), and it's the week before Christmas. My post office has asked me, politely, not to come back with anything that's not incredibly urgent until after the holiday, because their lines are wrapping around the building, and I am a roadblock. All shirts are packed, are addressed, and are going out.

If your shirt was missing when we packed (a very small number), you have already received an email from me. All people with missing shirts have acknowledged that email, so you didn't miss it. Your shirt is coming, it just needs time to travel through a physical universe that is having major storms and major holidays at the same time.

In summation: if you requested a tank top, please, please help me empty out the box of shirts I pulled to meet requests (you can still pay if you haven't already; check the LJ post for instructions, and remember to choose "money to friends"); if you requested a T-shirt, please, please be patient. They're coming.
seanan_mcguire: (knives)
Katharine Kerr is a nice lady, a fellow DAWthor, and a really great storyteller. She needs our help.

I started the first draft of this post with some personal stuff, and then realized it didn't matter; this is a nice lady who tells great stories, and needs us, maybe now more than ever. Take a look.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-author-katharine-kerr-care-for-her-husband-howard/278370

Thank you.
seanan_mcguire: (barbie)
Reminder the first: If you have requested/purchased a tank top from me, I need two things from you. I need payment, following the instructions in my reply to your comment (please, please send it "friends and family," so I can actually afford to ship), and I need you to use my website contact form to send me your mailing address. Putting your mailing address into PayPal does not actually help me. I have a stack of shirts waiting to be mailed, and their information is not in my inbox, my PA's inbox, or my spam filter.

Please, please, help me get you the things you pay for, and if you haven't paid for them, please either pay or tell me you've changed your mind, so that I can release them back into the general stock.

Reminder the second: If you wanted to order signed or personalized books from Borderlands Books in San Francisco, I'm going there on Friday, around five o'clock in the afternoon, to sign whatever's on order. I can't guarantee that I'll get there again before the end of the year, so this is your one shot to get that signed book that will make you a hero in your best friend's eyes!

Please remember that I do not take requests for "send me a book and I'll sign it." Those always pick up around the holidays, and well. I'm just not good enough at going to the post office for things that are not "oh sweet Great Pumpkin get all these boxes out of my living room" to be reliable. Going through Borderlands is the one way to be sure.

And that is all for tonight.
seanan_mcguire: (me)
10. It's December! That is...terrifying and amazing and lots of other things, but mostly, it's a huge relief, because I don't have anywhere to go for the rest of the year. Oh, I have a lot of local commitments, parties and appearances and a doll meet-up, but nothing that requires travel. I get to sleep in my own bed, snuggle my cats, and clean my house for an entire month. I am ridiculously excited about this.

9. A lot of folks are doing their holiday shopping right now, which is swell! I posted the holiday book buying reminder yesterday. You can also contact Mysterious Galaxy, in San Diego, for signed copies of Out of Tune, and for copies of Dead But Not Forgotten signed by Charlaine Harris, Toni Kelner, and a bunch of the authors (myself included). Support independent bookstores this holiday season.

8. Or maybe you're buying stuff from me, posters and T-shirts and the like. If you are, please use the PayPal option for sending money to friends and family. There are a few reasons for this. First off, I am still not a store: I am literally pricing things to cover cost of item + cost of postage. Having huge whacks of money vanish into PayPal fees makes this a loss, and means I have to start charging more to be able to afford to ship things. Secondly, you know how I always say "please send me your shipping info via this other channel"? I have found that people who chose "goods and services" are more likely to ignore that request, because they've already provided a shipping address, and if I were a store, I'd be able to access that data. Not a store. Cannot access easily. Please don't.

7. The new Pokemon game is not making me as happy as I wanted it to. I am sure I will enjoy the post-game, where it's apparently LEGENDARYPALOOZA, but I am not enjoying my Pokemon journey, and that makes me sad.

6. Thomas, who has always been an asshole, has taken his assholing to new heights in his glee that I am home. Lots of purring, lots of cuddling, lots of knocking things off shelves to demonstrate that he is still the boss of all he surveys. Thomas is going to be mittens if he doesn't cut this shit out.

5. I will be doing the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch again this year, beginning on December 12th and continuing until December 24th. The introductory post will go up on December 11th. The prizes, drawing times, response times, and requirements for each day are not negotiable; if I say "I must hear from you by X time for you to win," and you think you might not be able to check your email on, say, Christmas, I am very sorry, but I do mean it. I can't have people claiming prizes weeks after the drawing. I'm just not set up for that. But hey, I am giving away so much stuff.

4. I missed the October tip jar, which means we're running out of prioritized free fiction. I don't want to open a tip jar in December (holidays), but I may go ahead and do it in January. (Or we may have to pay for all the bodywork on Mom's car, in which case, I will not only open the tip jar, I will dance on freeways if that's what it takes.)

3. Oh, yeah: some asshole hit Mom's car on Thanksgiving night. The damage isn't massive, but she was parked at the time, and we didn't see it happen. Now we need to get the bodywork done to fix the dent on the side of her car, before rust sets in and everything gets buckets more expensive. Whee. (Yes, she has insurance, but the deductible is huge, especially if we can't produce another driver.)

2. I'm going to see The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County on Friday! I'm so excited!

1. Jean Grey is not dead right now and it's making me cranky.

That's my list. What's new with you?
seanan_mcguire: (average)
PA the First (Kate) informs me that she has sent over all the mail submitted via the contact form.

I am missing the shipping info for several tank tops.

Y'all, if you have purchased a tank top from me, I really, truly, genuinely need you to go to my contact form, located here:

http://seananmcguire.com/contact.php

...and use it to send me a) your mailing address, and b) the handle associated with your request, as noted on my reply to your initial comment. I can't reliably get address info from PayPal, on account of not being a store and not using a graphic browser for that email address. Please. I can't send your stuff until you tell me where to send it, and I want these shirts to go away.

Please.
seanan_mcguire: (knives)
When I say "these are the rules for a giveaway," what I mean is "these are the rules for a giveaway," not "some of these rules are negotiable or can be ignored." If you do not follow the rules exactly as stated, you will not be eligible to win.

When I say "please use my contact form," what I mean is "please use my contact form." Not "please dig up a personal email that you have for me from some point in the past." Not "please use the contact form at miragrant.com." If I meant either of those things, I would say so. They would look like "you can only win if you already know how to reach me ha ha" and "please use the contact form at miragrant.com," respectively. If you do not use my contact form, at the seananmcguire.com website, you will not be eligible to receive your prize.

Sometimes the rules by which I live my life may seem fiddly or arbitrary, but there are always reasons. Please, if you want to receive something free from me, follow the rules which I have set for that reward.

Thank you.
seanan_mcguire: (sparrow hill)
I try not to post about Kickstarters too much. I'm a short fiction addict, both as a reader and a writer, and if I started posting about every anthology KS that came along, y'all would start pelting me with rocks in fairly short order. I do not like being pelted with rocks. It hurts.

That being said, sometimes there's a need. I'd like to tell you about Ghostwood Books. A small press with five years of experience, they're looking to fund an entire year of amazing new fiction through the crowd-funding platform. Self-serving memo: they asked me to be in one of their anthologies. Even more self-serving memo: that's the only one of their books that I would be involved with, meaning I would get to read the rest.

They have sixty-eight hours to hit their goal, and they're less than halfway there. Please, take a look. Something just might catch your fancy.

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