Friday, September 29, 2006

Coming up soon

November is just about a month away from us. That means NaNoWriMo is beginning to rear its writerly head. I'm still on the fence about whether or not I'll participate this year.

I did it last year and quite enjoyed myself, winning two days before the month ended. This was also all done during a new job acquisition and location move. The novel is The Periwinkle Prince and it will never be shown to a single human being (hopefully). It ended up just over 54K and still would need another 30K before coming to a close. I doubt I'll ever finish it. But the writing of it was good practice, and I think if I were to do it this year I'd be able to do even better. I say this only for the fact that I feel like my writing skills are much better than they were a year ago. It's a learn-by-trial sort of thing.

And I have plenty of novels started that could use a burst of inspiration, and nothing gets the mind working faster than a solid deadline. If I were to do NaNoWriMo again, I'd either pick the space opera novel Summersong or the urban fantasy Waterways to do. Both working titles, of course.

The thing that I'd be most worried about is, of course, time. Between a full-time job, two reviewing gigs, short story writing, some editing projects, and the newly started Greenhorn, I wonder if I'll be able to manage the 1,000 or so words a day needed to complete the task. Chances are though that I'm going to be cutting back on my reviews tremondously...almost to the point of maybe one review now and then. I'll still be reading, but I guess I can't form an opinion on everything.

So I think I might do some light outlining for the novels, and if one really holds my attention then I'll have to decide if I'm going to participate or not. Anyone else in the blogosphere planning to do NaNoWriMo this year?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

"The Black"

For all you Serenity fans out there (and this is including me), you must check out Bill Mudron's "The Black", a touching and marvelously drawn comic about a young Mal Reynolds. There are a couple other comics to read on the site based in Joss Whedon's world, but I urge you to read Mudron's take on it. It's worth your time. Really, go now. Shoo.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dreams and Visions review!

Check out my review of Dreams and Visions: Fourteen Flights of Fantasy, an anthology of YA fantasy stories edited by M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Greenhorn comic!

Finally, it's official and live and all that hoopla. My friend Damon (from FantasyBookSpot) and I have put together a book-related webcomic called Greenhorn. The first comic is up, and here's the link:

The story so far (or better yet, the story that's always been) Greenhorn, we have a group of several friends deeply involved in conventions, fandom, and all things book-related. Some folks get along better than others; the Purple Ninja has an extreme hate for anyone that doesn't like what he/she likes, no one wants to be around Con Kid, and everyone questions Molly on a daily basis about her reasoning for still hanging out with such a group of dorks. Also, there's some live action role-playing going on. What could go wrong?

Enjoy, and let us know what you think!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Icy dragon review!

Check out my review of George R.R. Martin's The Ice Dragon, his children's story debut. It has some lovely illustrations in it and is bound to hook young readers from the start. It'll be out in October, I believe.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Back Roads, #1

Well, the first issue of Back Roads is out. This contains my short story "Never Order the Midnight Special" along with T.L. Morganfield's "The Wonder Tower." Toss in a Lovecraft reprint and you've got a zine of moody rural horror. So order a copy and enjoy!

P.S. I absolutely love this cover.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What's happening

Well, let's see what's been happening lately. I've read some books and been writing reviews for a couple of them. I've finished The Light Ages by Ian R. MacLeod, Dreams and Visions edited by M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss, The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin, and Wings to the Kingdom by Cherie Priest. Expect to see some reviews for those popping up soon.

I've started reading Melusine by Sarah Monette, which is a bit slow so far but still interesting. I already know that I'm going to enjoy Mildmay's chapters way more than Felix. Felix is a bit too whiny for me, and I always have a soft spot for the deeply complicated thief character. And whenever I get around to it I'll finish up the crapfest that is David and Leigh Eddings latest. Complete and total crapfest.

I've also been doing a lot of work on a secret project Damon and I are creating together. It's a bit time consuming, but I think it'll be worth it. We plan to reveal the whole special thang sometime next week. Stay tuned for further updates.

Writing-wise, I've finished a couple stories here and there. I'm trying to finish up my contest entry for the Apex Halloween Contest, and the deadline is October 15. Shouldn't be too hard to finish. I just need to sit down and figure out what is going on in my story.

And I bought Killzone for PS2 since it was a $20 Greatest Hits game. Waste of money. The enemy AI is dumb and the ally AI is even more dumb. Blargh. That annoys me; I should have just gone for Ratchet: Deadlocked instead. At least I know that game will challenge me in a good way. Oh well, maybe next month.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shameless promotion!

My horror story "Curling Tendrils of Love," which won second place in a contest a couple months back and will be appearing in an anthology to debut in 2007, has been published on the new blog of Apex Publications. Check it out!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Contest plug

Like contests? Like Halloween? How about alien witchcraft?

If so, go and check out the contest being held at Apex Digest:

Get to it!

Friday, September 08, 2006

How I write

So there's been this how-I-write-a-novel meme going around the blogosphere lately (see here, here, here, and here). Unfortunately, I don't write novels. Not yet, at least. I've started some. Well, lots actually. But here's my take on the process, using short fiction as my medium.
  1. Something to write on/type in (I prefer typing in Word because my handwriting is akin to that of a fourth grader.)
  2. Story's title (It doesn't have to be anything great. It could be "The Far Moons of Summer's Eyes" or "On This Cloudy Day" or "The Sentry's Mark" or "Talking Cat Story." I just need a name as it helps me focus on the story. I can always change the name later if the story goes too far away from it. Most often though the name sticks and I work my story around it instead.)
  3. Contemplate the idea (What if? Maybe they? Who did it? What's going on? What's the point?)
  4. Write the opening scene (This is probably my favorite step. Not that I enjoy hooks when I read novels, but writing them can be fun.)
  5. Scribble down notes at the bottom of the file: possible scenes, character names, grocery list, a couple of curse words
  6. Write some more (This part is tedious.)
  7. Contemplate the ending (I hate endings. Absolutely hate them. Most of the time I just want to write, "And then they had makeup sex and the evil robots exploded from jealousy. THE END.")
  8. Look up better words in dictionary/thesaurus to replace the crappy ones I used as placeholders
  9. Finish the story (Hah!)
  10. Quick pass on the first draft (This is more for grammar. I'll let the first readers tell me stuff about plot holes.)
  11. Hand off to first readers (Those poor souls.)
  12. Second round of editing per comments from first readers (Sometimes this involves a lot of head hitting desk action, but that's all right. It gets the job done.)
  13. A third read of the story
  14. Possibly change its title
  15. Market research ( is the best.)
  16. Format according to the proper guidelines and submit to the godly editors who will smite me for writing about yet another talking cat (Fingers crossed at this point.)
  17. Forget about the story, go have something to eat, and begin the process all over again (Woo.)

And that is how it is done, most of the time. Occasionally, mainly with flash pieces, I just write nonstop, straight from the brain, and submit. Maybe that's a good thing. I've sold mostly flash fiction recently. But hopefully I'll get around to finishing Summersong one day and I'll let you know how I write a novel (at least one I'm proud of). I'm sure it involves a lot more crying.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sale to Apex!

51-day sale to Apex Digest for my flash piece entitled "Sonorous," which is slated for publication in issue nine! Very excited about this one. :)

In other news, my list of stories I'd like to write is getting longer and the actual amount of stories being written is fairly low. This is because of a secret project I've been working on, which, hopefully in a few weeks, I'll be able to reveal to you all.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Big Bone

Well, I caved. Just placed an order at Amazon for Jeff Smith's Bone: One Volume Edition. Figured it's definitely worth the price. Um, that's a lot of Bone. ::cough cough::