New Year Updates

January is on the waning end, and I have exciting news.

LTUE is coming up in about three weeks, and I will be appearing on five panels, listed below. (You can also see my event schedule under the “Events” tab in the top menu bar). LTUE has been a huge highlight for me over the past several years, and I can’t wait to meet and get together with all you creative, writerly people once again for this fabulous symposium. Oh, yeah…and I’m scheduled to be on a panel with Todd McCaffrey and Brandon Sanderson! (And other cool people, too). *Freaking out over the awesome just a little*

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February 15-17 at the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Provo

Thursday

  • 9:00-9:45 AM (Bryce) Terraforming and Colonizing Venus
    We tend to think of Mars as more hospitable for colonization than Venus, but Venus has certain advantages for colonization as well. What can we do to colonize Venus right now? What might we do to make Venus more hospitable to human life?
    Brad R. Torgersen, Scott R. Parkin (Moderator), Darci Rhoades Stone, Kevin Evans, Sarah E. Seeley
  • 2:00-2:45 PM (Maple) How Weather Works
    Weather is affected by all sorts of factors. How do oceans, mountains, latitude, tilt, and magnetic fields all contribute to weather? What happens when these variables are changed?
    Erekson Holt, Shannon Babb, Sarah E. Seeley (Moderator), Darci Rhoades Stone
  • 5:00-5:45 PM (Bryce) Paleontology for the Created World
    Now that you’ve created or discovered a new world, what can you expect its prehistoric life to be like? How would the fossil record be affected by life (mythical or otherwise) or robots that were created?
    Dr. Jonh K. Lundwall, Josi Russell, Nikhil Pillarisetti Rao, Sarah E. Seeley, Rowan North (Moderator)

Friday

  • 7:00 PM Mass Author Signing–Open to the public!

Saturday

  • 10:00-10:45 AM (Arches) Biology & Physiology of Mythical Creatures
    Dragons, griffins, centaurs, werewolves, and so forth. What do we understand about the biology of mythical creatures?
    Nikhil Pillarisetti Rao, Sarah E. Seeley, C.A. Preece (Moderator), D.W. Dalton, Devon Dorrity
  • 2:00-2:45 PM (Canyon) What It’s Like: Writing in Somebody Else’s Milieu
    This is NOT a “how to write in somebody else’s milieu”; this is “what is it like?” Did you still like the milieu afterwards? We want stories from those invited to write.
    Karen Evans, Sarah E. Seeley, Todd McCaffrey, Brad R. Torgersen (Moderator), Brandon Sanderson

In other news, I have just finished up yet another round of grad school applications. I’m applying to one US school, two schools in Canada, and one school in the UK, all programs with specialists in paleoarchaeology. My plan is to try and shoot for a Master’s to see if that will help me be more competitive for PhD programs. Fingers crossed that this is my year!

I’m also giving a poster presentation of my Koobi Fora mentored research project at the Society for American Archaeology conference in April. Super excited!

Keep writing and dreaming  ya’ll! 🙂

December Updates

While my blogging has been a little more spread out this year than in the past, I love looking back this time of year and reflecting (internally if not always in writing) on where I’ve been as well as where I hope to be and what I hope to do in the coming year. I had the amazing opportunity to serve as Relief Society secretary in my LDS single’s ward through April. (I’m currently serving as a visiting teaching supervisor, and I love it!) I became an aunt/first cousin once removed. I lived in a tent in Kenya for six weeks, networked with some wonderful people there, and rekindled my love for the natural history of the earth. I started working at an environmental consulting company, and I have learned and grown so much from all of these things and more.

I’ve submitted another round of grad school applications. Three of the four schools I’ve applied to are outside the US (one school is in the UK, and two are in Canada). My hope is that obtaining a master’s degree in a paleoanthropology field will allow me to be more competitive when applying to PhD programs again down the road. Advice I received this summer was that schools outside the US are more likely to offer terminal masters programs than US schools (most of the US schools I’ve looked at do not offer terminal masters). I also have duo citizenship with Canada, which I’m hoping might be a cool and worthwhile thing to tap into at this point where graduate education might be concerned.

For writing news specifically, my story “Thought Power” will appear in Jason King’s Valcoria Awakenings anthology on the 19th of this month. I have not seen the book cover yet, but it should be coming soon! The other authors contributing to this anthology and I have all been waiting quite a while for this to come out, and we’re very excited to have you read these fun adventures set in the world of Jason’s fantasy series.

There is also a giveaway on Goodreads for a free copy of the anthology. Check it out! http://bit.ly/2B3p6bg

I don’t know exactly what the new year has in store for me, but I’m so grateful for all of the supportive people I have in my life. I wouldn’t be where I am as a writer and pending scientist without the wonderful people I’ve come in contact with, and come to know and learn from over the years. Thanks so much for reading and for following my writing journey online.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and have a wonderful new year!

October Updates

Happy Halloween!

It has been a long and busy couple of months. I’m in the process of filling out graduate school applications once more. Three of the schools I’m applying to are outside the US–two schools in Canada and one school in the UK (and a fourth program I’m applying to is State-side). I learned from some of the researchers at Koobi Fora this summer that graduate programs outside the US are more likely to have terminal master’s programs in the field of paleoanthropology than US schools are, and I’m hoping that getting a master’s degree will make it easier for me to get into a PhD program in the future. The four schools I’m applying to (in total) all have programs and faculty that would be great to work with, and I’m excited to be making this attempt once more.

I started working for an environmental consulting company in September, which I’ve been really excited about. I wanted to get more comfortable doing field work in preparation for graduate studies, particularly where I might be leading undergraduates out on excursions in the future. It would be nice to have the confidence that I can search for things without getting lost in the wilderness… So far I’ve only worked on one field project because I pulled a muscle that put me out of hiking shape for about a month. It’s been a bummer, but at least I’ve had plenty of time to communicate with grad school professors and work on my applications.

Writing has been a bit slow still, but I am still working on my Woodcutters novella and hope to complete that this year. I am also still working on my orc novel.

I also got a pretty sweet rejection from Tor.com for a story I submitted to them about a year and a half ago (I submitted this story in January of 2016 and just heard back last week) that included some feedback. Most magazine rejections do not include feedback, and it was a treat to learn what I had done well and what was lacking in my submission. Not everything described in this letter will make sense without reading the story, but I wanted to share what I learned.

Dear Mx. Seeley,

Thanks so much for submitting to Tor.com, and for your long patience while we evaluated your story. Unfortunately, “Phantasmal Rot” is not quite right for us. We received an unprecedented volume of great submissions, and we’ve been tasked with choosing only a few. Most of what we let go concerns taste or style rather than quality.

This is a unique premise and I hope you’ve written more in this world. There seem to be all kinds of promises made in the story: the description of a single page and its importance to the spell; the moment the supervisor takes off her gloves; and the revelation that the author’s name has gone missing. It didn’t seem like the narrative chased any of its own potential, however, and instead ended with a somewhat mundane fix. I was expecting more from the masterful foreshadowing, so the ending felt abrupt. Another editorial team might respond differently to your story, so I wish you the best of luck placing it elsewhere. 

Best,
Tor.com Submissions Staff

Though this story wasn’t quite right for this Tor.com editor in its present form, it was very encouraging to learn that the premise I created for this particular story might have some more potential that I can expand on and work with than I had previously considered.

To all my readers–you are awesome. It’s not always easy to understand the twists and turns in our life’s courses sometimes or to recognize worthwhile opportunities among the curve balls, but I hope you also have moments of discovering new potential in an old, abrupt, or abandoned story in your life that didn’t go quite as planned.

Stay awesome, and keep writing!

Summer Updates

I have had many wonderful opportunities come my way over the summer, and I have been meaning to update on those events. Among them, I have found a new job as an archaeological field technician/cultural resources technician for a consulting firm with an office in Salt Lake City. I embark on my first project with them next week, and I’m really excited. I’m also looking forward to applying to graduate schools again for next fall–likely including schools outside the U.S. in my search this round.

I still intend to write a post specifically about my adventures in Koobi Fora, Kenya this summer (and a gear recommendation post as well), especially since many of my friends and followers contributed to a GoFundMe fundraiser to help me meet my deposit for the trip. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am exceedingly grateful for your support. I want to tell you about what I did and how things went!

In the mean time, I also want to update you on my next author-related event, coming up in less than two weeks. I will be attending Salt Lake Comic Con, appearing on a panel called War and Peace in Science Fiction and Fantasy with John Morehead (as our moderator), Michael Bacera, Sarah Hanisko, Eric Swedin, and Timothy Zahn on Saturday, September 23rd in room 151A at the Salt Palace Convention Center. I love attending #SLCC and am honored to have been included in the event once more.

To anyone attending Salt Lake Comic Con, I’d love to have you come to our panel presentation–it should be blast! You can also check out the event schedule here: http://saltlakecomiccon.com/schedule/.

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