What’s Up Wednesday? Revenge of the Angry Birds

October 23, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! Of course, I try to post on Wednesdays, but apparently I was so busy with other things that I forgot to finish the draft yesterday, or sign up to the linky list. *Headsmack*

What I’m WUWMaple65%2reading:
I finished Xanth ‘Board Stiff’, and the four stories I hadn’t already read out of Larry Niven’s “Neutron Star” collection. (The four I’d already found were the ones featuring Beowulf Shaeffer.) After floundering for something new to read, I tracked down my paperback copy of Jim Butcher’s “Furies of Calderon”, and I’m loving it so far!

What I’m writing:
I finished my quick revision of “Return to Civilization” and sent it off to critters for some feedback. Still plot bunny ranching for Nanowrimo–the “Sufficiently Advanced Magic” class has gotten into structure now, and somewhat to my surprise both books I’m working on fit pretty well into a three-act outline as far as I can see.

What works for me:
Working on the bus means even when the bridge is up, that’s just more time to work on your outlining homework! ;)

What else I’ve been up to:
Well, struggling to keep Angry Birds games from taking over too much of my free time. First, I got sucked into “Angry Birds Transformers” on my iPhone, which is this crazy side-shooter. Your bird-Autobot (or pig-Decepticon) gets dropped into the level by a shuttle that turns into a train car, and you have to shoot down pigs and automated guns  before they wear your armor away, shoot at high-tech buildings to get Energon cubes (which immediately turns the buildings rustic,) and use your limited time in vehicle mode to avoid toppling statues. There are rockets that turn you into a helpless bouncing washing machine if they hit you for some reason. ;)

And Angry Birds Epic just launched a new crossover invasion tournament with another game, so I’ve been sending my bird paladins, druids, and wizards up against dragons and cartoon blobs. Let’s see, what about non-gaming activities? Got started watching Leverage, on the suggestion of some TNEO friends who thought it could help me with ‘Never Found’, loving it so far. And getting ready for Nano! The Hamilton Kickoff party is this weekend, and so Elizabeth Twist and I spent a few hours on Sunday collating hipster PDAs and stuffing gift bags.

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


What’s Up Wednesday? The NanoLaunch!

October 15, 2014

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

What I’m WUWMaple65%2reading:
I’ve nearly finished the latest Xanth, ‘Board Stiff’ from the library’s ebooks department. It’s been a fun romp so far, especially since Com-Pewter finally joined the quest as one of the good guys, wandering around in an android body. I’ve also caught up on a few Toasted Cake and PodCastle episodes, and started reading a Doctor Who graphic novel I picked up years ago at a convention.

What I’m writing:
Well, I started the rewrite for “Return to Civilization” at the Sunday write-in, and I’ve been worldbuilding and character sketching for crazy on my two Nanowrimo plot bunnies (plot bunny ranching?) With big props to the Storywonk “Sufficiently Advanced Magic” class, which has been a very fun way to get ready.

What works for me:
Umm… I’m not quite sure this week, it’s been sortuv time for kissing frogs, as it were. I actually got a bunch of character sketching done in front of the TV last night, which doesn’t always work. Some of the time, I was catching up on “Castle” and “The Big Bang Theory”, but at other points I’d turned the TV to music or just off while I worked on chasing down a particular thought. And that’s kinda cool, that I can make the writing the priority and not the television. :)

What else I’ve been up to:
Well, I got up to see the family for Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, which was great. Played in the Angry Birds Epic “For the Pirate King” invasion event, made it into the 3rd place spot of whatever and scored some decent prize points. And the Nanowrimo site has relaunched, so I’ve been busy exploring the new forums and organizing spotlight interviews.

And speaking of what I’ve been reading, I updated my reading lists for the year over at Stringing Words, and it looks like I’ve read 336 short stories and 62 novels already this year!

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


What’s Up Wednesday? October already…

October 8, 2014

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

What I’m WUWMaple65%2reading:

More Xanth; I finished “Esrever Doom” and started “Board Stiff”, which the library had as an ebook. Also plowed through Larry Niven’s “The Magic Goes Away” in a few days, and read a bunch of stories from Crossed Genres, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Nightmare.

What I’m writing:

I’ve started a new round of revisions on my funny sci-fi story, “Return to Civilization”, based on feedback I got at Young Gunns. I’ve also dived into doing more prep for my 2 Nanowrimo ideas, and I’ve been doing a fair bit of critiquing.

What works for me:

My new living room table workstation! This is actually based on a setup I had a while ago – my black wooden IKEA chair is set against the broad side of the table I got from my parents, opposite the comfy armchair which faces the television. There’s lots of good lighting in that area, and I have the new refurb Dell laptop set up there, and it’s been a great place to get some work done, including critiquing and getting into revisions.

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What else I’ve been up to:

Getting into the new season of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”, loading dual-boot Xubuntu onto my red netbook, and sorting out Thanksgiving dinner plans with the family! (Canadian Thanksgiving is this coming Monday, in case you didn’t know that.)

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


IWSG: Time to be encouraging!

October 2, 2014

Well, it’s time for Insecure Writer’s Support Group, (or a day late, hopefully not a dollar short,) and I’m not feeling terribly insecure, even though I procrastinated a little yesterday. So I think it’s time to be encouraging and share some things that might help my insecure writer friends.

First off is this really great comics site my friend Danie shared with me the other day, full of illustrated inspirational messages, lots of them from writers and other creative people: Zen Pencils! At the moment, the home-page comic is based on a commencement speech by Shonda Rhimes, (creator of Grey’s Anatomy etcetera,) and the list of ‘Related Comics’ under it includes a great interpretation of Ira Glass’ advice for beginners, as well as great words of wisdom from Chris Hadfield and Bill Watterson. I haven’t explored the full catalog yet, but I want to.

What else do I have that might be encouraging to an insecure writer? Nanowrimo is on its way, and I think that’s very encouraging. The homepage forums will probably be full of 2014 awesomeness in the next few days. And I think writing classes are very cool. I’m planning on starting Holly Lisle’s How to Write Flash Fiction that Doesn’t Suck course, which Elizabeth Twist has said lots of good things about. And one of the reasons I didn’t get this post up yesterday was the welcome shindig for the Sufficiently Advanced Magic Class, which is going to be a lot of fun! It’s a great group, I can tell already.

So… I dunno, if you’re still insecure, post in the comments, and I’ll see if I can come up with something encouraging just for you!


IWSG will be up soon…

October 1, 2014

Just a quick note here to let you know that I will be posting for IWSG soon, but the evening got away from me and I need to crash.


What’s Up Wednesday? Thriller, baby!

September 24, 2014

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

What I’m WUWMaple65%2reading:

“Esrever Doom” from the Xanth series, Dune on Audible, Crossed Genres stories, and podcasts like Toasted Cake! Oh, and some graphic novels like “Illyria Haunted” and “Lost at Sea.”

What I’m writing:

Well, I finished the Gotta Have That Look ‘Hot Mess draft’, and it should be going out to critters sometime tonight. Now I’m hoping to get a revision outline for “Children” finished this week. I’ve been going over my TNEO feedback and a lot of things have been starting to fit together, especially the idea of writing it as a sci-fi thriller, bringing in the notion of a conspiracy on board the starship to cover up a lot of stupid decisions that have been made in the past…

What works for me:

The idea of writing a revision outline, whether it be through the Monastery/Shrine or some other way. Since I’ve been through the Monastery once with “Children”, I’m wondering about trying to do the thriller revision outline a different way, possibly a modified snowflake technique or something like that.

What else I’ve been up to:

Enjoying the fall weather, watching Doctor Who and the new Big Bang Theory episodes, playing around with photo editors on the android tablet. My new laptop has passed its two-week trial period and been adorned with the requisite Nanowrimo stickers!

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


Follow Fest – around we go again!

September 22, 2014

Thanks to Natasha for posting her Follow Fest entry so soon and reminding me that it was time again.

What is your name?FollowFest 2014
Chris Kelworth.

Do you write fiction or non-fiction?
Generally fiction, or at least, that’s what I’m concentrating on writing and publishing here.

What genres?
Umm, science fiction and fantasy of many flavours and varieties, with some mystery and romance thrown in. For readers young and old, not always all at once.

Are you published?
Not yet.

What else do you do besides write?
Hmm. I program computers, both as a day job and a hobby. Listen to country music, walk up city streets, cook a fair bit, collect small electronic gadgets, watch lots of TV and some movies, read and listen to audiobooks and podcasts.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Umm, what else do you want to know? I’m the baby of the family, with a big sister and older brother–also a brother-in-law, two nieces and a nephew who are getting bigger every time I get a chance to visit. I live by myself in Hamilton, Ontario, and love travelling and going to writing workshops. I’m an Odyssey class of 2013 survivor.

What are you reading right now?
Well, I just started ‘Esrever Doom’ in the Xanth series, from the library. On the audiobook front, I’m reading Dune and Lani Diane Rich’s “Time off for good behaviour”. I’m also reading some Crossed Genres stories on my Kindle, and just discovered the Toasted Cake podcast. (Thanks for that go to Elizabeth Twist!)

Which authors influenced you the most?
Jim Butcher, Diane Duane, and Bryan Lee O’Malley.

Where can people find and follow you?
Right here on the wordpress blog–wordpress.com still doesn’t have a Google ‘army of followers’ widget, but the top three widgets down the right side of the blog are all followy: WordPress.com follow, RSS feed, and NetworkedBlogs.

Twitter: @ChrisKelworth, http://twitter.com/ChrisKelworth

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chris.kelworth

Do you have a newsletter?
I don’t think I generate enough news for a letter. ;)

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
For his coronation, Napoleon summoned the Pope to Paris, then took the crown out of the Pope’s hands and put it on his own head.

Go here to see the Follow Fest list!


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? :(


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