Jules Jones

Yog's Law: Money flows *towards* the author

Moo's NFC business cards
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Moo have been wittering on for a while now about their plans for NFC-enabled business cards. Finally they are here. They're expensive (£24 for a pack of 20), but I can think of some interesting book promo things to do with them. Not least is the fact that you can monitor whether people are interacting with the cards, and update what the cards do. They won't hold much data on their own, but they'll hold a link to a website where people can download a lot more. Just off the top of my head - the link changes every month to a new sample or story. Or you get served a random story each time you visit. And while they're expensive, they're still cheaper than branded USB drives. Moo already have some cunning ideas for using their ability to print a different image on every card, including being able to generate a unique promo code on every card, but this takes it further. (Although alas the NFC cards don't seem to be as flexible as the standard cards in having a different image on each card.)
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Angry Robot open submissions period
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For anyone with a full length sf&f novel they're looking to place, copied from the Angry Robot blog :

• The next Angry Robot Open Door opens December 1st 2015
• It will close on January 31st 2016
• It will be open to full-length science fiction and fantasy novels
• We want to buy and publish the best of these books on the Angry Robot list

We did want to say the following though. We appreciate diversity at Angry Robot. Our track record at AR speaks for itself, but we can do even better. We also know that writers from diverse backgrounds are sometimes hesitant to submit. So we’re saying this in big letters:

We want to explicitly invite writers from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences to submit to this Open Door.

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with apologies to Banjo Paterson
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This morning's commute interpreted through the medium of Twitter:
Manchester gridlocked by Tory conference road closures. Learning Polish swearwords from bus driver dealing with van drivers cutting in.

Half a block and some minutes later:

there was movement at the station, for the word had got around, that a bus from Piccadilly had got away

and had joined the free range traffic - he was worth a thousand hours - so all the stranded travellers tried to board

all the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far, had mustered at their bus stops overnight

for the commuters love hard riding where the free range buses are, and the smartphone snuffs the WiFi with delight

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I failed to post last weekend about having made it over to the wool shop's new location for their opening party. The new shop is a good deal smaller, but they've taken the opportunity to redo the layout, and it's a really nice space. I don't think it's really practical for me to get there after work for the knitting classes, but it would be nice if I could. Instead I bought enough wool and equipment to keep me occupied with working my way through the learn-to-knit book for absolute beginners I acquired last month.

The party included goodie bags for anyone making a purchase, so I have two hanks of Sirdar Lush and a pattern to go with the things I bought. Alas, I will not be up to using it for a while yet. This is also why I resisted buying any of the stunning hand-dyed yarn from Fyberspates, who were doing a guest spot - with yarn so freshly dyed it was still slightly damp. :-) It is gorgeous, gorgeous yarn, and I will be getting some when I've got to a level where it would not be wasted on me.

I'd already started working on my first project beyond practice squares, which was my other incentive to go to the party and pick up some kit, and I completed it yesterday: a pair of simple baby bootees. The sewing up is a little rough, but the bootees *are* the same size, so I'm pleased enough with my first go. :-)

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PitMad pitches
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So, I did #PitMad for the first time last week. This is a twitter pitch party, where authors have the length of a tweet to pitch their finished, unagented, unpublished manuscript to agents on the feed. A lot of editors hang around as well. I have a completed sf novel and a couple of other things in the pipeline that might be worth sending out to an agent when done, now that mainstream seems to be waking up to m/m. PitMad looked like a good way to practice writing elevator pitches, with added bonus of testing the waters.

Alas, alack, writerbrain was latched on to WiP and would not let go. I'd intended to write pitches ahead of time, but came up blank until sitting on the bus on the way to work that morning. My pitches need polishing. I'm dumping them here, mainly so I can find them again easily from my phone, but if anyone has comments on improvements, feel free.

First, a useful template:
#Pitmad pitch template: Protagonist must [GOAL] or [CONSEQUENCE] but [OPPOSITION] (not necessarily in that order!).

Second, an entertaining piece of microfic I loved. :-)
Eric Smith ‏@ericsmithrocks Sep 10

Two agents, once best friends, favorite the same #PitMad tweet.

They must battle in the Thunderdome in I HAD DIBS, a dark sci-fi thriller.

Rules were - agents/editors favourite to express interest in seeing a submission. Anyone else retweets if they want to show support or track a tweet for later.

pitches, or, would you buy these?Collapse )

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Monthly wordage report
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It isn't a PicoWrimo month, but I may as well note August's wordage. I wrote every day (although I didn't hit 200 words on a handful of days), and added 13,000 words to the novel WIP. Did a couple of book reviews, which I must post. Had a short story accepted by Loose Id, which will be released as a freebie at some point (probably relatively soon, given that I was doing edits over the weekend, but I'm not promising anything). Sent a query off, but no response so far and by now I'm not expecting one.

Given that I seem to be able to do a solid 10k a month at the moment, I may well finish the rough draft of the WIP before the end of September. Unfortunately it's going to be a *very* rough draft, and I think I will have to set it aside for a couple of weeks before I go back to edit it.

I've got several partials in the pipeline to work on in the meantime, including two novels that I really want to get done and out there on submission. I also have some completed pieces in need of a home, so I'm seriously considering taking part in pitchmad (a Twitter pitching thing) next week. In order to do that I'll need to come up with some Twitter pitches, which will be a good exercise for me anyway. I may be inflicting the results on my flist for comments. :-)

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Acceptance: Knotting the Tie
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Loose Id have accepted my wedding short story Knotting the Tie for Alex and Robin from Nice Tie. :-) No release date yet, but it will be released as a free Fling. More details when I have them.

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Dragon's dictionary continues to fascinate me
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Over the last couple of weeks I've been busy writing on the bus using a notebook of the dead tree variety, and then transcribing it when I get home using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. While I generally keep away from writing anything too steamy when I might have an audience, I have just discovered that Dragon recognises the word "fuckable". Since I haven't actually trained the new installation on most of my document files, I suspect it didn't learn that from me, which leads me to wonder why it's in Dragon's vocabulary…

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Yes! Have voted in Worldcon site selection!
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After a certain amount of angst involving a week of trying to get the Sasquan credit card facility to believe I owned my US credit card (it doesn't understand the concept of a US bank card with a UK format address), I went to scan my ballot over to site selection... only to find that my elderly scanner doesn't speak Windows 8. I tried a workaround with the Win 7 driver, which failed miserably, then thought "I have an iPad". Alas, the ballot says that it must be scanned into a pdf, and my iPad speaks jpeg. Which is why I now have a free scan-to-pdf app on my iPad.

Anyway, after all that, the email has just gone on its way. Obviously my next job is going to be shopping for a new scanner, because while I haven't used the one at home since we got decent hopper feed ones at work, there are some documents I don't want anywhere near the corporate IT systems, and that includes wet signature book contracts. The last one of those was just before I ran out and bought a windows 8 machine because the XP box was creaking at the seams, which is why I hadn't realised that my scanner can now join the rest of the XP kit under the bed.

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waving goodbye to the wool shop
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I am bereft. My local wool shop has upped sticks and left for a neighbouring village, because their lease has expired and the renewal rates are only affordable by chains. I didn't go in there all that often, but it was very, very handy to have within walking distances on those occasions when I needed some piece or other of sewing kit. Their primary thing was knitting, but they also catered to cross-stitchers like me, and had a nice stock of general sewing kit. They are responsible for entirely too much of the non-book/fannish clutter in this house, not least because they have been very helpful in my recent attempts to (re-)learn to knit.

They've only moved, not closed, but they've moved somewhere that's far enough to require wheeled transport to get there. This is probably a good thing in terms of stopping me from popping in and buying something because it was there, but alas, what am I to do when I actively want or need something? At least I did get to their last day party on Saturday, and thus acquired entirely too many balls of scarf wool, along with a couple of things I actually needed as opposed to "Ooh, shiny!"

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