Sunday, February 26, 2012

A short film on books

Flying Books

Some of you may have seen this on Youtube or hatrack, but just in case.

A bit long but still worth watching if you are into books.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

First chapter challenge

I may have joined a new challenge on hatrack. I say may have because I’m having problems getting a chapter down to the right length. 3,000 words, ugh most of mine are over 5,000. And (Looking to the right and left and behind me to make sure no one is listening) I don't see why it has to be only 3,000. It's easy to figure out why it shouldn't be long and even why all should be about the same size but 3,000 words-- it's a novel, maybe 3,500 to 4,000 instead. But it's not my challenge so I go by the rules. 

I tried to get New Mage- New Title Two Struggles-- down to 3,000 but no way. Not even close. So now I am working on the first chapter of my new novel Stone Within. Only have to cut 1,600 words or so. I think I can do that even if I have to cut it past the bone just for this challenge. 

Still need to check the length of the First of Angel Kin though.

I must say that both New Mage and Stone With chapters needed cutting so this isn’t a waste of time it will improve both novels. Especially New Mage--Two Struggles. As I’ve said that one is done, I am trying to rewrite chapters two and three to get things ready for publication one way or another. Of all my UF novels I still think it’s my best over all. Now Chapter one is even better. I may not have much more to do it outside of commas and nitpicks of course. 

Oh a PS I really need something better than Two Struggles but at least that describes the tale better. 

A WotF winner

One last note(I hope) about my Nemesis--

So here is another more clear explanation of why I use that term.

By the way I don’t use her name because I’m not comfortable using it since I sort of criticize her. I call her that for two reasons, the first is all my fault and most probably any readers here would look down on me more than her because of it but the second reason might be considered a small criticism. 

Anyway, here is more why I feel that way about her.

As I said She is where I think I should be especially after that all too short period of time over five years ago. I’ve mentioned it before. Things were looking up with my writing, sold one story- another one was written well enough but was rejected for other reasons, another one came very close. I received a hand written note form John Jacob Adams while he worked for F&SF. Three of the stories I wrote during that time received HMs at WotF. Obviously my writing still needed work but agreeable obvious I was doing better... my writing was on the way up. But then, as I like to say, I forgot how to write. Can’t get past mediocre now. Well, I like to think I am somewhere between mediocre and good. But in either case I can’t break through to the next level. I came close with one story and another HM with lots of help but that's it.

My nemesis tore up my writing, she hardly ever had any good thing to say about it... She had something good to say about the writing of the vast majority of the other writers on the same forum on almost every crit. Made me feel like I wasn’t even mediocre. 

Who knows maybe I’m not but I have had a couple of good things said about my writing and most markets will tell me I can send something else. On Hatrack I’ve been told more than once that editors do not say that unless they mean it. They aren’t saying it just to be nice. 

But back to her. Yesterday it hit me that I should send a Congrats to her for winning WotF. I did, had to place it as a reply on her blog so I hope she reads it but it’s sent. 

Her story is well written and well told. An ingenious(hopefully I got the right word there) idea and-- hmm, using that word again so soon, well thought out. There were a couple of places I personally didn’t like but that had to do with my tastes not her writing. It is worth reading. As they say in music and now more in writing-- this story shows she has the chops for good storytelling. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stories out again

I managed to get 14 stories out. Which includes my 101st one. I didn't expect to do that one yet but needed one under 500 words. It's 496, I can add a few words to make it over 500 when I need to.

Would have been more stories out but Strange Horizons is now on a restricted diet, only so many calories,  hmm, that is stories per day.  Saturday they reached their limit in one hour, today it was seven hours. I was going to try this morning but forgot. Hopefully tomorrow morning.

And Weird Tales is in a strange limbo.

And I found New Worlds once but couldn't find it again.

And four to six markets are closed to subs. One opens next month.

Some on hatrack have talked about rewriting an old story. I've thought about doing that with a few stories but I just have to get to it. Most of my original stories I like and I think would be good reads if I can get the writing down.

It would be a whole lot easier to rewrite a story than trying to fix the writing from way back then even though I have been doing that with a couple of stories over the years including my very first one.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Still an update

Been going to bed a bit early still so not so much writing and criting. But I had a sudden thought about my new novel "Stone Within". Something that would change the plot a lot, shift the paradigm. At first I rejected it but kept thinking about it and planning it out. So Starting with chapter three I am introducing a ten year girl, not sure if I can think like a troubled, rejected, not sure who to trust young woman but I guess I'm going to give it a try.

Need to work on my next WotF story, need to send out some stories--got one back today, literally. They must have had a change of address. Need to go online and see if they are still in business and need to send one to F&SF this Saturday.

Want to write a letter to the editor but when I have the time, in the evening, too many other things to do. Maybe Saturday, Sunday or Monday since it's a holiday.

And I want to redo that story for Universe annex one more time. Thought the last was it but one or two people said something that may mean a change or two.

And I checked my nemesis received a First place in WotF. Wonder when she is going to come out with her first book. Wonder if I will be even close to where she is now or even close to where she was when I last new her online. Doesn't look like it if God doesn't step in. I'm still forgetting things, people are telling me basic things I should have gotten years ago, still mediocre  Just can't break through that level.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Been sick no writing until today.

I didn't do much work on my novels or stories. This cold or flu had me sleeping a lot. Or dozing since a cough had me waking up at different times. I did some good writing on Friday and maybe some on Saturday but it's Tuesday and I'm just getting back into it this afternoon.

Then pink eye filled my eyes with discharge so I had problems seeing things clearly. I did some things online but no real writing,

All that is clearing up so I feel better and can see clearly so I felt like writing on my New Mage novel. It should have been all the way finished months ago but I still have chapters two and three to finish rewriting and Ch1 to clear up.

But that might take longer then anticipated, I'm having problems with Ch2. I know what I want to say but not the order.  I introduce a couple of my MCs friends and tell some of her background,  that I hinted at in Ch1, but that was getting kinda long.  So I decided to expand on a fight she had with werewolf a few years before which is how she got the scars on her arms and a later battle with a martial arts knife fighter who didn't like mages. I may just write as I go instead of moving masses of sentences around and I can delete those I don't need anymore.

Oh changing the title to "Two Struggles". It fits better,  even though it's not what I want it's closer. I may use New mage On The Blog for another one later.

My goal for next week is to get back to my regular schedule. Not sure how many words I write each day, depends on the day of the week and how much I procrastinate but I need to do a whole lot less of that this next week or two.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


One of the magazines that I submit to. I believe that's the one where one of my stories got to the last round of picks. If it made it through that one they would have bought the story.

Of course that's only happen once. But I keep trying, which reminds me I need to send them a story.

Despite that there are some good stories there. :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A few things for one post

A number of points here.

Started another novel "Night Mage". Not sure when I will be writing on it but I can say it’s started. Actually, I started it a few months ago but couldn't get past the first couple of sentences. Too many was-s and had-s which a No Nos. Today I saw a cover on a book at B&N which gave me an idea. Just changed my MC’s local from street level to high atop a skyscraper. It’s a UF story. And no even with that title he's not a vamp.

Adding a PS to my 100th story post. I have anywhere from six to eleven stories that need revising. Two have been sitting waiting for a few months. I remembered another story I need to finish. It’s probably 80 per cent done. So I will be way past 100 stories in a couple of months.

Discovered my nemesis is in Writer’s of the Future 27. I must have read her story even though I will have to go back and find the story to recall which one it was. I’ve talked about her before a couple of times but for those who are new or have forgotten I call her my nemesis for two reasons. One is that she doesn’t like my writing. She has critted a few of my stories and always tore the writing apart... no holding back, blood all over the place. I’ve read what she has said about other writers and it’s never half as bad as with mine. Second reason: When I used to spend time on the Universe Annex forum she was where I thought I should be. I’ve never really felt that way about any other writer. Well, kinda that way with one pro and a tiny bit that way now and then with other writers close to my level but no one else this bad. I stopped reading her Yahoos even as I still read others. Obviously she is a good writer and the story in 27 has to be great. But I knew that back then when I critted a couple of her stories. There wasn’t much I could say about it. 

I sent Dean Wesley Smith an E-mail with a title for a story. He likes to write stories after coming up with the title and he doesn’t mind people sending in titles. He sent a thank you and a keep up the great work. Wonder what he meant. Yeah, I know I am over thinking that but that’s because I want to explain my first two thoughts. If he’s talking about my writing as it seems I wouldn’t say it’s great, and is he just being nice or polite since he wouldn’t know. But if he’s talking about sending in story titles :)  or  working on my writing he may have a point. At least I have that last down. I keep learning, keep trying to make it better. That doesn’t seem to be doing much but I keep writing and working on it.   

Seemed like there was something else I wanted to say so there might be a PS some time soon. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Yet another on "One Salt Sea"

I was going to say that Oops, it looks like two people who hate Daye might be ready to join forces. They may not realize it but as I said they both hate her.


Oh, oh, big time.   Daye just got a couple of prophecies, actually a few and at least one will be bad news. And another two almost seem to contradict each other except they might be talking about two different people.

I don't want to say too much here but one major character might be getting ready to get killed off, and Daye will have to sacrifice something but that last is to be expected in this type of story.

As usual most of what was said probably doesn't mean good things for Daye. Again that is to be expected. But in this case a couple might be good.

100th story sent out

Hey, I just sent out my 100th story. 100 different stories written to try to get published.

That doesn't count around 30 I wrote for a certain contest I can't send anywhere else. But I've done better with those stories... one sold as a HM, one was written well enough to make it but was rejected because they had bought one already. And another was very close.

And it doesn't count a bunch that aren't for prime time and a few others for practice.

I sent this one to Lightspeed so I will be hearing back in no time and it can go out to Asimov's or Analog.

The 99th one is at Universe Annex hopefully being looked at but so far maybe not. Eventually that one may go to Beneath Ceaseless Skies after I change a car into a wagon.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

More on writing

I wanted to enter the Jim Baen Memorial contest but I didn't send in a story after all. I had one that would fit what they wanted but it needed more work than I thought so I didn't get it done in time.

Thought it was one of my better written stories too but...

I had another story that with a little bit of tweaking could fit into the time table they wanted but that one is going to WotF.

Spent some time on revising a new story, posted it on the Baen Bar over at Baen publishing. There's a forum were you can do that and get crits. I got a few shorter crits. And finally going over them. It's a short, short story, a bit over 1,000 words but now it will be even longer. I needed to clarify some stuff. Not to mention clean up a bunch of nitpicks. (Sigh)

Working on the one line stories I referenced in an earlier post.  The second one is over two thousand words but the third might be around 1,000. The first one is a bit under 1,000. For the challenge they needed to be less than 1,500 but I don't have that restriction even though I'm trying to keep them under 2,000. I'm almost done with the third so I will start the forth Friday or Monday.  I might end up with eight stories and I'll see about E-publishing them in one set but we shall see. I may try a couple of markets that like shorter stories. 

Working on a new novel and redoing one other, I mentioned it already. I have an idea on how to get the money to have a novel or two professionally edited and to have a pro cover done. More on that in a later post.

More on Seanan McGuire's latest

I want to add something to my kinda critique of "One Salt Sea".

McGuire includes little things that add to the story telling. Such as there is a fea who is half human and half octopi like the sea witch in "The Little Mermaid". McGuire has the MC describe how this person moves in a dry building. A short scene within a scene but still neat. I need to remember about those types of little things.