Friday, June 28, 2013

Vacation update 4

This will probably by the last one until at least Monday of next week, maybe longer. I'm mostly done with the story sets. I say mostly because I may still do one more story but more on that later. Now I need to figure out how to do a cover. I have various E-books-from smashwords-and links to a blog post or three that will help with that.

But first I want to work on finishing the revising of a story I would like to send out tomorrow(which is saturday). I'm mostly finish revising it but I got interrupted by this project.  The story could go out next week, or come to think of it Monday since I'm vacation, without any harm but out of habit I want to go out tomorrow. It's a longer story and I think I'm about three-fourths through revising it. The rest plus spell and proofreader check could be done today. I think.

Anyway, I finished my fourth set of stories for E-publishing. I may still do the two westerns, one over 5,000 words--one about 1,000 words--but I think they are both pretty much cleaned up already. I have a sequel in mind for the longer western but it could take me a month or three to write it out. I could always publish it by itself or try to write a sequel to the shorter western also. I have sort of an idea for that and I think I could keep it under 1,000 words but we shall see how all that goes.

With the Fourth set I have seven stories in it but all come to just over 10,500 words. I would like one more in this set but that one isn't quite quirky enough. Of course there are already two stories that each stretches the quirkiness idea but I don't know about one more. I do have one story that would fit quiet well and take the set over eleven thousand but it's a newer story with only five rejections. I want to try it at a few more places first. The story I'm thinking of has a quirky quality but I don't know I will have to think on it some more. I have time since I want to send out that one story and I still have to figure out the covers.

I've thought about checking into doing these POD as well as Indie. I know one maybe two pros who have done that with their story sets, sometimes with single stories, but they are long time pros with an established fan base. I could combine three of the sets which might make it more worth it and be more attractive to bookstores. Not that there would be a rush for the books but still at least they might consider them. BTW the way bookstores buy books have changed and there is a larger chance that they will buy PODs now. And how PODs are listed has changed which also means stores now buy significantly more PODs than they used to. Of course that doesn't mean they will buy mine but I could :)  and give them away.  Or something. Of course if I did I would need a back cover and side not just the front as with Indie books. Oh, well got time to check into it. It's not a big deal either way. I will go with PODs whenever I finish with that novel I'm revising. And the others I will Indie publish.

Speaking of that Novel--now titled "Two Struggles". I will have some time to work on it, this weekend and next week even though there are things to do around the house and hopefully a movie or three to see. Oh, I do want another title--this one is better than the one I had originally but not quiet right. I want it to say the same thing but in better terms. Hopefully once past chapter three it won't take as much work. Two and Three were the two that needed the most help--to me. Two being in the worse shape. That is done--again hopefully and I starter Three. So far it doesn't seem to be in as bad shape as I thought. But I shall see how it ends.

There will be at least one more of these updates, as I said at the beginning not as many and not for a few days but at least one more. Unless of course something big happens. Like I manage to place all the sets online this weekend. But i'm not expecting that.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Vacation Update 3

Okay, finished my third set. Fantasy this time. I skipped my first two Fantasies because they are dark and two of the next fantasies are lighthearted. I decided they may not go together so I found two other stories. One I added some to, hopefully it explained a couple of points better plus I added more of the five human senses to all of them. Not as much as I would if I wrote the story from scratch now, but still it probably adds to the story. Again I took out a few thens too. As I said before I've noticed more than a couple pros use that word rarely. The same thing goes for and. Maybe it's more out of habit to cut the word count but to me a story can read better without a lot of either. Especially when it is an action scene. I also changed a few -ing words and -ly words again not as many as if I had written the story from scratch but hopefully enough to make a difference to a reader.

I almost decided to skip one of the stories I revised for this set. Now that's better...hopefully I want to try sending it in to a couple of markets but that could take a month or three if I did and as usual what I did probably wouldn't make enough of a difference for pro editors.

I may do another set, this right by faster than I anticipated. I thought about doing my two violent westerns. One won't need any work and the other may not need much. And I want to do a quirky set. I have some stories that are a touch strange. Most of those are short so I may do seven or ten stories for that one. Depending how many I have and how short they are.

Rats, I wanted to say something I forgot on Update two but I forgot again so there could be a PS. From those who have been reading this blog for a while you know that isn't unusual for me.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Vacation 2013 Update 2

Finished getting the second set ready. I had to revise two stories completely since I hadn't even looked at them for three years or more. One was formatted with an old version of Appleworks, my old wordprocessor,. My new one wouldn't open a version that old. So I copied it and placed the file on my laptop which still has Appleworks. It opened it with the last version which I copied to my desk computer. It opened finally. Later in the day I knew I had one more story that fits with this set but I couldn't remember it. I finally did with a little Help after a prayer. Now I have five stories for that set plus a two-fifty word bonus. This set is general fiction--maybe Relationship fiction-that deals with different stages of marriage. Two, including that very short bonus, are also supposed to be humorous. Notice I said humorous not funny.  I will use a pen name for those.

I'm not sure about the third set. I may do fantasy. I wanted to do western but have only two ready western ready to go. I have a third written but it needs revising and it's different from the other two. They are violent and this one is peaceful.  I could do a two story set.

I also looked over sites I have links to that sale pics for covers. Some are very cheap--eight dollars--or less. And I looked over Smashwords for uploading stories and books. They will send them to five other  E-book disturbers. That includes Barns and Noble and other big ones. But I need a cover. Hmm, almost like to watch someone do it a couple of times but I may just have to wing it. I thought about using a picture of five eagles flying for the story sets but maybe not. Maybe just a solid color on the cover with my pen name and title.  Problem is finding software I can use on my Mac that doesn't cost a bunch. I may have something already but have to experiment with it.

I will wait for the third set of five and maybe even the two westerns to figure it out. Supposedly it's easy but we shall see.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Vacation 2013 Update

Got some work done on my novel--started revision of the third chapter. I hope it won't take as much work as the second one did. I think two will be the worse chapter but we shall see.

Got two stories ready for the first set of Five to be E-published. I went over both: added more of the five human senses, smoothed out a few sentences, deleted a few that really won't needed, added some commas. I also checked for certain words I tend to mix up. Like must and most. I know the difference but I sometimes type out the wrong word. I do the same with their and they're and then and than. I believe I am improving with that but those early stories have a ton of mixed words. In the first story I cut a few of the then-s. I've noticed pros don't use it that often. I also redid some sentences.

I'm sure the stories still have a bunch of nitpicks--they tend to hide from me--but I did go over both.  I spell checked and proofreader checked both.  That helped too but even with all that I miss nitpicks. But unless I find someone to help with that I just have to hope I caught most of them. Sometimes I do.

The third story will probably take longer for I haven't gone over it as many times as I have the first two. The second one I probably redid seven to ten times, each time I learned something new about writing.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A dream-June

Had a new dream that I actually remembered...most of it anyway. 

It was strangely-for me-enough a zombie dream. I thought it was a nightmare at first but as I thought about it later I realized two things. One is I was watching it, nothing in it happened to me. Second the bloody parts were skipped.

But a bunch of people were on the island with old stone buildings. A mean SOB ruled over it. He had many people in his prison in the basement of one of the buildings. Somehow many of his prisoners turned into zombies, escaped and started to attack everyone. For a while camera followed a group of innocents who just happened to be on the island. 

Later though the escape played again with more detail. Evidently the prisoners turned into zombies because of a combination of starvation and torture. They managed to break out of a glass doors or wall with a metal frame work gate attached to it. Much like the roll down metal gates inner city businesses use when they close at night. They broke through this wall and went after the guards who were in another room and didn't seem to know what happened until attacked. I thought it was unrealistic that none didn't used their guns, I kept expecting at least one to get off a shot...that wouldn't do much good but still it would make the scene better.

The camera returned a fancy room--some type of foray or dance room. the Ruler's executive assistant--she had been seen at the beginning of the movie--somehow managed to escape the massacre and was trying to climb up a set of giant fancy stairs. There was blood all over that room but no bodies and no zombies...That is when I woke. 

Maybe I need to do more writing then revising for my dreams seems to be doing it for me.

My reading habits 2 books. "Furious" and "The Road To Danger"

Reading two Space Opera at the same time at the moment. I didn't set out to do that but I started one on my Nook and I needed to go somewhere I would want a book to read. The Nook is great but it has one drawback all readers and tablets have. I can't place it in the back pocket of my pants. If I could I wouldn't because it probably isn't tough enough to take sitting on. 

But to the books:
A couple of you may have read this already but most haven't.

One is the ninth book in the Lt. Leary series or RNC series, by David Drake.

An interesting universe David came up with--I won't say much except that Earth and a few first colonies were destroyed in a war over a hundred years before the action takes place so the two worlds that lead humans were on the fourth or fifth level of importance. 
      Second the ships used are very low tech. Computers and radios are futuristic but the ships and missiles are something we could do today almost. Still the series is very interesting and entertaining, not to mention well written. Oh, they use sail boats to go through hyper space. :)  You would have to read the books to get that, it would take a while to explain how it works, but very well though out.   

 Second book is "Furious" in the Kris Longknife series by Mike Shepard which is I believe a pen name. It's the ninth of tenth book.  Interesting in this series there are two E-published short stories about Kris. 

Mike is a good writer but he's not the best, he has a habit of doing a couple of things I find a little annoying now that I have learned something about writing. Still overall I will continue to buy the Longknife books and I will try the one he write under his real name when I find it again. 

There are a couple of issues with how he treats Kris and one or two of her family I don't particularly like but my above statement still applies. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

New Followers

Looks I have a few new Followers.  I thank you all; old and new.

I've been praying to raise my numbers.  11 is the number I wanted....for now. :)

But one seems to be a secret even from me.  I don't how. Or if this is a software mistake. On the list of Followers inside it has listed one more than what is shown on the blog for the last three new Followers.

But even if it is a glitch it looks like I will be up to eleven soon.

I need to list one blog on my list on the left side I keep forgetting but I will. I apologize for taking so long.

Thanks again.

But how about a couple comments?  Not a lot but a couple more here and there would be nice. :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Political Venting PS

It turns out that the water situation is worse than I knew.  They have cut off water to a new area of Farmers. A few years ago the Farmers, Environmentalists and Politicians made a deal--I knew of this but was recently reminded. It was signed and everything, immediately the Environmentalists took it to court and got it changed in their favor. I was going to say they hoodwinked the judge somehow but he was probably liberal so didn't need to be. So now there is even less water for farmers.

I dare say that the farmers have been here 200 some years--over 150 for sure--but that doesn't matter. All they care about is forcing their way on the rest of us. They have the people in government to help them. Not only state but federal too. Both Senators from Calif. are very much on their side.  Feinstein is suppose to have helped farmers a while back but now all she does is interfere with water legislation. As powerful as she is and as many friends in the Democratic party she has and supposedly she can't get anything done.  According to her.

Now I've heard that they want to blow up the Hetch Hetchy dam which surprises me for they usually leave that one alone for its where a whole lot of them get their water.

But there is more at the tail end of Victory Davis Hanson's latest column. Here

Okay this is all for now but probably will be more.

Update June 16

            Okay, first Update for June. Some of this might be a repeat, if it is please bear with me. 

         I sent in my story for Q3 of WotF. At least it will be mostly clean of nitpicks:typos, bad placed commas, misspelled and wrong used words, etc. All the technical stuff: right format, no author’s name, pages titled and numbers, is fine. David over there says he’s amazed how many people don’t do those things--he even gets cookbooks and non-fic. I also think it is at least close to the type of stories he seems to like. Of course he’s still new enough, on that job, that it may take one or two complete anthologies to figure out exactly what type of stories he likes. I said complete because his first one was edited by him and the late K D Wentworth. I think--it was 28 or 29. My poor mind decided to take a powder on that at the moment and both books only list one editor. Anyway, he didn’t choose all the semi-finalists and maybe finalists in one book. 

    I mentioned in a previous post that I sent out a bunch of stories, well getting back a bunch of rejections. Beneath Ceaseless Skies usually say something-one to three sentences-on why they rejected the story. This time it was a little bit more positive sounding than last time. Still nothing to say that I almost made it though. A new market sent a rejection saying that my world was interesting but didn’t fit what they wanted at the moment. Sounds nice but as I’ve learned that could be their stock rejection. I will have to send another one to see if it was or not. Which I will do. I have a list of ten markets to send stories to. I might make it eleven and send another to Asimov’s.  Ms Williams doesn’t seem to mind a writer sending in a story before they receive a rejection for your last one to them. Many markets do, they have even set up their internet submissions system to reject any new stories to them until they send a rejection. 

   My vacation is coming up. One: I plan on getting three sets of five stories ready for E-publishing. Well, one may have six. That means checking as throughly as I can for nitpicks and/or finding someone to do them for me. And it will probably mean a bit of rewriting as I check them over. Two: I want to take pics of various books I have that I want to sell and get them on Ebay and/or a free site. I wanted to do that last year but never got to it. Three: I have plenty of appointments. Twice with my Doctor, Dentist, twice with my pick-up or I hope it will be twice, one for sure. Four: I will be working on one novel revision--some. My first day is a Friday so that Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be dedicated to that novel, and I will probably work on it for bits of time during the rest of the two weeks. Five: I want to do at least seven crits for Last year I tried to do one per day but only got to about half which was a whole lot better than the year before. Six: I will probably be working on a story or three also: writing, revising, spellchecking, etc.

  For those who don’t know this is a critiquing site. You send in your story, in almost any genre now,  it then gets sent out to the list of critters. They choose to critique it or not. You need to critique about one story per week to stay in good standing. I don’t send in stories any more but I still like to crit stories, usually one or two per month. That’s enough to keep me getting stories. 

   I started a Space Opera Community on Google+. I looked for one four different times and concluded there wasn’t one, which surprised me. There’s at least two Urban Fantasy and maybe three Steampunk and Horror but no Space Opera. Until now. That reminds me I need to write a couple. I have one in mind already, it’s more a Special Ops story. I don’t think I have ever written a Sp Op tale before but this one popped into my mind. I love reading Space Opera and am very surprised I haven’t written more. 

That’s it for now. As usual could be a PS or three. 


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Articles that are story Fodder.

I've done this a time or three before but it's been quite a while since the last time.

The idea is for me to put up links that I find which could be used to inspire story-novel ideas. I added a couple of questions to help get the Muse going but think of your own. I will hopefully be doing this more often. Usually there will be three at a time.

Here's one. I have used these in one of the two novels I'm working on revising,

Large Crystals

What could they be used as?  Or what might be in one?

Alaskan Monster

Sorry the video is out on that last one but it still describes it.
Could all these various monsters be the same one. Many seem to look similar to each other. Or Aliens using the same false holgram covering?


How did that hole really get there?  What else could be discovered in holes like that one?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Adventures with my Nook

For those who are new to this blog. I bought a Color Nook about a year ago. I have 28 books and a few short stories and PDF files from Laura Anne Gilman's new series and one from an online friend who sent me a copy of a novel he is, hopefully, be working on to publish. Obviously it is done he just has to redo a bit here and there.  I probably shouldn't name it or him yet but he is an excellent writer.  He just received a Finalist listing after only four to six tries at WotF.

But here is my post:

Just spent half an hour or so on my Nook even though it wasn't planned.

Anyway, I wanted to upload--or is that share--my friend's book, he was kind enough to send me. I used a magic trick and transformed it into a PDF file and wanted to see how it worked on the Nook. To do that I have to hook my Nook to my computer. (Hmmm, maybe not but more on that in a minute). So everything went fine but it didn't show up on my "shelves" So I turned off the Nook, waited a few second turned it back on. Still not in the right place...other PDF files just showed up there. So I went looking for it, while looking I found two other files I had forgotten I had. One was a E-book written by someone on a forum I am on. I was suppose to read it and make a review, I forgot but I wouldn't have been able to find it anyway. Now it's on my shelf.

I also found an E-mail app. I had planned on getting one the Nook people suggested, but I can't remember actually doing it but there was one. Wow, so I spent some time setting up two of my E-mail accounts. Now is when I explain the comment about more on that in a minute. Just thought, if I can read and send E-mail I should be able to download files from said E-mail. I need to experiment with that and see if it works and how it works if it does.

Oh, I found the friend's novel and placed it on one of my shelves. I can open it even though instead of scrolling sideways I have to go up and down. And I have enlarge the print too. So I can read his novel even though not quite as easily as with the usual novel files.

Niiiice though. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pardon a lot of political Venting.

Afraid this has nothing to do with writing--but I feel the need to vent on a certain created circumstance where I live.  I've commented on these two before and no doubt I will again I'm sorry to say.

  I while back I vented on what I called Liberal Bureaucrats who tried to fix something that wasn’t broken just because they could. For those who hadn’t weren’t reading my blog back then, the reason I was rather upset was that they changed the overtime rules for businesses here in Calif. Making things more complicated. At my company we had been getting off early on Fridays--we made up the time by working half an hour in the morning. We did that for close to 30 years. But no more, technically Management--who are the owners of this smaller company--could have worked something out but as I said it’s became more complicated...way too complicated. There was no real reason for them do that. There could be some small amount of workers who really were having problems but as usual that could be fixed without inconveniencing  everyone.  They like to do things like that though.

All that was just an comment in what I have stated before, now to get to the real purpose of this note.

Water--they changed the rules on that too, now many farmers here in the San Joaquin Valley have been left out of the water that they were promised. Yes, the rain level is down but the water didn’t have to cut as much as it was. A couple of years ago when the state did the same thing 400 farmers were cut off. A few bought water from other places or farmers a few pumped water but both of those things cost money. And it only helped a small percentage of farmers. Orchards died because of the lack of water, some of the small towns  around here almost declared bankruptcy and businesses closed because so many people were laid off.  Even workers who had been employed for ten to twenty years straight. They had a water March, with various politician coming by but nothing was done. 

Some environmentalists just say they are large cooperate farms implying they don’t need help or are lying.  There could very well be some large cooperate farms a month the 400 but I don’t care. They need water too and they hire local people. But many of the farms are small cooperations. Family size. 

Supposedly all this is because of a tiny fish some call the carney in the coal mine--it isn’t. I said supposedly because that fish isn’t native to that part of the water course, and it has eight other “stresses” that kill more fish than the pumps they use to pump water into the canals. If they really wanted to help they could either have fisheries and/or go to other lakes in the US and at certain times of the year use a bucket to dip fish up. The local people might even be happy about that. Or they could place special screens around the pumps as some people, who are trying to work with them, want to do. But they are not having any of that either. So people they are suppose to care for suffer, land sits when it could be feeding the world, providing jobs and tax revenue to the state government. No matter if Governor Brown’s budget really preforms like he wants to believe the state can always use more cash. It probably won’t so they need cash even more. 

So twice now Liberals have butted in to fix something that didn’t need fixing or as much as they claim. And it ends up hurting a lot more people than they wanted to help. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Another update PS May 26 and a Thanks

So one more Follower Thank you. Talked to you on G+ but still appreciate the extra number here.


      Sent out new stories this week. Looks like Scott P. Over at F&SF will be getting another break from my writing, at least from my alchemy tales. The one I am revising is over 11,000 words and it will take me week or three to finish it.  I may send a SF instead. 

   I was able to encourage one person this week. He wrote a novel a couple of years ago and is trying to get some cred by selling a couple of short stories. He was a finalist in Q1 with WotF.   Didn’t win but still  Niiice.  I know what story he sent in for Q3 it could get in or be another Finalist. We will have to see what David thinks of it but I was right about Q1.  This guy is a good writer.  Anyway, he will now be going back over that novel this summer because I managed to remind him of it. He was nice enough to send me a copy to read. I will enjoy it.

   I made a mistake entering that challenge I referenced last note. They post the first 13 lines--which seems to be the standard number of an Opening. It might be unofficial but evidently a lot of editors think of it that way.  It’s the number of lines on the first page of a manuscript.  Anyway, the people who entered the challenge comments on and votes on the best 13 lines. No one likes my Opening. Only read six out of ten comments so it’s possible one person might like it. That has happened before. But one person misunderstood something and another will be disappointed when he reads the rest of it. 

  My vacation is coming up in three weeks. I do a writing vacation. Besides working on my novels I want to get three sets of stories ready for E-publishing.  For me a set has five stories. One set may have six but that’s close enough.  More on that later.