Selena Chambers

I imbibe words and consume past minds. As a result, I often awake next to strange sentences and forgotten meanings. I am the Bas Bleu Zombie.

2013 happened. I did some stuff.

I traveled to Denver, CO twice. First as a guest of Anomalycon, which was a really fun experience. I went to Providence, RI and New Bedford.  I went and visited friends in Vancouver, and drove the entire West coast (from Seattle to San Diego) in a week with my husband, and fell more in love with California more than ever.  I spent time with old friends and became acquainted with new ones.  I had a lot of rich experiences, including getting to sit for Henrietta’s Eye in Seattle, which I will post about more extensively soon.

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I wrote a lot more than I did in 2012, and most of it was fiction, which I also sold.  

I had reprints appear in Zombies: Shambling Through The Ages and Planes B.

I sold original stories to The New Gothic (the story there is a collaboration with Jesse Bullington), to the much anticipated Steampunk Worlds (the kickstarter is still monstrous and kicking!), and to the Spanish steampunk anthology Acronos II (I believe this will be Spanish and English, but will update if something changes).

I am an immensely slow writer, especially with the making up of things, so while this looks pithy, this is a huge deal for me, especially considering that, all the above awesomeness aside, 2013 was also a trying year. 

My non-fiction production has wound down a bit, and I’m not sure it will pick up much more this year.  We’ll see.  However, the pieces that were published in 2013 are among some of my favorite I’ve produced in the past ten years.

There was my “Wandering Spirits: Traveling Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” series that ran at WeirdFictionReview.com and “Touring Steampunk Paris” which I co-wrote with Arthur Morgan, and photos by Nicolas Meunier.  I also wrote the introduction to Morgan’s Le Guide Steampunk, which he wrote with Etienne Bariller.

And I think that is it for the writing front.

On the reading front, I didn’t keep the usual OCD list of books consumed during the year.  Off the top of my head, I think I read about 15-20 books, a few that stood out to me being (in no particular order):  To Have and Have Not: A Hemingway Drinking Companion by Phillip Greene, Folly of the World by Jesse Bullington, Who Owns the Future by Jaron Lanier, Short Stories of Mary Shelley, A Pretty Mouth by Molly Tanzer, Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas, and Never Bet the Devil by Orrin Grey.

Looking at that list, immediately I notice it is more dudes than not.  I think that besides Patricia Highsmith, purchasing every damn Sylvia Plath book I could find at Goodwill bookstore Mondays, and my Mary Shelley readings, my overall male reading dominated my female reading last year by about roughly 3:1. 

I’ve never really kept a tally like that, but I watched that Facebook meme about 10 books that stuck with you, or something like that, circulate and became inspired by an awesome comment by author Sarah Hans who suggested that reading more female authors wouldn’t be a bad new year’s resolution for male and female friends alike.  As I align myself with the Bluestockings, believe that I write within a female tradition and about female issues (mostly), and worship the ground of many female authors and auteurs like Mina Loy and Frieda Khalo, my reading of said Bluestockings is actually kind of dismal. 

So, this brings me to the whole 2014 resolution schtick, which is three-fold:  

I want to read AT LEAST 50 books this year, but, the majority of those 50 titles (let’s say 40 out of 50) will be by not only female authors, but those that I have never read before. I also want to blog more (hence this sudden WordPress manifestation), so I will write about the work and the authoresses as a beginning of a series I have always wanted to do but never had the time/nerve/drive/clams/venue to do: The Bas Bleu Zombies (hey, that’s the name of my tumblr!).

Already, I am going to cheat a little with the aforementioned Sylvia Beach books (her Seventeen magazine articles, y’all!) and with Molly Tanzer’s new short story collection Rumbuillion, but I may also read several volumes by the same people if I am really feeling their oeuvre. Yeah, yeah, yeah—but warnings like that aside, I will try to go beyond my usual goddesses and post here about them as regularly as possible.

I also encourage everyone to join me.  While I can’t commit to a proper book club, I can try to anticipate what I will be reading next, and am also always open to recommendations and discussion.

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So, to start off, I will be reading THE DUD AVOCADO by Elaine Dundy.  I am picking this selection because I impulse bought it at a Goodwill book sale, and my friend (who has the best taste in books) is in love with it so much she ordered it a few days after borrowing it from me. So, that’s a pretty good endorsement…

 So I will see everyone in about 200 pages. Meanwhile, Happy New Year’s, may 2014 be filled with wonder and glory for you all. 

 

4 thoughts on “2013: A Year of Some Stuff

  1. Amber says:

    I’m currently reading Love is the Law. A few other books too, though none of them are fiction.

    1. Hey! What are the non-fiction books? I liked LITL a lot, but I am hoping to review it soon, so holding off on commenting on it.

      1. Amber says:

        I’m also reading Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (insane mouthful of a name) and Evil by Design by Chris Nodder.

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