Disappointments versus great memories

August 27, 2013

It’s easy to focus on disappointments versus the good side of our lives. For instance, at Fan Expo this weekend, I had a lot of cool experiences:

  • Took part in the costume masquerade as a contestant, (as Harry Dresden again) and had a blast!
  • Got some cool graphic novels for decent prices.
  • Watched and listened to three great Q&A sessions, with Zachary Quinto, Colin Baker… and Nathan Fillion! (Whoo-hoo!)
  • Got my Serenity blueprints book and ‘Those Left Behind’ graphic novel signed by Gina Torres

However, there were also a few things I was looking forward to that I didn’t have a chance to participate in, mostly because of the insane crowd of other Browncoat fans from hundreds of kilometers in every direction converging on the Metro Toronto Convention Center, and having to make choices and settle on priorities without full information about what all’s going on. Specifically, I didn’t get in to see Gina’s Q&A session, and I wasn’t able to get anything signed by Nathan. Big sigh here.

I also didn’t get much sleep on Saturday night; the costume masquerade ran late, and I had to stand on the GO bus to get back to Hamitlon by midnight. I was on the road again by quarter after seven in the morning Sunday morning, and spent a nervous hour waiting outside Room 105, my gray bag with all my stuff (including cell phones, other electronic gadgets, and the things Gina had signed and Nathan didn’t,) stuck inside, unable to go back in to get them before the Walking Dead panel let out, hoping that I’d be able to reclaim it, and that I’d get a seat for Nathan’s Q&A. Which I did, for both, even if it wasn’t quite as nice a seat as the one I’d had before I left the hall and managed to slip past the security Nazi without somehow figuring out I had to tell him that I was going to the bathroom. *facepalm*

Umm… yeah. Need to remember to look on the bright side. 🙂

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Weekend Writing Warriors – Gotta have that look (revised) 8

August 25, 2013

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Continuing to share the new revision of “Gotta Have That Look,” about teenagers and genetic injections. I’ve shared some from an early draft with Six Sentence Sunday, but this is mostly a new plot. I’m going to skip over some classroom stuff. I’m going to skip ahead a little; Jimmy’s friends, Bryan and Stephanie, are trying to help him figure out what kind of ‘look’ would impress Diane.

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Yikes, sorry for the Fan Expo weekend technical difficulties. Snippet posted 5:40 pm…

“I’m not going to let you give up so soon.”

“I’m out of options, man!” Jimmy waved dramatically across the rec-room floor. “Unless you’ve got a brainwave.”

“I just might. Diane hasn’t kept her toes out of the dating pool lately.”

Stephanie sat down on the blue sofa next to Bryan. “So?”

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/.


An Eagle Can’t Sit Waiting on the Wind

August 23, 2013

Well, I’ve been trying to get myself up into submissions gear again, after more than a year since I’ve submitted my work to a market (as opposed to applying for workshops, getting critiques, etcetera.) I set a goal of making a submission in August, which I might not make, just because I don’t want to send anything out that I know I can make better with a little more time.

I find a lot of good personal inspiration in certain country/pop songs, and when I came upon one particular number yesterday, I realized that it could serve as my anthem for submitting fiction. The song is a duet by Mel Tillis and Pam Tillis (who are father and daughter,) and it speaks to me about chasing your dreams instead of sitting around hoping that they’ll find you:

Of course, the big problem is telling the difference between “Waiting on the wind”, and the times that you really need to take a rest because your wings are way too tired. An eagle can’t fly all the time either, and taking off in a dead calm isn’t as easy as it looks.


I’m still drawing on perspective

August 21, 2013

Over the weekend I finally got back to some ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’ stuff. The next assignment in the chapter on perspective, (after copying somebody else’s,) was to draw an open door by sighting it. I picked the open doorway out of my kitchen, and I think I like how it came out:

Drawings 029

For comparison, here’s a (slightly tilted, sorry) photo of the same doorway I took on the iPhone!

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Weekend Writing Warriors – Gotta have that look (revised) 7

August 18, 2013

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Continuing to share the new revision of “Gotta Have That Look,” about teenagers and genetic injections. I’ve shared some from an early draft with Six Sentence Sunday, but this is mostly a new plot. I’m going to skip over some classroom stuff. I’m going to skip ahead a little; Jimmy’s friends, Bryan and Stephanie, are trying to help him figure out what kind of ‘look’ would impress Diane.

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“Last month, she went to a bunch of Diskball dances with Murry Hanson, didn’t she?”

“Just two, on the ninth and the twenty-fourth,” Bryan said.

“Murry had dark skin then,” Stephanie added, and Jimmy began typing. “His build was very muscular, with dark brown hair, though he cut it between dances. A little taller than average, and he moved the skin-tone up by two shades the last week of the month. Maybe that’s why Diane didn’t go near him again.” Stephanie caught Bryan’s eyes. “So I notice things about guys.”

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/.


A new fanvid? (Hopefully sometime soon)

August 17, 2013

It’s been a long time since I’ve done any fanvidding. It was February of 2010 when I released my Doctor who vid for Martha and Ten, “Out of Bounds”, and I think this time last year when I tried to get started on a Dawson/Jen video for “I think about it all the time”, and managed a grand total of 45 seconds of completed footage, sigh.

I put fanvidding on my goals list for August, (reaching 2 minutes on a project, specifically,) and played around with the Sony Vegas project I had for “I think about it all the time”, but it was pretty easy to tell that I wasn’t inspired, or even particularly interested anymore.

So, a new project. Back to Doctor Who, once again. Season five, specifically the two-parter of “The Hungry Earth” and “Cold Blood.”

The song? An Amy Grant tune called “Eye to Eye,” which may seem like an odd choice, but there’s so much in the lyrics that resonates to me with those episodes, and the music seems like a pretty good fit too.

The first step was to get ahold of some video to work with. I watched season 5 of Doctor Who on the LG DVR, and even though I burned those episodes to disk, they’re not really in suitable quality for fanvidding work. The next copies I happened to come across are gorgeous 720p mkv files, but Sony Vegas didn’t seem to like those, and I didn’t have any luck with the instructions to extract the video file out of the mkv container. Finally I’ve found something that seems to work, and I’ve got my project workspace set up with the two episodes and the song.

Before I start picking video clips to set to the instrumental opening, though, I figure it’ll help to review what I’ve got. So I’ve started watching “The Hungry Earth” just so I remember what happens, thinking of which bits would be good for what lyrics or what instrumental passages.

I’m excited!


Weekend Writing Warriors – Gotta have that look (revised) 6

August 11, 2013

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Continuing to share the new revision of “Gotta Have That Look,” about teenagers and genetic injections. I’ve shared some from an early draft with Six Sentence Sunday, but this is mostly a new plot. I’m going to skip over some classroom stuff. Last time, Jimmy talked Stephanie, his best friend’s girlfriend, into talking to Diane, the girl he likes. Here, Stephanie brings back the report on her scouting expedition.

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“I tried.” One of Stephanie’s hands came up to her chest as if she were swearing hope to die. “She didn’t want to talk about guys and what she likes. Maybe it’s too personal. I’m sorry.”

“That’s okay, Stephanie. Thanks. I’ll get out of the way and let you guys enjoy your evening.”

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/.


IWSG: Facing rejection and accepting ‘as good as I can make it now’

August 7, 2013

Okay, it’s time for the August 2013 edition of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Apologies for not participating in July, but I was pretty ragged with Odyssey writing that week, and my blogging was down to the minimum.

It’s nearly two years now since I last submitted anything to a publishing market. At the time, I told myself that I needed to concentrate on the craft, but really, that was probably just my insecurity, finding a way to avoid rejection. Well, I’ve definitely learned a lot about the craft of writing, and I while I was at Odyssey a lot of people told me that I should be submitting a lot, that I was ready for it. Jeanne told me, Sheila Williams told me, Nancy Holder told me, I think Patricia Bray told me, the resident adviser told me and my fellow students told me. So I’m doing it. I’m going to submit again before August is finished, and I’ve set a tentative goal of reaching 42 new rejections in the year after I left Odyssey.

Part of what I’ll need to get me to that goal, as well as a willingness to face the rejection again, is a willingness to accept something short of an ideal perfection in my writing. Basically, if a story’s as good as I can make it right now, then it doesn’t get to sit on the hard drive for months as I learn more about writing; I pound the digital pavement and start sending it out. Yeah, I’m going to learn more about writing in the meantime, and use what I’ve learned to write better stories; maybe I’ll be able to revise something in between rejections, or maybe it’d be better not. But I can’t let the process bottleneck at the end. Keep writing, keep revising, keep submitting.


In which my Kindle goes back to the USA for magazines

August 5, 2013

Not physically. Let’s see… I was at Williams by the Pier in Hamilton with Elizabeth Twist, catching up and doing our Evensies (even Sundays,) write-in thing, and happened to mention my frustration with Amazon.ca and magazines. Elizabeth’s immediate reaction was that I should send out angry customer support emails until they got my Kindle account switched back to amazon.com, as the best part of having the Kindle, in her experience, was for the magazines.

I don’t tend to default to ‘angry’ with my customer support emails, but I sent out a plea for help to Amazon.com right there in the cafe, and also read her the email I’d sent to Amazon.ca last week and their completely unhelpful brush-off form letter.

Somewhat to my surprise, an Amazon customer support person by the name of Naveen replied within four hours, including very helpful instructions on how to navigate the Amazon.ca website to migrate my account back to Amazon.com – thank you very much Naveen! I have brand new issues of Analog and F&SF on my Kindle, and I’ll be starting a subscription to Asimov’s as soon as they get a new issue out. (The issue that’s currently up on Amazon.com is the same one that Sheila was handing out for free back at Odyssey, so I thought I could read that in print and wait a month.)

Thank you very much for pushing me to try again Elizabeth!


Weekend Writing Warriors – Gotta have that look (revised) 5

August 4, 2013

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Continuing to share the new revision of “Gotta Have That Look,” about teenagers and genetic injections. I’ve shared some from an early draft with Six Sentence Sunday, but this is mostly a new plot. I’m going to skip over some classroom stuff. Here, Jimmy is talking to his best friend’s new girlfriend.

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Jimmy turned to Stephanie. “I wanted to ask you a favour–It’s about Diane.”

“Okay I guess.”

“Well, Diane is my picture of the perfect girl, but I have no idea who her perfect guy would look like. And I can’t ask her, and then turn into what she says…”

“But it’s okay if I ask her, because I’m a girl, even though we’re not really friends?”

“Well, I don’t know her friends well enough to ask them.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/.


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