I put out the call a few weeks ago for links to awards, blogs and other web sites for speculative fiction writers. My friends at SF Canada were quick to respond, and with their help I've compiled the following. Please note that this is primarily a short list of longer lists, since others have paved this road long before I came to it. Still, I hope you find the information useful.
I met a Notable American Druid (NAD) in Ireland while I was on scholarship as a Celtic Studies student, and we traveled together from time to time while we were there. One evening, after touring County Donegal, we stopped at a pub in Carrick on the way back to Glencolumbkille. I don't remember what NAD drank that night, but the publican taught me to make what he called 'Hot Bush'. Here's the recipe:
I recently wrote about the idea that writers are routinely expected to create 'for the love', and the phenomenon is sufficiently related to the above truth about the writing life that I run the risk of repeating myself here. My argument there was that writers and other artists should not be expected to work for free, but my focus here is on some of the barriers writers meet on the way to whatever income we do earn.
I've just encountered an interesting point of confusion between my writing and its reception by readers that I thought it might be useful to discuss. In a recent blog entry, I defaulted to the feminine, third-person pronoun when discussing an animal because I wasn't certain of the animal's sex and didn't want to use the gender-neutral 'it' for reasons having to do with my vegan ethics.
2013 was a year of forward progress in my writing career, often self-directed. I began receiving the sort of rejections from top-tier publishers that validated the quality of my writing, the 'this isn't right for us, but we like your voice so please keep submitting' personal notes that mean my work is sufficiently professional to compete in the traditional marketplace and to make a proper showing of itself in the independent marketplace.
We had what might be called a perfect Christmas. On Christmas Eve, the power went out, forcing us to fill the house with candle and fire light. We opened gifts and then remembered a friend living nearby in a tiny cabin with one electric heater for warmth. So we went to check on him, and indeed he was glad to come home with us for the duration. So we stoked the fire, served holiday drinks all around and popped popcorn in the wood stove with my new camp fire popcorn popper.