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So, LJ.

Er. Hi.

I realize it's been a long time. Last year was just...pretty damn bad. Lots of health-related stuff, settling into full-time freelancing stuff, nearly getting evicted stuff, and finally having a two-month-long "I can't take it anymore!" meltdown stuff early this year. :/ Basically: being responsible for 99.999% of a household's expenses during the first year of running a new business is not fun. I do not recommend it to anyone.

But, finally, I think I've gotten more of the hang of being self-employed than not. My partner has a job again, and that is really helping. And I've also got increased meds that are helping me not want to break down sobbing every two days, so that's good (though really, not living in a society that overtaxes and overworks people regularly would also rock but lawl America!). I'm still overworked, but that is probably not going to change for a while. Right now, I'm working on putting together my editing website (which, shockingly enough, I had no time whatsoever to do last year), and trying to get caught up with anthologies that just couldn't happen last year. It seems that LJ is pretty dead so I may be making more use of tumblr in the future. I'll let you know if/when I do that. Is everybody just hanging out there and on Facebook these days?

Anyway, I missed you all. Sorry for vanishing for a while. I haven't been in over my head with so many things like that, basically, ever, and after a while I was just too exhausted and stressed and alternately distracted and threatened by people who held power over my shelter to social network.

Hurricane Sandy

I have so many friends in Sandy's path that I can't even begin to count. I'm really worried about you all, and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. If you've got a second, can you post or tweet so we know if you're okay?
So, I've been mulling WisCon Chronicles 7 over a bit more, in light of still needing some submissions (thank God I anticipated this and built a few months into the schedule. Editor win?). I've decided to expand the disability metaphor a bit, as I am getting a lot of subs about ableism, accomodations, and disability rights in our own mundane world, but not so many about disability and disability tropes in SF/F/H. As WisCon is also about genre and not just social justice, this lack is...kind of a deal.

So. Keep sending me proposals to jo.vanderhooft @ I'm looking for essays about the following:

* Positive (and negative!) portrayals of people with disabilities in SF/F/H. (Especially H. I mean, I love horror with much love, but boy are there ever a lot of "craaaaaaazy" killers running around in it. And then there's the subject of body horror, which pretty much sees injuries and disfigurements as terrifying, so...)
* Tropes and character types that can be seen as metaphors for disability. (Mutants, cyborgs, robots, superpowers as disabilities/disabilities as superpowers)
* Current healthcare technology/prosthetics and how it ties into assistive devices SF/F imagined.
* Science fiction/fantasy/horror and psychology (for example, how do various SF/F/H worlds deal with people with mental illnesses? I mean, the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender apparently has mental hospitals, but do any other places?)
* Autism and fandom
* Disability in Doctor Who (come on people, this is just begging to be written!)
* And so, for that matter, is disability and Star Trek/Star Wars/Sherlock/Supernatural/basically any big fandom. (I really am wondering why no one sent me a Sherlock essay yet, considering John's PTSD and how many fans read Sherlock as autistic...)

If you'd still like to write an essay on ableism and social justice directly, I would really love to see something about how disability impacts all forms of activism. For example, someone with severe social anxiety may not be able to engage in online debates about sexism or racism without having a panic attack, and someone with chronic fatigue syndrome may want to participate in protests but find them inaccessible.

Seriously, there are so many places we can take this book and this topic. Please shoot me an email with your ideas. This really is your book if you're a WisConnite. I'm sort of just putting the puzzle together.

And of course, I really do want more panel write-ups. I've only gotten one so far.

General guidelines are here:

I'm also willing to consider submissions from people who have never attended WisCon before, but who would like to. So as long as you know what the con is and isn't about, I'm all ears.

I'd like to have proposals in to me as soon as possible. No later than Sept. 15, and finished essays by Oct. 31 so I can meet my due date for this book without any last-minute flailing. I'd really like less of that in my life, believe me. ;) Any questions? Shoot me an email. And please disseminate this widely.

If you'd like to add some reading or viewing recommendations to the list of disability-friendly SF/F/H I'm compiling here for (somewhat edited for space) inclusion in the Chronicles, just follow the link and leave a comment!

One more week for WisCon Chronicles

Hey folks.

Just popping up to say that there's just one week left to send me your proposals for WisCon Chronicles 7, which is all about disability issues this year. The guidelines can be found here. Deadline is August 15.

Again, you don't have to have a finished essay for me by the 15th. Just a proposal. Send them to me at jo.vanderhooft @ gmail dot com. And thanks!
Hey everyone.

I really hate making this post, but right now I don't have many other options.

My COBRA insurance has expired. This means that I need to buy other insurance. Thanks to having pre-existing conditions, my only real option right now is buying a plan through the Freelancer's Union. There may be more, but this seems to be my best option.

Unfortunately, to do this I need to have made a specific amount of money within the last six months.

If I go from February 1 up through today, I need to make $1566.47 by September 1 to qualify.

So. I'm looking for a few additional clients this month. Just one or two would help a lot. I've been completely redesigning my website over the last few months, and it's not ready to go live just yet, so I can't direct you to it to learn about me. But what I can do is tell you a bit about me and my rates here.

I primarily edit fiction, and my areas of expertise are science fiction, fantasy, horror, steampunk, and romance (paranormal and contemporary, mostly). I've edited or co-edited several anthologies including the Steam-Powered series, and my work as an anthologist has been a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award (Steam-Powered I), the Golden Crown Literary Award (for Hellebore & Rue (co-edited with Catherine Lundoff) and Heiresses of Russ 2011 (with Steve Berman), as well as a winner of last year's Rainbow Book Award (Hellebore & Rue). I have also been a finalist for the Gaylactic Spectrum Award (Sleeping Beauty, Indeed). As you may be able to tell, I love working with LGBTQ authors and LGBTQ work quite a bit!

I've also edited just about everything else you can imagine, including blog posts, website copy, nonfiction books, inspirational books, Christian books, ebooks, courses for life coaches, and more articles than I can count. I also do ghostwriting and article writing.

My rates are $2 per page for copy editing and line editing and $2.50-$3 per page (depending on project length) for developmental editing (which includes copy editing at no extra charge). I've had to raise them just a little this year, but this price will be in place for the rest of 2012. (If you are a previous client, this does not apply to you.)

You can learn more about me and see referrals from happy publishers and authors at my LinkedIn page. You can also hire me on Elance if you are so inclined. If you've got questions, please email me at jo(dot)vanderhooft@ (gmail) (dot) com.

If you aren't in need of work but know anyone who is, please pass this along. I'd really appreciate it!

Thanks so much for your time.
So I've been busy with a number of projects, including keeping my head above water as a freelancer and putting together WisCon Chronicles 7, which is, as you may have noted, disability-themed.

And I got to thinking. There's not a whole lot out there in SF/F/H and fandom that portrays people with disabilities positively (instead of as, you know, objects of pity or humor or complete monsters), or presents disability as anything but negative and scary. (Horror, I'm ESPECIALLY looking at you!) For example, I know I don't have the most time in the world to read or watch things any more, but I was nearly thirty-two before I found even one positive portrayal of a person with an anxiety disorder in fantasy in something I wasn't writing or editing. I'm sure there are more, of course, and I may be forgetting some things, but that's a hell of a long time to find someone like me who isn't treated like shit.

I'd really like to not have anyone who attends WisCon or who picks up volume 7 to wait thirty-two years to find the same thing.

Here's where you come in.

I know you've said these recommendations on panels before. Some of you may have even told me them at cons. If you're so inclined, I'd like you to tell me again here. Leave me names of any books, movies, short stories, TV shows, cartoons, anime, comics/manga, video games, etc. that you consider to fall into the categories of science fiction, fantasy, and/or horror and a brief explanation why. I'll put as many of your comments with your LJ handle in the Chronicles as I can. While anyone can comment whether or not they've been to WisCon, I'm especially interested in getting recs from WisConites.Feel free to discuss/debate/opine about one another's selections too. I really would like this to be a grand conversation.

Sound good?

I'll get this ball rolling. Fraggle Rock. It has not one but TWO characters with identifiable anxiety disorders (Wembly and Boober) who 1) are accurately and sympathetically portrayed, 2) have friends who love them and treat them as equals, 3) get entire episodes centered on them, 4) sometimes both of them, 5) that don't revolve around being anxious, 6) or how much being anxious sucks and being "normal" is awesome.

(You'll be reading more of my thoughts on them in the essay I'm contributing to the book!)

The floor is yours!

what the...?

Um, has LJ had a lot of hacking problems lately? I've gotten a ton of weird spammy posts to entries that are just links to youtube videos instead of the usual incoherent babbling. What's going on?

Tarot readers?

I know I've got more than a few tarot readers on my friends list here. I'd like to have a reading done today--preferably a 7 or 10 card spread. PM me if you're available? I'd prefer something in the $15-$30 range, but I understand if your rates are higher.

O Wisconites!

I'm still looking for essays for this year's WisCon Chronicles. Guidelines are linked here:

The submissions have been great so far, but I don't have quite the number I'd hoped to at this point in the process. Remember: 1) your submission doesn't have to be disability related even though the theme of this year's Chronicles is disability. 2) You don't have to have your essay ready. I just want to hear pitches. :)

Also 3) OMG U GUYS I NEED PANEL WRITE UPS! There were so many good ones this year and I was able to go to absolutely zero :(

Ahem. :)

Ghostwriting Project II: Electric Boogaloo

So, I hate to ask this because I feel like I'm asking people to do my homework for me. But I've been trying for days and I haven't found anything so...

Does anyone know any anti-bullying resources out there for people of color? For people with disabilities? For example, LGBTQ folks have It Gets Better, GLSEN, and the Trevor Project (and Lambda Legal to assist if you're the victim of workplace bullying). As far as I can tell there are no equivalent organizations for POC or PWD. Am I missing something huge, or even something not so huge? It really saddens me to think that I am, especially as POC and PWD are overwhelmingly targeted for bullying in education and the workplace.

Anyway, I'm asking because I'm finishing up a book for a client about bullying and I'm trying to put together a kick ass resource page. And so far the resource page is pretty white and abled.

Also, I'm still looking for a few people to interview for the book. If you'd like to share your experiences with bullying and what you did about it, shoot me a line at jo.vanderhooft @ I'd love to talk with you! And you can remain anonymous/pseudonymous. So far, I really don't have many men in the book and no genderqueer folks at all, and I wish I could change that.

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