Thursday, December 29, 2005

Year in Review, 2005

I stole this thing from Elizabeth Bear's blog. Let's see how I've done...

Novel words written: 70,000

Well, I didn't truly start writing until I came home from college in May so this is only half a year's review in actuality.

The Periwinkle Prince draft: 53,045

The Spellcrafters draft: 10,150

Sylva draft: 3,500

Admirably Admirable Advice draft: 2,000

Best day: about 4,000 words during NaNo on The Periwinkle Prince. I believe it was the scene where Tandyn spots Amelia at the slave market and they make a run for it; that was fun to write.

Worst day: 100

Novels completed: None yet

Novels published: None yet

Novel and novel-length manuscript submissions: 0

Novels sold: 0

Novels rejected: 0 (yay no rejections here!)

Other responses: None

Short story words written: 58,000

"The Dragon-elves" - 10,000
"Escape" - 10,000
"Some Things Just Don't Sell" - 4,000
"Pixie Wine" - 3,500
"When It Burns, It Burns Like a Star" - 4,000
"The Drinking of Ales" - 3,500
"Chance on Catella" - 3,000
"The Troll Tracks" - 5,000
"Bereavement" - 7,000 (incomplete)
"Helen Goes Shopping" - 3,000
"The Dead Forest" - 5,000

Notes, outline, and synopsis words written: Yeah, I have no idea. I have papers all over the place.

Blog words written: You got me...maybe 15,000?

Non fiction articles for publication: I've written over 15 book reviews for FantasyBookSpot and about 5 things for Tangent Online. I also wrote an appreciation for SCI FICTION.

Total new words written: A bajillion.

New stories written: All of them.

Existing stories revised: All of them.

Short story submissions sent: 26

Responses received: 19

Acceptances: 0

Rejections: 19

Other responses: I have gotten several nice personal comments from editors which hopefully means I'm getting closer to becoming published.

Awaiting response: 7

Short stories published: 0

Best thing about this year's publications: 0

Poems written: 2

Poems submitted: 2

Major award nominations: 0

Minor award nominations: 0

Awards won: 0

Novel editing hours: None yet, but next year I'm going to focus on The Periwinkle Prince a bit.

Goals for 2006: Finish The Periwinkle Prince, finish Sylva, sell a short story, and have a lot more statistics for the Year in Review 2006.

That is all for now.

Tangent review

My review for The Sword Review, #9, December 2005 is now up on Tangent Online. Take a look and please feel free to give me some feedback if you think my opinions are stinky!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

New review is up!


Check out my review of Lawrence Watt-Evans' Dragon Venom here.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas books!

I got these two for Christmas:



Plus lots of nice gift cards to Barnes & Noble. Looks like I won't really need to buy books well into mid-February with all that I have to read. Holiday has been great so far. But I ate way too much food...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Early X-mas gift!

Tobias S. Buckell is sending me an ARC of his debut book, Crystal Rain. The final copy won't be out until February so I'm quite excited to read it. There's been a lot of talk going around the Interwebs about him and his debut.

Here's a blurb of what the story's about to tide you over:

In this much-anticipated debut novel, the only hope for a planet's delivery from the fearsome Azteca lies in a mythical artifact, the "Ma Wi Jung," said to be hidden somewhere in the frozen north.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Publication death

Just got word that I'm no longer reviewing Holly Messinger's End of the Line because, unfortunately, Eggplant Productions has gone under. Shame, as it seems like an interesting story published by a, what I thought to be, moving-forward publisher. Oh well...

In other good news, I'll be reviewing Shimmer, Amazing Journeys, and The Sword Review! Man is that a lot to read, but that matters not. For I live to read!

And now, a confession. I've hitched on to the band wagon about three years late and am madly in love with China Mieville's work. So far The Scar has been the most brilliant piece of literature I have ever read in my entire life. Now that may seem like a bold statement, when in actuality, this is a bold statement:

So far The Scar has been the most brilliant piece of literature I have ever read in my entire life.

As soon as I get some holiday cash, I'm going out and buying the rest of his books. Why did it take me so long to read him? Huh? I have no idea. I must have been in a hole in the ground or underneath a pile of rubble.

Writing news: 4-day rejection from Shimmer on "When It Burns, It Burns Like a Star". I've decided to put the story up on Critters to see what help they can offer me. I believe it to have potential somewhere, sometime.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Free stuff rules!

Now that I've gotten a bit farther into my side career of reviewing books and short fiction, I've acquired a lot more materials...and at no cost! Sure, I'm not in it to get free books, but man, it sure is great at times.

Brett Renwick is sending me his African-American science-fiction novel Wired for Chaos all the way from the UK:



Seems like an interesting read from the synopsis.

For Tangent, Eugie has asked me to review End of the Line by Holly Messinger. It's a western fantasy novella and I'm quite eager to read it. Sounds very different than anything I've ever read.

And for FantasyBookSpot, Damon had been kind enough to send me two books to review: The Eternity Artifact by L.E. Modisett and Giants of the Frost by Kim Wilkins.

My stack of "to-be-read" pile is growing taller every day. But at least I don't have to worry about what book to buy next. I've got enough to read until the middle of January for sure.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Major update like woah!

Well, with a new move to northern New Jersey I've been quite busy these last two weeks. But I'm beginning to get settled and hopefully soon I'll have my Internet connection set up in my studio.

Anyways, here are some things I've done recently.

Check out my book review for Alan Dean Foster's The Mocking Program over here.

Check out my book review for Stephen King's Firestarter over here.

My light fantasy story, The Drinking of Ales, went up on Critters about a week ago. I received about 15 well-done critiques of the story. Overall it was liked, but many said it had no conflict. Upon going back and reading the story, they were right. But now I have lots of suggestions for the rewrite which will hopefully make things go smoother.

Also, received a rejection for both The Drinking of Ales and Dragon Speech. The first one I expected after all the Critters comments and the second one I had forgotten I even submitted. No loss there as it was only a flash piece.

And at the moment I'm working on my novel The Spellcrafters. Outline is almost done and then the real writing can begin!

That is all for now, but stay tuned for further updates.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

New review up!

Check out my review of The Sword Review, Issue 8 over at Tangent Online.

And then check out The Sword Review's website. Plenty of archived stories to read and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Winner!

Well, with only 1 day remaining for NaNoWriMo, I've crossed the 50K mark.

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It feels good to have reached the goal. The story is definitely not done, but at least I now know that I can write a good chunk of words in a short amount of time. It'll be nice to take a break though and return to short fiction.

I think I'll print out my certificate later. That's one for the fridge, right kiddos?

Also, feel free to check out my review of Ursula K. Le Guin's Gifts here.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The end of NaNoWriMo soon...

It's closing in. November 30th is pretty close, and I'm pretty close to finishing up the goal of 50K. I'm not, however, pretty close to finishing up The Periwinkle Prince. This story I'm going to wager will end around 125K at the most. Once it's edited down, I'd be aiming for 80K-100K.

Glimmer Train rejected my story "When It Burns, It Burns Like a Star" with a form letter. Not too upset, but I was maybe hoping for a bit more feedback. The form letter does say it was a "good read", but you never know with those. The worst of stories could have gotten the same letter. Oh well...time to re-read it and find a new market for it.

Going to Barnes & Noble tomorrow. I'll update all my readers on my purchases. Most of them will be fantasy novels I've been longing to get in my collection, but have always put off for other items.

Monday, November 21, 2005

ED SF Project

With the closing of SCI FICTION, many authors/readers/writers/whoevers are hoping to show how much the online zine was worth. My appreciation for A.M. Dellamonica's The Spear Carrier is now available here.

In NaNo news, chugging along toward the 37K mark. I know I'll have a couple of full days off before the 30th hits so hopefully I can get a lot of writing done during then. I know that once I'm finished with this novel that I won't look at it again until after the new year hits.

On a side note, I'm coming to dislike Stephen King's usage of the parenthesis in his writings.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Two for Thursday!

Received two rejections today. One for "Pixie Wine" and the other for "The Drinking of Ales"...hmmm, just noticed both titles have something to do with alcoholic beverages. Must be a subconscious thing. Now I must find new markets for them.

In NaNoWriMo news, been falling a bit behind, but I'm still doing pretty good. I'd really, really, really like to get to 40K by the end of this weekend. That would make things a lot easier for me before Thanksgiving hits.

And pretty soon I need to write up a book review for Ursula K. Le Guin's Gifts and an appreciation for a story from SCI FICTION.

Busy, busy, busy!

Monday, November 14, 2005

30K mark!

Just hit the 30K mark on The Periwinkle Prince which, to me, is a good place to stop for the night. I'm still ahead of what everyone should be at, but I'm a bit worried about these next two weeks and if I'm going to be able to pump out double the amount of words I've already done. We'll see...I really want to complete this task though. It's been a very interesting journey so far.

I also was doing a check on my submissions sheet and noticed that a query for The Drinking of Ales I had sent to the site SFFH has now been in their email inbox for close to 55 days. Their website says to allow 2 weeks for a response so I'm taking that as a rejection. I doubt they'll get back to me now, so I've given it a read through and sent the story off to Shimmer where I at least know it will get looked at. Sheesh...I probably won't ever submit to SFFH ever again.

I have a weird story growing in my head that I'll probably work on once NaNoWriMo is done. As a teaser, here are 3 things it's about: sandwiches, coffins, and zombies. Yeah, I can't explain any more than that.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Death of SCI Fiction

Well, another e-zine bites the dust.

I go away for the weekend and come back to find that SCI Fiction is being discontinued. This really saddens me as I enjoyed the stories they posted, both new and classic. Ellen Datlow has a great eye for finding wonderful tales to share with her readers. You can read her farewell message. I never submitted anything to them, but it was always an option in the back of my mind.

NaNoWriMo took a big hit this weekend. I was completely busy with real life thingers and have thus slacked a bit on my word count. I'm currently pushing toward 29,000 words on The Periwinkle Prince which still means I'm ahead of the game, but still...I want more words!!!



I've recently posted my review of Brian Jacques's High Rhulain over on www.fantasybookspot.com so you should go and check it out for me.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Flashy book-style profiles

NaNoWriMo has redone the way the profiles on their site look and I'm quite pleased with it. It even turned the excerpt preview into a mini-book viewer. Kind of neat for anyone who wonders what their words might appear as typesetted.

Anyway, crossed the 25K mark yesterday. I just need to work on my outline some more so that I know where the next 50K are off to. I will not be able to get much writing done tomorrow and most of Saturday, but I hope to get some serious outlining completed.

In other perks of interest, I'm very curious to read Anne Rice's new novel:



I'm a big fan of her vampire and witch series, but this is such a drastic change from her background and standard that I feel like I have to read it. We'll see come Christmas...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Almost halfway home!

NaNo news:
Closing in on nine days into NaNoWriMo and I'm nearly at the halfway mark. I think I'm just struggling for scenes at this point, but I know soon I'm going to have a crazy attack of the muse and just pump out the rest of the words. I hope to get to 40,000 by Sunday night.

My main goal is to get past the mark well before Thanksgiving hits.

Writing news:
Today I've sent off "Helen Goes Shopping" to Abyss & Apex, and tomorrow I'll be mailing out "Pixie Wine" to Fantasy & Science Fiction. I'm quite happy with the changes I've made to "Pixie Wine" and I hope the editors like it too. Here's to hoping!

Checking my spreadsheet, I now have a total of 12 submissions swimming in slush piles all across the USA. That will probably be it until November ends, but that's still an impressive number (in my mind, at least) to have out at one time.

Other news:
I've started to play RuneScape to help free my mind from my writing when it is needed.



So far I've cut trees and attempted to shear already sheared sheep. Yeah, I'm not that good so if you see me on there (Character's name: Ghestorali) be nice and help me out. Just don't call me a noob or I'll cast Wind Attack on your pixel ass.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Weekend update on NaNoWriMo

This weekend has been good for NaNoWriMo.

My goal was to get to 15,000 words. As of the time right now, I'm sitting comfortable at 15,873. I hope to get to 17,000 by the end of the night. It'd be really nice to get to the halfway mark by the middle of this week.

My outline is coming along slowly, but for the chapters that I'm writing right now, I'm speeding through them. And I'm learning who my characters are, what they are about, who they like, so forth. It's a shame I never got to do this in the past 4 years, but with college and all that, I doubt I'd ever had completed it.

I will complete this one though. Yes, I will.

Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo? Let me know how it's coming for you!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Barbara Hambly books!


Awhile back, right around the time I was preparing to graduate college, there was a small book sale at my campus's library. While there I picked up a bunch of old Piers Anthony books and a couple Orson Scott Card yarns, but of all that I was able to grab, I was most pleased to gather some works by Barbara Hambly. I got the three books in the Sun Wolf and Starhawk series; The Ladies of Mandrigyn, The Witches of Wenshar, and The Dark Hand of Magic. I also got a solo novel called Stranger at the Wedding, and you can read my review over here.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Tangent review and NaNo update

Just had my review of "Flesh Curse" by Robert Barlow posted over at Tangent Online. I enjoyed the story for the most part, but thought it would have had better potential told from a different character's perspective. Anyway, check out my review here.

Three days into NaNoWriMo and I'm about 7,000 words into The Periwinkle Prince. The opening scenes are coming a lot easier than I expected simply because I planned them out a lot more. I need to really flesh out what happens later in the story so that I don't hit a wall. Maybe tomorrow while I'm at the library I shall do that.

Also, I'm sending out my resume to Tor Books for their freelance proofreader position. They'll be sending me a test, and from there, who knows where this could go. Cross your fingers for me.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Good review of a craptastic book!



Check out my review of Alan Rodgers and Richard Hatch's Battlestar Galactica: Rebellion.

Good news is that I'm now done with it and can move on to better items!

Monday, October 31, 2005

More stuff from Tangent!

Recently, I've had two more items published at Tangent Online.

The first is an article called SF by Starlight about Tanith Lee's wonderful tale “En ForĂȘt Noire” found here.

The second item is a short review of story "The Four Hundred and Twenty-three" for The Sword Review, my first of hopefully many to come. You can find it here.

And that's all for now. Hope to do some more outlining tonight while the Trick-or-Treaters constantly ring the doorbell.

NaNoWriMo

First off, Happy Hallowe'en everyone!

Second off, National Novel Writing Month begins tomorrow (November 1, 2005) and ends at the end of the month (November 30, 2005). In just thirty days, the challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel.

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So for November, most of my short stories will be put aside for a bit until I can finish this project. For those curious, here is what I'm writing:

Novel title: The Periwinkle Prince
Genre: Fantasy
Main character: Evan
Synopsis: A queen gives birth to a blue baby and the king is outraged. Both mother and pup are banished from the land, and the baby is forced to live in recluse with an adopted family. Only when he reaches the age of 15 does he learn about his true heritage...and the magic coursing through his body. But can he overcome the difficulties of what he looks like and truly go against his father, the king of Tambre?

Third off, I'm going to be writing a review soon of Battlestar Galactica: Rebellion which is quite possibly the worst book ever to be written. I'm not even sure how it got published. Well, you'll just have to wait and read more about it later.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Now a reviewer for Tangent! Woo!

I believe I'm now a reviewer for Tangent which is a great step forward in advancing my career with short fiction and publications in general.

I recently, as in today, reviewed Aeon #4 for them. Check out my review here.

And I've also received my second nice rejection from Shimmer. It is now a goal of mine to get published there; they are such a nice magazine and they treat their submitters so politely.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

New fantasy review up!


Just posted my review of Lawrence Watt-Evans's The Dragon Society over at www.fantasybookspot.com. You can find the review here.

Check it out, thanks!

Critters

I've recently joined an online writing workshop at Critters.

So far all I've done is critiqued one really creative sci-fi story. I have also tried to submit a story of my own to be reviewed. Unfortunately, the submission process is pretty confusing and I got it sent back due to some errors. Hopefully I'll have this figured out soon because it looks to be a really cool workshop.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Lists and their disappointments

TIME's 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to present list, found here, has stirred up some debates and questions all over the Internet.

I found several of the books on their list to be in the correct place: William Golding's Lord of the Flies, William Burroughs's Naked Lunch, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

Others I found out of place: George Orwell's Animal Farm (just not as wonderful as 1984 was), Richard Wright's Native Son, and Jack Kerouac's On the Road (overated in my opinion).

You can find an interesting discussion here about what should and what shouldn't have made the list.

The Morning News has posted Amazon 1-Star reviews from their own site about several of the books from the list. Reading someone trashing Toni Morrison's Beloved for its graffic nature boggles my mind; that's what made the story so good. Another reviewer compared George Orwell's 1984 to Harry Potter, trashing the story harshly.

Well, I'll let you make your own opinions on the matter.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

RavenCon 2006



RavenCon 2006 is coming soon. All further information can be found on its website. Terry Brooks is the GOH which makes me seriously consider attending.

Check it out and let me know if you're going to go as well!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Nicest rejection yet

Yesterday, I received a rejection letter in my email for the story "Helen Goes Shopping" that I submitted to Shimmer. Editor J.L. Radley sent me the nicest rejection I have gotten so far.

It's a weird feeling -- I'm quite happy with this rejection. Sure, I'm dying to get a story published, but you have to take everything in this business with a grain of salt. Just getting a personal response is a high point in an author's career. I'm sure my story could have easily been skimmed, and replied to with a "Sorry, but we're going to have to pass."

But it wasn't just skimmed. It was read.

I wonder if the big namers ever got this way in the beginning? I can hardly imagine Terry Brooks or R.A. Salvatore smiling gleefully as they read that their story was rejected. But for me, it's almost good enough that he said he liked my opening and took his time to thoroughly critique the story for me. He raised many red flags about what I had done wrong concerning P.O.V. and wished me good luck with it in the future.

I plan on editing "Helen Goes Shopping" a lot, but when it's finished again, I'm sending it right back out into the world.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Current submissions

Since May 2005 hit, I've been hard at work producing several short stories. At the moment there are seven of my stories out in the United States--hopefully being reviewed by nice slush readers, and even more hopefully being picked for their magazines.

  1. "Dragon-elves" is a 10,000 word fantasy novelette about a young boy hiding in the woods after his village is attacked by a trible of cruel elves. It's up to him and another escapee to rescue those still alive from his village. It is currently under review at Leading Edge.
  2. "Drinking of Ales" is a humorous short story about a trio of trolls that come to a local village in hopes of tasty their fine collection of ales. It is currently being queried at SFFH.com.
  3. "Escape" is a 10,000 word fantasy novelette about a former Royal Guard of the king who wakes up inside a prison cell in the middle of the words. Her only chance of survival is in her escape. It is currently under review at Aberrant Dreams.
  4. "Chance on Catella" is a science fiction short story about a world where taking chances can cost you your life. It is currently under review at Terra Incognita.
  5. "Some Things Just Don't Sell" is a horror short story about how in order to keep one's hope and sanity, they have to hold on to what they've known all along. It is currently under review at HP Lovecraft's Weird Mysteries.
  6. "When It Burns, It Burns Like a Star" is a science fiction short story about having faith even when all points to not. A priest must decide what is truly right; help an escaped criminal destroy an entire prison, or pray for the best. It is currently under review at Glimmer Train.
  7. "Helen Goes Shopping" is a quirky science fiction short story about a young woman by the title's name who, unfortunately, discovers the exact date of her death. It's a shame that she has only a week to live, and what's a girl to do without a coffin? It is currently under review at Shimmer.

A few of these stories have all ready been returned with nicely written rejections, but as the saying goes, "a story generally won't be published until you've hit 50 or more rejections."

Here's to a few more then!

The Beginning of a Blog

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

As I begin my hopeful career into the publication world, I've seen it wise to have a place where I can direct readers to things that I've done and to places I find important in any writer's career.

To start this blog off, I've compiled a short list of really great writing sites:
  • Science fiction author Jeffrey A. Carver has put together a helpful how-to-write-and-stay-focused website here.
  • A host of articles dealing with manuscript preparation, self-critiquing, basic mistakes in writing, and much more can be found here.
  • The Bible of writing ethics and technique, The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., is available online completely free here.
  • While not completely up-to-date on the current market scene, a slew of interesting articles dealing with the writing process can be found on The Market List's website here.

This blog will be home to a variety of other mediums and topics so I hope you check back in frequently to see what I've done with the place.

Happy reading!