Good morning, friends and neighbors! We’re hosting a special guest today, Kate Maruyama, one of the wonderful writers from the upcoming anthology Phantasma:Stories. Kate Maruyama’s first novel Harrowgate was published by 47North. Her short story “Akiko” appears in the new anthology Phantasma: Stories. Her short work has appeared in Controlled Burn, Arcadia, Stoneboat, Salon, The Rumpus and other journals. She writes, teaches, cooks and eats in Los Angeles where she lives with her family.
Welcome to Magical Words, Kate!
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When I started my first novel, Harrowgate, I didn’t know I was writing a ghost story. In my mind I was writing a love story where a man’s wife dies in childbirth, but keeps living with him. As I explored it in all of its practicalities: can he see her? Touch her? Can other people see her? Supernatural elements other than the obvious crept in. Demons, dark places, […]
Continue reading Elephants, Magical Realism and Horror
Last night I finished reading a well-reviewed YA novel that had the coolest title ever. (Yeah, sorry, since I’m about to complain, I’m not sharing. You’ll just have to go look at YA titles and make your best guess.) The writing was good, the voice was distinct, the story was interesting and the characters were fleshed-out and individual. And when I got to the end, I wanted to throw the darned thing against the wall. (If you ever feel this way, try not to do it. I did once years ago, and left a substantial dent in the drywall.) The author didn’t finish the story. Now I understand that writing a series means you can’t tie up every loose end, answer every question. But when I’m reading, the last thing I want is to feel that the printer forgot to include another three chapters. There needs to be a conclusion […]
Continue reading Quick Thoughts I Had Over The Weekend
I’m in the depths of finishing some projects so today’s post isn’t really a post. It’s more of a question.
We’ve been at this Magical Words thing for several years now, and there’s been much wisdom and frivolity on our pages. Lately I’ve noticed that people aren’t really commenting all that much, and it concerns me. We all work as hard as we can to present useful posts that will entertain and help our readers. So I’m asking now…what would you like us to talk about? What topics haven’t been covered, or haven’t been covered well enough? Would you like some book reviews? Interviews? Arguments? (Oh wait, I don’t want arguments, unless they’re the grown-up kind in which both sides are willing to accept that each other has the right to her own opinion, and since this is the internet, we all know how likely THAT is.)
So pull out […]
Continue reading Talk To Me!
Several years back, I swore to myself (and to my husband, who was trapped in the car with me and unable to avoid hearing my rant) that I would never, ever sit on a panel called “Strong Female Characters” ever again. I had just been on one at a con, and while the discussion was perfectly reasonable and the audience attentive, we were rehashing the same old crap that’s been said thousands of times. And none of it changes anything. A panel called “Strong Female Characters” tends to affirm the often unspoken rule that white heterosexual male characters are the norm, and women are somehow different.
The same problem lurks with all sorts of commonly scheduled panels on diversity. Another that bugs me is “Writing the Other”. In an ideal world, a panel about writing the other would focus on how each of us is both different and alike, and […]
Continue reading The Same Old Song
Everyone has something that helps them get cranking on whatever writing projects they have going on. Some folks need music, others need to be in their local coffee shop. So I decided to make a list of the things that help me put words on the paper.
My Andrés Segovia Bach CD on repeat.
Soft rain outside my open window (especially on weekends when I can stay in my chair all day.)
A hot cup of coffee (or a cold glass of berry tea.)
Sudden ideas that pop into my head when I’m driving or showering. (Why haven’t I bought bath crayons to write these down on the shower wall?)
The peaceful silence of my house early on a weekend morning when I’m the only one awake.
The peaceful silence of my house late at night when everyone else is on their own computers.
A long car trip with nothing […]
Continue reading Things That Help Me Write
I stayed up Saturday night live-streaming the Hugo Award ceremony. (Well, okay, technically I watched 2/3 of it, since I was editing stories for The Weird Wild West until past 11 pm) It was an entertaining event – David Gerrold and Tananarive Due were delightful together, and there’s nothing that isn’t made more fun by the inclusion of a Dalek. I can’t imagine that anyone, at this point, hasn’t at least heard the basic results – No Awards for most of the literary categories, and Best Novel going to The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu (and announced by Dr Kjel Lindgren direct from the International Space Station – how cool is that???) Honestly, if you want to hear what more-informed people have to say about the situation, feel free to go search it out on the googlewebs, because Sunday was the Day of the Hugo Post-Game Wrapup, and really, […]
Continue reading An Editor’s Commandments