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Date: 2016-05-24 19:06
Subject: Where to find Cecilia Tan & Circlet Press at Balticon 50
Security: Public

That’s right, I’ll be at the 50th Balticon this coming weekend doing the following:

6:15pm-7:15pm Autographing
10pm-10:50pm Panel: Trends in Erotic Short Fiction, with Nobilis!
11pm-11:52pm Erotica Reading: with KM Sparza & Stephanie Burke

11am-12:20pm Workshop: Web Serial Toolbox
11pm-12:20am Panel: Hot Hot Hot or Not?

11am-11:50 Panel: Writing Series: Good Idea? W/RA McAvoy, Michael Swanwick, and Allen Steele
10:30pm – 12:20am Circlet Press Variety Show

Full details below the cut!

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Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

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Date: 2016-05-24 09:00
Subject: Miss Freelove ’69
Security: Public
Tags:nyc, ziggy

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

It was just me, Chris, and Courtney from the Allston house, and we picked up Bart in the van. Carynne and Bradley were getting back to the city on their own schedule–in fact maybe they’d already left a day or two earlier. I don’t remember. It was a Sunday night so there wasn’t much traffic and we grabbed dinner at the deli in Vernon.

Connecticut was long as usual despite the lack of traffic. I had some weird flashbacks in the van while we were on I-84. I thought about asking Chris, who was driving, if he remembered much about the partying we’d done while Nomad had passed through the area a few months before and then decided that was not the best topic for conversation. I didn’t want to seem to be callously disregarding his sobriety nor rubbing his face in it, by talking about how hard I’d hit the bottle that time. But something about that dark stretch of road reminded me of how far out on the edge I’d gone.

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Date: 2016-05-21 09:00
Subject: She’s a Girl and I’m a Man
Security: Public
Tags:allston, colin

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Thanks to tip jar donations hitting $100 a few days ago here’s a Saturday bonus post! Remember, each time the total hits $100, it triggers an extra chapter!)

As turned out, Monday was a lot sooner than I might’ve hoped, meaning I had less than one day left to talk to Colin…and he didn’t seem to be home. Not in the basement. Not glued to his computer. Not in the back yard. Not doing pull ups.

Far as I knew Colin didn’t have a pager. Chris hadn’t heard him go out and didn’t know where he went.

Neither did Courtney, though she had a guess. “He’s been on again off again with a woman named Leah or Raya or something? Sometimes when he disappears he’s with her.”

“Okay, but how do I find him?”

She shrugged. “What time are we leaving tonight?”

“Seven, maybe?” I guess it was my job to set a time. “We can stop in Connecticut for dinner.”

“Is that Chris’s laundry in the dryer?”

“Think so.”

“I’m gonna get another one started in the washer,” she said. “Good luck finding Colin.”

Amazingly Courtney didn’t pry about why it was so urgent for me to talk to him. Maybe she already knew.

I ended up going into Colin’s room to look around, didn’t touch anything, then went down to the kitchen and realized that written on the white board, among the phone numbers for calling a local taxi, getting ice cream (or anything else) delivered, and our old landlord (because that’s how long it had been since anyone had erased a number from that board), was one that said “Reah.” Hm.

What the hell, I gave it a call. A woman answered. “Yeah?”

“Hi, I’m looking for Reah? Or, well, actually I’m looking for someone named Colin–”

“Who the hell is this?”

“I’m Colin’s roommate–” That seemed the least difficult word to use. “–Daron.”

“Oh. Hang on.”

There was the sound of muffling and then the rather loud noise that must’ve been the phone hitting a table or countertop.

I could hear voices very distantly. A minute or two went by.

Then another clatter as someone picked up the phone. It was a different woman’s voice this time, I think. “He’ll be home soon. Okay?”

“Okay, cool, thank you. Um, I’m hitting the road at seven–” I think she had hung up after “thank you” and I just slowly pressed the receiver back on the hook at my end, thinking what the fuck, whatever.

It was six-thirty when he came in, and I had already packed and was basically gnawing bits of black nail polish off my nails that were still left from Pride day. (I really needed to strip it off and reapply just the clear coat I put on the right hand to keep them strong.) His hair was hanging flat and he was in a white tank top, denim shorts, and flip flops. Still sexy as hell, by the way, just much much more “normal” looking than I was accustomed to seeing Colin, especially for leaving the house.

“Hey.” He sat down next to me on the couch and kicked the flip flops off.

“Hey. Whereya been?”

“Revere Beach. Took my ex’s kids there today.” He let out a long sigh. “The boy’s nine and the girl’s six and, god, kids are exhausting.”

“I…yeah.” I really didn’t know what to say to that and didn’t want to step into a potential minefield, of course.

“She really really wants to marry someone who’ll be a good dad to them,” Colin said. “Which is why we’re exes.”

I think I actually said something dopey like, “But you’d be a good dad.” As if I was any kind of judge of that kind of thing.

“I am really not looking to settle down into a two-point-five kid life,” Colin said.

“Wait, didn’t we have this conversation once before?”

“I think maybe we avoided this conversation once before,” Colin pressed on his arms and made white ovals in his sunburn. “Whoops. I forgot what going out in the daytime was like.”

“I have some stuff for that upstairs. Come on.” I had a tube of sunburn stuff that I’d used once after Pride but hadn’t bothered with since then. Makeup had actually protected me surprisingly well from sunburn that day but I’d gotten a bit of a burn on my shoulders where the straps of the wings had rubbed.

It wasn’t even a question of whether he was going to strip down so I could slather the stuff all over him while he sat on the lid of the toilet. That part was totally natural.

Talking about kids was not so natural to either of us, though. “But you went to take care of her kids anyway?”

“She called this morning, desperate, in tears. Promised the kids a day at the beach, having a migraine, her sister crapping out somehow, the usual.” He sighed. “It’s not just the kids with Reah, it’s everything is a drama or a crisis, which is fun for a short while when you’re passionately involved but gets real old real quick in the day-to-day.”

“So why’d you do it?”

“My mom was a single mom. I felt sorry for the kids. But she really has to get her act together and meet someone who can actually father them and provide, you know? Which I realize isn’t so easy when you’re in your late thirties and have obscenities tattooed all over your boobs. For some crazy reason, guys tend to treat her like total shit when they see that.”

“Punk guys?”

“Well, no, which is half the problem, although there are plenty of dirtbags in the scene, too, I guess.” he spat into the sink. “But I keep telling her if she keeps trying to meet a stock broker or a lawyer or something all she’s going to get is a steady stream of assholes who are going to use her like a whore and treat her like trash.” He sucked in a breath as a put a fresh cold dollop on the back of one lobsterine shoulder. “Then again, a lot of guys like me who will appreciate a middle-aged anarchist either hate kids or are not necessarily the best steady providers.”

“You’re an accountant,” I pointed out.

“And I’m a weirdo,” he said, as if we completely agreed on that point. “But I can’t solve her problems. I can’t be who she wants me to be, but she keeps trying to sucker me into trying.”

I hesitated a moment, because I didn’t want him to think I’d suckered him into a position where my argument would be especially compelling, but here it was. “Well, if you want to avoid the two-point-five-kids lifestyle, I have a gig in a road crew for you.”

He nodded slowly. “Yeah. Been thinking about that.”

No reason to hold back now. “I talked to Ziggy about it last night. He really wants you to come along. Supposedly so if things melt down between him and me, you’ll be my safety net. Also Ziggy really likes surrounding himself with people he’s slept with.” I shrugged.

“Yeah, I can see that.” Colin pulled a clean undershirt on carefully, so as not to scrape any of his skin. “And you want me to go, too?”

“I do.” I still had some nagging worries but, well, one of the big things I was starting to realize at that point in my life was that if I let nagging worries rule my decisions I would never do anything.

He nodded. “Yeah, it seems like all the stars are aligning, doesn’t it.”

“If you mean I want you to go, Ziggy wants you to go, and you want to go, then yes.” Seemed really logical when I put it that way, eh?

Colin laughed and hugged me, wrapping me up in the cloying damp scent of moisturizing cream. “Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense for me not to go. I guess my only question is when you actually need me to show up.”

“You don’t have to come to New York tonight. But come when the band starts rehearsals again after I get off the road with Nomad. I’ll tell Carynne to start the paperwork.”

“Great. That’s a load off my mind.”

Then came a knock on the bathroom door. Courtney. “Are you guys actually fucking or is there some chance we might leave on time?”

“We’re not fucking,” Colin said and opened the door. “If you guys need to hit the road, don’t wait on me.”

“Yeah, we should head,” I said, and squeezed his hand. “I’ll be back to do laundry and re-pack in like two weeks and then I’m off again.” We had another quick hug and he patted me on the back. “Unless you want to tag along to New York?”

Colin laughed. “Not this time, rock star. See you in two weeks.”

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Date: 2016-05-19 09:00
Subject: Hard to Handle
Security: Public
Tags:chris, colin, i hate talking on the phone, ziggy

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Trying to find the right moment to ask Colin whether he was coming with us to South America turned out to be more difficult than I expected. Eventually one day when Christian and I were engaging in the practice of moving iron around, I asked him about it.

“So I want to ask Colin whether he’s coming with us,” I said. “But I don’t want to seem like I’m pressuring him.”

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Date: 2016-05-18 09:00
Subject: Help choose the cover of the next Daron’s Guitar Chronicles ebook -CLOSED
Security: Public
Tags:daron's guitar chronicles, writing talk

Well, folks, I’ve been poking around at this cover long enough that I really can’t tell which one is the best. I’ve already put the book up for pre-order on Amazon and other retailers (B&N, Kobo, iTunes, etc.) but I haven’t picked a cover yet. So I’m putting several possibilities up for your feedback here!

Poll is at the bottom now closed, but qualitative feedback is helpful, too!
(and if you’re interested in being involved in the reveal of the final cover, an excerpts and release blitz, or reviewing the book on Amazon or Goodreads, please fill out: this signup form).

Images under the cut:

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Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

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Date: 2016-05-17 09:00
Subject: Little Fluffy Clouds
Security: Public
Tags:bart, boston, chris, colin

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

The whole Boston-based crew–me, Carynne, Chris, Bart, Bradley, and Courtney–went north for the July 4th vacation week. Ziggy stayed in the city and said goodbye to me with an enthusiasm for the experience of being apart that I think I was finally starting to understand. Now that I was no longer terrified that while we were apart everything was automatically going to fall apart (although there were still some paranoid moments–this is me, after all), I could see the appeal of looking forward to a reunion. That makes sense, right?

Besides, we both had stuff to do.

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Date: 2016-05-15 16:42
Subject: Ten Things I Learned at SFWA Nebulas Weekend
Security: Public
Tags:writing news


Ten Things I Learned at SFWA Nebulas Weekend

by Cecilia Tan

This past weekend was the SFWA annual gathering known as Nebulas Weekend, which is not only when the Nebula Awards are given out, but also a conference for professional science fiction writers. People tell me that in the past Nebulas Weekend was mostly a party/schmoozefest and not so much of a professional development seminar. That might explain why I never bothered to attend before. I go to plenty of schmoozefests at other cons and book industry functions where I can rub elbows with the elite writers and editors in science fiction/fantasy (viz: the SFWA suite at any Worldcon or World Fantasy, the SFWA annual “Mill & Swill” in NYC, ICFA, miscellaneous book launches and parties, various regional fan cons, et cetera). I didn’t need another one. But a pro development seminar for sf/f? Sign me up.

Before this, there was no open attendance professional development seminar for sf/f writers. There are the application-only writers workshops like Clarion, Odyssey, and Viable Paradise. There are science courses like Launch Pad and the Schroedinger Sessions. But nowhere within sf/f except occasional tracks or workshops at cons to learn career skills, i.e. self-marketing techniques, social media management, website management, legal issues, and so on. I had been advising writers I know to attend their nearest regional romance writer conventions (even if they didn’t write romance) in order to get some of that.

Thanks to the co-location of this year’s Nebs with BookExpo America, presentations at the conference included many by service providers of various companies in the publishing ecosystem, as well as the opportunity to sit down one-on-one to pick the brains of many presenters. (Schedule) Reps from Kobo, Draft2Digital, Patreon, Kickstarter, Amazon/KDP, Audible.com, and others were here, and also various members put themselves forth for brain-picking in the Ask an Expert area. So I picked some brains, went to some seminars, and here’s what I learned during Nebulas Weekend: (details below the cut)

1. We Clean Up Pretty Good
2. Kickstarters Should Be Pretty
3. At Patreon a Little Means a Lot
4. Dictate for Artistry
5. The Myth of Self-Publishing
6. White Knights and Online Harassment
7. Think Globally
8. You Can’t Be in Two Places at Once
9. John Hodgman is Really Funny
10. Not the Hugos or the Worldcon

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Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

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Date: 2016-05-12 09:00
Subject: I Wanna Be Adored
Security: Public

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

I woke up the next day to find glitter and smoke streaked all across the pillows and some shocking red hanks of hair here and there in the bed as if some tropical plant had shed its pistils or something. Apparently passionate enough lovemaking was sufficient to yank some of my extensions out. After a shower and gently combing it through with conditioner (like I’d been told to) I didn’t actually notice the missing ones.

What I did notice was that as I walked through the city (I ran some errands that day and dropped by the office at one point) I was no longer invisible.

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Date: 2016-05-11 14:40
Subject: Cecilia Tan at #TheBookCon and #Nebulas Schedule
Security: Public
Tags:appearances, writing news


Here I am in Chicago! It’s very foggy here. Figured I’d post a rundown of what I’m doing and where to find me in case any of you need it:

SATURDAY May 14 at The Book Con

at the McCormick Place convention center, Chicago

1pm – 1:30 pm AUTOGRAPHING
at the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Booth 1716
I’ll be signing copies of TAKING THE LEAD, my latest kinky rock star romance.

at the Grand Central Publishing/Hachette booth 1716
with my fellow Forever Romance authors Elizabeth Hoyt and Debbie Mason!
I’ll again be signing and giving away TAKING THE LEAD

in Room W470
Very excited to be speaking on this panel on a subject very important to me, moderated by Joyce Lamb of USA Today’s “Happy Ever After” blog. Official description: The #WeNeedDiverseBooks initiative is being passionately embraced by readers of all genres – and authors of romantic fiction are absolutely passionate about the movement! Browse the selection at booksellers, and you will see ever-increasing title offerings that feature LGBTQ characters and couples; books that feature multi-ethnic perspective and give love to the silver fox set. In this panel, moderated by Joyce Lamb, curator of USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog, and featuring Cecilia Tan, Taking the Lead (Forever), Sona Charaipotra, Tiny Pretty Things (Epic Reads), Dhonielle Clayton, Tiny Pretty Things (Epic Reads), will frankly discuss meeting reader demand for Diverse Books in the romance genre; as well as propose tactics on how to support the growth of this market segment.

Sunday May 15 at the SFWA Nebulas Weekend

at the Palmer House Hilton

11am – 12pm Web Serial Toolbox
I’ll be teaching a crash course in everything you need to know to start your own web serial. If you can blog, you can publish a web serial! I’ll be talking about both creative and business reasons to serialize, as well as why *not* to serialize, and discuss what free & inexpensive tech tools are out there to keep your overhead costs non-existent to under $25.


Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

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Date: 2016-05-10 09:00
Subject: Pride (In the Name of Love)
Security: Public

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

The next thing I remember after the primal scream was a little while later. I guess I blanked out? I don’t know.

I do remember coming back to myself, though, in the back of a bodega, leaning on Ziggy’s shoulders, looking down at our feet, panting heavily and thinking it looked cool the way our black and white boots alternated. I raised my head slowly and looked around.

Ziggy was staring into my face with concern. “You all right?”

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