A disappointment and some new plans

March 24, 2014

Just heard back from Kij Johnson about her CSSF workshop – once again, I didn’t make it in. I’m disappointed, but not too badly. There’s lots of other stuff going on in my writing life, and ‘Kitchen Scale’ is no longer looking so shiny somehow.

I’ve sent a new sample story over to Chris McKitterick, to throw my hat into the ring for his CSSF workshop; that’s the two week short story critiquing program I attended in the summer of 2011 and 2012. I’ve been working on my enrollment form for TNEO 2014, where I think I’ll go in the novel group and workshop “Won’t Somebody Think of the Children.”

I’ve also committed to finishing “The Gnomes are Missing” for Camp Nano in April! This was the novel project that I pitched to Kij for the workshop last summer, and I’m really excited about getting back to it.

Let’s see, what else? I got a cool idea while walking to the bus stop this afternoon; guidance counselors. Like really freaky good ones who listen to anything you can come up with about what sort of life you want and come up with the perfect plan for what you should do to get that kind of life. Not a perfect plan perhaps, but much better than anything you could do for yourself.

Except no plan can ever prepare you for the choices you’ll have to make, or for the way life changes your priorities. And the guidance counselors are free until you’re 18 or 19–after that, it gets more expensive. (And not necessarily in terms of money.) 🙂 It’s just a novum so far, not sure what the characters or the plot will be, but I think it could be a really fun one.

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What’s Up Wednesday, weary of winter…

February 19, 2014

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

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Still listening to great stories from Escape Artists and a couple of Audible books, including ‘Excession’ from the Culture series. In print, I’ve been reading more of “That Touch of Magic” by Lucy March, “Knot Gneiss” by Piers Anthony, and “Secret Circle: The Captive” by LJ Smith.

What I’m writing:

Well, I did some last-minute revisions to my Kitchen Scale stuff and sent it off to apply to Kij Johnson’s novel workshop, and I wrote a 5000+ word fantasy/comedy/heist story for the Codex ‘Mega Weekend Warrior’ contest over the weekend. Now I think I’m going to focus on critiquing other people’s writing for a little.

What inspires me right now:

Mary Chapin Carpenter lyrics! Women destroying all kinds of genres. 😉 Jesse Tyler Ferguson — I’ve been watching both ‘Modern Family’ and ‘The Class’, and it’s been cool comparing his performances in two very different comedic roles over nearly eight years.

What else I’ve been up to:

Went to a write-in over the weekend with some local writers. Tried to get a family gathering organized for Family Day here in Ontario, but it didn’t come through, so I ended up working from home for a good chunk of the holiday, so I can get the time back later. Getting ready to move the day job to a new office. Riding the bus in to work as much as I can, so that somebody else has to deal with the winter driving.

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


What’s Up Wednesday: Umm…

February 12, 2014

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

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Still listening to plenty of great podcasts from Escape Artists, plus ‘Sandman Slim’ and ‘Excession’ from the Culture series. On the e-reader I’ve been reading the new Lucy March fantasy, ‘That Touch of Magic’, and short mysteries from “The Return of Sherlock Holmes”

What I’m writing:

Completed another flash fiction for the Weekend Warrior contest on Codex. Making some progress on the ‘Kitchen Scale’ stuff, both on the synopsis and my sample pages. Not sure if I’ll make my original goal of applying to Kij Johnson’s workshop by the 13th, but there should still be room if I take a few extra days.

What inspires me right now:

Old sitcoms like The Class, Married with Children and Malcolm in the Middle. Hanging out with awesome writers on Codex, and figuring out that I’ve met some of them in person at Young Gunns. The new souper-seekrit Team Ambitious IRC room…

What else I’ve been up to:

Avoiding the winter weather when I can and stressing myself out when I can’t, sigh. Hanging out with family a little. Playing around with programming projects, like adding song sorting to my Android music rater.

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 10

February 9, 2014

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

This week, I’m continuing with the sample chapters of my unfinished Nano. Thanks to everybody for your feedback on the snippets I’ve shared so far, I’m going to be working to revise that scene this week as my sample pages for Kij Johnson’s novel workshop.

This time, I’m skipping ahead, but it’s still Vanessa and Gordon talking about their past:

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“Why did you come to Balance? I mean, you said that you were here when this was a growing ghost town.” I tried to think of what the community must have been like then–probably at least a third of the Libran construction had been finished, if not more, but without enough Earthlings to fill more than a few percent of that. Had they clustered in the buildings near the eight-way, to start with, looking for the security of fellow Earthlings against the oppressiveness of all those empty, alien-made buildings in the images of old Earth?

“Probably a lot of the same reasons as you. I thought there were opportunities here, to build a career and make plenty of money. I’ve got family connections in the hotel and hospitality business, like you do in restauranteering. I’ve turned my own hotel into a stable money-maker, and invested some of the profits into other deals; like this building for you.”

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


What’s Up Wednesday, blizzard edition!

February 5, 2014

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

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

I finished ‘Terra’ yesterday, loved the ending, it’s a great book. I’ve also started reading stories from Strange Horizons, and getting back into the Sherlock Holmes stories, and continuing to listen to Escape Pod and PodCastle. ‘Vestigial Girl’ was awesome!

What I’m writing:

Well, let’s see. Wrote a flash fiction for the Weekend Warrior contest on Codex. Was pretty pleased with it, until I read some of the other entrants from my division! Also been working on the Kitchen Scale stuff, and hit one of those radical ‘kill your babies’ moments… I’m not sure I can get the alien love triangle aspect to fit, so maybe it has to go and turn the book into more of a buddy comedy.

We did a little writing exercise at the Hamilton Writers meeting on Sunday. The idea was to each write something from our own prompt sentence leading up to the next person’s prompt, so that it might fit into a whole narrative. Of course the transitions were hilarious, because you can’t tell what the next person is going to do with that prompt. I had a lot of fun with mine though, starting with a domestic argument and ending up with a woman who’s stepped through a closet doorway into the past on some important mission!

What inspires me right now:

The Codex Weekend Warriors, definitely. Old musicals like “The Roar of the Greasepaint.” Community! (I just loved the floor-is-lava game and the bulletin board episode.)

What else I’ve been up to:

Not too much, just dealing with the winter weather; except on days like today when I can stay inside and avoid it. Met up with my mom over the weekend, that was fun, and went to two small coffeeshop writer events on Sunday. Oh, and the library writer’s workshop last week went pretty well, I met up with Trish and Elizabeth from the Nanowrimo crew and had fun with the writing exercises.

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 9

February 2, 2014

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 he’s been telling them a bit of his family history…

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“Is that enough about my parents for now?”

Doomah barked quietly, (was that how Librans laughed?) and Vanessa nodded. “Certainly enough, especially if you’re talked out.”

“How did the two of you meet?”

“I was working at town hall,” Vanessa said, “and he was a protester, occupying the town hall as part of a stunt that was designed to get us to all leave the planet or something.”

My mouth dropped open for a second. “Really?”

“I was young and foolish,” Doomah explained, “afraid of what would become of our beloved planet if we started inviting lawless aliens to live among us.”

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


What’s Up Wednesday, off the waiting list!

January 29, 2014

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

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Let’s see. Still working away at my Kindle magazines, but at least I’m nearly caught up on short stories. I’ve decided to start with the shorts, (and the poetry,) then go back and try to be more selective with the novellas and novelettes, trying to figure out which are worth my time to read.

I’ve also started “Terra” by Mitch Benn, which Elizabeth was keen to loan out to somebody at the Evensies write-in, and I can see why. It’s a cool story with a British sense of humour, about an alien scientist who ends up adopting an Earthling girl and raising her on his home planet, and it’s already making me think about my ‘Kitchen Scale’ aliens in new ways. I’ve also started “Sandman Slim” on audible, and begun listening to the Escape artists podcasts.

What I’m writing:

Read the rest of this entry »


Weekend Writing Warriors – Measuring Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale 8

January 26, 2014

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 he’s telling them a bit of his family history…

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“I went to a chef’s college in Paris once I graduated from secondary school,” I continued. “That’s where I met Tommy; he was one year ahead of me. I studied there for two years, and there was a charity cook-off the summer after that. Tommy and I both participated. He got runner-up, and I didn’t place nearly as well. Mom and I got into a big fight afterwards; she and Dad both came to watch the quarter-finals, but I’d washed out before they arrived. I stormed off to the airport with nothing but a computer tablet and credit chip, took the first flight I could get a seat on, signed up for university without even caring where I’d landed. A few weeks later, some movers showed up with all of my stuff from Paris.”

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


What’s Up Wednesday? The freakin’ Polar Vortex!

January 22, 2014

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

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Well, I just finished the ‘Lockstep’ serial in Analog magazine, loved the ending, but I’ve still got lots of magazine stories to read. Also finished ‘Vampire Diaries: Shadow Souls’ from the library, and been catching up on podcasts, but I just bought me some new books at Audible: The Handmaid’s Tale, Dune, Samdman Slim, and Thuvia Maid of Mars.

What I’m writing:

Finished the draft synopsis of “Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale,” and started getting back to revisions of  “Gotta Have that Look.” Once again having issues trying to figure out how much critique feedback to take and what to ignore, sigh.

What inspires me right now:

The Kitchen Scale soundtrack, Castle, Stringing Words, and the new Odfellows newsletter.

What else I’ve been up to:

Not very much. We drove around looking at new office locations for my day job team yesterday; looks like we have to be moved by March at the latest. Calling around to family making plans for my sister’s birthday. 🙂

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 7

January 19, 2014

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 he’s telling them a bit of his family history…

wewriwa

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“When I was thirteen, I started to get interested in cooking, myself. Mother suggested some good training programs for adolescent chefs… actually no, that’s not right. Mother picked out ONE program and actually enrolled me in it, but my father pulled me out of that one. He said it needed to be my choice, not hers, so then she offered half a dozen alternative courses, and I picked one.”

“I think I’m sensing some mommy issues,” Vanessa said.

“I guess she was used to being in charge, especially when it came to the kitchen. Wyatt was her birth name; did you know that? Dad agreed to change his, when they married, because she was the brand, the star.”

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


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