djonn: (woods)
*sigh*

I don't want to be alarmed about the new LJ Terms of Service, I really don't.  But a couple of those on my friends-list have pointed out, quite correctly, that the new language includes an unusually broad and egregious rights grab:

If User participates in any rankings or if User’s Content is used in any editorial projects of the Service, User provides to the Administration an additional authorisation to modify, shorten and amend his/her Content, to add images, a preamble, comments or any clarifications to his/her Content while using it, and in certain cases based on the Service functions, an authorisation to use User’s Content anonymously.

This is not, by itself, enough to make me fold my LJ entirely.  However, it's going to change my posting habits.

I'll still be reading on both DW and LJ, and I will still crosspost short off-the-cuff thoughts and comments.  However, new "Tales of Darkest Suburbia" entries, detailed reviews or commentaries, and any and all fictional content will not be crossposted to LJ.  Those will appear on the Dreamwidth journal and/or my "Lone Penman" Webspace.

I dislike doing this (not least because I honestly doubt that the Russian readership, if any, is much interested in my particular work), but I retain enough writerly paranoia that I think it's prudent.  Again, I am not actually leaving LJ as yet -- but as of today, my LiveJournal is a secondary Web presence, and there will be content elsewhere that does not get reposted to LJ.

djonn: Self-portrait (Default)
The movers/packers are here, and it is time to close down the 'Net for migration.  We will return to Darkest Suburbia on the flip side (from the scenic environs of suburban Beaverton).
djonn: (Peter Iredale)
Actually, two or three makeovers, but we'll get to that in a moment:

The least significant in absolute terms (but the one with the most immediate visible impact) is the quick cosmetic makeover I've done on my Dreamwidth journal style in the wake of recent migrations.  I'm reasonably pleased with the new look, though if something is acting peculiar as you read this on the DW side, do let me know.

The weather has also been somewhat more than usually exciting, as my more local readers are already aware; Portland has had two impressive-for-us snowstorms already this winter and the forecasters are hinting darkly at another flurry on the horizon -- which may or may not arrive just in time to strand my monthly SFnal book group in the Beaverton branch of Powell's overnight.

Then there's the bigger news: after 25 (gasp!) years in my present apartment, I am actually preparing to move to a different part of Darkest Suburbia.  A combination of factors -- a change of workplace (same job, different location), a concurrent move on my mother's part, the state of the Portland rental and housing markets, and some other familial considerations -- means that I'm about to shift status from Apartment Dweller to Condominium Resident.  This has the inevitable pluses and minuses: in absolute terms, I'll sacrifice a little bit of square footage, and the new place is a second floor unit (more stairs).  But I'll have a much larger kitchen space, the new neighborhood should be more bicycle-friendly, there's a high-grade movie theater in (longish) walking distance, and I won't need to change buses to get to the aforementioned Beaverton Powell's.

Now I just have to pack 25 years' worth of books.  And declutter.  And try to sell off a comic book collection, and etc., etc....

If I'm a little scarce online for the next few weeks, that's why.

djonn: (woods)
Yes, I'm still alive (and I will try to post more actual news soon, given that there is some, but you would not believe how busy things are here just now):

This journal has for quite awhile now been duplicated on DW and on LJ -- partly because I like having backups, and partly in the wake of one or the other the-sky-is-falling memes.  We have another one of those circulating this week, with news that LJ's servers are now based in the opposite hemisphere from Darkest Suburbia (specifically, in Mother Russia).  This is apparently viewed as a Harbinger of Doom and a sign of the End Times.

We shall see; in any event, what I'm here to tell you is that while I continue to do most of the heavy lifting on the DreamWidth side, I have no intention of departing LiveJournal until the last light goes out and the last bit of tinsel is vacuumed up.  (Those in the gallery who remember GEnie will recall that I was there till the very end of that party, too.)  As a practical matter, my friends-list on LJ is much larger than the one for this account on DW (I do read both regularly), and I honestly don't think it likely that anything I've posted here is sufficiently controversial to draw the attention of any Minions of Evil that may be reading this over in that other hemisphere.  And even if it is, I've got the DW import of this journal, so there's no question of actual content being lost for good.

OTOH, if anyone wants to set up housekeeping on the DW side Just In Case, then let me know if you do so that I can add you to the reading page Over There.  (Or if you are already there under some other name, which I know does happen, tell me that too.)

We now return you to your regularly scheduled winter morning....

djonn: (raven)

OryCon begins tomorrow (where did the time go?), and I have an unusually busy schedule for the weekend.  (Three panels as moderator?  What was I thinking?  What were they thinking?  Don’t answer that….)  Here’s where you’ll find me:

Friday, 4 pm • Oregon • Funny Filk
*Andrew Ross, John C. Bunnell, Cecilia Eng, John R. Gray III, Frank Hayes

Sharing the songs that tickle your funny bone.

Saturday, 11 am • Idaho • Hold Onto Your Reader
*Shawna Reppert, John C. Bunnell, Diana Francis, Frog Jones

The wrong word choices can throw your reader right out of the story. Learn how to maintain suspension of disbelief.

Saturday, 1 pm • Hamilton • Back Story: Too Much, Too Little, Just Right
*John C. Bunnell, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Matthew Hughes, G. David Nordley, Erica L. Satifka

What to use, what to lose. Writing the details without having to explain every last one.

Saturday, 4 pm • Roosevelt • Improv Writing
*John C. Bunnell, Susan R. Matthews, Todd McCaffrey

Everyone starts the first couple lines of a story and then passes the pad clockwise. We`ll continue each other`s stories for about a page and then read them out loud to each other. Not specifically for writers, any and everyone welcome.

Saturday, 5:30 pm • Grant • Reading
John C. Bunnell

Sunday, 12 noon • Madison • Synopses, Summaries, Book Descriptions and Other Horrors
*John C. Bunnell, Jason Gurley, Matthew Hughes, Bill Johnson, MeiLin Miranda

Few things exasperate writers more than condensing their masterworks into a single page synopsis–or worse, a 150 word book description!  What to include, what to exclude, and strategies to keep it fresh and reveal your voice without sounding unprofessional.

Sunday, 1 pm • Idaho • Structurally Speaking
* Dale Ivan Smith, John C. Bunnell, Matthew Hughes, Bill Johnson, Mary Rosenblum

Stories have rhythm. Is there One True Pattern, or can we mess with it? Are we really bound to the Hero’s Journey, or are there other models?

djonn: Self-portrait (Default)

Reviews are beginning to come in for Spirit of All the Russias, and the response to this point has been decidedly positive.  From Long and Short Reviews:

“The exquisitely detailed passages in this story made me feel as if I were standing next to Baba Yaga as she surveys the ruined land that she once knew so well.”

And from Mary Patterson Thornburg (as posted to Facebook, Amazon, & B&N):

“It’s beautifully written, chilling, enchanting, and funny all at once. Like that little hut on chicken legs, it’s much larger on the inside than it seems to be from without.”

Needless to say, I am a happy author this afternoon….

djonn: Self-portrait (Default)

It was probably inevitable; I have now been assimilated by the Twitterverse.  I may be found here, slowly accumulating a Tweet-stream.

Eventually, I may actually compose a tweet....

djonn: (bird)

Bonus thankfulness this week: I have the contract in hand for a new Uncial Press e-fiction release set for this coming March.  This is a short work entirely unconnected to my other Uncial Press titles:

Spirit of All the Russias

"This is not the Russia I remember."

When Baba Yaga steps out of her ancient chicken-legged hut into a blasted, dead landscape nearly devoid of life, she is confronted with a mystery and a dilemma.  Her powers are stronger than they've ever been, but can she find a way to wield them that will restore her homeland rather than destroying it utterly?

Further details will be forthcoming; in the meantime, readers are welcome to check out my existing Uncial Press titles at any of the major e-fiction vendors.  That said, I should note that Untreed Reads will be featuring 50% discounts on all Uncial Press titles -- mine included -- for Cyber Monday (midnight to midnight Pacific time), with a variety of timed bonus promotions throughout the day.  That includes a wide range of mystery, romance, paranormal fiction, and other genre fare from a good many talented folks, so don't hesitate to check out the sale.

djonn: (raven)

The domain has been registered for something over a year now, but I have finally gotten the furniture sufficiently arranged to declare it Open For Business.

My old SFF Net Web page has not yet gone anywhere, and will likely hang on for a little while yet (I need to transplant more of the filk lyrics before I turn out the lights), but I have now set up housekeeping as (at?) The Lone Penman, with a new WordPress-driven site.  My last couple of LJ/DW posts are mirrored over there, and -- more importantly -- I've made a tiny beginning at the long-term project of archiving my entire book review file onto the Web. 

Again, this does NOT mean that this/these journals are going away; the great majority of my new posts will likely go up in all three places.  But there will likely be odds and ends that show up here and not there, or there and not here, and I will very probably keep better track of the ongoing review and lyric archiving at Lone Penman than I will on DW/LJ.

In any case, everyone's invited to wander Over There, gawk at the shiny parts, kick the tires, and point out the inevitable bugs.  There may even be a virtual housewarming if I can find the SFX generator (or the pocket dimension it was left in three or four cyberspaces back....)

djonn: (woods)
For anyone who cares to find me, my OryCon schedule for this coming weekend:

Friday • 3 pm / Morrison
Three Thumbs Up
*John C. Bunnell, Aaron Duran, Craig Laurance Gidney
A field guide to the craft of book & film reviewing -- and to navigating the jungle of review outlets available in today's print and Web worlds).

Saturday • 2 pm / Roosevelt
We Will Call This Story..."This Story"
*Todd McCaffrey, John C. Bunnell, Linn Prentis, Nisi Shawl, K. C. Ball
Can you tell a story's content from its title?  Are there good books with bad titles (and vice versa)?  And how much should marketing considerations influence a choice of titles?

Saturday • 3 pm / Lincoln
The Unique Challenges of Urban Fantasy
*John C. Bunnell, A. M. Dellamonica, Craig Laurance Gidney, Dale Ivan Smith
Whether it's wizards in Walla Walla or vampires in Vancouver, how does one effectively blend classic fantasy elements with modern settings and characters?  Alternately, what about examples of how not to mix magic with pop culture?

Sunday • 2 pm / Oregon
New Song Contest
John C. Bunnell, Bob Kanefsky
From what I'm told, we'll be judging entries as composed and submitted by interested attendees. 
djonn: Self-portrait (Default)
I've just this evening created a mirror-journal on Dreamwidth (and backed up my LJ content to the DW journal).  If you're reading this and are on DW, let me know your journal ID Over There so that I can build a reading page on that side of the fence.  This applies whether or not you're on my current LJ friends-list.

Let me assure the gallery: I am not leaving LJ, nor do I have any present plans to do so.  That said, what I'm hearing about the latest friends-page redesign makes me think that it's time to implement a backup strategy, just in case.  New entries will be posted in both places (since DW is set up to easily auto-crosspost here). 

djonn: Self-portrait (Default)

Today is the day -- over at the Uncial Press birthday party, you can win a free copy of Phantom of the Operetta, just by answering a (not very hard) trivia question.  And even if you don't win the ebook, you might end up winning an Amazon Kindle!  Phantom is just one of the two ebooks I have with Uncial Press; both are part of what we're now calling the "Expatriate Sidhe" series, featuring -- surprise -- expatriate Sidhe and stage actress Juliet McKenna.

As noted last week, there's also a related story up on my Web site.  Here's a quick tease for "Supernatural Timing":

The first of the Halloween afternoon’s ghosts clearly believed in the principle of inciting fear through gratuitous display of gore. A tendril of pale pink steam rose from the jagged remnant of its headless neck, its right arm hung scarcely half-attached from its owner’s shoulder, and the head cradled in its left arm lacked one eye, the opposite ear, and half its nose. Trails of sticky red crisscrossed a badly slashed white tunic and the loose gray breeches below it. The thing moved slowly, though with odd grace considering its assorted handicaps. Silently, it shuffled forward, slightly lifting both its head and its free arm so that its one good eye and three twisted fingers were aimed accusingly at the lone figure seated only a few feet away.

[Read the rest here....]

djonn: (butterfly)
In the e-publishing landscape, five years is a fairly long time.  So I'm happy to note that my ebook publisher, Uncial Press, is five years old this month and still going strong, with a sturdy list featuring a wide variety of titles.  To celebrate, they're staging a month-long series of giveaways, with prizes including two ebook readers (a Kobo and a Kindle) as well as a host of Uncial ebooks.

Phantom of the Operetta, one of my two Uncial titles, is one of the daily prizes; to win a free copy, head to the giveaway page a week from tomorrow (Monday, Oct. 17).  In the meantime, I've also just updated my own Web pages to add Supernatural Timing, a short-short Halloween story that features some of the "Phantom" characters (but doesn't spill any of "Phantom's" key plot twists).  It's probably worth noting that both these stories derive in notable part from my enthusiasm for Gilbert & Sullivan....

Happy birthday, Uncial!
djonn: (bird)

So, a few weeks ago John Scalzi announced a contest to explain how he and Wil Wheaton got themselves into a Very Strange Situation.

I looked at the picture.  An idea formed.

I couldn't resist the opportunity; I entered the contest.  Now ordinarily, one wouldn't post a contest entry till after the contest is over, but this is a special case.  So you can read What's Opera Season, over on my Web site...and then wander back over here and tell me just how warped my mind is.  And in a month or so, we'll see how warped John S's Jury of Awesomeness thinks my mind is.

djonn: Self-portrait (Default)

Came home tonight to a very cool message on my answering machine:

The cover art for Phantom of the Operetta has won the Dream Realm Award for best ebook cover art of 2008!

I am immensely pleased, of course.  All congratulations, though, should go to Judith Glad, Uncial Press resident editor, who also created the cover.  Here's the artwork itself:





djonn: Self-portrait (Default)

No, it's not what you think (but I bet [livejournal.com profile] twilight2000 fell off her chair just reading the subject line).  Through the friendly and very kind auspices of the mistresses of Smart Bitches Trashy Books, I'm spending a chunk of my summer as a guinea pig.

I have here on the desk a Sony PRS-505 Reader, which I'll be "test driving" through the end of September.  I've already loaded some two dozen titles on the device (not counting a handful of odds and ends and the gadget's onboard user's guide).  Over the course of the next couple of months, I'll be putting the Reader through its paces, and the 30 of us in the Test Drive group will be reviewing both the device and a wide variety of romance titles (since SBTB is, after all, a romance readers' blog/site) over on SBTB.

It's going to be a very interesting ride.  Despite having published two ebooks, I haven't been an ebook consumer before now, and I've read relatively little category romance (though that's been changing a bit over the last year or two, as a number of writers whose work I enjoy have begun writing and publishing in the romance genre).  I'll certainly be linking to my SBTB "Test Drive" entries from here, and most likely posting additional observations (very likely including book-notes) in this space.

And so it begins....

djonn: Self-portrait (Default)
And there was much rejoicing....

The news for the week is that I'm bylined in Publishers' Weekly with a short profile of Lucius Shepard.  You should be able (at least this week) to see "Travels With Lucius" by following the link.  I consider this very cool indeed; it was an enjoyable, intriguing interview, and the project as a whole turned around very promptly indeed, with entirely cogent and professional editorial input.

Better still, I was able to insert a reference to the second Juliet McKenna ebook, Phantom of the Operetta, into the PW bio squib!
djonn: Self-portrait (Default)

Got home from OryCon Saturday night to find email from my editor:

Charmed, I'm Sure is now available for download from Uncial Press!  This is somewhat earlier than I'd anticipated, but I am emphatically not complaining (heh!).

Here's the cover: )



(OryCon tomorrow should be even more fun now....)

djonn: (butterfly)

Next week is going to be insanely busy, largely -- but not entirely -- because we're only a couple of weeks away from the release of my first ebook, "Charmed, I'm Sure", by Uncial Press, and it's time to get my act together and promote the story.  Herewith where you'll be able to find me:

Tuesday evening, Nov. 13 (7:00 pm) is the monthly Science Fiction Book Group at Powell's Books @ Cedar Hills Crossing (read "Beaverton"), which I co-moderate with [livejournal.com profile] martianmooncrab; our book for the month is Young Miles by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Discussions are informal, newcomers are always welcome, there are generally cookies of some sort, and Peter-in-charge-of-the-SF-section often has surplus advance proofs available for interested participants.

On Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7 pm, I'll be part of a fourteen-author signing event, also at Powell's Books @ Cedar Hills Crossing.  In addition to talking up the upcoming ebook release, I'm told that there should be copies of Fantastic Companions and Swashbuckling Editor Stories on hand, and I understand that there may be a drawing or two during the evening.  Among those slated to appear are [livejournal.com profile] davidlevine, [livejournal.com profile] lilithsaintcrow, [livejournal.com profile] ramblin_phyl, and [livejournal.com profile] jaylake [business travel again, darnit!], as well as a number of non-LJ-enabled folk.

I will also be at OryCon on Nov. 16-18, participating in panels and generally hanging out.  My schedule so far looks like this:

Friday - 1:00 pm (Eugene): With Harry Potter done, how do we keep the kids reading?
Friday - 2:30 pm (Salem): Reading: "Charmed, I'm Sure"

Saturday - 1:00 pm (Portland): The Romance of Piracy: how did they transmute ruthless murderers into Johnny Depp?
Saturday - 3:00 pm (Salon A): Life After Harry Potter

Sunday - 12:00 noon (Portland): Writing for Young Adults and Bringing In The New

If you see me, remind me to breathe....

djonn: Self-portrait (Default)
Whoof!

After a considerable amount of tinkering and reworking, my Web page update is live.  This reflects a major site redesign; the prior iteration of the site had been created in Front Page, and updating it had become . . . complicated on the new computer.  This version was built with MS Expressions Web, and is CSS-driven, so is hopefully a lot cleaner where code is concerned.

Almost all of what was there is still there, although in a couple of cases it's moved, and a couple of pages have been renamed.  To the extent that I'm aware of external links to my pages, most of those should still work.  There are also completely new subsections devoted to my published and forthcoming stories.  One further side effect of the redesign is that there are now counters on all the subpages ("You are visitor number 4!").

I invite all and sundry to go over, look around, and let me know what works and doesn't work.

Now I just have a novelette to finish editing, two book reviews to work on, critiques to do for my writers' group, and a SFWA-committee project to complete.  Not to mention various other writing projects....

April 2017

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