Tag Archives: holidays

Holiday News Roundup: Works in Progress, Holiday Sales, and More

Hello, lovely readers! I’ve been busy over here, working away behind the scenes. Here’s what’s new in my corner of the world…


I’m working on two things set in the world of City of Hope and Ruin (Fractured World). First, we’re doing a prequel anthology, set several hundred years before the novel. All the stories are centered around a romance; mine is a M/NB pairing (if you don’t speak romance/fanfic acronym-ese, that means the two main characters are male and non-binary). The anthology will be out in the spring–watch for more details soon!

Second, my co-author Kit Campbell and I are working on the sequel to the novel. It will be out…sometime later than the spring…so all I will say at the moment is that it picks up right where City of Hope and Ruin leaves off. Yes, that means more Theo and Briony action, and new adventures for both of them.


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Need a last minute Christmas gift or late Hanukkah gift? If you’re in the Toronto area, join me at Earlscourt BBQ (1278 St. Clair West, Toronto) on Saturday, December 15. I will be one of around ten artists setting up shop for the afternoon, selling copies of City of Hope and Ruin as well as several of the Turtleduck Press anthologies. Check out the other vendors on the Facebook event page.

The Earlscourt BBQ staff will be serving eggnog made with Jim Beam bourbon for the adults (bourbon-free for the kids), hot apple cider and more!

Bring a few extra dollars (as much as you can) to donate to The Stop Community Food Centre.

Admission is free. RSVP optional.


AHtR11-A New Year-SP4x6Looking for a good holiday romance with queer (M/NB and ace) representation in an SF setting? My holiday short from last year, A New Year on Vega III, is 30% off all this month, along with the rest of the stories in the queer romance collection from Mischief Corner Books that it was part of. See the collection here.

On the colony planet Vega III, everyone knows Beck—outgoing, fabulous, and genderqueer—and nobody notices Anil, the quiet plant biologist. But when Anil finds Beck hiding in his greenhouse, lonely and missing Earth, it’s Anil who is able to comfort Beck by letting them talk about what they miss most—the feeling that comes with celebrating the holidays with loved ones, especially New Year’s Eve.

​The two of them are drawn to one another, but both of them are hiding secrets about their sexuality. With trust between them already on shaky ground, Anil’s elaborate plans to cheer Beck may well backfire.


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Earlier this year, I was one of the judges for a flash fiction (very short story) anthology contest run by Queer Sci Fi. (It was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot about how to write very short stories!) The anthology, Impact, is now on sale for 2.99 (25% off) the eBook or $9.99 (33% off) for the paperback…

Amazon eBook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FC91HH2/
Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1732307520/
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/impact-j-scott-…/1129055097
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/impact-84
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/impact/id1409688669


For my second trick at Queer Sci Fi, I’ve signed up to do the occasional book review over there. My first review is now posted, for J. Scott Coatsworth’s Slow Thaw. It’s both a holiday romance (M/M with a trans main character) and a near-future SF survival story set in Antarctica (both main characters are scientists). Yes, really. Does it work? Find out here.


Finally, you might have noticed that the Ursula K. Le Guin reread has stalled. In fact, I’m continuing to read through the Hainish cycle–it’s just the blogging that has stalled (whoops). Hoping to get back to that sometime soon, as I do have more to say!

In the meantime, if you want to know what I’m up to, follow me on Instagram, check out my monthly blog posts at Turtleduck Press, or “like” the Turtleduck Press Facebook page to get all the essential news and a certain amount of random musings.

Happy holidays!

 

 

 

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Holiday Posting

Hello, faithful readers!

The holidays are coming, and with them a whirlwind of visits with family and friends, gifts to wrap, events to attend, and so on.

So I’m taking a blog hiatus for a couple of weeks. I’ll be back early in the new year and ready to take on 2014.

In the meantime, it’s over to you. What’s your favourite thing about this time of year? How are your holiday preparations going? If you’re a writer, do you write more or less than usual over the holidays?

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and happy holidays to all of you!

 

A Tradition of Books for Christmas

Christmas with bookIn my family, we have a long tradition of giving each other books as gifts. I can’t remember a single Christmas where no-one has gotten or given a book.

Some years I’ve ended up with a big, delicious stack; other years, one or two volumes, or even none, as I’ve been a giver instead of a receiver of books. They’ve ranged from secondhand paperbacks to quality editions, from literary classics to Star Trek tie-in novels to the latest in whatever SF or fantasy or historical series I was obsessed with that year.

My family first discovered Harry Potter through a holiday catalogue put out by a local bookstore, the dearly departed and sorely missed Greenwoods’ Bookshoppe. That year, I read the description of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone — I’d never heard of it, nobody had back then — and decided to buy it for my brother, who was just the right age. He loved it. I might have loved it even more than he did.

Speaking of Star Trek tie-ins, I discovered Star Trek in 1992, just at the beginning of my teens. At that time Star Trek: The Next Generation was on its first run, so that’s what I watched, and initially what I read, borrowing all the tie-in books from my Trekkie aunt. But she was also an avid fan of the original series (TOS). For Christmas that year she gave me a copy of her favourite TOS novel, Uhura’s Song — getting me hooked on a whole new series.

More recently, my mom started giving my siblings and me books she hoped would serve us well as new adults heading off on our own — books of recipes, books on decorating your first apartment.

My immediate family doesn’t have any young children in it right now, but you can bet that if and when it does, I’ll be buying kids’ books for Christmas, and I’ll do it with glee.

Your turn! Do you buy books as holiday gifts? Have you noticed a theme or themes to your buying over the years?

If you liked this post, you might also like The Best Christmas Stories Ever, featuring my favourite seasonal books, movies, TV specials, and even a radio show.

7 Tips for Mental Health and Lower Stress During the Holidays

Christmas treeThe holidays can be a tough time for many of us. Whether it’s the pressure to be perfect, the tension of navigating family relationships, the weight of memories, or the sheer length of the to-do list, there are many reasons to feel like Scrooge or the Grinch at this time of year.

Here, then, are some tips for retaining your mental health.

7. Don’t try to do everything. Pick your projects and your battles. I don’t bake or send cards, but I do decorate my home and put lots of thought into my gifts. If you’re trying to make Christmas amazing for a small person in your life, for example, pick and choose the things to focus on — the ones they’ll remember. Years later, they won’t remember how many kinds of cookies you made, but they’ll remember a tradition of making gingerbread together. If you’re a writer, maybe December is the time to scale waaaaay back on your goals or writing schedule — the words will still be there in January.

6. Resist the pressure, both internal and external. You’re inundated with messages about using your dollars to make your loved ones happy. You want to find the best gift ever this year. Maybe your in-laws and your step-family both want you with them for Christmas dinner. Resist. You can do this.

5. Do focus on what you love about the season. This is where family traditions can come in handy. A particular holiday music album that you always put on? A visit to Santa? Decorating the tree together? Curling up on the sofa to watch holiday movies? None of those things are expensive or time-consuming or stressful — they’re just fun, or if they’re not, they should be. Linger on them, and enjoy.

4. Make time for you. If you’re an introvert, for example, you’ll still need me-time — that won’t change just because it’s the holidays. Stick to your exercise routine if you can, or your weekly ritual of going out for coffee on Sundays, or whatever else you ordinarily do that you love.

3. Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect. Your tree might not look like it came out of a magazine (unless doing it that way causes you more happiness than stress), but it looks like you trimmed it your way. Your cookie-decorating skills might be lacking, but if they taste good, who cares? I promise your family and friends won’t notice, or if they do, they won’t care.

2. Plan something to look forward to in the new year. One reason the holidays get so much pressure is that after they’re over, there’s a long, dark slog until spring (at least in this part of the world). My significant other and I have started a tradition of a weekend getaway for mid-February, and let me tell you, it makes January go much faster. If a trip isn’t in the cards for you, try a concert, a party, or any special event that you can get excited about.

1. Do what you need to do. Above all, your mental health is the top priority. If that means skipping things, letting other things slide, staying home sometimes…well, so be it, and don’t let anyone (including your own Inner Critic) tell you otherwise. You’re worth taking care of.

Your turn! What are your best tips for staying sane during the holidays?