What’s Up Wednesday? So Excited!

May 28, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! I may be going on WUW hiatus for a bit, but I’m here right now!

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Started on one of my Christmas books (finally!) It’s Diana Wynne Jones’ “Dark Lord of Derkholm”, and it’s a lot of fun so far. The premise is that the people of a fantasy land are being forced to put on ‘adventure holidays’ for tourists and they’re tired of playing evil wizards and throwing giant battles and so on. Also been reading more stories out of Analog, including one that seems oddly familiar, “Sadness” by Timons Esaias. And I’ve been listening to some Spiderwick Chronicles I borrowed from the library, and the new Dresden Files book from Audible!

What I’m writing:

Finished revising ‘Gotta Have That Look’ for the Young Gunns workshop, and since then I haven’t been writing anything of my own, just trying to get as many of my critiques done as I can before I leave on Sunday.

What inspires me right now:

All of the great stuff I’ve been reading and critiquing, looking forward to the Storywonk ‘Cabin in the Woods’ commentary as soon as I’ve got some time to breathe, and… Kansas!

What else I’ve been up to:

Packing, shopping, trying to organize an expense tracking system. I finally got around to buying the soundtrack for “Roar of the Greasepaint Smell of the Crowd” off iTunes. When I was in middle school, the drama department made it the school play, and my Dad actually found the vinyl album and I listened to it before auditioning, but I didn’t get in. (It’s kinduv a sucky play to put on in school, since there are only a handful of actors on stage.) But when I was converting favorites from the vinyl collection to MP3, we couldn’t find that record.

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

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Weekend Writing Warriors – The Gnomes are Missing 1

May 25, 2014

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

I’ve decided to switch to something new and share snippets that I wrote during April for Camp Nanowrimo, from the first draft of “The Gnomes are Missing.” I hope you enjoy them. Kinwer and his pixie friend Trish have just reached the entrance to the dwarf Clanhold..

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The dwarf guard with the hammer dropped it to his side, but the other one wrinkled up his bushy eyebrows and glared at them both ferociously. “You’re a fairy, ain’t ya, little thing?”

“I’m a pixie, thank you very much!”

“So what are a pixie and a man-child doing up in these mountains?” he asked, and Trish hesitated. “You’ve come to ask some boon of the Clan King, haven’t you?”

“Well. . .” Trish hesitated. “We have news for the Clan King, regarding the perfidies of goblins.”

“And you want him to do something about them?” Hammer pushed, stepping forward.

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


What’s Up Wednesday? The week we don’t talk about the weather

May 21, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! It’s been a while since I joined in, went on WUW hiatus for the A-Z challenge, but it’s great to be back.

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Finished “Discworld: Witches Abroad,” loved the ending. can’t quite figure out why they’d put a sample chapter from “Night Watch” at the end, considering that that’s 15 books further on in the series, but oh well. Also finished listening to ‘Neuromancer’ and borrowed some Spiderwick Chronicles audio from the library, and I’m back to reading stories from Asimov’s magazine on my Nexus.

What I’m writing:

Finished revising ‘Time Bubble Blues’ for the Young Gunns workshop, and I have a few extra days before the deadline (I’d mixed up the date in my head,) so I’m putting those to work revising ‘Gotta Have That Look.’

What inspires me right now:

Young Gunns is only a week and a half away! I’ve also been loving catching up on a little ‘Revenge’ on TV, and expanding my Monastery playlist.

What else I’ve been up to:

Dealing with a headache on Sunday, which ate up some of the revision time I’d been hoping for. Shopping and some other preparations to leave the country in June. Trying to figure out how much a Samsung Chromebook and an Alphasmart Dana can talk to each other without a Windows machine interpreting in between. (Answer: not perfectly, but not too badly either.)

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


Weekend Writing Warriors – The Rose-Spar Ladies 9

May 18, 2014

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

This week, I’m sharing eight more sentences from my funny fantasy adventure, “The Rose-Spar Ladies.” I’m skipping ahead a little: Cromeve and two of his old comrades from adventuring days are heading off to burgle the old man’s house and get back the Rose-Spar Lady statue that Cromeve sold to him years ago:

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Snippet 1 Snippet 2 Snippet 3 Snippet 4 Snippet 5 Snippet 6 Snippet 7 Snippet 8

Just a few minutes after Vorray had assured them it was only another mile to the old man’s house, there was an unearthly howl that echoed across the road. “A groaning spirit!” Vorray grumbled loudly.

Dennys planted his long staff in the ground. “Groaning spirits are well known to represent bad luck.”

“It wasn’t really a groan; more like a howl,” Cromeve said.

“Well, it could be a howling spirit,” Vorray said. “Are those a thing? I bet they’re bad luck too.”

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


What’s Up Wednesday? Summer’s comin’…

May 14, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! It’s been a while since I joined in, went on WUW hiatus for the A-Z challenge, but it’s great to be back.

TreeWhat I’m reading:

I finally got “Discworld: Witches Abroad” from the library, and I’m loving it! (It took a few weeks for them to get the hold ready, with glitches on the website catalog and a copy gone missing at the Central Library.) The best part, so far, is how Pratchett is not just ‘playing’ with fairy tale tropes, but weaving the very fact that they’re tropes into the overarching plot and the Big Bad’s magic. (Short version, the stories have power to enact themselves, and she’s guiding them to ensure an ending where she rules the country.)

Also: Still listening to ‘Neuromancer’, getting to the end and loving the ride even though I feel like I’m not following 100% of what’s going on. Finished “The Handmaid’s Tale” (loved the ending at Denay, Nunavut) and read more stories from Daily Science Fiction.

What I’m writing:

More revising, especially on Time Bubble Blues, where the bones of the new draft are finished and I’m working on polishing up scenes. Due date for getting my stories sent off to my Young Gunns classmates is coming up soon!

What inspires me right now:

Vampire Diaries, hanging out with fellow writers online (like at the Odyssey Salon, come check it out!) and the long weekend coming up! Three days without work to finish revising my stories… 😉

What else I’ve been up to:

Got the air conditioner ready for summer, just picked up new toner for the printer, which is very important considering all the printing out I’ll need to do. Finished my round 1 of novel excerpt critiques for TNEO, really excited about that. Still playing lots of Angry Birds…

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


Weekend Writing Warriors – The Rose-Spar Ladies 8

May 11, 2014

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

This week, I’m sharing eight more sentences from my funny fantasy adventure, “The Rose-Spar Ladies.” So far, Cromeve has ruined one of the priceless carved ‘Lady’ statues, which he gave to his wife as a present. Then he went to visit an old friend…

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“But that does leave one member of our band, and he’s just down the road half a mile.”

“Come on, if you think we need a conjurer… surely we could find a better one now.”

“Certainly we could.” Vorray stirred the contents of his pot, and a savory smell tickled Cromeve’s nose for a moment. “How much would you be wanting to pay a better conjurer, and how long do you want to look for him?”

“Okay, so forget other conjurers. Are we actually better off with him than without him? This is the man who could never come up with a good spell at the right moment in all the years I travelled with him.”

“Well, he’s gotten better since then.”

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


The Veronica Mars post. (Spoilers)

May 10, 2014

Storywonk Sunday talked a lot about the Veronica Mars movie on this week’s episode, and when I checked my archives for the last week of March, I was surprised to find out that I actually hadn’t talked much about the movie, just gave it a brief shout-out in a ‘What’s up Wednesday’ post. So here is where I ramble at length about the film. As stated in the title, beware the spoilers.

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What’s Up Wednesday? Mayday is behind us

May 7, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! It’s been a while since I joined in, went on WUW hiatus for the A-Z challenge, but it’s great to be back.

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Short stories from F&SF, Strange Horizons, and Daily Science Fiction. I’ve also been loving listening to ‘Neuromancer’ — thank you Hamilton Public Library for making it available as a digital audio download! And speaking of the library, I just found out that “Witches Abroad” is finally ready for pickup, after weeks of waiting on the hold. (Apparently they lost one copy of the book at the central branch, but the other got returned from a borrower in Dundas.)

I’ve also been listening to “The Handmaid’s Tale” here and there, nearly finished and I love how the narrator gets sidetracked picking at her own language, trying to understand how the roots of idioms affect how people use them. And still squeezing in some Escape Pod stories; read “A Rose for Ecclesiastes” the first time on podcast and loved it!

What I’m writing:

Back to revising, mostly the new outline for “Time Bubble Blues”, though I need to make some changes to “Gotta Have That Look” as well. I’ve also got a lot of critiques to finish for the ‘Never-Ending Odyssey’ workshop.

What inspires me right now:

Having time to write on the bus, and the sunny warm weather. Still loving the Chromebook, which is good. Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, which I’ve been marathoning on this past week and I’m up to the crossover storyline with the Captain America movie! Hmm… can I call my Angry Birds inspiring too? 😉

What else I’ve been up to:

Work, making time to be with family, trying to spring-clean the kitchen, particularly so that the air conditioner guy has room to work there. Booked my flight to Kansas and back for the Young Gunns workshop in June!

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


Weekend Writing Warriors – The Rose-Spar Ladies 7

May 4, 2014

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

This week, I’m sharing eight more sentences from my funny fantasy adventure, “The Rose-Spar Ladies.” So far, Cromeve has ruined one of the priceless carved ‘Lady’ statues, which he gave to his wife as a present. Then he went to visit an old friend…

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Snippet 1 Snippet 2 Snippet 3 Snippet 4 Snippet 5 Snippet 6

“Just the two of us?” Vorray asked.

“Any idea where the Ranger got to?”

“Oh, they buried him out near Blueing Lake.”

“He’s dead?” Cromeve blurted out. “I suppose if he weren’t before he were buried, he would be soon after.”

“Killed by a pig.”

“What, like a wild boar?”

“Farm sow.”

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


I crashed on Piggy Island…

May 3, 2014

So, friends and followers, you may ask what I’ve been up to since the A to Z challenge and Camp Nanowrimo wrapped up this year.

The plan was to dive into critiques for the TNEO workshop and short story revisions.

Instead, I’ve been spending a lot of time gaming on my iPhone. 😉

Back in March, I downloaded Angry Birds Epic. It’s currently in an iOS soft launch for the Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand App Stores only, so you might not be able to get it on your own mobile device until the wider release later this year.

But I’ve been having a lot of fun with it, and losing a lot of time to it. Instead of the usual Angry Birds slingshot game format, this is a turn-based adventure game. You start as the Red bird, a level 1 warrior, in the bird’s nest on South Beach, as the pigs have carried off all his friends and their eggs. Gradually you explore the map, which is full of locations where you can fight pigs – generally referred to as ‘dungeons’ even though they’re not underground.

During the first fights, you have only a few choices each turn – attack a pig, (by dragging your finger from Red to the pig you want to attack,) or defend (by tapping on Red.) Each pig gets their own chance every turn, either to attack you or maybe use a special power.

During the fight, a chili icon at the bottom of the screen gradually fills up with red light until it’s full to bursting, letting out steam. Then you can use the chili with Red during his turn, unleashing a super-power attack on the toughest pig left standing.

As you proceed through the map, you can rescue the other birds, who join the group with their own special skills; Chuck the yellow bird is a sorcerer, Matilda the white bird a cleric, Bomb the black bird a pirate, the three inseperable Blue birds are thieves. Once you have more than three birds in the party, you have to pick which three go into any particular fight.

There’s a lot more going on in the game; tracking resources, weapons and other gear, treasure, wave battles and so on, but I think this gives you an idea of why it’s kinduv compelling. Hopefully while the phone is charging, I can actually get some real work done this afternoon!


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