Thing the first:  My story “Ondine’s Curse” is available in the latest (last, alas) issue of Electric Velocipede.  The Kindle version is here.  The Nook version is here.

Thing the second:  I have two more flash pieces in circulation and forgot to post snippets!

“Lady of the House”:

Aiele’s gold bracelets jangled as she adjusted her veil in the mirror, making certain that the bruises didn’t show. She didn’t want anyone to know that she had already failed to please her new husband Notan. Bruise or no bruise, limp or no limp, she had food to order for Notan’s dinner party.

“Toads and Roses”:

“Hello, Bianca,” the wizard said as he walked through the sitting room door. He was old and fat and rich, and smelled of horrid things–pickled frog’s eyes, perhaps. His hair was greasy and white, and he was dressed in black from head to toe.

Bianca resisted the urge to scoot closer to her sister Esmerelda on the couch and shivered, but not from the cold. She cast her eyes down in an effort to be demure, staring at her dress–blue silk and lace. Esmerelda’s dress was dark and brown, like the wood paneling on the walls, and not as nice as Bianca’s. Bianca felt guilty about that. She didn’t know why her parents liked her best.

I’ll be reading with Broad Universe at WorldCon, Sunday at 10am in 007B (Convention Center).  I plan to read from “Ondine’s Curse,” which will appear in an upcoming issue of Electric Velocipede.  Come by and say hi!

WOOHOO!  My story “Saving Alan Idle” is now available as both HTML and a podcast.  I’m so excited!

http://escapepod.org/2013/07/05/ep403-saving-alan-idle/

Thanks to everyone who helped me critique it, including, but not limited to: Gary David Henderson, Beth Dawkins, Matthew Quinn, Terra LeMay, Woodrow Jarvis Hill, Michelle Dupler, and Sandy Parsons.

The WisCON panel description:

Who gets your ebooks when you die? Your Twitter feed? The baby book that mostly exists on LJ? Do you have an estate plan for all these intangible but valuable assets? When you go, do you want your pages taken down or kept up for all time? Who do you trust to preserve or annihilate your online presence? The legal status of digital media is still a little fuzzy. With more of us and our parents moving that direction, we should think about this not just for ourselves, but our elders. What is the digital equivalent of inheriting grandad’s books, or is it even possible now? Join the discussion on legacies, files, and virtual tombstones.

Yeah, I was on that 8am panel.  ;)  With another sysadmin, mind you!  The two sysadmins had two basic approaches to the topic:

  • Love your data.  Cuddle your data.  Back up your data.
  • Embrace bit rot.  All things die, including your data.  Don’t get attached to data, because Buddha says attachment leads to suffering.

I’ll open with my final comment, which is that this is not for you.  It’s a form of consideration for your survivors, and they’ll decide what’s valuable or not in the end.

What if your family is hostile, and doesn’t see the value in what you consider valuable?  Well, if you disagree strenuously, make your works public domain and put them online.  I put a lot of family photos on Flickr, Creative Commons Attributions No Derivatives so my family could download any of them without contortions.  I also had a friend at one point who died, and her mother found out she wrote fan fiction with same-sex romances in it, and her mother embraced that as part of who her daughter was.  (The moderator suggested that “I love my dead slash-writing daughter!” was a whole other possible panel topic.)  That could have gone in a completely different direction, though.

Frankly, I’m not really that concerned about my ebooks, movies, music, etc.  I’m more concerned about my facebook/twitter/personal websites, particularly the obituary sites I put up for my parents.  So my greatest concern with that is the technical know-how associated with maintaining them.  I’d rather they be left up, though, because I had another friend who was sick but didn’t intend to die, and she pre-scheduled a lot of WordPress posts that were tied to her Twitter and Facebook, and those started rolling in after she died.  “New music!” and a link to her playing.  Our first reaction was, “Wahhhhh,” but after a couple of months it was kind of nice.

On the opposite end, I have another friend who has an arrangement with a buddy that if he dies, the buddy will come in and wipe his hard drive so his Mom won’t find his porn or nekkid pictures.

Don’t count on encryption.  Even the best encryption standards get broken over time, so it’ll just make your hard drive a puzzle.  Then it turns out to be a case of whether or not someone thinks the drive is worth the effort.  (“Oh, it’s porn.  2D, how quaint!”)  Do think about the portability of your data (plain text, or HTML, which is plain text with a little markup that can be easily stripped out).

Obituary sites:  I wrote my Mom’s site because someone quoted my sister some exorbitant sum for an obituary online for some limited amount of time, and I said, “Bah, I’ll put it up on my own site.”  So I did, and it remains, and at least one friend of hers found out she was dead by googling her.  My father’s site… well.  My stepmother is not a native English speaker and was really upset, so the funeral home wrote the obituary and it didn’t mention that he had children.  My site for him outranks that other obituary in google–SEO REPRESENT.  However, antispam and upgrading the software is a thing, and does require technical know-how.  You might want a digital executor to be in charge of things like that.  In particular, the spambots will find the site and post 5000 links to “Buy Viagra!” if you let them, and that’ll feel like someone spraypainting on their headstones.  So be prepared.

Last but not least, I’ll reiterate that it’s not really about you.  If you believe in an afterlife, you’ll be in heaven and won’t be too concerned about your Facebook.  If you don’t, you won’t exist and won’t care about your Facebook.  It’s about being considerate to your survivors.

“Ondine’s Curse” will appear in an upcoming issue of the ever-awesome Electric Velocipede.  Squee!

I <3 Goodreads.  I like categorizing my books and tracking them;  it appeals to my unused library degree.  Also, much as they suspect, my friends have similar reading tastes.

Here’s my author page on Goodreads.  Most of the stories are available via the equally awesome Escape Pod, heh, but there’s also Broad Spectrum (on my Kindle!).  Which, let me remind you, is free free free free free.

If you’re not on Goodreads, you should be!

It’s got me and a lot of other awesome women in it, and it’s FREE.  Check out Broad Spectrum: The 2012 Broad Universe Fiction Sampler.  My story starts:

Last time this happened, I was Orpheus.

Ethan was lost, pale, gone in a haze of Zoloft and Lithium and anorexia, and he assured me he was in hell, and I missed him so much that the rocks and trees wept. And when neither of us could bear it any more, I descended into the underworld and went to the King. I sang such a song of grief that I even moved the King of the Underworld to tears, and he said I could bring my Eurydice back to the light of day if only I didn’t turn back and look upon him. As I walked through the fluorescent halls and the smell of bleach and urine I knew this was hell, and I couldn’t bear the thought of my beloved locked away from the sun like this forever. So I led the way singing, and the janitors and nurses wept and cleared a path for us as we walked down the hall.

Read more…

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  1. I’ll be reading at the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading at Dragoncon on Sunday, September 2, at 5:30pm in Greenbriar.
  2. Woe, my current story is 23,000+ words long and conflict-poor.  It needs some serious, serious editing.  But I was not writing at $previous_job, so this is an improvement.  Right?
  3. I’m running 3-4 days a week and about to start running outside.  I’m also in the market for a 5K, if you know of one.

I was doing 250 words a day as a goal, but Jen and I signed up for stickK together.  It looked like a time commitment would work better with their site than a wordcount commitment, so I said ten minutes a day/an hour a week.

This works a lot better than I expected.  I almost always write more than 250 words, and I feel like I’m making a lot of progress on the story I was working on.  I plan to up the time later to a more ambitious number.  (Jen chose five hours a week.  There’s no way.  I’d be setting myself up to fail.)

I also signed up to run more than 134 minutes a week.  I usually run 3-4 days a week for 45 minutes at a time.  This is also going well.

I didn’t even put money on either one!

Future running goals include running outside (right now I’m treadmill only) and eventually signing up for a race.

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