Ok, so Science Tuesday is coming to you on a Thursday because I couldn’t get into my blog for two days (I’m not sure why, but it’s letting me today, so I’m just going to shrug and go with it). I know we’re all VERY EXCITED (or bafflingly pissed off) about the car in space, but there’s a ton of other cool science stuff that’s been going on, so let’s get to it!
New egg for long-lived albatross Wisdom (Ok, someone needs to rewrite this headline because it’s worded so poorly, so here we go: Wisdom, a 67-year-old albatross, laid her 36th egg, which is pretty damn impressive)
Hi Aledan Merfolk *sheepishly waves* It’s been a while, yeah?
I have to admit, that compared to the first half of the year (baby niece, NYC, book contract, my mom’s new kidney), the second half of the year was not quite as exciting, with the huge exceptions of Nebo Retreat and YAllFest (any time a bunch of authors get together it’s exciting and memorable!). I met a bunch of new friends at YAllFest, and hung out with a bunch of old friends I only see once a year, so that weekend was a blast. The weekend before YAllFest, Hubs met his author idol, so November was a huge literary awesomeness month for us.
Most of October and November I spent working the late shift at the lab, so I listened to lots of books, but didn’t have the brain power for much else. I listened to and/or read AGE OF MYTH by Michael J Sullivan (CHOCK FULL OF AWESOME WOMEN), NOW I RISE by Kiersten White (oh Radu, I just want to give him a hug), COMMUNICATION FAILURE by Joe Zieja (which I’ve now listened to three times because it’s hilarious), THE BOOK OF SWORDS Anthology, PARADOX BOUND by Peter Clines (I love Clines, and I will literally listen to anything Ray Porter narrates), THE LAST WISH by Andrzej Sapkowski (it’s the first Witcher book – Hubs is obsessed with the game and now the book series so I tried it), DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone (this was the most intense book I’ve ever read, and written in such a strange, stand-offish way that I have no idea how she pulled the intensity off. It’s amazing), ARTEMIS by Andy Weir (even better than The Martian), A PLAGUE OF GIANTS by Kevin Hearne (I was worried I wouldn’t like this one, because it’s so different from The Iron Druid Chronicles, but I think it was my second favorite fantasy of the year, behind The Stone Sky), and STRANGE THE DREAMER by Liana Taylor (which left me with a lot of conflicting emotions that I haven’t untangled yet).
Now I’m re-listening to the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown and reading EMPRESS OF A THOUSAND SKIES by Rhoda Belleza (who I met at YAllFest and had nails to match her book!)
Whew. Told you I did nothing but read this fall! Well, read and play WoW. I got my fellow author and pony fanatic, Courtney Moulton, into my guild and we’ve been playing almost every night. I even started doing raids *gasp* My hunter’s a badass now (her name is Kindra, duh), and I finally learned how to play feral druid! My baby druid, Karigan, is blowing through Northrend *sniffles* They grow so fast *wipes away tear*
As for 2018, it started with a snowstorm that shut down Charleston for FOUR DAYS. So instead of a week off between Christmas and New Years, I ended up with a second week off as well…and a horrible cold from playing in the snow without proper winter boots (they don’t even sell proper winter boots here). My cold is finally abating, and I plan to be around the blog a lot more this year, especially since I’ll be posting interviews with my fellow 2018 debut authors! I also plan to get a newsletter started, to keep you all updated on Speak the Ocean’s journey to publication! This is going to be an exciting year of edit letters and cover reveals and book birthdays ^_^
Until then, I’m working on Regina, my revenge-murder sci-fi that’s so much fun!
Have a wonderful week, Aledans! I’ll see you all soon <3
Happy Autumn, Aledan Merfolk! It’s been an entire season since I’ve seen you (although I’ve been on Twitter, obviously), so I thought I’d update you on what’s been happening here. Let’s go in backwards order!
Last weekend I went to Nebo, NC for a writing retreat on Lake James, and I wrote an entirely new first scene for Fie Eoin! My agent read the first two chapters last month and sent back notes, one of them being that the book starts too late and I needed a new first chapter to set up the current first chapter. So I went back to the first day Kindra tries to join the trainees and started there (I tried to go back to when her father died, but I just couldn’t make it work). I actually really like the new beginning, and I’m going to try to get another scene in there if I can. If I can’t I still think it works better than the current first chapter. Of course, now I have to edit the current first chapter again to delete the info you find out in the new first chapter. Wheee editing!
Two days before Nebo, Hurricane Irma hit. And while we didn’t get the brunt of the storm, it was still extremely windy and rainy, and three tornadoes touched down within a mile of our house – scary! We all made it through just fine (even the chickens) with only one large branch coming down and a small lake in the front yard. This weekend is devoted to cleaning up the small stick debris in the backyard. Fun.
I was able to see my new niece twice this summer, the first time when I went home to visit my momma on her birthday (and because she got a new kidney!), and then when my sister came down Charleston way to visit for a week. So here’s some baby pictures, because you can never have too many baby pictures:
And speaking of babies…we had a baby! A baby squirrel! ^_^ “Puppy” was only with us for a few days before he went to the vet to continue rehabbing, but Hops the dog was absolutely in love with her puppy, and I was pretty fond of him too. Still, cats and baby squirrels don’t mix.
And last but not least, I’ve read a ton in the past two months since I’ve seen you! Last I posted, I was reading CITY STAINED RED and I finished that on the boat last weekend (yes, there was a boat at the retreat!). It was REALLY GOOD. I especially liked page 470, when Asper the super pacifist kicks someone’s ass (he deserves it). I read that page four times.
Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! We’re a little over a week into summer, and I’ve barely posted any updates this year. I was silent for pretty much all of spring, with the giant exception of my publishing news, so I wanted to catch you up real quick.
Spring started with the birth of my niece, who I absolutely adore:
Hubs and I spent a week visiting her, her extremely tired parents, and Mt. Vernon, where we made a new friend:
And for two months everything went back to normal. I read/listened to a bunch of books: The Vicious Deep series by Zoraida Cordova (I’d already read this series, but re-read it this spring), A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab, The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu (I liked it until the ending, which was just disappointing for me), Mechanical Failure by Joe Zieja (TWICE! I listened to the audiobook and it was so hilarious and I started it over and listened again!), The Paper Magician triology by Charlie Holmburg (Emery <3), The Seafarer’s Kiss by my agent-sister Julia Ember (f/f Little Mermaid/Vikings!), Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (which quickly became my FAVORITE BOOK EVER! It’s so beautifully written and feminist af), Binti Home by Nnedi Okorafor, When Dimple Met Rishi by one of my real-life BFFs Sandhya Menon (the most adorable meet-cute you’ll ever read <3), The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (if you haven’t heard of this one, well I just can’t help you), and Our Dark Duet also by V.E. Schwab (that last chapter, guys, oof).
Now I’m listening to Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley (sequel to The Rook, which I enjoyed), reading The City Stained Red by Sam Sykes in paperback, and Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor in ebook. Why yes, I do read multiple things at the same time.
For much of the spring I was also working on editing StO into a YA, but that’s no longer necessary because Reuts bought it as an adult book! I actually found out about it the day before I left for NYC, and you can read all about that here. If you haven’t already, you can add SPEAK THE OCEAN to your Goodreads TBR list!
And the next day I left for NYC! It was overwhelming and awesome and I can’t wait to go back! We saw The Colbert Report and Waitress (with Sara Bareilles <3), ate at Delmonicos, Lupa, Russ and Daughters, and this amazing, tiny, Trini place called Trinidad Golden Palace (it was actually my favorite food of the whole trip!). We also wandered around the city and met up with one of my CPs, Natasha Razi!
Right before the trip I dyed my hair bright magenta with blonde streaks. I wanted to look like my mermaid Erie (she’s on the Home page, if you’re curious)
And last but not least, my mom got her new kidney! I’m going to see her in July, and my niece will be there too, so I’m sure I’ll be back with another photo-heavy post 🙂 Until then it’s time to finish editing Fie Eoin before I get my StO edit letter! MY FIRST OFFICIAL EDIT LETTER FROM AN EDITOR!
Hello again, Aledan Merfolk! It’s a big week around here (if you missed yesterday’s post, StO is going to be PUBLISHED!), and shortly after the announcement yesterday, a Goodreads Librarian made a page for Speak the Ocean! Which means you can add it to your TBR and it’ll email you when it’s published!
Happy Wednesday, Aledan MERFOLK! I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but I haven’t updated because I haven’t been able to talk about the most exciting thing: SPEAK THE OCEAN is going to be published by Reuts!
Haven’t heard of SPEAK THE OCEAN yet? Here’s the Publisher’s Marketplace announcement:
Mermaids and Margaritas for everyone!
I actually found out the day before we left for our NYC trip (I know I still haven’t posted pictures from the trip…I’ve been kind of overwhelmed). I finished my work a couple hours early, went to the bathroom, and BAM! A text from my agent asking me to call him. That’s right, friends, I found out I was going to be published in the bathroom (this is why I didn’t call you immediately, Eric) ^_^
The past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind, but I spoke with my editor and signed the contract on Monday!
Why yes, that is a MERPONY t-shirt that says “I couldn’t get anymore magical if I tried.”
I’ll have more details later, like publication dates and whatnot, so make sure you follow the blog, my Facebook Page, or Twitter to keep up to date!
Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! It’s been a long time since I’ve updated you, and if you follow me on Twitter you know why. There’s been a lot going on, but I’m here today to tell you about the best of it:
Meet my niece, Sophie!
I have never been a baby person, but I AM IN LOVE <3 We spent last weekend with her, and the only time I put her down was when Hubs begged to hold her instead (he is also in love).
Here, have some more pictures:
We also spent some time with college friends, toured the Smithsonians, and hung out with the animals at Mount Vernon, but tiny Sophie was by far the best part of the weekend and I miss her so much already <3
Now that we’re home, I’m back on the editing train! It’s been a month since I’ve done any really good writing stuff (I’ve mostly been reading in preparation for editing), so it’s nice to be back on the horse pony (dolphin?) 🙂
Have a wonderful weekend, Aledans. I’m going to spend mine Skyping with my sister and niece!
Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! This is going to be a quick update, because I’ve got a cold that’s turning my brain fuzzy, but I wanted to let you know that I finished STORY FIX and figured out how to fix the Kaye parts of Fie Eoin! I know who her antagonist is (it’s not who you’d guess), and I’ve started rewriting her half of the book with this in mind (which is also aging her voice up, which was desperately needed).
Of course then this cold hit and fuzzed up my brain, AND my agent-sister Erica Cameron had a book birthday on Tuesday, so I’ve put aside FE for a moment to read ISLAND OF EXILES. This book is sobeautiful. Every chapter has artwork in the heading, and the glossary has artwork, and the cover is simply gorgeous! The writing’s good too 😉
Instead of listening to an audiobook lately, I’ve been getting ready for bed with the Sleep With Me podcast (based on the recommendation of another agent-sister, Bassey). I really like the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, because Hubs and I have been re-watching the show for the past year and a half (usually only one or two episodes a week, which is why it’s taking so long).
I’m happy to say that last week I did yoga four times! I wanted to keep that up this week, but if I did downward-facing-dog right now three pounds of snot would run onto my mat, so I’m going to wait until this cold is done to pick that back up. Yoga with Adriene has a 30-day yoga primer that starts with an Ease Into It session and gets progressively more difficult. I really like the instructor, and needed to start out with something easier, so I’m enjoying these sessions a lot.
This quick updated ended up being a little longer than I anticipated, so I’m going to stop here and go buy some more cold medicine. Have a wonderful weekend, Aledans, and I’ll see you soon!
Happy Tuesday, Aledan Merfolk! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a Science Tuesday, but since I’m focusing on science activism this year, I thought it was time to start it up again. I’m posting tons of science news from the past month, so get ready to have your mind blown by awesomeness.
Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! It’s been a long, draining week that started in a tiny plane and running from one side of Dulles airport to the other with all my bags in three minutes, and ended with my neck and rib going out in an excruciatingly painful manner (probably because of said plane and running). The neck and rib are back in place and I made the connecting flight, so everything’s good, but I’m exhausted and ready for a weekend at home filled with reading, writing, and animals (and possibly another trip to the theater to see Rogue One).
Last weekend I flew home to Michigan for my little sister’s baby shower. Her belly was so big, and I got to feel my niece kick! It was wonderful <3 I saw lots of friends and family for the first time in years (the last time I saw most of them was my sister’s wedding), and we had a wonderful time celebrating this new little nasty woman while other women around the world were marching. We also played Catan and went to see Hidden Figures, which was the best way I could think to spend the day of the inauguration.
Ah, the inauguration. All week (hell, since the election), I’ve been drowning in politics. Several folks posted this article: How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind, and one of the points was to chose the issues that are most important to you and focus on those, otherwise you’ll drown trying to focus on everything. So I’ve chosen my issues: women’s reproductive rights (I set up monthly donations to Planned Parenthood last year), and science, especially now that the EPA and other government agencies are under a gag order. I’ll RT other causes to bring awareness, and do what I can, but I’m focusing on the two things that are most important to me at the moment.
In reading news, I finished possibly the best overall series I’ve ever read with MORNING STAR by Pierce Brown. I really can’t say enough amazing things about this series, especially considering the political climate we’ve found ourselves in. I also caught up on the Gentleman Bastards series with THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES which was possibly my favorite of the series because Sabetha is such a great character.
Other than the audiobooks, I’ve been reading STORY FIX to fix my stories. And it’s working! I figured out what’s wrong with Kaye’s storyline in Fie Eoin, but I haven’t successfully figured out how to fix it yet. I’m going to try to write a query for her side of the story to see where I can strengthen it and see if that helps me figure out how. She needs more conflict, and to tie into the core story more, but I’m not quite yet sure how to get there and keep what I need to happen in. Either way, I highly recommend Story Fix if you’re floundering with your novel.
Keep working, keep fighting, and enjoy your weekend, Aledans!