Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Coming Soon: An Older Story, "The Duchess's Dress"

07 July 2014

My birthday’s on Wednesday the 9th, and I’m going to celebrate by doing two things.

  1. I’m going to release an old short story that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. More about that in a minute.
  2. I’m going to discount the pair of short stories I currently have on my site if you buy both directly from me. For a month, so July 9th to August 9th. Yes, the story will also be available through other outlets, including iBooks, Amazon, Nook, and Kobo, though it may take a couple of days to wind up there.

I’ve been thinking about the story because it is the only story I ever submitted to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine, and it received a personal rejection that said it had “no sense of wonder.” This was back before the myriad of forms Marion started sending in lieu of personal rejections.
My writing teacher said, “That’s her problem, not yours.” Yay writing teacher.
More stories of MZB’s infamous rejection letters here.
That particular rejection smarted. Did I think it was the best story ever? No, but it has some interesting stuff in it, and it remains a sentimental favorite of mine.
There are some structural issues in the story that aren’t solvable without killing everything I happen to like about the story.
I no longer read medieval fantasy, nor do I write it, which has left this story in limbo for many years. It was an offshoot of a fantasy trilogy that I never revised, instead writing a tangential book that fundamentally changed the nature of the world. The seer of this story also appears in that book in that new world—which still needs to shift again, orphaning this story even further. It can’t bend that far.
I wrote the first draft in 1992, then revised it lightly when I was in grad school (2001-2004), trying to keep up with at least some of the world’s changes.
Duchess-Cover-700

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The Sum Total

05 July 2014

This is a saying of mine. I remember talking to a woman who wanted to go into technology, but felt she had little to offer because there were people with more expertise already. This is what I said to her. I hope it helped.
Sum-Total-700

Credits

Main font: Brave by Nicky Laatz, purchased as part of the current Design Cuts font bundle. I also used the stone texture from the bonuses.
Monster font: Monstrinhos by Pintassilgo Prints, also in the same Design Cuts font bundle.
Background textures: Effervescent 16 and 17, by 2 Lil Owls from a previous Design Cuts bundle.
Ubergrunge background texture from Joyful Heart Designs.
Brave font was post-processed with Ian Barnard’s Inkwell.

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This Map Is Humbling

04 July 2014

Where people have read my blog from in the last 30 days.
posts-read-around-the-world
…better known as: “more places in the world than I’ve been.” Humbling.
Every country in the Americas except Suriname. Ten more than I’ve visited.
Twenty-two countries in Africa (assuming I counted correctly), which would be nineteen more than I’ve visited (Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa).
Greenland, we’ve gotta talk.
Full list of countries and territories who stopped by in the last 30 days, with ones I’ve been to in italics:
Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei Darussalam
Bulgaria
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Chile
China
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Côte d’Ivoire
Denmark
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Estonia
Ethiopia
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Faroe Islands
Fiji
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Guam
Guatemala
Guernsey
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iraq
Ireland
Isle of Man
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Jersey
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Korea, Republic of
Kuwait
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Latvia
Lebanon
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macao
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova, Republic of
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar
Namibia
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Nigeria
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Palestinian Territory, Occupied
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Romania
Russian Federation
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Suriname
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Togo
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks and Caicos Islands
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Venezuela
Viet Nam
Virgin Islands, U.S.

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What Blog Statistics Look Like Here

02 July 2014

I’ve had a blog for 10 years, but I’ve been irregular for periods about posting to it before WordPress had a good spam solution. These days, an average day for me is between 100 and 250 page views and between 70 and 150 unique visitors. Obviously, this excludes people who turn off tracking.
For reasons related to upcoming projects, I’d moved deirdre.net to WP Engine. I’m so glad I did, because they were able to handle the massive sudden spike.
site-stats-mzb
At the peak, in a 24-hour period from June 10-11, I had 28,000 page views, almost entirely unique visitors.
If you need a really great hosting platform for your self-hosted WordPress blog, I’ve been really impressed with WP Engine.

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Marion Zimmer Bradley: Artist vs. Art

02 July 2014

There have been some super-interesting conversations about Marion Zimmer Bradley’s work in the context of larger discussions on the artist vs. their art. I think we all know that all artists are flawed, but clearly some flaws are larger than others.
For those of you who don’t yet know, I broke the news about Marion Zimmer Bradley‘s child abuse of her daughter Moira last month.
I haven’t heard the artist vs. art argument said quite this succinctly, so I’m quoting Broomstick from The Straight Dope boards:

When evaluating a novel it doesn’t get better if the author is a saint, and it doesn’t get worse if the author is a sinner, it’s the same book either way.

Every art contains, to some extent, the artist’s worldview. How could it not? And yet it is a thing distinct and unto itself, though with a context. The meaning you read into it depends on the context you bring into it, too.
And the context you miss depends upon your own life context, too.
When I was 11, Jane Fonda’s movie Klute came out, and my parents took me with them. I can cheerfully say that most of the movie went “whoosh” right over my head. If I saw it today, I’d see a completely different film.
It’s that old Heraclitus quote:

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.

And that may be one reason not to re-read a previously-loved book, like a Darkover book or Mists of Avalon, after finding out Marion Zimmer Bradley’s failings.
Because the context is different for you even though the book hasn’t changed.
And then there’s the other killer comment, from ShipperX on LJ:

With MZB it’s the sexual nature of her work combined with the sexual nature of her atrocities that has me backing away. ::shudder::

Yes. That.

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[Westercon] Tag Team Jeopardy & Avenue of Awesomeness

30 June 2014

avenue-of-awesome-b

My Westercon Panels

On Friday at 1 pm, I’ll be a guest on Writing Excuses. Live taping FTW! (Salon D & E)
On Saturday at 2:30 pm, I’ll join Nathan Shumate and William Stout on the Lousy Book Covers panel. (Deer Valley I & II)

Is this cover so bad that it’s good, or just plain bad? Why doesn’t the art match the story that it’s trying to sell? Learn how to make a better book cover from critiques of bad book covers.

Flyer Credits

Just so you don’t all think I’m more horrifically clever than I actually am, the event flyer template’s from Krukowski and the font is Nanami Handmade by Thinkdust.

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[Redbubble] You Know What to Do

30 June 2014

Now available in t-shirts, posters, prints, cards, and stickers from Redbubble.
This is one of those pieces where I sat on it overnight and took an entirely new approach when I did.
Get-Out-of-Your-Way-700
100% detail:
Get-Out-of-Your-Way-detail
Pretty much everything remained the same except the background, but that’s so dramatically different now.

Credits

The background itself is a freebie this week on Creative Market from Joyful Heart Designs.
The font is Appareo from Kimmy Designs, also a Creative Market regular, but I picked it up from a Design Cuts bundle a few weeks ago.
The sunburst, well, I have a lot of them. This particular one is from Thunder Pixels.
There are also brushes in there from another Design Cuts bundle, but I can’t point to them, because they are pretty darn subtle.
What’s less subtle, though, is the effect of Matt Borchert’s Distress Texture Pack, the concrete-like overlay over everything, including the text.
The most important part: thanks to Michael Neff for the verbal kick in the ass.

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