Weekend Writing Warriors – Time Bubble Blues 8

March 31, 2013

Yikes! First off, apologies to all my followers who got a ‘coming soon’ email or caught the live show. I lost track and assumed that I’d actually filled in this scheduled placeholder post. 😦 But I’ve got another eight sentence snippet of ‘Time Bubble Blues’ for Weekend Writing Warriors and you. Jack still needs to find a way out of his TimeBubble room.

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Sitting and thinking about the past was wasting time, and he didn’t have much time. Jack wasn’t sure how much air he had in the bubble, but it couldn’t be too much, since the plan had been that it would get refreshed while he was off at Melissa’s birthday party. He picked the wall closest to the door, and managed to pry a length of the wood panel off it, but behind there was riveted steel. He didn’t have any tools which could melt through that.

There had to be another way. He looked around the room and spotted the ventilation duct high up on the wall, just a few inches away from the ceiling. First he had to push the bed over, sit down for a few minutes to catch his breath, and climb up on top of the bed to reach the grate. Then some quick screwdriver work and the grate was sitting on the carpet, and Jack shone a flashlight down the duct, peering inside.

Check out the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/ And please leave a comment, I love getting feedback on my writing.

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Day off, nothing but north.

March 29, 2013

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a full hour of walking at once. This afternoon, I made the time to walk what I used to call the ‘Nothing but North’ route. I often did this when I was first starting to get serious about exercise and losing weight, back in… was it the summer of 2007? (Wow, can hardly believe that it’s been that many years.) I remember setting off in the evenings, with headphones and a music or audiobook player; at first I was building up my endurance, pushing myself to go further up Parkdale avenue, north from my apartment, then turning around and back home. Finally I stopped pushing myself when I could get all the way to Burlington street and back; 5.4 kilometers, or nearly three and a half miles.

These days, I more often cover that distance in my car, because that’s the way I head to work and back, in a matter of minutes. But walking it is satisfying in a different way.

I got some other cool stuff accomplished on my day off; cooked up some chicken stew that I’m going to combine with mashed potatoes tomorrow. I finally got around to decorating the blasting rod for my Harry Dresden cosplay outfit with viking fire runes. And I went down to visit my Mom; helped her with some stuff for her new Blackberry phone, got the new leather thong for my shield bracelet measured, and we went out to Kelsey’s for steak dinner.

If you’ll pardon the pun, it was definitely a good Friday.


Possibly my most enthusiastic feedback ever!

March 28, 2013

It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this blog with
my Facebook group. Talk soon!

Too bad it’s from an obvious spammer, sigh. 🙂

In a related off-topic rant, Gmail is pissing me off just a little. Not only do they appear to be dead-set to ram their tiny ‘New Compose Window’ down my throat, even though I really don’t like trying to organize an email in such a small space, but when I tried to send them feedback, their ‘Send Feedback’ window was so freakin’ huge that I couldn’t see or find the SEND button on my netbook. I managed to send it off by clicking on some text and then hitting the Enter key, but that’s not really a good user experience, Google guys.

googlefeedback

I understand that you’re excited about rolling out new toys, and that it makes support harder if the users have hundreds of different interface choices, but I like the Old Compose Window!

My ISP is doing the same thing with their webmail – they got rid of the nice, simple, quick, easy to use mail interface and replaced it with some complex monstrosity that’s trying too hard to look like Outlook and requires Java. Sigh. At least I can simply access my ISP email through my iPhone.


Nanoedmo – editing to the bitter end

March 27, 2013

Okay, so first off: the hour tracker is at just over 41 hours, which means I do have quite a bit of work to cram into the last 3 days of the month, but then, I’ve got the long weekend coming up, so it’s certainly doable.

I was making some good progress on the second novel I’m going through ‘How to Revise your Novel’ with, The Angel’s Charlie; I’m nearly finished the second lesson, promise counts, but I was also feeling that working on the novel was adding to my stress levels a bit. So, instead of working myself into a stress breakdown or giving up on EdMo, I decided to switch back to polishing fanfiction and see if that was better, and I’ve been enjoying it a lot and finding it restful by comparison. I’ve gotten a few chapters through the sequel to “Arrow through my Soul, A Roswell Alien in Metropolis. Not quite sure if I’m going to stick with fanfic through the rest of the month, or go back to HTRYN, but I’m sure I’m going to reach 50 hours one way or another!

And then it’ll be time for Camp Nanowrimo and my A-Z challenge. I think the lineup there is in pretty good shape; I have over 20 spotlight interviews already and more should be coming in soon. At least one of my Camp Spotlights is probably going to get held over until May, just because there won’t be room in the A-Z alphabet, because things never get slotted in quite that neatly. 😉 But they should make great reading even after Camp is finished.


Still looking for a few letter Campers

March 25, 2013

First off, thanks to everybody who responded to my first call for Camp Nanowrimo writers for me to spotlight in the April A-Z challenge this year. I’ve already got lots of really cool interviews back.

But in going over my notes last night, I realized that I’m still missing anybody to include for the following letters:

A
I
L
V
X
Z

So if you’re going to be doing Camp Nanowrimo in April, and have a name, username, book, or blog starting with any of these letters, please leave a comment or gmail me at chriskelworth . Or if you know somebody who you think would be perfect for one of these spotlights, tell them to check out my blog! 😉


Weekend Writing Warriors – Time Bubble Blues 7

March 24, 2013

Hey there, friends and followers. Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, for another eight sentence snippet of  ‘Time Bubble Blues.’ Jack is reminiscing again about why he went to the TimeBubble building.

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Once Andrew stopped arguing over the premise, there was a lot of negotiation over Jack’s schedule. When he’d first started talking to the people at TimeBubble, he’d imagined that he could stretch out his five months for years and years, until his youngest grand-daughter got married. With only five months to spend, he’d have to be very stingy with his time: graduations, weddings, a few other once-in-a-lifetime events, and Christmas every year of course.

 

But Melissa had tempted him on the subject of birthdays, and he’d shown weakness. The family replied with a united front. It would be unfair, they said, to pick and choose different birthdays. There would be resentments and hurt feelings, and Jack wouldn’t be the one to bear the brunt of them. Either he had to swear off their birthdays entirely, or make it to every one.

Thanks so much for reading. Please leave feedback, I love getting comments. And check out the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/


More Clarion disappointment.

March 23, 2013

Late last night, I got an email from the Clarion West writer’s workshop. They thanked me for applying, and then “We are sorry to let you know that you have not been selected for our 2013 workshop.” I’m sorry too.

But I’m not sorry that I took the time (and the money) to apply for Clarion UCSD and Clarion West. I knew that they were both long shots; there were probably hundreds, if not at least a thousand writers applying to both workshop, and I don’t think either take on twenty students every summer. But going to either would be such an amazing experience that it was worth the try. (Especially with Neil Gaiman at Clarion West this year!) After all, if I was ready to get picked, but didn’t apply, I’d never have even known that I was good enough.

I’m still hopeful for the two workshops that I haven’t heard back from yet, especially Odyssey, since I got wait-listed back in 2011, and I know that I’ve improved a lot since then. But there’s no way to be sure about that but waiting.

If those options don’t work out, I’ve been reconsidering trying to go back to Kansas for the two-week short fiction critique circle workshop that I’ve attended the past two summers. I was thinking that I didn’t want to do that again for the third year straight, but now I’m not sure why not. I can certainly learn more from that workshop, and I’ll get to meet some interesting new people.

Of course, if I wait until I hear back from Odyssey before getting in touch with Chris M at Kansas, I might find out that there’s no room for any more critiquers. 😉


Lots of Dresden Files stuff going on.

March 22, 2013

I’m on a Harry Dresden blitz at the moment. Let’s see, trying to take the list in some sort of logical order:

  • There’s only two weeks (minus a few hours,) until the Ad Astra 2013 convention kicks off in Toronto, with Jim Butcher as one of the guests of honor. I’m really excited to meet him and attend as many of his panels as I can, and a lot of the other items are about trying to get ready for Ad Astra.
  • I’ve been absorbing the Dresden Files novels on Audible at a fairly quick pace, for me at any rate. The marathon started about two months ago, Jan 13th, when I downloaded ‘Dead Beat’, the seventh in the series. I now have a little more than an hour to go in ‘Turn Coat’ (Dresden Files number eleven.) The plan is to finish the Audible version of #12, ‘Changes’, sometime in the week before Ad Astra, and get #13, “Ghost Story”, on Kindle, since that’s the one that has John Glover, not James Marsters, narrating the audiobook version. The Kindle will also be great for reading while I’m at the con.
  • Side note: If you’re catching up on the Dresden Files like me, you’re spoiler averse, and you haven’t already checked out the blurbs for #13 or #14, then don’t. As far as I can tell, there’s so many cliffhangers and plot twists at this point of the series that it’s impossible to tease what’s going on in one book without spoiling the one before. (Fortunately I don’t mind a few spoilers too much, myself 🙂 )
  • I’ve also picked up “Side Jobs”, the collection of Dresden-verse short fiction by Butcher, from the library, and read the first two pieces. It’s been fun so far, a different look at the characters and the world, and also a peek into the head of the author, since he’s written a short introduction to each one and explained the circumstances that prompted them; often an invitation to contribute something to an anthology run by somebody interesting. Read the rest of this entry »

Clarion sends their regrets

March 21, 2013

Well, I got another Watermelon in the face moment today… and I’ve decided not to worry about whether the little setbacks I need to rise above are watermelons or some smaller fruit. It makes me smile to call them watermelons, so that’s what they are.

So around noon, I got an email from Clarion UCSD. They thanked me for applying, assured me that my application was reviewed carefully, and then lowered the boom. “We regret to inform you that you have not been selected for admission.”

I’m not sure if every rejected applicant gets the same form letter or if there’s truth to the idea that they tailor it slightly to indicate how close you got. Mine included the apparently reassuring (but slightly weaselly) statement: “Many excellent candidates could not be offered admission.”

So, as they suggested, I will continue to write and apply my talents. For the time being, that means more Edmo and continuing to prep the revision of “The Angel’s Charlie.” I’m almost finished the despair reading, and have actually reached the point where I ran out of plot, and desperate to reach 50k for the Night of Writing Dangerously, started writing a teaser for a sequel.

And – wow, now I’m suddenly blown away by the notion that I had already been doing this blog for four months before I started writing ‘Charlie.’ 😮

I’m looking forward to Camp Nanowrimo. Six of the regulars over at Stringing Words have finally managed to nab a cabin together, on our third try. I think I may not have much time to prepare, so I’ll just pants it more than usual!


Walking through the Despair of revision

March 19, 2013

Well, I’m on my way. This week, I have started my second Holly Lisle novel revision. This time, I’m editing my 2010 modern paranormal romance/adventure manuscript, “The Angel’s Charlie.” And I’m looking forward to the revision process… mostly. I know that it’ll take a lot of time and effort, but I’m excited at the prospect of turning a first draft that I love into a much better story.

Right now I’m nearly two thirds of the way through the first read-through of my current draft, filling out the worksheet that Holly named ‘Despair’. (Possibly with a bit of tongue in cheek.)

For me, the process has been a little harsh and grueling, and I can’t keep at it for that long without taking a break. As you read, you make notes on where your book falls into five different categories; places where the story falls apart, character elements that add to the story or detract from them, world detail that either works well or doesn’t, places where you catch yourself skimming as you read, and places where the story is really what you hoped it could be. And it’s fun to dream just a little, as I work, of the places my book could go if it turns out to be that good all the way through when it grows up. 🙂


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