Friday, August 30, 2013

I Can Still Write With a Broken Leg

So, the hockey thing is happening. I continue to try to destroy my body, as I've gone from six years of martial arts to six years of football to six years of rugby, and now this. I imagine it's going to be a good time, and isn't life all about challenging yourself? 

Speaking of, if you're in the Boston area and want to do something REALLY COOL on Halloween, check out my associate in nefarious dealings Kevin and his awesome plan to host an evening of SCARY STORIES, told by professional tale-spinners and YOU! It'll be in Brookline and once he has the location secured I will post it and YOU WILL GO. I be there in a second if I didn't know my kids would gut me for skipping out on trick or treating. There are swords in our house. IT WOULD HAPPEN.

Also, 4 hours away.

Writing: 678 words but a bit of a struggle as I keep moving away from what I wrote before. I may take tomorrow morning to do some editing. Try not to let this knowledge upset your sleep.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Shut Up and Write

Having a story published yesterday reminded me how much i like having my stories published (duh). my production had dwindled away to zero as I've been focusing on the novel and copyediting, so aside from a few pieces out there waiting to be accepted or rejected, I have nothing else in the pipeline. 

That's okay. Novel novel novel.

Meanwhile, a publishing house gave Amanda Palmer a contract to write a book based on her deranged TED talk and the mind-boggling poem she wrote to make the Boston Marathon bombings about herself. On her blog she admits she has no idea what to write about. And someone gave her money. I don't even. I'm just going to think about other things now.

Writing: 825 words, oh yeah. Alcohol! Reporters! VIOLENCE! I could have sat there and written all day. that was a stone cold groove, right there.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

So I Wrote This Thing and You Should Go Read It, Maybe

So, an actual post! It seems that my story 'Not Taken' is in this week's Showcase at Stupefying Stories, an excellent online/print fantasy/sci mag. I believe it's going to be available in digest form from Amazon at some point but right now you can go read it for free here. I'm making you scroll down a bit to mine because I want you to have the TOTAL EXPERIENCE of seeing the story in its natural environment, playing with the other three featured tales like a happy pack. Or coven. Or unkindess.  Whatever a bunch of stories hanging out are called.  Just go read the thing, and if you like it trigger one of the social media buttons or something, I don't know. I'm terrible at self-promotion, I always feel like a noodge.

Writing: Had the AC on and didn't hear my alarm, so I woke up at 5:47 instead of 5:00. CALAMITY! I skipped my morning situps and managed to power out 546 words anyway. My abs suffered so my writing did not. DEDICATION!!!!!

Seriously, if you do head over and read my story, thank you. I appreciate it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Now I'm Just Being Annoying

Still all worky.

Writing: 656 words. Didn't want to get out of bed but somebody had to have the protagonist drink too much and make poor decisions. Were you going to do it? I didn't think so. Jerk.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What, Again?

Work being all worky again. How dare it. HOW DARE.

writing: 747 words. Strife and fighting and the hero about to do a Very Dumb Thing.  Poor protagonist. BEND TO MY WILL, MONKEY!

Friday, August 23, 2013


Every morning when I stumble out of bed at 5am and drop down in front of my computer, I have a decision to make. Work on the novel? Edit that novella that's screaming at me to be finished? Work of copyediting other people's stuff? Play Clash of the Dragons instead?

For the past 4 weeks it's always been option #1. I like to think I'm settling into a good groove and really doing fun stuff with the characters, but I'm also aware that the year or so I took off to work on short stories is going to make the two halves of the book a little disjointed. It would have made me crazy, but I finally understand - that's what editing is for. Just write, get the words on the page, and worry about making them less horrific later.  This has changed from something all about powers to something all about people, and I'm hoping it's for the best. If not, well, I can always use another few rejection slips (no, I really can't).

Writing: 624 words. Steady as she goes. And I snuck in a CotD battle too I'M A BAD MAN

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Stupid work

Stupid real work is making me do work today and my witty is turned off. So just the update to nag myself, then.

Writing: 716 words. Relationship stuff. Kinda mushy. Ewwwww.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Getting Somewhere, Possibly

I keep writing for this book. We've (I'm being royal here) moved beyond editing what was written before and into 'Writing a whole new third act' territory. I'm antsy about not producing any short work for a while, and also every time I see the novella just staring at me with hungry eyes  (or 'i's), waiting to have the hard copy editing applied onscreen and then sent off.  All in good time.  may steal Saturday morning for that.

Writing: 694 words as I hit a flow while trying to use a scene to describe a tone of voice. Plus it's always fun to use the phrase 'ratty old pussy' whenever you can.  Meow!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Because Why Not?

So, it seems that this fall I'm going to lace up the skates, put on the foil, and put the biscuit in the basket by joining an adult hockey league. This sounds awesome and fun and very interesting because, well, I don't know how to skate.

Well, let me amend that. maybe thirty years ago I could wobble around without falling.  And fifteen years ago I got good enough at rollerblading to annoy dozens of motorists by zooming along in the shoulder. Top that off with my only concentrated hockey playing being in the street when I was a kid and you might be well within your rights to ask, 'Why are you doing this?'

Well, why not?  The league is 'no experience necessary,' so I imagine it'll be a lot like those games you see in between periods at arenas where they drop the puck and all the little kids fall over.  So what?  It'll be fun. I had to give up rugby due to time constraints and while I would love love LOVE to go back to martial arts that's not feasible just yet, so this . . . why not? I roped in two suckers  friends to do it as well and I'm just waiting for details from the league commissioner. Oh yeah, it's going to happen.

Because why not?

writing: 504 words. Tough slog, as I really wanted to be editing someone else's work. Is it sick that I really, really enjoy doing heavy/developmental copyediting? THEN I"M A SICK MOFO. 

Drop the puck, baby.  Time to go.

Monday, August 19, 2013

That Thing I Do That You Should Do

Article in Salon about Otherworld, something I have a great number of staff t-shirts from. It's unique, challenging, fun, and pretty amazing. It's the anti-LARP, so don't let fear of people in pantaloons speaking in bad Victorian accents scare you way - that doesn't happen at OW.  To use the phrase I coined, 'The Day called. It needs saving.'  Come be a Big Damn Hero.  Here's the story.

Also, a reminder that On The Premises has a writing contest up and running that you should enter! it's free,  has cash prizes and also free critiques for the top ten non-winners.  Also, I'ma  judge. HOW CAN YOU RESIST? I submit that you cannot. Go here.

Writing: 584 words in about 25 minutes, after a delayed start. It involved kale. Don't ask.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dude. It's Midnight.

It's late.  I'm tired.

Writing: 545 words.  Not bad.  trying to just write and then worry about exactly what I wrote later. So very difficult to turn off the editor in me. Wow, that sounds like a bad Who song.

Friday, August 16, 2013

I Think I Know Where it Is

Seeing the Rifftrax version of Starship Troopers live in a theater last night made me remember that way back when I was in grad school and first discovered MST3K I decided that they MUST need more writers and sent off a non-solicited resume. Not surprisingly a few months later I received a form letter rejection saying they weren't hiring at the time, and I kept that sucker.  if I can find it I'll post my failure from best brains for all to see.

By the way, I heartily recommend seeing a Rifftrax in the theater. Good fun.  I believe the next one is 'Night of the Living Dead,' scheduled on October 24th. Check out their website. I'm tempted to order a few of their other ones for home play as well - they do popular movies and you just synch up the track for the MST3K lite experience.  You have to provide your own silhouettes.

Writin' - 740 words.  Might do editing instead tomorrow. Might not.  I hope the anticipation doesn't keep you awake tonight.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Let's Go, Rico's Roughnecks!!!!!

Riiftrax of Starship Troopers in a theater tonight.  Oh yeah. If you're a fan of MST3K I strongly recommend attending one of the live Rifftrax showings at some point - it gets even better in a community.  We saw Manos last year and laughed ourselves sick.  Ye gods, I hope there's a Norman short.  Please please please

Writing: 425 words.  I'm happy I got that much done.  It was 48 degrees when I got up this morning and my bed was warm, inviting, and full of wife. I am reaching the point where Things Fall Apart for our protagonist.  Poor dude, but he's my creation to afflict things to. I might take a morning or two off to work on editing a novella for submission.  I did a hard copy edit so it's just a matter of changing things, but at @9000 words it's going to take a little while.

yes, I'm trying to convince myself not to judge myself.  Don't you judge me too.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Because Others Know More than Me

Very cool article on Chuck Wendig's site yesterday by Delilah S. Dawson.about trying to get published the traditional way. Check it out.

If you're going to GenCon, you can find me at the same place I was last year - home. Boo. Someday. Those who are going, have a great/fun/productive/profitable time! Check out REFORM SCHOOL NINJA GIRLS!

Today's writing: 534 words. not bad for finishing one chapter and starting a new one. Was still reeling from watching L devour a Monte Cristo at a reopened Bennigans.  Ate my heart out. ATE IT OUT. Stupid gluten.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Without going into details, the last few years have been challenging ones for me. A bit on the rough side, to be honest, and there's been times I've bemoaned my fate and indulged in a little self-pity party, complete with metaphorical cupcakes and confetti.  And then the Universe sends along a little reminder to me to maybe shut up a little.

I was on the veranda of a local bar Saturday night, enjoying a drink with L after having dropped the kids off for a few days with my parents.  An older couple came in and took a nearby table, followed by a woman about my age (45) and a boy in that nebulous tween region.  As soon as they sat down the boy began to act up, but not in a manner of a spoiled child.  It was obvious he was mentally challenged and clear something about the place was triggering him.  After a few moments of trying to settle him down the mother rose and led him back toward the parking lot.  As she made that trip it brought her back past her table on the other side of a fence, and the person I assume was her father asked if she wanted him to order food, or if they should go.  The expression on the woman's face was a mixture of frustration, sadness, and almost hopeless despair.  She looked utterly exhausted and on the verge of tears, so the couple nodded at each other and got up without a word, following her out.  To have to deal with that sort of thing all the time, for even a trip to get a burger with your parents to be an uncertain thing, that's someone who truly has hardships in her life.  Her left hand was ringless and one could make the assumption she was a single parent. It doesn't make my travails any less real to me, but it gives them a sense of scale.  So perhaps I'll bitch a little less, even if it's just to myself.

Writing: 543 words Monday, only 245 today as I got caught up tinkering with some of the phrasing in Monday's stuff.  I know, I know, leave it for the editing process, but I happened to glance at when I started today and I knew I could make it better.  So I did. (I think.)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Surfacing Briefly

Just a quick bit. Word count for 45 minutes: 892.  Today there be flow.  Now back into editing before the kids wake up. 

Small area of concern - last night I barely made it to 10pm before finally giving up and going to bed.  To be honest I started nodding off my 9:30.  I can chalk it up to a miserable day of work and a belly full of mai fun noodles, but I also have to consider that my 5am wake-up time and running on 5 or less hours of sleep a night might be catching up to me.  Stay tuned for all the exciting developments (okay they will probably not be exciting at all).

Friday, August 9, 2013

Humble Pie

Had to scramble together a bio to go along with a story that is coming out sometime soon.  Is there any good way to do that without feeling like I sound like a pompous asshat?  Also, next time I pose for an author photo I should stand by something other than a wall that's even slightly whiter than my teeth.  Ugh.

Today's word count: 544. Not bad given I had to write the bio during my allotted time as well.  I could live without the humidity, though.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Modern Day Rogues

Fascinating bit of investigative blogging right here as Victoria Strauss uncovers what appears to be a web of linked sites designed to separate would-be writers and their money.  Self-publishing fiction is often an ill-advised move despite the few successes that are loudly trumpeted about (yes, I know about Wool. It's a very good short story that was stretched into a not-so-great novel.  Seriously, the middle section of the book is embarrassingly bad.  We're talking Twilight bad here).  So if you decide to go that route, please be careful.  Choose your warning - if it sounds too good, TANSTAAFL, whatever - and be smart.

This morning's writing: 699 words.  It's both fun and easy to write for the angry, bitter ex-boyfriend of the protagonist's wife. Toss in the 1.5 hours of heavy copyediting I did last night and I can almost feel like six years of higher education might not have been a complete waste.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Keeping the Dragon at Bay

When my alarm went off at 5am this morning I growled at it.  This is not a cute way of putting it - I flat-out growled at it and started to roll back over to catch another hour of sleep.  Screw the morning writing session.  My bed was comfy and warm.  The comforting shape of my wife slumbered next to me.  Hell, even the Gorram Cat was still asleep at my feet instead of tearing around the house like her tail was on fire, as she is wont to do at the crack of dawn.  All good.

I got up anyway, lurching and staggering tot he bathroom to handle ablutions and get to the writin'.  The temptation is huge to slack off, but this is something I need to finish.  So I'm going to try to use this dopey blog as a hammer to keep myself in line and force myself to report how many words I write each morning.  If I don't do anything then I have to suffer the shame of posting that here (although I gotta say if my wife rolls over and give me that look that says maybe it would be in my best interests not to head off and write at precisely that moment, I'm going to be okay with taking a zero that say.  Just saying.

I realize this won't make for the most scintillating reading but perhaps it will inspire me to update this with more interesting bits as well.  Who know.  Could happen.  Anyway, when all was said and done (specifically, when I stopped screwing around and actually wrote) I did 588 words in 30 minutes.  On to tomorrow.

Friday, August 2, 2013

But Seriously, What Should We Avoid?

This is an incredibly detailed list from Strange Horizons, a magazine of speculative fiction.  I'm not surprised to see that I have a few stories that would land within some of those perimeters but then again, how couldn't I (or anyone else?).  I can understand why they would feel moved to create something like this - the amount of submissions they receive must be staggering - but is this okay?

Certain genres are certainly tired and overdone, but does that mean nothing should ever be done with them again?  Can't a good story transcend whatever clothes it happens to wearing?  They do note that in certain cases they're willing to overlook the trope for superior writing, but what if they identify and dismiss it too soon?  Look at Jim Butcher's popular Dresden series.  He's not reinventing the wheel when it comes to either his style or his subject matter, but he provides a good, solid read.  Yet at the time when the first book came out Urban Fantasy had been all but declared oversaturated.  What would have happened if it never saw the light of day (To be fair, it almost didn't.  The story of how it made it is fairly fascinating and is on his website)?

I recently received a rejection on a story I wrote.  Fine, more than one.  FINE, many more than one.  Let's focus here, people.  It came with a personal note that told me with was extremely well-written but was the type of story that would spawn a slew of copycat-types to flood their slush pile.  For the record it would loosely fall under the heading of #2 on Strange Horizons' list but not specifically linked to any of the ones listed.  Now, was this just an editor being kind or is the concept of not printing a story because it'll inspire others to write along the same lines a real thing?  I have no idea.  Maybe it just wasn't good enough.

I want to tell myself I'm not going to sit down with this list and go through my pile of rejected stories, seeing which ones match, but I know I probably will at some point.  I suppose I could get pissy at Strange Horizons for limiting my options but it's probably a better move to use it to better understand the market.  Oh, and I wasn't guilty of #41.  I stuck my MoD stories in the "Dammit Someday When I'm Successful It'll Be Time to Put Out a Collection of My Stories" file.