A delayed drawing and what else I’ve been up to lately…

September 13, 2013

Hello again, dear friends and followers. Sorry I haven’t been updating more often, but I guess I got out of the habit when I was off at Odyssey.

So, first off, I wanted to share another ‘Right side of the brain’ drawing tonight. I did this at the end of August, another perspective exercise, featuring the corner of a room:

Drawings 36

I do like the way it came out, though sometimes I worry that I’m not getting too much from these exercises the way I come back to them every few weeks. I need to get started on some more drawing for September, maybe I’ll get some done this weekend.

So, what else have I been up to? Well, reading some cool short stories on my Kindle, (and out of the free copy of Asimov’s Magazine that Sheila Williams gave us when she came to lecture at Odyssey; that was my ‘to read in line’ staple back when I was at Fan Expo.) Also keeping up with Team Ambitious, the Odyssey class of 2013’s online critique circles project. Back when I was in New Hampshire, doing two critiques a day didn’t seem like a lot. Now, with a full-time job, getting two finished in two weeks can loom large.

I’m back to the ‘How to Think Sideways’ course again, working on my Song Rater app for Android, (that’s going pretty well, except that my Singleton appears to be losing data!) still reading slush for James Gunn’s Ad Astra, and I finally mailed off a cheque for my tenant’s insurance. Oh, and I think I’ve managed to fight off an ear canal infection with the help of some over-the-counter meds. Fun stuff. 😉

 

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In which my Kindle goes back to the USA for magazines

August 5, 2013

Not physically. Let’s see… I was at Williams by the Pier in Hamilton with Elizabeth Twist, catching up and doing our Evensies (even Sundays,) write-in thing, and happened to mention my frustration with Amazon.ca and magazines. Elizabeth’s immediate reaction was that I should send out angry customer support emails until they got my Kindle account switched back to amazon.com, as the best part of having the Kindle, in her experience, was for the magazines.

I don’t tend to default to ‘angry’ with my customer support emails, but I sent out a plea for help to Amazon.com right there in the cafe, and also read her the email I’d sent to Amazon.ca last week and their completely unhelpful brush-off form letter.

Somewhat to my surprise, an Amazon customer support person by the name of Naveen replied within four hours, including very helpful instructions on how to navigate the Amazon.ca website to migrate my account back to Amazon.com – thank you very much Naveen! I have brand new issues of Analog and F&SF on my Kindle, and I’ll be starting a subscription to Asimov’s as soon as they get a new issue out. (The issue that’s currently up on Amazon.com is the same one that Sheila was handing out for free back at Odyssey, so I thought I could read that in print and wait a month.)

Thank you very much for pushing me to try again Elizabeth!


Why can’t Amazon Canada sell me Kindle magazines?

August 1, 2013

So… I think it was back in March or April that I finally clicked on the prompt in Amazon Kindle management that had been nagging at me to flip my Kindle account over to Amazon Canada. I think I made the final decision because I could save a few bucks on a Jim Butcher book I wanted to buy, “Ghost Story.” There was a notification saying that I’d lose any magazine subscriptions, but I didn’t really worry about that; I’d been getting the F&SF free digest for about a year, enjoying the free short story every two months, but I was a little down on short stories just at that point anyway.

What a difference a few months make. I came back from Odyssey all fired to catch up on the major genre magazines, and was assuming that I’d be able to load up on Kindle subscriptions. Imagine my fury when I found out that not only did I lose the subscriptions I had when I flipped the account, I couldn’t resubscribe to any magazines because Amazon Canada doesn’t do magazines or periodical subscriptions! And there doesn’t appear to be any way to flip my Kindle back to an amazon.com account… at least not without a US based credit card. 😦

Now, things aren’t as bad as they might be. Of the genre magazines that amazon.com sells subscriptions to, several of them both offer their stories free online and sell their own .mobi format subscriptions. A couple, namely Asimov’s and Analog, have other options that I can read on my smartphones or a tablet, if I buy a tablet. Only The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction appears to give me no options to read their stories but amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, and dead trees. Sigh.

I’m left full of questions, especially about the options for Analog/Asimov’s. I’ve tried a free trial of Analog through the ‘Magzter’ iphone app, and it seems to be slightly frustrating because the page layout is fixed, so I have to zoom in on every page, then scroll down each column and then up to the top of the next column–but at least that’s doable. I haven’t been able to find those magazines in the apple Itunes newsstand, or under the Xinio iphone app. And I’m not sure if I should hold back on getting a yearly subscription for an iPhone solution if I might be getting an Android tablet soon, in which case I could go with Google Play Magazines. Then again, Magzter and Xinio probably have Android apps as well.

Anybody have words of wisdom about this stuff?


IWSG: The Insecurity of waiting

March 6, 2013

It’s the first Wednesday in March, so time for the Insecure Writers’ Support Group. If you haven’t come across this before, it’s a regular monthly blogfest where writing bloggers share their insecurities or post something to reassure or inspire others. 🙂

At this point, what’s on my mind more than anything else is waiting. There’s a lot of the waiting game in being a writer, waiting to hear back from others what they think about your work. Waiting to hear from agents, from potential publishers, from magazines, from contest judges, from beta readers and other volunteer critiquers. I’ve sent the revised copy of “Won’t somebody think of the Children” to two dedicated readers from the critters.org critique workshop, and I’m waiting to hear back from both of them, waiting to hear from somebody at nanowrimo.org about a possible manuscript swap.

And more than anything else, I’m waiting to find out if I got into any summer workshops. I got my applications sent to four during February: Clarion at UCSD, Clarion West, Odyssey, and CSSF Novels. I’m probably not going to hear from anybody for another two weeks or so, and suspect that I’ll be waiting on one workshop until mid-April. Sigh.

But I’m doing what you have to do when you’re waiting; I’ve made my peace with the work I put in, that what I sent out was the best I could have done with the tools I had at the time, and I’m focusing on other things. 🙂 Since it’s March, there’s plenty of editing to do!

Are you waiting to hear back from anybody about your writing?


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