nalohop's blog

Eager

The package label for these bulbs wasn't kidding when it said "eager to put down roots". I put the ones on the left into the water four days ago, and the ones on the right two days ago. When I did so, they were just little beigy-brown balls; no hint of sprouting leaves or roots.

Left Foot, Right sold, I think

Hallo, blog. It's been a while. I'm finding Twitter much more convenient. Will have to look into turning my blog into my Twitter feed.

Looks like I've sold my new short story "Left Foot, Right" to a YA anthology! Can't say which one yet, but I'll update you when I can.

In other publishing news, Neil Gaiman and Maria Dahvana Headley's recently edited anthology Unnatural Creatures just came out. In it is a reprint of my short story "The Smile on the Face." The anthology is a fundraiser for a literacy organization, and includes stories by, among others, Nnedi Okorafor, Peter S. Beagle, Samuel Delany, Diana Wynne Jones, and Gaiman himself.

On Friday, I wrote a book proposal. Fastest that's ever happened! We'll see what my agent thinks of it.

I'm recently back from Conflux/Natcon in Canberra, Australia, where I had more good times than I can list here.

However, at the moment, I'm standing at a stall in a Riverside, California antiques mall, staring in dismay at all the Rastuses, Mammies, and watermelon-eating coon babies. I'm trying to bite back tears of humiliation. Those racist images exist. They are part of our historical legacy, and I would not have their existence erased or denied. I own some of that imagery myself, for complicated reasons. But what's killing me is that about half the ones in this store appear to be recent reproductions. WTF? White people really need to get over calling that shit "cute." (Do an Ebay search in the "Collectibles" section under "cute black boy," and you'll see what I mean.

Left Foot, Right

I just finished a short story! I think I began working on it a couple of weeks ago. It's been through a bunch of changes since then. For now, I'm calling it "Left Foot, Right," which is appropriate, since I got it done by doggedly putting one foot in front of the other. I've submitted it for consideration to the relevant anthology. Now I wait.

I'm having the usual story birth adrenaline high. Seeing as it's now 2 a.m., it may mean a sleepless night. Not complaining, though. I spent too many years too anaemic to summon this kind of creative drive. I'm thrilled beyond belief that it may be returning.

I have silly shoes; hear me roar

My newest thrift store find. These babies will do nothing to address my current lack of comfortable cool weather walking shoes, but man, oh, man are they ever making me happy right now. Yes, those are slingbacks with lucite heels WITH BRASS LIONS attached to the lucite! I can get comfy shoes tomorrow. Tonight, it's all about the brass lion slingbacks.

Picture blogging: the author, shorn

I used to have a full head of dreadlocks down to the middle of my back. I believe this pic is of the first time I chopped them off. It was probably on my 40th birthday, because that was the day my sweetie gave me a long-held wish; he dyed my hair Superman blue. If you look closely at the hair on my head, you can see that it's a kind of deep teal blue. When I was a kid in the Caribbean and reading Superman comics, I didn't grok hair highlights. African hair is matte. It doesn't shine. So I thought the highlights in Superman's hair was a patch of blue hair. I coveted Superman-coloured hair for a long time. Kind of brutal to dye black hair, though. First, you have to bleach all the colour and life out of it. That was deeply weird to experience. But I was pleased with the final result.

See? He has blue hair!

Darkovercon 2012

I'm a Guest of Honour at Darkovercon 2012 this weekend, in Timonium, Maryland. Off to pack. See you on the next rock.

Picture blogging; the bookworm climbs a tree

Yes, that's me. The tree is in a park in Toronto. The book is Kelly Link's first (and brilliant) short story collection, Stranger Things Happen. The photographer was David Findlay. The year? Who remembers any more?

Sister Mine, bound galleys

Look what the postwoman brought an hour ago; review copies of Sister Mine! These are also called "advance uncorrected proofs", because they are printed up before the proofreader has had a look at the manuscript. So there will be small errors in them that shouldn't be in the finished version. These A.R.Cs (advance reading copies) are printed with a thin card cover and on thinner paper than the final version will be. They're like a blurry snapshot of your book-to-be. So exciting! This part never gets old.

This handful of ARCs is for my personal archives. The publisher sent them to me as a courtesy. I don't know how many copies the publisher printed, but now they will be sending them out to potential reviewers. Which means that reviews should start showing up soon. So now I'll be on tenterhooks for the next little while, waiting to see what the reviewers think.

Toronto Street Writers workshop, November 6, 2012

This past Tuesday, I taught a writing workshop in Toronto for Toronto Street Writers, in the lovely Impossible Arts Academy space.

A few days -- and a haircut -- later, I gave a reading and an interview at the Impossible Words reading series in the same space. My interviewers, left to right, were Chanelle and Idil from Toronto Street Writers. They both also read some kick-ass writing of their own, and their questions of me were to the point, well-researched, and thoughtful.

Before the readings, there was a musical/spoken-word set by Sandra Alland and Y, a.k.a. Zorras. They call their style "Poetry-music-video-weirdness fusion. With megaphones." They were outspoken, fearless, and danceable. (Thanks for the cd and lyrics, guys.)

Also, I danced. With Y from Zorras, with Idil, and with David.