A good day for pluviophiles

Well, actually, even I find this weather kind of frightening. It is monsooning outside right now. As in, I’m pretty sure if I walked out of my building I’d drown.

Anyway, this means that WORD Vancouver is being moved indoors — so you can still come see us tomorrow but we’ll likely be inside.

Oh, right — we’ll be at WORD tomorrow. Not sure if I mentioned that. I probably didn’t, because I spent this week getting my FACE EATEN by the work I had to do in prep for WORD. Beeg [bada boom] publishing order had to be completed and then I had to finish editing Stranger Skies so I could get the ARC out to winners and people who helped me with the cover reveal.

(If I missed you in that email — please let me know. My brain is basically dead right now and I’m not even sure what my name is. Awesome McBitchpants? Something like that.)

Who is we? Kat and Wolff, obviously, and the Powell River Live Poets’ Guild and International Peace Poem and Youth Peace Poem Competition. We’re big on peace. And literacy.

Right now I am trying to give my brain a desperately needed break after going through editing hell over the past two days. Mainly by watching Angel and Buffy on Netflix. Don’t judge me. I never got to see them in the order they aired (I watched Angel before Buffy and marathon-ed both shows) so I’m re-watching them in order. I wish Netflix would make this a bit easier by allowing you to create playlists but it doesn’t. C’est la vie.

Also, yes, that annoying box at the top of each page on this blog will be there until October 4th. Sorry. Actually, not sorry, ignore that reflexive Canadianism.

And finally, in honor of Banned Books Week (which I totally missed thanks to work), here are my favourite three lines from the poem “Voice” by Kaimana Wolff (found in the witless poisoner).

This flesh is made of words:
light me and I will burn
like a brave, banned book

-Kat

Pre-order of Stranger Skies now available

Art by Autumn Skye Morrison.

Hey, so, if you didn’t win the giveaway, you can now pre-order the actual book from Gumroad!

Click here to pre-order.

I am also working on setting up a pre-order for the ebook bundle via another service so people without credit cards can get it, but it’s turning out to be a bit more complicated than I thought. It may, indeed, not happen for this book. Sorry, but I’m really swamped, and apparently not technically savvy enough to figure this particular thing out.

On the plus side, as soon as the release date rolls around (October 4th), you’ll be able to get a copy of the book from Kobo, Amazon, the Kat and Wolff e-junkie store, and Tomely! (And Gumroad, of course, and maybe some other places!)

If you do have a credit card, though, you want to get the pre-order — because I’ll be sending you a little something extra along with the ebook bundle. If you pre-order, you’ll also get a full copy of the story “The Murine Invasions” from Kaimana Wolff‘s How to Keep a Human.

The regular Stranger Skies ebook will have a small teaser for How to Keep a Human at the back, but it won’t be a complete story.

Why am I including a story from Wolff’s book? Because the main character of Stranger Skies is based off a character in Wolff’s book, and both stories take place in the loose universe (the universe of the True Woods). I talked to Kaimana about doing some cross-promotion with our stories and she thought it was a great idea, so if you pre-order you get a copy of “The Murine Invasions”.

(The copy will be sent to all pre-order customers separately from the main file you’ll get from Gumroad, and it’ll happen after book release.)

And now, I am getting back to work on the big publishing order we’re putting out.

Winners of the giveaway, check your emails if you haven’t already!

‘White Birds’ cover reveal

Hello, gentle readers!

My mom, Kaimana Wolff, has a new book coming out on March 27th. It’s called White Birds: Dreams for Dancers. Today, I get to reveal to you…the cover!

Well, both covers; the ebook cover is slightly different from the print cover.

As well, here’s the synopsis from the back of the book!

“In times of great trouble, great dreams come.”

Jane has spent years trying to forget such dreams. Her dreams are not pleasant; yet beautiful in their way. When such dreams keep coming, she decides it is time to pay attention to the dance she in which she finds herself.

Each dream is heralded by the image of a white bird, symbolic of the dissociative state resorted to by many victims of abuse.

These brief stories are poetic interpretations of some of life’s worst moments, tracing a heroic journey while revealing the arts of the warrior.

Ebook cover for White Birds by Kaimana Wolff.
Cover for the ebook edition.
Print cover for White Birds by Kaimana Wolff.
Cover for the print edition.

As you can see, there are subtle differences. The big thing with ebook covers is to make sure they’re legible, so the font size is quite a bit bigger.

In case you can’t tell, I designed both covers. The painting is by the late Gerry Laffra, my Opa and mom’s step-dad. Gerry did many paintings of wildlife, as well as a lovely portrait of my dog, Blue. The apartment is still decorated with his work, and ages ago he gave my mom this painting to use as a book cover.

I’m pretty proud of my work here. I think it’s clean, simple, and engaging. What do you think?

For more about White Birds, visit Kaimana’s blog. She’ll be posting a bit about the book there this week.

In related news, both of us are getting ready to head out to Spring Mysteries Festival on Easter weekend, but we need your help. There are some pretty awesome rewards for helping us out, so tell all your friends, too.

-Katje

Oh Dear Gods, Why Am I Still Up?

Site news, new sites, a makeover to my mom’s blog, coffee, insomnia, workaholism, NaNoWriMo, Literary+, Smoke and Shadows, bugs, boobs…you know. The usual.

This is what I get for drinking three cups of coffee in the morning. Coffee, plus “Oh, I’ll just work for a few minutes…” when I got home from my boyfriend’s place at 12:30am.

FOUR HOURS LATER…we find our heroine still sitting and working.

I’m a workaholic. I admit it. I have a problem. I get into a flow and I just keep working and don’t even look up or think about eating or peeing or sleeping. Then suddenly my eyes will flick innocently upwards, and I’ll catch the time in my glance. And I’ll pronounce, with great solemn dignity, “What the everloving fuck.”

And then I stumble to bed and collapse and sleep all day. When I get up I will proceed to vegetate for several hours, until I fall asleep at some ungodsly hour again. This will continue until I finally right my schedule to one where I’m waking up before noon, and for the days that happens I actually manage to be productive, until I get into a flow too late at night and…. Lather, rinse, repeat.

On the plus side, I do have something to show for my toil. PresentingKatje Writes. A brand spankin’ new site that showcases all most of my writing in one, easy to find place. At Katje Writes you will find Bellica‘s first 11 chapters, as well as various bits of fiction and poetry on the main site, and last but not least, my stories for Smoke and Shadows.

I mentioned it once before that Smoke and Shadows was a series of short stories written by Literary+ authors. Long story short is that Literary+ is going in different directions, but enough of us decided we wanted to continue with S&S, and we did. So far there’s only the one story up, but expect more after NaNoWriMo is over. (Oh, and you should go read Sanna’s posts at her blog. She writes about Witches too!)

But wait! There’s more!

Continue reading “Oh Dear Gods, Why Am I Still Up?”

Practicing gratefulness, because life is AWESOME

This year, I’m not celebrating Thanksgiving the way I usually do — and that’s okay, because I have so much for which to be thankful. What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, for those of us in cold, snowy sunny Canada, it is Thanksgiving weekend. We have it in October instead of November. There’s a very good reason for that. If we tried to harvest anything in November, we would starve.

(Mind you, the timing of harvest festivals is sort of a moot point in a world where we can have mangoes from other countries flown to us year-round, but tradition dictates that Thanksgiving falls in October in Canada. Who am I to argue with tradition? Usually the first in line.)

Usually I spend this weekend with my boyfriend’s family, but today they’re having dinner over at his brother-in-law’s place, and they’re meeting his BIL’s parents. For the first time. Apparently BIL’s parents are…a bit more conservative than the rest of the family, so I will not be joining them. It was decided that my boyfriend was all the unorthodox they could take for this visit. Next year, I’ll be able to come.

I am actually okay with this. (Technically it’s our anniversary, too, but as we don’t really have a firm date for when the relationship “began” I’ve decided, unilaterally, that we shall have an Anniversary Week, from the 8th to the 16th of October. And we shall celebrate every day. He’s not totally on board yet, but give it time. I’ll wear him down.) Despite Thanksgiving being one of my favourite holidays now that I have a family again, I’m okay with not actually celebrating it this year.

Continue reading “Practicing gratefulness, because life is AWESOME”

Post Sick and Airy Ed: Undergraduate Episode Completed (new high score)

I’ve been in Post Sick and Airy Ed (my mom’s word for Post-Secondary Education, or University) of some sort for the past 9 years, struggling to get my undergraduate degree.

You read that right. 9 friggin years. The Fellowship of the Baccalaureate! Longer and more pedantic, with fewer orcs.

It’s finally happened. I applied to graduate today, and I’ll be walking across the stage in January, 2013.

My GPA is a B+, or 3.31. (This is a guesstimate based off what I think the grade is for my final class, which just finished today. Update with actual GPA will occur when my grade gets posted.)

I think that considering I have multiple disabilities, physical and mental, and have dealt with some massive shit-storms of suck over the past 9 years, that a B+ GPA is really damn good for a four-year degree that took me almost 10.

I am incredibly proud of myself right now.

And very grateful. Because I never would have made it through this long slog if it weren’t for some special people. They are, in no particular order:

  • Kaimana Wolff, my mom. She has supported me wholeheartedly through every step of my secondary and post-secondary education, and I am dead sure I would have ended up a high school drop out working [insert horrible, low-paying job of choice here] until I died an early death at the age of 33.
  • Egbertine van Loon-Laffra, my oma. She died two years ago this August, but she didn’t stop supporting me once her physical body stopped working. She’s been here with me my whole life and that’s never going to change. Thank you, Oma. I love you and wish you could be here in person to see me walk across the stage to get my degree; I have to believe you’re watching from the Afterlife.
  • The Ogre, my boyfriend. Granted, he’s only been present for the last two years of the degree, but the support he’s given has been priceless. Kicking my ass out of bed early in the morning so I can make it to class; kicking my ass back home from visiting him in Vancouver so I don’t miss class; kicking my ass in general. Everyone needs an Ogre on their ass, making sure they don’t fail themselves. I have mine.
  • All my friends. Whether you were around for the Community College years (which, by the way, were a lot like the shenanigans portrayed in Community), the MUC/VIU years, or all the years — thank you. For the laughs, the parties, the homework help, the listening ears to my venting. Thank you for everything.

If there’s anyone I’ve missed, I apologize. It wasn’t done on purpose; blame it on post-nine-years-of-school-brain-fatigue.

And for now, I’m off to celebrate.

With a nap.

 

In which I don’t complain about Powell River overmuch

Today I drove from Nanaimo to Comox, and from there I took a ferry to Powell River. This was quite a feat for me, being the longest piece of driving I’ve done since before my spinal injury. It was painful, but not too terrible, and some stretching and walking made my back feel…well, less cramped, if not awesome.

Why am I visiting the Hellmouth this small little town, you ask? To visit my mom. And the dog, who was so excited to see me I’m newly bruised in places I didn’t know I could bruise. To say Tyee is exuberant would be understating things.

Mom’s small house is a mess, being in the middle of renovations, but still a familiar and comforting place to me. Even if it is bloody cold and in a town I dislike. Once Mom arrived home (about two hours after I did) I asked her what her wireless password was, so that I could write this post and do some other things. An hour and a half and one call to Telus tech support later, and I got online. Hooray!

Of course, now I’m way too tired and I don’t even remember half of what I was going to say in the post, so I’m just going to leave you with a video from last week of Mom and Tyee howling together. (I just uploaded it to YouTube tonight, but it is from last week.)

Tomorrow I do something regarding filming some poetry, or something? I don’t remember.

 

Friday Five, August 19th: Books I Think You Should Pick Up (And Read, Obviously).

cover for La Chiripa

  1. Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea (Book #1 of a Witch of Two Suns), by Diana Marcellas. Easily one of my favourite fantasy novels. Brierley is a compelling character and the world is rich and vast. Highly recommended.
  2. La Chiripa, by Kaimana Wolff. This rich novel, set in Todos Santos, Guatemala, gives young people a voice in situations where they are usually ignored. You will sympathize with young Pira as she fights for everything she holds dear.
  3. A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. LeGuin. An undisputed classic from the First Lady of Fantasy.
  4. Happiness, by Will Ferguson. Winner of the 2002 Leacock Medal for Humour, this book will have you giggling so hard you won’t be able to help but be happy.
  5. Orfe, by Cynthia Voigt. A short read. Poignant retelling of the myth of Orpheus. Heart-wrenching and real.

30 in 30: Day 30 (my “Currently Reading” list is never limited to *one* book)

Cover of "The Magical Household: Spells &...
Cover via Amazon

What book are you reading right now?

I have three books that I’m currently reading. I have to read more than one at a time — usually a mix of fiction and non-fiction. Once I really get into a fiction book, I’ll stop reading the other fiction ones, but continue slowly going through the non-fiction.

So, as I just finished La Chiripa (which is fracking amazing, by the way — when it’s out in stores in October you have to pick up a copy; it’s just so incredible, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t usually like fiction set in the here and now — ie, non-speculative fiction), my current fiction book is Jane Eyre. I actually started reading this a while ago, and put it down, and put a bunch of stuff down on top of it, and forgot I was reading it…I do that a lot. This is also why I need to read several books at a time. However, I’m diving back into it now that LC is done.

My non-fiction books are currently Chop Wood, Carry Water, by Rick Fields, and The Magical Household by Scott Cunningham.

After that (or during) I’m moving onto the books listed here. Especially A Lion Among Men, as I’ve borrowed that from a friend and should return it soon.

Friday Five, August 12th: Books I Think You Should Pick Up (And Read, Obviously).

Cover of "Good Omens"
Cover of Good Omens
  1. Bitters, by Kaimana Wolff. “Weeks after Victoria and Elan disappear on a romantic elopement, officers find a small plane at the bottom of Bitterroot Lake—with Victoria in it and no sign of Elan except remnants of the plane’s avionics in a burned-out campfire. Ray Walker, the youngest deputy sheriff in his town’s history, cannot let this case become his only failure–especially after Victoria’s sister pays a call. Meanwhile, the Green Fairy is escorting a new man-about-town to all the best places—and keeping him alive.”
  2. Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacquline Carey. I’ve blogged about the amazing Kushiel’s Legacy series on multiple occasions, but if you want to get into it I recommend starting with this book. It is the first, after all.
  3. Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. This book is a hilarious send-up of all those ridiculous apocalypse books that hit the markets from time to time. Involving an angel and demon who are millennias-old drinking buddies, a misplaced antichrist, and the completely accurate prophecies of a witch named Nutter, this is one novel you do not want to pass by.
  4. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire. A bit depressing, but worth it.
  5. The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. A book with a heady sense of myth if there ever was one. Quite good, highly recommended.