Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dave Farland's son charity and contest

Didn't plan to post another post so soon but here:

Check It Out

For those who aren't on hatrack or the WotF forum the executive editor (Or what his title might be, for some strange reason I keep forgetting) David Farland's son was in a Bad accident a while back. No insurance so various people and groups are working on raising money for him. This is one way and it's a good way.

A writing contest. Fee isn't that much and the Farlands get half. It's one of the very few pay contests I will enter.

But if you want to try hurry deadline's the Sept 9.

Among other types of story telling, Urban fantasy is good.

A PS You can enter more than once if I understand the rules correctly. I think I can enter three to five stories.

Indie and Aug 24 Writing Update


This double update is rather long:

       First the indie update.

I decided to do Kickstarter as I believe I mentioned last note. I will need a thousand dollars to have my novel copy edited and the cover done. Maybe 1,100 to have some bookmarks made. The only thing keeping me off of Kickstarter is the video one needs to do it properly. I need to find the time to do one. I have thought out what I want to say. I would like to show a picture of the cover but I would have to spend 520 of my money to do that. I would be surprised if Kickstarter or those who would decide to help me, would appreciate me paying myself back with the kickstarter money. If I could find some of the Strange New Worlds Ten-s I still have I could show one and offer a couple as gifts on a certain price range. But they might be hidden in a closet, under heavy stuff. 

   I took a picture that might work as the fantasy set story cover so I need to work on that. I may add two stories to that batch. I noticed on CreateSpace the lowest amount of stories is around seven not including Dean Wesley Smith’s stories and story sets. I may think on that for another week. I have other things to do so I probably would be waiting anyway. 

   I will be waiting on the marriage set. I want to send one new story to at least one market first and that won’t get back to me for a couple of months. I may make it two markets but have to decide on the other one. I have one picture I can use for the cover of a heart but I would like a couple of more I could mix together on a cover. 


   Writing Update:

    Written a bunch of stories since my last update, the current one I am sending to Q4 of WotF has been given a prophecy of Doom by one critter. Not for the writing but for the content of the opening. A bit too controversial evidently. I won’t go into more detail but there has been an ongoing emotional debate at a certain large writer’s group. To be PC or not to be. Evidently David Farland is on the PC side. Other well known writers are on the non-PC side. They reacted rather angrily to a statement made by the PC side. Another writer did also on his blog. All three over reacted especially the guy on his blog but at the same time I can understand why. Personally I think if you start worrying about offending some people, that is all you will be doing because someone or group will be offended no matter what you do. I have to admit I do that I do sometimes change something so as to not to offend or to be PC but I try to restrict myself.  In other words there are limits for me. 

Sorry not to name names and to be vague but it’s suppose to be smart to do that while talking about a WotF story. They can be strict about the judges not knowing who you are. 

   I entered a story for a gaslight fantasy themed issue of Penumbra. Nice little story--just barely under 3,500 words. I decided I will be writing more with that MC. Gaslight is sort of like steampunk but with at least a touch of horror evidently. Or so I hope. When they reject it I will send it to Beneath Ceaseless Skies. They like steampunk. 
Oh, I seem to have broken away from Urban Fantasy even though I am working on a Western Fantasy. It’s is a longer story-would not be surprise if it’s over 10,000 words by the time I get it done. It’s almost done. I am hand writing it at work which at 125 to 460 words per day is slow going. And when I get done I will need to type it out. Which is why I hate writing things out by hand but sometimes it’s just too hot for my laptop--or so I think but I might be too paranoid about that. 

Today I was reminded of two very short general fiction stories I wrote quite a while back. This paragraph is here not in the Indie update because it’s more about writing.  I may have to rewrite them for I think I lost them. One is about someone losing his Bling--suppose to be lighthearted and another dealing with a guy with a unique way to celebrate. I probably will try to make a story set of them. But there’s only two. One more gen fic story but I haven’t finished it for it’s sad. But still three stories isn’t enough for a set. I may do a mix of very short stories. Three gen fics--one from the marriage set--a western and some SF and Fantasy. Maybe I can write a couple of more Gen fics and one more western. Some people like a variety. 

I’m doing four crits--one in a row--for Q4 of WotF. After one and a half and reading one of the stories I say not David will have a variety to choose from. And good writing. Maybe a batch of melancholy tales also, at least a few. Don’t know if that last is good-bad-or in-between but I’ve noticed that some editors like less than happy endings. Part of that might be because they get few well done ones. So it’s a nice surprise when they do.  

I’ve done a guest post for the first time that is here.  And in the next two weeks I will be doing another one. The first one deals with Indie publishing and the second will be advice on writing. 

I think this is it for this update. As usual if I recall something that I wanted to say but forgot there will be a PS.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Mountain Echoes" by C. E. Murphy Part Two

         Yeah, part two of the review. I didn’t expect to do one-even if it is number two-but after reading more of the book various thoughts have bounced into the forefront of my mind. 

  First: whoa boy is this a wild ride. Murphy is at her best. Twice now I kept reading after my allotted time for reading, I just didn’t want to stop. I had to because things needed to be done just part away the leftovers from dinner. But it was almost like I couldn’t stop.
A  very ungeneral spoiler here so I hope it isn’t too spoiley.  But The Big Bad Guy first takes her on like the Hulk but then switches and becomes more subtle with a long going strategy. Surprised me even though maybe it shouldn’t. Second I had thought about writing a note to Murphy to ask when Walker deals with her daughter’s soul--sorry if you don’t know but it’s all in the first book--but Murphy deals with that in this book but I won’t say how or when. And there is time travel as if that was a surprise from the cover and previous adventures--again I won’t say more--but Walker, as before, learns something she needed to know. Murphy does a great job and her imagination comes up with some interesting situations and battles for Walker. Even though Murphy does seems to be following a pattern she developed a couple of books ago. It might go back to the first book and I just noticed it but in either case it works. 

Second: There are other writers I like and I have developed my own habit of coming up with characters using the model of the writer I like. As I say my character is sort of, kind of, in a way, based on that writer’s character. The novel I want to Indieize is an example. There are plenty of changes I made to make my MC different from Wren in Laura Anne Gilman’s Wren books but still Wren is under there--kinda of. As I said as a model even though my MC’s emotional baggage is closer to Walker’s than Wren’s. 

But strangely enough I haven’t come up with my version of Walker. But come to think of it I have-she is in a short story not a novel. She traveled around the place while growing up because she is a military brat. I didn’t do much with that in the short story except in her relationship with her husband. Yes, my MC has been married for a couple of years and never had any children. She also has an angel advising her. And a chance to be tempted big time to go over to the dark side. I remembered I do want to do a novel but not now--too many other novels going on. 

So read C. E. Murphy--she has out more than one series and is a great storyteller. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Review: "Mountain Echoes" by C. E. Murphy

Been wanting to write this out for a couple of weeks, at least, and decided I better do it now.

I am reading "Mountain Echoes" by C. E. Murphy. Book eight in the Walker Papers.

As I have stated before and no doubt will state again, she is one of two writers I really want to be like.. Murphy knows how to turn a phrase (to quote just one "Cop Shop") and how to end a chapter with a cliffhanger-sometimes a complete surprise-and how to place her MC in danger.

That last isn't as easy as it might sound. I know from personal experience. She does it just right which is one reason I want to write like her.

I will say one thing about this book though. It seems too easy to read. Some writers are like that, in some cases almost like they are writing YA or even Mid Grade books. I don't recall if I noticed that with previous Murphy books but this one is too easy. But it also has the usual turns of phrases-I mentioned earlier-and the great descriptions and action scenes. I'm there wherever her there is. Plus she has the same cliffhanger chapter endings as usual and as I have also mention earlier. I would describe a couple of those endings but that would be a major spoiler. I really don't want to do that here.

I will say that her meeting with her son(No, this isn't a spoiler since it's on the back of the cover or maybe it is but they did it first) is pure Walker. You would have had to read the previous books to understand that. I must say also--this is a minor spoiler--that it took me a while to get that Walkingsticks are praying mantises. Very slight criticism of Murphy there. I thought they were a different "stick" insect.

I don't want to gush too much over the book, I'm sure Murphy has her detractors but the only problems I have noticed are small ones. Some may not like Walker she can be a bit of a whinier and her emotional baggage can hinder her more than some would like but over all I like her and Murphy displays her wonderfully,   Walker does learn though even though sometimes without warning which might be one defect in Murphy's writing. Walker will say something along the lines of  I did this last time and it blew up in my face so I thought about it and this time I do it another way, I read up on it last time I had a chance so I think it will work better. I say Oh, when did she think about it or read up on it? But (Shoulder shrug) it doesn't happen a lot and I consider it minor.

It's a great read and I recommend it to anyone who likes adventure with a mystery mixed in.

I will add one thing here, Murphy did something in number seven or six that I personally wished she didn't do with Walker.  But few readers will probably feel that way. I'm sorry I can't say what for it will By a Huge Spoiler. All I will say though that of one character I said, "That young???!!"  but she did something too that I said ugh too. But as I said that was personal tastes not anything wrong with Murphy's writing. Still as you probably realized I kept reading.

Indie Update and did it THREE

Right now my novel is in limbo or circling some planet somewhere waiting for clearance to land.

I contacted two sites that can copy edit. Both wanted the first ten pages to see how much they would charge for the whole thing. I sent the pages to both but didn't hear from the first site. It turns out that I must have slipped up with them and not attached the pages. I had everything set up to do that but somehow didn't. So I need to resend them or send them for the first time as the case might be.

The first site--Lucky  Bat--also does covers as I think I have mentioned already. But I still asked someone else and I'm not sure if I received a response from her.  I need to double check on that to make sure.

Once I know how much I need for both I will look into doing a kickstarter event. Looks like I will need a least a thousand dollars perhaps more depending on which copyeditor I decide on. I've looked it over a couple of times, and I think I have it figured it out but I would need to make a video-Yikes!

Now to my story set. My story set of SF stories is now available at Barnes and Noble. Last time I checked not at Amazon. I didn't check at the other sellers listed at Smashwords.  I have thought about doing a POD even though five stories seems too short. I checked at Createspace and found some that were seven stories long maybe one at six stories. My total word count comes very close to the word count of some of the shorter story sets there. So that is still up in the air. I'm not sure how well the shorter sets sell like that so I don't know if it would be worth it the effort.
I had thought about E-publishing the Marriage set of stories but I decided to see if I can do a cover with hearts and wedding rings. And I still need a cover for the fantasy set. That leaves one more set of stories I could e-publish. I probably will do them next weekend. They are a set of quirky or odd SF tales so I can use the same cover just change the title some.

But I have a contest to get a story ready for and another story to get ready for a themed magazine. Both stories need to be sent out before the end of the month and the contest one is looong. It will take a while to go over--I have two crits to read over for that story. That will take a while most probably since I have been told I have POV problems, not to mention I need to figure out how to suggest the speculative element in the first 13 lines. For this story that is not as easy as it sounds.

So more work on all of my projects and we shall see how it goes. Still no sells on the one story set, I don't expect a lot but a couple would be nice.

Until next time.