What’s Up Wednesday? Off to Fan Expo!

August 27, 2014

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

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Still enjoying Discworld “Lords and Ladies,” Fred Pohl’s “Annals of the Heechee”, and Escape Pod and PodCastle stories. Hmm, am I reading myself into a rut? 😉

What I’m writing:

Well, I’ve finished going through the feedback on ‘Gotta Have That Look,’ and I’ve got lots of ideas for revisions, but they may have to wait a while. Not sure I’ll get much writing done this weekend. 😉

What inspires me right now:

ALS Ice bucket challenge videos, for some reason. I just dig the idea of it as this giant meme spreading around the world, creating viral videos wherever it goes. And listening to podcast stories.

What else I’ve been up to:

Picked up the refurb laptop, spent some time with it over the weekend, and then returned it because the DVD read/write drive didn’t read and didn’t write. 😦

Getting geared up for Fan Expo! I’ll be leaving for Toronto tomorrow afternoon, and a little blue carry-on suitcase is already packed and waiting for me at the office.

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

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What’s Up Wednesday? Two video chats…

August 20, 2014

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

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Well, I finished ‘Luck of the Draw,’ by Piers Anthony, read the last graphic novel in ‘Angel & Faith Season nine’, and started a new Discworld book from the library, “Lords and Ladies.”

I also continued to listen to plenty of Escape Pod and Podcastle stories, started “Annals of the Heechee” on Audible, and I fit some short stories and some of “Command Decision” by Elizabeth Moon in there. Loving the reading this summer!

What I’m writing:

Finished the first draft of the Xeroxxing Xylophone story. Started another round of revisions on ‘Gotta Have That Look’, based on the feedback I got from Young Gunns back in June.

What inspires me right now:

Video chats with other writers! I’ve got two scheduled this evening. First there’s the official Odyssey Salon with Jeanne Cavelos, and then I’m doing a Google Hangouts critique circle with two of my Team Ambitious friends from Odyssey class of 2013. Also – Fan Expo is coming! Really excited about that.

What else I’ve been up to:

Did some portrait sketching stuff on Sunday. I’ll have to get those pages scanned and post them soon. Upgraded my computer at work to Windows 8, and ordered a refurbished Dell laptop from Best Buy.

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


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, 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.


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. 😉

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What I’ve been reading lately, August 2012 edition…

August 3, 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve told you much about my reading, so here are some of the highlights from the last month and a half:

“Guards, Guards” by Terry Pratchett. I’ve been enjoying the Discworld books, and this was one that was specially recommended by Alastair on the Storywonk podcasts. I’m not sure if I found it as tight and well-done as “Mort”, but it was definitely a great outing on the Discworld, and I’m looking forward to reading the further adventures of the Ankh-Morpork Nightwatch. The footnotes were some of the best parts, and I enjoyed trying to figure out what would end up happening with the Quantum Dragon plotline.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. After ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ or so, the Harry Potter books definitely get darker and darker as the series goes on, and there’s definitely an enjoyable side to that trip. Now, I came into ‘Prince’ already spoiled as to one particular detail, so was reading through it wondering just how and when a particular ‘beloved’ character would meet his end. (He actually isn’t one of my favorites from the Potter cast.) But I was taken by surprise with several details – the mystery of who the Prince actually was, though the answer was staring me in the face the whole time. Also the romantic subplot for Harry, which was very well-done and seemed natural for the characters involved.

From the very beginning, the Potter books have set up a paradoxical triangle of trust – Harry never trusted Severus Snape, but he trusted Dumbledore and knew that Dumbledore trusted Snape. This set up the obvious question of whether one or both of Harry or Dumbledore was right in their attitude towards Snape. The end of ‘Half-Blood Prince’ appears to provide a final answer to that question, but I wonder. Few things in Harry’s world are that simple, and I have most of a book left. (At this point, I’m 66 pages into ‘Deathly Hallows.’)

I’ve got quite a few books on the go at the moment, including Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles”, which is the August book for the Stringing Words Book of the Month Club. So far, that’s interesting but curiously retro, and I’m wondering what else can possibly go wrong on planet Mars. I’m also in the middle of:

  • Summer Knight, by Jim Butcher
  • A Little Night Magic, by Lucy March
  • All Together Dead, by Charlaine Harris
  • Pet Peeve, by Piers Anthony

 


When you play this game, you win or you die

May 18, 2012

So – after nearly two months of reading off and on, I finally reached the end of George R.R. Martin’s big fat fantasy novel, “Game of Thrones.” I enjoyed it, though it probably won’t make any best-books lists I may write, and I do plan to read on in the ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ series… but not until I’ve caught up with a few other series, like Harry Potter, Harry Dresden, (huh, how about that!) and Discworld.

A few of the things I particularly liked:

  • The characters are well portrayed and engaging, though, because I was warned about the author’s propensity for gut-wrenching twists, I found that I was avoiding attaching too closely with any one character, for fear of being put through the wringer as they’re tortured or grieving when they’re killed – or both.
  • There’s something very refreshing and fun about a fantasy world where the majority of the characters are – uncooth, vulgar, earthy, and carnal. A lot of the high fantasy I’ve read takes the opposite tack, and it somehow seems more realistic to be in a gritty world where the characters swear freely, at least based on the situation: Lord Ned Stark will go profanity for profanity with his good friend the King, but is always more delicate with his lady wife, Catelyn, and she is lady-like in most situations… unless she really gets pissed off.
  • Some of the surprise twists are pulled off really well, especially when the author takes a situation in a way that is fairly natural based on the characters, but violates the usual tropes of storytelling and good triumphing in the end, so that you’re left reeling and trying to figure out how this defeat will affect the wider-canvas story being told.

Have you read any of ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ or watched the ‘Game of Thrones’ series on television? What do you think? Please, no spoilers!


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