[REPOST] Jay Lake on Writing With Cancer

Note: This post is very hard for me to read, or repost. However, it’s probably the post that has stuck with me in a very profound and personal way over the years. Every single time I read it, I end up crying. I don’t think I’ve ever made it through without tears.

Jay Lake passed from cancer on June 1, 2014, which also happened to be a day or two after I learned that I had, in fact, not beaten my cancer, but it was back and I’d have to do more treatments. His death was horrible for his family, for the genre community, for everyone who ever read his books, or loved him, or come in contact with him. In a lot of ways, his death was incredibly hard on me because cancer just sucks, and when someone you know, even in a sort of remote way, dies from a disease you’re fighting, it’s personal and it’s emotional, and its awful. It’s a sharp edged knife twisting right in your heart. Now I’m writing this, officially in remission since December 18, 2015, after a five year battle and three recurrences, and he’s not. It’s unfair, and that’s really the nature of cancer. It’s unfair. It’s horrible. It’s a thief.

I could write more about this, but I wrote enough here.

He wrote me this post in 2012. Here I was, a small book reviewer trying to start up a month long feature on disabilities in the genre. I remember having very, very little hope of him actually agreeing to write anything for me, much less take my email to him seriously. And I felt pretty guilty for bothering someone who was sick with my desires to have him write anything for me. When he wrote me back, I was amazed. When he agreed to write something for my little month long feature, I was over the moon. With most people who write guest posts for my various disability-related projects, I leave the subject matter mostly to them, and I let them pitch me ideas. With Jay Lake I was specific. I wanted him to talk about how cancer impacts his writing, and I was moved beyond words when he agreed to do so.

If you ask me today, “What are some of the coolest things that have happened in your six years reviewing in the genre?” – Getting this post from Jay Lake is solidly in the top three.

Jay Lake passed on June 1, 2014, a loss keenly felt by everyone who ever came in contact with him. I’m profoundly glad he wrote me this post. He was an incredible man, and he left his mark not just upon me, but on the world.

The following was first posted on Bookworm Blues on May 11, 2012.

Continue reading “[REPOST] Jay Lake on Writing With Cancer”

[REPOST] Dan Wells on Writing Mental Illness

Note: This was first posted on SF Signal on June 16, 2015. 

Dan Wellsdan-wells-01 writes in a variety of genres, from dark humor to science fiction to supernatural thriller. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is the author of the Partials series and the John Cleaver series. He has been nominated for both the Hugo and the Campbell Award, and has won two Parsec Awards for his podcast Writing Excuses. Learn more about him on his website.

Writing Mental Illnesses

by Dan Wells

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Details, Plans, and More

Well, it’s Wednesday, and things have been happening. I’ve had a few days to think about stuff and figure (some) things out (Wow, vague much?), so I decided it’s time to really detail my plans for this website so you know what I’m working towards in the immediate future, and maybe throw me some suggestions if you have any. That way you know I’m not just over here churning my wheels, and I put things down because lists are helpful.

First of all, huge thanks for being patient with me while I gather together new content and run around like the chaotic mess I really am. Also, it’s been so wonderful to have so much help spreading the word about this website. It’s been truly touching in so many ways, and I’ve loved this week because of all your kind thoughts, enthusiasm, and the help you’ve all given me with this website launch.

Continue reading “Details, Plans, and More”

[REPOST] Jim C. Hines on Writing With Depression

Note: This was first published on SF Signal on May 20, 2014.

Jim C. Hines is best known as a fantasy novelist and the guy who did those gender-flipped SF/F cover poses. His first novel was Goblin Quest, the tale of a nearsighted goblin runt and his pet fire-spider. Actor and author Wil Wheaton described the book as “too f***ing cool for words,” which is pretty much the Best Blurb Ever. After completing the goblin trilogy, Jim went on to write the princess series, four books often described as a blend of Grimm’s Fairy Tales with Charlie’s Angels. He’s currently working on the Magic ex Libris books, which follow the adventures of a magic-wielding librarian from northern Michigan.

He’s also the author of more than forty published short stories. His first professional story sale was the award-winning “Blade of the Bunny,” which took first place in the 1998 Writers of the Future competition and was published in Writers of the Future XV.

Jim is an active blogger about topics ranging from sexism and harassment to zombie-themed Christmas carols, and won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2012.

He has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Masters in English, and works for the State of Michigan. He lives with his wife and two children, who have always shown remarkable tolerance for his bizarre and obsessive writing habits. (The cats, on the other hand, have no tolerance whatsoever, and routinely walk across his desk when he’s trying to work.)


Continue reading “[REPOST] Jim C. Hines on Writing With Depression”

[REPOST] Corinne Duyvis on Minding Your Metaphors

Note: This was first posted on SF Signal on October 28, 2014. 

About the Author

A lifelong Amsterdammer, Corinne Duyvis spends her days writing speculative young adult and middle grade novels. She enjoys brutal martial arts and gets her geek on whenever possible. Otherbound, her YA fantasy debut, released from Amulet Books/ABRAMS in the summer of 2014. It’s received four starred reviews—Kirkus called it “original and compelling; a stunning debut,” while the Bulletin praised its “subtle, nuanced examinations of power dynamics and privilege.” She is a co-founder of Disability in Kidlit and team member of We Need Diverse Books. Find Corinne at her Twitter or Tumblr.

Mind Your Metaphors

by Corinne Duyvis
(content warnings: ableism, “mercy killing”)

Continue reading “[REPOST] Corinne Duyvis on Minding Your Metaphors”

Update | Social Media

As a few people mentioned earlier today, I had no social media. I completely forgot to create any. How’s that for honesty?

Well, now we have social media, including widgets on the homepage, and under every post for easy sharing and whatever else.

For those who are interested, you can find Our Words on Twitter and Facebook. Eventually I’ll probably create a Goodreads account for it, but the thought of managing two Goodreads accounts makes me feel ill, so I’m putting that off as long as possible.

And as usual, you can always email me at Sarah (at) our-words (dot) com.

Connect with me! Spread the word! Send up a signal flair so I know you’re there!

Thank you!