/Aimee Kuzenski

About Aimee Kuzenski

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So far Aimee Kuzenski has created 17 blog entries.

I’m parting ways with Paxil

I've been on Paxil for about ten years. A few weeks ago, in conjunction with my shrink, I started tapering my dose in hopes of going off it entirely. When I started taking antidepressants about 15 years ago, I was in the middle of an unhappy marriage, struggling between the twin monsters of anxiety and depression. I was miserable for reasons both inherent and external, and I desperately needed the break that medication could give me. When you lock yourself in your studio apartment watching CSI DVDs and come close to chopping your own hair off because you don't deserve to look pretty, you need it. I needed a way to let myself breathe. I couldn't get out from under the thousand-pound Godzilla chasing me from paralyzed inaction to self-destructive behavior. I honestly credit medication and therapy and supportive friends and family with saving my life back then. But things have changed in the past ten years for me. I'm confident, I know what I want to do with myself and am working actively to make that happen. I found a group of people I'm proud and pleased to know and spend time with. My life is full and happier than I would have thought possible right after my divorce. So why remove Paxil from the equation? What are you thinking, woman??!? I'm thinking - I want to feel things again. Paxil put a huge limiter on my emotions, and when I started it, I needed it. My doctor refers to it as a medical sledgehammer, though. It doesn't just level my depression and anxiety. It also limits the joys I can feel, the sorrows, the angers. When everything was off the scale, that was [...]

By | March 29th, 2015|Personal|Comments Off on I’m parting ways with Paxil

The unequal familiarity of fandom

Because I'm writing three (THREE) books right now, I literally don't have time to read. Since I don't know that I can live without mainlining words to my brain, I've been listening to audiobooks and just recently, podcasts. SF Squeecast, in particular. The content is great and it's tons of fun to listen to SFF professionals talking about things they love and how those things are created. It struck me, though, how entirely unequal the experience is. After listening to several episodes, I could tell you about Elizabeth Bear's dog and how Seanan McGuire insists that Thomas, her enormous Maine Coon cat, will someday ride the giant ridiculous dog to world domination. I can tell you that Catherynne Valente has been dealing with miserable carpal tunnel. Paul Cornell has an infant son. Lynne Thomas has an unshakeable love for Doctor Who, which she calls a lifestyle. Listening in to friends talk like this means that I know a lot more about them than they could possibly know about me. It starts to feel like I know them, the actual human beings, not just the public personae. It's almost like they're my friends - or more appropriately, that I'm their friend and they just don't know it yet. I bet this sort of blurred line leads to some bizarre and awkward conversations at conventions. Anyway, away from my musing and on to my reporting! Currently on submission: “The Smell of Fall”, a gaslamp zombie story. If this doesn’t sell, I’ll likely sell it via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) within the next couple of months. (FINISHED) Expected to release this year: Untitled collection of short stories in the world of Eye of the Storm, via KDP (some [...]

By | July 23rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The unequal familiarity of fandom

Current projects, AKA why I’m never available

My poor neglected blog. I haven't posted anything here in months. Months, I tell you. I have a new idea on how to make actual use of this thing. I do best when I feel accountable to something, and I figure that if I tell the world I'm doing a thing, and that I will update the progress on said thing once a week, several good things will happen. Currently on submission: "The Smell of Fall", a gaslamp zombie story. If this doesn't sell, I'll likely sell it via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) within the next couple of months. Expected to release this year: Untitled collection of short stories in the world of Eye of the Storm, via KDP (some hard copies for Kickstarter backers) Expected to release early next year: To Break My Enemies, Book 2 of the Deus Ex Familia quartet Secret romance novel for Bookman Media Group, currently titled It's Complicated No set release date: Tilted, a gaslamp post-apocalyptic zombie novel that insists on being written RIGHT NOW On Wings of Contagion, Book 3 of the Deus Ex Familia quartet The Death of Hope, Book 4 of the Deus Ex Familia quartet The next update will be July 23rd. Word counts and release updates to follow.

By | July 16th, 2014|research, self-publishing|Comments Off on Current projects, AKA why I’m never available

Marscon 2014 schedule

I will be at Marscon! It's a fun convention, small enough that you can meet just about everyone, and they tend to have great programming. The con runs from March 7-9, and is held at the Doubletree in Bloomington. My schedule: Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading - Atrium 2, Saturday @ 11am At least one or two panels in Kruschenko's, but the schedule for that room is not online yet. At least one will be on navigating conventions while socially awkward. Whee! Looking forward to seeing folks there!

By | March 2nd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Marscon 2014 schedule

Opinions for Xmas

As seems to happen every year, the gift-giving part of the end-of-the-year holidays has completely gotten away from me. It's a good thing I have an Amazon Prime membership, or I'd be wrapping a lot of IOUs this year. I imagine I'm not alone here, in my little pit of holiday-induced guilt. Some of those people may even be looking for something to give to little ol' me. My response? I don't really want things, per se. I have many things, and what I don't have, I often purchase for myself. What I really want is - REVIEWS. Eye of the Storm has been out for four months now, and it's doing fairly well, considering it's my very first novel, cooperatively published by me and my very own micro-publisher (seriously, their only authors are me and Steve Davis). What does it need to start gaining more traction, getting more attention? REVIEWS. Any author will tell you it's far easier to sell a book than it is to gain readers, especially readers who are willing to take the time to review the book online. I've sold many copies of the book, almost all of them in-person. What I need now is a path to potential readers, readers I don't have personal contact with. If you have the time, if you have an opinion (I don't even have to agree with you!), as a special Christmas present to me, please take a few minutes to sit down with your copy of my book, and go to Goodreads, or Amazon, or Barnes & Noble and typity-tap in a review. Say where you got it, and why. Did you like any of the characters especially? Did the cover art [...]

By | December 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Opinions for Xmas

Chasing lightning, in terms of The Spotlight

Things have been insanely busy in my little corner of the world lately. Even disregarding all the crazy that's been happening at the day job, I'm barely keeping up! Thus, the long dry spells between posts. I need to get better at scheduling. The publicity efforts for Eye of the Storm are starting to get some serious steam. And my bandwidth, as a result, has been steamrollered. To catch up: Release party went well Made some good contacts at Worldcon in San Antonio Positive online reviews at both Goodreads and Amazon Barnes & Noble agreed to test sell the book in a few physical locations People all over the Twin Cities find copies and buy them To say the least, this is both grandly exciting and mildly terrifying. If I didn't want the book to be successful, I would have kept it on my hard drive and never gone to the lengths I've taken to get it out there. I love that people are recognizing the book's potential! But it's new, and new is always a bit nerve-wracking. I'm doing my best to be worthy of all this attention, and working to keep it rolling. I have interviews and such lined up to coincide with all this press. I've also got other people working with me, namely my co-publisher, BMG. They've invested just as much time and money in this book as I have. They helped me find good freelance editors and publicists, and are doing a lot to promote me. The effort would have been less professional without them, and I owe it to them to follow up on all their hard work (and my own). In fact, the folks at BMG are the [...]

By | October 28th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Chasing lightning, in terms of The Spotlight

The Summer Queen and her Friends

Research Teasers While I'm still working on chess as an extended metaphor for the sequel to Eye of the Storm, I still have tons of specific research to work on. This weekend, the Aos Sidhe came to the forefront. The character I styled as King of the Fairies in the first book will be making a more extended visit in the second, and he'll be bringing some of his subjects with him. There's no dearth of information on the Sidhe, either online or in books, so I have n0 problems there. In fact, if there's a problem, it's inherent to the ubiquitous nature of the Sidhe. So many people have written about them, it's hard to come up with a unique approach. So what am I doing? I'm picking a few types of fairies out of the hundreds of possibilities, and I'm warping them with my universe. That's not to say that I'm going to take the original beasties from folktales and change them from the ground up - if I wanted to do that, I would just make up entirely original beasties. It also smacks of cultural appropriation, especially since I am almost entirely German in ancestry. I am in no way Celtic. Instead, I'm going to take those original fairies and imagine how they would have evolved in my own world, where it differs from their own. How would the Sidhe behave if their Queens were assassinated? The lord of their underworld set above them, with a Greek goddess at his side? What would the politics be like? I could write an entire book about this. (Heck, that's not a bad idea ...) But for now, I need a window into that little [...]

By | October 7th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Summer Queen and her Friends


One of the few moves in chess that I know by name (so far) is castling. It's an opening move, safeguards the king, moves a rook to a better position, and is the only move in chess that involves moving two pieces at once. There are a lot more terms to learn before I can do what I want with the sequel. But I do know where to start: Bobby Fischer. This picture says a lot to me. Fischer is young and jubilant. His opponent is older and has his mouth set in a hard line, staring at the board. Fischer was a diva of the chess world. Difficult, arrogant, supremely talented. Not above using distractions to win. He seemed to enjoy the game, but winning was extremely important to him. He seems like he would have made a good Conquest. One of the aspects of Fischer's career is something I'm planning on implementing - in concept, at least. As a kid of 13, he played 21 games against adults, all at once, and won 19, lost one, and drew one. In just five hours. It seems like something my Conquest would do, though I don't think she'd let anyone win. But then, she's a lot older than Fischer. I have so many PLANS.

By | October 4th, 2013|research|Comments Off on Castling

Top 100 SF/F novels

Yet again, yoinked from Leanne at Literary Excursion: How many have I read? It was easier to bold the books I haven't read. I italicized the series in which I haven't read all, but did read some. NPR asked thousands of people to nominate and vote for their favorite science fiction and fantasy novels, and made a list out of the top 100. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin 1984, by George Orwell Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley {currently reading} American Gods, by Neil Gaiman The Princess Bride, by William Goldman The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan Animal Farm, by George Orwell Neuromancer, by William Gibson Watchmen, by Alan Moore I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke The Stand, by Stephen King Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein Watership Down, by Richard Adams Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller The Time Machine, [...]

By | September 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|5 Comments

A cute little meme – 7 Deadly Sins

I've pulled a quick meme list for today's blog post from Leanne at Literary Excursions. The Four Horsemen are all over my brain, of course, so the Seven Deadly Sins fit right in. Greed What is your most expensive book? Your least expensive? My most expensive book is definitely my copy of Shakespeare's First Folio. If I remember right, it was printed in the fifties and cost somewhere around $100. As for least expensive, you can't get cheaper than the free ebooks on my Kindle! Wrath Which author do you have a love-hate relationship with? This one's hard for me. The more I write, the more critically I read, and my guilty pleasures are starting to lose their luster. (Good lord, that sounds snooty.) Frex, I used to eat up every Mercedes Lackey novel I came across, but I slowly came to feel that they all seemed variations on a theme. I do still love the Dragonriders of Pern series and go back to read them once in a blue moon. Gluttony What book have you deliciously devoured over and over with no shame whatsoever? That's easy - The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon. I read that book over and over in college, and it's not exactly short. It has fantastic description of military tactics and day to day life, and a heroine that ticks every single one of my personal check boxes. Sloth What book have you neglected to read due to laziness? Also easy - anything non-fiction. I tend to read for enjoyment rather than edification, so it's hard to start non-fiction and even harder to finish it, even if I'm interested in the subject matter. I have so many how-to books [...]

By | September 17th, 2013|Uncategorized|2 Comments