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Posts by Cedar Sanderson

Tools for Survival

Before I was a SF geek, I was a survivalist geek. And yes, I mean that just as it sounds. I grew up in the woods, reading books about everything, but for a long time I gravitated towards books like Julie of the Wolves, Call of the Wild, Tom Brown’s semi-fictional survival guides, Wildwoods Wisdom, and many more. I learned how to survive in different climates – from the Boreal Forest of Alaska to the cool infinitely green Pacific Rainforest – and did a lot of camping with family all over. Read more

5 Steps to Open a Small Business

How do I start a small business? I’ve been asked that a couple of times recently, and my flippant answer is ‘you just do.’ And in some ways, it’s that easy. In others… Look. I can only give you loose guidelines, because opening and running a business is going to be different in every country, state, county, and even town you live in. Some places are highly regulated. Others are not so much. The two states I’ve owned businesses in were rather laid back about the process, to be honest, so I haven’t had to jump through a lot of hoops. Read more

A microcosm of bookstores

We’ve talked a lot about bookstores in this blog. It’s perhaps no surprise – not only are we authors, we were readers before we started writing. I suspect most of us, myself included, started writing in no small part due to running out of reading material. For me, this was in part a byproduct of not having enough money to buy books whenever I wanted them, and not having transportation to the public library whenever I wanted to go there. Not to mention that I have ‘read through’ the collections of at least two small libraries, being a child of very *coff* rural areas. But now I am an adult. I have a decently paying dayjob. I have a vehicle all my own, and the wherewithal to buy as much gas as I’d like…

And I rarely go to the bookstore. It’s sad, really, what life does to us.

Read more

Story Arc, Marvel Movies, and Human Wave

So on release day, my kids dragged me to watch Captain Marvel. It wasn’t a hard drag, as overall I’ve enjoyed the Avengers movie arc. I have not seen all of the movies, have definitely not watched all of the TV series spin-off, but I’ve seen enough to be Team Cap all the way, and to appreciate the Human Wave story underlying the series as a whole. My takeaway from Captain Marvel? Human Wave. If you’ve enjoyed the previous movies, you should go see it.

That being said, while my review on my blog was about the movie, the message, and the massive missing the point the actress who tried to torpedo the movie was guilty of, this blog post is about storytelling. Read more

Guest Post on Anthologizing: JL Curtis

This is a follow-up to my earlier post on Relationships and Anthologies. I’d asked JL Curtis if he wouldn’t mind sharing how he handled taking on the task for this, and he broke it down in some detail. I’ll add that it was a pleasure to work with him, I was astonished at how well it did, given the niche market, but I was also not surprised given his existing fanbase. His work is good, and getting better, and I’m honored he included my Carpetbaggers story in this collection. 

Cedar asked for a few words on the anthology I did, so here we go… Read more

Relationships and Anthologies

I got involved in a conversation over on a friend’s social media this week. He’d referenced a memory, and commented that it had been 8 years since he’d been published in these anthologies, and he’d never seen any money from it. No upfront payments, no royalties, nothing. Now, it’s not that Jason Cordova is a bad writer. Far from it. And the man grinds at his work, he’s not lazing around waiting for something to hit big. But it rankled him that there had been big promises, brutally constrictive contracts and in the end… nothing. The conversation wandered from discussing, in veiled non-specifics, the publishing company that had burned him, to talking about how to find anthologies that actually care about the writers involved.

I was asked to write about how to find non-predatory small presses, and I’m happy to give my small insight into this, but I also reached out to a couple of people I know and trust who have been on the editing and publishing end of anthologies to ask them for their input. When I asked Jason about it, he encouraged me to highlight the warning flags. I have an odd position of having been in only three anthologies (that I’m aware of in this hour pre-coffee) and all of them were pleasant experiences. However, I was definitely in the ‘splash zone’ of the anthology fiasco Jason was caught up in, and have been shown some of the contracts and verbiage involved, so I have a strong idea of what should make you run. Read more

Hitting the Restart Button

Just a couple of days before leaving for LTUE I finished the accidental novel. I’d set a mental goal of ‘done before the con’ and I was elated to get it finished, and off to beta readers, before I left on the trip. During the trip, beta comments trickled in. I love my readers, and am so appreciative of the time they take to make thoughtful insights that help my work improve. But while I was at the con, I’d get a notification, see it was from the beta reader, and think ‘do I need to see this now?’ Read more