A special Nanowrimo Spotlight: The Journeyman’s Letter!

November 18, 2015

A surprise change of pace today, friends and followers! Instead of an interview, I wanted to link you to today’s episode of the Parsec-award-winning podcast, “The Journeman Writer.”

Today’s installment is a must-listen for anybody doing Nanowrimo, any writers, probably anybody with creative aspirations at all!

The Journeyman Writer 125: A Letter To You

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Screens off before bedtime!

February 24, 2014

Okay, I hadn’t really heard about melatonin supression before yesterday. The basic idea is that blue-rich light from electronic devices like LCD screens and televisions screws up our brain chemistry if we’re exposed to it a lot late at night, and keeps people from getting a good night’s sleep.

Now, sleep is very important to me. And I’ve been noticing some problems with it lately. So I decided to give this thing a try yesterday. I didn’t muck around with apps to adjust light levels or amber goggles, just set a deadline to turn off all the LCD screen devices, and gave myself a bedtime an hour later.

It was a little odd trying to steer clear of my computers, the television, my smartphones, tablet, etcetera for that hour, but worked out pretty well. I did some cleaning and dishes in the kitchen while listening to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ on an old audiobook player that doesn’t really have enough of a screen to worry about. (It does have blue backlight, actually, but I figured it wasn’t bright enough to make a difference if I wasn’t staring at the readout for the whole hour.) And I enjoyed a nice bedtime snack while listening to some music.

I felt like I got some good sleep, and I’m going to try it again tonight, so I need to wrap-up this post quickly. I think one of the benefits for me may not be about blue light, just that without all my fancy devices, I won’t be so tempted to procrastinate and stay up later than I meant to! 😉


Late IWSG: procrastination and February blahs

February 6, 2014

First, sorry that this is late. I’ve actually been having some issues about juggling ‘What’s up Wednesday’ and the IWSG the past few months, since they both fall on Wednesdays. I don’t want to skip either, but I don’t like blogging twice in the same day or trying to combine two topics in the same post, so… what can ya do?

So, yeah. Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I knew what I had to focus on this week, and next week. Time’s running out for applying to Kij Johnson’s novel workshop, I got some great feedback on my synopsis from Team Ambitious, so… I mucked around, watched television, and didn’t really tackle it until this evening.

I’m not quite sure why I couldn’t rise above procrastination. This winter has been a bit tough on me, energy-wise. I can keep on with the day-to-day, and I’m reading like nobody’s business, but actually getting stuff written has been harder. Also, the feedback that my critiquers sent out was rich enough in detail to be a little overwhelming, and this was the first time in months that we weren’t able to swing a Google Hangout for critiques. So I didn’t have the little ceremony of the virtual critique circle to help me come to terms with the response, just a few files in my email. Maybe it took me this long to come to terms subconsciously with what I absorbed when I skimmed through the files, and that’s something I had to do before I could tackle the work consciously. (Looks back and forth shiftily.) Yeah, that’s exactly what happened.

But at least I’m making progress now.


Procrastinating on getting feedback.

January 10, 2013

I’ve started to realize that I’m procrastinating on on of my January goals – getting feedback on the new draft of “The Storm Mirror.” And I don’t really have the usual excuses of it being too much work and not enough time – yes, I don’t have a lot of time, but one of the Young Guns from the CSSF Short Fiction Writer’s workshops actually replied to an email I sent back in December how I was working on the revision, and said that he’d like to take a look and send me his thoughts. All I need to do is format the story up to SFWA standards and email it off.

But – well, I guess I’m nervous about the response I’d get. I’m very excited about this version of the story. I honestly think it may be one of the finest pieces of writing I’ve done. But the gentleman who has offered to do a critique is a really great writer with an incredible fund of knowledge about speculative fiction of all kinds, and he can be kinduv tough to impress.

I know I should get off my butt, send the piece off – and then take the critique with a few grains of salt when I get it back. But I’m not going to do that tonight. It’s late and I’m tired, after all. 😉


Stringing Words Day 2: Word Game threads

December 9, 2011

Sometimes you just need to relax and have a little bit of fun before going back to writing. That’s what word games are for.

There are two long-running word games on the Stringing Words forum. One is fairly simple, a word association game where you type in the first word that comes to your mind in response to the previous word:

Read the rest of this entry »


How to procrastinate on your Nano – the Lisa Simpson way!

November 24, 2011

So, I was really pleased to come back from San Fran and find a new writing and books-themed Simpsons episode on my DVR – ‘The Book Job.’ While Homer, Bart, and friends collaborate to churn out a soulless best-seller ripoff, Lisa vows that she’s going to write a personal book that readers will connect with. Most of what she does, though, is procrastinate. It’s a pretty good list of ways to not ever get a book written, in fact:

  • Swear to only write 2000 words, then stop ‘to pace yourself.’
  • Don’t write until you have music that inspires you playing.
  • Organize your CD collection.
  • Play online Boggle.
  • Take your laptop to a coffee shop.
  • Set up your Wi-Fi ‘in case you need to do research.’
  • Buy something out of a sense of obligation to the coffee shop.
  • Brag about how much you love being a writer.
  • Build a toy log house out of pencils.
  • Watch kitty videos on Youtube.
  • Build a model cathedral or castle out of pencils.
  • Stare out the window.
  • Rub your finger against the window.
  • Clean the window.
  • Clean the outside of the window with a makeshift platform lowered from the roof.
  • Watch the complete series of ‘Friday night lights’ on DVD.

Happy Thanksgiving to everybody in the USA!


Workshop homework

May 19, 2011

I’ve been putting off my homework for the Storywonk Discovery writing workshop. It’s been that kind of crazy week, especially with CSSF and Dragoncon to plan for.

But the class on Sunday afternoon was really good – the first half was about voice, and the second about characters. There’s a homework assignment for each part.

Voice assignment: take an excerpt from your private writing, to someone who you feel very comfortable expressing yourself with, a situation where you’re not tap-dancing, trying to appear clever, or writing for a public audience. Study that passage for the details of its style; look at the length of the sentences, whether the language is flowery or simple, funny or serious, formal or casual.

Then you try to write a very short story in the same voice and style as that, take a similar excerpt from something that you’ve written before, and compare the two fiction pieces.

Character exercise: Think of a scene for your book in your main character’s POV. Outline it in your head, and start to look at your character’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Then write the scene, highlighting those aspects of his or her character.

So – I’m looking forward to getting into these, but I guess I haven’t taken the time for it. I really should put in a good hour tonight, and maybe post some comments to the class forum if I’m having problems.


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