First Cup of Coffee – November 8, 2022

I’m urging you to vote today – and to vote Democrat! Also a shout out to Nicole Peeler, Director of the Pop Fic MFA program at Seton Hill, and thoughts on Bejeweled by Taylor Swift and what it means to shimmer.



First Cup of Coffee – November 1, 2022

A very special #NaNoWriMo episode today. I discuss the greatest benefit of doing NaNoWriMo, the pitfalls, and how to approach this process like an exercise training program so you gain the greatest benefit!



First Cup of Coffee – October 28, 2022

Why I don’t believe in muses and how conflating the experience of writing – joyful or otherwise – with the experience of reading is counterproductive, and how writing turns out the same whether it was fun to write or not.



Jeffe’s Collaborations – Real and Imagined

I’m just loving these autumn/Halloween collages of the Czech translation of the Chronicles of Dasnaria books!

This week at the SFF Seven, we’re discussing collaborations – if we’ve done them and what our dream collabs would be.

I’ve never (quite) collaborated with another writer on actually composing a story. I added in that “quite” because my friend, Jim Sorenson, and I did start writing a book together. However, even though we wrote several chapters, our mutual agent (Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency) didn’t ever love what we came up with. Getting our voices to gel together was a challenge. We’ve talked about going back to the project, which I’d love to do someday. It’s definitely a different way of working though!

The collaborations I do regularly are anthologies! My bestie Grace Draven and I love to put together anthologies, either of stories from just the two of us, or with more writers. Our next project is THE WATERS AND THE WILD, an anthology that will include fae novellas from Grace, Dana Marton, Maria Vale, and myself. It will be out in late April, with a special print edition available for Apollycon attendees, and then available in ebook and regular print form after that. I’m very much looking forward to what everyone comes up with!

If I could collaborate with any writer, living or dead, it would’ve been Anne McCaffrey. I was too late to meet her and too slow in coming to writing fantasy to be one of the several writers privileged to write in her worlds. I would’ve LOVED to do that and, in one of the sliding doors versions of my life, I believe it totally happened.

 

First Cup of Coffee – October 25, 2022

How being female isn’t actually a characterization (yes, this rant again), an odd coincidence with my growing up and a now Famous Author, and asking for good thoughts for a new preemie baby in the family.



What Jeffe Has to Have in Order to Write

Greetings from a gorgeous autumn in New Mexico!

This week at the SFF Seven we’re talking about preconditions – what must be true before you go to write.

I changed it from “sit to write” because I don’t sit – I work at a walking desk. So, that’s one thing for me, is that I’m happiest standing or walking to write. I’ve gotten so sitting to write doesn’t work very well. In fact, I’m super happy to have hit on a solution of a portable tripod and desktop to make a standing desk for a retreat I’m going on after Thanksgiving. I can stand to write! Perfect solution.

Otherwise…

It used to be that I had fairly elaborate rituals for getting into writing. I had LOTS of preconditions. I had to be sitting at a certain desk (not my work-from-home desk) at a specific time of day (morning) listening to a particular soundtrack (The Mission). I even had a favorite blue jersey dress I had to be wearing. When my husband, with considerable exasperation, pointed out that the dress had more holes than fabric, he countered my plaintive argument that I needed it, by saying “the writing comes from you, not the dress.”

That’s really stuck with me. I remind myself of that truth often.

(And I put the dress in the rag pile.)

All of those rituals helped me in the beginning, when I really needed help establishing a writing habit. But now I know they were just things to help me along. Because the writing comes from me.

The only precondition I have? Myself, present and accounted for.