That’s Where You’ll Fiiiiiiind Meeeee

I’m not saying I’m bidding this blog adieu – SWEAR! – but so much things, guys. Everyday life is getting real for the moment, SO:

If you’re looking for me, you are most likely to find entertainment on my FB author page! (Click it up!)

If you’re looking to read some of my work, you must away to tNY Press’ Electronic Encyclopedia of Experimental Literature and read an excerpt of my novel! So happy to have a piece of my non-traditional, cross-genre novel out in the ether. Can’t wait to share the whole thing! And also, highkey loving the artwork they paired with my story!

I shall blog gloriously someday/eventually. Until then, take it one day at a time. And know that I love you.

My 1st Twitter Chat: #WO2016 Edition

Oh. Things.

Life post-book deal (PBD) has definitely been exciting and interesting, friends. I often wondered how I was going to fill my time after I signed with an agent, when I didn’t need to keep up with agent research and requests and forums on which one commiserates with other writers in the query trench. Alongside subbing my short stories and revising and writing new projects, it made up quite a large part of my job. So what could possibly fill that?

Everything. Everything else. Since announcing LLoA’s sale, I’ve joined a couple of communities – which.are.awesome – and recently took part in my first PBD twitter chat. (Despite having that morning suffered a major screen tragedy.)

#WO2016 had our first Twitter party and it was so much fun! And also, for those of you on FB who only saw one side of the conversation, possibly really annoying! My apologies! So today, I wanted to put it in context for you so you can see what the heck I was talking about. And fingers crossed, you’ll come to the next one.

So! First things first, bien sur – Q1: We introduced ourselves and our books.

Intro. - Mozilla Firefox 822015 62434 PM.bmp

LLoA.bmp

This was so awesome because despite being on forums and groups with these authors, I felt like I got *such* a clearer impression not just of their stories but of their worlds. Love.

This was also interesting because on this journey, I’ve done a number of elevator pitches, loglines, twitter contests, pitch workshops, etc – and still I just wing it. (Winged? Wung?) And when you’re talking to other authors, bloggers, readers, etc, the constant wonder: am I telling the most interesting aspects or have I forgotten? Of course, there’s not a lot of time to ponder this since the timeline is racing by!

The second question (Q2) was: What book have you stayed up way past your bedtime reading?

I may have gotten very excited at my tweep’s response to this answer. A little.

What is better than sharing our love of a book? Sharing our love of a character.

Q3: If you could spend a day with any character from a book, who would it be and why? 

A3Yes, I failed to answer the second half that question but. I feel like it’s self-evident. Come on. I may have zoned out, just ruminating on Ender and Valentine for a moment or seven.

The time slot was racing by – amidst a lot of other side-convos and fun exchanges – but we did squeeze in one more question.

Q4: Why do you write?

A4.co8ho6gdb22w - Mozilla Firefox 822015 45420 PM.bmpA4.2.bmpFirst of all, how much do we love typos that get retweeted and favorited? Not at all. Of course I meant “a” not “an” but LET’S NOT OBSESS OVER THAT. Or “have written” but that’s more Twitter’s fault blah blah blah LET’S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, BWAM = Black woman, Asian male. There are criminally few romantic Asian male leads in entertainment, period, and no, it’s not cool. So. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

Relatedly, though, an interesting little factoid came up during the chat when authors were talking about characters taking on a life of their own and forcing changes to the plot:

Minor Characters.bmpAnd finally, a snippet of the conversation that was very, very important to me. Part of discussing why we write, I think, and though it wasn’t related to LLoA, it is near and dear to me.

Therapy. =This refers to my novel, THIS IS NOT HEAVEN, which is written in a nontraditional format and for which I am looking for the perfect home. It’s sci-fi, academic, short and intense and the most cathartic thing I’ve written to date. Because this past few years have been difficult in a way that otherwise defies translation. And if you want to know what social commentary and race and trauma have to do with aliens and immortality… well, I hope to one day soon be able to tell you.

And of course, “the” should be “this” – as it is on-going – but again LET’S NOT OBSESS OVER THAT, BETHANY.

And that, my friends, is a glimpse at the first #WO2016 twitter chat! So much fun! I’ll be hosting one toward the end of the year but you can find me taking part in them about twice a month. Hope to see you at the next one!

 

Introducing: Triton (LLoA)

I’m a Sweet 16er, a member of the 2016 YA/MG Debut group. True fact: I have been loving these groups (and their names) since the Apocalypsies of 2012. So cool to be in one – and come on. The Sweet 16s? Awesome.

In July, the #SixteensBlogAbout character so I want to introduce one of my favorites from The Last Life of Avrilis: Triton, of the silver planet.

Triton

First things first: I found this picture (and edited the eyes, of course) ALL of the years ago. Which sadly means I don’t recall from whence it came or how to give proper credit. If you see this and are the photographer or model, please let me know!

So, TRITON! I adore him, I truly do, from his black eyes (he lost the whites to his work underground) to his dreadlocks to his zeppelin to his staggering height to his reverent custom of salutation. He’s originally from Infinitas, the silver planet across the sky from sweet (much more Victorian) Aetas. Infinitas has a haze around it – the first indication of the difference between the twin worlds and a result of their constant progress and mechanization, and Triton fits in as the prophet’s engineer.

In lifetimes past, he’s loved Nestra – more on her in a later post? – but this time they’ve both taken the oath: not to follow the script until the prophet’s plan to end it once and for all has come to pass and the new age begins. His loyalties and the pride he’s held in his position will be tested when Avrilis suddenly appears and with her, revelations about the prophet, the script, the oath and what the so-called new age will cost.

Never defy the planets. Never change the script.

The Last Life of Avrilis will be published in September 2016! Find out more of the story at Bethany C. Morrow and follow along with my author page on Facebook!

 

Selected Excerpts from the Tules Telephone Directory

So my son is about to turn 11.

Eleven.

Years old.

And yesterday – the last week really – has been the most interesting array of moments. He’s right on the cusp, between being a child and being a pre-teen. But he’s been pinging back and forth, sometimes reminding me he’s still a kid and sometimes seeming like a new person. It’s amazing watching them transition; their little systems are updating before our eyes.

Things that have happened in the past TWO days:

(1) Ezra rode the Boomerang at Six Flags – a “high thrill” ride and his first big one.

(2) Ezra rode the kiddie train made of little jeeps.

(3) Ezra walked around looking like this:

Who Is This Kid(4) At another point in the same day, he looked like this:

The Flash and the Penguin(5) Ezra tried to drown me in the swimming pool by fighting with me in the deep end.

(6) Ezra had innumerable tea parties with me at the bottom of the pool and gave me kisses.

This is my life now. And I love it.

Congratula-TIONS, Manny Singer!

Oooh, Manny!

[Pretending my name is Manny and also finishing Jenny’s awesomely awkward speech in my head because nothing but death can keep me from her and homgIJustDidAnAmazingSegueFromCorrinaCorrinaToTheColorPurple. I win the internets, Whoopi Goldberg. I win them all.]

You would think today of all days I could not be ridiculously scatter-stream-of-consciousness rambling, but you would be wrong. We are, in fact, here for this:

Grab a party hat and a hula hoop – and an awesome vintage dress with matching bloomers, if you got one – and help me celebrate a writerly milestone!

My 1st book deal!!

Rite?

She knows what I’m talking about.

So, if you followed the link in the last blog to my author website, you’ll know that I signed with Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media Group a couple weeks ago! What you wouldn’t have yet known is that the week before that I received an offer of publication for The Last Life of Avrilis from Month9Books! (Publishing and its sekrets!) Yesterday, this happened:

Trident Announcement

I conceived LLoA in June 2010 and wrote it for the first time in July.

In between numerous other projects (that will have their day in the sun!), I rewrote it for myself, received a lot (like a ton) of rejection and a lot of enthusiasm including 5 r&rs – 4 of which I executed and the result of which left me with a book I adore – and then, 5 years to the month after I began, I went from query to request to phone call in about 7 hours. #ThereIsNoSuchThingAsOvernightSuccess

This is a story about a black girl who refused to stop writing about a black girl who wanted to cross the sky from one planet to another and find out whether the destinies we’re handed are written in stone. It means adventure is for everyone. It means I get to keep my voice – mine, whether it fits the normative mold or not – and I finally found the champions who want to be part of sharing that voice.

Thank you Mark for racing on board. Thank you Georgia for loving that voice.

Thank you Joshie and Steph and Elena and Andy and Jen and everyone who critiqued it along the way. Please join me on stage for the following.

What Is Life

Today I have been tested by way of:

(1) Letting the landlord and a worker into my bathroom only to realize that my dog had apparently gotten into the trash and strewn all its contents throughout. And so, yes, humiliated that in their minds I live in a constant state of abject squalor, I locked myself in my bedroom for the duration.

(2) Literally feeling my pulse in an eyelid vein set to twitching by the torturously simple and redundant song of what I can only assume was a mentally enfeebled bird directly outside my window.

(3) (In a return to abject squalor:) Tugging the garbage bag out only to find that said bag is decidedly NOT Hefty so when I had adequately stretched out the top and momentarily set it down to get a second bag in which to encase it, this happened.

Cartoon approximation.

Ewwwww, garbage water!

All of which threatened to lead me here:

Because I am but flesh and blood.

And this is not how you treat a Thane of Whiterun!!!!!!!!!

Let’s Me And You Make A Reunion

What is there to say right now, I mean, really. What could I say that wouldn’t simply be responding to the intentional distraction of this rotten, wormwood system we’re so afraid to burn? Nothing. And since I’m exhausted of just seeing my twitter and facebook feeds – even when I agree – I thought, what can I talk about? To what memories do I keep returning?

IMG_0545

Erm. But, you know…except in my memory my son isn’t making ridiculous faces. Which, let’s be honest, is almost never. He’s nearly 11, y’all, and I cannot.

So we’re not all facebook friends so you wouldn’t know that at the beginning of last month (WAS IT REALLY SO RECENTLY?!) I was in Portland to see my sister Jen-the-Twin and her my boys! Of whom I apparently feel squicky about publicly posting pictures! So there’s that ridiculous picture of Ez and I before or after we had an amazing easter pie from …wait for it…Paiku. A Portland food truck. That serves pies, both meat and dessert. Called Paiku. Because OF COURSE. Portland gon’ Portland, y’all.

But if you’ve clicked that link and gone to my sister’s style blog, you already know why Portland exists. For thrifting. And as someone who has drooled over Jen’s various (and numerous) finds, she did what any loving sister would do and hooked. me. up.

Yes, please, $3 jeans. Snatch that, $1.75 skirt that made me feel like a kindergarten teacher from Maui. I bought several-many skirts and they are all wonderful and I have worn them all and there are no pictures BUT.*

The dresses.

IMG_0616This is the picture I’m supposed to show you. Because aside from Josh being asleep which is completely unavoidable, look. LOOK. But let me tell you a secret.

IMG_0614This is my actual favorite. Not because it’s blurry, DADDY. (I know you’re reading this.) And not because my husband is totally hilarious. But because WILL YOU PLEASE LOOK AT THIS DRESS?! And, on the very off chance that you are not breakdancing in solidarity with me right now over this almost criminal and obscene gift (did I mention my twin is EVERYTHING?)….I can’t make you love me, if you don’t. You can’t make your heart feel…something it won’t. But there’s the door.

IMG_0619This was super expensive. I literally paid $9.99 for it – full price, y’all – but I mean. And then. Because like.

Right?

Portland. You sly little rodent, burrowing into my heart and making me consider things I shouldn’t.

And this post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the lovely Mother Murphy, who took me thrifting in her corner of Quebec last week and who just gets me.

Thrifting does the body good.

*Okay, there is something that I found that LITERALLY (nope) set the rain on fire but I refuse to mention it until I have an accompanying picture because I cataplexy-ed OUT in that thrift shop. Also I need to picture more.

Everything She Wants

It’s about that time, no?

::5 days pass::

::and then literally 3 weeks::

So yes, Jelena, the blogging got away from me. It would be easier if…. wow, that gif quickly becomes distracting… as I was saying: if I were an open book and could just tell you everything I’m doing, writing, et cetera, because the source material never ends. Mais alors. Instead, lemme tell you about the wonderfully random and completely inconsequential minutia of life.

So Josh and I are sitting in a doctor’s wait room this week and people-watching, as one does. First of all, I love the number of people who have a translator with them – and I mean that. I love living in culturally diverse places and what is more interesting to watch than the translator her/himself, navigating two cultures at once? I’ll tell you what. The obligatory old woman pretending to be slightly senile because she is here to win, kids.

Old Woman (OW) has arrived for her appointment.

Receptionist requests her medical card.

OW does not have.

Receptionist says she’ll reschedule her appointment.

OW will see doctor now.

Receptionist like, whu? Gimme the card then.

OW left the card at home. She sees doctor now.

Receptionist is tryna keep the bite out of her voice because the whole wait room can hear whether we want to or not and OW got salty immediatement. Receptionist insists that cards must be proffered.

OW: (verbatim) I don’t have it with me, what can we do? (Rhetorical) I’ll see doctor now.

OW steps. toward. hall.

Reception door opens, refusals are stated strongly.

OW does not understand what you are not understanding. She should’ve brought her card. She didn’t. She is not going home, y’all. She will see the doctor now. She will.

It’s at this point that 2nd receptionist decides to help out because perhaps his being a dude will change something?

It doesn’t.

OW figures out how to grease this wheel. Pulls out OPUS card. That one uses to ride public transportation.

Receptionists are silent. Because what?

OW: (verbatim) Visa. (Shows credit card… and then immediately puts it back in wallet.)

Receptionists are silent. Because where are we. What’s happening.

You guys I cannot wait to get to this age. Head full of white hair – seriously, her tress game was crushing it – and using a cane while simultaneously holding a huge parka, a purse, several bags and clearly this woman has her faculties is what I’m saying.

OW will TALK to the doctor. Final offer.

When the receptionists tell her the doctor is leaving for the day very soon they should really have anticipated her attempt to break for the hall again. They really should’ve. I did.

Receptionist AGAIN insists that OW will be rescheduled. At this point, OW’s indiscernible muttering is her strength. That and she clearly has nowhere else to be. She will stand at this counter all day.

Receptionist, loudly, because she knows that we know that she has been bested: Just have a seat.

I mean. Better luck next time, baby girl. OW knew what she came to do.

Le Fall Down

This is life after revision.

For me anyway. It’s actually every part of the writing life after an intense stretch of intensity. Because nothing can fill the vacuum of a weeks long cocoon of creative expression and mental preoccupation. Every fiber of my being has been directed in one, beautiful direction. And then bam. I’m a little girl laying face down in the rain. What is life even.

Other uses for this posture:

1) The night THAT episode of The Good Wife aired. You know the one.

2) The first day of that week in the life of a woman.

3) After failing as an adult in one of the following ways:

a) having poured cereal without first checking that there was milk.

b) having wet one’s hair before realizing that there is no more apple vinegar shampoo.

c) being unable to find the car keys.