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.

Grinding through markets

March 1, 2014

First, a minor note: The official NaNoEdMo boards appear to be off-line for 2014. I’m still going to go for the 50 hours challenge, and Elizabeth Twist is apparently joining me. What about you?

Something else I’ve been working on lately is an item I put on my 2014 goals list: “Become familiar with plenty of possible markets.” I figured I needed to get organized for that, so I drew up a plan:

  1. Pick a good market search engine; I went with the Diabolical Plots Grinder because it was free and I’ve heard good things about it.
  2. To start with, I’m working on a simple list of criteria: Markets that take fantasy of about 1600 words, at pro rates. The first two criteria are specifically because of ‘Tough Love’, the first story I started submitting after Odyssey, which I’ve been scrambling to find markets for. (I also wanted to focus on fantasy markets because I know of some good markets like Analog and Asimov’s that will take science fiction but not fantasy.)
  3. Working off the list that the grinder spit out, I visited the website of each and built my own spreadsheet, listing how familiar I feel with the market based on my own reading and secondhand news, if I’ve ever submitted to them before, general notes, and the various options and price structures for reading what they’ve published in the past, if any. A few of the entries on the list are one-time anthologies or magazines that haven’t published an issue yet, so I suppose with those I’d just have to read the submission guidelines and hope.

Having gotten this far, I should be able to dive into the actual reading soon. I’ve been enjoying the stories I’ve been reading out of Strange Horizons, as well as the usual magazines on my Kindle; Asimov’s and Analog had new issues out a week ago, and F&SF for March/April just hit the stands today. And I still have plenty of Escape Pod and PodCastle to catch up on!

Race score down one (for now,) Rejections count up one

January 17, 2014

Yesterday I got an apologetic form-letter rejection from Sheila Williams at Asimov’s, passing on ‘Return to Civilization.’ I think this is only the second rejection I’ve received since getting back from Odyssey, so I need to kick the submissions up as much as I can.

First step would be sending Return to Civ out again somewhere else. I’m thinking I could try Analog but I’m not entirely sure. I’ll try to get it submitted before the weekend is out. That’ll bring my race score up to three, and then I can see what I can do about getting ‘Gotta Have that Look’ or “Orpheus and the Cameraman” whipped into shape to submit too.

What’s Up Wednesday, whistling merrily on by…

January 9, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! This Wednesday’s post was slightly delayed on account of IWSG. 🙂 It’s been a few weeks since I updated WUW, since it was on hiatus for Christmas and New Year’s.

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Just finished another Discworld book from the local library, “Reaper Man”, which I enjoyed a lot. Discworld Death gets some of the best lines:

“There is no hope but Us. There is no mercy but Us. There is no Justice. There is Just Us… But We must care… What can the harvest hope for, if not the care of the Reaper Man?”

I’m also enjoying the first digital audiobook I’ve borrowed from the library, “Shadow Souls” from the Vampire Diaries Return series. I’ve read the penultimate installment of “Lockstep”, and “Life Flight” by Brad Torgenson, both from the March 2014 issue of Analog, and enjoyed them both quite a lot. (Life Flight has one plot hole I noticed, which led me to a somewhat disturbing and thought-provoking fanwank.)

What I’m writing:

Mostly working on a quick revision of “Orpheus and the Cameraman” to submit to critters for feedback. I also need to get working on the full novel synopsis for “Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale.” 🙂

What inspires me right now:

Hmm… definitely not the lovely winter weather at the moment. Mythology, my writer friends, and the character cafe over at nanowrimo.org.

What else I’ve been up to:

A lot of critiquing, catching up on some good tv shows both old and new, and sleeping off a 48-hour cold.

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

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.

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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What’s Up Wednesday: Keep Pushing Further

November 27, 2013

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

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

More great stories from Asimov’s magazine and Analog! I also finished “The Ringworld Throne” as an audiobook; it was really easier to follow that way; I skimmed through it half a dozen times in paperback and never really got a sense of the overall plot.

What I’m writing:

A new short story for Nanowrimo, about teenage soldiers armed with Area 51 tech, space invaders who turn out to be not so alien, and state guard cover-ups! I reached a good point to let ‘Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale’ sit until I can start reviewing what I’ve got, I think. My word count is now over 56k, and I’m hoping to hit 60 by Waffle-palooza Saturday night.

What inspires me right now:

Mostly my fellow wrimos, and my Odyssey friends. On the other hand, I feel like Nano crash will be here very soon.

What else I’ve been up to:

Went out to dinner with the whole family on Saturday, a kind of belated birthday thing for me. Looking at possible keyboards for the tablet, and also maybe lending it to my Mom so that she can see what it’s like reading with a tablet.

Oh, and watching the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special, catching up on Castle, and “How I met your Mother” 🙂

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

What’s Up Wednesday: The last Nano-mile?

November 20, 2013

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

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Great stories from Analog magazine; finished “The Matthews Conundrum,” and read some great novelettes and shorts like “The Chorus Line”, “Redskins of the Badlands”, “Ian,  George, and George” and “Bugs.” Started really getting into “Magic Bites” on audiobook, too!

What I’m writing:

Lots of great Nano words! I’ve finished off “The Aurigae Express”, and I’m back to “Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale”, where the plot is finally heating up with some alien courtroom action; our heroes have found out that their right to own property in their town on the Libran planet of Escaleron may be taken away, along with their homes and the buildings they were using for their businesses.

Oh, and my current word count is better than 43 thousand! Hoping to finish at the Friday write-in.

What inspires me right now:

Still write-ins, and occasional flurries of snow. 😉

What else I’ve been up to:

Not too much, really. Still posting plenty of Nano spotlight interviews here on the blog, of course. Backed up my Nano writing to 44 different places this weekend. Bought a universal remote control that doesn’t actually have a code for the device I want to use it with, sigh.

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

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