What’s Up Wednesday? Call me a Shriner

September 17, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! Looks like there’s a header tweak in WUW-land this week. Inspiration is out and perspiration is in! ;)

What I’m WUWMaple65%2reading:

The second Richard Kadrey Sandman Slim book, “Kill the Dead.” I’ve also started reading some new short stories from Beneath Ceaseless Skies and an old Crossed Genres collection. And on Audible, I’m nearly at the end of “Annals of the Heechee”

What I’m writing:

Gotta Have That Look! I did my Short Story Shrine for the new revision on Saturday, and I’ve nearly finished writing my ‘hot mess draft.’ :) The Shrine outline was different enough that it’s pretty much a page one rewrite (again,) but I’ve got a good sense of the characters that is helping me hit the ground running, even if their circumstances have changed.

What works for me:

Still working on the bus; I’ve brought the Alphasmart to work yesterday and today, and got quite a lot of words done on it. Also, the Shine process is something that really works well for trying to plan a big revision; setting aside all of the critiques and just finding the true story in my heart, writing that down.

What else I’ve been up to:

Not that much, it’s been a pretty quiet week. Dropped by my Mom’s place to help her out with her new iPad. Made it out to a write-in on the Pier Sunday afternoon. Played around with my music rating stuff and put the new refurb laptop through its paces. It’s looking pretty reliable so far. Oh, and I’ve been watching “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finally!

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


What’s Up Wednesday? Changing Things Up…

September 10, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! Looks like there’s a header tweak in WUW-land this week. Inspiration is out and perspiration is in! ;)

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Mostly “Victory Conditions” which I just finished today. I also finally got to the end of Richard Kadrey’s “Sandman Slim”, which I first picked up from Audible in January. Hmm, I thought that was longer. Possibly that’s because it was on my ‘to read’ list for longer than that.

What I’m writing:

Still not that much. I did a little work on revising “TimeBubble Blues” over the weekend.

What works for me:

Well, in general, finding time to work on public transit is still a good one, though exactly what I spend that time on is a little scattered lately. But I’ve got some good critique work done on the bus lately, and even some preparation for a Nanowrimo ML prep meeting. (It’s only seven and a half weeks to November!)

What else I’ve been up to:

Earned myself another ‘Most Productive Critiquer’ award with the critters.org workshop, and walked the charity 5k in around 52 minutes, which I’m pretty proud of. Ordered yet another refurb Dell laptop, and this one is doing pretty well so far, no defective drives or really any problems that I’ve noticed. Tried doing another sketch exercise over the weekend, from a still TV frame, and got frustrated with myself and gave it up. I think I may try again this Saturday and pick a different video ‘model’ :)

Keeping up with Doctor Who (yay!) and still watching the Harry Potter movies. This afternoon I finished the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Oh, and I signed up for a new Storywonk class, Sufficiently Advanced Magic. I’m really excited to be part of Alastair’s first live course, and it sounds like a great way to help flesh out two book ideas for Nanowrimo this year. I’ve got one idea so far–Tricia Colt, touched by Nox and Lethe–but I want to have two partial manuscripts so that I can pick whichever one is working better to submit to Kij Johnson’s workshop next February.

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


IWSG: My Race Score Sucks

September 4, 2014

Well, it’s time for Insecure Writers’ Support Group again!

I said, a little earlier this year, that I would submit lots of writing and my ‘race score’ would soar to incredible heights. If you haven’t heard of it, the race score is basically just one for each story you have out at a market, and it’s one of a few different ways to ‘gamify’ the submissions grind. There are a few other rules; I think simultaneous subs, if you do them, don’t count for extra race points, and longer things like novel partials and full novel manuscripts (out at an agent or directly to a publisher) count for multiple points.

Just at the moment, my race score is 1, thanks to ‘Return to Civilization’, which has been in the Analog slushpile since January now. The other two stories I’ve submitted over the past year, (including “Love is a Masterpiece” that got an Honorable Mention with Writers of the Future) are in this weird limbo hold where I don’t know where to submit them now.

I even had a two-step plan for how to bring my race score back up, but both steps are lagging. I was going to fast-track revisions on “TimeBubble Blues” and “Gotta Have That Look” so I could start sending them out–and I’m still not feeling confident in the revisions. And I was going to start scouting out new markets that I could submit to.

I’m not even sure why the scouting part is something I’m hitting so much resistance on. I love reading genre short stories. I really like finding out new places to read shorts and figuring out what kind of stuff they want most.

At least I think I like it, so why haven’t I been doing any of it lately? :(


What’s Up Wednesday? The creative doldrums…

September 3, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! And if you’re looking for Insecure Writer’s Support Group, I’ll probably be posting tomorrow.

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Well, I got a lot of reading done this week, especially when I was waiting in lines at Fan Expo. Finished “Lords and Ladies”, the novelization of “Spider-man 3″, and “Command Decision.” Read about five graphic novels, including two Doctor Who comics, and the first three volumes of the hilariously weird “Chew.” Reached the halfway point on “Annals of the Heechee”, started Elizabeth Moon’s “Victory Conditions”, and listened to some more Escape Artists.

What I’m writing:

Not that much just at this moment. Started fleshing out an urban fantasy idea that I may be saving up for Nanowrimo this year. I actually got the idea from the character prompts in a Dresden Files RPG session I played at Fan Expo, a girl with stealth magic who was ‘lost and never found.’

What inspires me right now:

Weird comic books, all the geeky energy I got from the crowds at Fan Expo, new Doctor Who episodes with Peter Capaldi, and Harry Potter movies.

What else I’ve been up to:

Went shopping for iPads with my Mom tonight, though she couldn’t find the model and color she wanted. Getting ready for a jam-packed weekend; trivia night in Dundas on Friday, then the BrightRun fundraiser for breast cancer on Saturday, and an epic write-in Sunday afternoon!

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


What’s Up Wednesday? Off to Fan Expo!

August 27, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Still enjoying Discworld “Lords and Ladies,” Fred Pohl’s “Annals of the Heechee”, and Escape Pod and PodCastle stories. Hmm, am I reading myself into a rut? ;)

What I’m writing:

Well, I’ve finished going through the feedback on ‘Gotta Have That Look,’ and I’ve got lots of ideas for revisions, but they may have to wait a while. Not sure I’ll get much writing done this weekend. ;)

What inspires me right now:

ALS Ice bucket challenge videos, for some reason. I just dig the idea of it as this giant meme spreading around the world, creating viral videos wherever it goes. And listening to podcast stories.

What else I’ve been up to:

Picked up the refurb laptop, spent some time with it over the weekend, and then returned it because the DVD read/write drive didn’t read and didn’t write. :(

Getting geared up for Fan Expo! I’ll be leaving for Toronto tomorrow afternoon, and a little blue carry-on suitcase is already packed and waiting for me at the office.

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


What’s Up Wednesday? Two video chats…

August 20, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Well, I finished ‘Luck of the Draw,’ by Piers Anthony, read the last graphic novel in ‘Angel & Faith Season nine’, and started a new Discworld book from the library, “Lords and Ladies.”

I also continued to listen to plenty of Escape Pod and Podcastle stories, started “Annals of the Heechee” on Audible, and I fit some short stories and some of “Command Decision” by Elizabeth Moon in there. Loving the reading this summer!

What I’m writing:

Finished the first draft of the Xeroxxing Xylophone story. Started another round of revisions on ‘Gotta Have That Look’, based on the feedback I got from Young Gunns back in June.

What inspires me right now:

Video chats with other writers! I’ve got two scheduled this evening. First there’s the official Odyssey Salon with Jeanne Cavelos, and then I’m doing a Google Hangouts critique circle with two of my Team Ambitious friends from Odyssey class of 2013. Also – Fan Expo is coming! Really excited about that.

What else I’ve been up to:

Did some portrait sketching stuff on Sunday. I’ll have to get those pages scanned and post them soon. Upgraded my computer at work to Windows 8, and ordered a refurbished Dell laptop from Best Buy.

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


What’s Up Wednesday? Lazy Summer Days?

August 13, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

TreeWhat I’m reading:

I’ve been listening to some great podcast stories from ‘Escape Pod’ and got “Luck of the Draw” (the Xanth book) from the library on the weekend, and I’ve been enjoying it quite a lot. I also got “Warm Bodies” from the library, but I’m not sure if I’m going to read it through. I’ve skimmed through a lot of it comparing with my memories of the movie. The library also has a downloadable audio version of “Warm Bodies”, and I may give that a try.

And I read a few Analog stories on my Nexus, both via the library Zinio archives, and my own Kindle issues. Today I started the last arc of Angel and Faith, season 9.

What I’m writing:

Well, I started a story for the Xeroxxing Xylophone idea, having fun with it so far! I know I need to get started with revision stuff, but–well, see above under lazy. ;)

What inspires me right now:

Actually figuring out a secret identity long before it gets revealed in the book I’m reading, hehe.

What else I’ve been up to:

Hanging out with my mom a little, cooking and catching up to the last levels update in ‘Angry Birds Epic.’ Pimping the Nexus tablet out with VPN setup and Remote Desktop apps, so that if a work emergency comes up while I’m in Toronto for Fan Expo, I can use the Nexus to solve the problem. The hero travels light, whoohoo. :)

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


Insecure Writer’s Support Group: The Workshop Blues…

August 7, 2014

Hey, guess I got kicked out of IWSG again for missing two months in a row, but I’m back. And boy am I insecure! ;)

Sign – when is revision ever enough? I just got back from the ‘Never-Ending Odyssey’ workshop in New Hampshire, and it was a great week of critique circles and hanging out with writers and that kinda stuff. But I also came to realize that I’ve got a LOT of work still to do on this novel I was workshopping, “Think of the Children”, which is a little disappointing after the months and months of work I’ve already put into the current draft. A fresh perspective from reader-writers is what I go to workshops for, but it was depressing to realize that the book still isn’t putting its best face out there and it just isn’t as ready as I thought it was.

At the same time, I think I’m kinduv excited about what I’ve learned, about how to get to the essential conflict in the story and let that shine. So, first step, is to put what I’ve learned into a new revision outline. I can get that finished in August, right? I hope so, because it’s on my goals list, along with a few other things…

What’s up with you? Are you feeling insecure this week? Share your thoughts with all of us.


What’s Up Wednesday? Back from TNEO!

August 6, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Well, more ‘Season 9′ Buffyverse graphic novels, Iron Druid ‘Shattered’, and Elizabeth Moon’s Command Decision.

I enjoyed a lot of Escape Artist stories on my way to Odyssey and back for the TNEO workshop, mostly PodCastle just because their episode numbers were lower, but some Escape Pod as well. It was really cool visiting all those fantastic worlds as I drove down the Mass turnpike and across New York State, with my little palm TX plugged into the AC outlet on my dash so that it didn’t run out of battery power. Once I was home, and recovering from the workshop and the driving, I devoured Bryan Lee O’Malley’s new graphic novel “Seconds” in one afternoon.

What I’m writing:

Finished my  Brain transplant story with the help of some workshop brainstorming. Haven’t really written or revised anything since I got home, because my brain’s still spinning with all the new stuff I learned and the revision possibilities for “Think of the Children.” Hopefully I’ll get back to the grind soon.

What inspires me right now:

All the character and plot stuff I learned in New Hampshire, and the fabulous writers I met! Also, once again, Bryan Lee O’Malley!

What else I’ve been up to:

Umm, let’s see. The workshop was amazing, really busy, full of critique circles and other small group activities and writers reading their stuff aloud and gathering over snacks to chat about internal editors, adversaries and allies, driving off in all directions to wander through bookstores (of the both dusty and clean variety.) Oh, and my lecture really went well, several people told me that they really enjoyed it and/or learned cool new stuff.

Since I got home, I’ve mostly been crashing and relaxing, getting back into the office routine, grocery shopping and that kinda stuff.

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


What’s Up Wednesday? Lecture crazness…

July 23, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Umm… a Buffyverse graphic novel, Elizabeth Moon’s “Command Decision”, an Escape Pod podcast, and some more Analog stories via the library and Zinio on my tablet.

What I’m writing:

Reached 10k for July Camp Nanowrimo, didn’t quite finish the  Brain transplant story. Haven’t written in a few days, because I’m busy with other stuff… Maybe I’ll finish the story while I’m at the workshop.

What inspires me right now:

Character growth and transformation! I’m finally digging into this lecture I need to have ready for TNEO, two days before I leave, and it’s great stuff, even if I’m a little frazzled.

What else I’ve been up to:

Catching up on some Vampire Diaries and Revenge. I’ve got a replacement credit card already, and the scam charges will probably get straightened out in due time. And I’ve been getting ready to leave for New Hampshire, though I still have packing to do…

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


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