new website advice?


I need a new website. Or I mean new code for my website so I can update it and mirror a blog and have a mailing list and actually list my publications for the last couple of years. How should I do this (besides bugging my resident overworked hacker boyfriend?)

Been reading some youth fiction....


... a lot, all the time, yum. Here's some you should read. Really, truly.

1. Stolen Magic by Stephanie Burgis, book 3 of the Kat, Incorrigible series
This book is really not my cup of tea of English tea as I don't understand why people love the Regency era so much, I mean, I get that people were reserved back then, but why is that interesting? Add to that the fact that this is a book 3 in a series I haven't read and I'm not sure why I opened this book... but I'm so glad I did. It is utterly charming and expertly plotted and just a solid and great read. So many books try to be this competent and aren't. And if you haven't read the first two books, there are perhaps one or two times where it's confusing but otherwise it doesn't matter. Yay, Kat!

2. September Girls by Bennett Madison
Bennett Madison, what's up with your name? Are you a character on Gossip Girl or what? Who cares, because you write like a goddamn angel of prose. Seriously gorgeous writing, and this is another of those books if you told me what it was about (the transformative nature of love and mermaids) I never would have picked it up, but then I did and I was moved and fell in love and got transformed by it. Yeesh/huzzah!

3. When We Wake by Karen Healy
Okay, this one was in my wheelhouse and I was happy as a camel on humpday from page one. Girl in dystopian predicament? Check. With a side order of global politics? Check. Tricky plot that surprised me? Check. Bonus rounds for having multiracial characters and trans and queer characters that worked. Bonus rounds for good sfnal framing of global warming and modern slavery motifs. Which makes this book sound like it checks off a lot of boxes, but at the end of the day it made me swoon with wonderful storytelling.

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Why being on the Norton Jury is cool...


Every other day-ish, packages show up from across the country with gorgeous hardcover books that publishers want me to read. Swoon. It's kind of the best thing ever.

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I have a story out in Shimmer's 17th issue -- the cover story!

(http://www.shimmerzine.com/issue-17-orders/)

That cover is crazy looking, you say, and, what the hell is your story about, and what kind of title is that, anyway? (Or probably you don't say, but I like to imagine an imaginary you since writing fiction makes me all the time standing halfway in a fictional universe.)

Well, first off, imaginary reader, this story is a unicorn. A writing unicorn to be more precise. This is the story I got in a flash of brilliance and wrote in one delirious sitting and then didn't edit at all except for typos. This story was inspired and easy and then sold to an amazing magazine where it landed on the cover. Hello, unicorn that we all chase but never get to pet because we are all hella impure and unicorns don't exist.

Second, this story is my truest story. Well, it's not true at all, but it's emotional core is about a friend break up I had with my best friend. It's the only story I've ever written that is about something that happened to me. Usually my stories come from more political and/or ragey places, but this one is about my own life. Not really at all, but also, it sort of is, too.

Last, this is a circus story. So it's about running away and becoming strange and ugly and other or deciding not to. It's about going off in search of your life and the things that happen along the way that make it so that the you you were no longer exists. If that makes sense. Probably not.

Anyway, I love this story and hope you do too.

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Preschool!


Off to the preschool. All the Sparrows are nervous Sparrows. Eep!

Guest blogging over at my agent's, on some ways one might be a stay-at-home parent and also a writer. YMMV, of course.

http://theblabbermouthblog.com/2013/09/03/guest-post-how-to-be-a-writer-and-a-stay-at-home-parent/

The Gendering of Preschool


My youngest starts preschool in a week. She has been a wild and naked thing all summer, climbing everything, running so fast she feels like flying, and eating pounds of fruit a day. She says things all the time like, "I am a silly boy," and "Monkey George! I love her!" and generally gets pronouns and gendered identities wrong all the time. We love this and how the world hasn't yet beat her down about gender and how it must always be rigidly maintained. At the playground she's usually the only kid in clothes (like what you and I might wear) and not pink things or shirts embroidered with footballs. All the time kids ask her if she's a boy or a girl. She doesn't really know how to answer, and doesn't care.

So, anyway, she's starting preschool next week and will be entering a cohort of kids in a way she hasn't before -- she has friends, but not groups of friends. I desperately want her first foray into such a thing to go well. It probably will: Lyra is a hurricane in all kinds of weather. I am planning, (and I feel all kinds of conflicting things around this) to dress her like a girl for the first week, so that she's not bombarded with confusing questions by a whole bunch of kids around her gender and forced to define herself. After week one or two, we will resume our usual mishmash of random hand-me-downs clothes. I knew going into it that parenting would involve some camouflaging of all the ways we're different to protect the kids, but I didn't know it would start so young.

comings and goings


Heading to my baby sister's (age 29) wedding on Friday. Looking forward to the odd scratchy radio in-between towns, the car trip food, the oddness of motels, the beauty of rivers, and of course getting my little sister properly married off with all kinds of tears, good wishes, and maybe a few inappropriate stories thrown in.

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Norton Nudge


What amazing middle grade and young adult scifi/fantasy books have you been reading? What should I be reading (published in 2013), as a member of the Norton Award Committee? Tell me, tell me, tell me, or better yet, read more about it and submit your/other's books at --

http://www.sfwa.org/2013/06/andre-norton-award-committee-announced/

The Longest Party


The Locus Awards are in town this weekend. A writer friend of mine (Rachel Swirsky) talks about how SF conventions and awards ceremonies are like this epically long party where people go home for a while but then show up across the country in these liminal, beige, anonymous rooms and the party keeps going and going. I like that quite a bit, and hope to be at a little bit of the party this weekend. Also, speaking of seeing the extraordinary inside the ordinary, Elizabeth Hand will be there and I shall like very much breathing the same air as her. "Last Summer at Mars Hill" is one of the best long-short stories I've ever read, for anyone who hasn't read her.

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ktsparrow
Katherine Sparrow
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