Discover more from Valerie Valdes Presents: Shenanigans
Shenanigans VIII: A Skewered Heart
Hello, friends! We find ourselves once again in February, which according to Margaret Atwood is the “month of despair, / with a skewered heart in the centre.” Love poems will be thick on the ground soon, if they aren’t already in your area, so stock up on the essentials and prepare to barricade yourself in your home while we wait for this season to pass.
Copy edits for Where Peace Is Lost are complete, so it’s one step closer to being a real book! Now begins the process of asking for blurbs, which involves 1) begging awesome people, all of them way too busy for reading, to read it, and 2) hoping they enjoy it enough to say so publicly and in a timely fashion. Speaking from experience on both sides of this process, it’s much harder than you might expect.
If you haven’t yet, you can pre-order the book now; it should be out in August, which at this rate will be sometime next week because time is fake.
In other good news, I’ve sold both a poem and a short story to Uncanny Magazine! I don’t know when they’ll be available to read, but keep an eye on social media or my blog for updates. If you’re counting, this means I now have three short stories, a poem and a novel coming out this year. Get hyped!
Also noteworthy: the Strange Friends have finished dealing with the dream conspiracy in Girl by Moonlight: Fractal Spire, which means you can now watch or listen to the entire actual play series. We’ll likely be playing some fun one-shots for a bit, so keep an eye on the Speculate SF site for what comes next.
I can’t say enough good things about Girl by Moonlight, which is coming soon from Evil Hat Productions. If you like magical girls, triumphing over tragic mundanity, and the power of friendship, you should definitely obtain this when it becomes available.
This is where I rapidly remind you that the following works are eligible for any appropriate 2022 awards:
Fault Tolerance (Adult SF Novel)
Chilling Effect (Series)
“Team Building Exercise” (SF short story, Bridge to Elsewhere)
“Working from Home” (F/H short story, Don't Touch That)
You can also nominate Escape Pod for being awesome, and/or me and Mur Lafferty for our editorial work. I would offer to bribe you with a cookie, but I eated it. Please go get yourself a cookie and pretend it’s from me?
I’ve been re-posting writing related Twitter threads on my blog, with some expansions and revisions. Here’s a quick digest:
Shiny New Idea Trouble, aka SNIT: You have a shiny new idea! It’s so good! It’s the best idea you’ve ever had, maybe?!?! It’s definitely better than the idea you’ve been working on. It has to be, because that idea isn’t zipping along like it used to. But should you abandon the old idea to work on the new one?
How to sustain novel writing interest: Dealing with shiny new ideas is one thing, but how do you keep drafting or revising when the donwannas descend?
Novel subplots: In preparation for NaNoWriMo a while back, a friend of mine asked about how to come up with subplots in novels. Here are some ideas, with a little discussion of TV writing as one way to think about structure.
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I have approximately four thousand identical pictures to this one, because this happens multiple times a day, every day.
I’ll leave you with some parting words from “February” by Margaret Atwood, the poem I quoted at the top: “Cat, enough of your greedy whining / and your small pink bumhole.” Wait. Maybe not those words. How about these: “Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.” Or if you’re in the southern hemisphere, make it be fall!
If you have any questions you'd like me to answer in a blog post or here in the newsletter, you can leave a comment on the Substack page, email me, or find me on the social media site of your preference. Stay safe, and thanks for joining in the shenanigans!