What’s Up–Thursday!

December 5, 2013

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! I’m proudly updating on Thursday this week because I remembered to post for IWSG yesterday. 🙂

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Still great magazine stories. I finished off the December issue of “Asimov’s,” (The January issue is out already,) and read the newest installment of “Lockstep” in Analog magazine. There’s an amazing premise in that book, with hundreds of inhabited planets drifting through the dark reaches between nearby stars, all the inhabitants spending most of the time in cold sleep so that they don’t use too much of the resources that their bots are always gathering; and so that they can effectively travel anywhere in a month, because the people they’re going to meet have spent most of the travel time in cold sleep too. 🙂 And there’s some great character and narrative stuff in there too. I wonder why it was serialized, because it certainly seems strong enough that it could have been marketable as a traditional print novel.

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Nanowrimo 2013 Recap

December 2, 2013

Hi there, friends and followers, it’s me again! I know I’ve been updating you every Wednesday, but still it seems like I haven’t had a chance to just share on this blog since I started the Nano Spotlights. So…

I had such a blast doing nano this year! My region is so awesome, I was running around doing four write-ins most week, having a great time with fellow writers, cheering each other on. We did an Intra-region challenge this year, central Hamilton versus East/South versus West/North. The West/North tribe won by a small margin; I was on the East/South team, which took an early lead and then fell behind badly, but I don’t care, I had fun anyway.

I’d planned to do a ‘Triangle of Rebellion’, finishing two Camp Nano books and starting sample chapters for a third novel manuscript. That took me to 50k, and then in the last week I wrote a short story and started another one, turning my triangle into a very irregular pentagon. Here’s the breakdown of my sixty thousand words and change, by project:

  • Opening chapters for “Measuring Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale”: 26,078 words
  • Ending for “The Aurigae Express”: 19,232 words
  • Ending for “The Witches of Arion”: 5,492 words
  • “Soldiers”, complete short story draft: 7,248 words
  • Opening scenes of “Beauty”, (the short story with the horses): 1,975 words

Let’s see, what else can I tell you about? November started in a kinda strange way, as I’d known it would, thanks to the Reversed Polarity Doctor Who convention in Toronto. Read the rest of this entry »


What’s Up Wednesday: Keep Pushing Further

November 27, 2013

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

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

More great stories from Asimov’s magazine and Analog! I also finished “The Ringworld Throne” as an audiobook; it was really easier to follow that way; I skimmed through it half a dozen times in paperback and never really got a sense of the overall plot.

What I’m writing:

A new short story for Nanowrimo, about teenage soldiers armed with Area 51 tech, space invaders who turn out to be not so alien, and state guard cover-ups! I reached a good point to let ‘Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale’ sit until I can start reviewing what I’ve got, I think. My word count is now over 56k, and I’m hoping to hit 60 by Waffle-palooza Saturday night.

What inspires me right now:

Mostly my fellow wrimos, and my Odyssey friends. On the other hand, I feel like Nano crash will be here very soon.

What else I’ve been up to:

Went out to dinner with the whole family on Saturday, a kind of belated birthday thing for me. Looking at possible keyboards for the tablet, and also maybe lending it to my Mom so that she can see what it’s like reading with a tablet.

Oh, and watching the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special, catching up on Castle, and “How I met your Mother” 🙂

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


What’s Up Wednesday: The last Nano-mile?

November 20, 2013

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

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Great stories from Analog magazine; finished “The Matthews Conundrum,” and read some great novelettes and shorts like “The Chorus Line”, “Redskins of the Badlands”, “Ian,  George, and George” and “Bugs.” Started really getting into “Magic Bites” on audiobook, too!

What I’m writing:

Lots of great Nano words! I’ve finished off “The Aurigae Express”, and I’m back to “Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale”, where the plot is finally heating up with some alien courtroom action; our heroes have found out that their right to own property in their town on the Libran planet of Escaleron may be taken away, along with their homes and the buildings they were using for their businesses.

Oh, and my current word count is better than 43 thousand! Hoping to finish at the Friday write-in.

What inspires me right now:

Still write-ins, and occasional flurries of snow. 😉

What else I’ve been up to:

Not too much, really. Still posting plenty of Nano spotlight interviews here on the blog, of course. Backed up my Nano writing to 44 different places this weekend. Bought a universal remote control that doesn’t actually have a code for the device I want to use it with, sigh.

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


What’s Up Wednesday: Tales of a 10k weekend

November 13, 2013

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

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Some more stuff from the magazines; still in the middle of “The Matthews Conundrum.” Picked up an Isaac Asimov paperback at a library write-in, that had some stories and essays I wasn’t familiar with as well as the old standbys. And I just finished “Heechee Rendezvous” in Audio-book format; loved it!

What I’m writing:

Lots of alien stuff! I reached the 10k mark for “Alien Love on a Kitchen Scale,” which is the minimum point for sample chapters, and switched over to try to finish off “The Aurigae Express.” As I mentioned in the title text, I wrote over 10,000 words this weekend, starting from Friday morning until Sunday evening. Whooh!

What inspires me right now:

My fellow Nano-ers and going to plenty of write-ins; like five write-ins a week! 😀

What else I’ve been up to:

Wiping my iPhone and slowly restoring it from backup, because it kept refusing to sync my audio files. Going back to the show ‘Life Unexpected’ where I left off, and completely surprising myself with the ‘One Tree Hill’ crossover!

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


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.


Some early Nanowrimo wrap-up stuff.

November 29, 2012

Well, we’re kinduv into the eleventh hour of the eleventh month here… 😉 I’ve got one more Nano Spotlight ready to go for tomorrow, so today I thought I’d ramble about some general Nanowrimo stuff, looking back at the month.

My first year as a Nanowrimo ML. I had a blast, helping plan the Kick-off and taking the lead at write-ins when Gale wasn’t around or wanted to get to writing. When I was in Hamilton, I was racing off to at least 4 write-ins a week, (Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday,) and while in San Francisco, I crashed 3 write-ins in four days, plus the Night of Writing Dangerously. I made some new friends, got to spend time with familiar faces from long ago, and a lot of words done.

My new target for the month is 64,000 – a little less than I made last year. It’s also just over 10k more than the finishing word count of “The Snow Job”, and 10k sounds like a nice number of words for sample chapters, so that’s what I’ll be pushing for with my Missing Gnomes at the write-in tonight and the big Wafflepalooza write-in/party tomorrow!

I think I’m going to leave you with some favorite photos from my trip to San Francisco. The full photoset is up on flickr.

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Nanowrimo: Endings and new beginnings

November 23, 2012

Well, I’m full of great news today. After a few days of not being sure if I could scrounge up any kind of an ending to ‘The Snow Job’, I managed to end it at the Williams Pier write-in last night. The ending is a little abrupt and a downer, but it fits with the rest of the book.

One of my main characters, Ryan, ends up in jail, taking the fall for a mission he completed for the Orbitals undercover agents. His boss gets the data that Ryan was sent in after, but Ryan got caught by a security agent and his sidekick security-bot. Ryan’s ex-girlfriend Scarlett comes into the Police precinct to talk to him, doses him with a hypno-drug and gives him instructions that prevent him from testifying against her, the orbitals, or blowing anybody’s cover.

So that was fun. And I’ve started my next project, as yet unnamed, inspired by Gale’s missing gnomes, which is the Hamilton regional challenge this year. That’s going pretty well too. My main character is a young boy living on a medieval farm, who made friends with an adolescent (35 years old, only!) gnome, despite neither of their families approving. Kinwer, the MC, is starting to realize that the entire community of gnomes is missing, the mound that they were living in is empty, and there are signs of a battle in the main hall – including a mysterious scrap of black fabric with a bloody knife embroidered into it. Where will that clue lead him? 🙂

I’m not going to finish the gnomes story in November. Ideally, I’ll have some sample pages that I can revise quickly and send off to the CSSF Novel writer’s workshop in Kansas for this summer.

How’s your Nano going? Have you reached any endings or exciting beginnings yet?


Camp Day 7 check-in

June 7, 2012

Well, it’s the morning of June the seventh, and I thought I’d run down how I’m doing on my rebel ‘Summer of Shorts’ project. To recap – I’m participating in Camp Nanowrimo, but I’m not setting my goal at the fifty thousand word novel manuscript. Instead, I wanted to get some short stories written, ideally in the 2000-3000 word range, and somewhat out of the air I picked eight stories as a workable goal. I wrote three shorts in May, and finished one in two days, while the other two stretched over four. I thought that if I could turn out a short every three days in June, I’d be nearly finished the eighth when I have to leave for Kansas on June 24th, and find a little time to finish it at the workshop.

So, how am I doing so far? Three stories complete in six days! That’s how I’m doing. 🙂

Story one – ‘A New Look’. This is based on a prompt from ‘Off the Beaten Plan‘ that I saved back in March. My main character is a shy boy in school who goes down to the local genetic cosmetician to become the dream boy of his crush – complete with green eyes. But when the cosmetologist tells him that he’s allergic to the green eye formula, he has to figure out how far he’s prepared to go.
I started this on Friday morning, June 1st, and finished sometime Saturday afternoon, June 2nd.

Story two – “I will return for you.” Started on Saturday evening, June 2nd, and finished at a write-in with Elizabeth Twist, sunday afternoon, June 3rd. This was an idea that was based on the song ‘Christmas Day’, by Dido. I have a peasant heroine, who meets a young nobleman that falls in love with her and promises to come back and take her to his family estate to be married – but he doesn’t come back. The girl, Cassandra, borrows a fast horse, follows her lover’s trail far enough to figure out that he’s not all he seemed, and then goes back to the family estate to find out what’s really going on.

Story three – “My Perfect World,” took a bit longer. I’m not quite sure where this idea came from – a few references I ran into talking about realistic immersive VR or holodeck-type technology being the end of human civilization, and combining that with those old standbys, the four Laws of Robotics. I started this Monday evening on a twitter word sprint, got lots written Tuesday on the bus, and finally finished it last night after all kinds of things had come up to distract me.

So – I’m doing well so far, and if I can manage to keep up this pace I should be able to get to eleven stories at least! On the other hand, the going may get tougher through the month, as I need to either brainstorm new ideas, or work with ideas that don’t excite me quite as much as the first ones I tackle. But we’ll see. I’m loving Camp so far, and will be meeting up with the other Hamilton Campers at Williams tonight. Whoo-hoo!


NaNoWriMo Day 29: (Almost) Done!

November 30, 2010

November has almost drawn to a close. I finally reached my goal of 70,000 words tonight at the Blue Danube write-in. Current count is 70,087

Tomorrow, I will have to pack up my things, leave San Francisco, and fly back to the reasonably frozen lands of Ontario.

But… I had a great NaNoWriMo this month, and look forward to even greater things to come in December and the new year.

Getting to bed early now. Much packing to be done in the morning.


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