By Heather Clitheroe - August 25, 2014


I could see my breath this morning.


By Heather Clitheroe - August 24, 2014

The filling is holding. Thank goodness. It’s still up there, doing its job; everything stopped hurting, and did I mention that it’s still there? It totally is.


I’ve been reading this weekend. My 100 book challenge is in danger — I’ve spent so much time writing this summer that I’ve had less time for reading. Not good! I’m trying to turn the challenge around and get myself back on track, though admittedly, I’m plugging the hole with the Oxford University Press ‘Very Short Introduction’ books. That they’re at least academic and put out by OUP should be a small consolation. I started the weekend thirteen books behind pace; I’ve brought it down to ten.

I did finish reading Wendy N. Wagner’s Skinwalkers earlier in the week, though. It’s one of the Pathfinder Tales put out by Paizo; Wendy’s book features an incredibly strong and complex female lead. It’s also one of the few speculative fiction novels I’ve seen that include a disabled character without leaning on a plotline to ‘fix’ them or portraying a disability as a liability to the hero. It’s a great story — lots of Viking-like references. Many axes. I liked that quite a lot.

Meanwhile, the countdown is on for Banff. I’ll be heading out there so soon…just a few more weeks, and then I’m on vacation and settling into a couple of weeks of writing. Just writing. The last vacation break I had was in February; I am positively itching for some schedule and email-free days.

Adventures at the dentist.

By Heather Clitheroe - August 23, 2014

I had the dubious pleasure of a return visit to the dentist yesterday: a new filling fell out earlier this week, and I had to have it replaced. It was going well — just a little bit of drilling, the dentist said, and then I heard something you never want to hear your dentist say. “Oh, dear.”

Opening up the original filling site to make a better surface for the new revealed a second cavity — one that wasn’t visible before. She started to clean that up, but discovered that it went a lot deeper than anticipated. I’d been going without freezing (I am not really that brave — it was supposed to just be a little bit of drilling) but we had to stop and numb it all up. Ouch!

So now I have a rockstar filling: the white kind, quite a bit bigger than the original, but the tooth is all fixed. Ironically, losing the filling may have saved me from a root canal later on.

Such was my Friday. I bought a lottery ticket, just in case. I mean, it’s not every day you discover that you narrowly escaped the horror of a root canal, right?

Post Hugo Monday.

By Heather Clitheroe - August 18, 2014

Just four weeks to go until the first of two autumn Banff Centre residencies. I’m so ready for it. I haven’t had time off since February (well, a day in July, but still…) and I admit that I’m looking at the calendar and counting down. Four more Mondays left until my writing holiday. Yes. I’m ready.


Some delightful news this weekend, too – Lightspeed Magazine won a Hugo award! I watched the live broadcast of the awards show, and I cheered when the acceptance speech mentioned the Women Destroy Science Fiction project. It’s a well deserved award; I am so pleased for them. And more than a little delighted to share in the Women Destroy Science Fiction shoutout — because, you know. I wrote for that. I’m a part of that.

There were a number of great acceptance speeches — really, they were all awesome, and inspiring. So many strong voices speaking to the changes happening in science fiction, the work of inclusion and expansion, the shared desire to create new stories and art. I’m so proud to be able to say that I’m a part of that. There’s still work to be done, but it’s being done.

Meanwhile? The weekend was spent reading (I’m more than halfway through Wendy N. Wagner’s Skinwalkers) and working on revisions for a story. To my horror, the short story has suddenly approached novelette length. This week, I think, will be spent pruning it back. There’s always that work to be done, too.


By Heather Clitheroe - August 10, 2014


Stayed up last night to try to watch for Perseid meteors — I watch for them every year if it’s clear. Tonight is the actual peak, but I can’t very well sit out late on a Sunday night and expect to be coherent at work tomorrow.

Very few meteors. One for sure, maybe two. Many bats. Too much light from the rising moon and the city, but it’s still worth giving it a try.

I finished reading Edward L. Bernays’ Propaganda yesterday — supposedly a book written by the ‘father’ of public relations, but good background reading to pick up on some of the more sinister and subtle forms of manipulation. I’m also enjoying Chris A. Jackson’s Pirate’s Honor, from Paizo’s Pathfinder Tales series. It’s the kind of fantasy story that reminds me of why I started reading it when I was a teenager. Wendy N. Wagner’s Skinwalkers is queued up and waiting to be read next.

And of course there is writing. I sold a story this morning (when the contract’s signed, I’ll say more) and I’m working on revisions for another. Always writing. That’s me.

The mornings are a little darker now, the evenings a little cooler. The air is starting to take on a bit of a crisp note when the temperatures drop. The season is turning. Ever so slowly, but for me, the Perseids are the marker of the beginning of the end of the summer. Autumn is coming.

A good long weekend.

By Heather Clitheroe - August 5, 2014


A lovely long weekend: yesterday was Heritage Day, and the office was closed. I worked late on Friday, catching up my inbox and on my paperwork, but the weekend was mine. All mine.

I spent a big chunk of it beta testing The Long Dark, a Canadian survival game.

We’re testing the sandbox environment right now, working on the basics of the gameplay. It’s a really great game so far — you’ve got to spend a lot of time worrying about food and shelter, and there are so many ways to die. Wolves, cold, starvation, injuries, food poisoning, dysentery…it just keeps going and going. The graphics are beautiful, too. A really nice, stylized feel to the game.

I read, too. Finished Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, and older sci-fi novel. I’m ten (eep!) books behind on the year’s reading challenge, but I think I can still catch up. I’ve been pouring so much time into writing lately; I think I need to start instituting a reading day in my weekly writing schedule. Can’t write well if you don’t read widely, in my opinion.

The writing is going. Up and down, as writing does. Collected a handful of rejections this past week, started the novel over again and I think I like where it’s going. I spent yesterday fine-tuning a short story for a submission, finding a new beat for it.

And! I’m in the semi-annual Bartleby Snopes magazine. Issue 12 has just been released, and my story, ‘Border Crossing,’ is in there.

A pretty good weekend, all told. I’m inching steadily closer to my residency at the Banff Centre. Thirty-eight days to go. The countdown has already started.


By Heather Clitheroe - July 31, 2014


It’s been a pleasant summer; the weather hasn’t been all that hot, except for the last couple of weeks. A thunderstorm has been grumbling around us all evening, and with it comes a cooler breeze. But no rain. Just grumbling thunder. I’m at the point, I think, where I’d like the storm to just poop or get off the pot.

Forty-three days ’til vacation. My Banff Centre plans are in; the invoices are settled and I feel like I’m running the clock down on the hot weather. It’ll still be warm when we’re there (Fred will be there, too, so it’s fair to say we), but the season will be starting to turn then. Cooler mornings, heavier dew, maybe more rain. I’m yearning for it. Powerfully.