What’s Up Wednesday? Revenge of the Angry Birds

October 23, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! Of course, I try to post on Wednesdays, but apparently I was so busy with other things that I forgot to finish the draft yesterday, or sign up to the linky list. *Headsmack*

What I’m WUWMaple65%2reading:
I finished Xanth ‘Board Stiff’, and the four stories I hadn’t already read out of Larry Niven’s “Neutron Star” collection. (The four I’d already found were the ones featuring Beowulf Shaeffer.) After floundering for something new to read, I tracked down my paperback copy of Jim Butcher’s “Furies of Calderon”, and I’m loving it so far!

What I’m writing:
I finished my quick revision of “Return to Civilization” and sent it off to critters for some feedback. Still plot bunny ranching for Nanowrimo–the “Sufficiently Advanced Magic” class has gotten into structure now, and somewhat to my surprise both books I’m working on fit pretty well into a three-act outline as far as I can see.

What works for me:
Working on the bus means even when the bridge is up, that’s just more time to work on your outlining homework! 😉

What else I’ve been up to:
Well, struggling to keep Angry Birds games from taking over too much of my free time. First, I got sucked into “Angry Birds Transformers” on my iPhone, which is this crazy side-shooter. Your bird-Autobot (or pig-Decepticon) gets dropped into the level by a shuttle that turns into a train car, and you have to shoot down pigs and automated guns  before they wear your armor away, shoot at high-tech buildings to get Energon cubes (which immediately turns the buildings rustic,) and use your limited time in vehicle mode to avoid toppling statues. There are rockets that turn you into a helpless bouncing washing machine if they hit you for some reason. 😉

And Angry Birds Epic just launched a new crossover invasion tournament with another game, so I’ve been sending my bird paladins, druids, and wizards up against dragons and cartoon blobs. Let’s see, what about non-gaming activities? Got started watching Leverage, on the suggestion of some TNEO friends who thought it could help me with ‘Never Found’, loving it so far. And getting ready for Nano! The Hamilton Kickoff party is this weekend, and so Elizabeth Twist and I spent a few hours on Sunday collating hipster PDAs and stuffing gift bags.

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? The NanoLaunch!

October 15, 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:
I’ve nearly finished the latest Xanth, ‘Board Stiff’ from the library’s ebooks department. It’s been a fun romp so far, especially since Com-Pewter finally joined the quest as one of the good guys, wandering around in an android body. I’ve also caught up on a few Toasted Cake and PodCastle episodes, and started reading a Doctor Who graphic novel I picked up years ago at a convention.

What I’m writing:
Well, I started the rewrite for “Return to Civilization” at the Sunday write-in, and I’ve been worldbuilding and character sketching for crazy on my two Nanowrimo plot bunnies (plot bunny ranching?) With big props to the Storywonk “Sufficiently Advanced Magic” class, which has been a very fun way to get ready.

What works for me:
Umm… I’m not quite sure this week, it’s been sortuv time for kissing frogs, as it were. I actually got a bunch of character sketching done in front of the TV last night, which doesn’t always work. Some of the time, I was catching up on “Castle” and “The Big Bang Theory”, but at other points I’d turned the TV to music or just off while I worked on chasing down a particular thought. And that’s kinda cool, that I can make the writing the priority and not the television. 🙂

What else I’ve been up to:
Well, I got up to see the family for Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, which was great. Played in the Angry Birds Epic “For the Pirate King” invasion event, made it into the 3rd place spot of whatever and scored some decent prize points. And the Nanowrimo site has relaunched, so I’ve been busy exploring the new forums and organizing spotlight interviews.

And speaking of what I’ve been reading, I updated my reading lists for the year over at Stringing Words, and it looks like I’ve read 336 short stories and 62 novels already this year!

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


What’s Up Wednesday? October already…

October 8, 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:

More Xanth; I finished “Esrever Doom” and started “Board Stiff”, which the library had as an ebook. Also plowed through Larry Niven’s “The Magic Goes Away” in a few days, and read a bunch of stories from Crossed Genres, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Nightmare.

What I’m writing:

I’ve started a new round of revisions on my funny sci-fi story, “Return to Civilization”, based on feedback I got at Young Gunns. I’ve also dived into doing more prep for my 2 Nanowrimo ideas, and I’ve been doing a fair bit of critiquing.

What works for me:

My new living room table workstation! This is actually based on a setup I had a while ago – my black wooden IKEA chair is set against the broad side of the table I got from my parents, opposite the comfy armchair which faces the television. There’s lots of good lighting in that area, and I have the new refurb Dell laptop set up there, and it’s been a great place to get some work done, including critiquing and getting into revisions.

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What else I’ve been up to:

Getting into the new season of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”, loading dual-boot Xubuntu onto my red netbook, and sorting out Thanksgiving dinner plans with the family! (Canadian Thanksgiving is this coming Monday, in case you didn’t know that.)

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? 😦


Race score down one (for now,) Rejections count up one

January 17, 2014

Yesterday I got an apologetic form-letter rejection from Sheila Williams at Asimov’s, passing on ‘Return to Civilization.’ I think this is only the second rejection I’ve received since getting back from Odyssey, so I need to kick the submissions up as much as I can.

First step would be sending Return to Civ out again somewhere else. I’m thinking I could try Analog but I’m not entirely sure. I’ll try to get it submitted before the weekend is out. That’ll bring my race score up to three, and then I can see what I can do about getting ‘Gotta Have that Look’ or “Orpheus and the Cameraman” whipped into shape to submit too.


Weekend Writing Warriors – Return to Civilization 3

December 1, 2013

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Continuing with snippets from my science fiction story ‘Return to Civilization.’ Andy is a space prospector who’s just returned home with the co-ordinates of a ‘jackpot’ planet.

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Snippet 1 Snippet 2

As he approached Check-in, the communicator sprang to life again. “Unidentified vessel, match our course at a distance between 100 meters and 5 kilometres. Do you understand, and will you comply?”

“Yes, this is the Yukon Stranger, acknowledging receipt and I will comply. Hey, is Rebecca Stern still working there?” Becky’s name brought back memories of warm nights and cold days; she’d asked him to stay and move in with her, but he couldn’t resist the temptation to go prospecting again, looking for his big score. . .

“Query not recognized. Term ‘Rebecca Stern’ unknown.”

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


Weekend Writing Warriors – Return to Civilization 2

November 24, 2013

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Continuing with snippets from my science fiction story ‘Return to Civilization.’ Andy is a space prospector who’s just returned home with the co-ordinates of a ‘jackpot’ planet.

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Snippet 1

“Greetings, outgoing vessel. This is the Yukon Stranger, incoming. I hope your check-out wasn’t stressful.”

There was a long pause, and Andy wondered if anybody was listening. Then a gruff answer came. “Intraship messaging within the border zone for non-emergency calls is a clear violation of protocol, Yukon Stranger.”

“Sorry. Last time I checked out, it wasn’t against the rules to message an outgoing ship, inquire about their destination and wish them good luck.” But that had been a long time ago.

“Understood, Yukon Stranger.”

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


Weekend Writing Warriors – Return to Civilization 1

November 17, 2013

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

I’m going to start snippets from a new story this week, one that I just submitted to a magazine a few weeks ago. These eight sentences are from the start, and I don’t think they need any set-up. (I hope.)

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Andy pressed the red button and the stars popped back into existence around his ship, with Sol visible as a distant yellow marble. It had taken him twelve years of solitary wandering, but he’d found a jackpot: a beautiful planet perfect for human settlement, already growing great food, with uranium and silver deposits ready to mine. The bounty would be enough to set him up for life on any planet he liked. He might even go back to Jackpot once it was through its pioneer years–even if they wouldn’t let him call it Jackpot.

First things first; he had to stay awake through check-in. The radar display on the flight console showed two blips. One was drifting near the edge of the display; the other was quite a bit closer, accelerating vaguely in his direction.

He turned the radio on.

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


What’s up Wednesday: Off and Nano-ing

November 6, 2013

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

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Got really into ‘Jumper Cable’ while I was at the convention this weekend, and I finished it yesterday. Also finished the first installment of ‘Lockstep’ from this issue of Analog magazine, and listening to ‘The Ringworld Throne’ on Audible.

What I’m writing:

Nanowrimo writing has begun! I finished off the incomplete draft of “The Witches of Arion” in the first few days, and I’ve started my sample chapters for “Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale.” The plot is very loose, but I’m catching hints of magic!

What inspires me right now:

Nanowrimo energy, my birthday coming up on the calendar, and all the fun I had geeking out with Doctor Who fans at Reversed Polarity.

What else I’ve been up to:

Well, I finished my revisions on ‘Return to Civilization’ and sent it off to Asimov’s, so fingers crossed.

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


What’s up Wednesday: Nano’s Eve

October 30, 2013

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

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Finished ‘Engaging the Enemy’, still listing to audio-books for “Heechee Rendezvous” and “The Ringworld Throne.” Read a little more of ‘Jumper Cable’ in the Kindle app on my iPhone, and gone back to reading some magazine stories; I finally finished off the October/November issue of Asimov’s magazine, and just this afternoon I started a fun serial from the latest issue of Analog: “Lockstep!”

What I’m writing:

Well, I’m trying to finish one more round of revision on “Return to Civilization”; the critters.org feedback has been very encouraging, so hopefully I’ll be able to submit it somewhere tomorrow evening! I’ve also done some more discovery work on my new Nano idea, which I’ve tentatively named “Measuring alien love on a kitchen scale” 🙂

What inspires me right now:

Nanowrimo is only days away! It looks like we’re going to have a crapload of local write-ins this year.

Also the heroic Agents of SHIELD; very inspiring!

What else I’ve been up to:

Got my Hipster PDAs put together in time for the Wrimo Kick-off party, and getting ready for a Doctor Who convention that was inconveniently scheduled for the first three days of Nanowrimo. Still trying to keep up with Team Ambitious critiques; this round I only have one story to critique, so that’s a bit of a relief.

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


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