2011 Write-a-Thon Begins!

2011 Write-a-Thon Begins!

All right, everyone, no more begging for sponsors from me. The Write-a-thon has officially begun and I am hard at work on my stuff. I started writing the fanfic for week 6 even though LeVar Burton did not tweet about us. That’s okay, I know there is plenty of fan love to sustain me.

Also, I am happy to report that I met my goal and then some late last night! Hooray :) I still need to update the sidebar with the total, which I will do when I get home this evening. Thank you to everyone who sponsored, your support means the world to me.

I’ll be keeping everyone updated here on the blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Tumblr.

My Final Sponsorship Plea

My Final Sponsorship Plea

The Write-a-thon begins tomorrow. After that, I will stop begging for sponsors and get down to writing. Of course, if someone comes along and wants to sponsor me after that, yay! But I shan’t ask.

So, here’s my final word on this: Right now I have $403 in pledges. My goal is $600. I need around $200 more. That’s actually not much when you break it down.

  • 10 people pledging $20 flat.
  • 7 people pledging $5/week
  • 11 people pledging $6 flat + 3 people pledging $4/week + 1 person willing to give $62

Or some combination thereof.

Even if you can only pledge a small amount, all small amounts help! Click here to do so.

My 2011 Write-a-thon Goals and Challenges

My 2011 Write-a-thon Goals and Challenges

The Clarion West Write-a-thon begins this weekend, but you still have time to sponsor me and to spread the word about my need for sponsors or to look at the fabulous list of writers and sponsor one of them or to join in the fun and become a Write-a-thon participant. So many choices! Anyway, I promised that I would tell you about my goals for the next 6 weeks so you can get all excited about them (or something).

My overall, basic goal is to write between 100 and 500 words every week. The wordcount goal will change each week based on the goals and challenges listed below.

Week 1: I’m going to use a random number generator to pick my wordcount. Then I’ll roll a 6-sided die and divide the overall wordcount by the number that comes up. I’ll take this number (rounded to the nearest whole number), go to the book I’m currently reading, turn to that page, and choose a word on the page to inspire the fiction I write.

Week 2: I will use Wordle to create word clouds from three Twitter accounts, then take the top 2 most interesting words from each account and write a story using them in some way.

Week 3: Sponsor challenge. I’ll give each of my sponsors a chance to pick some aspect of the story: wordcount, character names, location, first line, last line, etc. Depending on how many sponsors/responses I get, this could be split into two stories and be week 4′s challenge as well.

Week 4: TBD

Week 5: TBD

Week 6: Crossover fic. Here’s the deal. LeVar Burton tweeted this picture of he and Alex Kingston together and said she was one of his favorite actresses. I saw that and thought: a Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover starring Geordi and River Song would be so awesome! And Tumblr concurred. Then I thought: It would be even more awesome if I could get LeVar to tweet about the Write-a-thon to get more sponsors for me and everyone else. So here’s my challenge to you, friends and readers: LeVar is aware of my devious plan, but he has not yet tweeted details of the Write-a-thon to his followers. Encourage him (politely!!) via Twitter to do so and I will write this beautiful crossover fic of win. It will be short, yes, but longer than 500 words. Maybe even written in teleplay format. We’ll see.

So that’s my plan for the next 6 weeks. As weeks 4 and 5 approach, I will make decisions about what I’ll write then.

To recap: Please sponsor me! Please sponsor other participants! Please participate! TNG/Doctor Who crossover! LeVar Burton! That is all.

 

2011 Clarion West Write-A-Thon Clarion Call

2011 Clarion West Write-A-Thon Clarion Call

In a little less than two weeks, the Clarion West class of 2011 will begin their 6-week intensive workshop. At the same time, the CW Write-a-Thon will begin. A write-a-thon is a lot like a marathon. Instead of sponsoring someone per mile, you sponsor them per week. If they reach their writing goals for the week, you pledge to send Clarion West a certain amount of money. There are six weeks of write-a-thoning to mirror the six weeks of workshopping at Clarion West.

The deadline to sign up for this event is June 18th. There are a couple dozen people signed up already, but Clarion West needs more folks to sign up and get sponsored to reach their fundraising goals. I think that you (yes, you. No, not that other person, You) should sign up to participate.

Last year I didn’t do the write-a-thon because I had far too much to do work-wise to commit to anything and didn’t have much time to find sponsors. Thus, I completely understand if other people have the same doubts. But, in thinking about this the past couple of days, I realized that there are ways to do this that don’t require an huge time commitment. Setting micro goals instead of big huge ones; allowing myself to be a little bit silly, experimental, or completely off the wall; taking challenges from others.

I have some ideas on how to pull this off (and will share them with you in time), so I’m ready to commit to participating in the write-a-thon. Thing is, I’d really like to see at least 20 more people join me in this effort. I know many of you are busy, have stuff going on, and have stress in your lives, just like me. So think about it in these terms: do you have 30 minutes a week to commit to writing? Do you know three people off the top of your head who will sponsor you and pledge a little to Clarion West because they love you/are awesome? If the answer to both is yes, then you’re set. Yep, 30 minutes, 3 people — that’s all it takes.

Now we come to the portion of the post where I sweeten the pot a little. Usually with fundraising things such as this it’s customary to offer prizes to people for pledging money. I’m going to do something different, because my goal is to get people to sign up. So, anyone who participates in the Clarion West Write-A-Thon, has at least 3 sponsors OR has at least $100/week in pledges, and meets at least 4 out of their 6 weekly goals, will be entered in a drawing for a free eReader.

The eReader in question is the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition, out this month. If you want a taste of it, there’s a hands-on post here. On Monday or Tuesday there’s likely to be a full review.

I have some other new or like new gadgets in my possession that I may be able to offer up as well, but the Kobo eReader is for sure.

Some disclaimers: I don’t work for Clarion West or represent them. This drawing is being run solely by myself with products I own personally, not offered by any corporate entities. I plan to choose the winner based on random number generation — a digital version of pulling a number out of a hat.

Excited yet? Good. The first step is to head over to the Write-A-Thon sign up page to join. The next step is to find at least three sponsors. Ask them to pledge a certain amount each week if you meet your goals or to pledge a flat amount if you meet all of your goals over 6 weeks. The last step is to decide what your goals will be. I’ll tell you mine next week.

Holla back, people. Raise your virtual hand if you’re in this with me.

Hey People In SFWA

I’m only going to say this once and then shut up about it until next year: I wrote some stuff between July 2008 and December 2009 and it’s pretty darn good. And a lot of it is available for free and junk.

I have no reciprocal nominations or votes to offer you, though[1]. Despite the fact that I’ve sold many stories which earned me 5 cents per word, many of them aren’t eligable under the current SFWA rules. Funny that.

Footnotes

  1. kidding. I know people don’t play those games anymore. right?[]

Help, Help, I’m Bein’ Oppressed!

Help, Help, I'm Bein' Oppressed!

Nick Mamatas is always trying to get me to start some shit so he sent over this link to Kathryn Cramer’s blog[1]. Normally I would ignore this crazy person, but I figure many others are going to comment on this or may already have, so I’ll throw in my 2 cents.

Cramer is apparently bored or something because she’s decided to stir the fires of RaceFail again. This time she’s proposing a panel for WisCon (a convention she no longer attends because of its “encouragement of Fail fandom”) called “More Oppressed than Thou.” Because, don’t you know, there are two kinds of oppressed people: those who have actually been beaten up by cops and those who only have a theoretical understanding of their oppression. You think I am kidding but I am not.

I’m sure that I, a black woman living in America, have never, ever experienced oppression. Oh no. But I read about it in a book and that makes me all self-righteous and stuff.

I know the answer to this, but I can’t help asking why it is that people like Cramer are always the ones to start up the Oppression Olympics. Next she’ll be whining about how her Irish ancestors couldn’t get a job or something.

You would think that attitudes like Cramer’s (and Shetterly’s — yes, he makes an appearance in the comments) wouldn’t even require a response because they’re so ridiculolus. However, going by reports I’ve heard about a certain other convention[2] that I know Cramer and those who agree with her view of Racefail attend, I know that we can’t just trust that right-thinking people won’t be taken in by this nonsense.

If someone really, really needs me to explain why her position is a load of horseshit I will. But please tell me that the majority of my FList already knows…

Footnotes

  1. I did not anonymize the link because I don’t care if she knows I’m talking about her. If you’re clicking from your FList and don’t want to even have your screenname show up on her stats, use this link.[]
  2. yes Fourth Street, I am talking smack about you[]

2009 Clarion West Write-a-thon wrapup

2009 Clarion West Write-a-thon wrapup

So the Write-a-thon ended over two weeks ago and I haven’t said anything about it on the blog. I suck, I know. But here I am to do so now!

I was able to complete revisions on all 6 stories, though 3 of them needed to be sent to beta readers or my crit group before actually going out into the world. Still, I have 3 stories in circulation that were not before. And I even broke down and sent one of them to Asimov’s.

I am working this weekend to get all of the books sent out to Bronze level sponsors and, since I didn’t do so while the WaT was going on, I have to create some earrings and other jewelry based on these stories. There were only two Silver sponsors, though, so I suspect it won’t be hard.

All of the donations are not in yet, but with the addition of a late pledger, I will probably have raised over $1,900 for Clarion West and the Butler Scholarship. YAY! This is way above what I initially set out to bring in.

I’m taking down the dedicated WaT page until next year, also the sponsors on the sidebar. But I will re-list their names under the cut for posterity. Thank you, again, those who are listed and those who aren’t for your generosity and support.

Since it all ended I’ve been taking a fiction break. But this weekend I am back on the horse — I have a novel to write.

[Read more...]

Write-a-thon Week 4: BLARG

Write-a-thon Week 4: BLARG

So, the Write-a-thon is chugging along and all and I completed my revision of What Fairy-Like Music Steals Over The Sea and will send it out to Weird Tales shortly. But MAN, this last week was hard!

I don’t remember if I blogged this (I know I Tweeted and FaceBooked it) but I got a call about a month ago from my old job, Laptop, asking if I wanted to return, but in a different capacity: editorial instead of web. I’m now an associate editor whose job includes fact-checking and testing, which is different than what I’m used to but also very exciting.

Luckily, returning to a place I’ve already worked meant that the first week was less about getting to know people and settling in. But I’m learning the fact-checking process for the first time, so it’s been a very full and busy week. Plus, there was the special Clarion West KGB reading and preparing for my salon and… yeah.

But I got the writing done when I could and didn’t burn myself out completely.

Another cool thing that happened last week was an interview I did with Jeff Vandermeer about the WaT went up on Amazon’s Omnivoracious blog. I was thrilled when Jeff asked me to do this and very happy with the way it turned out. Plus, OMG I am on an Amazon blog being interviewed!

In essence, last week was a very good week. Plus, the weekend before I got to see many of my peeps at ReaderCon, which was equally wonderful. My life? Is good.

Four Things Makes A Post (last day of vacation edition)

  1. My full Readercon schedule can be found here. I don’t know that I will actually be reading at the Interfictions 2 reading… or maybe we’re doing the thing where we each read for 2 minutes. I now have something to do on each day. When I’m not on a panel or attending one I’ll probably be hanging around the Prime Books table. There you will find copies of Sybil’s Garage and Electric Velocipede as well as Federations (and whatever else that doesn’t matter to me ;) ).
  2. My Week 2 story was complete in the early hours of Sunday morning. But it has no name, so I can’t send it anywhere. Boo! I hate titles.
  3. Today is the last full day I have to spend with my nieces here in Virginia. We went to Barnes & Noble and I bought them a TON of books. I tried desperately to interest my older niece in good stuff like Delia’s Changeling and Neil’s Graveyard Book but she wanted American Girls books. Save me. I did get her to buy Harry Potter, so that’s a start. I got a thrill when I saw Carol’s Graphic Universe books on the shelves. No Twisted Journeys, though. So I’ll have to send them to her. I have some age-appropriate Tiptree submissions I’ll send, too. I’m turning into the aunt that sends books. Hrm. (I also have a small friend in Texas who is getting some books soon, too.)
  4. Don’t forget that tomorrow is the Federations NYRSF reading. Click the link for deets and location and such.

2009 Write-a-thon: Week 1

2009 Write-a-thon: Week 1

Sorry this update is so late. Had sporadic Internet for the past few days, so I spent what little time I had doing mostly work stuff.

Week 1 went well. I revised a very short story (and made it longer in the process) and have now sent it off to Clarkesworld. It’s called Embodied and is actually one of my newest stories. This week I’m working on the water aliens story, which technically dates back to Clarion West. Something old, something new.

That’s pretty much it :)

Begin then Begin Again

Begin then Begin Again

Beginning #1:

The Write-a-thon officially began yesterday. I was on a train heading home to Ohio, thus could not post about it. I did get started on my revision process: read crits of the story I chose for this week and made notes. Tonight I’ll start attempting to fix some of the issues.

Beginning #2:

Back in March I was unfortunately laid off from my job that I loved, which was depressing. However, I was very aware that my being laid off was a financial issue only — my boss and co-workers liked me as much as I did them. In fact, since then I’ve been in contact via IM and such and my boss never lost an opportunity to say how much he missed me.

Recently there was a possible opening at the magazine, which I was made aware of, so I made it known that I was definitely interested in being considered for it. Last week I talked with the Managing Editor and Editor-in-chief about the details of the position and they offered and I accepted. So when I return from visiting family I’ll start back at Laptop (this time in Editorial, not the web team).

I cannot convey how super-excited I am about this. I’m in a state of mild shock, because this is one of the best possible outcomes. Not only do I get to go back to a workplace I love, but I didn’t have to go through the job-hunting process again, which I hate. A lot. Plus, heathcare. Oh how I’ve missed you, healthcare.

This new development should derail my Write-a-thon goals, though. I’ll just have to make time on the evenings and weekends for writing. Since I no longer have access to the TV this won’t be too hard.

This summer is shaping up to be an auspicious one!

How Would You Describe Your Writing?

How Would You Describe Your Writing?

I’ve been administering the Write-a-thon FaceBook page for the past few days (go and become a fan!) and my goal has mainly been to post links to all the participants there at regular intervals so that folks can get a chance to see a bit about each writer. This has lead to some awesomeness and hilarity.

Kate gave everyone a set of areas to fill in — excerpt, bio, describe your writing, describe your goals — and the things people sent in for the writing description and goals reveals some really cool stuff. I think my description is a bit boring, especially compared to “zombies woo small-town housewives and magical porn teaches life lessons” or “the story of a priest who becomes a vampire in Klondike gold rush era Seattle” or “small stories about queer characters in near-future SF settings or in contemporary settings with supernatural elements, but occasionally break out with actiony romps and chicklit space opera.”

I want to read all of that!

If someone asked you to describe your writing, what would you say? Or even to describe your novel or latest short story. Not the plot, necessary, but to describe what it’s like.

5 days and $1500

5 days and $1500

As of now I’ve reached my Clarion West Write-a-thon fundraising goal of $1500 pledged dollars. Yes, in just 5 days. I am consistently floored by the generosity of people in this community and the willingness to support new writers (as well as established ones, as evidenced by the awesomeness going on in the community to help Cat Valente). Thank you all for your generosity.

I will still accept new sponsors if you’re willing to pledge, but I hope you’ll consider supporting one of the other writers participating. The more money you pledge to their goals the more motivated they’ll be to complete them. Hell, with $1500 riding on this, you bet I’ll not be slacking any time duing those 6 weeks.

And now I’ll stop talking about it until the actual writing begins. But again, thank you.

Write-a-thon pledges so far…

Write-a-thon pledges so far...

Yesterday I began my big push for Write-a-thon sponsors. The goal was $1000 in pledged donations. Last year it took me about 2 weeks to collect enough sponsors to reach that goal. This time? Less than 24 hours. OMG.

Big thanks to all the people who posted about this on their blogs or on FaceBook or Twitter or in email. You made a huge difference! Also thanks to all the people who’ve pledged so far. You’re my heroes.

I said that I would raise my goal marker if I got $1000 in pledges before the Write-a-thon began. So now the thermometer is at $1500. It doesn’t reflect it quite yet, but I currently have over $1200 in pledged dollars. I have three weeks to get about $300 more and I’m pretty sure I can do it. Please keep linking and tweeting and posting!

If I reach my secondary goal, I’m going to turn my attention to helping other participating writers meet their pledge goals. There are currently over 30 other writers and I suspect there will be many more in the next week or so.

Anyway, again, thank you all for your support. I’m excited to write!

The 2009 Write-a-thon for Clarion West (and the Butler Scholarship)

The 2009 Write-a-thon for Clarion West (and the Butler Scholarship)

You’ve seen me posting about the Clarion West Write-a-thon for a couple of weeks, but now my quest for sponsors begins in earnest! I have a nifty (and detailed) sponsorship page, a sponsorship form you can fill out, and a page that explains the who, what, why and how. Now all I need is you.

Yes, you!

I need sponsors. People who will pledge money to Clarion West and the Butler Scholarship should I meet my weekly writing goals. Any amount is appreciated — don’t think that just because you can only afford a little it won’t count. In fact, it counts a lot[1].

I need people to spread the word. Post about this on your blog, FaceBook feed, Twitter account, etc. and ask other people to sponsor me. Ask at work about any matching donation programs they have. Clarion West is a 501(c) organization, so it’s tax-deductable.

I need people to write with me! You can do the Write-a-thon, too, ya know. Go here, sign up, then ask your friends and family to sponsor you. Set a goal and we’ll egg each other on!

That’s it. My needs are very simple :) I plan to reach my pledge goal again this year and to meet all of my writing goals. The Write-a-thon is really a win-win event for me. I not only get to raise money for two wonderful organizations, I also get motivation to get 6 stories out into the world and, hopefully, sold to awesome markets.

But I’ll only be motivated to do so if you sponsor ;)

Footnotes

  1. Beyond the fact that every amount contributes, there’s also this cool thing where Amazon has pledged a matching grant.[]