How an English Major Wound Up in Marketing, and So Can You!

This piece was originally posted at my other blog which is now going away. I’ve decided to consolidate all of my work into one blog space, so here it is folks!

It’s back to school time. Time for kids picking out backpacks, parents picking up notebooks and pencils, way-too-young-looking college freshmen picking out furniture for their cinder block dorm rooms. And time for some lollygagging college newbies to pick out a major.

shoes, omg shoes

Kelly, what are you gonna do with your life?

Hey, Billy. You’re 17. So. What are ya gonna do with your life?

If you’re anything like me and I think a lot of you are, (there really are no special snowflakes) you had/have absolutely NO idea what you wanted to do at the ripe old age of 17 years. And yet, if you were college-bound, you were expected to have already decided. Or if not, you knew there was a deadline looming not far off in your near future. It’s technically possible to go the first 2 years or so of college with no declared major, but if you want to make sure you don’t end up behind schedule, you make that declaration as soon as possible. Fail to do so, and suffer the wrath of your advisor when you don’t have the prerequisite for that last class you have to have in your schedule, or else. Continue reading

Jordancon 2014 Report

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Okay, confession time. I’ve never read a Robert Jordan book.

Nonetheless, when some of my critique group invited me to the annual convention for all things fantasy, sci-fi, and Wheel of Time-centric, I couldn’t really say no. I mean, Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson were both attending guests. You just don’t say no to that.

Suffice to say, we had a blast. The convention takes place just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, so it was a short three hour drive from our home base in Columbia, South Carolina. We arrived at our hotel late Friday night, watched a grown man pee in the bushes, discovered that trash cans were not in fact hotel room standard at this particular establishment, and mostly ignored the mildew ridden shower curtain while we washed up for bed.

Okay, the con was great. Our hotel? Not so much. Seriously, who doesn’t put trash cans in their hotel rooms? Not a single trash can. Not a one.

But I digress.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a scifi/fantasy con that was so writing-centric. It was very refreshing! Saturday we sat in a panel called “More Than Just Prose” which emphasized the importance of lyricism and working in poetry to the novelist. Basically, Pat Rothfuss talked about Middle English and geeked out over The Last Unicorn. It was awesome. Continue reading

I’m writing a thing and it doesn’t have a single spaceship in it.

WHUUUUUT?

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So I started this thing about three weeks ago and it’s queer and contemporary and it’s not even remotely science fiction.

Which was kind of freaking me out at first.

Like, I write sci-fi and horror. That’s what I do. But while I was watching the Olympics I got really excited about figure skating because FIGURE SKATING and anyway I started typing and before I knew it I was writing a contemporary lesbian romance story about these rivals turned lovers figure skaters and what even am I doing with my life? Continue reading

Time’s a Wastin’

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How is it New Year’s? Like. When did that happen?

I feel like, the older you get, the more likely that is to happen – you wake up one day, you look around and go, what the fuck? How did I get here? As if the passage of time is a corkscrew inexorably speeding its way down the tub drain. Things get better, but things get faster too. They slip by before you have the time to enjoy them.

We waste so much of our time with worthless bullshit. Or at least I do. Continue reading

Free Christmas Story!

cat-christmas-wallpaper_10Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a great holiday season. I am currently curled up on the couch with a mug of coffee in hand and a roaring fire in the fireplace. I ate entirely too much delicious food yesterday, and I will most likely do it again today. That’s what the season is about, am I right?

So, earlier this month, I had the urge to start a derpy little Christmas story about a kitten in outer space. There’s just not enough scifi holiday stories in the world, and everything is better with kittens. SO. Without further adieu, here’s a free Christmas story for you all:

The Christmas Stowaway

This story will only be available on the blog until Jan 1st. Hope you enjoy! And have a great Christmas Day, everyone!

[EDIT – 1/1/14] This story is no longer available. Thanks for reading!

❤ Laura

NaNoWriMo² or 50k in 60 Days

Feeling overwhelmed? Relax, bro!

So I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month for the 3rd consecutive year. I talked about this a little in my post last month – What I’ve Learned from NaNoWriMo. As we near the middle of November, I thought I’d share something with fellow WriMos who may be feeling a little overwhelmed, or have already made the conscious choice to move at a slower, more conscious pace than the 50k in 30 days goal.

Now let me back up here by saying I know writers who can EASILY churn out 50k in 30 days with time to spare – while producing GOOD first drafts. But that simply isn’t the case for all of us, and I honestly begin to have reservations about encouraging that kind of breakneck pace writing – especially for new and younger writers just starting out.  Continue reading

What I’ve Learned from NaNoWriMo

Well, it’s almost that time again. In less than a month it will be time for writers worldwide to begin their annual flailing of fingers across keyboards and (for some truly intrepid travelers) a scrabbling of pens across Compound notebooks. At my library, I’m planning several official events during October and weekly write-ins throughout November.

That being said. I’m not really doing NaNo this year. Continue reading

On the Importance of Reading Aloud

Following on this awesome post by Lindsay Allison about the importance of being a good beta reader, I’d like to share something I’ve learned from our little cuddle-fest of local writers.

One of the most important things I’ve learned from my critique group is how important it is to read your own fiction aloud. Before the formation of this group, I never used to read my own writing aloud, but now I do it in my everyday practice. After I’ve finished a chapter or long section of writing, I will go back over it and, rather than simply reading it silently in my head as I would once have done, I read it out loud to myself. Continue reading

A Wild Blogger Appears! 2013 Goals Update! Also New Theme!

2013 Writing Goals Update

Back in January, I did a list of writing goals for the upcoming year. And I gotta say, I haven’t done too horribly. I’ve always been the type of person to set inhumanly lofty goals for myself (insert shooting for moon, landing among not stars because stars are not closer than the moon thank you science clichéd phrasing here) and this was no exception. So, despite not meeting all of my goals, I think I’m doing well so far. Let’s do a quick analysis, shall we? Continue reading