Saturday, March 31, 2012

April plans

Next week I will be cutting back on revising and writing new stories. I want to revise one more for sure because I want to send another to Fantasy and Science Fiction next Saturday. It would be the fourth in a row. I have ten to fourteen stories written that need revising so I may just continue. If it doesn't take too much time away from what I plan to do--- more on that down below. 

Reminds me of a couple of years ago. I had something like ten weeks in a row- more than once- to F&SF. A couple of times there were one or two weeks I skipped but it still needed up with eight to twelve stories before I had to stop for a few weeks. I'm surprised JJA didn't get tired of seeing my writing. I thought about him thinking "I wish he would learn to write".

I worked on Two Struggles-, I took out and saved some stuff about my MC's background, it will probably go in another chapter even though I have no idea where. So I'm now past that section I've gone over four times in this round but I may need to go over at least part of it to make sure it all fits with the empty space from that section I took out. But it's nice to be able to finally go on. The rest of the chapter may not need that much rewriting--- and I'm using rewriting not revising on purpose. I am rewriting that section.

Anyway, back to what I am planning.

I've got three finished novels that need revising--including Two Struggles which just needs a bit of rewriting. But I haven't touched them for a month or so. One has been even longer then that.


I've threatened this before but I think I will be take April off from writing and just work on revising. That doesn't count at work and any WotF Q3 writing-revising-crits and maybe a challenge for hatrack, I want to do. I would wait for that last but I've already waited since Christmas. We shall see about that. 

I had thought to wait 'till my vacation to do the revising but that isn't until the end of June. If I can have at least one book done I can use that time to E-publish it or send it out. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

WotF Q1

They are taking their time this quarter. A few days ago one person on hatrack thought they should be coming to the end of the rejections and getting to the Honorable Mentions. But another person thought they would be extra busy this quarter with the Awards Ceremony coming up so he estimated that they might be nearing only 50% of rejections.

So who is right? Maybe neither or both. :)

But after all this time I know if I get a rejection in the last sending I will be greatly disappointed.

Other than that (shoulder shrug) I don't know how they are doing. Most probably it will be slower than usual but how slow or what that means for my story... I don't know.

New computer

Okay, new computer all set up. Had to go buy a different adapter but everything works as it should. Except for our flat scanner. May have download a driver for it but we our printer has a scanner so we may not need it.

Got pages which is a good thing. I tried opening my old word processor's files and got a message saying it can't open that WP anymore. 

But I have figured out if I can put headers on a pages file. It will open the old WP's files but no headers. 

Monitor is wider now-- it does make a difference. Computer is faster. The old computer was suppose to be fast but this opens files-even online- even faster. 

CD drive works but I had a problem. I put in a music ÇD to test it but it kept kicking it back out. Finally got the idea that it was upside down... wonder why they would want us to place CDs in upside down. Oops, it wasn't the CD that was upside down.

I told someone at work about my problems with pages and no header. He said I should change the View. I did sure enough everything showed as it was suppose to, it even looks closer to what I'm used to with my old WP which is good for me.

One thing though, I will still have to make new WP copies of most of my old files especially if I want to add or delete something. That will take some time.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Can't write

Rats, can't write... well actually I can write a quarter or less as normal. Let me explain:

We are getting a new computer. The old one is at the store where they will be transferring all the data on the old to the new one. I'll be getting both tomorrow afternoon.

I'm using the laptop to get online but I won't be able to work on chapter two of Two Struggles or revise the stories I wanted to revise, which includes finishing up the one for Q2.

I could start a new one--an opening line for a UF story with dragons popped into my head today-- and I can start revising those ten stories I did inspired by by the Bookend challenge. I've mentioned those ten on pervious posts. Work on "Stone Within" or the one story I had thought about doing for Q3-but probably won't now- but that's about it. 

The new computer is a Mac mini... had to get a monitor for it and a CD drive-burner but at least we can use the old keyboard and mouse. But be nice to have a new word processor-which I have to buy online- and the latest in iTunes and iPhoto even though those weren't that old. I couldn't download any more updates for those because the new updates are designed for a computer with different hardware not to mention new and improved OS. 

Man is that CD player-burner thin. Barely longer and wider than a CD. Need to get out of here so I can do that writing. I can at least start that UF dragon tale.

WotFQ3 change of plans

Oops, maybe change of plans.

I've had problems with the Third Quarter--yes I know it's not the third quarter of the year, WotF likes to do things differently and there's a reason behind it-- story. I have three tales I have thought about using. I am writing one I thought might fit with what they seem to want, except for one little detail. But I believe I have discussed that already on an earlier post. Anyway,yesterday I finished revising a story I wrote over four months ago but never got around to. Finally decided I needed to get it ready to send out. I finished it and was ready to get my name address etc on it and to send it out... or so I thought. But a while later I lay down for a minute and rested my eyes while I waited for my wife to finish with her craft site. Suddenly the idea popped into my head to use it for Q3. But I thought there isn't really all that much struggle- as one hatracker thinks they like and thinking back on volume 27 I agree- in it but my muse said, oh but there could be very easily. Instantly I came up with ways to add more struggle not only physical but emotional also. So he has to fight--make that run from-- outward opponents and at the same time fight his own tiredness and "every thing goes wrong" attitude. That is all I will say about it.

They story is UF which doesn't seem to go over too big with WotF but will shall see. A certain hatracker who is good writer has had problems with that genre and WotF. Without knowing the specific stories he sent in maybe they didn't have the right type of struggle. Maybe, maybe it wouldn't make a difference. I decided to take that chance.

At the very least this story will be improved, there will be more action and tension- more than one type I hope- plus my MC will change. More description of setting, of the human senses and more getting into my MC's mind. All of which is suppose to make a story a better tale. So if it works only half as well as I hope, it will be- as I said- a better story no matter what WotF feels about UF. Of course they are my problem with commas and it will still be my writing.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

More on WotF Q3

As most of you probably know I WotF is Writers of the Future contest. They do four times a year. They have done this for 27 years and put out a volume of all First, second and third places winners of the year. This year's Quarter 2's deadline is the end of March. That story is done and will have one more read over before I send it next weekend. So it's time to decide on what to send in for Q3.

There's a problem though, can't make up my mind on which story to use.

One I just wrote, one I have already or a third one I started but am not sure about. That last one is darker than usual for me and I'm not sure about the middle. I believe I mentioned it on an earlier post.

On a hatrack forum thread, a guy- an interesting character- who likes to go by the name of snapper, suggests WotF likes struggles. From reading last year's winners I can see that but all three stories have that. In fact with the the one I just wrote I could add struggles to two scenes. If I decide not to use that one I can get some help with nitpicks and bad writing. Either through hatrack and/or Universe Annex.

I know it's my choice, I'm just venting a little.


Looks like I'm back up to seven followers, thanks Jessica.

Hope you look over the whole blog. My worlds page is still empty. I still haven't got around to writing out my worlds but I still might.

And there is something stuff further down too just in case you, or anyone else reads my blog, haven't noticed.    

Friday, March 16, 2012

Update on McLeod

Okay, the next two are out, boy am I behind. Need to find them and take a look.

Looked over Suzanne McLeod's web page.

For some reason I can't recall I thought she might be a pen name for some other writer I like. Can't recall where I had read that. But if so than she changed her face and her personality. Could be another new writer and not her.

She has a special fan club for the fans of the Spellcracker novels. and some artwork someone did for two characters.

Another update thing

Okay I finished "The Sweet Scent of Blood" by Suzanne McLeod.

It wasn't quite what I expected from the beginning. I said I didn't like the world she invented but I might be able to live with it. In other words there's a chance I would read the next one, have to wait until it actually comes out and I can look it over. Suzanne is a great writer and story teller.

I think I finished the series of stories I was doing based on the hatrack challenge I mentioned earlier. I said, "I think," because I counted ten stories all together and there should have been eleven. Either I forgot one I was going to do or I miscounted. I will get around to counting them again. Now to decide what to do with them. Sounds obvious but my original idea was to sell them online as a set. 15,000 to 16,000 words with 11 stories but I may decide to try sending some out individually.

Worked on my next WotF story. I went back and added some background for the MC, reading Volume 27 they seem to like that in stories. (shrug) still my writing so who knows.

Have yet to hear about last quarter's WotF story. They might be getting close to deciding who gets to go to the next level. I have gotten Honorable Mentions- lately only with the help of the good people on hatrack- before so it is possible but it is also possible that I will last 'till the last cut. Or even go on.

Started next quarter's WotF story but I don't know. It's a different type of story for me and even though I know some of what happens in the opening and some of which happens in the end I need to come up with some of what happens in the middle. Well, all that happens that is. I will keep working on it but as I said I don't know. I have another story I might be able to add a bit to and I have a UF story I've sent out a few times but with help from the bunch at hatrack it might serve. Not sure if they like UF but so far no one has stated they don't.

Finally making some headway on that second chapter of New Mage or Two Struggles. Not much but at least it's going in the right direction. Now if I can figure out a more sophisticated title than Two Struggles but that would say the same thing.

Inner And Outer, maybe.  :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

spiders, snowboards and :(

No they don't relate except through me. :)

First the spiders.

Does this article remind anyone of a certain movie?

Slideshow through Yahoo News. 

Now the snowboards. Doubt if anyone here will know since I've tried at hatrack and Google+ but does anyone of the few people who read this know what a board is made out of and/or what the boarders call their boards?
Looks like I will have to do it the hard way.

Now for the sad face. Looks like I lost a Follower. I would like at least 11 but as I said it looks like I lost one.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Reading a New Book

"The Sweet Scent of Blood" by Suzanne McLeod.  It says it's a Spellcracker novel. Since I can't find a list of books I assume it's the first one. The Spellcracker world is a different world then most UF-paranormal books have. Well thought out in this case.

Not badly written and the MC is not bad. She has one annoying habit though. She tends to panic when faced with a vampire. I mean face to face. Of course she has reason but still. I get tired of that type of reaction. Fear is one thing but as I said we're talking panic here. But over all I like her and wouldn't mind reading more. But I dislike the world McLeod came up with even if I think it is well thought out. Vampires and fea live mixed in with humans, which isn't so bad. There are troll police officers and her partner is part satyr-- great grandfather or some such was one.

Vamps have three bites. One just takes blood, one adds something a virus or something, I'm still a little confused about it all.  I think that one makes a blood slave addicted to bites. The third one or V3, it can turn a person into a vamp.  And vamps have legal rights.

 According to the back of the book the MC has her own dark secrets and one is hinted at almost immediately. A very strong hint, followed by a couple more in the next few pages. Easy to figure out even before it is confirmed. I guess I won't say it here but as I said very easy to figure out.

So even though I will finish the book as of right now I don't think I will get the next one. I say it that way because it is subject to change. I'm only maybe a fourth of the way into the novel so the rest of the tale might change my mind. We shall see.

Someone's debut novel and my novels

One of the members of the hatrack forum I'm on wrote this novel.

Here's an article about it and the cover.

Niiice for her. Good work there.

A bit jealous though, she has a book published and I can't even get one ready. I have three novels written--well actually five but two are older, but none of them are ready to send out or to E-publish. Of course that's my fault no body's else's. 

So I am thinking seriously of cutting out all short stories, except for WotF and a challenge I'm working on and just work on getting two of those newer three ready to go. One is about a quarter of the way done and another is probably less than a eighth ready. I thought about waiting until my vacation but I don't want to wait 'till June. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

'nother music set

While on iTunes yesterday I saw that Kutless had a new album. Went to Berrians(?) to buy a CD for someone else and while there bought the new Kutless for me. And I saw that Mercy Me has out a new song but according to ITunes instead of a whole album it's one song. Nice one though.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Music set

Taking a break from writing:

I went onto iTunes today trying to find the first Carman album. I have it one cassette or record but not CD or on computer. I wanted to find a couple of songs I remember. They didn't have that one. He has out a lot of albums, they even had a couple I've either never seen or forgotten about but not that one. I still managed to buy a couple of his songs though. And decided to order one of those I don't recall.

iTunes now will suggest certain other songs when you buy one. I usually ignore those suggestions but I noticed something strange, Newsboys had one called "Boycott Hell", umm, that is one I love by DeGarmo and Key and the title is unusual enough to say there couldn't be two of them with that title. So I played the sample, yep D and K's song. Wow. It's on what looks like the Newsboys first album, could be second I suppose. They did it differently than D and K, D and K is rockier-- love those guitar licks, I wonder how Newsboys new lead singer would do it.

I ended up also buying a couple of Leon Patillo songs, d. C. Talk, along with a couple of other older ones. I want to do a list of older songs. Way back in the seventies. Love Song and Children of the Day etc.. I may have to add a few that are a little newer than that like that first Newsboys album but it will work out. :)

Stone WIthin

Been thinking about this novel more. I have the third chapter almost done... I paused so I could finish a series of short stories. More on that in a previous note.

Anyway, the story is UF even though my MC doesn't do magic. But I want her to do a couple of tricks that may seem like magic but goes along with who she is.

She can make a shield that is proof against most magics and a lot of physical objects etc.. but it uses her life force so it's very hard on her. The larger the shield the more it takes from her. She figures it could kill her if it lasts long enough but that she will probably be unconscious therefore would release the shield, before that happens

Second idea: I may give to someone else instead of her is the ability to glide. I don't mean she can take off, she has to jump or fall from a certain height. She would be able to slow her fall.

Third: She can blast people, animals etc.. again it takes her life force so she can only do it a little. And it harms certain types of beings more than others.

Fourth: she can catch a spell sent her way and send it back to the person who cast it at her. She has to be ready for it and actively concentrating on it. And it doesn't work if the spell is powerful enough. Like the ability for spells to slide off of her. Most spells would but the ability is not 100 percent. Some spells may effect her for a little while but others could kill her or worse.

As to what she is that comes up later maybe in the second book. That isn't unusual. I base this idea on two UF series. Both have MCs who are more than human because of something in their ancestry. One could be as many as fifty generations ago. The other one I'm not sure. But in both cases the MC didn't discover exactly what it was for at least a book. One was given a strong hint in the first book but it wasn't until later that she found out what the hint meant. So my MC will just have to wait to find out.