alisa alering

Writer of fantasy and other fictions


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Clarion West Class of 2011: Publications, Sales, and Shiny Things 2013

It’s been more than two years since the Clarion West class of 2011 crawled despondently out of that last-night puppy pile and scattered to the four winds, pens clutched in eager hands. We have not been idle! Read on for new publications, a new magazine, grants, prizes, and new formats!

(To see what we were up to in 2012, check out Jenni Moody’s post from last year.)

Waylines

Waylines Magazine, co-founded by David Rees-Thomas (CW ’11) and Darryl Knickrehm after a successful Kickstarter in late 2012, had an auspicious first year, publishing 6 issues, 14 pieces of short fiction, 18 short films, plus reviews and author interviews.

Waylines Issue #4

Hullabaloo

In March, “Recognizing Gabe: un cuento de hadas” by Alberto Yañez was nominated for Best PodCastle Story of 2012.  Missing Links and Secret Histories: A Selection of Wikipedia Entries from Across the Known Multiverseedited by Week 5 instructor L. Timmel Duchamp and published by Aqueduct Press was recommended by Analee Newitz on NPR.com: “Secrets of the Universe: 5 Great SF and Fantasy Summer Reads.”

Continuing Education

There’s no doubt that Clarion West provides a great foundation for writing. But sometimes, you just want more! More institutional living, more devastating critiques, more sleepless nights, and more sagacious advice from wizened wise pros. Jenny Moody and I attended the CSSF Novel Writers Workshop in Lawrence, KS this summer. Instructors Kij Johnson and Barbara J. Webb were amazing, and I definitely recommend this workshop for anyone thinking of tackling their first novel. Jeremy Sim attended Revenge of Clarion West Odyssey Writing Workshop, another six-week residential course.

Jeremy Sim @ Odyssey

Jeremy Sim @ Odyssey

Alisa Alering

Corinne Duyvis

  • “The Applause of Others.” FISH. Dagan Books. Edited by Carrie Cuinn & KV Taylor. January 2013 (ebook)/May 2013 (print).
  • “Lilo Is.” Clockwork Phoenix 4. Edited by Mike Allen. Mythic Delirium Books. July 2013.

CP4_mini

Erik David Even

S.L. Gilbow

  • Pirates.” Rose Red Review. Issue No. 4. Spring 2013. (as Steven L. Wilson)
  • Red Card.” Escape Pod. Episode 393. April 26, 2013.
  • Those Tests.” Swamp Biscuits and Tea. Issue Five. August 2013.

Eliza Hirsch

Cassie Krahe

Jenni Moody

Maria Romasco-Moore

  • “Fisheye.” FISH. Dagan Books. Edited by Carrie Cuinn & KV Taylor. January 2013 (ebook)/May 2013 (print).
  • Peel.” Interfictions Online. Issue 2. October 2013.

Peel

Jeremy Sim

Anne Toole

Nick Tramdack

Alberto Yañez

  • The Coffinmaker’s Love.” Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Issue 131. October 3, 2013.
  • “This ain’t my first rodeo.” Performed at Portland Poetry Slam. April 21, 2013.

Congratulations to all of you (all of us?) and here’s to bigger, brighter, and stranger horizons in 2014!
*Toasts CW chums with a hot mocha and a slice of sugar-dusted stollen*


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Writers of the Future 2013, Day 4

Illustration for my story, "Everything You Have Seen," by the talented Karsen Slater

Illustration for my story, “Everything You Have Seen,” by the talented Karsen Slater

Thursday, April 11

This is the first sentence of my 24-hour story: The memory we were looking for had once belonged to a 13th-century nun, Maria Teresa de Geres.

After collecting coffee from downstairs, I spend the bulk of the day in the hotel room writing. Unlike with a one-week Clarion West story, I figure I have zero chance of pulling off anything coherent in the given time, and therefore I may as well entertain myself. Which is perhaps why I lose control of the narrative by the end of the first paragraph and end up with some sort of Victorian adventure pastiche amid caverns beneath the earth. And did I mention the poisonous unicorns?

3b41372r_LOC

I continue the hopeless cause until 3:30, tack on a hasty end, and head for Author Services just in time to turn in my…..collection of numerically-sequenced pages. Suddenly, I feel much brighter. From here on, there will only be fun times. Starting right now, because we Writers are going downstairs to get our first look at the pictures the Illustrator winners have done for our stories.

The illustrations are displayed on easels in a semi-circle, and we fan out like kids at an Easter egg hunt, trying to find “our” picture. I see one that might be mine, but I’m not sure. I circle the rest and come back. Yes, those stark trees are clearly the winter landscape of my story. I tell the illustrator, Karsen Slater, that I’m so impressed that she even included the sailboat pattern on the boy’s pajamas and we have a little geek out when she tells me that she looked up 1950s pajama fabrics to get the right idea—because I did the same thing, when I was writing the story.

Writers & Illustrator united!

Writers & Illustrator united!

After dinner, it’s a long night back at ASI with lots to take in: informal talks and advice from recent winners Laurie Tom, Eric James Stone, Brad Torgersen, & Jordan Ellinger. Judges Rebecca Moesta, Kevin J.Anderson & Nina Kiriki Hoffman also weigh in. Three of the 24-hour stories are distributed to the workshop and we are sent off to read & critique for the next day. I end up staying up past midnight, chatting in the hotel lobby. But I must go to bed: tomorrow it’s up early and off to the book plant.

Tomorrow–field trip to the book plant!

Catch up with what happened on: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3


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Clockwork Phoenix IV

I’m thrilled to announce that my story, “The Wanderer King,” will be published in Clockwork Phoenix IV, edited by Mike Allen and due out from Mythic Delirium Press in June 2013. I loved the original Clockwork Phoenix, and I am in fantastic company in this volume. I can’t wait to get my own copy and read everybody else’s stories. See the full TOC here.

CP4_mini


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Catherine Krahe Wants Your Sisters (Stories)

C_Krahe

Catherine Krahe lives in Iowa.  She plans to save the world by telling stories and planting trees. She went to Clarion West (2011). Her stories have been published in Realms of Fantasy, Nature, and Ideomancer. She works with the Alpha Young Writer’s Workshop and is a first reader for Strange Horizons.

At least, that’s what she says. I say she is my Clarion West classmate, devastating editor & critiquer, maker of deadly Oreo truffles, and possessor of the bionic nun-field.

Her short story “Walking Home” is featured today in Daily Science Fiction.

She stopped by ye olde blogular to answer important questions about where she writes, how she writes, and the chocolate powdered flavoring mix that makes her world go round.

1. Special pen? Lucky socks? Breakfast of champions? Describe your writing process. (Include necessary rituals, superstitions, or talismans.)

My writing process is stalled these days, but my writerbrain is growing back. I grew up constantly thinking about stories–walking to and from school, going to sleep at night, in the bathroom, all the time. I’ve gotten out of that habit, or at least out of the habit of having my own active stories in my head.  Still, while I’m driving or while I’m walking from one place to another, there’s something going on. Mostly fanfic-ish things or fanfic-ish things of my own. That’s where “Walking Home” came from: it’s a side bit from the novelworld I had in late high school.

At some point, the story things up, and I do a draft. I don’t have a fixed process at this point, but do whatever the story seems to need. I usually write straight into the computer, but some stories happen on paper first. After that, I edit.  That’s the fun part–I like cutting and tightening especially.

Sometimes this happens on a writing date with friends, but not often. I’m more likely to get distracted by socializing than work steadily. I sometimes ping friends to bounce ideas off them or throw a draft at them. I almost always show my roommate Angela, who understands stories from a different direction and has pretty similar taste to mine–she’s wonderful. Of course, this is all subject to change.  I haven’t been writing a lot lately, and who knows what my process will be next?

Good tools: I love my CW notebook.  I require a good fountain pen with Noodler’s ink.  I need my computer, a three-year-old Thinkpad set up so I can use it but no one else can, trackpad turned off, and Dvorak keyboard. I do some tightening on paper, so I like to have a printer.  But what I need is discipline.

Bedroom Workspace. Go to Flickr  to view annotations.

Bedroom Workspace. Go to Flickr to view annotations.

2. Biggest thing that keeps you from writing when you should be writing?

Oh dear. I haven’t written anything really new in a while. I had the stereotypical post-workshop slump and haven’t unpacked my box of stories and critiques yet. Shameful, I know! I’m not sure exactly what’s holding me back besides anxiety and exhaustion. I don’t run my own stories in my head because it’s so much easier and more satisfying to return to someone else’s, like comfort food. I always have a story going, but I’m not someone who is driven relentlessly to put words on the page.

3. What do you wish you were reading but aren’t? (Because it doesn’t exist.)

I want sisters. More sisters. There are so many brothers in fantasy, especially urban fantasy, and what I want is a relationship like that between brothers but between sisters. The typical brother relationship is two brothers against the world, usually with one of them magical or otherwise vulnerable and the other one a vigilant guard. The typical sister relationship is that two sisters against the world are separated because one of them meets a man and leaves the partnership. I hate that. I want more relationships between women that don’t dissolve as part of the plot. –Why yes, I do adore Kate Elliott, why do you ask?

4. What can’t you live without?

Other than the obvious?  Chocolate milk.  Those who knew me at Clarion West know that among my first purchases in Seattle were cups and Quik.  It’s my breakfast on a normal day, and what I drink before going to bed.  I don’t need it on vacations, but it’s one of the things I do to establish ‘normal’.

5. What should a reader do after reading this interview?

Go read some Kate Elliott.  Write me a sister story.  Knit something.

Living Room Workspace. Flickr again for annotations.

Living Room Workspace. Flickr again for annotations.