What’s Up Wednesday? Off to Fan Expo!

August 27, 2014

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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.

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What’s Up Wednesday? Two video chats…

August 20, 2014

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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.

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What’s Up Wednesday? Lazy Summer Days?

August 13, 2014

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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. :)

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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

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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.

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What’s Up Wednesday? Lecture crazness…

July 23, 2014

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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…

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What’s Up Wednesday? Odysseys on my mind…

July 16, 2014

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TreeWhat I’m reading:

Let’s see. I already finished the latest Iron Druid book I borrowed from the library, “Hunted”, and I’m on hold for the most recent one as soon as the library ebook is available. Loving those stories! I’m still reading stories off my Zinio copies of Analog, and I got back to the Elizabeth Moon Vatta’s war series recently.

And I’m still listening to podcasts a lot, but I did get to a nice PodCastle story in my playlist the other day: “Gazing into the Carnauba Wax Eyes of the Future”, by fellow Codexian Keffy R.M. Kehrli.

What I’m writing:

Finished the Neural Rewiring story, and started another idea from my April A-Z challenge: Brain transplants!

What inspires me right now:

Well, it just occurred to me today that this is the last week of Odyssey 2014, and I wonder how the new class of Odfellows are feeling at this point and what I’d say to them if I had the chance. I’m going to be leaving for “The Never-Ending Odyssey” workshop in a little over a week, and I’m really excited about that. Also, Storywonk podcasts, Star Trek Into Darkness, and the Vampire Diaries.

What else I’ve been up to:

Dealing with a scam on my credit card, (I’m on hold with the bank disputed charge hotline as I type this,) and hanging out with my family over the weekend. Also, exchanging critiques with my Team Ambitious buddies for the first time since April or so, whoo-hoo!

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What’s Up Wednesday? Convenient Subspace Highways…

July 9, 2014

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TreeWhat I’m reading:

Well, I finished “Skin Game” and “Trapped”, and today I started the next Iron Druid book in e-book format from the library, “Hunted.” Also reading a bunch of graphic novels; Buffy season 9 “Guarded”, and the entire run of “Scott Pilgrim!”

Haven’t been listening to any audiobooks since finishing Skin Game, as I’ve been catching up on podcasts like Storywonk, Quirks & Quarks, and Laugh Out Loud.

What I’m writing:

Still working on the Neural Rewiring story, that’s about it. Hopefully I’ll finish the draft around the weekend, if not sooner.

What inspires me right now:

Scott Pilgrim! I finally watched the movie a few weeks ago, really enjoyed it, but I think I like the graphic novels even more. As surreal and hilarious as either version of the franchise is, they share this kind of emotional honesty about finding yourself, learning how to be responsible, how to look for love and treat somebody in a relationship, that really spoke to me. And a really cool, self-deprecating Canadian sensibility, of course. It’s gotten me thinking about what I would want to say if I wrote something that gutsy and true to myself, and who the characters in that story would be.

Also Missy Higgins, “Where I stood”, and “The Nine Lives of Chloe King”, which I’ve just started watching the pilot for.

What else I’ve been up to:

I made it to the Toronto Browncoats screening this weekend, met some new really cool people, and made it to one of my Nanowrimo friends’ place for a potluck the other night. Still trying to prepare for my TNEO lecture, in fact I need to get a handout emailed off tonight, yikes!

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What’s Up Wednesday? Canada Day!

July 2, 2014

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TreeWhat I’m reading:

Still enjoying “Iron Druid: Trapped”, finished “I’ve got your number” and got it back to the library, and getting close to the end of “Skin Game.” Also read another Angel/Faith Season 9 Graphic Novel, “Daddy Issues”, and read another few stories from Analog on my tablet Zinio. Which is frustrating because the Zinio format of these magazines doesn’t seem to reflow as it resizes, you’ve just got a picture of the magazine page that you can zoom in or out on. But hey, it’s free from the library!

What I’m writing:

Finished the first draft of “Magic Milkshake”, and started the Neural Rewiring story for Camp Nanowrimo’s July session!

What inspires me right now:

Well, I’m going to be coy about the spoiler, but there’s a moment in ‘Skin Game’ where a secret code is revealed that bears on a bunch of conversations from earlier in the story, giving them a second meaning. I’m really looking forward to reviewing all those moments and seeing what was really being said in the second layer.

What else I’ve been up to:

Hanging out with the family for Canada Day, trying to keep cool even though my kitchen air conditioner (the big one in the window) has been acting up a bit, and… I guess that’s it. For now. Oh, and more ‘Angry Birds Epic’, including my own systematic attempt to map out the island and figure out where I can earn coins the fastest!

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What’s Up Wednesday? Summer Solstice edition

June 25, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! I’m glad to be back after spending a few weeks away at the Young Gunns workshop in Kansas.

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Well, I finished “Dark Lord of Derkholm”, loved the ending, and I’ve been reading some Iron Druid, starting on “Trapped” and then going back to find “Two Ravens One Crow” because the author was referring to it and I wanted to follow what was going on. I’ve also read a cool story from a January 2013 edition of Analog, courtesy of my local library’s Zinio program, and finished off another Buffy season 9 graphic novel.

For audio books, I think I’m getting close to the end of “I’ve got your number,” and I’ve been able to listen to some more of “Skin Game.”

What I’m writing:

Still making some progress with the new draft for “Magic Milkshake”, and I finished a partial revision of “TimeBubble Blues:” it should be on its way out to the critters.org critiquers any minute now! I’ve also been working on giving critiques; I sent one in to critters.org yesterday because my ratio was slipping dangerously low, and I’ve got a lot of novel excerpts yet to critique for “The Never-Ending Odyssey” workshop.

What inspires me right now:

Stories with strong romantic and adventure plots, especially where the couple are able to work together to beat the bad guy or reach the prize, instead of getting bogged down in angst.

What else I’ve been up to:

Gearing up for Camp Nanowrimo in July! Looks like my local writers will be able to get together for some write-ins in July, and I’ve also got a pretty cool cabin on the Camp Nano website.

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