Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's Official

I finally decided to join SCBWI (squibbee?), Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I've heard that networking is a good thing. The science fiction group doesn't want anyone who hasn't been published in a very limited set of publications and/or publishers. So, that leaves me out in the cold.

Anyway, SCBWI seemed a good place to start, although I haven't any idea yet how it might benefit me. They do hold two annual conferences (NY and LA) and, if I were well off, I might even attend. They do have a SCBWI @ Bologna conference. Being in Italy, I might have to be more than well off to attend that one.

They also have Regional chapters, although the one for Oregon seems to be in Portland, so that doesn't do me much good. Of course, I'll investigate further.

So, it's official: I'm now a children's book writer. Hmm. I'm not sure how that feels yet.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

IAG Newsletter

A reminder to all you independent and small press authors out there. The Independent Authors Guild is growing by the minute. Formed within the Amazon discussion community specifically directed at historical authors, the IAG is growing to include all genres. So, if you write science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, childrens, romance, erotica, or anything else, drop by the IAG's Yahoo forum for a simpatico group of writers with lots of terrific ideas and cross-pollinization.

Their website is also shaping up nicely. Visit the IAG Website here.

The January newsletter is now available. Check out the Files section of the Yahoo group forum. Easy to join and fun to belong.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Walking for a Living

I met Tyler Burgess at a bookstore reading/signing event. Tyler walks for a living. Since she's very, very good at walking, it's great she can also make enough money to support her odd habit.

Here's how she does it. She arranges walking tours of places all over the world. I just received a note that she just got back from her fourth walking trip to Morocco. Here's a link to her flickr picture site for that trip.

Do you like to walk? Well, Tyler is your go-to gal if you'd like to tour the world. Check out her website Walk With Me. In 2008, she has walking tours scheduled for Italy and England, then she returns to Morocco in 2009.

Not in condition for walking through Europe or the Middle East? That's okay, 'cause Tyler has a few books that will get you in shape for an unusual vacation where you can really see the countryside up close and personal.

If you're inclined to really take this walking thing seriously, Tyler also teaches classes in walking. Okay, you might think, but I already know how to put one foot in front of the other. Yeah, sure. That's like saying you can play pro football because you managed to play a tag game at the local park.

Check out Tyler's website and consider the training regimens she offers (marathon walking, for example). She was an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon, which is track town USA. Now, she's working on her own. Walking her ass off and, if you join her, you can walk your ass off, too.

However, if you can't get to Eugene for a personal class, check out Tyler's inexpensive and informative books to get in shape and WALK! By the way, she illustrates her walking guides with sketches she makes while on the road (or sidewalk if you fear European or Eugene drivers). The drawings are both cute and informative.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Numbers Game

Every author with a book on Amazon avidly watches sales ranks. I was pleased when "Tales of a Texas Boy - Large Print" had a sterling month in December. I won't give the numbers since they're pitiful in comparison to every book published by one of the Big Publishers.

Another thing authors do when whiling away their time is use the Search function to winnow down to the seach lists in which their book might appear. Since the LP edition of Tales did so well, I thought I'd try a keyword or two. My search: 'large print books texas' in the Literature and Fiction list. Sort by Bestsellers and Tales is NUMBER ONE! Wow, a search that's not so narrow as to include my name or the actual title of the book ends up at the top of the Best Sellers? I'll take it.

Funny how one can manipulate the numbers.

So, keep Tales at Numero Uno and go buy a copy from Amazon. Or, drop by my website (http://marvadasef.com/) and I'll give you a great deal on an autographed copy.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Weirdly - Volume 2

The second volume of the Weirdly anthology is in the works. It's scheduled for a June 2008 release with my story "The Vision" included. Thanks much to M.E. Ellis, the intrepid editor, who invited me to join in the second volume.

Don't forget to purchase your 2008 Calendar and Wondrous Web Worlds #7 from Sam's Dot Publishing. Of course, I've got a flash titled "Fluffy" in the first and my scifi story "Fish Story" in the second.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Grand Openings and Other Stuff

My son's gallery (canvas) grand opening was a great success, if you look at number of folks who showed up. I didn't count, but I'd say that easily 200 people came through the gallery. The restaurant providing snacks and selling drinks certainly did very well. I think they made about $25 off my husband and me alone. If you're a Seattlite, then get over to 619 Western and browse the art.

Last year, Weirdly the anthology came out in both ebook and print format. You might recall I had four stories in the book. The editor, M. E. Ellis, thought it was successful enough to give it another go. Thanks to M.E., I've got another story out in the world for Volume 2. My story, "The Vision," will be included in Weirdly 2, due to come out in June, 2008.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Good News - Bad News

Bad first. The Cybils finalists were announced and, alas and alack, Tales of a Texas Boy didn't make the cut. I'm not surprised since there were 75 really good books nominated in the middle-grade category. Go check out the finalists for some great selections of books for kids at the Cybils site.

The good news is that my story "The Cursed Valley" has been accepted for the May-July issue of Sorcerous Signals. The sister zine to Lorelei Signal*, Sorcerous Signals covers all types of fantasy. This story first appeared in Scribal Tales back in 2006. I sent the new and improved version to Sorcerous Signals. Can't help but tinker as you learn more about writing. I hope I keep getting better.

* I've had three stories at Lorelei Signal, including one which appeared in the 2006 A Time To... anthology and two others to appear in the 2007 Volume 2 of the anthology.