My post Harlem Renaissance fantasy story, “Black Winged Roses” is featured in the new edition of The Revelator Magazine, along side other authors and artists–Marly Youmans, Lavelle Porter, Ron Drummond, and Brian Francis Slattery and Ezra Pound (!!!!)
The second print anthology of the GlitterShip podcast is out. It includes my story, “Circus Boy Without a Safety Net.” I share the bill with authors Nicky Drayden, Matthew Bright, Cat Rambo and Bogi Takács among others.
You can pick up a copy here!
Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning editor, Neil Clarke (Clarkesworld Magazine), Independent Publishers Book Award winner, Craig L. Gidney, and three-time Colorado Book Award winning novelist, Carol Berg, are three of the pro facilitators slated for the inaugural year of the Norwescon Writers Workshop. More facilitators will be announced soon! The workshop will be held during Norwescon 42. Short stories and novel chapters are being accepted now for the Norwescon Writers Workshop. Please click here for guidelines and other information: Norwescon. The deadline is December 9, 2018!
First, some good things about Netflix’s THE HAUNTING OF HILL. I think that it was well-acted, particularly the matriarch Olivia (Carla Gugnino). I liked that they explored and expanded upon Theodora’s sexuality. The subtext, of dysfunctional relationships and mental illness, was spot on. However, I ultimately thought it was disrespectful to the source material.
The title raised certain expectations. Imagine if I wrote a tv series called WUTHERING HEIGHTS and it was about a modern couple dealing with infertility issues. And Cathy was a frustrated novelist writing a cheap romance novel called “Wuthering Heights.” And Emily herself was a character, who was a New Age doula. It would make as much sense as this adaptation. The heart of the novel is about Otherness. This was just a family drama with some supernatural elements that used the architecture of the novel–characters named Luke, Eleanor, Hugh and Theodora, a haunted mansion–and ignored the theme and mood.
I especially depised the portrayal of the writer, Stephen. He was supposed to be a hack writer who mined family trauma for filthy lucre. That’s not how writing—especially successful writing—works. If anything, Stephen should have been the one who believed in the ghosts, and the drug addict brother Luke should have been the one who was in denial. To write, you have to believe in that your words and your paper people are real. Finally, making one of the most chilling paragraphs ever written the start of the hack writer’s exploitative Ghost Adventures-styled book was a low point. (Side Bar: There was a character named Shirley; why couldn’t she have been the stand-in for Ms. Jackson?)
Finally, the nature of the haunting was wrong. The harried mother trope, at the center of the show, is played out, and subverts the meaning of the original novel, which centered non-traditional female characters (the misfit Eleanor, the bisexual artist Theodora).
If you’re going to tell a different story, why have the baggage of a well-known, classic novel? I actually think the series would have worked better with a separate title. (And if they got rid of that ridiculous writer subplot; Jackson was one of the best writers and to have a shout-out to her as bad writer was a terrible idea). The HILL HOUSE reminds me of how bad the LeGuin/Earthsea adaptations were—they took the plot and some of the ideas, and left behind the atmosphere and subtext.
I’m raising donations for SMYAL–the LGBTQ Youth Group in the Nation’s Capital. I attended Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL) back when I was first coming out, and can vouch from a consumer perspective the importance of the work for LGBTQ youth, who are an at-risk population. (In fact, a group like SMYAL makes an oblique appearance in my forthcoming novel!)
Here is some more information on the group:
SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders) supports and empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Washington, DC, metropolitan region. Through youth leadership, SMYAL creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to build self-confidence, develop critical life skills, and engage their peers and community through service and advocacy. Committed to social change, SMYAL builds, sustains, and advocates for programs, policies, and services that LGBTQ youth need as they grow into adulthood.
The Facebook fundraiser page is here.
Stalker vs. Love Interest, the Capclave panel I was on was recorded for the Geek Girl podcast. Hear me, Alyssa Wong, A.C. Wise, and Jeanne Adams talk about Pepe Le Pew, Urkel, Edward the Vampire and Christian Grey.
I will be my local con, the DC-Area Capclave, this weekend. My schedule is below. I love meeting writers and readers, so come on down!
|Friday 4:00 pm: Mindfulness and Habit Training/Tracking for Writers (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Jackson
Panelist:Meriah Lysistrata Crawford (M), Kelly Dwyer, Craig L. Gidney, Cerece Rennie Murphy, Irette Y. Patterson
What works, what doesn’t, resources, how mindfulness helps the writing process
|Friday 6:00 pm: Reimagining the Fairy Tale (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Jackson
Panelist:Sarah Avery, Craig L. Gidney (M), Michelle D. Sonnier
Who doesn’t love a fairy tale retelling? Part of the universal appeal of fairy tales is that they were never a static form, at least not as an oral tradition. Re-tellers have used these archetypes and modes to spin new variations ever since these stories first came to the page. Angela Carter once said that “Ours is a highly individualized culture, with a great faith in the work of art as a unique one-off…. But fairy tales are not like that, and nor are their makers.” We can find fresh insight into our own lives and connections through these age old tales. This panel will focus on a variety of approaches in reconstructing fairy tales with a modern bent, both in their favorite respins and in their own work.
|Friday 7:00 pm: Taxonomy of Fantasy (Ends at: 7:55 pm) Truman
Panelist:Craig L. Gidney, J. L. Gribble, Lawrence Watt-Evans
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Dark Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Mythic Fantasy, etc. How many types of fantasy are there? Readers’ tastes evolve over time. Which types of fantasy are currently the most popular, which are becoming less popular, where is fantasy headed and why?
|Friday 9:00 pm: If I Ran the Studio (Ends at: 9:55 pm) Washington Theater
Panelist:Sarah Avery, Craig L. Gidney, Will McIntosh, Sherin Nicole (M)
What books and stories would you adapt to film? Live action or animated? Why do film studios insist on optioning novels when short form fiction is really the ideal length for being adapted to film? Which series or stand alone book that hasn’t been adapted for the big screen or television would you like to see made?
|Saturday 10:00 am: I Hate Myself For Loving You (Ends at: 10:55 am) Monroe
Panelist:Alyssa Wong, Jonathan Edelstein, Jim Freund (M), Craig L. Gidney
Guilty pleasures and secret fandoms
|Saturday 4:00 pm: Stalker vs. Love Interest (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Jackson
Panelist:Alyssa Wong, Jeanne Adams, Craig L. Gidney, Sherin Nicole, A.C. Wise (M)
Given changing cultural norms is the handsome prince engaged in romantic pursuit or is he a creeper?
|Saturday 5:00 pm: Political Dynamite (Ends at: 5:55 pm) Monroe
Panelist:Craig L. Gidney, Larry Hodges, Mark Laporta, Joan Wendland
Writers and editors talk about how they address current events in their work and in social media–and what they don’t.
|Saturday 7:30 pm: Mass autographing (Ends at: 8:55 pm) Eisenhower
Panelist:Nancy Kress, Alyssa Wong, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jeanne Adams, Catherine Asaro, T. Eric Bakutis, Stafford Battle, Jonathan Brazee, Jack Campbell – John G. Hemry, Neil Clarke, Doc Coleman, Wendy S. Delmater, Tom Doyle, Kelly Dwyer, Deidre Dykes, Andrew Fox, Jim Freund, Charles E. Gannon, Craig L. Gidney, Carolyn Ives Gilman, J. L. Gribble, Bjorn Hasseler, Inge Heyer, Larry Hodges, David Keener, Barbara Krasnoff, Mark Laporta, John Edward Lawson, Edward M. Lerner, Will McIntosh, Mike McPhail, Bernie Mojzes, James Morrow, Kathryn Morrow, Lawrence M. Schoen, Darrell Schweitzer, Alex Shvartsman, Jack Skillingstead, Alan Smale, Joe Stech, Michael A. Ventrella, David Walton, Jean Marie Ward, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Joan Wendland, Steven H. Wilson, A.C. Wise, Allen L. Wold
|Sunday 10:00 am: 50 Years of The Last Unicorn (Ends at: 10:55 am) Jackson
Panelist:Mary Fan, Craig L. Gidney (M), Yosef Lindell, Darrell Schweitzer
It’s been 50 years since Ballantine published Peter S. Beagle’s Th Last Unicorn. Panelists will discuss the book, what it meant to them and its enduring popularity.
|Sunday 12:00 pm: Black Panther (Ends at: 12:55 pm) Washington Theater
Panelist:Craig L. Gidney, John Edward Lawson, B. Sharise Moore, Irette Y. Patterson, K. Ceres Wright (M)
The impact of the movie and the comics. The movie was huge. Nnedi Okorafor has just announced she’s writing the new Shuri comic and Ta-Nahesi Coates has written for Black Panther as well. Panelists discuss the cultural significance of Black Panther.
|Sunday 1:00 pm: Stories Lacking in Traditional Plot Structure (Ends at: 1:55 pm) Jackson
Panelist:Wendy S. Delmater, Craig L. Gidney (M), David Stokes
How to approach stories with experimental structure or structures that don’t always follow traditional narrative storytelling such as travel guides, lists, stories via instruction manuals, slice of ice or mood pieces
|Sunday 2:00 pm: Why Do We Like Being Scared (Ends at: 2:55 pm) Truman
Panelist:Craig L. Gidney, Hildy Silverman (M), Michelle D. Sonnier, Kenesha Williams
Fear probably developed as a survival mechanism. We fear things that might hurt us. Yet many read horror, go to slasher films, ride roller coasters, and climb cliffs. Why? What does this say about us and our psyches?
|Sunday 4:00 pm: Resistance is Never Futile (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Monroe
Panelist:Tom Doyle (M), Aaron Emmel, Craig L. Gidney
What science fiction and fantasy can teach us about being advocates and activists in fraught times. What should the allegorical protest literature of our time look like?
I am over the moon to announce that my novel, A Spectral Hue, will be published next year by Word Horde. Thanks to the publisher, Ross E. Lockhart, for taking on this weird novel of Outsider Art, ghosts, and divine inspiration. I would also like to thank the participants of the Wyrd Words workshop for their valuable suggestions and insight.
Huzzah! I’m joining the Horde!