?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Improbability is in the Details
Abra Staffin-Wiebe's Journal
Recent Entries 
18th-Jan-2018 05:45 pm - Pie Charts of the Dead!
It's 2018! Which SF/F publications didn't make it? The new update of Aswiebe's Market List has it all. Lists! Tables! Pie charts! (No, really, I have pie charts.)

Pie Chart of Surviving Publications
 

See?


Originally posted at https://cloudscudding.dreamwidth.org/1124839.html on Dreamwidth.org.
17th-Dec-2017 11:31 am - New Market List Update!
Tax changes for writers, book giveaways, a contest for teen writers, and more new writing market updates!

Originally posted at https://cloudscudding.dreamwidth.org/1124448.html on Dreamwidth.org.
26th-Nov-2017 02:22 pm - Snow White: An Islamic Tale

Snow White: An Islamic Tale is a beautiful and faithful retelling of the Snow White fairy tale, modified to be set in the Muslim world. The adjustments are made very thoughtfully and in most cases actually strengthen the story. Snow White is portrayed as a faithful Muslim girl who relies on the Qur'an to guide her behavior. This emphasis on religious virtue is very much in line with many of the original fairy tales, by the way. Her religious observances are included in the story, showing her praying, memorizing passages of the Qur'an, breaking her fast during Ramadan, and wearing a headscarf when she might be observed by a male outside her family. The evil stepmother is shown as being a vain creature with a djinn that lives in her mirror. The change I found most interesting was that instead of male dwarfs, Snow White finds a cottage inhabited by seven dwarven sisters-in-faith, who she lives with and learns from happily (instead of becoming their housekeeper!). At the end of the book, there is a daily prayer, Arabic vocabulary words, and an explanation of where in the Qur'an the quotes referenced are found. Highly recommended, both as a children's story and an exploration of how culture affects our touchstone stories.

Content note: the illustrations do include representations of people and animals, and magic is included in the story but clearly haram.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZYF9WK/

Originally posted at https://cloudscudding.dreamwidth.org/1124238.html on Dreamwidth.org.
17th-Nov-2017 10:48 am - New Market List Update!
New Markets Update Nov 2017: If This Goes On political SF anthology & more!

http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html
Originally posted at https://cloudscudding.dreamwidth.org/1124043.html on Dreamwidth.org.

Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger is a warm-hearted return to characters that series fans love, and it manages to also have a story of its own (which not all tie-in novellas or short novels do, not by a long shot). Contains estranged but still longing lovers, unexpected babies (not theirs), pivotal curtain dilemmas, and werewolves gaining self-assurance. Too slight to be a strong introduction for new readers, but recommended for fans of the series.

 

Story: Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger

Genre: Historic paranormal romance

Published: November 2017, published independently

Length: Novella or short novel

How I got it: I forked over the cash moneys.

Biases: I'm a fan of the Parasol Universe, and I'm fine with M/M romances.

Originally posted at https://cloudscudding.dreamwidth.org/1123800.html on Dreamwidth.org.
13th-Nov-2017 09:39 pm - The Midnight Line by Lee Child

Why would a woman no longer be in possession of what should be one of her most cherished possessions? As a point of honor, Jack Reacher must know. The Midnight Line has much of what I love in Jack Reacher books, but with an atypical-for-this-series ensemble of investigators working together. The refusal to give up on a goal no matter what, the hurling of himself into physical danger with the kind of advance knowledge and awareness of his own abilities that makes it not a rash action--the signature of a Reacher story is there. But the mystery in the book takes twists and turns and shows us how people's hopes and fears influence what they find. This one is more mystery than thriller. Recommended.

 

Note: The Reacher books are highly episodic. This can be read out-of-order with no problems.

 

Story: The Midnight Line by Lee Child

Genre: Thriller/mystery

Published: November 2017, Delacorte Press

Length: Sure, it's book-sized.

How I got it: Goodreads giveaway.

Biases: I'm a fan of the Reacher books, and I have been for ages.

Originally posted at https://cloudscudding.dreamwidth.org/1123463.html on Dreamwidth.org.
12th-Nov-2017 12:12 pm - Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson
I gulped this book down in one sitting. It was delicious.

This story fits nicely into the "FBI procedural mystery with supernatural elements" category, and if that isn't a category, it should be, because I would like more please. It follows the "vampires as humans with additional abilities and drawbacks that can also make them go a bit around the bend and be serial murderers" idea of a vampire. The characters are engaging and well-drawn, especially given the shortness of the story. I want to spend more time with them, and I'm interested in seeing what happens with the relationships and the bigger picture problems.

Story: Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson
Length: Short novel
Published: July 2016
Publisher: Tor.com
Subgenre: Urban fantasy
Stand-alone: Yes, but has sequels.

Originally posted at https://cloudscudding.dreamwidth.org/1123137.html on Dreamwidth.org.

This is not exactly rejectomancy, but it is mucking about with submission numbers data and how to predict what kind of competition your submissions are getting. THIS IS NOT REALLY USEFUL FOR A WRITER TO KNOW. RUNNING THE ODDS STRICTLY BY THE NUMBERS WILL DRIVE YOU CRAZY. But it is interesting. 

I've been curious about what percentage of writers is represented by the submissions tracked at Submission Grinder. (Tl;dr = 10%.) So!

A recent interview with Uncanny Magazine said that they got 1,000-2,000 submissions per month. They've had two monthlong submission periods in the past 12 months, with a total of 417 submissions tracked on Submission Grinder. Figure 209 submissions/month. This means that roughly 1/5 to 1/10th (21%-10%) of the writers submitting to them in those months used Submission Grinder.

The day before yesterday, I submitted a story to F&SF. At the time, it was #239 in the queue (today it is 139--*gulp*).

So 100 people got their responses. In that time, 13 people recorded responses on Submission Grinder (13%).

My (recorded) starting queue number at F&SF has varied between 562 and 97 in the past, which is kinda crazy fluctuations. Let's assume that today the queue's end is still around 239. Submission Grinder thinks there are 54 pending submissions (23%).

Update: Charlie Finlay let me know that F&SF's average daily submissions received is about 35. Submission Grinder has tracked 1820 completed reports in the past 12 months, for an average of 4.99 submissions/day (14%).


In 2015, Clarkesworld reported what looks a lot like about 40 submissions/day. They were already well-established at the time, so let's say submission numbers remain about at those numbers. Submission Grinder reports an average of 4.48 submissions/day in the past 12 months. Again, we're hovering just above 1/10th of writers recording their subs in Submission Grinder (11%).

By this extremely unscientific math, the number of submissions shown on Submission Grinder is probably 10%-23% of the actual number of submissions the publication received. The 10% is probably more accurate because of the data it's based on.

Why am I specifically curious about this now?

I submitted a story to the (now closed) Into the Black contest, which was a fairly high profile one-off contest that has a hefty $12,000 prize and no entry fee. I would expect there to be a lot of entries, even with the strict theme and wordcount limits. Only 12 submissions were recorded on Submission Grinder, which seemed super-low. I'm guessing part of that is because they probably got many entries from people coming from the universal basic income movement, instead of only writers coming from the "here's a neat writing contest" side of it, but still. Huh.

(BTW, if you're at all interested in the idea of a Universal Basic Income, go read the contest page. They have ALL the links.)

Child Counting to 10

Originally posted at https://cloudscudding.dreamwidth.org/1122906.html on Dreamwidth.org.
5th-Nov-2017 04:01 pm - Recipe: Lemon Olive-Oil Cake
My kiddos did not like it. Everyone else did. Will make again! I would go farther with the rosemary next time (and also use whole instead of ground), and the minuscule amount of lemon zest did not ruin it for me. I really notice bitter flavors, and the normal amounts of zest that people put in things make them inedible for me sometimes. If you live a zestful life, triple the amount!

Allergens: Dairy-free, contains eggs, gluten.

Original recipe source: Epicurious.com

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Ingredients:
3/4 cup olive oil (extra-virgin if desired), plus additional for greasing pan
1 large lemon, for 1/2 tsp. lemon zest and 1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1/2 tsp. rosemary
5 large eggs, separated, reserving 1 white for another use (or toss, because really, who uses one egg white?!?)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar

Glaze:
1 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
pinch salt

Equipment:
9x9 square pan

Preparation
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease pan with some olive oil, then line with parchment paper*. Oil parchment.

Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1/2 teaspoon and whisk together in a bowl with 1 c. flour and 1/2 tsp. rosemary.

Halve lemon, then squeeze and reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

(OPTIONAL: reverse the order of the next two paragraphs, whipping egg whites first in the actual mixing bowl and then hand-holding another large bowl for the yolks, angling it as needed to help it blend properly.)

Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil (3/4 cup) and reserved lemon juice, beating until just combined (mixture may appear separated). Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture (do not beat) until just combined.

Beat egg whites (from 4 eggs) with 1/2 teaspoon salt in another large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until foamy, then add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.

Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Transfer batter to pan and gently rap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then remove parchment and transfer to serving platter.

Cool cake to room temperature, about 1 1/4 hours.

Optional glaze:
Whisk together 1 c. powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice. Texture should be thick. Drizzle across cake with a spoon. Wait 15 minutes before serving.

* Do not substitute wax paper. It will catch on fire in your oven. Do not ask me how I know.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake, macro Originally posted at https://cloudscudding.dreamwidth.org/1122749.html on Dreamwidth.org.
5th-Nov-2017 01:29 pm - Recipe: Asian BBQ Chicken
Very yummy, nice grilled flavor when I cooked it on my cast iron stovetop grill. I also did chicken breasts, but those didn't cook through as well. Very good with thighs.

Asian BBQ Chicken

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tbsp. lime juice
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Asian black sesame oil
3/4 teaspoon Garam Masala
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. teaspoons fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use more if you like heat)
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
(optional) 2 scallions light and dark green parts only, thinly sliced

Can make an additional half-recipe, warm until sugar melts, and use as extra glaze over the top after cooked.

Instructions

In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the chicken and scallions. Place in a zip-lock freezer bag with the chicken thighs. Be sure the chicken is evenly coated with the marinade, then place the bag in the refrigerator (in a bowl in case of leakage); let marinate for 3-4 hours, rotating occasionally.

Preheat grill to high heat.

Grease the grill. (IMPORTANT: Lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; then, using tongs, carefully rub the towels over the grates several times until glossy and coated.)

Place the chicken on the grill. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned and done (chicken breasts will take significantly longer). Transfer the chicken to a serving platter.

(Optional) Top with extra (not meat-contaminated) marinade and sliced scallions.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

Per serving (4 servings)
Calories:
653
Fat:
44g
Saturated fat:
11g
Carbohydrates:
26g
Sugar:
21g
Fiber:
1g
Protein:
39g
Sodium:
1536mg
Cholesterol:
222mg

Originally posted at https://cloudscudding.dreamwidth.org/1122497.html on Dreamwidth.org.
This page was loaded Jan 20th 2018, 5:18 am GMT.