Coming soon to the website! In the meantime, here’s a selection of shots from my recent adventures in Paris. The group included my mother, Patrice Stribling Nelson; stepfather Curtis Nelson; and sister Melanie Caputo. We stayed in an 1830s apartment building within sight of the Eiffel Tower, ate at street cafes and visited Notre Dame Cathedral and the Musee d’Orsay, among many other places.
I enjoyed the French atmosphere and lifestyle, with fresh baguettes and ripe strawberries at street stands within walking distance, experiencing the metro tunnel system and riding a cruise boat along the Seine, and exploring the cultural history of Paris from the opulent Opera de Paris to Shakespeare & Co., bookstore hangout of Ernest Hemingway and the Lost Generation (and later, Allan Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs of the Beat Generation). My favorite spot was Notre Dame, which unfortunately is still sequestered for renovation from the great fire of 2019. They are on track for reopening the great cathedral in time for the 2024 Olympics.
The view from my garret window.
Chess players outside the famous Shakespeare & Co. bookstore.
The famous chandelier of the Opera de Paris, featured in novel, movie and stage play The Phantom of the Opera. Looks pretty secure…
Notre Dame Cathedral, behind construction walls.
One of the many gargoyles, some of which were damaged in the fire.
What do Seattle, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Paris all have in common?
In a few days I am off to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Seattle, which ticks off another city and state I’ve never visited on the life list. I’m looking forward to my first AWP and all the awesome literary lore I can soak up, as well as exploring a brand new city.
As is my habit, I’ll be posting daily from the conference and sharing a travelogue of the nifty things I find in Seattle, so join the Patreon if that interests you! They get all the good stuff first.
I realized earlier this month that this might be the craziest year ever for me and travel. Last weekend was Conflation, which at least wasn’t a long drive! This month it’s Seattle for AWP, then after graduation it’s ConCarolinas in Charlotte, N.C. My husband and I are road-tripping to Charlotte, with hopes of a quick stop in Nashville on our way to meet up with some of our Tennessee miscreants – er, friends.
Right after that it’s PARIS. Yup, watch out Europe, because I’m going to the continent! My mother is taking my sister and me to Paris for a life-list week where we eat our weight across the City of Light, and you better believe I am visiting Shakespeare & Co. and at least taking a picture of Notre Dame even though I can’t go inside. Do you know something nifty to see in Paris? Please let me know!
Once I’m back in the U.S., it’s off to Louisville for Imaginarium in July, and then (drum roll) I’m back at Dragoncon! It’s been *checks watch* at least seven years since I darkened Atlanta’s doorstep, but now I’m returning to enjoy the company of 70,000 of my closest friends. Hello to Peachtree Street!
Theoretically I’m also going to my 30th (???) high school reunion, followed by the SPJ conference in Las Vegas, and wrapping up with Contra in Kansas City. And then I unpack. Whew!
I’m just saying, if you were ever considering signing onto the Patreon for travelogues and photos and food reports and musings on faraway places, now is a good time.
If you’re going to be in the vicinity of any of these events, please stop by and say hello! I’m looking forward to getting back on the road, even if I may occasionally forget what state I’m in.
In February I was honored to lecture at the Wednesday Club about Edgar Allan Poe and “The Raven,” which was a terrific experience. I felt quite warmly welcomed by the good people of the Wednesday Club, and not just because they laughed at my jokes – though that’s always a way to get on my good side!
The month also saw Writers of the Riverbend, always a blast at Maeva’s Coffee in Alton. Two student journalists at The Bridge, a student newspaper at Lewis & Clark Community College, chatted with me at the event, and whaddya know – some of my comments made it into their story.
Conflation took place in late February, and there’s a write-up pending as we experimented with simulcasting my reading/workshop in Second Life as well as in person at the convention. It was a nifty experience, and one I’m looking forward to repeating. Many thanks to the good folks at VRazeTheBar, which organized and managed the whole thing with the technogizmos I don’t understand. They have already scheduled me for a workshop on April 1!
This month is the aforementioned AWP conference, my first academic convention since AEJMC in 2019. Also, my Writer in the World workshop offered this semester in partnership with Shameless Grounds comes to an end this month, with a public reading by my students on March 4.
2023 calendar: • Conflation, St. Louis, Mo. Feb. 23-25 (guest author) • Writer in the World reading, St. Louis, Mo. Feb. 4 (emcee) • AWP Conference, Seattle, Wash. March 8-11 (attending) • SIUE Banned Books roundtable, Edwardsville, Ill. March 28 (moderator/panelist) • Writing workshop, Second Life. April 1 (presenter) • SIUE Mass Comm Week: Ethics, Edwardsville, Ill. April 18 (presenter) • ConCarolinas, Charlotte, N.C. June 2-4 (guest author) • TechWrite STL, St. Louis. Date TBA. (presenter) • Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. July 14-16 (guest author) • Dragoncon, Atlanta, Ga. (guest author) • SPJ Conference, Las Vegas. Sept. 28-Oct. 1 (attending) • Archon, Collinsville, Ill. Sept. 21-Oct. 1 (LitUnd only) • ContraKC, Kansas City, Date TBA. (guest author)
Note: Not all articles are available online, and some may be behind paywalls.
I’m happy to announce that this year’s River Bluff Review is live on the interwebs! It features one short story, two poems and a photograph from me, which was truly unexpected and humbling in my last semester. Click here to read them, and be sure to check out the other creative work offered by the writing community at SIUE. Also note the blog entry I wrote about these pieces, especially “Tiny Monsters.”
Sadly not much else to report, as I am madly writing two seminar papers, my thesis stories and the Blackfire compendium coming out next year. Whew!
I love the fall. Of course, I prefer it when it’s not 80 degrees, because that’s what July is for according to my Massachusetts-raised equilibrium. But the leaves turn their beautiful colors and fall on my car, we buy pumpkins for the sole purpose of cutting them up and putting them on the front doorstep, the cobwebs in the corners become “decor,” and I’m busier than I ever am the rest of the year.
If you’re a horror writer and you’re not busy in October, are you really working? This very newsletter took a week to put together because I was madly dashing about the country, and it won’t let up until December, if the calendar can be believed.
The various shenanigans at work this month will be detailed below, but a highlight for me was the news that four (4) of my submissions have been accepted by the River Bluff Review, in the last year I will be eligible to submit to them. The RBR accepted a short story (my first literary acceptance!); two poems (another first!); and a photograph, which is this month’s featured photo at the end of this newsletter.
I’m deeply honored that the student editors of the RBR chose to accept all four of my submissions, and look forward to celebrating with them and the other writers sometime in the future.
Finally… my actual diploma arrived this month from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, declaring that I have received a master of science degree in media studies as of August 2022. No take backs: I’m now The Master. (Cue the Doctor Who jokes.) I will be participating in the December commencement, which feels a little silly because Zod willing I will be graduating again in May with the second masters. But any excuse for a party! Seriously, that degree has been finished for months now, but there’s something marvelous about the tangible proof. Two degrees down, one to go…
I’m happy to report our charity book sale at Leclaire Parkfest raised more than $900 for the American Cancer Society, and the leftover books were dispersed to the SIUE Head Start program, to Phi Kappa Phi for distribution to area Little Free Libraries, and the rest to Metro East Literacy to support their programs throughout the region. Many thanks to the volunteers who made it a fun, productive day!
This is a cause that means a great deal to me, moreso now than ever. If you follow me on social media or read “Under the Orange Tree,” you know that cancer took my Uncle Brian from my family at the end of October, adding yet another name of my loved ones to the cancer rolls. Thank you to everyone who has expressed their sympathy to me and my family in our time of grief; it was deeply appreciated.
I was also happy to participate in a group signing at the Smithton (Ill.) Public Library in October, and will be returning to the Collinsville Public Library in December.
Of course, one of the highlights of my year is the annual Society of Professional Journalists conference, which took place the last week of October in Washington D.C. The travelogue began while I was still in DC, complete with photos, but the more extensive look at the historic sites I visited and photographed is pending.
I was also quite pleased to participate in a panel on Freelancing 201 at the conference, which kind of tickled me since I still feel like a 101 level after four years. The audience was great, with good questions and they laughed at (some of) my jokes. That’s all I ask, folks!
All this month I’m running Nanowrimo for the Eville Writers, as well as the events below. The calendar for next year is starting to take shape, so if you were interested in inviting me to your local convention or book festival, speak up soon!
And for you Patrons: Anyone who subscribes to my Patreon gets a discount at the Literary Underworld booth. Just give your name (or the name you used when you registered on Patreon) to the Minion working the booth.
Coming up: • ContraCon, Kansas City. Nov. 11-13 • Books-a-Million, Edwardsville, Ill. Nov. 19 • Collinsville (Ill.) Library Holiday Market, Dec. 3 • Writers of the Riverbend, Alton, Ill. Feb. 4, 2023 • AWP Conference, Seattle, Wash. March 8-11 (attending) • Authorcon, Williamsburg, Va. March 31-April 2 (tent.) • GRADUATION, May 5 • ConCarolinas, Charlotte, N.C. June 2-4 (tent.) • TechWrite STL, St. Louis. Date TBA. • Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. July 14-16 (tent.) • SPJ Conference, Las Vegas. Sept. 28-Oct. 1 • Archon, Collinsville, Ill. Sept. 21-Oct. 1
• Art for art’s sake (Patreon) • Ms. Donald goes to Washington Pt. 1 (Patreon) • Ms. Donald goes to Washington Pt. 2 (Patreon) • Ms. Donald goes to Washington Pt. 3 (Patreon) • Under the orange tree (Patreon and Medium)
A nightmarish funhouse turned deadly. A couple trapped in a futile journey through time. A single baleful eye watching from the deep. An assassin waiting in a snow-covered tree. A toy that seems to have a life of its own. A pair of soldiers trapped between death and something worse. A tenebrous hand reaching out of the shadows.
These are the award-winning tales and terrors of Elizabeth Donald, writer of things that go chomp in the night. This new anniversary edition is being released 20 years after the first story was published, now including a bonus short story and the author’s reflections on twenty years of twilight tales.
In that space between evening and nightfall, between consciousness and sleep, the moment when the light fades and the shadows take over… These are the lands of the Setting Suns.
If you’re like me, you’re entering this brand new year with hopes that it will not suck as much as the previous two years. So far we don’t have a lot of indicators in that direction, as my email is crammed full of nervous announcements about classes going online, cons and festivals being canceled, and7 other things that complicate my life and pocketbook.
My good friend John Hartness, author and publisher at Falstaff Books, is never one to mince words. He posted this week, “Y’all get your damn shots. This damn plague is starting to fuck with my business again, and getting between a redneck and his money is not a good move. So get your shit straight, get your shots, and maybe we can finally put this fucking disease behind us.” He went on at extensive, profane detail, and if you are friends with John on Facebook, you should really go read it. It’s a thing of beauty.
As of this moment, my classes are all still intended to be face-to-face with the exception of my fiction workshop, and I’ll be teaching and tutoring face-to-face as well. Other events are starting to look questionable, so while I’m listing them here, please keep an eye on ElizabethDonald.com to ensure that an event is going forward as planned.
And get yer dang shots. I want you alive, healthy and able to buy my books.
Who does a book signing outdoors in December in Illinois? This woman! The Edwardsville Winter Market took place Dec. 4, and was treated to fairly reasonable weather, which means I was only half frozen to death by the time the family showed up to collect me. (What? They were not dumb enough to actually stay with me all day.)
This was followed by the Collinsville Author and Artist Fair, which was blissfully indoors and oddly had a much lower turnout. That’s maybe not as surprising when you realize it was the day after the tornado struck Edwardsville. It’s obvious that my family and I were unharmed, as I am writing this newsletter, but thank you to all who reached out to us in concern. We were lucky; the workers in the Amazon warehouse on the Edwardsville-Pontoon Beach border were not. The Edwardsville Community Foundation continues to raise funds to help those impacted by the tornado, and you can donate here.
Coming this month: the Millstadt Library Author Fair, which kindly did a terrific write-up of my novel trilogy Nocturne Infernum in advance of the event. “Unique, modern, intelligent, and feisty, Donald’s stories are more than entertainment – they are political statements about civil and sexual rights, independence, privilege, agency, and STILL MADE ME BAWL at the sad romance of it all,” they wrote, and that’s going on the website! Funny thing: through their post I discovered that their library system has several of my books available, including some that are seriously out of print.
I’ve also been informed that Conflation is moving to a mostly-online format in late February. Awaiting details, but however the Goddesses decide to run the show, I’ll be there in any way I can.
On the publicity side, Cuppa Words is kindly featuring me for the month of January! Here is my introduction, and all month they’ll be talking about my work. I’ve been happy and proud to be associated with Cuppa Words for the last few years, and look forward to another great year with them.
Coming up: • Millstadt (Ill.) Library Author Fest, Jan. 15 • Conflation, St. Louis, Mo. Feb. 25-27 • Midsouthcon, Memphis. March 23-26 (tent.) • AWP, Philadelphia. March 25-27 (tent.) • AuthorCon, Williamsburg, Va. April 1-3 (tent.) • Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. July 8-10 • Archon, Collinsville, Ill. Oct. 7-9 • SPJ National Conference, Washington, D.C. Oct. 26-29 (tent.) • ContraCon, Kansas City. Nov. 11-13 (tent.)
I’m happy to announce that Spine Bookstore is now featuring my work, along with that of many independent and small-press authors in the bi-state area. I’m delighted to be part of this new concept and look forward to events beginning soon at the shop and cafe. Spine is located on Arsenal in St. Louis near Benton Park, and is definitely worth a stop.
I’m delighted to finally attend the Edwardsville Author Fair in person!
They’ve been holding this festival of the written word for a few years now, and each year it has conflicted with another major event: Dragoncon, the Society of Professional Journalists, etc. Then last year the event was virtual, of course, because the Voldevirus required all such things to be in Zoomland. Thus I was actually able to participate after a fashion!
I thought I was going to have to bow out this year again, because I am president of the St. Louis chapter of SPJ and will be representing them as delegate at the annual conference next weekend…. which was supposed to be in New Orleans. Sadly, the Voldevirus strikes again and I will not be chowing down on beignets at Cafe Du Monde. The SPJ conference will be entirely virtual. (Of course, it’s likely it would have struck a landmine anyway, since Hurricane Ida is aiming at the Gulf Coast with a fury.)
But that leaves me home and free-ish to finally participate in my hometown’s book festival! I’ll be stepping in and out of the festival to participate as needed in the SPJ conference events, but my husband will be on our booth selling our books and my art throughout the day. Look for us in the author section of City Park 9am-2pm Saturday, Sept. 4.
The above image is Setting Suns, the first book of mine to appear in print. I’d had a novel out before it and a second one was pending, but both were released in ebook-only in an era when ebooks weren’t really considered “real books,” so it was only when Setting Suns came out that I was considered a real live author. (Seriously, one of my first cons changed my bio to call me an “aspiring author” because I was in ebooks.)
But beyond what the publishing industry thought… Setting Suns was the first book where I opened a box and saw my name on the cover, and any author will tell you that’s a life-changer. See the links below for my essay on this moment.
Setting Suns was in print for 15 years, which is something of which I have always been proud. It’s a great run for a small press title, and I am always grateful for it and for the doors it opened for me. That run came to an end on July 31, and the book is now officially out of print. (I do still have a couple of copies, so if you were thinking of snagging it, click here and grab them before we run out.)
In other news, I finally got the new author website going. I bid farewell to the moldy old website I’d been maintaining since the mid-2000s using iWeb, of all things. The demise of Setting Suns hastened its launch and I’m not entirely done with the design, so please feel free to offer feedback. Gently.
In other other news, progress is actually… progressing? on Ye Olde Thesis and even on some fiction. By the time next month’s newsletter comes out, school will have started. Thus much of my time the next three weeks will be taken up with preparing my syllabus for the two classes I am teaching, as well as Year Two of the MFA. And finishing that thesis.
So… why is this newsletter super late this month? Because my Bungee Tour is undergoing constant changes! See below for details on how we might actually see each other in meatspace this weekend!
The Bungee Tour kicks off this weekend! I’m sorry to say a return to Louisville is off the menu, as the author fair I hoped to attend has been postponed to April. As of this writing, I plan to be in Nashville, Tenn. on Saturday, Aug. 14. The coffeehouse stop has been canceled, but I’ll be shooting in and around the Opryland area, so if you’d like to meet up and snag a book, contact me ASAP and we’ll make it happen! Then I’ll be at the Tamp & Tap Coffeehouse in Memphis, Tenn. at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15 with books in hand. At this time I’m not planning to bring art unless I get a special request, so if you want some, look at elizabethdonaldphotography.com and let me know!
Imaginariumwas the highlight of July, with a new venue and hybrid format that worked really well. It was delightful to see many authors and publishers from the con circuit and to share a few (dozen) drinks. I always come away from Imaginarium reinvigorated with new ideas, and this one was no exception. Many thanks to my publisher Seventh Star Press and the terrific gang at Tomorrow Comes Media for hosting us, and to LitUnd henchman (new title!) David Tyler for hauling all the boxes of books and booze and standing as bouncer for the Traveling Bar, not that we need much security among the friendly folk of Imaginarium. That’s not always the case. Some of y’all get rowdy!
Sadly, the other event this month had to be canceled due to weather. The Alton artisans’ market may be rescheduled at a later date when the skies aren’t raining cats, dogs and small barnyard animals.
The current schedule is:
• Bungee Tour, various. Aug. 14-17 • Edwardsville Book Fair, Sept. 4 • Archon, Collinsville Ill., Oct. 1-3 • ContraKC, Kansas City, Mo. Nov. 5-7 • Writers of the Riverbend, Alton, Ill. Nov. 20
And don’t forget I will be in New Orleans Sept. 1-6 for the SPJ National Conference. I am not presenting this year and there isn’t a signing scheduled at this time, but I will bring books if anyone local wants to meet up. EDIT: Never mind! SPJ has been converted to an all-virtual conference, so I will be attending from my comfy home office. Sorry, N’awlins!
If you’re hiding from the Evil Daystar in a cloud of Hoth-like air conditioning, then you’re having the same summer as I am!
This first full month of summer has been mostly bound up in writing, getting back into the circuit with signings and appearances, making travel plans, and reorganizing my house as my son moves out. It’s a lot of changes going into this next phase of our lives at the same time as life is trying to return to whatever “normal” will be after the pandemic.
That, and I’m working on the bloody thesis. It’s like stabbing a vampire over and over but not quite hitting the heart. So help me that sucker will be dust by summer’s end.
This past month I returned to public appearances at the Melting Pot in Granite City on June 5 and the Route 66 Festival in Edwardsville, Ill. on June 12, both as a solo act. It was great to see humans again and talk about my work, both in the writing and photography realms.
Next up is Imaginarium, rolling into Louisville, Ky. next weekend! I’ve been at every Imaginarium from its launch up until last year, and it’s always a great time. Jim will not be able to join me due to his new job at the university, but my minions and I will be there (and serving the booze!).
The Cuppa Words local author group has a heavy calendar of events this summer, and I’m happy to be joining them after having to take most of last year off and hide.
The current schedule is:
• Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. July 9-11 • Alton Market, Alton, Ill. (tent.) July 31 • Peach Fest with Cuppa Words, Pere Marquette (tent.) Aug. 8 • Edwardsville Book Fair, Sept. 4 (Jim only) • SPJ National Conference, New Orleans, Sept. 2-5 • Apple Fest with Cuppa Words, Pere Marquette (tent.) Sept. 19 • Archon, Collinsville Ill., Oct. 1-3 • ContraKC, Kansas City, Mo. Nov. 5-7
• Review: Luca (Patreon) • Review: In the Heights (Patreon) • Review: Hid From Our Eyes by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Patreon) • Review: The Conjuring – Devil’s Food (Patreon) • Review: A Quiet Place Pt. 2 (Patreon) • Review Roundup! (Patreon) • Show Your Work: The 2021 Awards (Patreon and Medium)
• Our Town: A photo tour of Edwardsville (Patreon)
Once upon a year, my husband graduated from college. We planned this big celebration, with a huge party and barbecue followed by a trip to Disney World, which is a very special place from my family’s history with Disney and because my husband proposed to me there.
But lo, the Wicked Witch of the West visited a plague on the world, and we all had to sit inside for a year. No graduation, no party, no Disney.
Now that the world is apparently starting to come back to life, we all got the vaxx, my husband’s long-delayed graduation ceremony finally happened, and we finally got to go to Disney World after four reschedulings. Per the request of some of my Patrons, I chronicled each day of our trip as “The Masked Mouse,” which turned out to be even more bizarre because the nationwide mask rules abruptly changed halfway through the week.
So that’s what ate May! Here’s the rest of what I’ve been up to:
I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be returning to Imaginarium this summer! I’ve been at every Imaginarium from its launch up until last year, and it’s always a great time. Jim will not be able to join me due to his new job at the university, but my minions and I will be there (and serving the booze, if allowed!).
The Cuppa Words local author group has a heavy calendar of events this summer, and I’m happy to be joining them after having to take most of last year off and hide. First up is the Melting Pot in Granite City, Ill., taking place on the town square on June 5.
Next I’ll be at the Route 66 Art Fair in Edwardsville, Ill. as a solo act, June 12 in the city park beside the library.
The current schedule is:
• Melting Pot with Cuppa Words, Granite City, Ill. June 5 • Route 66 Art Fair, Edwardsville, Ill. June 12 • Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. July 9-11 • Alton Market, Alton, Ill. (tent.) July 31 • Peach Fest with Cuppa Words, Pere Marquette (tent.) Aug. 8 • Edwardsville Book Fair, Sept. 4 • SPJ National Conference, New Orleans, Sept. 2-5 (tent.) • Apple Fest with Cuppa Words, Pere Marquette (tent.) Sept. 19 • Archon, Collinsville Ill., Oct. 1-3 • Leclaire Parkfest, Edwardsville, Ill. (tent.) Oct. 17 • ContraKC, Kansas City, Mo. Nov. 5-7
• Fiction: A Matter of Honor experiment (Patreon) • Poem: A Single Tear (Patreon)
Also: Patreon subscribers finally received their annual bonus! The print limited-edition chapbook of Yanaguana went out in May, only two months behind schedule. There are a few extras, and I’ll be deciding soon what do with them…
• Travelogues! At last! (Patreon) • The Masked Mouse: Preshow (Patreon) • The Masked Mouse: Arrival Day (Patreon) • The Masked Mouse: Disney on Wheels (Patreon) • The Masked Mouse: Eating Around the World (Patreon) • The Masked Mouse: A Galaxy Far, Far Away (Patreon) • The (Un)Masked Mouse: “Rest” Day (Patreon) • The Masked Mouse: Animal House (Patreon) • The Masked Mouse: Last Call (Patreon)
Memorial Day: Nashville National Cemetery (Patreon)
It looks like all the other photos this month center around a big castle ruled by a giant rodent! Never fear, I hope to get some good shots in the coming weeks now that the semester is over.
I haven’t had the chance to process art photos from Disney yet, but I hope to get to them shortly. Also on the list of potential shoots: the life-size origami at Missouri Botanical Gardens, a possible trip to Marceline, Mo. and a definite trip to Louisville, Ky. As always, the travelogues go to the Patreon first, but will eventually appear at elizabethdonaldphotography.com.
(Wait, Elizabeth, where did the April newsletter go?? This is it. I decided it was stupid to headline each newsletter for the preceding month; y’all can read.)
If the linkspam this month looks light, it’s because it’s the end of the semester. Spring is always a time for spinning plates while rollerskating, and this year is no exception. I am finishing my first full year teaching English composition, which will be its own reflection once the dust settles. I’ve spent this semester deep in workshops, with both fiction and poetry portfolios to complete during finals this week.
This summer will be largely freelance writing, the resumption of photography trips (yay!) and local signings, and looking to resume something like a con/tour schedule in the fall, barring disaster. I’m so grateful to be fully vaccinated against the Voldevirus, and looking forward to seeing friends and family and readers on the road. Of course, I am also finishing my thesis, so look for the grad student endlessly banging her head against a brick wall sometime in July.
In the meantime, I’ve been elected vice president of two honors societies at the university: Phi Kappa Phi (general honors) and Sigma Tau Delta (English honors). With SPJ, that makes three honors cords to wind around my neck at my (eventual) graduation, which should be truly hilarious.
The SIUE CAS Honors Day ceremony was virtual, of course. I was technically part of it as the recipient of the Mimi Zanger Award for Literature. If you actually enjoy honors ceremonies, feel free to access the ceremony here. My brief appearance (nonverbal) is at 21:10.
Somehow I neglected to link this interview I did several months ago, talking about Yanaguanaand my adventures with the Blackfire series.
The schedule is starting to fill up! The Cuppa Words local author group has a heavy calendar of events this summer, and I’m happy to be joining them after having to take most of last year off and hide.
You might notice there is a conflict already in my schedule. We do not yet know what’s going to happen with the SPJ National Conference; it may be online, which would permit me to attend the Edwardsville Book Fair, or in realspace in New Orleans, which would require some finagling. We’ll see! As with just about all public gatherings this year, everything is subject to change.
The tentative schedule is:
• Melting Pot with Cuppa Words, Granite City, Ill. June 5 • Route 66 Art Fair, Edwardsville, Ill. June 12 • Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. (tent.) July 9-11 • Alton Market, Alton, Ill. (tent.) July 31 • Peach Fest with Cuppa Words, Pere Marquette (tent.) Aug. 8 • Edwardsville Book Fair, Sept. 4 • SPJ National Conference, New Orleans, Sept. 2-5 • Apple Fest with Cuppa Words, Pere Marquette (tent.) Sept. 19 • Archon, Collinsville Ill., Oct. 1-3 • Leclaire Parkfest, Edwardsville, Ill. (tent.) Oct. 17 • ContraKC, Kansas City, Mo. Nov. 5-7
• One week only! (Donald Media) • Revisions and portfolios and poems, oh my (Patreon) (includes new poem!) • The Amazing Adventures of Michael Chabon (Patreon) • Confessions of a Godzilla widow (Patreon)
My photography is featured this week only in an online art show at the university. A portion of the proceeds will go to the SIUE Photography Club, which provides workshops, seminars, guest speakers and other opportunities to student photographers. The sale closes Sunday, May 9, so click here to shop! There’s some nifty stuff besides my photo prints: cyanotypes and digital art and some really fascinating photography.
That’s all the news that fits for this month, folks. Keep in mind that much of the best stuff is going on the Patreon first, as befits the folks who kindly help pay my electric bill. Feel free to join them for as little as $1 a month!
So…. it was March, and that means I turned 39-plus-tax. Again. Shush, you who can do math. For Patreon subscribers: I have made it my tradition to send my loyal patrons a free bonus item in the month of March, usually something they can’t get anywhere else. Why March? Because it’s my birthday, so YOU get a present.
But grad school is still a thing, so the project has been delayed. It’s moving forward and I hope to have your bonuses in hand and into the mail within the next month. So since I am slow, if you sign up for the Patreon in April, you also get the annual bonus! (Make sure you include your snail mail address when you sign up!) It’s available to all levels, which begin at $1 a month.
Now for the rest of what’s been going on….
The AWP Conference kicked off my March with five days of intensive panels and discussion among my fellow writers and MFA denizens. AWP is the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, and it was my first conference that isn’t journalism or specifically geared to SFFH. I live-blogged the entire experience on Patreon, as part of my ongoing series sharing the MFA experience with my patrons, and I hope you find it interesting and helpful. I gained a great deal from it, including the terrific keynote performance by U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo, as well as discussion of some issues in the freelance writing world that will consume much of my professional life in the months to come.
Last month I warned you that my author website will be coming down shortly for a massive overhaul after *mumblety years of the same static design. Guess what STILL didn’t happen? After having created and launched about four websites on WordPress, I decided it was time to actually know what I’m doing, and so I am taking a class (in my spare time, ha ha) to teach me the finer points of WordPress. Better website ahoy!
Note that I’ve also consolidated my webstore to offer books and photography from the same site. Never fear, I’m still part of Literary Underworld! And my work is still available on Amazon, of course. But if you’ve been interested in picking up an Elizabeth Donald book or photograph, try the website first.
Up this month: Not much, since it’s the final lap of the semester! The Society of Professional Journalists’ regional conferences are virtual this year, and will be taking place on April 10.
New posters! A new line of posters incorporating my photography with famous quotes is my latest project, and they’re now on display in the photography portfolio and in the store, and on etsy. Check them out! Have any quotes you wish were on an awesome poster? Let me know!
AWP: Wednesday/Thursday (Patreon) – finding agency as a woman writer, life in academia without tenure, women writers over 50 (not there yet!), nonfiction of the apocalypse, code-switching, southern short fiction, sociopolitics in fiction, #PublishingPaidMe… whew!
AWP: Friday (Patreon) – the art of the craft essay, anthologies, building literary magazines, agents, small press publishing
AWP: Saturday (Patreon) – Finding our own paths to creativity, genre-bending fiction, ageism in publishing world, small press books
AWP: Sunday (Patreon) – digital thesis repositories