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Posts by Cedar Sanderson

The Ravel’d Sleave of Care

the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
–Shakespeare, Macbeth Act 2 Scene 2

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Three Panels, One Woman

So I was on three panels at LibertyCon… Wait, you’re saying, you did your AAR yesterday? Yes, I did. But the beauty of having two posts to do this in is that I can now talk about the nitty-gritty of writerly stuff that wasn’t the overall con. This is more about interactions with fellow panelist – ie writing professionals – and the audience, who are rarely if ever ‘simple readers.’ For one thing, the audience at a lit con (which LibertyCon is) is already self-selected to be interested in reading, and also in the process behind what they are reading, since they attended one of the most author-heavy events in fandom. So. Three panels, plus a bonus panel I literally was dragged onto.  Read more

LibertyCon AAR and More

Real Life has intruded on the scheduled poster here in a most delightful way. He’s greeting his third child into the world properly. So since the blog goes on, even when family is coming first, I offered to step in with a few words.

Community is grand. It’s a beautiful thing. I came home from LibertyCon earlier this week exhilarated, exhausted, and enthusiastic about my writing again. It had been three years since we last managed to get to Liberty, and as I said to Rich Groller at the Kaffeeklatsch, I didn’t know how much I needed that until we were there and in the thick of it. Read more

Live! From LibertyCon

As I write this, I’m sitting out front of the hotel, listening to conversations on either side of me. At LibertyCon, this is hardly unusual. Now, that I’m doing this at half-past seven on Saturday morning… this con doesn’t sleep. Seems like when we came back to the room at midnight, there were still a lot of people actually on panels and chatting and playing games, and… Read more

Driving Dys Topia

I’m not a fan of doom and gloom. My daughter and I were having a conversation about song lyrics after seeing a pithy sign that reminded us of poetry, and that segued into stories. She informed me she likes melancholy ‘edgy’ music and reading. I said, as I parked and got out of the car, “I’ve lived on the edge. I much prefer happy-go-lucky.”

I really do. I’m not all glitter and giggles, but when I am reading, I don’t want to be repulsed by the level of pain, gore, and emo-angst-nihilism. I had a moment, the other day, reading Nevil Shute’s The Far Country (I couldn’t resist it after Dave Freer’s enthusiasm over it the other day here), where I was figuratively holding my hands over my face and peeking through my fingers at the story unraveling on my phone screen (where I read most, these days). Don’t do it, I was muttering, oh, please don’t do it! Read more

Happily Ever After the End

I wasn’t sure what to talk about this week, and then I was, and then I thought someone else said it so well, how could I possibly do better? Then I got into a conversation privately with another writer who has, through no real fault of their own, wound up in a tight spot. And I realized that I’m weird.

Ok, if that wasn’t confusing enough, here’s this: this post is not about writing. It’s about what comes from writing, after the story is finished. Because as we all know in our cynical little back-brains, there’s no HEA.

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Heartstrings

I drew a piece of art the other day meant to evoke emotions. It’s a pig (inside joke) riding a motorcycle up into the mountains. His labcoat flapping, he’s not got a care in the world, the lab left far behind him… The cartoon lives on the whiteboard outside my boss’s office, and it’s meant to inspire thoughts of summer and leaving work in the dust once we’re all headed home (and yes, he’s riding these warm summer days now). But as I stepped back to make sure I’d gotten proportions and such right, I was thinking about it in terms of writing, and making our writing appealing.

To grab our readers by the heartstrings, and give a gentle tug, is to keep them engaged with the story and wanting to know what happens next. We all have commonalities, from wanting to be outside rather than stuck in a windowless lab on a bright beautiful day, to saying AW! At the sight of a puppy or kitten. Stories that make us feel good are far more likely to have us returning to re-read them time and again than stories that made us feel grimy and gloomy. I was working on a list (always!) of books for girls, and I was noting that as with any list I curate, some of the titles are older than I am, but loved by generation after generation. Little Women, the Five Little Peppers, Black Beauty, and so many more. I loved all of them, and they among others were the ones Mom had us reading out loud to the family while I was growing up. But what is it about these tales we all connect with and love? Read more