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Sideshow T-Shirt Quick Links

Support the efforts of Princess Alethea’s Traveling Sideshow by obtaining this year’s commemorative original tee!  http://amzn.to/2bkBDdf and w/black lettering: http://amzn.to/2bjUG4v ⭐️

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New Woodcutters on Audio!

I am incredibly excited to announce that HERO and DEAREST are available in audiobook as of RIGHT NOW, read by the magnificent, award-winning Katherine Kellgren Herself!

Hero: http://amzn.to/1R5hqWQ

Dearest: http://amzn.to/1NNsci8

And for those who have not yet listened to Enchanted:  http://amzn.to/1R5mdHG

 

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The Jewelry Designer Diva

Just because it’s not May anymore doesn’t mean I won’t be hosting interviews on my blog anymore. They just don’t always have to be about writers…like this one!

I talk about my sister Soteria and her spectacular jewelry all the time–heck, I’ve handed out her business cards to people who have complimented me on the New York subway–but how well do you really know her? Here’s your chance to find out!

I asked her these questions a while ago — she took her time answering, and I took my time posting them. I say this because in one of the questions I reference “this holiday season,” and I actually have NO IDEA WHAT FREAKING HOLIDAY I’M TALKING ABOUT. Just so we’re clear. Enjoy!

And when you’re done, pop on over to the Dixie Dunbar Studio website and check out the pretty shiny stuff!

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Alethea Kontis: When did you start making jewelry?

Soteria Kontis: I started making jewelry when I was a kid…of course I moved up the bead ladder from making friendship bracelets and daisy chains to knotting pearls, soldering and working with semi-precious stones. I always considered myself the jack of all trades until one day it occurred to me that I am actually really good at making jewelry. It’s nice to have one thing in your life you feel you’re really good at, whether it’s parallel parking or doing your taxes…it doesn’t matter what it is, just having something that makes you feel more confident about yourself is an awesome thing.

AK: Where did the name Dixie Dunbar come from?

SK: There is a Dixie Dunbar who was a famous actress in the 1930’s, but the one my store is named after is the Dixie Dunbar I helped to open this shop with 10 years ago. We worked together as best friends for years until she decided to retire two years ago. She is the coolest. I have never seen her “unadorned”, she wears jewelry when she gardens or even when she goes out for a jog. She taught me so much, her style is so unique and unmatched. People always said that Dixie could pull off so many things that they never could, and after being around her all day I finally realized why Dixie COULD in fact pull off her outlandish style…because she DOES. She doesn’t let insecurity get in the way of being who she is, and that’s her secret perfume. I aspire to be more like her. I kept the name because she lives on in the hearts of people who dare to try something new and different for themselves.

AK: How did you manage to get that famous red door?

SK: You have to offer up your first born in this town to get anything you want. I hope my husband doesn’t find out that our future son will be adopted by the city of Charleston. No, kidding. But you do have to make about 16 phone calls to city appointed members and then create a porfolio of pictures and color samples and show up in person to the Charleston Historical Society and beg and plead your case. FOR A DOOR. It’s the city’s policy, they want to keep people from “tackying” up Charleston, I suppose. I just wanted our shop to be noticed on king st. The city almost made me hire a “city approved Contractor” to paint our door FOR us, but luckily I talked them out of it.

AK: How often do you change the decorations in your shop window? How labor intensive is that?

SK: I have the most wonderful woman who helps out on occasion in the shop, and she calls me to remind me of upcoming events and holidays in which we need to decorate.  She has FABULOUS ideas, for valentines day we had huge blow up lips in the window and fuchsia pink busts with giant purple hearts behind them.  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for the Spoleto arts festival we have in May.

AK: Who are your favorite customers?

SK: Men make the best customers. They are always content with everything. They never want anything in the shop that you DON’T have, unless their wife/girlfriend sent them on a mission for something. They are so easy to please, I swear sometimes I think I should have opened a cigar shop.

AK: Can you tell us some “worst customer” stories

SK: OH no, do I have to?!?!?  Okay, okay, well without naming any names I had (or currently have) this woman who saw a necklace in our shop window that she couldn’t live without.  Over the course of the next three months she proceeded to call us 8 to 10 times a day just to “talk” about the piece and sent us payments for it in small increments of money orders and by western union.  It got to the point where even though she was considered a customer, I felt I was being harassed.  8 to 10 times a day was a little much, and she would get angry if no one answered the phone. I tried to explain that we had a very small store and only one person in here at a time and that if we were currently helping customers there would be no one available to take her call.  She ignored my pleas and continued to call anyway.  After the three months it took to pay off the necklace we shipped it off and thought we were done with her, but she recently called back to “see what else we might have that she would like.”  I tried to direct her to the website but she didn’t seem interested.  I don’t want to jinx it, but we haven’t heard from her in a couple weeks.

AK: What are some of your favorite local independent shops?

SK: There’s a really cute shop called Willy Jay’s on middle King with some of the most adorable clothing and they are really affordable!  I also love the little local businesses that have opened up on my block, Lucinda Eden has beautiful dresses and housewares and LIly has cute little Charleston keepsakes. We are really making quite the little “locals corner” on lower King st!

AK: What would you like to tell everyone this holiday season?

SK: As a struggling owner of a local shop I must say I’d love to try to talk people into supporting local business more.  I promise we’re not that intimidating, I really don’t mind at all when people come in and let me know what they were thinking of spending…that way I can either help them find something in the shop that’s in their price range or even make them something special to give as a present.  Not only can you give a sentimental gift but you can help support the little man, I’d hate to think that one day this whole world will be one giant wal-mart.

AK: Where can people find your jewelry that don’t actually LIVE in Charleston?

SK: We do have a website, www.dixiedunbarstudio.com, and I now have pieces in a couple of stores around the US besides South Carolina…

Teri Anns, 290 Front St. Marietta Ohio, 45750

Artemisia, 101 S. Third Street Geneva, IL 60134

AK: If you could have one superpower (or be one superhero), who/what would it/you be?

SK: I always thought it would be cool to be able to go to any country and automatically be fluent in the language, but is that necessarily a superpower?  Or maybe I could just be Temp-Girl, who’s superpower is perpetually being 72 degrees with a light breeze.

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Genre Chick Interview: Stuart Jaffe

One of the original items on my to-do list that launched May 2011’s Month of Writers here on the site was a series of interviews I planned with the contributors of How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion.

Are you familiar with the Magical Words site? If you’re a writer, you should be! The contributing bloggers there are some very experienced folks who have exceptional insights about all things wise and wonderful in the world of publishing.

So this week in the Month of Writers is special — It’s Magical Words Week! Every day I’ll be hosting an interview from a contributor from the Magical Words website. Today, my guest star is the fantastic Stuart Jaffe!

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Aleathea Kontis: Facebook or Twitter?
Stuart Jaffe: FB Fan Page

AK: Most recent publication?
SJ: I have a short story “Perchance” coming out in the July issue of Bull Spec.

AK: Short Stories, or Novels, or both?
SJ: I’ve published only short stories so far, but I’m actively shopping around a novel, so I’m right there in the trenches with everybody else.  I feel your pain!

AK: Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?
SJ: Once I have a beginning, a few key points in the middle, and an end firmly in mind, I’ll start writing.  The rest I work out as I go, plotting a few chapters ahead and letting the story evolve as it naturally does.  I rarely finish with the ending I had in mind, but I’m somewhat close, and having AN ending in mind, gives me focus, something to shoot for.

AK: What’s your average words per hour output? (Ball park)
SJ: Ha Ha Ha!  I use to try to get 1-2K a day but my life is too unpredictable, so I now shoot for a weekly word count of 5-7K.

AK: What’s your favorite part of writing?
SJ: Believe it or not, I enjoy revisions.  even when it’s a pain.  The story is out of my head and on paper.  Now I can play with it, re-shape it, and try to find ways to make it better.

AK: What’s your least favorite part?
SJ: Staring at a blank page.

AK: What motivates you to mentor other writers?
SJ: Genre writers are so generous, and many have helped me when I was starting out.  Having the opportunity to help others is a wonderful way to thank those who helped me and to keep paying it forward at the same time.

AK: Is it difficult to come up with a fun and interesting essay topic every week on top of your current workload?
SJ: Not really.  I have the advantage ofbeing the co-host of The Eclectic Review podcast which is a weekly,half-hour podcast about science and art.  We’ve been doing shows since 2006, so I’ve gotten in the habit of finding things to talk about.  You really just have to look at what you’re interested in or thinking about that week and write it out.  I also love writing a series of posts which gives you several weeks to explore a subject.

AK: Describe how words are magical to you.
SJ: Go to an old used bookstore and find something very old — a book from the 1800s or older.  Open it up and you are reading words somebody wrote down centuries ago.  And these words still have the power to cause you joy, pain, love, sadness.  These words can still make you think and even change how you think.  And these words still can simply entertain.  Downright magical, if you ask me.

Find Stuart online:
Website — www.stuartjaffe.com
Writing blog — www.magicalwords.net
Co-Host of The Eclectic Review Podcast (http://eclectic.libsyn.com)

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How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion is a compilation of essays originally published on MagicalWords.net, a popular writing blog with thousands of regular followers. Distilling three years worth of helpful advice into a single, portable volume, it contains nearly 100 essays covering a wide range of topics. Many of these essays are accompanied by comments and questions from the blog’s readers, along with the author’s response, making this volume unique among how-to books on any subject. The core members of Magical Words—David B. Coe, A.J. Hartley, Faith Hunter, Stuart Jaffe, Misty Massey, C.E. Murphy, and Edmund R. Schubert—have experience writing and editing fantasy, mysteries, thrillers, romance, science fiction, non-fiction, and more. This group is uniquely qualified to cover the full spectrum of writing-related issues. How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion is a book that belongs in the library of anyone interested in the craft of writing, the business of writing, and the writing life.

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Genre Chick Interview: Faith Hunter

One of the original items on my to-do list that launched May 2011’s Month of Writers here on the site was a series of interviews I planned with the contributors of How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion.

Are you familiar with the Magical Words site? If you’re a writer, you should be! The contributing bloggers there are some very experienced folks who have exceptional insights about all things wise and wonderful in the world of publishing.

So this week in the Month of Writers is special — It’s Magical Words Week! Every day I’ll be hosting an interview from a contributor from the Magical Words website. Today, my guest star is fabulous Faith Hunter!

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Alethea Kontis: FB or Twitter?
Faith Hunter: Yes, though I prefer FaceBook.

Most recent publication?
FH: Mercy Blade, the third in the Jane Yellowrock series.

Short Stories or Novels or both?
FH: Both, though I lean more toward books, and am only now getting into short stories.

Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?
FH: Plotter. Heavy plotter. And then when I have everything all plotted out, I’ll pants my way off the outline.

What’s your average words per hour output?
FH: (ballpark) 375 to 500

What’s your favorite part of writing?
FH: Not having to leave the house to go to work. No, wait. It’s when my characters talk back to me. No, wait. It’s getting paid to tell lies and make up stories. That one. Yeah. That one!

What’s your least favorite part?
FH: Uncertainty. Telling lies and getting paid for it isn’t a secure job description.

What motivates you to mentor other writers?
FH: When I was an upcoming writer, there was no writer near me who would act as a mentor, and the Internet world didn’t exist except in fiction writers’ imaginations. I wanted and needed a mentor. So when I got the chance to help other writers, I jumped at it, starting a writing group in my town and mentoring 6 other writers, 4 of whom went on to produce award winning work, e-publication, and traditional publication. Seeing their success gave me immense satisfaction. MagicalWords.Net allowed me to take that joy to the next step.

Is it difficult to come up with a fun and interesting essay topic every week on top of your current workload?
FH: Oh, heck yes! Which is why I sometimes open my weekly slot up to commenters’ work where I critique short segments. We’ve done opening lines, book cover blurbs, the elevator pitch or nitch pitch, and others. And I take requests for subjects to cover. Got any ideas?

Describe how words are magical to you.
FH: When I was a child – miserable, geeky, book-loving, not socially adept in any way, books became my world. When I dove between the covers of a book, I found acceptance and success and glory and all the wondrous adventures that my own life lacked. Words became my safety net, the place I went when my world was lonely, friendless, and dark. And words are still my friends. Maybe my best friends.

Edmund has an essay discussing useful and distracting similes and metaphors. Please put yourself in a simile. Example: “Edmund Schubert is like a dead penguin wedding cake.”
FH: Dang. Edmund stole mine! Okay, how’s this? Faith Hunter is like a fire devil—a tornado that forms above a massive fire—all light and heat and a pretty fire-show, but much ado about nothing. Or – Faith Hunter is like a Class III river, rushing downhill in delight and fury, bounding off rocks, throwing spray into the air, and giving everyone a great time.

A.J. quotes Steven Spielberg in one of his essays, about how the core of a film should be able to be summed up in 26 words or fewer. Please sum yourselves up in 26 words or fewer.
FH: Faith Hunter writes, grows orchids, collects skulls and bones, RVs with hubby and dogs, runs Class III rivers, and hopes to grow up someday. Or not.

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How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion is a compilation of essays originally published on MagicalWords.net, a popular writing blog with thousands of regular followers. Distilling three years worth of helpful advice into a single, portable volume, it contains nearly 100 essays covering a wide range of topics. Many of these essays are accompanied by comments and questions from the blog’s readers, along with the author’s response, making this volume unique among how-to books on any subject. The core members of Magical Words—David B. Coe, A.J. Hartley, Faith Hunter, Stuart Jaffe, Misty Massey, C.E. Murphy, and Edmund R. Schubert—have experience writing and editing fantasy, mysteries, thrillers, romance, science fiction, non-fiction, and more. This group is uniquely qualified to cover the full spectrum of writing-related issues. How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion is a book that belongs in the library of anyone interested in the craft of writing, the business of writing, and the writing life.

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Genre Chick Interview: Howard A. Jones

I’m not quite sure at what point I fell in love with Howard A. Jones’s novel The Desert of Souls–I could open the book to find out, but then I’d get stuck reading it all the way to the end again, and my schedule will not allow it! Suffice it to say, it was somewhere in the first two pages.

In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to read all of 1001 Arabian Nights and watch The Fall over again (which Howard has apparently not seen and desperately needs to remedy), and I fell all over myself writing one of the most useless, fangirl-squeeish reviews I’ve ever written for Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. Happily, the staff there do realize I’m both a girl and a geek, and they allow me my moments.

Since I was hosting a Month of Writers anyway, I took the opportunity to ask Howard a few questions above and beyond the basic interview-questionnaire for this month. (Because I’m the Princess, that’s why!) Please enjoy.

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Alethea Kontis: Are there storytellers in your family?
Howard Jones: My father studied stories and taught them for years as a university prof and wanted to write, but didn’t pursue it very often. My eldest sister loves to write just as much as I do.

AK: What do you think are the most important elements of storytelling?
HJ: Interesting, motivated characters going to interesting places for interesting reasons. Forward momentum. Tension, surprise, and satisfying character and story arcs. Oh, and lots more stuff!

AK: What inspired your passion for 1001 Arabian Nights?
HJ: The Nights themselves, but I would never have explored them if I hadn’t read Neil Gaiman’s issue #50 of Sandman set in ancient Baghdad, Ramadan.

AK: What is your favorite tale, fairy tale, or fable?
HJ: I used to love the Greek myths, especially the stories of Theseus and Heracles. As much as I love sword-and-sorcery and historical fiction, my very favorite (and very short) story is probably Sredni Vashtar, by Saki (H.H. Munro), which is just as brilliant as I remember it every time I sit down to read it. Apart from that, I sure love all kinds of stories by Robert E. Howard, Harold Lamb, and Leigh Brackett, which I revisit with some regularity, along with work from Fritz Leiber. And I love many tales from the 1001 Nights, but some moments from the Shahnameh impressed me even more, particularly the cycle about Rustam.

AK: What kind of novels do you like to read?
HJ: I like a wide gamut of stories in different genres, but I suppose most of them are some flavor of adventure story with traditional storytelling conventions. I’ve read some interesting experimental work, but little of it really resonates with me. I prefer stand-alones to long stories split over multiple large books, though I do like continuing characters.

AK: What are you working on now?
HJ: I’m still tweaking the sequel to The Desert of Souls, trying to heighten the storytelling aspects and deepen some of the new characters. I SHOULD be working on the Dabir and Asim short story collection I hope will follow, but it’s not quite time to let go of this story yet.

AK: Mac or PC?
HJ: I love Macs, but I’m so used to using PCs that I’m still using one.

AK: Coffee or tea?
HJ: Tea.

AK: Travel the World or Travel Outer Space?
HJ: Too tough to call. I want both.

AK: Fantasy or Science Fiction?
HJ: Hmm. I’ll take sword-and-sorcery, space opera, and sword-and-planet. Not much high fantasy or hard sf, thanks.

AK: Music or silence (while you write)?
HJ: Silence.

AK: What weird foods do you like?
HJ: I guess some people would say sushi or Indian food or Thai is weird. I love all three.

AK: Will you be watching the Royal Wedding? Why or why not?
HJ: No. I’m not remotely interested. Rich people I don’t know get married all the time.

AK: How many novels/short stories/screenplays/poems/etc have you published?
HJ: 2 novels. I’m not sure how many short stories. A couple of dozen, probably, and one or two sonnets.

AK: How much do you write every day?
HJ: I’m in edit/revision mode right now, so it’s hard to tell. When I’m in rough draft I try to get at least 2 k, although I try to be happier with less, because 1 k of good words is a heckuva lot better than 5k of bad words.

AK: How much do you WISH you could write every day?
HJ: Five thousand words!

AK: If you could write like one author, who would it be?
HJ: I think Chris Willrich has amazing style and lyricism, and Scott Oden has wonderful narrative drive and fabulous action chops. Can I take a little from each, or get the world building know-how from Leigh Brackett and Jack Vance?

AK: If you could be one superhero, or have one superpower, who/what would it be?
HJ: I’d love to have Wolverine’s regenerative ability so I’d age slowly and heal rapidly.

AK: What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
HJ: Raise children!

AK: What’s the coolest thing you’re about to do?
HJ: Get paid to write more novels!

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Howard Andrew Jones is the author of The Desert of Souls (Thomas Dunne Books 2011, read Alethea’s gushing review of it here), a historical fantasy set in the 8th century Abbasid caliphate featuring  Dabir and Asim, characters who’ve  appeared in a variety of short fiction venues since 2000, and the author of a Pathfinder novel, Plague of Shadows, released in March of 2011.

Jones was the driving force behind the rebirth of interest in Harold Lamb’s historical fiction, and has assembled and edited 8 collections of Lamb’s work for the University of Nebraska Press. He has served as Managing Editor of Black Gate magazine since 2004.

When not helping run his small family farm or spending time with his amazing wife and children, he can be found hunched over his laptop or notebook, mumbling about flashing swords and doom-haunted towers. He’s worked variously as a TV cameraman, a book editor, a recycling consultant, and most recently, as a writing instructor at a mid-western college.

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Genre Chick Interview: Luc Reid

Back on “Take Your Princesses-in-Training to Work” Day, Ariell and Kassidy helped me create a great questionnaire that I could send out to the ever-growing list of authors on my to-interview-list. After I sent the interview out, Ariell then started formatting all the interviews into posts for me. Hooray!

We start with my dearest longtime friend, Luc Reid. (Some of you may remember him from the Beauty & Dynamite essay “The Story Magnet.”) Not only is Luc the founding father of the Codex Writers Group, he is one of the original members of the League of Unextrpardinary Gentlepersons. Find out about his writing, his exceptional motivation, and his superpowers in this interview!

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Alethea Kontis: Mac or PC?

Luc Reid: Both! I bought my Mac laptop solely so that I could use Scrivener on it, but I’ve used it enough now that I’m almost as comfortable on it as I am on the PCs I work on. I write on that Mac, various PCs, and an AlphaSmart (an outdated-seeming yet very useful device that basically consists of the world’s most rudimentary word processor with a full-sized keyboard and a four-line LCD screen. It cost me $30 on eBay, fires up in less than a second, and can dump data to a Mac or PC with a USB cable). I read and critique stories on computers, scrap paper, and my Kindle.

AK: Coffee or Tea?

LR: Neither, I’m afraid. Caffeine has nasty effects on me unless I administer it in carefully-managed doses–itching, headaches, high blood pressure, etc. You would think that an existence without coffee, tea, and chocolate would be pretty miserable, but once I got used to it, it got so it barely registers on the I-Care-At-All meter.

AK: Travel the world, or travel outer space?

LR: Can I say “both” on this one? Probably not, I’m guessing. Forced to pick one, I choose the World, for several reasons:

1. There are tons of fascinating people on it, and as far as I’m concerned, people are the most interesting thing conceivable. People seem to be harder to find in Outer Space.
2. Cheaper tickets.
3. Better food.
4. Free air. I hate having to pay for air.
5. Travel time measured in hours or days rather than decades or centuries.
6. Water parks.

On the other side of the equation, travel in Outer Space offers things like (possibly) alien civilizations, magnificent views, mind-boggling scientific discoveries, and all the rest–so it’s not an easy choice.

AK: Fantasy or Science Fiction?

LR: Both, again. Apparently I have trouble choosing individual things: I hadn’t noticed that pattern before. I’m also a compulsive black sheep type: you say tomato, I say tomatillo.

Anyway, sometimes I like digging into what the world could be like and what the universe might have to offer, and for that I need SF. Other times I just want to find out what would happen if chickens could talk or if some guy had a tie that made him invisible, and at times like that I tell physics to go jump in a lake and call the result Fantasy. I also am fond of alternative history, except that it’s a hell of a lot of work to do it right.

AK: What is one of your most irrational fears?

LR: My brain getting full. Ever see that Gary Larson cartoon with the kid who asks to be excused from class because his brain is full? That kind of thing completely creeps me out. I mean, brains are finite, right? What if I run out of space and start losing things like how the rocks felt on the shale beach when I was a kid, or the reasons for not worrying about death?

AK: What are you working on now?

LR: I’m revising, expanding, and reformatting my 2006 bookTalk the Talk: The Slang of 65 American Subcultures as an eBook. There was a lot of material I couldn’t put in the book when it originally came out because of page limits, and I get to put some of that back in for the new edition. To get this done, I temporary stopped work on an alternate history novel set in a 1950’s America that has been fending off a decade-long Russian invasion. It’s not about war, though: it’s about musicians.

AK: If you could be one superhero, or have one superpower who/what would you/it be?

LR: I want to be “Insight Man.” I’d love to have some sort of beam I could blast people with that would give them immediate perspective on who they are and what they’re doing. People would say things like “Wait! I’m not even enjoying these chips–why am I trying to bury my emotions under junk food?” and “Hey, I could ditch this crummy job, sell most of my stuff, and live very cheaply while doing meaningful volunteer work!” and “Wow, this shirt definitely does not go with these pants!” I would use it on myself constantly.

With that said, I do already have a super-secret identity, which you already know and which I’ll share with the Internet as long as the Internet promises not to tell anyone: I’m Vertigo Man. I don’t exactly know what my superpower is, but I do have a trademark phrase that I use for people in peril on bridges, skyscrapers, Sequoias, space elevators, etc.: “I’ll save you! Whoa, hold on–that’s really high up!”

AK: What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?

LR: I’m not sure, but here are some of the failures and successes that might be on the list: I helped found an intentional community and devised a more or less unique labor management system for it. I’ve raised my son to teenagerhood without (as far as I can tell) seriously screwing anything up. I taught myself some Hungarian and spent a month in central Europe trying to found an import/export company. I earned a black belt in Taekwondo. I won second place in the Writers of the Future contest. I learned how to play a dozen or so musical instruments. Oh, and Charles Barkley sweated on me once: that’s cool, right?

AK: Coolest thing you’re about to do?

LR: I’d like to know that myself! I personally would like to vote for “Release an eBook edition of Talk the Talk that becomes phenomenally popular,” but only time will tell.

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Luc Reid is a Writers of the Future winner whose fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Brain HarvestAbyss & ApexStrange HorizonsClarkesworld, and elsewhere. He writes a column called “Brain Hacks for Writers” for Futurismic, is member of the flash fiction group The Daily Cabal, and founded theCodex online writers group, whose members garnered 8 Nebula nominations this year (none of which were for Luc himself). His books are Talk the Talk: The Slang of 65 American Subcultures (Writers Digest Books, 2006; with an electronic edition expected out this month) and Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories (2010). He blogs about writing and the psychology of habits at lucreid.com and can be found on Twitter @lucreid.
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Writers/Princesses In Training

Hello! My name is Ariell Branson, and I’ll be guest blogging here today for the Princess. Because today is take your kid/fairy goddaughter to work day, which basically means that, instead of learning algebra, or say, “physical education” my sister (Kassidy) and I get to learn to be full time writers. Which, takes a lot more work than you might imagine, on today’s agenda we have:

1. Blogging, because sharing is caring.

2. Recording fairy tales for Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Theater, which is fabulous. Be sure to check that out if you haven’t already!

3. Interviewing authors, because we need to know what kind of questions we’ll be asked when we’re famous.

4. Going to Starbucks, because supposedly that’s how professional writers start their day. And because frappuccinos are fabulous.

5. Experimenting with new smoothie recipes, because, if the writing thing fails, it’s always good to have a backup plan.

6. Lastly, we may go to Sherilyn Kenyon’s book signing, to learn how to deal with pushy fans, of course.

So, hopefully your day will also be filled with hard work, “family,” and just a little bit of fairy dust.

(Picture drawn by Natalie Bennett)

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Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Theatre: Episode 1

Happy Chinese New Year! This is The Year of the Rabbit, and I — as you know — am a rabbit. Welcome to my year!

In celebration of this magical day, I am launching my year-long (and hopefully longer) project: Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Theatre. Every week I will post a podcast where I read aloud a fairy tale, just for you. I’ve started with The Complete Brother’s Grimm — which has enough fodder for a few years if I only post one a week…but we’ll see how it goes.

You won’t realize how many fairy tales you don’t actually know until you pick up a book and start reading all the ones in between Cinderella and Briar Rose and The Seven Swans. Now, you don’t have to! I will happily read them for you.

The story I have for you today is called “The Fox and The Geese.” It is a sweet little tale about a fox who happens upon some unsuspecting geese…and how the victims “outfox” their captor.

Run time is about 1:45. Enjoy!

(Check out Princess Alethea’s YouTube Rant about this fairy tale HERE)

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