What’s Up Wednesday? Thriller, baby!

September 24, 2014

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

What I’m WUWMaple65%2reading:

“Esrever Doom” from the Xanth series, Dune on Audible, Crossed Genres stories, and podcasts like Toasted Cake! Oh, and some graphic novels like “Illyria Haunted” and “Lost at Sea.”

What I’m writing:

Well, I finished the Gotta Have That Look ‘Hot Mess draft’, and it should be going out to critters sometime tonight. Now I’m hoping to get a revision outline for “Children” finished this week. I’ve been going over my TNEO feedback and a lot of things have been starting to fit together, especially the idea of writing it as a sci-fi thriller, bringing in the notion of a conspiracy on board the starship to cover up a lot of stupid decisions that have been made in the past…

What works for me:

The idea of writing a revision outline, whether it be through the Monastery/Shrine or some other way. Since I’ve been through the Monastery once with “Children”, I’m wondering about trying to do the thriller revision outline a different way, possibly a modified snowflake technique or something like that.

What else I’ve been up to:

Enjoying the fall weather, watching Doctor Who and the new Big Bang Theory episodes, playing around with photo editors on the android tablet. My new laptop has passed its two-week trial period and been adorned with the requisite Nanowrimo stickers!

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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? Call me a Shriner

September 17, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! Looks like there’s a header tweak in WUW-land this week. Inspiration is out and perspiration is in! 😉

What I’m WUWMaple65%2reading:

The second Richard Kadrey Sandman Slim book, “Kill the Dead.” I’ve also started reading some new short stories from Beneath Ceaseless Skies and an old Crossed Genres collection. And on Audible, I’m nearly at the end of “Annals of the Heechee”

What I’m writing:

Gotta Have That Look! I did my Short Story Shrine for the new revision on Saturday, and I’ve nearly finished writing my ‘hot mess draft.’ 🙂 The Shrine outline was different enough that it’s pretty much a page one rewrite (again,) but I’ve got a good sense of the characters that is helping me hit the ground running, even if their circumstances have changed.

What works for me:

Still working on the bus; I’ve brought the Alphasmart to work yesterday and today, and got quite a lot of words done on it. Also, the Shine process is something that really works well for trying to plan a big revision; setting aside all of the critiques and just finding the true story in my heart, writing that down.

What else I’ve been up to:

Not that much, it’s been a pretty quiet week. Dropped by my Mom’s place to help her out with her new iPad. Made it out to a write-in on the Pier Sunday afternoon. Played around with my music rating stuff and put the new refurb laptop through its paces. It’s looking pretty reliable so far. Oh, and I’ve been watching “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finally!

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


IWSG: My Race Score Sucks

September 4, 2014

Well, it’s time for Insecure Writers’ Support Group again!

I said, a little earlier this year, that I would submit lots of writing and my ‘race score’ would soar to incredible heights. If you haven’t heard of it, the race score is basically just one for each story you have out at a market, and it’s one of a few different ways to ‘gamify’ the submissions grind. There are a few other rules; I think simultaneous subs, if you do them, don’t count for extra race points, and longer things like novel partials and full novel manuscripts (out at an agent or directly to a publisher) count for multiple points.

Just at the moment, my race score is 1, thanks to ‘Return to Civilization’, which has been in the Analog slushpile since January now. The other two stories I’ve submitted over the past year, (including “Love is a Masterpiece” that got an Honorable Mention with Writers of the Future) are in this weird limbo hold where I don’t know where to submit them now.

I even had a two-step plan for how to bring my race score back up, but both steps are lagging. I was going to fast-track revisions on “TimeBubble Blues” and “Gotta Have That Look” so I could start sending them out–and I’m still not feeling confident in the revisions. And I was going to start scouting out new markets that I could submit to.

I’m not even sure why the scouting part is something I’m hitting so much resistance on. I love reading genre short stories. I really like finding out new places to read shorts and figuring out what kind of stuff they want most.

At least I think I like it, so why haven’t I been doing any of it lately? 😦


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.


Ready Set Write… just in time for the end?

August 25, 2014

Okay, it’s time for Ready Set Write again. RSWCoffee75I’ve only done this a few times, but apparently it’s time to wrap up for the summer already!

How I did on Last Week’s Goals

Exceeded them! I said I wanted to work through six critiques, and I finished off the entire stack, which I figure was at least eight. And I figured out a bunch of great stuff that will make my story better, once I actually figure out how much I’m ready to change with the next draft.

Summer Recap

Well, I think I’ve done pretty well. I went to two amazing writing workshops this summer, drafted four new short stories, finished two quick revision rounds for “TimeBubble Blues” and got started on some revision for ‘Gotta Have That Look.’

Favorite Line from my WIP

I’m going to pick another line that one of my critique partners from Young Gunns picked out as liking:

“I dunno, Jimmy,” Stephanie said. “I never thought you’d be one of those kids who chose to look like somebody we’ve all seen on the tabloid shows.”

The Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week

Trying to figure out how much I’m willing to change for this revision. I’ve got lots of great ideas, involving big changes to the plot and some of the characters. Not sure yet how they’ll all fit together, or if they all will.

Something I love about my WIP

The premise, with teenagers getting genetic therapy injections to look like anybody they want. 🙂

Okay, I guess that’s it for me. Click here if you want to join in, or check out other writers doing Ready Set Write!


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.


Ready Set Write, my week 2.

August 18, 2014

Okay, it’s time for Ready Set Write again. Let’s go RSWCoffee75‘write’ to the headings…

How I did on Last Week’s Goals

I finished my draft! And – well, I broke ground on revising ‘Gotta Have That Look’ based on the feedback I got at the Young Gunns workshop earlier this summer. That’s not much, but it is ‘measurable progress.’ 🙂

My Goals for This Week

Work through six more ‘Gotta Have That Look’ completed critiques from Kansas.

Favorite Line from my WIP

From ‘Gotta Have That Look.’ This was a line Jean liked enough that he wants to make it the opening line of the story somehow:

“It’s always hard to recognize people after a long weekend,” Bryan said.

The Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week

Hmm, not sure what to say here. Making time to write? Getting myself excited about revision?

Something I love about my WIP

The secondary characters, who are Jimmy’s best friend and his new girlfriend Stephanie.

Okay, I guess that’s it for me. Click here if you want to join in, or check out other writers doing Ready Set Write!


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.


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.


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.


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