News and more news…

April 28, 2010

Wow, hadn’t realized it’s been over two week since my last crazy post. The one where I was screaming my head off.

I’ve got some news to share, so here goes.

First off, I received confirmation from editor D. L. King that my short story “Elementary, My Dear Sir”, will be in the upcoming anthology called Spank! It will be released sometime in the fall.

Next, I’m participating in the first annual Coyote Con. It’s a 31 day digital conference for writers of speculative fiction. I’ll be participating on May 22nd in a chat on Transformative Sex with Joely Sue Burkhart, Teresa Wymore and David Sklar under my other nom de plume, Anna Black.

Registration is free and you can sign up at the website.

In conjunction with Coyote Con, my friend Joely Sue Burkhart is hosting MayNoWriMo. What’s great about MayNoWriMo is that you can set ANY goal you want for the month of May.

So if all you want to do for May is finish a short story or write a synopsis or write 100 words a day, you set the goal. There will be prizes and the yahoo group is already becoming a very lively place to hang out at.

My MayNoWriMo goal is to finish and submit a 4,500 word short story.

Okay, next is Wiscon. (May 28 – May 31st). I’m all signed up for that and I’m going to be on three panels, do a reading from one of my vampire stories and put on my tarot and writing workshop. So I’ll be spending May getting ready for that.

And I’m still working on edits for Ellora’s Cave for the two novellas that will be coming out soon. Plus I’m working on other writing projects. And I’m starting a new job on Monday. So May is going to be a crazy but fun month. At least I hope it’s fun.

I’ve been watching quite a few movies I had hoped to blog about but I’m afraid I’ll have to save those for another time.

I’m planning on using my blog to keep track of my progress during May because not only am I doing MayNoWriMo, I’ve set myself a weight-loss goal for May.

Anyway, that’s the news and updates for now. May 1st is this coming Saturday so I need to get cracking.

Oh, yeah. Forgot to mention. I didn’t finish Script Frenzy. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I had to work on edits all during April and that was not the month to be trying something new like writing a script. But there’s always next year. I learned a lot, however, and I don’t regret the time, albeit brief as it was, I spent in the world of scriptwriting. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, gotta run!

Ciao for now!

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Just To Say…

April 15, 2010

….it’s been that kind of week!


Ooku

April 9, 2010

Last August, I put up a post about Ooku, which is a manga written by Fumi Yoshinaga. Briefly, Ooku is an alternate history set in 18th Century Japan. A plague called the Redface Pox has killed off 80% of the male population. As a result, women are now in positions of power. One is even Shogun. Men, who are now precious “seed providers”, are carefully protected. And the most beautiful men are chosen to sexually serve in the Ooku, the Shogun’s Inner Chambers.

This year at
Wiscon, which is a feminist science convention held every year in Madison, Wisconsin, the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award will be presented to Ooku: The Inner Chambers Volumes 1 and 2, and to Greer Gilmanโ€™s, Cloud and Ashes: Three Winter Tales

For those who are not familiar with the TipTree award, it’s an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores the understanding of gender. The award is named for Alice B. Sheldon, who wrote under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr., at a time when it was not de rigueur for women to write science fiction.

I’ve not yet read Volume 1 of Ooku, but I have read Volume 2 and it’s an amazing story. In Volume 2, which takes place at the start of the plague, a young Buddhist monk named Arikoto is calling upon Lord Iemitsu. Arikoto has no idea that Lord Iemitsu is, in fact, a young woman named Chie, who is being forced to wear men’s clothes and pretend to be the catamite of Lord Iemitsu, her father, who died from the Redface Pox. She is, however, the true ruler. Arikoto, due to his stunning beauty, is forced (in a most horrific way, I must say) to give up being a monk and, essentially, become a concubine of Chie’s.

I’m looking forward to reading the other volumes in the series as I like the fact that it’s not one of those simplistic, hits-you-over-the-head with its feminist rhetoric that some novels, who attempt this kind of experimentation, sometimes employ as a way to get their message across regarding gender. There is a complexity and a subtlety to what’s happening to the relations between men and women in 18th century Japan as a result of this plague.

Here’s a quote from Wiscon’s newsletter regarding Ooku and it’s having been awarded the James Tiptree Jr. Award.

“Fumi Yoshinaga’s Ooku: The Inner Chambers (Volumes 1 & 2) explores an alternate version of feudal Japan, in which a plague has killed three out of every four boys. In this world, young men are protected and sheltered; women have secretly taken positions of authority and power. The Japanese ruler or shogun and the feudal lords are women and much of the story takes place among the men in the shogun’s harem.

The title of the work refers to the living quarters for the shogun’s harem, contained within Edo Castle. The selection of Ooku: The Inner Chambers marks the first time that manga has been chosen for the Tiptree Award. Though no one on the jury is an expert on manga or on Japanese history, the jurors fell in love with the detailed exploration of the world of these books, a world in which men are assumed to be weak and sickly, yet women still use symbolic masculinity to maintain power.

Throughout the two books, Yoshinaga explores how the deep gendering of this society is both maintained and challenged by the alteration in ratios. “The result,” juror Jude Feldman writes, “is a fascinating, subtle, and nuanced speculation with gender at its center. Ooku was awarded the Sense of Gender awards by the Japanese Association of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy (2005), the Excellence Award at Japan’s Media Arts Festival (2006), and the Grand Prize in Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize (2009).”


Writing Movies and Wonder Woman

April 5, 2010

Okay, so got first nine pages of script done. However, made the mistake of going to Script Frenzy forums.

Darn it! Some people are already done with their scripts! I mean, yeah, the scriptwriting format is a lot of blank space, but, wow, amazing that some people are already done.

But hey, that’s cool. Good for them. I’m not doing Script Frenzy as a competition or even as a way to start a new career as a screenwriter. It’s an experiment. And it’s proving quite interesting. The focus in a script is on action and dialogue.

Sp you can only write what an audience would see on the screen. And, since a page of script is roughly equal to a minute of screen time, I’m nine minutes into my movie!

However, at the rate I’m going, I won’t be done with my 100 pages until the end of Script Frenzy, which is April 30th. (I’m also working on some other writing projects). Well, as long as I get those 100 pages done I’ll be a happy camper.

Although this applies to screenwriters, I think some of the things said in this clip are applicable to ALL writers.

Over the weekend watched the animated movie Wonder Woman, which I got from the library.

It was pretty good. Another origin story for Diana, Amazon Princess, but an interesting one. And Nathan Fillion (aka Rick Castle on ABC’s Castle and Captain Malcolm Reynolds of Firefly) did the voice of ace pilot, Steve Trevor, and Diana’s love interest.

I really want that lasso of truth! And the bullet deflecting bracelets. And the invisible plane. And the ability to kick some serious ass and look amazing while doing it. ๐Ÿ™‚