Monday, August 04, 2008

and a good time was had by all...

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DIVERSICON 16 WAS AWESOME!




I was so worried about readings and panels and making a total fool out of myself that it never occurred to me that I might actually ENJOY Diversicon. It was a blast. I went last year for a few hours, but a few hours wasn't enough to give me a feel of the convention. You really have to attend the opening ceremony and the auction and hang out in the hospitality suite. A lot of times even the panel events felt like a group of people just hanging out talking about books and movies. I loved the way the...can't call them audience... loved the way they participated in the discussions. The con was small. I think maybe 100 attendees. They would like to have around 150 next year. The auction alone would be reason to go. Donations of cool, collectible stuff. First edition books and comics. Movies.

The other guest is an absolutely amazing writer, not to mention a lovely person.

Check out her website here:

Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu

Friday, August 01, 2008

oh, minneapolis!

The signing and reading at DreamHaven was well attended. So glad about that!! And what an awesome bookstore! After the signing some of us walked down the street and shared a pizza. Nice day all around.


The Holiday Inn overlooks the 35W bridge. Today is the anniversary of the collapse, so I imagine there will be some kind of memorial and news coverage.

I have most of the day free since the convention doesn't get into full swing until this evening. meeting my daughter for lunch. Maybe we'll go to Bad Waitress? French Meadow Bakery? So hard to decide!

my panels:

Self promotion gone mad (heh!)

Are writers broken? (double heh!)

movie thrillers

the life and art of sir alfred hitchcock

ooh, that's scary! print versus movie

i brought my camera, but forgot the cable so no pics until next week.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

DIVERSICON 16

bumping this to the top to show off the cool T-shirt designed by Marge Simon.











DIVERSICON 16

Oh, sweet mystery...


Where: Minneapolis, Minnesota
When: August 1 - 3, 2008
Who?
Guest of Honor: Anne Frasier
Check out the Diversicon website and click on latest update to download PDF file and registration form.


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But wait! That's not all!


Diversicon 16 Flash Fiction Contest


Short stories up to 250 words on the convention theme of "Oh, Sweet Mystery . . ." Submit no later than midnight Central Time July 14 to diversicon16flash@gmail.com. No entry fee, but open only to attending members of the convention. Entries will be judged by the convention Guest of Honor, professional author Anne Frasier. Entries will be judged on the creative interpretation of the theme, the quality of the writing, and emotional/intellectual impact. Top prize is a cool certificate, the honor of winning, a round of applause, the opportunity to read your work to the assembled convention. For more information:

DIVERSICON 16

more about Diversicon




Special Guest: Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, PhD

Author, journalist, and professor Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu uses both her Nigerian and American backgrounds in her fiction: the novels Zahrah the Windseeker (Houghton Mifflin, 2005) and The Shadow Speaker (Hyperion, October 2007), the play Full Moon, as well as stories in the anthologies The Witching Hour, Mojo Conjure Stories (Nalo Hopkinson, ed.), Writers of the Future Volume 18, and So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction (Nalo Hopkinson & Uppinder Mehan, eds.) and the professional online magazine Strange Horizons. Her essay on author Virginia Hamilton appeared in Dark Matter II: Reading the Bones (Sheree R. Thomas, ed.).
Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu

She holds a PhD in English (emphasis on creative writing) from the University of Illinois--Chicago; an MA in English, also from UI Chicago (thesis: The Legend of Arro-yo); and an MA in journalism from Michigan State University--East Lansing (thesis: Virtual Women: Female Characters in Video Games). She is also a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop.




Posthumous Guests of Honor:
Scheherazade, Alfred Hitchcock, and Jack Williamson


Scheherazade (ca. 800): Legendary Persian narrator of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, a compilation of Persian, Arabic, Indian, and other folktales, including "Aladdin and the Lamp," "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad," and "The Thief of Baghdad." A highly educated woman, Scheherazade distracted her misogynist husband from killing her by telling captivating stories. The various translations of these tales have influenced artists, composers, and screenwriters around the world.

Sir Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980): Director of many films over five decades in Great Britain and the United States, including the haunting Rebecca (1940), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), and the SFnal The Birds (1963; guaranteed to make you nervous around flocks of crows!), Hitchcock worked repeatedly with interlocking themes of sex and death. He also featured female characters who were both glamorous and strong actors with their own agendas, and he dealt obliquely with homosexuality despite the Hollywood Production Code.

Jack Williamson, PhD (1908-2006): Author of Darker Than You Think (1948), The Humanoids (1949), a collection of short stories titled The Best of Jack Williamson (1977), and the autobiography Wonder�s Child: My Life in Science Fiction (1984, rev. 2005), Williamson traveled west by covered wagon in 1915, then went on to write imaginative science fiction over many decades. He first saw his work published in an SF magazine in 1928, he cowrote the first story of revolution on the Moon with Dr. Miles Breuer ("The Birth of a New Republic," Amazing Stories, Winter 1931), coined the word terraforming in his 1942 novel Seetee Ship, and saw his last novel (The Stonehenge Gate) published in 2005. Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) honored him with its second-ever Grand Master award in 1976 (the first recipient was Robert Heinlein). He won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards (for his novella The Ultimate Earth) in 2001, becoming by far the oldest author to have won these awards. He earned a PhD in English from the University of Colorado--Boulder (his dissertation focused on the works of H. G. Wells) and taught science fiction writing at Eastern New Mexico University from 1960 through the 21st century.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

RITA

Romance Writers of America RITA Awards



1) By the time the RITA nominees are announced the books are often out of print.

2) How long has the RITA been in existence? Over twenty years. That means we have over twenty years of RITA titles, many of which were out of print before the awards ceremony.

3) The rights for most RITA titles have long since reverted back to the authors.

4) Somebody -- Harlequin seems the logical choice -- should put out a line of RITA books.


RWA should get behind this idea and push it to publishers. Good for RWA, REALLY good for the lucky publisher, and good for the writers.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

short fiction contest!



from THE CLARITY OF NIGHT



The rumble of the engine beneath you.

The last colors of the setting sun, your invitation.

It's time to race away into the summer night. Welcome to the "Running Wind" Short Fiction Contest!!

This contest is the 9th in what has become a wonderfully fun series. Clarity of Night contest wins have been reported in agent query letters, served as inspiration for a soon-to-be-published novel, and helped to springboard writers to bigger success.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

cross-post from my-my-my-myspace

Readers have been asking about my next book, and at this point there is no next book. Which doesn't mean there will never be a next book. I took some much needed time off, but I've been working on a project that is generating quite a bit of interest. We might submit 100 pages to publishers in September, or we might decide it would be best if I wrote the whole manuscript before submitting. If this project sells, it will be literary suspense and it will probably be written under another name. Ugh. Sorry. It's the business. If there is a new name, I'll definitely get the info to Anne Frasier readers. The big downside of this publishing house change? If everything goes as smoothly as it could possibly go, I won't have a new book out until 2011 or 20012. That's because of the way books are slotted. Slots are often reserved eighteen to twenty-four months out, so when a writer switches publishing houses there will be no slots with her name on them until the manuscript is turned in. It could be that if a person sells on a partial a tentative slot might be held, but I've never experienced that. Usually for that first book with the new house the clock doesn't start ticking until the manuscript is completed, read by an editor, and determined publishable.

anne's myspace

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

little eraserhead

100_2172
100_2172,
originally uploaded by annefrasier2000.
this guy's mom was the most persistent swallow ever. i hung chimes. i taped hardware cloth over ledges. then i gave up because it seems i'm the intruder.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

blabbermouth!

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i deleted my last blog post. once again i'm running into the problem of wanting to share information, but feeling that it's unwise. so let's just say things are going well in my own personal writing world, and hopefully i'll have some good news to share in a few months.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

that's so weird!




Wild Child Publishing


Congratulations to blogging buddies Jeff Neale, Bernita Harris, Jaye Wells, and John Goodman on the release of Weirdly II.

Weirdly: A Collection of Strange Tales, vol. 2



From paranormal to weird, from chilling to odd to scary, Weirdly Volume 2: Eldritch will sate your lust for strangeness in bite-sized pieces. Each tale weaves its own spell. Vampires, beasts, ghosts, evil creatures and, of course, every day people inhabit Weirdly's pages.

Soldiers must reach their destination before the undead get to them first... What does the picture on the wall mean to Jen? Fate holds something in store for Lewis--but is it what he wants? Lillie embarks on another quest... Is the young man who sees and hears fluffy beings insane? An old letter urges a young woman to the train station--but is the train that puffs into view real? All these tales and more. Dare you read them?

Authors: C.T. Adams, Marva Dasef, James Goodman, Milena Gomez & David Kilpatrick, Bernita Harris, Michael Kay, Gary Madden, Kelly Madden, Jeff Neale, Daniel I. Russell, Jaye Wells, Cora Zane

Genre: Horror/Paranormal
Book Length: Novel
Price: $5.95

Monday, June 23, 2008

pray or prey?

13 used to be my lucky number.

And Friday the 13th never scared me. But next time Friday the 13th rolls around, I’m not leaving the house.

If you look back at my blog, you will notice that I had car trouble and had to call a tow truck to haul me and my car 25 miles. I was without wheels for over a week. The piston stem came out of the transmission. I’m lucky nobody was hurt, because it shoots out like a bullet when the car is moving down the highway. I decide I should get a new car. Friday the 13th I’m driving to St Paul to pick up my new vehicle when in the middle of nowhere the piston stem goes flying off. Again. Once this happens, the car quits moving. I make it to the side of the highway, pulling to a stop in front of an old cemetery. No houses, no buildings, just the cemetery.

Wait for tow truck. Hot sun beating down.

Now here’s where it gets weird. Well, not quite yet, but soon.

First person to stop is a young farmer in a pickup. Curious kid in the passenger seat. We go through the need help stuff, got a cell phone stuff, and once he knows everything is okay, he leaves. Next comes a giant white Lincoln. By this time I’m outside my car, near the cemetery because it’s too hot to wait in the car, and too dangerous. Passenger window goes down. Blonde bombshell. Platinum hair, red, red lips. Car packed with so much crap it looks like she lives in it. I spot the case of beer.

“You okay, darlin’? Got a cell phone? Need some water? Want me to wait with you?” Once she’s reassured that everything is fine, she blasts off like someone from a Tarantino movie. Tow truck won’t be there for at least another hour, so I mosey down the dirt lane next to the cemetery where there is one tree and shade.

Big rusty white Econoline van pulls up. Wormy weird man inside. “Need help?”

I tell him everything is under control. Go through the waiting for the tow truck thing. He mumbles something, and takes off. I can see the van turn down a lane, vanish, then reappear at a farmhouse on a distant hill. Ten minutes later he’s back. Gets out, opens both back doors of the van, puts a folding chair in the shade next to the cemetery fence, and places a milk crate in front of it.

“Have a seat.” The van doors are just feet from the chair, and even though I know he’s going to hit me over the head and drag me inside the van, I sit down. I’m polite that way. But I feel for my cell phone, and wonder if I should discretely auto-dial a fave.

He adjusts the milk crate, and sits down. He touches my knee.
“I just want to ask you one question.” His face is inches from mine. “Where are you going to go when you die?”

I don’t own a handgun, but I keep thinking I must have one in the car. Surely I have a gun in the car. Or in my backpack. I keep visualizing it there. All nice and cozy.

“Are you going to heaven, or hell?”

“I don’t believe in heaven or hell.”

Oh, why did I say that? He’ll kill me for sure now.

“Just before you die, I want you to do one thing. I want you to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior. That’s all you have to do to go to heaven.”

I get to my feet, which is kind of hard with the wormy man right there. I don’t want to turn my back to him. He can see that I’ve had enough. He reaches into his pocket. For a gun? A knife? He pulls out a little religious pamphlet with his prayer line on it, hands it to me, gets in his van, and drives off, back to the farmhouse. I have a book with me – A WOLF AT THE TABLE -- so I sit down in the shade, open it, and read until the tow truck guy arrives. Damn Friday the 13th.

Friday, June 06, 2008

"mother virgin, a nun!"

FORGOTTEN FRIDAY

BOOK I

THE WAY TO WINCHESTER

BENEATH the dark cornices of a thicket of wind-stunted pines stood a small company of women looking out into the hastening night. The half light of evening lay over the scene, rolling wood and valley into a misty mass, while the horizon stood curbed by a belt of imminent clouds. In the western vault, a vast rent in the wall of grey gave out a blaze of transient gold that slanted like a spear-shaft to a sullen sea.


And so begins Warwick Deeping's Uther and Igraine.

Warwick Deeping


The Camelot Project


I fell in love with this book when I was about twelve. Over the next ten years I probably read it a dozen times. Since then I've put it on the bookshelf whenever I move, but never opened it again. Yes, the prose is like eating a whole cake in one sitting, but as I looked at it today I was struck by the sound of the words and the way they flow.

Uther and Igraine
was Deeping's first book. He wrote a massive amount over his career. I also loved Sorrell and Son. Oh, my. What a heartache.

From Wiki: Sorrell and Son, based upon Deeping's experiences during the First World War, was filmed three times: It first appeared in 1927 as a silent movie, was remade in 1934 as a sound film, and turned into a TV mini-series in 1984.


Patti Abbott

Thanks, Patti, for the invitation to participate in Forgotten Friday. I cheated a bit and turned it into a walk down memory lane. Not sure either of these books would satisfy the impatient readers of today, but both are lovely treasures.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

when a bad weekend becomes a good weekend

saturday my car broke down along the highway. called my insurance company for a tow truck, then walked to the most desolate and sad place on earth -- a petting zoo. i was dehydrated after being car baked. found a pop machine with water. it took my money, but didn't give me any water. didn't refund my money either. push button push button push button. at this point i figure i must be in a bad movie. i went inside the zoo and got in the restroom line with a pack of kids who smelled like monkeys. inside the gift shop, i asked if anybody wanted my groceries. nobody seemed interested. :D the tow truck arrived about an hour later. i rode shotgun for thirty miles and got to hear about all the fatalities the driver had scooped up so far this year. (this was really very interesting) the repair shop was closed, so we dumped the car in the parking lot.


But Sunday? Sunday was a great day.

Got a phone call from the RWA Kiss of Death chapter informing me that Garden of Darkness has been selected as a finalist in the 2008 Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, paranormal division.



Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at the RWA National Conference in San Francisco. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 31, 2008, beginning at 9 p.m.

I will be in Minneapolis at the Diversicon conference, and will be doing a reading and discussion at Dreamhaven Books about the time the ceremony begins.

Dreamhaven Books
But you can bet I'll be thinking about what's going on in San Francisco, and I'll be checking my computer when I get back to my room at Diversicon!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

scratch and sniff, ya'll

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this is the lilac created in about 1895 by the gentleman who built my church home. lovely flowers and lovely scent. any lilac experts out there? the leaves are smaller and more delicate than what i consider typical lilac leaves, and they have a gorgeous purple blush. i've never seen this kind of lilac leaf before. anybody else? i've been told these are the only lilacs of this kind in existence, but that could have been wishful thinking. makes a good story anyway.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

red door

red doors

a lot of churches have red doors. some say it's a sign of sanctuary, so I'm trying to decide if i should paint my door red. what do you think? any advice? *wink*

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

file this under WTF

International Thriller Writers
I was a member in 2006, but intentionally didn't renew in 2007.

So today I receive a dues letter that reads like this:

"we wanted to give you the opportunity to keep your membership active by bringing your dues up to date."

That is followed by a renewal fee for 2008 -- BUT ALSO FOR 2007, when I wasn't even a member. Total 240.00. Umm, okay. Now I'm expecting a letter from the Girl Scouts giving me the opportunity to pay for 35 years of dues.

Friday, April 11, 2008

spring update

some interesting things I’ve discovered about my new place:

This used to be a town. Everything burned down except for the church, which explains why it’s in the middle of nowhere.

The lumber baron who started the town and built the church had an interest in horticulture. He cultivated his own variety of lilacs, naming them after himself and the now non-existent town. These lilacs grow on both sides of the front door. Lilacs are my favorite flower, and I can’t wait to see the color. I’m guessing white, but I’m hoping for lavender.














I haven’t run into anybody in the area who can tell me anything about the history of this place or the history of the family who built the town and church, but I’ve found some info online. Here is just a small section of the founder’s bio that covers the later years of his. It looks like he semi-retired and lived out his final years here. I know the church was built in 1895, so that fits the bio. It’s so strange to think of someone buying ground and building a town in just a few years. He and his wife had one son who was always in poor health. At one point they moved to California hoping that the weather would improve the child’s health, but the son died and it sounds like both parents were never quite the same after that.





online bio:

"In 1892 he purchased a larger tract of hardwood timber. Here he gave his attention to the manufacture of railway material, chiefly crossties and car stock. Besides his own mill he controlled the output of many smaller mills, which business he conducted for several years, from 1895 to 1899. He passed away June 22, 1903, at his residence in Wis., and his body was taken to Santa Rosa, Cal., for burial at the side of his son. His health failed him during the last five years of his life, though most of the time he was fairly well and able to attend to his business. During the last three years only the care of the farm engrossed his attention. There he seemed most happy since he was particularly fond of animals and outdoor life. Two weeks before his death he had a slight paralysis of his left side, apparently of a few hours' duration. He sat up and read thereafter every day until the end came. His charities were large and unostentatious. He maintained a free hospital bed without disclosing his name, gave liberally to other hospitals, and assisted several young men to an education and in business. He was a large-hearted, generous, kind considerate man, a noble citizen, endeared to his family." Of him it was also said: "No man in the great Northwest more deserved success and none has left a more honorable record."