The Underserved

 

Following on this wonderful essay about cannibalistic llamas (I told you! …right?) Chuck Wendig wrote about the underserved.

I used to work at the public library. Libraries are of course where the books live but that’s only a part of what they do and one of the things they do is a very important function called: serving the underserved population. (Note: underserved, not undeserved.) I specifically worked with a department whose goal was to find the folks the library Just Plain Wasn’t Talking To and then Talk To Them. Are we helping blind people? We’re helping children, but are we helping seniors? What about African-Americans? Or people trapped in low-income brackets? And so on.

I am lucky enough to live in an area with an exceptional public library system. I’ve seen that they do this too. I count myself blessed to have many librarians as friends, both here and around the country. They also do this. It’s not just a directive from on high for librarians, it’s a life choice. It’s one part of what makes librarians super-heroes in my book.

You know I’m going to tie this in to what TDP is doing, right?

Baby Steps

 

So, after almost 3 months of not writing, I finally started writing last week.  I wanted to go slow, no pressure, just to start getting in the daily routine again.  Not writing for so long made me lose that spark that got me in front of the screen every single day.  And it’s a scary thing when you have come to rely on something so much and suddenly, it’s gone.  Suddenly, my moods were trending toward bad (on good days) and downright homicidal (on bad days).  Everyone noticed this.  And there was work stress I couldn’t handle without writing, so I was a bag of nerves for awhile.  So I said, enough’s enough.  I gotta start somehow.  Even if it’s just 100 words.  Something.

Show Us Your Stuff!

 

After all, we’ve shown you some of ours.

It’s been nearly three years since our intrepid quartet launched Turtleduck Press with Knight Errant, Hidden Worlds, and Life as a Moving Target. In the seven books, many free stories, and lots of blog posts since, we at Turtleduck Press have learned much and had a great time doing it. Now we’re looking to take the next step: TDP is looking for new members. As Kit Campbell mentioned in her blog post, we’re excited!

We’re a publishing co-op and we’re good friends. If you’d like to join our merry band, please have a look at our Call For Submissions.

Good luck, and may the best manuscript win!

Return with your keyboard, or on it!

Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?

And other moving and inspirational speeches!

A Call for Submissions!

Turtleduck Press is looking for new members – independent-minded science fiction/fantasy writers who have a polished manuscript and are interested in joining a co-operative publisher.

We are an indie press working on a co-op model. The Turtleduck Press brand assures the reader that the work in question has met the approval of the members, all of whom are staking their own writing careers on the quality of the work that TDP as a group releases.

For more about us, see here. For examples of what we publish, see here.

For Love of a Good Read

I love to read. I love to curl up in an armchair with a mug of cocoa and an enjoyable book and while away the afternoon in the middle of someone else’s adventure.

I’m pretty sure most writers (and bibliophiles of all sorts) do as well. (“I hate books, so I’m going to be a writer,” said no one ever.)

That’s why I’m so excited that we’re opening up for submissions tomorrow!

Vegetable Gardening? Ooh, Shiny!

Are you the “ooh, shiny!” type? The sort who picks up a new hobby or fascination, runs with it for a while and possibly learns everything there is to know about it, and then drops it for the next new thing?

I am.

My latest obsession? Vegetable gardening.

Now, I know this isn’t an earth-shattering hobby. But I own land for the first time, or more precisely a house with a big backyard that was a vegetable garden for years. The soil is great; there’s no grass, and it seems a shame to put in new grass and cover up even some of that rich earth.

So I’m gardening.

We actually moved in last spring, but we were a little busy with other life stuff, so we had a minimal garden. Our next-door neighbour, a very kind and very Italian grandmother, planted tomatoes and basil for us, and her mint crept under the fence to join them. All of it grew like crazy. And I have to tell you…the satisfaction of picking and eating food out of our own yard was amazing. We didn’t have to buy any tomatoes for weeks…and we eat a lot of tomatoes.

We were hooked.

Still Waters Run Deep: Part 1

A fantasy serial by Siri Paulson

 

Another town, another floating market. Payut settled his conical straw hat more firmly on his head and paddled closer, already planning what he would say. The market thronged with narrow boats, hawking fruit and rice, fans and sarongs to the townspeople on the docks. Every town market smelled almost the same, with small variations if one went far enough up the waterways – a different spice mixture here, a different oil there. This one smelled of incense and fresh fish and deep-fried bean curd. His stomach gurgled.

As he brought his boat in to an empty spot on the docks, children were already crowding close. “It’s the charms man!” they shouted, overlapping each other in their excitement. “What did you bring us?”

Payut smiled. “Dolls and toy soldiers, fans and tops. I even have an emperors-and-footmen board for sale.”

A little girl called down, “Don’t you have any charms?”

Payut kept his smile in place. “Of course. Love charms, schoolwork charms, charms to make you faster at martial arts or steady your hand at weaving sarongs.”

An older girl, who looked very like the first, frowned at him. “What about health charms?”

Here it came. “You don’t need any health charms, Little Sister. You’re the very model of the five harmonious elements.”

The little one shook her head vigorously. “It’s not for her. Mama is sick.”