Monday, December 27, 2010

Miscellaneous Stuff

Yeah, I finished the new ending to my Nano book. Its now up to 66,000 words. Whea. that's a lot more than I expected.  I did over 5,000 probably between six and eight thousand words today. Nice to have an extra day off. 

Now to work on some inside stuff in the novel.

Started Cook's new Garrett novel. Seems different, short chapters for one thing. I mean tow page long 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy New Year

So we are done with Christmas so we can officially say

Happy New Year 

For The New Year

 First here's a link to Dean Wesley Smith's blog post on goals and dreams. The post talks about more than goals-goes into e-publishing- but for this post of mine it's the goals and dreams part goes along with what I'm going to say. The rest of it is great if anyone wants to read the whole thing you will learn a thing or three.

Goals are good even though we shouldn't get them mixed up with dreams.
The difference being what we can control and can't control.

Right now my goal is to finish three novels and to get at least one ready to send in, wherever I can.
Second goal is to learn more about writing.
I don't like to set how many stories I will do because it depends on the three novels and if any ideas hit me hard enough so that I have to write the story now. That has happened a time or two. I do want to write some more short stories. One per month should be a goal I can do. When I finish adding on to the Nano novel that will free up more time. Two or three stories per month then.
A third goal is to send out a bunch of stories. I say a bunch because even though I would like 20 or more out, I'm not sure how many I can send out anymore. I'm out of markets for some of them. And it depends on how many new ones I do. 

I may pack up all the ones I'm out of markets for and try e-publishing them.

Dreams are five plus stories bought and a novel contract.

And if it is still possible good chance it isn't but I want be invited to do a story in David Weber's Honor Harrington universe.  And to be invited or allowed as the case may be to do a Bolo story..I just happened to have two in my mind. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Political---tax cuts

  Finally got a letter to the editor published--they rejected my last three. Even though they have published a bunch over the years

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Different Christmas Story

Besides the one in the Bible, which is the best of all Christmas stories, there many types of stories.  This one is different. It's a discussion, in the future, about being PC at Christmas time.

 a Different Christmas story

As  some of you-hopefully most of you, may know I I write stories and political comments.This story fits in with one of the bigger controversies of the last few years. Enjoy:

Bill activated his cabin’s door allowing Dora to come in. She had just interrupted him by asking though the door’s intercom if she could come in for a moment. He should have turned it off signifying that he didn’t want any company.

He rolled his chair back to his desk and started working on his computer again. She came in and the door closed. She started speaking about a certain project him, her and few others were working on together. It was an after hours project that the Freighter-liner company they worked for encouraged its employees to do. It would provide them with overtime and if it worked as it should it would be a good mark on their files.

He was listening with one ear however since he was trying to finish a private project. He suddenly raised his head knowing she had just said something different in a different tone of voice. He had not caught what she had said.

She repeated herself in a louder voice, “I said, What is that?”

He somewhat confused said, “It is a special computer game I am working on.”

She said, “Not that! I mean that in your corner?”

He turned to look at what she was pointing at. She was pointing an accusing finger at an object in the opposite corner from the entertaining-work desk. The object was four feet three inches tall and was two and a half feet wide at its widest. That widest part was about one fourth of the way up from the bottom. The wide part looked like a skirt and was made up of branches that came out from the center pole. All of the branches, from the skirt to the top were green, while the center pole was brown. Below the bottom of the skirt one could see the skinny pole that made up the center. The skirt narrowed as it went up until very near the top it was one and a half feet wide. From that point it sloped inward finally forming a thick needle three inches long. He had decorated it with two multicolored light cables and various round globe looking items as well as what looked like upside down Js painted alternately red and white.

He turned back to his work and off handily said, “That is my Christmas tree. I had Jorge in engineering, fix it up for me. Its not as nice looking as a real one, but its not that bad. You must have seen some before.”

She said, “Yes I have seen Christmas trees, but I never expected to see one here. If someone who is of another religion pr an atheist sees that they might be offended. This is a public place with people from diverse backgrounds.”

He turned to her and said, “Huh? What are talking about?”

She said, “This is a place of diversity. You know people from many diverse back grounds work here and are passengers on this ship. They could very well be offended that you are displaying items from for a religious observance from one religion.”

He blinked and looked confused and said, “Christmas is still the largest event on the earth and most colonies, and even a couple of space habitats celebrate it to some degree or another. People would know what holiday that tree represents.”

She said, "Yes, but some people will be offended so you should take it down. This is a public place as I said. If you don’t I will place a complaint. Then they will force you to take it down.”

He somewhat angrily replied, “Hey. This is not a public hallway. People have to be allowed though that door to come in here. Now if this was out in the passageway, that would be different. Even though this would still be about Christmas a harmless celebration that even many non-Christians celebrate. You can place a complaint if you want to, but they will most probably not be able to do any thing about even if they wanted to.  Time after time, the courts have declared that these living cabins are not public ground. They are the same as a private house, or even an apartment. So that means that I can do most anything in here in the way of decorations and celebrations. If someone is that offended they do not have to come in here. They are the ones that should be put out not me. Besides if they are that offended they should go to a sensitivity training seminar so they can learn not to be offended by the expression of someone’s private beliefs”

She said, “That may be so, but you should still not offend someone of a minority religion. If you do not take that down I will boycott this cabin until you do.”

He again said, “Huh?”

She answered by saying, “I’ll leave and not enter this room as long as you have that thing up”

He looked at her for a while then suddenly turned and started typing again.

He said, “If that is what you feel, you must do what you feel like is right,” 

After a moment he reached over and pressed the door button then continued, “The door is activated. You can leave and we can discuss our project though the door, or at your room. Christmas is a diverse celebration, it is made up of traditions from various cultures and people of many backgrounds celebrate it. Perhaps you should go a sensitivity training seminar. I can get you in one over the intergalactic net. And any stores that reject the term Merry Christmas is biting the hand that feeds them. More money is spent at Christmas time for Christmas presents and decorations then any other time of the year. People buy Christmas presents not Holiday presents.

“One last statement, only a small handful or people do not celebrate some form of Christmas, of those it’s only a small share that would be offended...more people are offended by you not doing it for that reason.”

She said something that sounded like hmmfff and started toward the door.

He said as she did, “Or we could go too your cabin and look at the rainbow symbols you have on display but don’t forget they are a Christian symbol also.”

She went out the door and he went back to work on the new computer game he was fine tuning.

He said to himself, “And that tree isn’t even a real one. Maybe I should have called it a Holiday tree but it isn’t, there’s no such thing as a holiday tree...with a shake of his head he continued that thought,  boy what some people will choose to be offended over. ” 

The end

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Writing and reading

I am working on my NaNo novel redoing the ending as I think I mentioned. I thought it would be a few hundred words but I may be adding a few thousand. I thought it would be neat to add 1,500 to bring it up to 55,500 words. But by the time I get done with the new ending I'll be way past that.

That's good for I won't have to add so much but as I said it goes beyond 55,500.

I am reading a short story anthology be David Weber. It might be the only true short story anthology he does. His idea of a short story isn't.  But that's okay.

The first story in the book is nice and reminds me of some of the older stuff I've read but I also think he broke some or what are considered writing rules for today. That's doesn't make the story bad. But it might be a good thing he didn't try to publish that one first.

Finished "Wizard Squared"

Okay it wasn't as bad as I feared it would be but not as "happy" as it could have been either. Mills used a "trick" other writers have used and they used at the beginning of the TV show "Voyager". Not sure if it is a good trick or not. It adds to the emotional conflict but it's sort of cheating too.

I read it faster than I wanted since the writer is good. Karen Mills or K. E. Mills  knows her business. But I'm sure in the last book she said the next one would be it but at the end of this one they said to be on the look out for the next one. Which I assume, since she is working on another series, it could be a while.

New On The Premises Comment and contest

Magazine "" has two contests every so often-I forget how often.  A full length contest and a mini-contest. The one mentioned at the end of the comment is a mini-contest.  In the Newsletter they always include a short writing tip and I have permission to post from the Newsletter.


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1) How Would You Feel if...

...if we had a special OTP issue someday that didn't have a premise? An "anything goes" issue where we asked you to send us your best unpublished story? We're tempted, but we're worried that for one issue, we'd be just like every other magazine. Plus we might get flooded with more entries than we can handle. We'll consider it, though, if enough people like the idea. If you have an opinion, please send it

2) Don't Be That Story! Part 2

Last month we introduced the idea of certain kinds of stories that drive us crazy and are always rejected. This month we discuss the "No Way!" story. These introduce critical story ideas in a way that we, as readers, just can't accept.
Any idea, no matter how crazy it is, will work if you integrate it well. Let's say a story starts like this:
One day, gravity stopped working, and everything that wasn't firmly secured to the Earth floated off into space.
I'll accept that idea because it's the story's opening line. It doesn't contradict anything the story has already said or implied. And since the story just started, I can't complain that the author hasn't thought the idea through, because I'm guessing the rest of the story handles that.
But imagine reading a story that seems to be set in the real world. It's about some high school kid with a crush on his math teacher, and there's a sub-plot involving a lost dog. Several pages in, the math teacher, who is helping the kid look for the dog, suddenly says, "I hope the dog didn't float away last week when gravity stopped working."
You can almost hear the story being slapped onto the rejection pile.
You might think no decent writer would integrate a critical idea so clumsily, but we've seen the "No Way!" problem in stories that were otherwise good enough to send to the prize judges. Here are three examples of the "No Way!" problem that are, we swear, no crazier than what we've seen in real contest entries. In otherwise well-written stories...
a) A nice, peaceful character gets harassed one time too many, and overnight, becomes a serial killer who's going to "show them all."
b) Just blocks from the White House (in today's real world), a car bomb blasts a limousine into a million pieces that fly hundreds of feet into the air. No police investigate and the incident never appears on the news.
c) After reading one book on computer hacking, a novice uses an ordinary laptop to break into the NORAD computer systems and throw the world into nuclear panic.
So, authors: please think carefully about your story ideas. Do they pass the "No Way!" test? Don't be that story!

3) Mini-Contest #13

You may not know it by its official name, but you've probably heard of the "dark and stormy night" contest where you submit the worst ever opening line of a novel (the Bulwer-Lytton contest). Since bad openings have been covered, let's talk about bad endings.
In 25 to 75 words, write the worst ending to a short story imaginable. The bad ending, by itself, has to evoke what the rest of the story was about or it might not seem so bad. (Plus it won't seem like an ending.)
One entry per author.
* We will disqualify all variations on "And then I woke up" because they're too easy!* We'll also notify you within 72 hours if we disqualify your entry for breaking this rule, and we'll give you a chance to submit something else as long as you get your entry to us by December 27.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


My novel, "Bright Lights And Chaos", is being revised.  I need to add at least 26,000 words. Right now I am in the process of redoing the ending now. Adding danger and angst.

I forget if I said this here, and I don't want to take the time to check, but it's sort of, kinda of based on Seanan McCuire's October Daye novels. My hero is half fey but she wasn't a PI to begin with, in fact she has never done anything heroic before. She has a checkered past which I am also adding to and tweaking. Her mother is somebody even higher up than Daye's mother. Hmm, I might need a better name for my hero. Right now it's Kerry Bedrosian not sure of the real spelling of that but it's close. Something more unique maybe.

Right now she's a DJ at a radio station that broadcasts into the human world and the Summerlands...I definitely need a different name for them.

Wizard Squared

By  K. E. Mills  Interesting book. So far not as bad as I feared but I'm about halfway.

Won't say much about it but from what the back says I'm afraid what's going to happen to the hero. It is the last book of a trilogy after all.