Archives for category: News

Back in December, I decided to take a short break from most things on the Internet, and now it’s May, and this may be the longest break I’ve taken from blogging since 1999. With such a long time away, I feel like I should be coming back with deep hermitic wisdom, but the most valuable thing I took away from the experience was a clearer understanding of who I am and how I work best.

I may or may not write more about that later,* but coming back to this site felt a little bit like waking up in a strange hotel wearing an 80s prom dress. So, after this post, kristyharding.com will be moving from WordPress to squarespace. If you’re following with RSS, you shouldn’t need to change any of your settings. If you’re following on WordPress, you will probably need to find another way to subscribe.

New posts and updates from elsewhere will still go out to Twitter, and I’ll still get DMs and replies, but I won’t be hanging out on Twitter much anymore. This was a hard decision because there are a lot of great folks on Twitter, but Twitter’s all about pithiness and speed. I’m a fiction writer not a reporter. It takes me a long time to process the news and respond, and unless a volcano in the Cascades wakes up, there isn’t much I need to know before it shows up in my inbox or Feedly.

That said, less time on Twitter means more time for Instagram and Pinterest. If you’re over there, and we haven’t connected yet, I hope you’ll say, “Hello!”

So, that just about wraps it up for housecleaning.

Stay tuned for more significant news in June or July. (No, I’m not pregnant.)

*I’m going to continue to post news updates on publications and things, but I’m on the fence about picking up blogging again. If you’ve read this far, and you have an opinion on the subject, I’d love to hear from you.

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I’m happy to report that an essay of mine has been published in Spry as part of their ABCs of Writing (for Beginners) series. Everyone in series was asked to choose a letter and write about some aspect of writing craft that started with that letter. I chose “P” and wrote about perspective and then was immediately horrified because it meant that someone else couldn’t write about plot.

Then I got over it because I was so ridiculously happy that they asked me to participate and because I decided that I have the heretical belief that perspective is more important than plot. Bad plotting wastes time and ink, but bad perspective has the risk of writing others out of existence (essay spoilers):

Writers and poets have the privilege of writing, censorship aside, anything we choose. We can create characters who live in cities we have never visited. We can give them words to say and let them speak for us, and we are not required to really see them or even try to understand. In the last draft, with enough skill, we might manage to convince even ourselves that our characters speak truly, erase our tracks, and write ourselves out of the story, but we can never entirely leave our own perspective. We can never fully know an Other, just as we are never fully known, but if we stop, look, and look harder we and our readers just might catch a glimpse of something or someone between the bars.

I’m honored to be in such good company. You can find the rest of the series here, and I especially want to point out this essay on “On Ramping” by Colin D. Halloran. The next time I teach a writing workshop I am probably going to use it with my students because damn. So liberating.

 

One of the most difficult things for me to accept about the writing process is that there are days when it just isn’t happening.

Yesterday was one of those days, and it was bad–six hours to meet a word count goal that usually takes me two hours to meet bad–so when Vicki Boykis tweeted a link to gifme.io, I gave up with all the enthusiasm a Doctor Who fan can muster and spent the next hour pummeling Leander with David Tennant gifs. Even though his favorite Doctor is Christopher Eccleston.* Apparently, I’m a terrible spouse.

And apparently one can only do this for so long without getting a little giddy.

“I should just write a novel in gifs,” I thought, “But only David Tennant gifs.”

Gif-David Tennant thought this was an excellent idea.

And I thought, “I bet I can get Gif-David Tennant to agree to anything.”

Then it hit me…

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 1.43.32 PM

And so, that is how Ask the Doctor was born.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 1.45.04 PM

Now, I should be clear that this mostly wasn’t my doing. Unless putting together a list of gifs and watching over Leander’s shoulder and criticizing his code (I can’t code.) counts as doing something. So, if Gif-David Tennant tells you that beer battered Lucky Charms is a balanced breakfast, it isn’t entirely…entirely my fault.

*Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 2.09.47 PM

 

In December, one of Paper Tape‘s authors submitted us to Duotrope, and our listing was accepted. Duotrope is an online database of writers markets and invaluable resource, especially new writers who don’t yet know the major publishers of their genres. Most literary journals fail in their first year, so new publishers are listed as fledgling markets for the first six months they’re on Duotrope. Earlier this month we graduated. In addition to Paper Tape joining the more mature markets, and I had an opportunity to share what Paper Tape is and how we work in an editor interview.

When it’s done well, most of an editors’ work is invisible, so I was grateful for the opportunity to talk about it, especially with wonderful questions like these:

Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: I think it’s important for publishers to be thoughtful about how they use technology. Personally, I am interested in the ways that the Internet and ubiquitous mobile devices change the way readers interact with literature and art, so Paper Tape makes an effort to be accessible to a person who might do most of their reading on a phone or tablet. Because this is our audience, we prefer short (“commute-length”) pieces. We publish one piece a week, and our website has a relatively minimalist design that works well with social media, RSS readers, and personal magazine readers. At another time in my life, I can imagine publishing work for people who prefer to spend an afternoon with a print quarterly, and I would approach technology much differently then. A good publisher thinks about their writers and their audience and does their best to connect them in a way that makes sense.

 

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Jim Harrington about what Paper Tape looks for in submissions. The interview is up today on Six Questions For…. This was the first time I’ve been interviewed about Paper Tape, so I’m naturally very excited to be on the other side of the interview table this time, but I also believe this project has the potential to go a long way in dispelling the red pen wielding monster-editor myths.*

Jim is a brilliant interviewer, who cuts straight to the heart of old misunderstandings in the editor/writer relationship and really invites the editors he interviews to think deeply about what they want and why they bother working with wonderful, amazing, persnickety writers, often without pay.

So, check out my interview if you’re interested in learning the key to the secret doorways of my heart and all of the other interviews if you’re interested in learning about what makes editors tick.

*Yes, I see you. Sit down.