Thing One: a new reading from Avians is up on this blog. PLANS is the first scene from the novel, and the audio file (mp3) is available at the preceding link, or at the right under the menu for Avians Audio. Note: if you are using the mobile version, you might have to scroll way down to find the menus at the bottom. I enjoy reading PLANS at conventions, because it introduces Raisa, and has some nice details of her world and situation that generate audience questions. I love questions. You could use the comment form to ask one…
Thing Two: I’ve been invited to KeyCon in Winnipeg in May. I’ll be bringing a projector, and Lindsay Kitson and I will present the SF Writer’s Glossary of Alternative Aviation: from Autogyros to Zeppelins. We had fun with it at When Words Collide last summer, and I look forward to doing it again, although I might shorten the name to Alternative Aviation in SF. I’m adding Lifting Body (eg. Thunderbird 2) under L. Besides Lindsay and I, Daria Patrie, a third member of the Fantasy Five critique group, will also be there, and I expect we’ll appear on some panels, individually or in various combinations.
Thing Three: Ann Crowe has finished the cover picture for Avians. No, I can’t show you; the art department still has to take the illustration and turn it into a cover. With my name on it. Squee!
A few weeks ago, Samantha Beiko invited me to do a reading at the Chi-Series Winnipeg with Kate Heartfield and Garry Morse. For a sense of completeness, I was tempted to read a short story, but Sam was gently pushing for an excerpt from Avians of Celadon. As I can still count the number of people who have read the whole unpublished novel on my fingers and toes, I was easily convinced to expose a roomful of new
The event was Wednesday evening, July 8th, and we had about thirty people show up. A group of Kate Heartfield’s old classmates from her Winnipeg high school came, and some of my Manitoba author friends attended. Unfortunately, Garry Morse was unable to attend, so Chadwick Ginther, Samantha’s co-host, pinch-hit with a short story.
I chose three scenes from Avians, including one very intense death-rite. I emoted all over the place. Part of the
blame credit for that goes to Antipodean SF, because I have narrated a handful of stories (one of mine, four by other authors) for their podcasts, and learned not to hold back. Robert J. Sawyer showed me that there can be more to a reading than an author standing behind a podium.
Hats off to everyone behind Chi-Series: Chi-Zine Publications’ Sandra Kasturi and Brett Savory; Winnipeg co-hosts Samantha Beiko and Chadwick Ginther; and McNally Robinson Books, who provided not only the venue, but much support (note the poster in the corner of the picture above.) I had a hoot!
Kate Heartfield read her short story “This is the Humming Hour,” which just came out in Daily Science Fiction. I also got her to autograph her piece in Hayden Trenholm’s anthology Blood & Water, which I purchased on the spot.
Oh, and special shout-outs to L.T. Getty for showing up from out of town, and Lindsay Kitson, who not only urged me to do that tearful scene, but brought friends to watch!
A wonderful new opportunity has come my way. Samantha Beiko, my freelance editor for Avians of Celadon, has always loved the book. Along with Chadwick Ginther, she hosts the ChiSeries readings in Winnipeg. She has invited me to join Kate Heartfield and Garry Thomas Morse to do a reading on Wednesday evening, July 8th. Come and see us at McNally Robinson Books at Grant Park at 7:00PM.
Okay, that takes care of the tweet and the blog post. Now all I have to do is pick a fifteen to twenty minute segment from Avians. Two or three short scenes should do it, and there are lots to choose from. I can narrow it down a bit if I stick to scenes from Raisa’s point of view. Yeah, focus on the protagonist. I should pick stuff near the beginning, to avoid spoilers. Nothing with too many characters, or it’ll come across like name soup. Some one-on-one conflicts, maybe. Oh, but something that shows off the planet Celadon would be nice. But not too technical, or I’ll have to explain about the place instead of telling an engaging story. The death rite’s gripping, but it’s too short. The punishment scenes are powerful, but they need a little prefacing, and then they’re too long. I like this part… wait, was that an adverb? On a speech tag? I can’t do that in front of other authors!
Maybe I’m overthinking this. Time out to calm down. It’s not procrastination, it’s preparation. Anyway, I’m excited, and it will be fun!