Episode 56 with Fran Wilde

I have Fran Wilde on the show talking world building, switching narrative voice, and her amazing Bone Universe!
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Her novels and short stories have been nominated for two Nebula awards and a Hugo, and include her Andre Norton- and Compton-Crook-winning debut novel, Updraft (Tor 2015), its sequels, Cloudbound (2016) and Horizon (2017), and the novelette “The Jewel and Her Lapidary” (Tor.com Publishing 2016). Her short stories appear in Asimov’s, Tor.com, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer, Nature, and the 2017 Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror. She holds an MFA in poetry, an MA in information design and information architecture, and writes for publications including The Washington Post, Tor.com, Clarkesworld, io9.com, and GeekMom.com. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and at franwilde.net.
You can also find the episode on Stitcher, iTunes, and Google Play!
Fran’s words are beautiful. I can’t recommend these books enough!!!
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back and even better!

51promoHey guys!
Too Many Words returns with the wonderfully prolific and friend of the show, Oli Jacobs! He is the author of several horror and science fiction novels. Oli gets into his latest horror novel Deep Down There. We talk the brilliance of H.P. Lovecraft, leaning into voice, the power of walking away, and how every writer needs a dog. I had a wonderful time chatting with him and I  hope you enjoy listening.
Before Oli comes on, I get into what I’ve been up to and the show’s switch to Patreon.

Download. Share. Subscribe.
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You can now support the show on Patreon! https://goo.gl/WQYhgt

 

Notebook in hand, it’s a new year

Well, I’m back in my real life. Holiday break is over. I dropped the kids off this morning missing the preschool days where I was their main gig for the first time in a long time. This feels like a good thing. The first few days off I had trouble letting go of plots and pitch letters. In the final days of my time off, my anxiety about getting back to it started to build. I was scared of facing responses to what I’ve pitched (short and long works) and was terrified of what I’d write next.

I woke up this morning at six before the house started to stir, got my coffee, and grabbed The Lord of the Rings (a book I can’t even count how many times I’ve read. Sometimes I just have to dive in again and get lost.) I took my time this morning getting back to my chair in my office in the back corner of my basement. As soon as I stepped into the bird-covered walls, I made a playlist on Spotify of kick-ass female music while I wrote down my goals and deadlines for January.

Now my mind starts to fill with inspiration, and I gear up to edit a short story I wrote before the break. My dogs sleep by my feet. I’m feeling good. It’s nice to be back. I guess this is part of being a writer (especially earlier in the career), but sometimes I spend time trying to convince myself I’m not a writer. My inner critic tell me to do something else. But, here I am in my chair with fingers slamming against the keys of my Macbook and I feel like I’m exactly where I should be.

Life is weird. I feel strange about everything most of the time. But, I’m lucky to have an amazing family I helped build and to love what I do for a living, even if it makes me feel anxious, vulnerable, and sometimes terrible.

Happy New Year all!

-J

A busy day.

Let me just start off by saying I’m deliriously tired so please keep that in mind, but alas I made a commitment to myself that I would really try to blog each night before bed.

Continuing to be determined to enjoy my summer and to log full-time hours, I started out taking turns going on adventures with kids taking a different dog each time. It was a lot of fun and also a really good form of exercise for all involved.

The second stop was the kids and I went to a pretty chill, wooden playground where the kids climbed around on the equipment while I sat on a bench as Jake (my rottweiler) laid at my feet playing with his rubber squeaky ball. This woman walking by me huffed and said, “I can’t believe you’d bring an attack dog to the park.”

I looked down at Jake who at this point was half asleep with the ball in his mouth before looking back at the frustrated woman, then asked, “What attack dog?”

“That’s a rottweiler.” Like, she was seriously mad and fuming about this. Her shoulders were tight.

I was kinda pissed and said, “You are breed profiling him and that’s not cool.” Something I do is smile when I’m mad which makes everything I say give off the air that I’m being sarcastic. It usually doesn’t help much in conflicts.

The woman tossed her hand back, said, “Ridiculous,” and walked away.

Ummm…okay.

Then it was swimming, the store for dinner items then heads down work time. I’m kinda feeling optimistic today, which is nice.

I gotta say productivty wise I killed it. I edited an article and got that where it needed to go. Pitched  column. (Wish me luck!)  Outlined two short stories. Did needed research. I also finished the second draft of the wizard story for the Meanwhile in Washinton anthology that I am co-writing with H.M. Jones. Which, I gotta say I’m having so much fun with this project and working with H.M. Just thinking about it gets me excited.

I didn’t do everything I set out to, but I did most of it. I like to think that I can pack everything I want to do in a day out of sheer will. It’s not always the case. Today I’m happy with what I did and what I enjoyed. Oddly enough it makes me nervous about tomorrow, but that’s just me being me, I suppose.

 

Well, I’m gonna read a bit before sleep.

-J

 

A New ‘Too Many Words’ For Your Ears

It’s Monday, which means a new episode is up. I have a really great one for you guys today. I hope you enjoy!

H.M. Jones and I talk about our impending summers, naughty dogs, being the weird parent, not sleeping, and a medieval rendezvous. We also talk about how gender equality has a long way to go and the importance of connecting with others. H.M. Jones also announces the new home for her novel, Monochrome!

I had quite a bit of fun talking with H.M. Jones, it is always a great time having her on the show.

Do it up!

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Download from Libsyn

Another Generic Monday Bit

I realize it’s possible that writing a post on Monday where I complain about how my Monday is going could be misunderstood as a reach or disingenuous. But, that couldn’t be any further from the truth.

The plan was for me to start the day editing ‘Not Without Sunshine’ before transitioning into work on this week’s Elliot chapter.

I have an article about getting to know your characters that I was planning on putting together for you folks today, but instead, I am worked up and underslept. For no substantive reason, I’m unsettled and having trouble focusing.

My Monday started last night. My husband and I were falling asleep watching a movie. Before retiring for the night, we let the dogs out one last time which led to the discovery that our washing machine with our son’s Gee for Tai Kwon Do class the next day, was overflowing and backing into the sink. I was proud I didn’t freak out, just like my husband didn’t freak out when his computer’s motherboard fried a little bit earlier in the day. No, we stayed calm, saved the Gee and talked about our options.

I made a joke right before my husband fell asleep about how it’s possible we have Yo-Kai in the house. In case, you don’t know Yo-Kai are spirits that cause mischief a lot like Gremlins. My son is obsessed. My husband fell asleep; my dogs started snoring, and there I was listening to the dryer hoping that the contents weren’t too soapy. Thoughts about creatures in the house causing trouble starting cycling through my head. Then the thought of my daughter’s doll walking down the hallway for some reason jumped into the forefront of my mind.

Yep, I was completely wide awake.

My night consisted of less than four hours of very light sleep. Sometimes sleep doesn’t come easily to me. I’ve been in a pretty good cycle recently but have suffered from long insomnia bouts on and off most of my life.

Like every morning, my dogs wake me up (usually before 7) to go outside. This morning started no different. Both boy dogs had their faces right in mine. I rolled over instead of getting right up. My one dog made one of his signature complaining noises and went downstairs. I reluctantly dragged my butt downstairs to find him lifting his leg and peeing on all of my shoes. Yes, all of them. Which, I have to say I’m shocked this particular dog even did that.
He had to go, and I blew him off.

The dog, of course, felt terrible. Jake is such a good dog and is such a pleaser. He was so upset that when he went outside, he didn’t want to come in. Jake clearly saw I was turning into a dragon.
I am not my best in the morning when I’ve had eight hours of sleep. Between the lack of sleep, my shoe dispair, and all my wacky hormones (because, yes, of course, it is also that time of the month) came together in a slendid show. There I was barely awake standing in my yard yelling at my dog to come in the house, waking up my family, and standing in boots filled with my dog’s urine.

Needless to say, my day and week isn’t getting off on the right foot so far and at the same time it is, because two really great news emails that I’ve been waiting for came in.

So, long story short, life happens, and it happens on its own without permission. I realize none of these are real problems, and we are well aware that we’ve needed a new laundry setup. Nothing has really happened, but because my overpriced shoe collection got covered in a gallon of pungent male dog pee and I’m worried I’m in for a weird sleep cycle phase I’ve decided to share all of this with you guys instead of my character post in a desperate attempt to regain focus. I guess you can expect the character post tomorrow.

One thing I have been trying to pay attention to is my gut when it comes to what I work on when. The whole reason behind having multiple projects is so I always have somewhere to focus my wordsmithing. There are times I make myself work on this one thing when my mind is on the other. I fight it because I like lists and control. I need to be the one driving and saying no. But doing that works against me. In the end, if I just listen to my mind’s focus and not try to micro-manage my own creative ability so much I end up accomplishing more. Life doesn’t always care that I wanted to wait until next month to buy the laundry machines.

I’m low on sleep, and my husband had to go buy me shoes, so I have shoes to wear. I appreciate that he’s my partner. I know I’m not always an easy one.

Well, I suppose the rant is over. Hopefully, I can focus on editing and crossing things off lists, so I can happily hum along in my small, little world again.

Thank you for listening.