My annual editorial services springtime sale ends April 21. From now until Sunday midnight, all novel-length edits are 30% off. As always, you can purchase a gift certificate for a writer friend, or purchase one for yourself to be redeemed when your work-in-progress is ready for editing.
From Jim Macdonald’s blog: a museum visit, in which we see, among other things, a submarine.
And there see a submarine.
Some years ago, for reasons that matter not to our story, I was driving around northern New Jersey when I saw something by the side of the road. “By golly,” I said, “that looks like a Holland submarine!” I pulled over and walked to it. It was! Holland boat #2, Fenian Ram. The precursor of all modern submarines. In the US Navy, USS Holland (AKA Holland boat #6) was SS-1.
I never saw it again though I looked for it every time I passed through the region. Then, thanks to the Miracle of the Internet, I decided to search for it and to my joy found that it was now in a more congenial place than rusting away by roadside: Fenian Ram was now an exhibit at the Paterson Museum.
Then I had to wait the opportunity to visit: I’m not in the…
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Yes, it’s time for my annual Springtime Services Sale!
From now through April 21, 2019 (that’s Easter Sunday, for those of you who celebrate), all edits on novel-length manuscripts will be 30% off the regular price. You can purchase an edit now to be redeemed at a later date of your choice, or you can buy an edit for a friend as a gift.
For more information, you can go to my about page.
My winter electric bill will thank you.
More magic from Jim Macdonald.
BEST OF BOSTON
Note that the starting time is a bit earlier than usual because we have eight contestants participating, and we plan to finish voting and present the awards by 9:30. Contestants include (not necessarily in this order):
- Joseph Caulfield (Lord BlackSword)
- James D. Macdonald
- Scott Galbraith
- Mike Lee
- Kevin Butler
- Eddie Gardner
- Duncan Miller
- Markus Steelgrave
Each contestant will present an 8-12 minute routine of their choice.
Each audience member will receive a ballot and can vote for up to three
contestants. The top three vote recipients will be the contest winners.
For my part, I intend to present “Pure Jennie, the Moonshiner’s Daughter; or, The Vexations…
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(Unless something horrible and unexpected leaps out of the bushes at us beforehand — which has, alas, been known to happen.)
Anyway. We’re going to be attending the Heliosphere sf/fantasy convention in Tarrytown, NY, and while we’re at it we’re going to be tacking a day or so onto the trip to do what Jim Macdonald is referring to as The Major Andre Tour. All the sites associated with the unfortunate entanglement of Major John Andre (even his enemies liked him) with Benedict Arnold (even his friends thought he was a dick) are within a few miles of each other in the nearby area, so it seemed like an opportunity not to be missed.
Jim will undoubtedly be writing it all up for his blog when we’re done, so keep watching this space (or his space) for details.
We’ll be doing the Tour on the Friday before Heliosphere, working out of a base in Nyack. Jim has the itinerary all worked out, with GPS coordinates and everything — once a navigator, always a navigator, I suppose.
It should be fun.
Back when I was first writing for publication, Jim Macdonald and I wrote a number of YA novels, mostly for book packagers (that was one of the entry points back then, before packagers turned into high-profile wheeler-dealers and were instead mostly borderline sleazy providers of work-for-hire content to publishers who were too dainty to make such deals themselves.) Some of the stuff we did I’m still quite proud of; and all of it was the best we could provide given the sometimes-weird constraints we had to work under.
But my golly, I’m glad I’m not working in that end of the business right now. We’ve come to a place where a pre-publication social-media campaign can — shall we say, bully? yes, we shall — bully an up-and-coming author into withdrawing her own book before it can be published. And that sort of thing can happen more than once.
Whatever happened to publishing the book and letting actual readers decide for themselves whether it’s a Bad Thing or not?
(Right. I forgot. This is YA literature, and therefore falls under the purview of all those good-intentioned people who want to Protect Impressionable Young Minds. Thank God for all the impressionable young minds who are already way ahead of them in finding the stuff that young minds actually want to read.)
More magical entertainment from my spouse and co-author:
9th of March, 2019 7:00 pm
This coming Saturday, March 9th, I will have the honor of appearing in the Kearsarge Conservatory of the Performing Arts (KCPA) Scholarship Fundraiser — Vaudeville Performance
Saturday, March 9th, 7:00-9:00 pm
Warner Town Hall, 5 East Main St, Warner, NH 03278
There’s a special kind of irritation I feel whenever somebody starts trying — earnestly and urgently — to tell me about some New! Amazing! and Probably Subversive! thing that I already know. It’s a combination of “I will not be manipulated by emotional argument, dammit!” and “You mean you only just now heard about that?” and “Stop being on my side, you’re annoying me!”, with the exact proportions varying by subject matter.
Scientific theories mostly just get the middle, or “I thought everybody knew that” reaction. I remember being mildly surprised, for example, the first time — back in the eighties, I think it would have been — that I saw plate tectonics described in the popular press as a new and until-recently controversial geologic theory, because everybody I knew had known about plate tectonics for ages. Granted, I spent my high school years back in Texas attending meetings and field trips of the local rockhound club with the rest of my family, and the local rockhound club had more than one professional oil-field geologist in its ranks . . . but when you’re that age, what your parents and your parents’ friends know is pretty much your personal definition of “common knowledge.”
I had the same reaction, with a bit more annoyance and grouchy resentment, after first encountering the East Coast wiccan/new age/alternative spirituality community. It’s hard, for example, to take Robert Grave’s The White Goddess seriously as any kind of revelation when you read it for the first time back in high school because your father recommended it to you. (And when your opinion back then was the same as it is now — that the book is an interesting account of how Robert Graves wrote poetry, but as far as sober or even drunken historical or anthropological fact goes, it’s rubbish.)
And politics . . . I realize, for example, that for some people, the massacre at Wounded Knee is one of those shocking things that their schoolteachers never taught them about. But I was able to put together a class report on the incident in junior high from books in my family’s library, a couple of years before Dee Brown and later Russell Means put a national spotlight on it (for a little while, at least.)
None of this stuff was secret. My parents weren’t political activists or students of esoterica — they were a civil engineer and a school librarian, and the closest either of them got to alternative religions was Episcopalianism† and (in my father’s case) Freemasonry. They just happened to have inquiring minds and a lot of books and a willingness to let me could read anything on the bookshelves that I was able to reach.
So it tends to annoy me when people carry on as though any of this was new.
†As my mother’s aunt said to her on that subject, “Mildred, I never did understand why you had to go and join that foreign church.”
It’s always nice to see a book I’ve edited become available in print:
The Lost Daughters, by Leigh Grossman. Buy one, buy a dozen. Make an author — and by extension, an editor — happy.
If you look at Duncan Eagleson’s work in the art show, you can get a sneak peek at the cover art for our planned re-publication of our YA novel Knight’s Wyrd.
(Keep watching this space for more news on that front.)