hrj: (Alpennia w text)
2020-04-12 09:10 pm
Entry tags:

Sticky Post: The Alpennia Blog RSS Feed

 If you'd like to read the full entries from my blog's rss feed, rather than clicking though the links I post in my own account, here's what you need to do:

1. Go to the Dreamwidth feeds page:
2. Where it says "Add Feed" and has a box for "feed url" paste in the following:
3. Click the "add feed" button.

Remember that I may not see comments posted on the rss feed entries, because there's no way for me to get notified of them. If you want to comment, please click through to the blog itself.

At some point in the future, I may find a way to export blogs automatically to Dreamwidth like I used to be able to do to Live Journal. But for now, this is the easiest way to read them.

ETA: Hmm, it looks like there should be an easier way to subscribe. If you go to the DW Alpennia feed page ( There should be a place up in the top header display that says "subscribe to this feed". If this works for someone, could you post a note here to confirm?
hrj: (Alpennia w text)
2017-10-17 07:55 am

The Newsletter Cometh

Having listened to the promotional strategy advice of a wide variety of people, I'm planning to accomplish two things this weekend. One will be to set up Hootsuite (or some equivalent social media manager, but that's the one people seem to prefer) to handle automated promotional reminders that I rarely have the emotional energy to do manually. The other will be to set up an opt-in (of course!) newsletter for fans and readers to provide both a direct way to communicate announcements and other information, and to provide special content in exchange for access to attention. I figure to aim for absolutely not more often than once a month except for things like unexpected special sales (which I never know about in advance). Maybe less often than once a month, we'll see. I have a hard time planning these things because I'm not a newsletter reader myself, so I have to figure out what works for people who are.

So what sort of content will the newsletter provide? A lot of it will be just basic information:

  • Upcoming/New publication information

  • Upcoming appearances

  • Current projects

But I'll also be offering some special content not available to people who don't subscribe to the newsletter. And that's where you come in. Here are some ideas of my own, plus suggestions people have made online. Which of these would entice you to sign up for and read a newsletter? What other content would entice you?

  • Worldbuilding information (Alpennian language, geography, history, etc.)

  • Snippets of work in progress (no spoilers!)

  • Exclusive previews of Alpennian short fiction (stories that will eventually be released either free or as a collection, but that I'm not trying to sell individually)

  • Discussions of my writing process (for example, I kept a diary of how the plot of Daughter of Mystery developed as I was drafting it)

  • Alpennia fan art (with the artists' permissions, of course!)

  • Access to Alpennia swag (there is none yet, but I have some ideas percolating -- what would you be interested in?)

Let me know what you think. I'm still trying to get my mind around the psychological aspects of doing a newsletter and how it would differ from my blog, other than providing me with a list of people who have expressed a particular level of commitment and interest to following my writing.


hrj: (LHMP)
2017-09-11 11:00 am
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LHMP #151 The History Project 1998 Improper Bostonians

Today's blog features a museum exhibit catalog of the queer history of Boston. I particularly liked all the photographs of women known to have been in "Boston Marriages".

I realize, on posting this, that I completely blew past LHMP entry number 150 without any fanfare. Entry 100 corresponded closely with the release of The Mystic Marriage and I used it as an opportunity for a promotional giveaway. Depending on how many multi-blog publications I cover in the next year or so, I suppose it's possible that entry 200 might provide an opportunity to do a cross-promotion with the next Alpennia novel, Floodtide, although there's nothing even faintly resembling a projected finish date for it. My LHMP publication spreadsheet currently has about 400 titles. I suppose it's possible that I'll eventually be celebrating an Entry 500. Who knows? But let's keep our sights on more immediate goals: what sort of celebratory event should I plan for LHMP #200?

hrj: (Alpennia book-rose)
2017-09-05 07:34 am

Hyddwen: The Second Branch of the Merchinogi

How delightful to wake up this morning to find the release announcement for "Hyddwen" in my Twitter mentions! This is the second story in a series inspired by my love for medieval Welsh literature (and the gnawing feeling that what medieval Welsh literature needed was more lesbians). I love love love what Pip Hoskins, the narrator, has done with this one! If you enjoy "Hyddwen", you might want to go back and listen to "Hoywverch", the first story in the series, though you get the essential recap within the story itself.

If you enjoy fantasy fiction and listening to audiobooks, I strongly encourage you to subscribe to the Podcastle podcast. You may have read my occasional short reviews of some of their output. In addition to doing audio reprints of stories published elsewhere, they publish a lot of great original work and recently won the Best Fictional Podcast at the Academy of Podcasters Awards. All their podcasts are free to download, but if you like what you hear, you can support them through venues like Patreon.

hrj: (Default)
2017-08-26 11:40 am
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Post-travel nattering

I thought I'd dump some stuff here that I don't feel like putting on my Alpennia blog because it's mostly about cranky physical stuff.

I've been gradually getting used to the notion that travel is exhausting and I need to not plan on doing anything else on the days I do it. And, of course, flying nearly halfway around the world intensifies the effect. It used to be that I could at least count on getting bits of computer housecleaning done while sitting in airports, but I've more or less given up on that and stick to things like getting caught up on listening to podcasts and the like. Yesterday I woke up in Ireland and went to bed maybe 20 hours later in California. I successfully avoided napping on the plane and managed to get in about 12 hours of sleep with only a few biological interruptions. It won't get me completely re-set onto Pacific Time, but it's a good start.

I don't seem to have gotten any sort of post-con crud, but around the time I was traveling from Durham to Dublin I started feeling the beginning nibbles of a Respiratory Thing. I slammed it with drugs and managed to stave off any level of symptoms that would have significantly impaired enjoyment (took it down to a scratchy throat and a minor cough) and we'll see whether my plans for a very low-key recovery weekend succeed in getting it out of my system. (I've tried the pre-emptive cold pills method before and often it just means I get a zombie cold: as soon as I think I'm past it, I get slammed with full symptoms. So I don't count myself out of the woods yet.)

In a secondary benefit, I think that using the CPAP has really cut down on convention-related respiratory symptoms, in part because it means I don't get the irritation that comes with dry mouth, even without using the water reservoir. (My machine has a detachable water reservoir but leaving it off cuts the physical size in half, and besides which I didn't want to deal with tracking down distilled water while traveling. I did have some interesting logistics with the relative location of electrical outlets and hotel beds. Facebook friends suggested I should have asked the desk for an extension cord, which was a sort of "doh!" moment. But I've gotten used to hotels having outlets on the bedside light fixtures. And I have an unfortunate reflex of  assuming that I have to work out my own solutions rather than asking for accommodations. I need to think about that some more.

One of the things I enjoy about touristing in European cities is the ability to see a lot of fun stuff on foot. And in the particular places I was staying, there was a great concentration of things to see at that scale. But all that walking gradually started messing with my right knee to the point where, in the last couple of days, I was limping rather significantly, especially right after getting up. I've had periodic problems with this knee ever since I sprained it badly skiing when I was 10 years old. It's a chronic thing, not an acute one. Possibly more troubling was that my right hip was also a bit painful. Since that's the side of my body that has the sciatica, the aches and pains tend to be of complex origin and manifestation. Lots of walking usually improves the situation, but perhaps there's also too much of a good thing. In any case, it never got to the point where it bothered me enough to not do any sightseeing, but on that last full day in Dublin I did get to a point where the tradeoff was getting close.

All in all, my decision to focus my trip on seeing people (and staying in specific locations for multiple days) rather than trying to include a more whirlwind tourist experience was exactly the right decision. It was great spending time with Irina, Sara, Liz and respective families as applicable, and I got the extra bonus that they lived in delightful cities to visit. And I simultaneously am inspired to do more travel/visiting and to be very aware of how exhausting the travel part of it is. I need to mull over how to balance that.
hrj: (Default)
2017-08-26 10:31 am
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LHMPodcast 13d: Beguines, Boston Marriage, and Bed Death: Historic Archetypes of Asexual Lesbianism

I'm not going to lie: I'm feeling a bit anxious about the reception of this week's podcast. The topic of how erotic desire has been handled with respect to the history of lesbians has the potential for hurtful erasure on every side. Some scholars have approached the history of sexuality from a position that erotic desire and erotic activity are how you define the presence of lesbianism. Even aside from the way in which an eagerness to "claim women for the L team" tends to erase bisexual identity, using sexual activity and sexual desire between women as the sine qua non of lesbian identity erases those for whom romantic attachment, rather than sex, is the key factor. (Although it does encompass aromantic women who enjoy erotic attraction to women.)

In this episode, I look at the patterns of history, not through the question of "how did specific women experience homoerotic and homoromantic attraction?" but through the lens of cultural archetypes. What were some of the prominent cultural archetypes that combined romantic bonds between women with an absence of the expectation of sexual activity? I'll be very curious to hear what people think.

Listen to the podcast here at the Lesbian Talk Show site, or subscribe through your favorite podcast aggregator, such as iTunes, Podbean, or Stitcher.