Wednesday, July 31, 2013


It's all about who you know.

In my case, who I know is, mostly, Lynn. I think at least half the people I know are through her, quite honestly. Case in point:

Lynn likes music. Lynn likes music the way dragons like gold, quite honestly; she doesn't just enjoy it -- she hoards it. Though unlike dragons and gold, you can share music without having to let go of it yourself, and so she's also extremely enthusiastic about sharing it. And so I think it was at the 2012 MarsCon (in January, so early in the year, but I'm still a little surprised that it was that recent) that she dragged me to a performance by Jonah Knight, who writes steampunk/goth/horror music. It's good stuff. He's got a great voice for doing slightly spooky songs.

Jonah ran a kickstarter campaign later in the year to finance a new album, and one of the higher-price perks on offer was a personal performance. Lynn waffled over the money for a while, then decided that it was her birthday and Christmas present to herself, and ponied up -- and so for their Christmas party last year, Jonah put on a concert in their living room and then we all did a geek-themed gift swap before going out for Chinese. It was a lot of fun, and resulted in my newest favorite novelty Christmas song, "Bacon and Beer", which -- alas! -- is not yet available on any of his albums. Dammit. And also while I was there, he gave me permission to use one of his songs for my book trailer for He Loves Me For My Brainsss.

He was at MarsCon again in 2013, of course. And at RavenCon a couple of months later. And when I went to a wedding in June, he was the musical entertainment at the reception for that, too, much to my amusement. He sat down at my table during his break and we chatted about this and that -- but it always surprises me when people I've only met a few times remember me. I tend to think of myself as fairly forgettable.

A couple of weeks ago, Jonah unveiled his latest project: he and some friends are starting a publishing company, Antimatter Press. Specifically, they want to explore ways of breaking away from the traditional publishing models, and I really like some of their ideas. From their Vision Statement (which I really wish was on their website):
Because of our desire to experiment, when we buy a story, we will buy all rights. For example: we may release a story in audio form paired with a song. We may have a story illustrated. We may adapt a story into a short film.

I went and looked at the call for the first anthology and pondered it, but wasn't having any ideas. It's a little out of my usual venue -- I mean, I mostly write romances, yeah? So I pushed it to the back of my brain.

And then this Monday, he sent me an email, specifically asking me to contribute. In fact, asking me to contribute, specifically, a GLBT romance that fit the submission requirements. The notion, apparently, is to gather specific genres of stories together and release them as packages. e.g., urban fantasy, mysteries, romances, etc. He'd invited Lynn first, knowing her well... and then when he'd asked her for other recommendations -- well, she'd put me on that list.

I still didn't have any ideas, but allowing it to be a romance helped. And then I thought about the "local history" requirement some, and an idea just... jelled. I wrote about 600 or so words on it Monday night, and another 650 or so last night. Which is pretty good, considering that I'm doing my writing in the last hour of the night, after I get my youngest put to bed and before I chivvy the eldest off the computer for the night. It's coming together nicely, and I'm actually pretty excited about it.
Sarah bared her teeth in what Jason had come to recognize, even after only a month of graduate school, as an expression of commingled disgust and fury. It terrified him, and he didn't feel the least bit of a wuss for admitting it; it terrified most of the department. Physicists were supposed to be weedy geeks, not Amazonian women who ran ultramarathons and could probably bench-press Jason without even gritting their teeth. "Those... people," she spat. "Those people!"

Jason nearly sagged in relief -- whatever she was angry about, it wasn't his fault -- before recalling that he was still in her crosshairs. "Um, which people?" he tried.

Sarah actually growled at him, a wordless thing that almost prompted him to ask if she'd been messing around in the bio lab's lycanthropy samples. He managed to keep the remark behind his teeth, barely.

It's really nice -- flattering, even -- to be specifically requested and invited to participate in a call like this. Even if it came, mostly, from Lynn.

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