Writing Process Blog Tour

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(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Kathy Fish, one of my favorite writers, invited me to participate in the Writing Process Blog Tour.

Kathy is the writer of the awesome collections of short stories Wild Life and Together We Can Bury It.

Thank you so much for introducing me, Kathy!

Without further ado, here are my answers to the writing process blog tour questions:

1) What are you working on?

I just completed two novels about climate change and personal agency. They were a lot of fun, very educating and interesting to write, but it also felt like I set up a lot of rules for writing them, what form they should have, where the plot would go, tone, atmosphere etc.

Because of that, I wanted to write something without rules and fixed plot, which I’m currently working on. With the two novels I also wrote a certain amount every day because there was a lot of ground to cover. That worked because I had a sense of where the plot was going, although often when I try to write a set amount each day, I’m not happy with the result afterwards, so I usually don’t do that unless it seems right.

With the current work I’m writing when it feels very necessary, writing what appears, when it appears. I’ve also tried to set no restrictions on the form and plot. I don’t know where this will take me, but I will keep writing what seems important.

I also recently discovered place-writing, writing about a place instead of or in addition to people, and this is something I’m exploring further in the new story.

 

2) How does your work differ from others of its genre?

My work is perhaps more science-inspired and matter-of-factly in style, focused on inner processes and place and landscape. I also think my work doesn’t fit any genres very well, at least not the established literary genres. But what genre and how and where my work fits is probably best to ask others about.

 

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(Image: By Unknown)

3) Why do you write what you do?

The two novels about climate change and agency are inspired by my interest in the natural world, biology, science, and what is going on in the world today as the climate and the environment is changing.

When I studied biology we were of course taught about the episodes of mass extinction and proliferation that the species on Earth have gone through since life began on the planet. But if someone had told me that I would live in the time of such a mass extinction myself, that 40 percent of the bird species in Norway would go under threat, and the great glaciers in Greenland and the Antarctic pass the point of melting return, I would never have believed them. Yet, here we are, and there is no doubt it is caused by human activity, including the expansion of human agriculture and industry, and population growth.

I can’t, however shake the feeling that we are in this predicament despite having known about it for several years, not only because there are strong forces, economic as well as political, that are opposed to changing how we consume energy and other goods, which there are, but also because there seems to be a certain chosen ignorance on the level of individuals, resisting the changes that are necessary, hoping it will all somehow go away by itself, or not turn out as bad as the scientists say. And that’s a huge and very risky gamble.

It’s terrible that we aren’t politically and economically savvy enough to choose those forces that wish to work towards changes and to curb our industry and consumption enough to make a real dent in green house gas emissions. The true wealth of the planet is the multitude of species, from single-celled organisms to plants, fungi, and animals, not whatever precious metals, gems, or fossil fuels may be left. For a biologist, the humanity-induced mass extinction is a very hard pill to swallow. That fueled the two previous novels.

 

4) How does your writing process work?

With the previous two novels I wrote every day, following a lose outline in my head, which changed often as I progressed along the plot. At the end of the last novel I couldn’t plan anything because almost everything would turn out differently from what I planned, so I just went with what appeared in the moment.

That’s what I’m doing now with the current story. I write what strikes me, whenever it happens. I try to remain as open to new stories and new writing impulses as possible.

 

The three writers I wish to introduce in the Writing Process Blog Tour are Fabio Fernandes, Jimin Han, and Paul Jessup!

Fabio Fernandes is an SFF writer and translator living in São Paulo, Brazil. He has several stories published in online venues (Everyday Weirdness, Snake-Oil Cure, Paleo-Future Magazine, Kaleidotrope, Scigentasy and others). He also contributed to Steampunk Reloaded, Southern Weirdo: Reconstruction, and The Apex Book of World SF Vol. 2. Co-editor (with Djibril al-Ayad) of We See a Different Frontier, an anthology of colonialism-themed speculative fiction. Member of the 2013 Clarion West Writers Workshop.

Fabio’s most recent publications include The Woman, Long After in Scigentasy and Nothing Hardcore to Me in Near to the Knuckle (writing as Phil Casanueva).

Jimin Han‘s short stories and essays can be found online at NPR’s Weekend America, The Rumpus, The Good Men Project, Kartika Review, and KoreanAmericanStory. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute.

Jimin’s most recent publications include The Neighbor in The Good Men Project and Eemoboo (Uncle) in KoreanAmericanStory.org.

Paul Jessup is a critically acclaimed/award winning author, poet and playwright. He has appeared in many different magazines, anthologies, and has a few books placed out in small and large publishing houses alike.

Paul’s most recent publications are Summer Cannibals in The Big Click and SunSorrow in Swords and Mythos.

Looking forward to reading all your posts in the Writing Process Blog Tour on the 31st!

Interview in Minerva Zimmerman’s Ghosts in the IM

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“I’ve also noticed there’s a very stylistic almost desolation or emptiness in a lot of your work. Like I almost always imagine wide open emptiness in your various settings.”

Writer and blogger Minerva Zimmerman was kind enough to include me in her Ghosts in the IM interview series.

It was great fun to talk with Minerva about writing, fiction, science, language, culture, and much more. Read the rest of the interview here.

Thank you so much, Minerva for a good chat and for including me in the interview series!

Check out the other interviews in the series, with writers Amanda C. Davis and Richard Dansky.

(Image: Une ville vide by the Seine, taken by writer, blogger, and painter Anh Mat)

Five Places For Stories

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“Venice, ancient trade port, city state, tourist trap, and drowning museum. Environmentally and sociologically perhaps as far from Antarctica as it’s possible to get; mild and humid, brimming with people, full of commerce and low on science…”

With the publication of The Apex Book of World SF 3, editor Lavie Tidhar suggested I write a guest blog about five things connected with writing.

I landed on writing about five places that have inspired my stories.

Thank you so much to Lavie for suggesting the list and to Jared at Pornokitsch for hosting the guest blog!

Every Thought, Every Motion

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“She sent him to an island in the Antarctic so small and remote only a handful of intelligence agencies knew about it.”

Every Thought, Every Motion is my story in Cartridge Lit, the only lit mag (so far) dedicated to fiction, poetry, and non-fiction inspired by games!

Thank you so much to editors for letting this story sneak in! Go check out their other awesome stories and poems!

(Image: Bouvet Island, Wikimedia Commons)

The Apex Book of World SF 3 is now out!

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The Apex Book of World SF 3 is out now!

My story Dancing on the Red Planet is included in this new anthology of international science fiction, edited by Lavie Tidhar, along side stories by Karin Tidbeck, Benjaung Sridunkaew, Amal El-Mohtar, and many others.

Many thanks to Lavie Tidhar for including the story and to Ian Sales for publishing the story for the first time in Rocket Science, an anthology of realistic sience fiction, and for nominating it for the British Science Fiction Award in 2012!

Interview with the editor here and a review here.

Towards a Virtual Terroir: Architecture and Games

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Towards a Virtual Terroir: Architecture and Games – in Litro Magazine.

A discussion about the significance of architecture in games. In games, architecture is not just backdrop or mise en scene, but a very integral part of the storytelling of games.

Thank you so much to Jeremy P. Bushnell, James Field, and Dan Coxon for inviting me to write about such a very interesting issue!

(Image: Screenshot from Assassin’s Creed: Unity, by Ubisoft)

The Apex Book of World SF 3

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apex book of world sf 3

The Apex Book of World SF 3 is on the way!

My story Dancing on the Red Planet is included in this new anthology of international science fiction, edited by Lavie Tidhar, along side stories by Karin Tidbeck, Benjaung Sridunkaew, Amal El-Mohtar, and many others.

Many thanks to Lavie Tidhar for including the story and to Ian Sales for publishing the story for the first time in Rocket Science, an anthology of realistic sience fiction, and for nominating it for the British Science Fiction Award in 2012!

An essay on Une Ville Vide

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French writer Pierre Ménard has written a wonderful essay about Une Ville Vide, the French edition of The Empty City:

“J’ai lu le livre de Berit Ellingsen, traduit par François Bon édité par Publie.net, d’une traite, j’étais chez moi, sans électricité et donc sans connexion, l’électricien travaillait sur le transformateur dans mon entrée, je savais que ce livre me plairait, par son titre évocateur, et les quelques extraits que j’avais lu sur Internet. Il m’a touché, et m’a laissérêveur…”

Check also out the beautiful photo of his empty city, Paris, at the bottom of the link.
Thank you so much, Pierre, for writing such a beautiful and personal essay about Une Ville Vide. Merci beaucoup!
(Image: The cover of the ebook and print version of Une Ville Vide, by PublieMonde.)

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary – in Entropy Magazine

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“A little after I joined my first guild, I met Mary. In game, Mary was a blonde female human, but in real life he was an adult male living somewhere in Britain. We met while doing a group quest, or was it while waiting at a camp for more players to join the group- I don’t remember exactly.”

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary is a 100% true story from the virtual worlds, now out in the awesome new magazine Entropy, a wild and heady mix of the literary and the avant garde as well as the film, game, and comics-related.

Thank you so much to the editors for listening to my tale of autobiographical fiction and not mind my totally unreliable narrator.

Check out all the cool articles they have up already!

Something tells me I will contribute more to this magazine.

(Image: Barad Gúlaran, Nan Gurth, Angmar.)

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