November 14   Moment of panic

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You know, I really do love this early morning start thing. For a bunch of extra reasons that I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post – I can take my full lunch half hour now instead of needing it to make up time. I don’t get the mid afternoon slump. I get a chance to do a few things in the morning before my phone starts ringing etc. (Half my team starts at 7.30 so it’s not silent but it is peaceful). I can order my lunch early and have best pick of the muffins. And I really do feel better, within myself. I’m sleeping more. I’m eating less junk food at night. And I’m making the small random changes I want to make, because I feel like I can. Like … finally taking my mug down to the canteen instead of getting a takeaway cup. The kind of stuff you worry about later when you have less “concerns”.

But.

And there is always a but.

My answer when people ask me how I juggle so much stuff? Yeah, it used to be “I sleep less.” And now I am sleeping up to two hours more a day. I kinda needed that time to get stuff done. I’m really starting to feel it – the less time in the evening after work to do both sewing and also editing etc. It’s a struggle. Yes, I had an hour massage (crick in the neck came back whilst travelling) today and I am probably blowing it out of proportion. But still. I will say that sticking to this routine over the weekend meant we’d accomplishing A LOT by lunchtime each day. And it might be that I just need to be stricter about TPP working hours on the weekend from now on. Something tells me that feeling better physically *should* eventually translate to better quality, more efficient work. Right? Right?

ETA: I remembered too that I am now reading for an hour before bed. I used to work right up until falling asleep, whilst watching TV. Now I am getting much wanted reading done – yay – at the expense of work – not yay and much less television watching – both yay and not yay.



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October 12   I’ve been quiet

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I didn’t blog much after falling ill. I figured there was nothing more boring than, “yep still sick” plus some of those days I was actually in so much pain I couldn’t type. Or knit. Or really even hold a coffee mug. The ultimate message from the universe, all I could do was lie on the couch and watch TV. Yup. Spent about 7 days there. Watched all of Studio 60. Worked my way through about 3 seasons of Doctor Who. And eventually I got better. I’ve been back at work. Doing things. Catching up. But still running behind.

So a bunch of linky the links before I head back off to the chain gang.

I answered some questions on editing over at Donna Hanson’s blog. I actually think her question (and many people’s answers to – Can editing be taught? – to be really really fascinating. Go read the series!

Deborah Biancotti is featuring a series of paragraphs on creative burnout. Mine is here. And I should add that when I say that I watch TV that I think is really great, I really do mean the Gilmore Girls. If you see me break out a rewatch of the whole series, you know things are bad. Cough. I also really get back into Elton John – a bit of Can you Feel the Love Tonight, Candle in the Wind and so on. And the Goo Goo Dolls, which I admit I was listening to yesterday (Black Balloon, Accoustic #3 and Iris on repeat means all is lost).

Our big Twelfth Planet Press news is that Charles Tan is steadily working on ebook conversion (and soon to have extra help, kind people are really kind) and we now have Thief of Lives by Lucy Sussex available in epub. The Kindle version will be up tonight. And both are available now from Wizard Towers Books. Very soon I’ll have links for ebook subscriptions and upgrades on the site.

C has been away this week. I would have done a big Things I Want To Get Done whilst he is away but I’m knackered. And just running to stand still. Also really behind on TPP and focussing on that. If Tansy will stop pitching ENORMOUS ideas at me. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m going to focus on next year when he is at sea off and on throughout it. I have some ideas. Mostly I’ll be concentrating on TPP, I have some two years goals which really will need concerted and sustained hard work to pull off. But I’m also toying around with some other, smaller projects. That need their own blogs. We’ll see.

This month though is a weird one. Most of it we will be spending apart – he’s had two courses on this month and I realised YESTERDAY that I only have this week and next week at work before I LEAVE FOR WORLD FANTASY CON! for which my schedule is already deliciously jam packed. I have finally booked and paid for a shower, seated massage and hang out in a lounge during my long sojourn in Hong Kong airport. I have organised with my family for pick ups, eating and siteseeing (and phone!) for the couple of days before the con. And mostly, I am intending to just have a vacation. I know, I know. It’s A CON. But still. I’ve sent 5 boxes of Glitter Rose over to San Diego for the convention bags. And a thousand postcards for the Twelve Planets. I’ve also been kindly given a wee bit of space in the dealer’s room so if you want something – let me know and I’ll be sure to pack it and bring it with me. I know what dress I’m wearing for the banquet. I think I’m getting towards ready for it! Eeeeeeeekkkkk



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I was trialling the website interface on Twitter yesterday and am told it works! Yay.

We’re in the process of converting all the Twelfth Planet Press books to ebooks and they will soon be available on the website and in various other online stores. Quality ebooks are fiddly and time consuming to produce and I’m very fortunate to have kind designers who have generously given of their time to make TPP electronically available.

The ebook process has been an interesting, and often frustrating one for me. I’m not a designer, I don’t do layout and I haven’t been able to help out on this project. The software to layout ebooks is not the same software as to layout print books and the conversion from one to the other, no matter what people say, is not an easy, simple, straightforward one. You can generate from one to the other but then you get nasty, messy files that are awful to read and people complain about. And the manual layout for a good ebook takes as long as it does to layout a print book. So that’s double the time or two completely different, and time consuming products. And in small press, where most of the people involved are pretty much donating their time and skills, it starts to all get a bit overly demanding.

Still, I am very fortunate. Amanda Rainey does such fantastic layout. She makes my books look like real books and good looking ones at that. And I know she is much of the reason our books are doing so well. And now, the unbelievably awesome Charles Tan has come on board to help out with our ebooks. I’m learning from him what makes a quality ebook and just how much time that takes. And considering how busy Charles is with all the other things he does, I am very lucky he is my friend!

Our very first ebook is now up and available for purchase from the Twelfth Planet Press webstore. Cheryl Morgan finessed this one from Amanda’s files and Charles took it to the finishing line. I’ve even read it on my iPhone and can attest it looks very beautiful. The rest will follow and we’ll make a bigger deal about that then.

Love and Romanpunk Ebookavailable for download now for $5.95

And in celebration, Tansy Roberts is Rocking the Romanpunk all this week!



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September 14   The Twelve Planets

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Gwyneth Jones has this to say on the Twelve Planets volumes so far, which she posted about on her personal blog:

I’ve been reading The Twelve Planets’ latest selections, and enjoying them very much, starting with Deborah Biancotti: police procedural with a sinister undertow of the weird, progressing through Tansy Rayner Roberts (Romanpunk), Lucy Sussex (Thief of Lives), and Sue Isle (Nightsiders). These collections, just four stories in a slim paperback, are an excellent idea, a tasting menu of Australasian female genre writers. Romanpunk has an intriguing twist on the noble vampire and mortal girlfriend* story (see, these vampires are really Lamia, they’re Roman in origin, and very well connected, but they find the C21 street has its uses). Ever wondered why pretty-boy Caligula was such an unmitigated horror in private life? Or why Nero was finally forced to kill his mother? Refreshingly, unlike Buffy, the mortal girlfriend is not allergic to education and actually has a life… Lucy Sussex I can safely say needs no introduction: I loved her beautiful story about modern and ancient Babylon, “Alchemy”. Sue Isle has created a daunting, yet not hopeless day after tomorrow Western Australia; linked stories all set in the same moment, the moment, for various characters, when you realise that climate change has won, and civilisation is not coming back. So you stop mourning, and you move on… Made me wish there was a novel.

Someone said, recently, the Finnish sf community gives me hope for the future of the genre… These Australians give me hope for the future of female, and even feminist, writers in sf.

 

I couldn’t hope for better feedback.



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Cross posted from the Twelfth Planet Press blog:

Twelfth Planet Press is looking to develop a new line of dynamic, original genre novels. Twelfth Planet Press novels will push boundaries to question, inspire, engage and challenge. We are specifically looking to acquire material outside that which is typically considered by mainstream publishers.

We are looking for science fiction, fantasy, horror and crime. We will consider borderline literary, new weird, steampunk, space opera, hard science fiction, soft science fiction, urban fantasy, cyberpunk, military science fiction, young adult, paranormal romance and everything in between.

Please note we are not looking for epic fantasy, splatterpunk, novellas, nonfiction, previously published material (where published includes electronic or audio ie on your blog, as a podcast, ebook etc) and unfinished work. We will not consider multiple or simultaneous submissions. Please take some time to familiarise yourself with the kind of content we publish. We are not interested in gratuitous violence, misogyny and gore or sex scenes for shock value.We are looking to acquire all English language territory rights and ebook rights. We are offering advances and royalties.
How to Submit:

The manuscript submissions period will commence January 1, 2012 and end January 31, 2012.

Email the first 3 chapters of your finished manuscript and a brief (1-2 page) synopsis to manuscripts@twelfthplanetpress.com in rtf file format. Title your subject heading with the genre/subgenre for our email management. You will receive an automated email receipt of your submission.

Your synopsis should include a summary of all the characters and plot (including the ending) and a brief discussion of your intended audience, your likely sales market, what other books are like yours and why your book is better or why your book is needed.
Include your full contact details, including email address, manuscript title, word count and a brief biography. Full manuscripts will be requested from those submissions which make it to the second round.All submissions will be considered by our team of readers. Manuscripts will be read in the order of their receipt. The team will pass up manuscripts for the second round and submission of full manuscripts will be on request at that time. Depending on volume, we are intending to respond to all submissions by June 30, 2012. There will be subsequent submissions periods after January 2012.
Checklist:

Submissions period:  January 1, 2012 – January 31, 2012.

Email address:  manuscripts@twelfthplanetpress.com

First 3 chapters and a 1-2 page synopsis of your book with marketing and sales outline in rtf file.

Include your full contact details, word count and brief biography.


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If you haven’t yet donated to the World SF Travel Fund – to help send Charles Tan to World Fantasy Con and then other fans in years to come – now’s your chance!

We have teamed up to offer the next five people who donate $50 or more a signed copy of Marianne de Pierres’s Glitter Rose! This is in addition to the regular reward. De Pierres is the very successful author of the Parrish Plessis books from Orbit and the SF series Sentients of Orion.

We are also offering copies of Twelfth Planet Press books Nightsiders and Love and Romanpunk to anyone donating just $25 or more!

Please help us raise more money for the fund, towards a third year of operations!

To claim the offer, make a donation through the peerbackers project, then e-mail worldsftravelfund@gmail.com with your name, the amount of your donation and your choice of reward. Remember these rewards are in addition to the regular ones you’ll receive!

 

 

 

 

 



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July 25   Sprawl review

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Ian Nichols gave Sprawl a lovely review in The West Australian last Tuesday:

Taking its inspiration from Shaun Tan’s Tales From Outer Suburbia … There’s a lovely poem from Sean Williams; a piece of insight from Simon Brown; and smart intelligent pieces by Stephanie Campisi, Thoraiya Dyer and Kaaron Warren …  what is better or worse will be in the eye of the beholder, because the general quality is so high.

 



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The second season of the Twelve Planets is now available for preorder. The three books will be out before the end of November and are:

Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti

Showtime by Narrelle M Harris

Through the Splintered Walls by Kaaron Warren

 

The season most definitely has a dark bent. Biancotti explores use & abuse of power. You’ll find yourself wondering just what your own bad power is. Harris brings her quick sense of humour & talent for the quirky to her collection. You’ll laugh but you’ll also be deeply discomforted. Warren will take you on a journey through the back roads of Australian towns and leave you feeling uneasy and more than a little creeped out.

Preorders for the season can ber mde over at the Twelfth Planet Press store where you can also upgrade your subscription from a single or two book purchase to a subscription to the full series.



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Twelfth Planet Press will be closed to submissions for the rest of the year so that we can focus on the Twelve Planets collection series as well as catching up on our backlog of submissions.

 



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I started the day with such energy and about 5 blogposts which I’ve been meaning to flesh out all week on the boil. And then I ended up taking that energy and reading a good chunk of Joanna Russ’s How to Suppress Women’s Writing (one of the books we’ll be discussing on the upcoming spoilerific Joanna Russ episode on Galactic Suburbia). Reading this book has been a bit uncomfortable. Obviously there are elements of it that I was already aware and attuned to but other aspects have had me questioning a few things about my own experience and also seeing a few people, and their reactions and responses to me in certain arenas, in a different light. I also did some reading for Last Short Story. And like 5 or 6 loads of laundry. And lots and lots of cleaning up after puppy.

And some rearranging of things at C’s place. I am moving in with C. He actually asked me at the beginning of the year and we agreed that it was better timing after Swancon. I actually didn’t realise just how much Swancon was going to take out of me. It’s taking so much longer than I thought it would to get the emotional and mental energy back up to tackle things, to get up to speed on publishing, to be capable of socialising and a bunch of other things too. So the moving thing. Not really what I have energy for. And, as they say, one of the most stressful things you do in life. Yay. But it’s getting there slowly (not really, I feel like I have moved hardly anything). Most of Twelfth Planet Press is down here and in one room, more like a warehouse than an office but able to function and run things. Why do I have so many other (personal) books? And stuff. I have a lot of stuff. Still, the one carload at a time thing is starting to make me cry. I have to get a mover for the large items of furniture anyway so I am starting to lean towards packing boxes and having them brought down at the same time. Now just to actually leverage space in C’s house for me. Too little storage!

So I have much work still to be done this weekend. I feel very behind on the Twelve Planets. And ASif! And I want to get some traction on Last Short Story. And now that I have sorted my next two interviews for Galactic Chat, I have reading to do in preparation of those. And And And. You know how it goes.



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Being on the convention committee, it turns out, makes for a very different experience and view of a convention. I had no concept of time for most of it. And I didn’t get to have catch ups with many people. I did, on the other hand, actually meet and speak to more people than I normally would. It meant then, that the highlights for me were often fleeting moments or conversations or things. And all the little things that individuals contributed which made up the big event itself.

Terri made this awesome (and gluten free!) TPP logo cake for a small celebration we had after we launched the Twelve Planets series. And in the background you can see she’s made little cakes which were a version (I think?) of her Galactic Suburbia 1st birthday cake.

I was actually too busy and hadn’t had a chance to look at the fan art show for the first couple of days so I only found out about this work *after* Tehani and C were in a bidding war to buy it for me:

Not sure it’s come out too well here but it’s a set of champagne glasses inspired by Glitter Rose. Which OMG – was so uplifting that someone responded to the collection by wanting to create some artwork inspired by it and also OMG YES! – champagne glasses are so appropriate! And also, I was so touched that they both wanted to buy them for me. I’m looking forward to having them out on display.



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I’ve been working on marketing and promotion for the Twelve Planets this week. A book doesn’t finish when it arrives in bountiful copies in numerous boxes on your (mother’s) doorstep. In some ways, it’s only just the beginning of the process. This realisation is a hideous one after the months spent working on finetuning the contents.

But it’s the way it is. So this week I have been working on some media releases (Nick, I can call it that because I *am* sending them out to actual real media outlets :P). I sent my draft to a couple of people for comment and both of their individual responses were “dude, if this is what you do when sleep-deprived, OMG” (I paraphrased slightly, whatev).

And that had me thinking about a couple of things. I’m dog-tired. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in well over a month and before that too. I feel run down, I’m in post-con crash and emotionally I’m very fragile. All true. But I’m also a small business owner. And there are no days off or tired days or emotionally fragile days when it’s your own business. There’s no sick leave, no annual leave and no holidays. It’s my own hard-earned day job money that I’ve invested in this business. And the outcomes are mine to wear. I could have spent the money on a golf club membership or several trips to Paris or many other expensive pursuits. But I chose to invest it in this project of mine, this idea that I believe in and that I think, if I work hard enough at it, might just, one day, be something.

So media releases and promotion and marketing go on. And so does the beat.

And as I sit in full life reevaluation mode, questioning the direction I want to choose for my future, wondering if I’ve backed the right horse, I still plug away at the night job. I don’t even question it. The programme works if you work it. But you have to work at it every single day. Every day, I make sure that in some way I have promoted or publicised a title. No matter what else I do in the day, I make sure I’ve told someone new about the work I’ve published.



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Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts has been released into the wilds. I can’t believe the second volume of The Twelve Planets project is already out. This year is speeding by!

I have a couple of copies up on Goodreads as a Giveaway and the widget below to show off the lovely cover by Amanda Rainey (of course!)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Love and Romanpunk

by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Giveaway ends May 31, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

And here’s what the back of the book says:

Thousands of years ago, Julia Agrippina wrote the true history of her family, the Caesars. The document was lost, or destroyed, almost immediately.
(It included more monsters than you might think.)

Hundreds of years ago, Fanny and Mary ran away from London with a debauched poet and his sister.
(If it was the poet you are thinking of, the story would have ended far more happily, and with fewer people having their throats bitten out.)

Sometime in the near future, a community will live in a replica Roman city built in the Australian bush. It’s a sight to behold.
(Shame about the manticores.)

Further in the future, the last man who guards the secret history of the world will discover that the past has a way of coming around to bite you.
(He didn’t even know she had a thing for pointy teeth.)

The world is in greater danger than you ever suspected. Women named Julia are stronger than they appear. Don’t let your little brother make out with silver-eyed blondes. Immortal heroes really don’t fancy teenage girls. When love dies, there’s still opera. Family is everything. Monsters are everywhere. Yes, you do have to wear the damned toga.

History is not what you think it is.

LOVE AND ROMANPUNK.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction
Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary
Lamia Victoriana
The Patrician
Last of the Romanpunks
Afterword

Love and Romanpunk is available for purchase at twelfthplanetpress.com

And subscriptions to the Twelve Planets can be bought and upgraded at any time.



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