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O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

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.