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Posts by Cedar Sanderson

Authorial Sartorial Tutorial (a guest post)

Cedar here: I have been rather sick the last couple of days. I’m not saying it was the Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich, but I will say that’s the only thing I ate before coming home from work and proceeding to get rather ill. My dear, dear husband, who is Not a Writer, offered to write a blog post for me in case I wasn’t feeling up to it. And I wasn’t going to say no at that point. I’m feeling better, but it’s interesting to get a reader, or in this case, Fan Perspective here from time to time. Not that he’s a normal reader, or fan! Read more

Constant Scrutiny

As I was chatting with a fellow author last night, the topic came up of Amazon and their predilection for pulling reviews they find suspicious, or suspending the accounts of authors they think may be gaming the system. It was something John van Stry had talked about on the trends in Indie Publishing panel he and I were on, along with Jim Curtis and Lawdog. (Great panel, I was listening more than talking, and we had almost two hours so we got into the meat of the matter).

The upshot of that conversation, and the more private one later, is that as authors we must avoid all appearance of evil. Read more

The only thing that I’d do

Sometimes I wonder if you could write a story using predictive text, and if it would make any sense at all. Probably not. For one thing, in order to have a truly rich vocabulary, you’d have to write a lot, first, and then, why? Why bother with something so nonsensical and simplistic? Writing stories is about so much more than simply putting words on paper. Read more

The Slothful Writer

The sloth earned it’s name not from it’s habits, but the human perception of them. You see, there’s a sin of slothfulness: laziness, the inability to get things done, much less in any kind of timely manner. So how did the innocent animal get named for a sin? Well, it’s slow. Takes the sloth a while to get anywhere. Takes the sloth a really really long time to poop (look, I was briefly a children’s librarian. Kids love poop facts. More than that, they love to share them with any adult in range. What can I say? Did you know the wombat has square poops?). Read more

Guest Post: Taking Out a Contract

This is a guest post from the friendly and talented Joe Monson. I had asked a couple of people I know who had managed anthologies, and Joe got back to me with the following post. Hopefully it will be helpful if any of you are considering herding cat… er, putting together an anthology! 

Taking Out a Contract

I’m fairly new to the writing and editing scene. At the time of writing this, I have only one published short story and one published anthology (as co-editor) to my name (though a couple are out for consideration by editors and publishers). So, I can’t say that I have years or decades of experience to my name. Read more

Distracting Cat Sidhe: Culture and Death (A Guest Post by Out of the Darkness)

Distracting Cat Sidhe: Culture and Death

Out of the Darkness

 

Culture plays a very large role in how your characters view death, how they mourn it, and what kind of rituals they observe surrounding it. The title of this post is a reference to games played at an Irish Wake, which traditionally run from sundown to sunup. There’s food and drink, with the corpse of the recently departed sat up at the head of the table and there are games played all night. The cultural reason for the games is to distract Cat Sidhe lest they sneak in and steal the soul of the recently dead before it can pass from this world. It was also fully expected that anyone in the community who had a grievance with the deceased would air them at the wake, and also seek forgiveness for trespasses and slights that they may have committed and not resolved before the death occurred. If there was any unresolved business when the sun came up, the spirit was trapped in the mortal world and it would become angry or go mad. The Ireland in which this practice evolved was a superstitious one, with a heavy belief in the otherworldly. They hung horseshoes above their doors, carried a nail in their pockets, and spread salt to protect themselves from vengeful spirits. They knew as fact that fairies were real and that they could be both helpful when appeased and spiteful when insulted. The day to day life of an average person was directly impacted by this knowledge. It was part of the blood of the land, and much of it persists today. This knowledge also impacted how they viewed death. Everyone knew that crows gathered near battlefields because they were the eyes and ears of the Morrigan, the chooser of the slain. Read more

Learning How to Fall is Easy

Dad fell out of an apple tree one time when I was a teenager. After Mom finished scolding him for having climbed up there in the first place, I have a vivid recollection of him grinning and telling us ‘falling is easy. Learning how to land well, that’s hard.’ I was driving my daughters to work today, and reassuring one of them that her new role at work will get easier. “I stutter through talking to customers,” she told us, “I’m probably making them wait too long to hear all the options.” Practice, I told her. And then I watched the two of them walk together through the fog into their store to work, and contemplated their dedication to the one job people ridicule most. The store got a two-pack, and the girls are doing good work. The worrier in particular is always there, shift in and shift out, takes extra hours beyond what she should, and comes in whenever they call her. Her managers know who I am, and rave about them to me when I come in. She’s doing good. She has the potential already to move into leadership – both of them do. Read more