Tags: miscellaneous

Snow White

Dark Futures TOC


“Black Hole Sun” by Alethea Kontis & Kelli Dunlap
“For Restful Death I Cry” by Geoffrey Girard
“Tasting Green Grass” by Elaine Blose
“Endangered” by Robby Sparks
“Nostalgia” by Gene O’Neill
“Beautiful Girl” by Angeline Hawkes
“Father’s Flesh, Mother’s Blood” by Aliette De Bodard
“Terra Tango 3″ by James Reilly
“Love Kills” by Gill Ainsworth
“Memories of Hope City” by Maggie Jamison
“Do You Want That in Blonde, Brunette, or Auburn” by Glenn Lewis Gillette
“Marketing Proposal” by Sarah M. Harvey
“The Monastery of the Seven Hands” by Natania Barron
“A Futile Gesture Toward Truth” by Paul Jessup
“Hydraulic” by Ekaterina Sedia
“Alien Spaces” by Deb Taber
“Virtual Babies” by Maurice Broaddus
“Personal Jesus” by Jennifer Pelland
“Meat World” by Michele Lee

Originally published at AletheaKontis.com. You can comment here or there.

Snow White

The Year of Steves

When you’re the survivor of a heartbreaking soul-crushing really bad break-up, the first thing you ask is, “How long does it take before I’m over this asshat jerkhole person who was not worthy of me?” You will ask many different people this question, and you will receive many different answers. Ultimately, it depends on a lot of things. It depends on how long you were together, how badly you were hurt, and how much future contact you will have with this person. Ultimately…it depends on you. Like Mr. Stafford says: You Are The Only One Who Can Make You Happy.

But even when the wound’s scabbed over, there are those little things that’ll jump out of the woodwork and rip the bandage off every time — the sweating of the small stuff, as it were. Quoting a certain film. Saying a phrase with a certain inflection. Using a certain endearment. Hearing a certain name.

The biggest bastard person moron who was not worthy of me in my whole entire life was named Steve. Even after I had gotten over the crushed dreams and the stupidity and the massive amounts of debt whatever and gone on to date other people, I still flinched whenever I heard someone say “Steve” outloud.

Now…this is an unfortunate thing, since Steve is the 146th most popular name in the US. I knew quite a few folks named Steve. I even dated two other guys named Steve in the past. (My mother will never again let me date anyone named Steve now — sorry, gentlemen.)

Last year, Murphy apparently decided that I needed to get over my damage with this whole “Steve” thing. In February 2009, I spent a week with one of the most amazing guys I’d ever met…named Steve. It was tough, but I forced myself to say the word outloud and hear it be said without reacting.

Four months and five Steves later, I realized that it was going to be a “Year of Steves” — 365 days of therapy on behalf of the Machines of the Universe where I was gently reminded that one bad egg shouldn’t spoil the whole basket.

February 2009 – Steven Gould: As mentioned above, Mary Robinette Kowal had a bunch of us crazy writers to her house for a week-long writers retreat, Steampunk photo shoot, Iron Chef competition, and birthday party. The first person I met? Steven Gould, author of Jumper. There was no way on Earth I was going to escape without hearing or calling or yelling or typing his name about a billion times that week…and multiple times in the 360ish days since. Little did I know, this Steve was only the tip of the iceberg.

March 2009 – Steven Saus: A little over a month after Mary’s soiree, I finished my novel. As a reward to myself, I drove up to a little convention called Millennicon. There were many old friends to be met and new friends to be assimilated enjoyed: including a lovely writer named Steven Saus who helped me avoid crazy traffic and find an alternate route out of Cincinnati…and for which I will be eternally grateful.

March 2009 – Stephen Leigh: When David B. Coe originally introduced me to Stephen Leigh in passing at WorldCon in Denver, I did a doubletake. I dated a “Steve Lee” in college, and this guy looked nothing like him. This Steve writes awesome novels, contributes to the Wild Cards series, and pronounces his last name more like “lay.” It was great to be able to spend some time with him at Millennicon, getting to know him and hearing him speak on panels.

May 2009 – Steve Eley: Coincidentally enough, only a few short months after Mary hit the big 4-0, it was John Scalzi’s turn. A bunch of us flew up to Detroit to surprise him at Penguicon — a convention I had never been to before that brought even more fun new faces. The Genre Chicks had just started podcasting our “Tea in Space” program, and I was eager to learn about the new (to me) world of recording oneself. I was thrilled when Mary introduced me to the very gracious Steve Eley, whose voice I was all too familiar with from many hours spent listening to Hugo-nominated stories on Escape Pod. I had a fangirl moment.

May 2009 – Steven C. Gilberts: Skip ahead two short weeks to Mo*Con, the convention over which I officially reign as Princess Supreme. We had a new venue this year, a gorgeous place that afforded us a lot more wall space to display more art — including that of our artist Guest of Honor Steven C. Gilberts. He and his wife were both soft-spoken and lovely. I’ve seen them several times since now, and I’m honored to call them my friends.

June 2009 – Steve Burns: This blog could have also been called The Year of Mary, as I spent more time with Mary Robinette Kowal than anyone has a right to (and yes, I appreciated every minute of it). She invited me to crash on her couch while I was in The Big Apple for BEA, and she showed me around the fair city when I wasn’t at the Expo. We had great “subway-foo”, as the trains would arrive the second we stepped on the platform. Of course the first time we had to wait on one, Mary ran into someone she knew. She introduced me, and we chatted about his band and the house he was building. He was fun and personable…but Mary’s friends usually are. After we parted she said, “That was Steve from Blues Clues.” I just laughed and added him to my list.

September 2009 – Stephen Segal: In July I was too busy finding soulmates at Necon…shockingly none of whom were named Steve. But September reunited me with my favorite Steves of all time — Stephen Segal, former non-fiction editor of Weird Tales and newly-appointed editor at Quirk Books (congrats, Steve!) who is made of Awesome from his head to his toes. He also drove an hour out of his way to spend some time with me at Horrorfind in MD at the end of September — another con that brought me another round of close friends (of whom I would soon be in desperate need), and I was crazy happy to have Steve on hand.

September 2009 – M. Stephen Lukac: When, at Horrorfind, Lukac turned around and introduced himself as “Steve,” I had no idea who he was. I’d seen him online as “M. Stephen Lukac” and heard of him when Kelli was referring to the “Drew & Lu Show,” but nobody had actually told me a story about him and called him “Steve.” So my initial reaction was: Dear God, not another one… Of course, by the end of the con we had laughed together, cried together, shared glow-in-the-dark bracelets, and were married for as long as it took the drunk guy hitting on me to go away. I am a very lucky woman. In appreciation of that rescue, I named my character from “Black Hole Sun” (my upcoming Dark Futures collaboration with Kelli Dunlap) Erica Lukac (pronounced “loo-kosh”). You should follow her on Twitter.

October 2009 – Steven Fuller: This Steve was a present from the wayback machine — Fuller was my boyfriend’s roommate in his first year of college. I remember him being so awesome that I wondered if maybe I was dating the wrong sort of fellow. Thanks to places like Facebook, Steve and I have been able to keep in touch over the years. When I was trapped all by myself on Devil’s Night at Sherrilyn Kenyon’s cabin, Steve and I exchanged some great catch-up emails. I told him all about the hell I was going through at my dayjob and he told me to hang in there…and reminded me that I always had a place to run to if it all became too tough to bear. Less than a month later, I ran. Now he’s 45 minutes away. HEY, STEVE!! I owe you a new email.

…and what with one thing or another, 2009 ended. I thought I was done with the Steves. I put off writing the blog. And then I realized…a “year” is 365 days. And mine started in February. There was one more Steve to come.

January 2010 – Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers: Middle Tennessee has Bonnaroo, and D.C. has Shamrock Fest. St. Patrick’s Day and a bunch of bands. I found out about it from Tomo, who was checking out this year’s guest list and Tweeted a song that he dubbed “the perfect theme song for The Breakfast Club”. It was by a guy named Stephen Kellogg. I instantly became a fan. There was another link on the side from the same show, for a song called “In Front of the World.” Looking back on all that this last year has brought me — and what I’ve made of it — it seemed like a perfectly good theme song for me.

Thanks, Steve.

Originally published at AletheaKontis.com. You can comment here or there.

Snow White

Like Speed Dating, Only Not

Tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn, I’m off to my very first foray into local “Speed Networking.” I’m doing some freelance Sales repping for Accounting Services of York, where our lovely Gypsy works.

Want your bookkeeping or payroll or just taxes done (for incredibly reasonable prices) by some really fun people who aren’t jerks that will hire a semi-goth chick with stripey socks to pimp their services at 7am on a Friday morning? Give them a call. 717.757.5482 Say hi to the Gypsy. Tell her the Princess sent you.

I’m going to bed now. Because we all know I’m going to be up at 3am.

That’s how anxiety rolls. Wish me luck!!

Originally published at AletheaKontis.com. You can comment here or there.

Snow White

Forgetting the Taste of Oxygen

Now that I’m better, I’m buried deep in all the stuff I’ve had due since my birthday. Fun! An interview, an introduction, a book to agent, a YA novel to finish, and a big fat copyedit. I’ll come up for air soon.Soon. Ha.

“Soon” can be a torturously long time.

In honor of the last thing on my list, give me the most flowery, terrible sentence that you could ever imagine writing. Come on. I know you can do it. Impress me!!

Originally published at AletheaKontis.com. You can comment here or there.

Snow White

So, Yeah

The doctor says I have acute bronchitis. So now I’m going to take my antibiotics & cough syrup with codeine and go sleep downstairs where the TV isn’t transmitting sugary cereal cravings on a subliminal wavelength. I promise I’ll come up with something really clever tomorrow. Assuming I don’t sleep through tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Love you guys. xox

Originally published at AletheaKontis.com. You can comment here or there.

Snow White

If You Can Keep Your Head When All About You Are Having Dreams

The bonus of living with other writers is that not only do you get to hear the blogs before they get posted (or never get posted), you also get to discuss them around the kitchen table. Kelli has posted her Martin Luther King Jr. Day blog — it’s all about dreams — dreams of men in times past, and possible dreams for our future.

Since leaving Tennessee, I’ve slept better than I’ve slept in over ten years. It means I haven’t had the wild and crazy dreams I’ve based a lot of my short stories on — luckily I have more than enough to write at the moment so I don’t miss them…yet. Instead I’ve had waking dreams, dreams in lieu of fears, dreams about how I’m going to paint my future and what I’m going to wear when I go skipping through the watercolors.

The best part of is all is having the freedom to dream these things, and the freedom to follow through with whichever path I take. And each of these paths is a high road, because I am the person I choose to be.

Who is this person, you might ask? I’ll give you a hint enclosed in one of my favorite poems, a poem that has been stuck in my head for the last six weeks. I learned it in high school, after a production of See How They Run. It reminds me of who I am.

Who are you?

What are your dreams?



by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

Originally published at AletheaKontis.com. You can comment here or there.

Snow White

My Funky Werepig Valentine

Your official invitation to magic, madness & mayhem!

When: February 14th, 9:00 pm EST – until

Where: The Funky Werepig on Blog Talk Radio! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/the-funky-werepig

What: Tune in as Greg Hall (a.k.a. The Funky Werepig) interviews his Valentine, bestselling author Alethea Kontis (a.k.a. The Princess) live on Blog Talk Radio! Listen to the interview…and then call in for the afterparty! (As always, if you can’t be there live, you can listen later on the website archives.)(As always, if you can’t be there live, you can listen later on the website archives.)

Official Facebook Event Page: Click here to RSVP.

Attire: No pants.

Originally published at AletheaKontis.com. You can comment here or there.

Snow White

Princess = 0, Ice = 1

Kelli & Bob had a meeting early this morning, so it was put upon me to get the little ones up and take them to school. I’ve actually had quite a bit more experience with this than the average non-mom — while in high school, I went over to a friend’s house and got her little sister up for school. The parents went to work early and my bus picked me up long after Heather’s middle school bus…so I got paid to pull Stephanie out of bed every morning, dress her like a rag doll, fix her hair, set her off to school (the bus stop was right outside the house) and watch an episode of Tiny Toons before heading out myself.

Getting C&C up and dressed and fed and out the door? No problem. Kelli took me on a quick run last night to make sure I knew exactly where to go and the typical order of operation. No problem. Piece of cake.

Piece of bleeding armadillo groom’s cake.

We made it up and out the door just fine. Had some chocolate milk, had some laughs, got in the car and scooted off. Dropped the girl child off as told, with a kiss and a hug and a request to learn something fun. Drove around to the boy child’s school with suggestions of stopping at the movies or the arcade or the beach on the way. Pulled up to the curb, got out of the car…and promptly slipped on the ice and fell smack onto the pavement. Right in front of the next drop-off car in the queue.

Smooth, Lee. Real smooth.

Luckily, being young and spry, I hopped up and finished racing to the other door where I pulled the little man out of the car and smooched all over his face before sending him off, only slightly less embarrassed than the Princess who sleeps in the basement.

I noticed the rip in my jeans after I got back into the car.

I noticed the blood when I stopped at the gas station.

Smooth, Lee. Real smooth.

Originally published at AletheaKontis.com. You can comment here or there.

Snow White

How Can I Want to Date an Avatar You Don’t Have?

I was monkeying around last night with the comments section and learning fun new things about this here New Website of Awesomeness. Like:

1.) I only have to moderate your comment once. After that, if you use the same email address and IP, it goes through automatically.

2.) That “invisible guy” avatar was bugging me, so I changed it to this cool patterny thing a-la Cheryl Morgan. Now each post gets a unique cyberquilt square.

3.) If you *do* want a cool avatar (check the previous post’s comments to see examples), go to www.gravatar.com and associate a global avatar to your email address.It takes about 5 minutes to sync up.

Feel free to play around in the comments here and make yourselves all pretty. I’ll be back in a bit with some fun news.

Originally published at AletheaKontis.com. You can comment here or there.