Adjusting to Kansas once again.

June 25, 2012

So, I’ve been in Lawrence, Kansas for something like 18 hours now – arrived yesterday afternoon, in an airport shuttle with a very cool driver who’s a Science Fiction fan – we chatted about Doctor Who, Larry Niven, and Heinlein for the whole hour. 🙂 And I’m starting to get acclimatized.

Our housing for this year is definitely not like Templin, third floor – which looked very much the part of an institutional dorm residence – the soft pastel walls, the cheap prefab furniture, the open lounge space in the elevator lobby. This year we have Krehbiel hall to ourselves – the workshoppers and our writer in retreat. And parts of Krehbiel look like a rambling manor home than a dormitory – not the bedrooms themselves, but the downstairs lounge where Short Fiction will be doing our critique circle, and the hallways and stairs, the billiard table room, and a few other places. It’s weird but fun.

I’ve been up to the Kansas Union, and walked downtown a few times, and there’s really more interesting stuff within easy walking distance than last year. I can hardly wait.

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Catching up on my reading today…

June 16, 2012

No, I’m not talking about “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, though I’ve been enjoying reading that. 🙂

More like my assigned reading for the CSSF Short Fiction workshop in Kansas, that I’ll be leaving for in a little over a week. I’ve got 22 short stories now, and 2 that are overdue but should be coming in soon – eight other workshoppers, three stories each. I said that this year, I wanted to have the critiques done for all those stories before I get on the plane. I’m not sure if I’ll manage that, but I’m certainly doing better on the ‘first read through’ stage than I was last year – I was doing first read throughs on the plane, and catching up on them my first few days on the plane.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff in the batch so far, and some stuff that’s just made me go ‘huh?’ at this point. I’ve been noticing quite a few dystopian, totalitarian futures so far, and not very much traditional fantasy aside from mine. I may turn out to be the fantasy guy in the group this time around. (I wasn’t last year, because I didn’t feel comfortable submitting any fantasy.)

I also wrote about 1350 words on ‘Making the Deal’ for Camp Nanowrimo today, putting myself in excellent position to finish that story and begin #7 tomorrow, and I procrastinated some by cooking up beef soup and burning video files onto DVDs.


There’s no place like… Kansas?

May 16, 2011

So I got into the CSSF Short fiction workshop – I’ll be spending two weeks in Lawrence, Kansas this summer! I’m really excited, and you’ll definitely be hearing more from me about this.

In other travel and vacation news, I found a vacancy in an Atlanta hotel for Labor day weekend and registered for DragonCon 2011!

Been running around all evening, need to go to bed soon. Blog more tomorrow.


Short Fiction – The Onus of Grace… plus Crusader Challenge lie!

February 25, 2011

Well, since the Valentine’s SDMB short fiction contest has started, I figured I might as well share the one contest entry story that I’ve written and not yet posted to the blog. This was from September 2010, and it was this idea that I eventually expanded into my Nanowrimo 2010 story.

Oh – and the answer to my Crusader Challenge is at the end of the story. 😉

The onus of Grace

Richard sighed as the Hornet cruised down the road. The sun was setting, and the energy patterns of every person in every car on the freeway seemed to blur and meld until it was a multicolored aurora, like the Northern lights come down from the sky.

For a moment, the vision made it hard for him to concentrate on where he was steering, and then the defense system kicked in and he was just looking at taillights ahead of him and headlights in the oncoming traffic, like any ordinary person would see.

“Is it bad?” Jessie asked him. “I could drive for a few hours.”

“No, it’s fine now,” he assured her. “Just a bit of an overload of aura vision. I’ve turned it off for now.”

“Is it like that for you?” she asked, curiously. “A light switch? Or more like tuning out some distracting piece of music – you still hear it, but it isn’t as bad if you’re not paying attention?”

Read the rest of this entry »


SDMB Holiday Short Fiction Contest

December 25, 2010

Well, Christmas festivities are over. Thanks to my family for the candy and the gift cards.

Time to buckle down on writing/critiquing/editing, and even though I really have enough other things on my list, I’m going to participate in the third Straight Dope Message Board writing contest. I’ve really enjoyed participating in it each time before, and last time I basically got my Nanowrimo idea from the short fiction contest, so that certainly recommends trying again.

A few things about the format are similar – every writer gets the same three prompt words and a photo that they have to include in the finished story, and a time limit. On account of holiday schedules, they’re trying a new wrinkle in which not every participant has to fit into the same writing window – you send an email to a particular mailbox to signal that you’re ready to begin, and get an autoreply with your prompts. You then have two and a half days, (or 60 hours) to complete your entry and email it in.

To take best advantage of my available free time for the holidays, I’ll probably start around 8am tomorrow, so that I’ll have until 8pm on Tuesday, the evening before I go back to work. And I actually have a little secret weapon of a plot notion that I *might* work in, if it looks like it’ll fit with the prompt.

It’s nice to get a chance to go with little unplanned side treks like this in my writing when other commitments allow. The first SDMB contest, I ended up coming up with something that wasn’t exactly fanfic but somewhat close – it was a little spy story that was a spoof of the TV show ‘Chuck’, with Chuck’s character painted as a completely incompetent secret agent, and his long-suffering brother-in-law constantly covering for him. Last time, I ventured a bit further into original territory, coming up with a storyline of an angel on a mission who fell in love with a human girl and ran away with her, which got tweaked somewhat as the basis of “The Angel’s Charlie.”

I can’t wait to see where the paths less traveled take me this time.


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