Morning Cuppa – 06/11/13 – Signing off.

Hey folks, it’s not quite morning anymore but I thought I’d let you all know that the Morning Cuppa is going to be signing off.

This began as an attempt to get me blogging more frequently, which worked, but it also just made me end up ONLY doing this. Because of that and steadily declining page views since the beginning of the year, I’m going to try out a new direction. A lesson I’ve taken away is that people get fatigue from seeing the same thing over and over. By calling this the Morning Cuppa, it built up recognizability early on, but the long term effect was that people, I think, just got tired of seeing the same title daily.

So I’m not finished blogging by a longshot, I’ll probably begin posting about two to three times a day, in fact. They’ll be short, shareworthy things hopefully, about what I’ve always blogged about, writing, SF and whatever else catches my eye.

Thanks to the folks who supported this experiment and regularly checked out my daily rantings and ravings. Stay tuned for more, in a slightly different format.

Morning Cuppa – 06/10/13 – RIP Iain Banks. Ocean at the End of the Lane! Join my journaling challenge!

As some of you may have noticed, I took the weekend off from the cuppa. My partner and I took a little weekend getaway in Vero Beach and got embarrassingly sun burnt. As a Florida resident for going on 8 years now, there’s really no excuse for it but it was one of those deceptive overcast days where you’re thinking, why would I need sunscreen today? Anyways, hope your week is shaping up well.

  • Iain Banks has passed away. Because of the vacation weekend, I”m only finding out about this now, via Neil Gaiman’s blog where he wrote an thoughtful and heartfelt response to Banks’s death.
  • Speaking of Gaiman, there’s a no-spoilers review of his The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Damien Walter, which begins with an interesting premise. Walter draws the distinction that with truly great SF, there’s an underlying element or theme that runs through an author’s work. With Tolkien it was his need to process the events of the first World War. With Gaiman, Walter sees a trend toward the father figure which is continued in this, his latest adult work. It seems like everyone I know on twitter has already read and raved about this book. If, like me, you’re one of the norms that don’t get advanced reader copies, it will be released on June 18.
  • Journaling. Do you do it? I once kept a journal for almost 5 solid years, between using a notebook and an online resource. Sometimes I wonder if I ended up with anything to show for it, other than a clearer understanding of myself. As my writing dance card is filling up (I’m beginning to blog for three different publications, maintain this one, and continue to work on my novels) I’m thinking it’s time to resurrect my journal as a place to play with ideas again and help me come up with blog and story ideas.
    So, starting this week and for thirty days, I’m going to attempt to journal once a day, every day. On July 11th, I’ll report back and assess whether it felt like a worthwhile use of my time. Care to join me?

Morning Cuppa – 06/07/13 – Wiretapping that ass! Big pub will fail! Don’t do this on Twitter!


  • Hey, so remember that police state that the Patriot Act created back in 2001? e94dd54b13360d13340f6a7067000493Yep, it’s still humming along! If you squint hard you can just make out the NSA workers waving through the blacked-out glass of the Utah Data Centere. Some people are, like U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, are sad (look at that frown!) that Americans would be angry that their calls to phone sex lines and aunt Eunice are being collected. Who really enforces the Bill of Rights anymore, anyways?
  • Will big publishers make it in the ebook world? Probably not, and this article lists of reasons why (warning: heavy on the ‘death of publishing’). The points about trad pub being a lumbering behemoth that doesn’t understand the first thing about publishing in a digital age are particularly relevant.

    Remember when Penguin started up Book Country? And we were kinda enthusiastic for a while, because it was something new at least, but it was not very user friendly? And then it started offering mediocre and largely overpriced publishing packages? And then Penguin bought Author Solutions, the company that makes a living by ripping off authors, and integrated their overpriced crap into Book Country?
    Yeah. That’s what I mean, right there.

  • Now for your horror and amusement, I present to you how NOT to use Twitter if you’re an author:badtweetI really hope that this is the fault of his publisher and not something that this guy thought would get him more sales. I’ll give it to him, it got him some coverage… and if you believe that any coverage is good coverage well, mission accomplished.
  • Finally: Oh my god you fucking geeks, will you get your shit together? Why is it that in 2013 people still think it’s okay to sexually harass or belittle people who are in costume at cons?

Morning Cuppa – 06/06/13 – Con season! New gigs! Amazon v Indie!


  • Sigh… networking. I’m not a completely socially awkward geek, however I do have my moments. And networking– I just have no idea how to make this happen in any natural sort of way. I’ve gone to business conventions, writer’s conventions, gaming conventions and still networking is one of my weakest elements. Since Gen Con is right around the corner, and they (almost covertly) have one of the largest SF writing workshops in the country, it’s a great opportunity to meet successful authors.
    It’s almost a crime that I get a two-for-one convention with Gen Con, combining my love of gaming and writing. So if, like me, you’re clueless on how to break the ice, and what proper etiquette is after the ice is broken, Tim Waggoner has some good advice for you.
  • In the last day, I’ve been invited to start writing for two different publications. I’m really excited for the opportunity, though they’re not paying gigs, it is still kind of cool. I’ve got nothing on either one yet, but they are Medium and Amazing Stories. I’ll link them up as I get some stuff up there. And just a reminder, this past month I also began blogging for Apex!
  • Following a de facto bailout by France for its independent bookshops, British shops want their government to start looking at Amazon and the damage it’s causing (British booksellers are closing up shop at a rate of about one a week). Considering that in the US there’s actually a reverse trend happening, with indie shops opening up, is there something else at work here? Amazon raises my hackles too but what if they’re not the reason (or the major reason) this is happening? Just a hypothetical.
  • Speaking of Amazon and indie bookstores, there’s a push going on right now by the retail giant to start getting their Kindles into indie bookstores.

Morning Cuppa – 06/04/13 – Nightshade officially sold! Freelance editors! HWA makeover!


  • The Nightshade Books debacle has officially ended with Skyhorse/Start acquiring the publication. They will continue using the Nightshade Books name as an imprint. The agreement was reached after a lot of very public debate about the issue, with authors being both supportive and timid about the new deal. Ultimately some royalties and other contract terms were adjusted, which a majority of authors under Nightshade supported, allowing the deal to pass. Here is the full coverage from my blog if you want any more background on the story. Good luck to everyone who is publishing with them, I hope this is the last we hear about this issue!
  • The Writer Unboxed community recently had an online debate about hiring freelance editors. This is particularly timely for me as I slog through my own edits, often times blindly, and wonder if I should try pooling together the resources to ask for some help. There’s a good summation of the debate here, as well as some feedback from the author/editor who found herself in the center of the debate.
    Have you ever payed or considered paying for editorial services? Has it been copyediting, developmental, substantive or proofreading? Were you happy with the results?
  • The Horror Writers Association website got a makeover recently, go check out their new design.