Three good things about this week:
Duacon! Jessica came, she saw, and she conquered, by which I mean we walked the streets of Toronto… far more than she probably expected. It is a trait of mine that the concept of “Not far” conflates all too easily with the cold hard fact of “Five miles later, I promised we were nearly there…” Do not trust me to have a grip on distance, my dear friends. Note my walking speed and ask me for an ETA. Or stand your ground, and demand to use transit.
Okay, tangent over! We dined out, we paid homage to the cats and the hot tub, and J and I spent an afternoon on that nice beach on Toronto Island. We did not actively workshop fiction, but we did go out for multiple writing dates, and talked shop constantly.
Kelly came home! Five nanoseconds after Jessica left, Kelly had a work retreat out of town, or too far to walk, whichever distance is longer. About the night apart, the less said the better. But it was a joy to watch the purple dot of my darling’s GPS coordinates inching home along the major commuter routes yesterday evening. I did this using an app that the iStore calls Find My Friends. It was even more of a joy to have her back home again.
Oh, what was the third best thing this week? Was it watermelons? Seeing horse cops yesterday? Having someone contact me to ask for a secret spy name of their very own, thereby indicating that my sense of humor is not, in fact, a trial to all who know me? (I wasn’t actually worried about that last bit.) Getting a reprint request this morning? Or was it… turning The Nature of a Pirate in to my editor at Tor? Oh yeah, that last thing. Let’s definitely go with that.
Today’s victory dance shall be… the Charleston!
In unrelated news, my WordPress page has about 24,000 users, most of whom have the sort of names and e-mail addresses that lead one to believe they are spammy hacky bastards, as opposed to real humans interested in my blog. Is this problematic?
Most of the comment action when I post an entry happens at my personal Facebook, where I have a fair number of followers and where my chattiest fans and friends tend to be active. If I shut down comments here, all of that action will either happen there or on Livejournal, which still mirrors my posts.
People would, of course, still be able to send me e-mails via the A.M. Dellamonica website. All I’d really be doing is concentrating the conversations about my blog posts into a smaller number of venues.
This is one of those rare occasions when I’m asking for advice and opinions. Does your blog allow comments? Have you shut this feature down, as many people seem (lately) to be? Does your site have a “here’s why there’s no comments enabled?” section? I’m interested in all the pros and cons.
It’s mid-July as I write this, and now that I’ve got an even dozen Heroine Question interviews in the can–eight of which have appeared on the blog–I feel as though an index would be a nice thing to have. If you prefer to simply browse the most recent interviews, they are here for the squeezing. If not, I present the following list of authors, with interview links and a link to one of their books:
The first time I did an interview series on my blog, I asked long, complicated questions. Though the Journeys series–which is about how established SF writers like Jack Dann and Walter Jon Williams got to that point–is really interesting, the essays are lengthy. I like a good chewy read as much as the next human, and I’m a little appalled by the tl;dr phenomenon. Still, after I’d done a blog tour or two, I felt a little as though the incredibly long interview was an imposition on my guests.
So this series is meant to keep it simple. Initially, I’ve been asking three things:
- Is there a literary heroine on whom you imprinted as a child? A first love, a person you wanted to become as an adult, a heroic girl or woman you pretended to be on the playground at recess?
- Can you remember what it was she did or what qualities she had that captured your affections and your imagination so strongly?
- How does she compare to the female characters in your work? Is she their literary ancestor? Do they rebel against all she stands for? What might your creations owe her?
After a few interviews had appeared, a bonus question came into the mix:
- How do you feel about the word heroine? In these posts, I am specifically looking for female authors’ female influences, whether those women they looked up to were other writers or Anne of Green Gables. Does the word heroine have a purpose that isn’t served by equally well by hero?
The idea is to give the interviewee the option to keep it short and sweet, if they choose–to shoot me three quick answers and a biography/book cover, and to hopefully give us all something to think about in the process.
Facebook is messy; this probably will be too.
I initially signed up for Livejournal because Spike was there, and I loooooove Spike. And it was Keff who encouraged both Kelly and I to get Facebook pages.
I looooove Keff. So you see the trend here.
I decided, at the time, that the page should be a public space. So it has remained. Anyone can friend me and will stay that way unless they spam, flood or set off my Creep Alert. And if it ain’t fit for the whole Interwebs to hear, I don’t say it there. (This has become my policy, speaking very generally, about posting anything, for reasons that should be obvious. But in case they’re not, heeeere’s Scalzi!)
What I put into Facebook is largely generated elsewhere. Status updates, often in the form of Tweets. Pictures from Instagram and Flickr. Lately, pins from Pinterest. Notes that are links to blog entries. I also answer any e-mails that come to me there.
What I take back out of the great blue river of updates, posts, videos, pictures, game invites, event invites, and you name it?
First and no big surprise: with OMG so much fiddling!, I’ve learned to have Facebook forward, to my e-mail, what the Close Friends list is up to. Many of the people I used to read on LJ are Facebookians now. I want to know every little thing going on with my beloved peeps. (We may need a new word for benign stalkage of willing loved ones. Following seems imprecise.)
Second: I like to make ten or twenty Scrabble moves a day and I have a handful of friends who humour me in this. If you play the official Scrabble app on Facebook and you’d like to say you creamed a novelist who can’t learn not to make cool words like LIZARD or VORTEX, even when HA would yield twice the points, this is the one game invite I will notice and accept.
And in most cases I won’t even send you this shot of myself waiting for you to make your next move. That kind of nagging is reserved for poor, dear, much put-upon Liz.
Third: A reasonable percentage of my inlaws and nearly all of my genetic relations are on Facebook. I have wonderful filtered lists that let me check out baby pictures, complaints about the weather in Alberta (land of snow, guys, come to the coast where we have crocuses in January!!) and whatever else they’re thinking about. Which is just damned nice. It’s not as good as being there in May or June. It beats the hell out of being there in February. (Daffodils! Tulips! The first cherry blossoms!)
As for all the other lovely people who aren’t my best buds and family? I look at the updates, if somewhat randomly. I get writing links, political stuff, news items, cat macros, videos of Kristen Bell bawling her eyes out over sloths, announcements to the effect that McKinley has a bear in her backyard tree, David Gerrold’s recent juicing disasters, Hallowe’en costumes and other stuff. If I like them, I even “Like” them.
But Facebook is something I often need to sieve: lots pours through it, and I’m trying to find stuff I connect to personally.
I’m getting all my contributor’s copies (can you still call them that when you’re the sole contrib?) this week… the pretty pretty new version of my book arrived on Wednesday, and after I’d unpacked them in a fit of excitement, I put them all back and declared them ready for their close-up: