Weekend Writing Warriors – Measuring Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale 4

December 29, 2013

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

This week, I’m continuing with the sample chapters of my unfinished Nano. Gordon is surprised to be out to dinner with a beautiful girl and her alien sweetie, and things aren’t getting any easier for him! I’m skipping ahead a little in the scene, over the food talk. Gordon and Vanessa get a little bit of awkwardness out of the way, while Doomah the alien stays quiet.

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Snippet 1 Snippet 2 Snippet 3

“Is it okay if I ask you more personal questions?”

“Yeah, but can I sneak one in first?”

“Is it about Doomah?”

I nodded, not quite sure how to phrase it.

“Yes ,we’re… well, in the Libran fashion, we’ve declared an intent to become life partners. In Earthling terms, I guess you could say we’re engaged.”

“Oh–I just wanted to know if Doomah was–a he or a she. Sorry, I know that they do have gender more or less the same way we do, but blast me if I can tell the difference.”

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

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Happy Holidays!

December 26, 2013

As I write this, my Christmas vacation, such as it was, is pretty much over. It’s 6pm on Boxing Day, and I’ll be working from home tomorrow. But it’s been a good couple of days.

Late on Christmas Eve, my brother called me up with some last minute change of plans. He had to work through the week, including Christmas Day, and the original plan was for the Hamilton branch of the family, (the two of us and Mom,) to go up to Kitchener early and then drive home in time for him to get to work for the afternoon shift, which would mean me leaving at seven thirty in the morning and having just about enough time to unwrap presents and have turkey brunch at my sister’s place. The change in plans was that I drove up separately in my car, which my brother borrowed after brunch when it was time for him to leave. Mom and I stayed, played some cards with my sister and my two nieces, enjoyed a light lunch of desserts, then I drove Mom home in her car, and switched to mine, which had been dropped off at her place.

The gift exchanges went pretty well too. I kept to a tighter budget than in years past, but managed to come up with some stuff for all of my family that they seemed to like. Myself, I scored some gift cards, chocolate treats, three new books to read, and a cool decoration with quotes about writing that I’m going to keep on my desk. Oh, and a wizard’s staff that my Mom made for me! 🙂

Today I did the budget Boxing Day shopping. I picked up a cool new Modern Family calendar for my 2014 goal tracking, and a fancy Bluetooth mouse to use with my Nexus 7 tablet. One of my gift cards helped pay for the mouse, and I used another to download some new music, including albums by Great Big Sea and Amanda Stott.

And I walked to all my shopping; four and a half miles round trip, which is a lot longer than I usually walk in a day, but I feel good for having done it.

So, how were your holidays?


Weekend Writing Warriors – Measuring Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale 3

December 22, 2013

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

This week, I’m continuing on directly from last week’s excerpt from my Nano. Gordon is surprised to be out to dinner with a beautiful girl and her alien sweetie, and things aren’t getting any easier for him!

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Snippet 1 Snippet 2

Doomah smoothly took my hand in its own many-jointed fingers and gently lifted it up and down, as if a handshake was more like a properly choreographed dance move than… well, what the heck was it, really? Just a routine courtesy gesture that none of us Earthlings think much about anymore, do we?

“Thank you so much for coming, Gordon,” Vanessa said, shaking my hand too, and took her seat on the far side of the booth from where I’d been sitting, Doomah taking its place next to her.

“It’s my pleasure,” I said, turning to the menu as the most obvious distraction. “Any recommendations for what’s good?”

“I’d be curious as to your opinions on the chicken-fried steak,” Doomah said in a rich baritone voice. He seemed to be speaking English quite fluently, not using a translator pack the way most beings did when they needed to communicate with aliens. “Should I tell you what it’s made with first?”

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


What’s Up Wednesday, nearly at the Holidays

December 18, 2013

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

WUWWinterWhat I’m reading:

Nearly finished “Discworld: Moving Pictures”  from the library, and I’ve put a hold on another Discworld library book. Finished “The Ringworld Engineers”, and listening to three other Audible books that I want to finish in 2013: the first Secret Circle book, Dragon Harper, and Magic Bites.

What I’m writing:

Well, I’ve finally started revisions to “Gotta Have that Look”, following a new editing plan to keep myself from getting intimidated by all the Odyssey feedback. Also been doing some world-building for ‘Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale’; that counts as writing, yeah?

What inspires me right now:

Great music (like the Good Lovelies), Futurama, and the hope that snow will melt. 😉

What else I’ve been up to:

Brushing my car off, Christmas shopping, going to buffet lunches. Had a great time at the Vinyl Cafe concert Monday night, even if Mom wasn’t feeling well so I had to go myself. I’ve also started my first critique for the Codex writers. Oh, and I did some drawing exercises over the weekend, trying to get myself ready for the portrait chapter in “Right Side of the Brain”

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


Weekend Writing Warriors – Measuring Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale 2

December 15, 2013

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

This week, I’m continuing on directly from last week’s excerpt from my Nano. A lot of you commented with curiosity about the introduction of Doomah, so hopefully this snippet will shed some light!

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Snippet 1

The conversation where I’d joked with Tommy about him setting me up with Vanessa flashed through my mind. I’d been prepared for Vanessa to bring a man to dinner with me, or even a woman, and was generally ready to take either as a sign that she just wanted to be friends with me and wasn’t interested in a new romance.

I certainly hadn’t expected that her significant other would be a freakin’ alien.

“So, umm, nice to meet you, Si– citizen.” I put a hand out towards the Libran, unable to remember if that was considered good manners with them. Hell, after being blindsided with this, I could be excused for a little well-intentioned rudeness, couldn’t I?

I have no idea about the genetic standards of attractiveness for Librans, but Doomah seemed to be well put together, as far as I could stretch human esthetic standards. It, or he, (she?) had a generally narrow frame and long arms that were always gracefully in motion.

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


What’s Up Wednesday, December Race edition

December 11, 2013

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

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Still stories from the January 2014 edition of ‘Analog’ magazine on my Kindle, and  “The Ringworld Engineers” on Audible via my smartphone. The local library copy of “Discworld: Moving Pictures” is showing up as ‘In Transit’ so hopefully I’ll be able to start reading that soon.

What I’m writing:

I wrote a short story for the SDMB Short Fiction contest over the weekend, ‘Underworld’, an updated twist on the Orpheus legend where the main character makes a video recording of his friend’s trip down into the realm of Hades. Also, I just finished my last round of revisions on “Love is a Masterpiece”, and I think I’m going to try sending it off to Writers of the Future.

What inspires me right now:

My Odyssey friends, the Race, and all the cool stuff I can do with my Android tablet.

What else I’ve been up to:

Went to the TGIO party for Hamilton NaNoWriMo on Sunday evening, and that was really cool and a lot of fun, but also sad, in that Nano season is really over–at least until the prep for Camp NaNo starts in the spring.

Also took care of some routine maintenance on the car, starting new critiques for Team Ambitious, and walking through the bitter cold. 😉

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


Weekend Writing Warriors – Measuring Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale 1

December 8, 2013

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Thanks for all the great comments on ‘Return to Civilization!’ But I’m going to switch to one of the rough drafts that I was working on in Nano this year. This is from the scene where Gordon, my MC, is meeting Vanessa for dinner; he met her at the Earthling chamber of commerce a few scenes earlier.

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“Hey, Gordon, you’re here already!”

I looked up to see Vanessa, dressed in a bright red dress with a miniskirt hem, long sleeves, and a high collar, with little cut-outs around the shoulder. She had her hair gathered up into a poufy tail behind her head. “Um, yeah, I wanted to get here early to scout out the place by myself,” I admitted, and checked the chrono on the table menu. “You thought you’d be the first to get here early?”

She chuckled. “Yeah, I guess so. Gordon Wyatt, I’d like you to meet Doomah.”

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


That’s Super Sweet!

December 7, 2013

Well, deep in the midst of Nano, I got tagged with a Blogging Award meme, the Super Sweet Blogging Award. Thanks very much to Natasha Hanova for nominating me! Sorry it took me three weeks or so to answer, what with the Nano Spotlights and then getting distracted by the time Nano was over.

Award rules: Answer the following five questions, and nominate five bloggers.

SuperSweetBloggingAward1. Cookie or Cake? Hmm… cookies are good, especially vanilla wafers, (need to make time to make some this holiday season,) but I have to go with golden cake. Delicious!

2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla! I love chocolate sweets, but in any case where it’s a choice, I’ll choose vanilla. (Or maybe strawberry.)

3. Favourite sweet treat? Hmm… that’s a tough one, there are so many possible sweets. A Tim Horton’s Maple Dip donut gets honorable mention, as does strawberry syrup ice cream sundae, (which I just had as a bedtime snack,) but I have to pick a Cadbury creme egg!

4. When do you crave sweet things the most? Well, I’ll grab a sweet any time of day or night, but early in the morning is probably the time when I can least resist. I love donuts for breakfast, and if I have chocolate on hand, I’ll have some well before noon.

5. Sweet nickname? I don’t really have one, that I know of. Oh well.

And my sweet nominees are:

Stay sweet, everybody!


A small Firefly shoutout in an Analog story!

December 6, 2013

Hey! Just a quick post as I bed headwards this evening, because there was something cool I came across as I read on the bus this morning. I was cruising through the second half of a novella by Richard A. Lovett, fourth in a series about an AI implant named Brittney, called “Music to Me.” Brittney is a big fan of human videos and music, and she’s confronting another group of AIs who want her to join them on the web, leaving her new human partner behind. Suddenly, I come across this passage…

Another vid-line popped to mind:

“A man learns the details of a situation like ours, then he has a choice,” one character says–implying the man in question could either help make the situation right, or ignore it.

The response: “I don’t believe he does.”

Damn, I wanted that vid back too. I’d kept key vid-lines in core memory, but when I’d lost the vids, I’d also lost many of the titles. In this case, all I remembered was something about lightning bugs in space, which seemed dubious.

In case you’re not a Browncoat, the lines are classic Joss Whedon dialog from the episode “The Train Job,” with the second one delivered by Nathan Fillion as Malcolm Reynolds. It’s all very casual, not including titles or character names, probably to avoid giving FoxCorp a trademark infringement claim, but I love the bit about dubious lightning bugs in space.

So goodnight, and shiny dreams!


What’s Up–Thursday!

December 5, 2013

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! I’m proudly updating on Thursday this week because I remembered to post for IWSG yesterday. 🙂

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Still great magazine stories. I finished off the December issue of “Asimov’s,” (The January issue is out already,) and read the newest installment of “Lockstep” in Analog magazine. There’s an amazing premise in that book, with hundreds of inhabited planets drifting through the dark reaches between nearby stars, all the inhabitants spending most of the time in cold sleep so that they don’t use too much of the resources that their bots are always gathering; and so that they can effectively travel anywhere in a month, because the people they’re going to meet have spent most of the travel time in cold sleep too. 🙂 And there’s some great character and narrative stuff in there too. I wonder why it was serialized, because it certainly seems strong enough that it could have been marketable as a traditional print novel.

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