What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Saturday, December 30, 2006

I hath a cold

Yes, it's the holiday season, and I'm sick as a dog. My sides ache from coughing and sneezing. I've even taken naps (which I almost never do). Hope you all feel better. May this year be better than the last.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Do You Hear What I Read

Hope you all had a great Xmas. Mine was very busy. I'm back at work today to take a rest. Spent a lot of family face time, talking and playing with the nieces and nephews. I'll be doing more of that tomorrow as we go bowling and then have a big dinner together. Bette and I were finally able to have or Xmas together last night.

Bette gave me a bunch of books (there grows the guilt pile); John Scalzi's The Androids Dream, Neil Gaimen's Fragile Things, and Kelly Link's Magic for Beginners. All good. She also had several pieces of my past framed; my Cub Scout bandana, a sweatshirt from my grade school (Gibbsboro, NJ - "Go Tojans!"), and some punch cards that had an old program on them.

Still not ready to post about what happened before Christmas that put a pall on everything else (photo isn't ready, yet). Hopefully soon.

On Christmas Eve I read Jeffrey Ford's "The Boatman's Holiday" in The Years Best (eds. Datlow, Link, and Grant). OMG, get a copy of this and read it. This is one of the best stories, it sets the mind on fire, it tosses the gauntlet down, it gets all the juices flowing. There's another pole I need to vault. Damn, I want to be able to write like that. Some people talk about that as they turning into writers there is a moment where they say, "I can do better than that." While I've had those moments, I'm blessed and jazzed by saying, "I want to be as good as that."

I hope in the New Year we all continue to find such inspiration.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ti-i-i-ime is on my side. Yes it is (NOT).

Okay, I've admitted that I'm a freak. Here's some more math done for fun. Everybody who wants to be writer eventually makes the same complaint, "How do you find the time?" You make time. Really. So here's my week for your edification and enjoyment.

Five days, 24 hours a day, total of 120 hours. Sleep, I'm one of those people that needs eight hours, so there's 40 hours gone just sleeping. That leaves us 80 hours to get everything done. Everybody strapped in the toboggan?

55 hours, typical workweek (40 plus 15 overtime)
10 hours, commute (1 hour each way, bad weather add some more)
3 hours, shower, brush teeth, get dress, etc (about 45 minutes each day)
5-15 hours Village Council stuff (that's the second job, $200 a month)
3 hours, errands (getting milk, etc)
3 hours, design work (third job, this is highly variable)
3 hours, email, blogs, friends and contacts (like what I'm doing now)
5 hours, 1 hour each day to have dinner and be with my wife
3-5 hours, minimum reading and writing time (usually reading before bed)
2 hours, chores (cleaning, etc)
3 hours, every other week at a writing group.

Total 90 to 104 hours. So, as you can see, the sleep part of the equation is already compromised by 10 to 24 hours.

So that leaves the weekend to get the major projects done (yard work, carpentry, reorganizing, etc). Plus catching up on sleep. Sleeping late on weekends is practically necessary. This is after quitting Ruritans (a service organization like Rotarians). And you'll notice there is no TV, entertainment (other than reading), or gaming time in there.

And I still get the words out. I expect you could too.

Bah. Humbug.

Well, at least I know the answer about the Writers of the Future Contest. I didn't make even a finalist (at least that's how I read the letter). Ah well. It looks like there's a personal note to "Send more soon!" But I think it's printed, not actually written on the page (one of the problems being in the printing business, it's hard to fool me). I know "War Stories" was a stretch for them, being a Cthulhu story and all. We’ll see how some markets feel about it.

This holiday season so far, 50/50

So before I bum you all out (or after you have already read those later posts), here is some good news. Tobias Buckell just made a three book deal! Go and congratulate him. It's really frickin' awesome, Tobias. Great job!

Tobias is a cool guy. He really deserved this (for his writing and he really is working damn hard in the community). You should all get to know him.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Steve is just this guy, you know.

Well, I changed my profile to show my real name. Hi, I'm Steve and I'm a writer (Hi, Steve). I usually get a few hundred words a week...

That's how I always feel when I introduce myself in a writers group, like I'm in AA or something.

Anyway. I think I'm making more of an arse, I mean, a name for myself and it's time to be proud of that name. Well, for writing I always was proud of my name. By the happy chance of it I'll be shelved next to Steven Brust if I ever get a book out. And that is just way too cool for me.

So here I am. I almost have my decade chip. Someday I'll be paid to publish my writing. On that note, I still haven't heard from the Writer's of the Future Contest about "My Favorite War Stories." So I figure I'll either be a finalist (always a bridesmaid, never a bride, boo hoo), or I might have crossed the barrier. Yesterday I was inexplicably happy. Maybe that was it.

Wait. I was going to make expresso.

Peter Boyle is dead. My first memory of his acting was his portrayal of the monster in Young Frankenstein. I could never watch "Everybody Loves Raymond" without thinking of that movie.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The first one is free

Tobias Buckell, who is a really great guy, is running a poll. He's asking how many books did you write before having your first sale. The link is here.(link updated 12-14 10:55pm) Go and vote if you've sold a book (it doesn't mater what genre). Especially if you sold your first book, go and vote, because I need the moral support (read the comments in the tread if you want to know why).

So, prepare for unabashed fanniness. I mean, being fannish. Tobias is a cool guy. You should buy his book, "Crystal Rain" and the anthologies that have his short stories. You'll want to know his name. You'll want to meet him. You'll want to have his puppies. Or cats. Tobias is one of those few that make their money from writing. He has great advice for beginning writers. He's an advocate. He's just damn cool, okay.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dis, dat, and da udder ding

It's been some time since I talked about writing. Things are progressing slowly. The day job is getting slower which means less overtime. Council stuff rose up and ate all that extra time there for a bit. I have been writing, just not anything coherent. I have more pieces parts than I have full stories.

The other night I got the opening to one story that had been banging around the back of my head. It's about Shamanism, and how confusing for the initiate it can be. I get to show a lot more of the town of Windswept with it. I also have the main villain of that piece, and it's a biggie.

The next night I got the opener to another story I had been thinking about, tentatively titled, "Butterflies Last All Summer." It's about growing up with fairies.

I've also been getting pieces of the pirate story and I think I have enough to add it to the sidebar. I have to complete that one. There are now two potential markets to send it to. I hope it turns out, I think it'll be a neat run.

I'm almost done with another red-line edit of "Wild Hunt", now titled "Running of the Deer." I've been getting a lot of info for this one. Plus it was the first story I had critiqued by my new writers group. If you remember the photo with the other redline edit, I think I'll have to take a photo of this one. There is more red ink on the pages. But it's all good.

An absence of Richardness

Last night I didn't need to play the dick. That was a relief. I was also able to play the Santa (although another councilman actually wore the hat) and hire a new worker for our Streets Department. Merry Xmas, Chad. Now get to work.

My Santa offering is tempered with a slight detour down Scrooge Alley. Because we didn't get the quotes and lease papers ready, I'm going to need to force my fellow councilmen to have another meeting before the end of the year to get leases on new trucks. In case you're wondering why this December has been so warm and not filled with snow, I'm praying my hardest to make it that way. Now, once we get our trucks, you all are on your own.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Comments

When I upgraded to the new beta blogger, my comment settings went wacky which cause a delay for those who did comment. Sorry about that. With the correct application of C4 in the appropriate area, the comments were juggled loose. They should show up quickly now.

Story Bone

If you're in Iraq and see militiamen or insurgents wearing a white cloth on their shoulders, it indicates their willingness to die in battle. I didn't know one had the choice, but there it is.

"Say, mind wearing this pocket protector with a target printed on it? That's a good man." Or "Bummer of a birthmark, Hal," from the Far Side.

At this time I don't know how they keep the cloth there (that's what the epaulets are for!). I heard this in one of NPRs "voices from Iraq" segments. I wonder how you can tell this from waving a white flag.

"I don't know, Jim. Either they're surrendering or they want us to shoot them."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Well, spank my behind and call me Richard

Sometimes being a coucilman is great. I get to help people, I get to make sure we aren't overspending, I have fun making sure things are done. Then there are the other times when you feel like you're shoveling crap from a sitting position. And the least fun is when you're forced to be a dick. I had to be a dick last week. I had to be a dick today. Tomorrow has a high chance of dickiness. And the rest of the week could sprout random dickiness. I hate it when I'm forced to be this way.

Friday, December 8, 2006

What Day Is It

It's Friday! Yippie skippie. Although that means I need to have one more person threaten a law suit for my village council stuff and I'll have made a new personal weekly record (3 in case anybody cares). Since Thanksgiving the world has spun down in some kind of spiral that ends with "splat." The good news is that the OT is getting less. I was getting some energy back. And then all this other stuff came crashing down. Life.

Well, here's to a Good Weekend(tm). Hope you have one too.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

How I Wasted Time This Weekend

I installed the outside solstice decorations, and helped my neighbor install his. His side of the road is "inflatable seasons" and my side is "pastoral deer park."

I need to relamp one deer. After patching three wire breaks the head still wouldn't light. Tomorrow we'll see about upgrading to LED bulbs. I mean it needs all new lights for the head at least.

We also put up the new tree. My it's a biggin. Nine feet tall, and call me crazy, even though it was pre-lit I added lights to the center. You can almost read by the light it throws.

I also did tickets for the Ruritans, and invoices for the past month (it was a busy month for design work).

All that says that I procrastinated on writing as much as possible. I did get about 400 more words on the Pirate Story done. This week looks to be busy as well, so I'll have plenty of opportunity for procrastination.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Frost on the Pumpkin

This morning I was running a little late to work so I was able to see the sun rise. In the twilight of the pre-dawn I was driving by some fallow fields iced in hoar frost. The full seed heads of grasses sparkled in the blue light, dull earth colors encased in gem ice, trees sporting new crystalline coats reflecting headlights. It was beautiful. In my head I heard the harp section from Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies." Happy Thanksgiving.

Also, it's my brother's B-day (happy happy), and my wedding Anniversary (Happy Happy).

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Dilbert Moment

It was bound to happen at sometime. First, some background. I'm a freak. I happen to like mathematics. I relax by doing formula in my head. Yeah, it's weird inside there, deal.

I like to make change not so much challenging, but I strive to make my life simpler and my pockets less jangely, so I don't feel like my grandpa, whom always had change in his pockets. So when I was at a gas station today, and the bill came to $8.60 (Giant Eagle Gitgo, had $1.20 off, yes I waited until I had at least 8 gallons to pump). I went in a gave the clerk $20.10, thinking I'd trade up from a dime to two quarters; instead of having my dime, plus a quarter, extra dime and nickel. The clerk punches in the number on his digital register and gets a look of astonishment on his face. Don't say it, I think hard at him.

"How did you know it would come to $11.50?" he asked.

"Mathematics," I replied after a second, trying to keep from screaming. I see that this answer on confuses the clerk. "I used to make change before these new fangled digital thingies were around," I continue, and that seems to satisfy him.

I had to leave before I laughed out loud.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Your Theme Song May Vary

Yey another line I need to use in the book.

Most people believe that their theme song (leitmotif) would be Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man," when more often than not it actually would be "Yakety Sax" by Boots Randolph.

This goes with my saying, "Sometimes the movie isn't about you. Sometimes you're the supporting cast, or the comic relief, but mostly we're all extras."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Story Bone

"Can I do that? Sure, but I figured you you wanted to live through this."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Say what?

Last night somebody tried to hack my blogger account. Go figure. I'm assuming it's because of my other blog which is more political, although less frequently updated.

I'm avoiding doing work. Why is this a writer's common complaint? Is it because there are so many shiny things in the world to go look at? Or just because we don't want to do the voodoo that we do somewhat well?

If you want to see how it should be done, John Sclazi just posted a fragment of his new story over at the Whatever. That's what we all feel like. If this isn't a definition of writer's block, it should be. Of course it is what I expect will be the opener of his novella "The Sagan Diaries." How that story comes about is in iteself a big story. Read the Whatever and you'll see what I mean.

So back to the grind. Today I get to help put up the Holiday Decorations for the Village (yeah, hard work!). I've already sorted applications for our Streets Dept. opening. Then I get to read all the financial statements to be up to speed for our meeting next week. There's two forms to fill out. And cleaning, the never ending struggle.

Here's another fragment from some story someplace in the future, "The room smelled too much of old farts and drying socks."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

One of those things that will also be worked in someplace

Restaurants in Japan are switching to plastic chopsticks over the usual wooden ones. Most customers are now finding out that the food tastes worse. My thought was that the taste they liked was the wood.

Friday, November 10, 2006

What People Do for Money?

Okay, this gets filed under the "Weird Professions that I have to use in a story," there are professional Rock, Paper, Scissors players. Put those up there with professional skateboarders (which I can kind of understand), professional fast eaters, and professional video game players. If people are getting money for that, just how hard can professional writing be? Oh, yeah, never mind.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

In the dark, with the goblins

Just getting over some intestinal nastiness that lasted a week. This getting old is a bummer. I haven't been writing. Sigh. Oh, before I forget, this is how submission guidelines should be written. Yep, got an idea, need to get over killing a few thousand people, but I will, and I will submit. I mean I'll send it in. Yeah, that's what I mean.

Anyway, I'm redlining "Wild Hunt" (which will change titles) with all the feedback. I want to have it back out in submission (maybe Lady Churchill's) by Thanksgiving.

There's lot of work needed for the village. I'm really thinking of not running next year. Yes, there's a pay bump for those elected next time, but I want my life back. I like being in the know about things, but I'm exhausted of it.

Monday, October 23, 2006

How I Spent My Sunday

Well, just had my first critique with my new writer's group for the story "Wild Hunt." Looks like another rewrite. Most were confused with what was happening, some liked the mix of Amish and Celtic, some didn't. Now I need to go through all the notes that I took while they discussed, the notes they wrote on the manuscript, the notes they emailed, sort through them all, come to consensus on the changes, figure out what I want to change and what I want to leave. I do need to rewrite and I think I have a good idea where to head with this one. I need to tighten the language (see earlier post on Epiphanies on editing, there were a lot of those types of edits as I wrote this before that epiphany).

And the title. Nobody really liked the title. That's a good indicator that it has to change. "The Running of the
Deer," was a good suggestion.

All for a story that may make $250 gross. Why do I do this?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Off to the Races

Well, after finishing the attic floor in the storage barn and having all the Halloween decorations up, I have started typing the book. I got a full 300 new words out today! Most of them good. I'm still in the opening scene, setting the tone for the book. I'll still probably skip around and type out jokes out of order, but I've started the front to back writing. Here's a taste.

"Sitting at the next table was a pixie sipping a double-tall espresso and a boggan eating a baguette. "

Not sure if I'll keep the fairies in, right now they're only comic relief. I like that visual though. And they do another (semi) joke later in the opening scene.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Edits Redux


For the edification of everybody, especially those who I've edited, here is a picture of some sample pages from my last story. These are edits for the third rewrite (there were four all together). Notice all the red. Look closely and you'll see even more in a blue pen (I couldn't find a red pen for a weekend). To repeat, this isn't the first round, nor the last.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Two of Us Writing Postcards

I should also make mention here about the book. It's progressing. Not much typing, but lots of organization and brainstorming. Here's where good, smart friends come into play in writing. If you read my post about editing below, I'm also applying that epiphany to this book. Every part of this book needs to be top notch.

Sound-boarding ideas off of smart friends is an excellent way to pound those pieces into shape. To mix metaphors, on Tobias' blog I was commented that rewriting is like forge work, lots of heat, tongs, pliers, hammers and anvils. Sound-boarding with friends is a hammer. In a few IMs with my friends the other day I took a good idea and pounded and tempered the heck out of it until it was a much better idea.

That idea (you may be asking yourself)? A little piece of detail. The Barry Mygnot Funeral Home. If you don't get it, say it out loud and the "g" is silent (or swallowed).

As an FYI, one friend said there is actually an Amigone Funeral Home in Buffalo. Go figure. But that's what you get with smart friends. They also walked me back from the Berry, Meignot & Lon Prairee Funeral Homes. "Too forced," was the comment.

The actual over all theme/joke of the book was done this way as well. Started as a lark, bounced it off some friends. Ideas flowed, pound, changed, tempered, added to, pound, and eventually became what it is. No I'm not posting any more of that idea than I have. Sorry.

Submissions

Scott also obliquely asked this question. At one time I had five stories in submission to different markets. Next month I hope to have three in submission. I just haven't had the time I need to finish up the rewrites.

Last week I took Friday off to take my wife to the Podiatrist. She's good, thanks. But even with only four days on I had more overtime last week (15 hours) than the week before. This week, so far, hasn't been as crazy (only 6 hours).

Breakfast at Epiphanies

Scott asked in a comment thread about what my editing epiphany was this past summer. So I thought I would make this more of a new post.

I polish my prose. I mean polish like you polish a copper plate for printing. It's hard work with different grit levels being used to scrub out minor imperfections in the copper surface before you take a gouge to it. This isn't polishing silverware or buffing the car, this is like sanding wood down to thickness, instead of using a planer. I want those words to sing. I'll reorder, cut, add, shuffle, and do a lot more, but mostly to the language.

Part of my epiphany was I needed to polish the story. I needed to look at the pacing, how many words I used for each part of the story, the larger rhythms of the words (as a part of the polishing I would look at the sentence rhythms). I would check and see if parts of the story could be told in different places, not just a paragraph or two different, but thousands of words different. So I moved those skills of polishing words to the larger model of the overall story.

Another part of the epiphany was editing the story out of order. For "War Stories" I edited each section separately, reading from the last paragraph to the first, editing only the sentences and paragraphs to make them as strong as they could be. That was another first, I looked at paragraphs and made them as individually strong as I could make them. Did each one say what I wanted that one to say. Before, I would look at these issues in context of the flow of the story. This is more of a looking at each lug nut on the wheel to make sure it's properly aligned to the threads and fitted on the bolts, that each met the tear weight criteria etc, instead of just making sure that they're all tight and keep the wheel on the hub. If you think of fractals, one way of describing fractals is that each rock that sits on a mountain mirrors the mountain in miniature. Before this epiphany I was just looking at the mountain and making the rocks pretty. After the epiphany I making each rock as good as the mountain.

Bear in mind, I'm not going to that level with my posts here or elsewhere. Then again, nobody is paying me for these posts.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's a broken record day

My job duties include maintaining a machine (Mitsubishi Platesetter, SDP-Eco 1630 for those of you who must know) with a water reserve that needs to be refreshed everyday. The Platesetter is kept on 24-hours during the workweek. I drain and refill the reservoir when I come in and when I leave. Usually the water is tainted from chemicals, which is why I drain and then refill. You know you're working too much that when you drain and refill before you leave the reserve is down to about one-quarter its volume and when you get in the next morning its fifteen-sixteenths full. Do I complain about working too much?

More ideas keep flowing for the book, thank the muses. I think I'll need to outline to keep everything straight and organize all the pieces parts. Last night I kept turning the light on and off as I tried to get some sleep as ideas, okay, well, jokes keep coming. So I had to turn on the light, write them down, and then try to go back to sleep, only to get another part of the story or joke. From the outside it must have looked like a light show.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

West End World

Working like a mad man. This weekend I was finally able to get some sleep. I've typed only a little. This time it's very rough to get started again.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Props

Opps, my bad. Forgot my netiquette. Those links on novel writing are from Tobias Buckell (cool guy, supposed to be finishing Raggamuffin so we can all read it, damn it), John Scalzi who is supposed to be finishing up the next novel in the Old Man War series and The Endicott Studio blog (if you're into fantasy and or mythology and fairy tales you have to read this blog and their newsletter, still waiting for the Summer Issue like an addict waiting for his next fix).

My apologies. But here's an entry just for all of you.

Thank a Union Worker.

Was gone over the Labor Day weekend. If you enjoyed your Monday off (if you had Monday off), go thank a Union Worker. Also, if you like having most of your weekends off work and if you’re lucky to only work a 40-hour week before overtime or at least having your boss think you’re a go getter, thank a Union Worker. Before unions came on the scene it was typical to work 80 hours a week, and maybe you would have Sunday off, maybe it was a half-day. Which leads me to my work schedule.

Man I’ve been getting the overtime. This week, and Friday isn’t over yet, I have over eight hours of OT. Remember we had Monday off. And Wednesday I had to leave work after only 1.5 hours OT because of a council meeting. I missed my writers’ group on Tuesday (sorry guys) because I worked a 13-hour day.

I’ve made the commitment to write Post-Rapture Industries (I’m sure that title will change). Spiders have been plaguing me again. On several other blogs I read regularly other writers are finishing new books, they've also had links to other bloggers talking about writing novels (here and here). I floated the full idea to more people and had a good response, even some more ideas to add jokes etc. The Universe is IMing me, time to get to work. Now I just need to carve out the time.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Overtime and Days Off

Back to my normal overtime schedule. And I never got a day off. I'm both happy and sad. Happy that I don't have to make do with 32-hour paychecks (I'm sure I would have had some overtime). Sad because I was really looking forward to having an extra day off.

And in last place...

Finished with “War Stories.” It’s done, stick a fork in it. I don’t think I could read it again anytime soon. So this week it will go out (I was a little premature with the In Submission link).

While I want to write a lot of things, I think the next thing will be editing some old stories I thought I had finished and starting a new one with the tentative title, “Learned Behavior.” It’s a first contact, space opera, submarine story. Yeah, yeah, it all works together, even with the monkeys.

I also want to work on the novel. I need to work on the novel. I must work on the novel.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pardon me, I hath a culd...

I have a summer cold. Those most truly suck. I’ve been lazy with writing since I went on vacation. Every time I get a head of steam up somebody steals the tracks away. Been cleaning, fiddling with paperwork, and yard work. Have I explained that yard work for me can mean mowing and trimming or using chainsaws and equipment that has their work rating in tonnage? It’s been the second kind, being too damn wet to mow.

Last week at work was “absolutely no overtime.” So I only worked 6 hours of OT. For the foreseeable future I’m to have Wednesdays off. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Mostly through the polish for “War Stories.” It’s pretty much what I thought it would be; short red marks instead of making the manuscript look like I used it as bandages for gaping and sucking wounds. Yes, I like using a RED pen for markup. If you have to ask I can only say, “Because it’s damn easier to see.” Make marks on my manuscript with pencil and I don’t think you’re serious about what you want to say. Make marks in blue and especially black pen and I may miss them. Use green if you like, purple if you must, but I will supply red pens to anybody who wants to proof my manuscripts, just ask.

Ideas have been coming for new and in progress stories, thank the Muse. I wish I had more time. Some disjointed ideas (more Storybones to come, soon), some things that are stories, some that I have no idea if they’re stories or not, some I can’t work into stories (at least not yet).

War Stories is definitely a cold fish and it’s starting to stink up the place, time to get it off into the mail.

Storybone 08-21-06

Been a long time since we had one.

"Wake up and die right."

I have no idea what the hell this means or where it goes. YMMV.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Whole Lotta Blah

I have the hard copy of “War Stories” to proof. Last night I just crapped out. Last week we were told at work that everybody was going to four-day work weeks (32 hours) until that roaringly good economic boom created by the Bush Tax Cuts actually, you know, got going. Monday morning I was told this week would just be no overtime (I’ve been working 11+ hours every week since January). Last night I got home on time, and just didn’t know what the heck to do. It had been so long since I was home before 7pm. So the afternoon and evening was wasted. Today will be better.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Done!

Just finished retyping “War Stories.” Finished at 6780 words. Was as high as 7150, was as low as 6720 at one point. I think what’s left is just a polish. I hope.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Still Alive...

So far behind, I’m still running to catch up. Went to Confluence, saw people I know, met people I didn’t, had a great time. Although, the parking sucked. Next year will be in a different hotel.

Finished the red-lining of “War Stories” at Confluence. I’m about a fourth of the way through retyping the story. The other day I had a lighting strike with the thought, “why would the Shoggoth Zombies (yup) act like that?” Sigh, so much to do. Now I need to figure out who of the cast of extras is wearing the red shirt. Also started a red-line edit of “Changelings.” I’m seeing some things that just weren’t working, superfluous words, etc.

Then, just for kicks, I took a vacation with my wife and sister-in-law. Had a fun time and spent way too much money.

Not caught up with work, not caught up with council duties, behind in writing and reading.

Did finish “Moonlight and Vines,” by Charles DeLint. Not his best work, but not a bad book (collection of shorts) by any stretch. Haven’t finished a book in a long time, so that felt good as well.

Now work says they’re going to a four-day work week. Everybody else is slow. I’m still working overtime. Not sure how that’s going to work, but it does mean more time to get caught up and write more. Must. Write. More.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Crater in the Sun

A quick update while plates are printing. I’m still working on my second submission to Field Guide to Surreal Botany. What they’re looking for seems vague to picking a topic is difficult. Ah well, they have the market, It’s their book, they get to do what they like.

Ninety percent done with the second red-line of “War Stories.” I should post some pictures of what I mean by red-line. I doubt I will get it done for my second deadline (tomorrow). I’m now shooting for August 15 for all three manuscripts to be in the mail to the markets.

Work has continued to drain time away from the links I love, as it always does. Fortunately my wife is very understanding and can handle a lot, so that works out well. Twelve-hour workdays have a way of catching up with you.

I’ve been getting another story. I’m not sure where it’s going or if it’s just a recreation of old things. “The Great Pan is dead,” is a line that keeps circulating through my head.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

“Cap’in, the engines canna stand the strain.” The Dylithium crystals need replaced and caffeine no longer gives the kick.

Was feeling a little better by the end of the week. Then the wife and I mad a major purchase, a storage barn. We’re up to the gills in stuff and I’m tired of scraping my back getting decorations out from under the stairwell. After all this overtime there’s some money in the bank. Might as well make our lives easier. He he he.

So, we spent Sunday clearing out a spot for it. Involved the removal of three mid-aged trees and a bunch of younger stuff. Lots of bending over with a chainsaw on one of the hottest days this summer, plus the amazing humidity we’ve been experiencing. So we were nearly dead by Sunday night. Then the past two days have been twelve-hours each at work. Tomorrow is a council meeting.

Also wrote an entry for an anthology. Just received the email rejection. There is time to try again. Two Cranes Press Surreal Botony. Which I will. I have copious notes and I’m not afraid to use them (yes, I’m recovering).

About two-thirds of the way through the second red-line edit of “War Stories.” I’m really slashing and burning this time. There are a few new lines and descriptions, I’m hacking some of the action, and changing some of it. While driving home I was thinking about a particular part of the story and came to the conclusion, “but I would do this in that circumstance, why doesn’t Bobby?” Have to solve those. My new timeline is to be done and have the story in the mail by July 28th.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Jupiter, Saturn, Oberon and Titania...

Wild turkeys, and I don’t mean the kind that come in a bottle, are roosting in the tree right outside my bedroom, right at this moment. I tried taking some photos, we’ll see how they turned out. It rained the deluge tonight, so the air is full of water, very humid.

Feeling better.

Waiting for an oil change I started the next red-line edit of “War Stories.” I can see clearly now. Hack and slash, but in a good way. Add more description where needed, omit needless words. One more into the grinder my good friend.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

You Bought a Guitar to Punish Your Ma

Syd Barrett is dead. And I am unexplainably sad. If you don’t know, you don’t know. He was the warning of success, and a Piper at the Gates of Dawn, a backseat driver of immense influence.

Did you exchange a walk-on part in the war, for a lead role in a cage?

How I wish you were here.

On a trip to Cirrus Minor, saw a crater in the sun, a thousand miles of moonlight later

Monday, July 10, 2006

Signs and Premonitions

Okay, I’m sitting here while the woman I share my life with is reading “War Stories.” No good laughs, lots of “hmms” and “oh’s” as in, “so, that’s what you mean.” Well, maybe it’s going to need another rewrite. That’s what readers are for, and it’s better that I get this feedback now, instead of rejection letters later.

Just for the record, no, I’m not upset. This is criticism, not execution. I’m trying to get better, not stay where I am. If you’re in a writing group and you can’t tell a person that they’ve comma-spliced or had a verb-subject disagreement, that’s a literary society.

Time to go get the news.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

The Seven-Thousand

Just finished the red-line edit and the polish. I’m at 7002 words. I think I’ll print it out and read it once again before I send it off. After that it’s edit time for “Changelings” and “Wild Hunt.” Then we’ll send them off too, “Changelings” to Weird Tales and “Wild Hunt” to Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. Then it we’ll see how well that story structure idea for “Farewell Angelina” works.

This week is our main Council Meeting on Tuesday, oil change on Wednesday, and two design projects due. Hopefully we’ll have some good time to work.

Friday, July 7, 2006

Bad boy, bad boy, whatcha gonna do

Well, that blows this week. At least I have hard copy. Yeah, not much, but I’ll take it. This weekend should be light, although…

My niece is having a concert, we haven’t seen her do much so I want to support this effort. So there’s Saturday afternoon and night.

Have to mow the lawn (only 45 minutes), have been trying to move the rock/weed garden (a present from our developer) all summer. Had a few wheel-barrels full and the tire went. Finally got an inner-tube for the wheel-barrel tire (best idea evar). Now need energy to haul dirt.

Clean office. Must clean office before paper piles start negotiations for citizenship. Plus have to clean office to prep for built-in full wall bookcases. Yes, you may be jealous, but only if you’ve learned woodworking, paid a small fortune in tools, and are willing to put in the sweat equity. Dan, you’re paid in full with renovating your bathroom, be jealous all you want.

And then there is the red-line edit of three stories. Updating the blogs. The ever present website redo. And spending time sleeping. Why?

Thirteen-hour day yesterday, twelve-hour day today. Plus time spent talking with the mayor on the way home (fun though).

… So, I’m wrecked. I don’t normally like to leave work before the work is finished. It wasn’t finished today, but I was done. Stick a fork in me.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

HTBD - if only 15th Century map makers IM'ed.

Finished a front to back edit on “War Stories” last night after studiously trying to avoid it.

Ever hit the end of the internet? I did. Pretty surprising, was going well, interesting historical markers, and then bang I’m out in the middle of nowhere with dragons biting at my virtual heals. You’d think they’d have a sign or something. So after I got to the end of the internet, I couldn’t procrastinate any longer and then slogged through the story. “War Stories” has the feel of a dead fish right now. That’s good, it means I’m near the end with it. Word count? Currently 7083. I’ll print a hard copy and go through it with a red pen. That’ll learn the bugger.

Found another outpost on the internet. Guess it only ended in one direction. Still have the other directions to explore. More procrastination! Woohoo!

Clarion blogs (courtesy of Tobias). Oh, the jealousy. Paint me positively green. www.alexwilson.com. Six weeks for Clarion. When I was a student, I think I could have swung that (although not the cost). Now, I don’t think I could take six weeks out without a serious sponsorship of some type. Note to self, look for a Medici.

Goals this week including red lining “War Stories.” Go though “Changelings” and “Wild Hunt” one more time before sending them out. Meeting tonight for Streets Committee, have to do street lights for village. Must find time to rub cat the wrong way. (corrected spelling 07-06 8:20am)

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

I see fireworks…

Plugged through last night staying up past midnight. Finished the major editing on “War Stories.” I’ll make a few more passes through front to back. Right now the word count is 7180. I think I can get it down to 7100, but that maybe it, unless I cut out the front.

Now we need to see if “Changelings” and “Wild Hunt” also need a front to back edit. Once that’s done we’ll send them out.

Monday, July 3, 2006

ADD Redux

So one of the muse’s gifts this weekend was a new take on the structure of “Farwell Angelina,” which will solve some of the problems I’ve had with the story. Gotta love getting dictation on different stories at the same time. I’m not complaining, I take what I can get. I’ve always had problems with finishing projects, I think I now know why.

Editing “War Stories” Sunday Evening, I am now closer to 7200 words and only have 2 sections to go. Twisted the end a little harder. I think there’s at least one more turn of the screw I can make there.

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Zoom! Road Kill.

Well, there went that deadline. Didn’t make the deadline for Friday mail. Still editing “War Stories,” down to below 7300. Yesterday was at Mom’s, so nothing happened until today. I’m planning on putting it in the mail the week of July 10th. Don’t have time to get other things in the mail. Will need to do that this week.

I’m rethinking the “In submission” section. So until I have a clear thought about it, I’m not going to update. I like it as a personal whip to keep me submitting, but I’m not sure publishing my rejections is worth it. More thought it needed.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Killed in the Hills

Last night I didn’t get any editing done. None. It was another late night at work, talked with contractors about site prep for a storage-building and a few other projects, ate dinner and then the world came to an end with a storm. The laptop had a low battery charge and given the quality of electrical service, I wasn’t going to trust to plugging in. So either tonight is going to be a killer edit-session, or I’m going to miss deadline. My guess is the later. Secondary goal is to send in manuscript very early for next quarter, finishing to mail on July 8th.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Is this a Yellow Jersey I see before my eyes...

Still oscillating around 7350 words. Read the first half during my writers group. Some people didn’t like it, but those are the ones who think I’m wasting my time writing fiction. Considering this story also includes profanity, they also think I’ve just gone down the crapper. Got some good feedback, entered the edits I wanted to listen to last night, and caught a lot more to change (tense, etc). I think the first half is good. Of course, I’ll read through it again before final. Now to try and get the second half done tonight and tomorrow. Entry has to be postmarked on Friday.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Leg Cramps

I’m about halfway through “War Stories” editing like a maniac. I got started on a new way of editing, for me at least. I’m going from back to front, paragraph by paragraph making each as good and as tight as I can. I’m adding some details, deleting others, cutting redundancies, etc. Was low as 7350 words, now back to around 7410. I want to get this done this week to send out to the Writers of the Future.

Speaking of WotF, just received “The Wild Hunt” back. I’ll update the in-submission list sometime next week, I’ll be sending out a lot this weekend. “The Wild Hunt” is my second story to make the Quarter Finalist list for WotF. Close, but no cigar, yet. I don’t know if “War Stories” will be the one to get me through to a moneyed finish, but I want to get it out.

Back to the grind. I have my writers’ group this Tuesday, and work is still going gangbusters. I could have worked another 12 hours today, but only made it as far as 10.5. Tomorrow could also be a long one if I didn’t have the meeting.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Plague of Spiders

Haven’t been able to get back to “War Stories” since Sunday. There’s been work (yesterday was a 13 hour day) and village stuff (Tuesday’s meeting went to 9pm). The universe is trying to tell me something, though. I’ve been getting lots of spiders, an animal totem which reminds us of the interconnectedness of the world and as a patron spirit to writers to “spin their tales.” I gather them up and release them outside (eat the mosquitoes). So I need to work. The bathrooms need scrubbed (part of my household duties). And sleep must be found.

I have notes for edits, new terminology to put in like Pope Glass, MAMs, I want to change the initial contact scene, I want to add a little more interaction at the end, need to ramp up the adrenalin in the climax, and a few other things. Hopefully tonight I can get some time in.

Filled out my registration for Confluence. Will be in the mail today. I also need to call a get a room.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Bataan Death Wind Sprints

Spent Sunday trying not to edit. I tried really hard and only got about a quarter of the way through “War Stories.” Lot of present tense stuff which had to be changed. I’m sure they’ll be even more. I ran into a whole swath of “insert text here describing blah blah.” Sigh. But, even now I’m down to 7700 words, and I think it will go down from there as well. Hell, I had to describe the Legion Hall and I still cut text. So, I have high hopes to getting the story down to around 7000, still too long. I could cut the first part down, but it sets the tone for the story and it’s real and I just love how it came out. Yeah, I know, kill your darlings. But it really is integral to the story (like the train sex scene in _Risky Business_). Ah well, we’ll see if it survives the next go through. Ten more mailing days until deadline. Still no response to “The Wild Hunt.” Tomorrow are major meetings for the Village.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

War Stories 2nd Draft

Just finsihed the second rewrite of War Stories. Yes, it's that late. I think it's all in place and I discovered a new twist for the end. It'll definately need a thorough scrubbing (I found it had whole sections of present tense). And I'll need to do some line editing, but I think it's in good shape. As of tonight/this morning it's about 8000 words, up from about 6000 in first draft. It'll probably settle down to 7000 or so. Now to bed. Ah, if you think watching scarey movies before bed is a Bad Idea(tm), trying writing one and then going to bed. Nighty night.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Call of Something Or Other

So, there’s this ocean vortex off the coast of Australia. Since I have two stories in progress that concern themselves with a certain mythology created by a certain early 20th Century writer, I thought this was interesting. Cthulhu awakes (dum dum dummmm!). But my story puts the sleeping city on the other side of the world. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

We're Open

Well, just noticed I had the comment preference set to moderate. I've turned that off. You still need to do the word verify thing.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Lighting like Thunder

Life happens when you’re no looking at it. So it just hit me that the deadline for this quarter’s Writers of the Future Contest is only three weeks away. I was thrown off because I haven’t heard on my entry for last quarter, “The Wild Hunt.” Last year when this happened, not hearing until the close of the next quarter, “Changelings” was a finalist. No money, but it’s closer to winning. I hope this means good news for “Hunt.” But it also means I’ve got to get “War Stories” ready in three weeks and I’m still in a nasty second rewrite. I’m almost done with it, but then there’s at least one more rewrite and some line editing. That sound you hear is my mental whip cracking.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Rawhide!

Well, the muse continues to provide. I'm getting mostly the jokes and one-liners for the new book, not much of the plot. But that will come. It will come. I have the opening scene, or at least what I think of as the opening scene right at the time. Now I need to push it out into a full story.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Take a Chance on Me

Going around the blogosphere of writers is a letter by Kelly Link (thanks Tobias, I found it through your blog first). In her letter Kelly talks about “competent” manuscripts that are circulation through the Online Writers’ Workshop and the difference between them and great manuscripts. The short of it is that great stories take chances. And we as writers should take chances. As Tobias put it, don’t write for the market, write at the level of the market, in his “Getting Past Being Joe Blow Neopro.”

So, I’m going to write the book about Post-Rapture Industries. It’s a comedy. Think a Left Behind Faust meets Dirk Gently. Yeah, I’m going for the Douglas Adam brass ring. I may fall off the horse and land on my face, but I’m gonna try it. First readers who have seen some of the joke pieces have labeled it “erudite” and question if there is more than a niche audience. Well, I’m going to write a book for those six people who may get all the jokes and the millions who’ll at least get one. And I’m going to stick it in the eye of the Christian Conservatives (who are neither IMHO).

Oh God, now I’ve got to do it.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Here, there, everywhere

If there’s anybody who reads this, and they’re near Ohio, I’ll be attending Marcon this year. Will be arriving Friday night and staying in the hotel until Sunday afternoon. Hope to see you there. If you recognize me, I’ll be the tall overweight guy with short hair, beard, glasses, and the nametag will say “Steve Buchheit,” say hello. I don’t bite, unless you want me to. I'll mostly be in the writer part of the programming, in sessions and trying to hang out with writers outside the sessions in a vain attempt to soak up all the good rays of blissful energy coming from those that are published.

Hello, how are you...

I collect the nicest reject letters now. Well, two reject letters, one from LCRW which was cryptic and one from Weird Tales which was very specific. Of course both of them are complete dead wrong about my stuff. But most importantly they are completely correct. Time to put “The Dead Are Busy” back in rewrite. What the editorial horde at Weird Tales said in their letter echoed some things I had doubts about myself, and they pointed out some of my most grievous writing errors (homonym misuse and hyphenation). “Changelings” is a weird bird, so I think going back and checking for my grammatical usages and word choices. That might be all it needs. And once that’s done, I’ll kick them back out into the real world.

“My Favorite War Stories” took an interesting twist. Turns out it’s a Lovecraft Fanfic piece. Go figure. So I’ll continue writing it out (I think it’s pretty good) and submit it to the magazines that publish Cthulu stories.

Had my first idea for a (possibly) mainstream book. I can’t write about much of it here, but I can tell you this was the storybone I needed to get started. That and I’ve been listening to Douglas Adams read his Hitchhicker trilogy at work. Been getting great ideas for it. Here’s hoping it’ll pan out. This makes three novella/novel lengths in progress. Sigh. Need to make more hours in a day.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Guilt Stack

Well, many things have happened. One, I finished “The Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara. Very good book. It helped that a couple of summers ago I took the second vacation of my adult life, my wife and sister-in-law kidnapped me and we traveled over Southern and Western Pennsylvania. We spent a few days at Gettysburg, knowing the ground was a great help. I could never understand the order of battle for the first day, until I saw the ground myself.

And speaking of seeing the ground myself, you have to check out where Pickett’s charge came over the corner. Stand on the Union side and look out over the field. It looks like a smartish jog, a bit long to go with the cannon from Little Round Top (to your right) plowing through, but not to bad.

Now cross over the wall and look at it from the South’s side, see what they saw. Oh Mother of God! St. Francis on a pogo-stick, they had to charge up there, clamber over the wall, and then start attacking? No wonder they lost over sixty percent of their troops.

You have to see it to believe it.

Then I read a current war book, “The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell” by John Crawford. Just wanted to make sure I still had the voice for my “War Stories” short. Yes, soldiers still talk the same as I remember, just different slang words, “hajji”, “battle rattle”, etc.

Now I’m reading Kurt Vonnegut’s “A Man Without a Country.” Always liked Vonnegut. Kilgore Trout makes an appearance. Vonnegut also bemoans that we don’t have any modern Mark Twains. I always though of Vonnegut as a Twain, but that’s me. I’ve sometimes had that delusion that I could be a modern Twain, but them something shiny catches my attention and that’s that.

Monday, April 3, 2006

The Grind - War Stories

The current burning project, besides rewriting Crow Boy to be longer and include more info, is a short story I call “My Favorite War Stories.” Five guys in a legion hall telling some stories, one is real, one is really off the dark cliff. The story came out in a rush and I spent this past weekend putting phrases and paragraphs in order so that it makes sense. I killed a couple of darlings (those phrases that as a writer you just love) and rewrote part of it. I hit an interesting block where the characters wanted me to say something and I didn’t. Well, the characters win. It’s their story after all. Now to keep molding and rewriting to get it to work. I know I have to turn the heat in some parts. Where the characters should be in jeopardy, there’s no tension. Time to cook with gas.

Probably will be about 6000 words, horror, Cthulu genre. Not sure where and how I’ll sell it, but first I need to get it finished.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Dude, Run!

For any writer, the TV is a big time sink. With my schedule I barely get to see more than the rerun of the Daily Show while I’m shoveling my dinner down as quick as I can. There was a little show that caught my attention last year called Ghost Hunters. I’d catch pieces of it while doing other things, the TV being on for background noise. It’s only the second “reality show” I’ve really watched a whole episode before attempting to save my intelligence by switching the channel (the other show was a cowboy dude ranch thing). Anyway, March 29 starts a new season of Ghost Hunters on the SciFi Channel. “Dude. Run!” Ah, fun times.

Saturday, March 4, 2006

Story Bone - Cell Phones

The phone looked ridiculously small in his hand. He seemed to be yelling into a child’s toy, pinched between thumb and index finger, held gingerly away from his ear like a particularly disgusting piece of lint.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Story Bone - Revenant Going the Final Mile

While a Revenant can seem a worn subject in fiction, even having movies and comics made of the idea (The Crow and Spawn), most of these returned to avenge their own brutal killings. What if, to avenge some other wrong, someone made them self a Revenant? Say, their wife was killed horribly, and the legal system was unable to help them. They don’t have the contacts to track down the perpetrators in normal life. But as a Revenant, they’d have access to supernatural powers to track and punish those responsible. A Revenant spured and formed by agape.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Story Bone - Border Crossings

Listening to a Fresh Air story on NPR when I had an interesting idea. The story was on children illegal aliens trying to reach their mothers in the US. The trials, tribulations, everything they have to go through to get across the border and then the problems that arise after they’re over the border. So I got to thinking, would there be such a border crossing between Heaven and Hell (of the Christian variety)? Would people be able to get over the border? What would they do for or in Heaven (the chores, the same type of jobs that our illegals take)? What would they get from it? Grace? Can you transfer Grace from one person to another, could they bundle Grace back with them across the border?

Many illegals send money back to their families. Many come to take jobs that US citizens don’t really want, or don’t want to pay a lot for. Many are migrant/seasonal passing back and forth across the border every year.

A further complication for the Heaven/Hell scenario is what if people meet those they loved or knew? Would the other person turn them in?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Muse Sings

Here’s another link I recommend, Tobias Buckell “Getting Past Being Joe Blow Neopro,” as a podcast. I have to admit, I have sinned. I’ve wasted time when I should be writing, I’ve been rude to people at conventions, and I’ve let uncomfortable silences slip into conversations with editors. I hereby apologize for all of them.

So, now, how does one find time. That seems to be a common question. So let me go through my thing. I work a full-time job, I have a one-hour commute, so if I work an 8-hour day, that translates to ten hours. I get no lunch hour (union contractual thing). I have been working 11 to 12 hour days lately. Overtime is shiny, but deadly. Okay, add to that I am an elected official of my village. That means that at least one, more than likely two, nights a week I have meetings. I also have other work that needs to be completed at home. Most recently I spent an afternoon going through a manual for NIMS (National Incident Management System) and taking a test. That’s an afternoon I wont get back. I also do freelance design work. That’s a job that’ll wack out a few hours in the evening and is slightly unpredictable. I also attend a writer’s workshop every other week.

When do I find time to write? Whenever and where ever I can. I have a notebook with me at all times. When there’s a line bothering me I write it down. DO IT NOW, before you forget. Always have something to write with. And if you don’t and a line comes to you, find something, a napkin, the back of a receipt, anything. And then transfer it to your notebook when you can. Then write the story when you find yourself with a spare hour or two. You don’t have to write it all in one sitting, and try not to edit yourself when your writing the first draft, there’ll be time for that later. When you have some time and don’t feel inspired, well, that’s what you’ve been waiting for to do the rewrites.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Kilgore Trout Redux

Whenever I read Mark Twain, I hear Kurt Vonengaut speaking. And when I hear Kurt speaking, I read Twain. So it goes.

Exercise February

Okay, so here's another assignment for my writer's group.
Flesh out this character - Juliana Reade, age 52; she is an extrovert, but gets easily depressed.

And here's my solution:

Jewels stationed herself on the green leather and chrome stool closest to the door. It was her stool, her favorite place. Jackson, the bartender, made her Long Island Ice Tea before coming over to say, “hi,” and then retreated to the darker end of the bar to talk with another regular. Jewels didn’t understand why Jackson didn’t want to talk anymore. She had been his favorite. She liked talking to people.

“Juliana Reade,” her momma would say. “Stop talking and get your ass in this house.”

Her momma was long dead now, smoked herself into an early grave when Jewels was only 38. She raised her glass, “Fourteen years, momma, and I haven’t smoked another one since we buried you.”

Someone came in the bar behind her and Jewels automatically said, “Hiya, sit a spell.” She had become the unofficial greeter of the bar. The shadow that had come in mumbled something back and headed for one of the booths on the other wall. The bar was only a small one, they hadn’t gone far away, but Jewels felt adrift at the end of the bar, cast away by the regulars and the newcomers. She had always felt welcome before, but just like the other familiar places, welcome eventual wears thin. Her positive attitude veneer melted away and her shoulder pads slumped. She felt enormously tired at having to find another place as her home other than home.

Show, don't tell.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Story Bone - Youth's Dreams

"Our youthful dreams burning in the glow of green phosphors."

Monday, January 30, 2006

Story Bone

If God does have a voice it would sound more like Pee Wee Herman’s laugh than James Earl Jones telling us he’s our father and we should forget whatever Obi Wan told us.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Story Bone

"The moon got herself caught in the naked branches of a young maple tree this morning. She was moving across the northern sky, and was only partially full, so she couldn’t see where she was going when the tree stretched up in the night and snared her in his bare branches.

"He was just yawning and waking up from the warm weather when he found the moon caught in his arms. She was coppery and round, warm and brilliant, so he didn’t want to let her go."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Happy New Year

Hope you all had a great Christmas/Holiday Season and that the gift bearing entities were generous. They were to me.

Other than the Craftsman tool cabinet, I also received an iPod 60gig so I now can listen to all those books on tape at the day job. And many, many books. The guilt stack now teeters on the verge of burying me in my sleep. I now have enough Katharine Briggs to feed my research needs into the next decade, including scoring a copy of the Dictionary of Fairies (real title is much longer) at Half-Price for $5. Yes, you may be envious. It’s okay, I’ll understand. If you don’t understand I’ll let you check the used prices on Amazon for it. This was the paperback copy, so it’s a little less.

In other news I received the rejection letter from Asimov’s for my short-story “The Dead Are Busy” yesterday. They must have wanted to avoid the postage increase so just spiked it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I talked with an editor at another magazine at the World Fantasy Convention this past November, they had passed on the story before because of being oversold. He asked me to send it back to them for consideration, so by this weekend it’ll be winging it way there.

Also, I did another walk through of “The Wild Hunt.” I think it’s close to ready. Maybe another full scale re-write will do it (this will make the fourth). Then it’ll be off to the Writer’s of the Future Contest, like it should have been back in December.