Skip to content Skip to navigation

What Hath She Wrote in 2017?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 10:00

Last week I posted my "what have I published in 2017" list. This week is my "what else have I written" list. It's based pretty much entirely on my blog for logistical reasons. I'm writing this about the same time of year as I posted last year's version, so the survey is roughly comparable, except that in 2016 I looked at only the calendar year up to Dec 8, and this year I'm covering everything since that date. So the 2017 stats are, while more accurate for a year's work, are inflated relative to 2016. In 2016 I posted 333 separate blog entries; So far as of Dec 6 I’ve posted 245, so even with the rest of December I'm definitely achieving my New Year's Resolution to slack off a little.

This is, once again, an excercise in reminding myself how productive I've been overall, even when my fiction publications don't reflect it. I've clumped things slightly differently, but I'll give the comparables. In summary, here's what I've blogged:


  • On the writing proceess (not including promotion or minor posts): 16 (compare 41 last year)
  • Background information on Alpennia: 8 (not counted separately last year)
  • Guest/Host Blogs: 4 (if you count my columns at the Queer Sci Fi website, 4 last year)
  • Miscellaneous non-writing: 4 (17 last year)
  • "Book Release Re-Book" posts promoting books from November 2016: 29 (n/a last year)


  • Event/Convention Reports: 2 events for a total of 25 posts (4 last year, but I think I wasn't counting individual posts)
  • Historic Research (especially including the LaForge Diaries): 20 (3 last year)

Lesbian Historic Motif Project

  • Publications covered: 27, for a total of 39 posts (27 last year)
  • Podcasts: 26 (5 last year)


  • Books and Stories: 29 (23 last year)
  • Graphic Novels: 0, that is, I read a bunch for the Hugo voting, but didn't blog them (5 last years)
  • Audio Fiction: 1, but I'm now reviewing Podcastle stories at the Short SFF Reviews site (7 last year, including some multi-item posts)
  • Movies: 6 (12 last years including 5 in my lesbian movies series)
  • Live Performance: 2 since I failed to blog the Cal Shakes performances this year (6 last year)

So here's the long version with links, perhaps not organized exactly as above.


Writing - This doesn’t include all entries, just substantial essays

  • Bad Advice for Authors - I talk about why some of the advice aimed at authors at big publishers really isn't feasible for indie authors
  • What am I Writing in 2017? - A brief survey of in-progress projects. It's always educational to compare it to what I actually did.
  • Like Many Other Girls - In which I examine the trope of "not like the other girls" in the context of Alpennia and discuss who it does and doesn't fit.
  • Orphans Don’t have All the Fun - Like many authors of adventures, I have an unfortunate tendency to orphan my protagonists. I'm working on that.
  • Writing a Long Game - Some of the special concerns and frustrations of writing an extended series when you know that some of your readers' current frustrations will be answered later, but you can't really say so.
  • Revealing and Concealing - There's one particular event in Mother of Souls that some readers wish I'd shown more directly Here's where I talk about why I didn't
  • The Limits of Magic - If my characters can truly work miracles, where's the challenge?
  • Challenging Expected Narratives - In Mother of Souls, Luzie and Serafina argued over Tanfrit's romantic arc in the opera. Their argument is part of a larger genre conversation.
  • Every Flood Begins with a Trickle - Talking about starting seriously on the writing of Floodtide and some of the things I want to do in the story.
  • Shall We Dance? Showing Attraction without Overt Erotics - Inspired by a reader question, what are some of the ways I show characters experiencing attraction to each other without framing it as erotic response?
  • Shifting Writing Gears - The logistics of juggling multiple writing projects in different stages.
  • A Questionable Phrase - I talk about why the phrase "does not disappoint" always makes me wince, and why I've tried to eliminate it from my vocabulary.
  • Taking Dictation - A reader question about how dictation and transcription fit into my writing process.
  • The Uncanny Valley of Fictional Representation - Sometimes I feel more included by a book that shows a diverse world than by one that comes closer to my own identities but feels more like it excludes me.
  • Musings on New Promo Activity - One of my goals for the year was to add some automation to my online authorial presence. It had some benefits I hadn't anticipated.
  • From a Certain Point of View - What are the strengths and advantages of different approaches to point of view? And how did that affect my POV choices in "The Language of Roses"?
  • Podcast Interview: Creating Character (at The Lesbian Talkshow) - I talk with Sheena about how I go about creating distinctive characters, and especially how I develop and change those characters across the Alpennia series.

About Alpennia - Essays that are more specifically about the worldbuilding in the Alpennia series

  • How Many Lesbians are there in Alpennia? - It may sometimes feel like Alpennia is jam-packed with queer women. I do a breakdown of how that's not particularly true. 
  • The Geography of Alpennia - A response to a reader request that I talk more about the internal and external geography of the Alpennia series.
  • Speaking in Alpennian - Given that I'm a linguist and have done some deep thinking about the Alpennian language, I don't use much actual Alpennian vocabulary in the books. Here I talk about why, but also talk about how I show my characters existing in a different linguistic environment from the readers.
  • Addressing the Class Divide - I've talked previously about how class and intimacy relationships are reflected in how Alpennians talk to and about each other. Here I ponder the complications that ensue when my first-person protagonist is in the lowest ranks of society.
  • Class and Sexuality in Rotenek - It may sometimes feel that my Alpennian protagonsts get too much of a pass from society on their sexuality. But things aren't always as they seem. Here I discuss how class intersects with sexuality in terms of social reception.
  • Floodtide: Stepping into the Unknown - A brief discussion of the point in the writing of Floodtide when the story moves past the timeline of Mother of Souls and strikes out into new territory.
  • Can Devout Alpennians Enjoy the Pleasures of the Flesh? - A reader question about how my characters reconcile their sexuality with the moral tenor of the times.

Guest Blogs - both as host and guest

Miscellaneous Content - In any classification system, there's always an "everything else" category.

  • 2016: A Poem
  • Herding Invisible Cats - My adventures in renewed cat ownership.
  • Standardization of LHMP content tags and addition of brief descriptions to the tags [multiple blogs, so I'm not linking individually, just noting it as a major writing project]
  • The 2017 Tomato Blog - I never did a taste test and review this year. It was a meh year for the tomatoes and I think some of the varieties I planted never did produce. I've diagnosed part of the problem as under-watering and need to revise my automated irrigation system next year.

LaForge Civil War Diaries and Correspondence - An ongoing project to put my great-great grandfather's Civil War diaries and correspondence on the web, with annotations and commentary. Never fear, I will get back to working on this.

Note: the preceding are revisions and annotations of transcripts I had posted on the web prior to starting this blog series. The content between January-April 1864 was blogged in 2016. The rest here was put on the web for the first time as part of this blogging project.

Lesbian Historic Motif Project - I took a slight hiatus from posting new publications during the period when the content was being moved to That was when I worked on all the tag annotations and standardization. It cut down a little on the total number of publications I would otherwise have covered. You may notice that I've done several thematic groupings: encyclopedias and who's-whos, Sappho, Spain.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Last year, this was a brand new category of "things I do." This year, on the 1-year anniversary of the show, I expanded from monthly to weekly. In 2018, I'll be expanding the type of content by adding the publication of original fiction. I'm almost afraid of what will come in 2019!

Reviews: Books/Fiction - SFF - I swear it's utter coincidence that all the author surnames are in the first half of the alphabet!

Reviews: Books/Fiction - Lesbian (generally I've classified a book here if I read it specifically for the lesbian characters, even if it also fits under SFF).

Reviews: Live Performance

Reviews: Movies - I watched a lot more movies than this. This isn't even the ones I liked, necessarily. Just the ones where I got inspired to review before the moment passed.

Review-Like-Objects: Misc

The Great November Book Release Re-Boot - This was a project I used as an excuse to re-promote Mother of Souls. Every day in May, I blogged about a book released 6 months previously that I thought my readers might be interested in. Note: I've read very few of these books, so while I was picky about what I included, inclusion is not necessarily advocacy.

Travel Posts - Not quite "con reports" in this case. The Helsinki/Worldcon posts are a combination of con report and travelogue. The Kalamazoo posts are my usual live-blogging of the sessions I attended.


Kalamazoo Posts

Major category: