elektra: (cat sitting on book graphic)

I’m a part of this week’s Mind Meld at SF Signal–read about which genre author I think deserves more recognition. And about which authors Jamie Todd Rubin, Jonathan Laden, Mike Resnick, R. Leigh Hennig, Nick Mamatas, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Deborah Walker, Eric James Stone, Anna Yeatts, Alex Shvartsman, Lynne M. Thomas, and Marguerite Kenner deemed worthy of more appreciation.

Read all about it at:
http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2014/08/mind-meld-underappreciated-genre-authors/. And while you’re at it, check out SF Signal. It’s full of fun!

Send to Kindle

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (jaelle of armida)

The DarkoverCon memorial book, honoring our late con chair Jaelle of Armida aka Judy Gerjuoy, is now available on amazon.

cover of jaelle her book

A number of Jaelle’s friends wrote remembrances of her and/or stories. It contains my short (flash) story “Come Now to War.” Copies will be available at the convention, and all proceeds go to support DarkoverCon.

Send to Kindle

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.


Aug. 14th, 2013 04:15 am
elektra: (sfwa)

I am now an affiliate member of Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA). That is all.

Send to Kindle

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (open book graphic)

Last night I had an epiphany. I was working on (struggling really) with my work-in-progress, which is late in one direction and pushing deadline in another, and suddenly words starting flowing. This was a strongly outlined story–which suddenly went off in different directions as the characters just started, well, doing things on their own. Other writers talk about their characters taking on a life of their own, but its never happened to me before.

Now I routinely write movie reviews over at buzzymag, and I can crank out 400 words on just about any film with no problem (although I do take notes in the theater). My first fiction story was published in May 2011, and I’ve written book reviews and cat articles for various magazines over the years.

Yesterday I had a 2000+ word day. I didn’t want to stop to go to sleep.

I feel like a writer now. For real.

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (elektra first issue cover)

2012 will be remembered as the year I came to terms with living in Delaware and found a life here. We ended the year by going to several holiday parties, and spent New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia with lots of friends, watching the ball drop on TV.

I spent 2012 editing more than ever, but I also started reviewing movies at buzzymag–best job ever! It’s a start. I took Jonathan Maberry’s Novel in Nine Months class, and while I didn’t manage to write my novel, I did learn a lot. I put out my first solo anthology: Galactic Creatures, and I’m very proud of how it turned out. I didn’t lose the fifty pounds I wanted to, but I came close at forty-eight down.

Cat-wise, we produced a litter of maine coon kittens, a litter of munchkins, and a litter of havanas. We didn’t show much, and it looks like we won’t be showing all that much in 2013, either. I’ve got a few judging assignments lined up for the next year, but my focus has definitely shifted.

Looking ahead to 2013, I’ve signed up for some online classes from EFA to spruce up my copyediting skills (a refresher never hurts), and to learn how to format e-books. I’ve got lots of editing lined up, and a couple of short stories I *will* submit (or else!). I want to do more writing, including the movie (and book) reviews for buzzymag.

I’m going to be more involved in Philcon this year (I was assistant Masquerade director in 2012), and I hope to get more involved in PSFS, too. I’m hoping to learn more about how to put on conventions–it can’t be that different from putting on cat shows, right?

I’m within fifteen pounds of my goal weight. I’m on nutrisystem, and I *will* get there this year. Next up: more exercise.

Oh, and more filking. My first guitar lesson in thirty-plus years is tonight . . .

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (cat sitting on book graphic)

This weekend is the 17th Annual Baltimore Book Festival, a three-day extravaganza of book-related fun spread over several blocks of downtown Baltimore. Readings, panels, demos, and signings will be taking place, as well as all manner of books, new and used, for sale. Dark Quest Books is handling the book sales for SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America), who is a program partner for the event this year. I’ll be helping out with the book sales.

I’m also scheduled for two panels, both on Saturday, 29 September at the SFWA tent:

12 noon The Electronic Age
It’s here and it’s booming. A plethora of bonuses come with reading in the electro-optic age, including: eBooks, animation, audio books, and who knows what in the near future. Come hear what’s up in one of biggest developments in publishing.
Panelists include: Kate Milford, Sarah Pinsker, Harry Heckel, Elektra Hammond, Philippa Ballantine

1pm Steampunk and Gaslight: It’s Hot and on Top
Come talk with steampunk and gaslight authors about this immensely popular new genre.
Panelists include: Tee Morris, Tiffany Trent, Ellen Datlow, Richard White, Elektra Hammond

If you’re at the festival, stop by and say “hi.”

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (iron cage cover)

There is a very nice review of In an Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk over at SF Reader.

They take the time to say something nice about each and every story, and they really “got” what we were trying to do with the anthology.

I’ve been working under deadline to finish up a project (which has now gone to press), so I have a lot of news to share. Watch the skies!

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (stars)

I’m heading down to Chattacon this weekend, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Last night, the programming schedule turned up in my email, and I’m very pleased to announced that they’ve put me on some panels! Without further ado:

8:00pm Gallery A&B
Meet the Pro’s Reception
Wherein I will be hanging around mostly playing fangirl to the major guests of the convention . . . .

2:00pm Gallery B
Stories: The Long and Short of It
[panelists: Lee, Miller, Van Name, Hammond]
Note: This panel is opposite the Baen Traveling Slide Show, and everyone on it (other than me!) is a Baen author. Odd scheduling]

5:00pm Gallery B
The Virgin Chronicles–Newbie Writers
[panelists: Hammond, Conley]

I will also be at the FOL (Friends of Liad) breakfast if there is one.

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (cat at computer)

Last night was the first meeting of this year’s iteration of Jonathan Maberry’s Novel in 9 Months class. Looks like this one is going to be a blast! Definitely a diverse group of people, and the instructors have got this down to a science. Learned some things, reinforced some things, unlearned some things . . .

Came home after class to find the order for my new laptop (the current one now sounds like a jet taking off) had been cancelled due to a screw-up by AmEx.

So, this morning–fixed the laptop order. Worked out for the first time since my foot/toe surgery (yah!), now that I can wear shoes again.

On the schedule for the rest of the day: daily writing quota, copyediting, laundry(!), homework. Then later, I think we (dh and I) are going out to dinner with west coast Mark, followed by a flick. So, sitz fleisch.

But first, I better go take a shower . . . .

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (barbie Elektra)

The year 2012 actually started the way a new year is supposed to–with champagne, and music, and friends. Of course, it was a bit of a slow start–I’m still limping from the toe surgery I had on the 28th, and I don’t get my stitches out until the 3rd. I’ve been sitting down a lot.

2011 saw a lot more editing work come my way, as well as my first published story. Of course, more editing work means that I’m writing less to keep up with the editing. I need to find a better balance. The year also saw a shift in the balance between the sci-fi/fantasy and cat show worlds. BlueBlaze produced two litters of maine coon kittens (now all sold), and is now showing a havana queen, but on the whole I spent more of my available [weekend] time at conventions or book-related events rather than cat-oriented events. This shift has made me a happier person, and I plan to continue it. I have some [cat show] judging assignments coming up in the next year, and I look forward to them [particularly spending Valentine's week in Malta], but I am severely curtailing my exhibition-only weekends in favor of sci-fi conventions, book fairs, and steampunk events.

Thanks to my GP sending me back to Physical Therapy, I finally started exercising, and I was doing close to an hour of cardio at a stretch prior to having my toe sliced open. I’m still trying to figure out how to do something, but I fear I need to wait until the stitches come out before either the exercise bike or the treadmill is an option.

In 2012, I want to:
Write more. And get better about putting aside time for it. To help achieve this, I’ve signed up for Jonathan Maberry’s Novel in Nine Months class, starting in mid-January. It’s about an hour-and-a-half drive each way, but only meets physically once a month, and I’ve heard very good things about it. Hopefully that will be the push I need.

Edit more. And perhaps more effectively. I’ve decided it’s time for a refresher–I’m planning on the EFA Advanced Copyediting class, which I haven’t taken yet. In the past I’ve found the online EFA classes to be extremely worthwhile and well worth the cost. The class runs six weeks and starts in late February–I’ll assess at the beginning of the month if I can manage it while taking Jonathan’s class.

Get more organized. I’ve started this, but I need to keep up with it, and refine it. I’m freelancing in enough different directions I need to be certain nothing falls through the cracks. I’m starting to think I need a virtual corkboard–or maybe a real one.

Get back into shape. This is somewhat contingent on the healing of the toe, but I had a pretty good start on it before the surgery slowed me down.

Lose the last blasted fifty pounds. Related to the above getting in shape. I’m tired of being overweight. It’s a bit tricky trying to diet when traveling, but I’ve done it before. I just need to wrap my head around it again. Exercising will help, I think.

De-clutter. Especially the extraneous paperwork. Some of this is part of various ongoing projects to scan and dump old stuff, and some of it is just dumping old stuff that we’ll never look at again anyway. There’s a lot of paperwork that we have no room for, and I’m tired of having it in the way.

Read my way through some of the backlog. And sift through some of the books and donate them. I could read from now until doomsday, and I’d never get through them all . . . it’s time to be merciless and cull the backlog again.

Clean out and organize the craft stuff/sewing stuff/needlework stuff in the guest room so guests will fit in there. ’nuff said

I think that will keep me busy until next year.

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (iron cage cover)

The first Saturday in December is Christmas in Odessa. This year, as part of the celebration, I’ll be at the Corbit-Calloway Memorial Library (115 High Street, Odessa, DE) starting at 12:30pm, talking about steampunk and signing copies of In An Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk. I’ll be there in my Christmas-y Steampunk finest.

If you’re in the neighborhood, stop in and say “hi.”

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

New Review

Nov. 29th, 2011 08:58 pm
elektra: (iron cage cover)
In An Iron Cage cover There’s a nice review of In An Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk over at Book Spot Central.

Kudos to Bernie Mojzes, Jim Chambers, Jeff Young, David Sherman and Danielle Ackley-McPhail, whose stories got called out for special praise.

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (NaNoWriMo steampunk)

It’s day three of NaNo and I’m already behind. Of course. I’m trying to keep up with all the editing I’m committed to as well (income is a good thing), and November is always busy around here. Keestone Katz! Philcon! Darkovercon! But I’m doing it anyway.

But things are looking up. I had the first of a series of weekly write-ins at my local library yesterday, and I was joined by a fellow quester, Deb. Everything is better with company!

And last night my laptop (my main computer system), returned to me after its visit back to its homeland, good as new. Apparently the cable to the display was bad. Fixed now. I am very much a creature of habit.

So, see you on the other side of November, hopefully 50,000 words later.

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (iron cage cover)

We’re giving away a copy of In an Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk on Goodreads. It contains my first published story, “The Case of the Duchess’s Dog”–enter early and often!

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (trophy shelf photo)

In an Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Elektra Hammond and Neal Levin is now available in print on amazon.com.

In an Iron Cage contains the following stories:
The Winter Court by Bernie Mojzes
House of Automatons by James Chambers
Drinking Down Death by Jeff Young
Speaker For The Mayans by Brenda Cooper
To Love And Hope by C.J. Henderson
Little Girl With Pink Ribbons by Stuart Jaffe
Scoundrel’s Magic by James Daniel Ross
On The Wings Of An Angel by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
The Trans-Siberian by A.C. Wise
The First Flight of the Valhalla by Darren W. Pearce
The Case of the Duchess’s Dog by Elektra Hammond
That Voo Doo That You Do by Patrick Thomas
Iron and Brass, Blood and Bone by Alma Alexander
Greater Crater Gremlins by David Sherman

Also available for the kindle. Order early and often!

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (trophy shelf photo)

There’s a great guest blog at the Literary Handyman today by Jason Franks on writing good prose. He makes a lot of good points, and he does it in an entertaining way. Check it out here.

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (trophy shelf photo)

The Literary Handyman
by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

published by Dark Quest, LLC
ISBN: 978-1-93705-100-6

4 bookmarks (out of 5)

The Literary Handyman is not a linear how-to-write book–it doesn’t take you from A to Z in ten easy steps. It’s more like a book full of classic recipes–open it to any page and get a single tasty delicacy, full of layered flavors and satisfying combinations.

The Literary Handyman is a collection of articles, some published before in at various diverse times and venues, each a thoughtful look at a single aspect of writing. From “The Naming of Names” through “Coming to Your Senses” and finally to “Promoting for the Beginner”, each essay takes a fresh look at the topic, giving insights in a light conversational tone that is comfortable to read. The book is divided into two main sections, the first on the craft of writing, the second covering aspects of the business of writing. Separating the two sections are some writing exercises to keep the reader on their toes!

One of the most intriguing articles is “Spend Your Words Wisely,” a very careful analysis of how changing just a few words can totally alter the meaning of a paragraph. The super value here is in the analysis of each variation, the why of the differences. It’s a clever exercise, and one I enjoyed immensely.

Overall, this is a valuable collection to add to your literary reference shelf and one I recommend. It’s a part of my library.

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (red elektra graphic)

In An Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk
edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Elektra Hammond & Neal Levin

My steampunk story “The Case of the Duchess’s Dog” is in this anthology, which is now available, if you want the Kindle version.

Here is the full table of contents:
The Winter Court, by Bernie Mojzes
House of Automatons, by James Chambers
Drinking Down Death, by Jeff Young
Speaker For The Mayans, by Brenda Cooper
To Love And Hope, by C.J. Henderson
Little Girl With Pink Ribbons, by Stuart Jaffe
Scoundrel’s Magic, by James Daniel Ross
On The Wings Of An Angel, by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
The Trans-Siberian, by A.C. Wise
The First Flight of the Valhalla, by Darren W. Pearce
The Case of the Duchess’s Dog, by Elektra Hammond
That Voo Doo That You Do, by Patrick Thomas
Iron and Brass, Blood and Bone, by Alma Alexander
Greater Crater Gremlins, by David Sherman

You can also preorder the print version direct from Dark Quest Books here.

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (red elektra graphic)

Sometimes I’m just behind on everything.

Balticon was a whole new experience for me. I started attending Science Fiction Conventions in the early 1980s, when I was in graduate school, and I have always enjoyed them. Over the years I have attended panels, filk concerts, bardic circles, workshops, art shows, auctions, slide shows, GOH speeches, readings, open filks, and dead dogs. Key word: attended.

At Balticon that all changed. Mike and I (with help from Janina, Amber and Tree–thanks!) spent the weekend running a fan table for Darkovercon 34 [ 25 - 27 November 2011 in Timonium, MD ] , in a busy hallway right in the middle of things. We talked to a lot of nice folks, and met a ton of nice people.

I took a few breaks from the table–notably to attend several panels–where I sat on the other side of the table for the first time! I did two costuming panels: Faux Paws (Recreating Expensive Looks for Less) & Steampunk in Costuming; and was drafted onto a couple of literary panels: Dark Quest Books Presents and Steampunk. I also helped at the Dark Quest book launch on Sunday evening, and did my first reading.

Mike and I also managed to squeeze in the Masquerade, and a couple of concerts including a great FuMP show. And I proofread a magazine. We even got some sleep.

I’ve been working in the field for better than a dozen years, but now I really feel like a pro.

Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.

elektra: (red elektra graphic)

I returned to Lunacon this year after a very long absence*. I was only able to attend for Saturday (I zipped to Reading, PA Saturday night and judged a cat show all day Sunday), but I tried to squeeze in as much con-going experience as I could into the day.

I went to a few nice panels, said a brief hello to Laura Anne (and got my books signed!), spent a little time at the Dark Quest table in the Dealer’s Room, had a very productive meeting with Neal about Sparkito Press (an Imprint of Dark Quest Books), talked with a few friends, and chatted with the folks at the fan tables about how to do a better job of promoting Darkovercon. I also went to the book launch for Buffalo Contingency and ended the day with a nice deli sandwich with the Dark Quest folks before heading off into the night. And I signed a contract for my first fiction sale, a short story going into the anthology In an Iron Cage http://www.darkquestbooks.com/store/product-info.php?pid91.html.

I wished I could have stayed for the whole weekend.

*The last Lunacon we were at, the GOH was Roger Zelazny. The Program Book tells me that was 1989. I need to get out more.

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