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    • michelle

      Living Room Etiquette   07/25/17

      Welcome to my living room on the internet.   Let me talk a little bit about the history of my home on the internet. I started out blogging on LiveJournal, which is a blogging community. And I talked about publishing and process, but in a fairly general way.   And that worked for a number of years.   What I almost never talked about was my books. But over time, people found my LJ, and they wanted to talk about my books, and I felt a little self-conscious talking about my books on LiveJournal, where the community was more general and more social, and talking about my books felt a little conspicuously like shouting: Me Me Me!   So: I started my author web-site. I posted sample chapters. I talked--when I had any news--about my books. I didn't post often, because I didn't want to drive people who came to the web-site purely for news or information away.   And that seemed to work.   But a funny thing happened. I'm not, and have never been, Robert Jordan, George Martin or Patrick Rothfuss in terms of my reach. I don't have the kind of buzz they generate, and I'm fine with that. I'm not Misty Lackey or Melanie Rawn, either.   I write my books. I try not to say too much about them, because some people hate spoilers. I try not to complain too much about the process, because every job anywhere is difficult sometimes. But… I can't really talk about my books as if I were a reader, because I can't ever approach them as a reader would for the first time. Or even the twentieth.   And sometimes people want to talk about the experience of reading my books. But given my general invisibility on fantasy reader radars, they haven't found many places in which they can do that.   A few years ago, my readers began to talk to each other - on my web-site, because they found people who were also interested in talking about my books there. On a release-day post about the latest novel. This made some readers unhappy because of course discussing the books meant spoilers. I then made a separate SPOILER thread, which people could easily avoid.   That worked, and I made a spoiler thread for almost every subsequent book.   So readers who wanted to discuss the book with other readers spoke to each other on the spoiler threads. I stay out of the spoiler threads. I stay out of the discussions about my books. And I've been able to do that because, while people don't always agree, they don't descend into acrimony and flames.   But the spoiler thread for Cast in Peril was 369 comments long. And that's a lot of comments, and possibly a long load time.   And I thought: maybe it's time to try forums.   I wouldn't have considered forums at all if the spoiler threads had descended into invective and angry ranting; they never have. The people who post and discuss on them have been helpful and reasonable, even when they don't agree with each other.   And what I want out of forums is for that to continue. I don't expect my forums to be crowded; I don't expect that they'll need to be moderated or policed, because of the history of the readers who have posted on my web-site.   But forums in general have rules and policies, and it's best to be clear about those up front, in case of future need. So.   The Living Room rules:   1. Since it's my Living Room, there's a strong possibility that children and grandmothers will stroll past or stop in, since both frequent my house. So I'd ask you to keep that in mind when it comes to profanity. Swear as much as I do.   2. Door to door salesmen frequently interrupt social gatherings, and they're not there to join the discussion. So: don't be that person. This isn't a tupperware party, and I don't want anyone to attempt to sell things to my visitors. If you notice that someone is advertising cheap watches or winning lottery numbers or any variant thereof, report it - and ignore it. It'll be cleaned up and swept out the door.   3. No flaming. Which is to say: no personal attacks or insults. I don't expect this will be a problem because it hasn't been - and I'd really like that to continue. Also, and this is a personal thing: don't accuse someone of trolling just because they disagree with you. Sometimes people disagree; they're not doing it to enrage or derail.   4. Things NOT to discuss on these forums: Real-world religions (any). Real-world politics (any). Explicit sexuality (because: children & grandmothers. And, to be fair, me). There are many other places to discuss any of these things - and I ask that you discuss them there. Here is not the place. This is possibly the only thing I'll be draconian about.   If, in the opinion of the management, you break these rules, we'll probably ask you to sit out the topic. If you break these rules more than once, we may ask you to sit out the week. If you can't communicate without breaking these rules, this is not the forum for you; there are lots of forums on the internet that will be more to your liking.   Also: I believe that readers should be able to discuss what they want to discuss, even if what they want to discuss is how a particular book I've written didn't work for them. For obvious reasons, I would like to personally avoid those discussions because I don't want to be a damper, and because it's not possible for me to be consistently objective about my own work. It's not entirely possible to avoid these discussions on the web-site; on the forums it will be. I've asked Tchula Ripton to moderate, as she's been the list-mom on the Yahoo West list for a number of years.   So on those parts of the forum where the discussions are about my works, she wears the big hat where necessary, because I'm not there.   As for the forums: any member can create topics, and any member can read any forum and reply there. If, for instance, you want to get people's opinions on ebook readers, you can start a post in the “Random†category, and ask.


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michelle last won the day on July 4 2017

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About michelle

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  1. TV Series/Mini TV Series Script

    My agent is Russ Galen. His email is: russellgalen@sgglit.com (it's on the agency web-site, but I realize not everyone knows who agents who :)). He's very good about email.
  2. TV Series/Mini TV Series Script

    Tony, I'm sorry, but - you don't have permission to submit a script based on my novels to anyone. In order to get that permission, you'd need to talk to my agent/my agency. Permission, when it comes to film and film properties kind of involve a *lot* of legal bits and pieces. It's one of the areas in which agents and their various lawyers are actually necessary. And none of that has been done. I hate to kill enthusiasm, but in this case, I have to step in to do exactly that. -- Michelle Sagara
  3. Actually, we only just watched Fifth Element a couple of nights ago, because I wanted to see it after seeing Valerian. I did like it, but have to admit that after about 5 minutes of Chris Tucker, the urge to strangle Ruby had reached unimaginable levels. But I did like it. I'm not - as I say often - very visual, but the opening New York sequence was terrific. Also: I loved Dallas' mother's phone calls. I think Fifth Element has more out-and-out humor, but - I can see the similarities in visual tone between the two movies. And I think his pacing - I think he just lets the story unfold on the screen; I don't ever feel, watching the movie, that someone else is making the cutting decisions (i.e. uninvolved studio person). I don't miss the visual busy-ness and multiple chaotic cross-cuts of camera view, which are prevalent in big action movies to create the tone of action/chaos. There's enough chaos in his world as it is, but - I feel like I get to see it all. If that makes sense. And it's not a short movie - I think it was 2 hours, 17 minutes. There is only one scene that made me wonder how long it was until the movie's end. And actually... that was the only scene in the entire movie that seemed, to me, to be ... like anything else I'd ever watched.
  4. I am not a big movie-in-person watcher - but I do think that this one works well on a large screen, in part because it is so visual. And - the criticisms of the movie aren't wrong; I just... consider them almost irrelevant >.<. I watched Fifth Element, which I had not seen before, because it's also Luc Besson. And I think it's clear that it's the same director, but the movies are different.
  5. I have found you

    I have hopes that it *will* be 390k, but at the moment, it's 430 T_T.
  6. First: we migrated forum software to version 4.2. It... took time, and I'm sorry for that. Second: Valerian. I went to see this on Tuesday night. It's a long movie and we didn't get home until past 1:00 a.m.. I was giddy with bubbling excitement when I left the theatre, and - I wanted everyone to have the experience of seeing it on the big screen. But. (There's always a but). Every bad review, every negative comment that I've read, with perhaps two exceptions, are correct. And I could not, and even would not, argue with them. But regardless, I kind of want to see it again. I thought it was a great movie. It just wasn't a good one. It took me two days to figure out my own response. The opening sequence (minus holodeck thing) takes place on an alien planet. Which, fine - not new. But... the sequence is long. It is not a Hollywood sequence, because there's no way some of it would have made it past the cutting room. It would have ended up on the floor. And...I wanted that scene. I wanted the director's obvious fascination with his aliens, his obvious excitement - and he let the start of his movie unfold in a way that seemed almost natural to me. There was something about that beginning that made me decide, on a visceral level, to engage with the movie. Or - to engage with Besson's obvious love of it. I didn't really realize how over-the-top crazy it all is until I started to read professional reviews of it, and realized that the plot synopses were right. But there were things in this movie that made me almost shriek with delight. And it's been a long time since I've gone to a summer blockbuster and felt that way. A very long time. There is a pole-dance sequence in a red-light district that I would generally find annoying - in theory - because: male gaze. But my knee-jerk instant response was disgust with Valerian, not with the meta-critic inside my head. I thought: you IDIOT, that's what you're doing right now? Laureline is going to rip out your throat and you will deserve it! it wasn't about whether or not the movie was right or wrong or irritating; it was entirely a response to what the character was doing. Is the writing great? No. Is the acting great? No. But--Laureline's angry face reminded me so much of Susan Day's angry face that it pushed nostalgia buttons for me. And I did read French comic books, as well as American ones, when I was a kid, so - I don't know if this will work for anyone who isn't me. https://northshoremovies.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/review-valerian-and-the-city-of-a-thousand-planets/ is probably the review that is closest to how I felt about the movie after seeing it. And I'm not a at all a visual person--but I think it would be a huge shame to miss seeing this on a big, big screen.
  7. Michelles' web site

    This does remind me, though, that I might not have posted anything in a while T_T
  8. Michelles' web site

    Umm, that would be my fault >.> Last week I turned in the first edited sub of Cast in Flight, in which I managed to lose 11k words because: way way way too long. And then I headed instantly in book review column which was not late, but was pretty much going to be if I did not immediately bury myself in books (which is not a punishment). And and and <fill in authorial bad excuse here because yes it has been a long time>. So, ummm, hi, how are you?
  9. Bakka

    I’m sorry - I’ve been working on page proofs, which are due tomorrow morning and I have, once again, been so minimally on-line, I have missed things =(. I work Mondays, at the moment. Some Saturdays. I am, where scheduling permits, willing to come down to the store to meet people if they are coming into town - but at the moment, I’m slaved to a desk, finding my own stupid mistakes, some of which I missed every previous time I read the book T_T.
  10. Mush Query

    I’d have no problems with this at all. I’ve never MUSHed much; I did play pen and paper RPGs
  11. Cast in Honour...question...Lady

    Elizabeth is correct - The Lady has a specific meaning for Barrani, even Nightshade . It’s the Consort.
  12. I read pretty widely; I have always read books that I loved that would not win Hugos (Robin McKinley comes instantly to mind, but so do dozens of authors). BUT: I have always read books that I loved that could, or do, win Hugos. Until Harry Potter, fantasy simply did not win. And again, I was fine with that. I thought Spin, by Robert Charles Wilson, was brilliant - I think he’s brilliant - and I was overjoyed when that won. And Ancillary Justice was trying something different and doing it with style and pacing. Of the books on the final ballot, that was the right book. I understand that the Hugo is not for me or for what I write. If no more Hugos were given, ever, it wouldn’t change what I, or how, I write. But...as a reader, I am invested in its future. If I go back only ten years, there are years where I absolutely agree with the awards, and years where I would have chosen a different book on the ballot (and did). But that’s true of any award. But again: I don’t think that the awards are somehow stacked or politicized - I think people have different taste. And yes, the awards are heavily influenced by the personal popularity of the author. I think, if Neil Gaiman did not recuse himself, he would win every award for which he made the ballot. But I also think that he is popular in part because there are a lot of actual voters who think he is the most brilliant writer in the field.
  13. I read that - I’ve been reading a lot about the Hugos in the past couple of weeks (feels like longer) - and I think it was really smart. Mike Stackpole had smart things to say about it (takeaway: he doesn’t win Hugos because he’s not writing the kind of book that wins awards), as did GRRM. I find it slightly confusing that people don’t realize why a slate is a bad idea. I find it even more confusing that people somehow assume that winners won because of politics, and not because people actually loved their books/stories. Do I agree with every award given? Well no, of course not. But I don’t assume that it won for some nefarious reason; I assume it won because people liked the book or author. There are award-winners that made me gnash my teeth; there are award winners that made me squeal in joy.
  14. A. I have NO objections to it being posted. (Arg. I typed this quickly and read it over and MISSED THE LACK OF THE IMPORTANT WORD. Yes. This is what my life has been like recently. This is the 2nd edit) B. I apparently agreed to write a guest blot post. I am on attempt 3 and 3.5k words of not-useful attempts 1 and 2. C. I have to cut 20k words total from the current first draft of Cast in Honor which in theory should be in my editor’s hands Right Now (I’m 15k through that 20k) soooooo D. I can go back and look for it in my own e-archives, but my versioning is not very good for earlier books >.<. (ETA: which will not be done immediately because the blog post is also due pretty much Right Now). Or someone who has it can post it. And: E. I have about 20kish words that I cut from Oracle which I will post on my web-site and F. about 11k words that I cut from Cast in Honor which I will also post on my web-site once I actually finish these two pressing emergencies >.>
  15. Sir Terry Pratchett

    This was the first thing I saw this morning. I know I didn’t know him. I met him twice, through the bookstore. But his books, I knew. I saved them. I saved them because when life was a storm and everything was going wrong and I could find nothing but numbness doing anything else... Terry Pratchett was there for me. I could open a book. I could read. I could laugh. Or cry. Mostly laugh. I could find a place internally where i wanted to stay. I don’t want my grief to be compared to the grief of his friends and his family, because my grief is selfish, it is entirely for me. it’s the fear - the certainty - that the door to that house has been closed, that the warmth and the hope and the sarcasm and the frustration--all human things -- will never recombine in something new. But I have everything that he’s written, and his books? They are friends to me. They were there in the worst of my depression. They were there in the best of family time (house full of Pratchett readers, except the younger son), they were like a language of their own. I am so very grateful that Terry Pratchett decided to be a writer. I am grateful that he wrote so many books. It is wrong and selfish and an act of denial to want so. much. more. And yet, human also, and I think he understood people pretty well.