Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wow! Now I have permission!

Thanks to Kelly McCullough, I can now go start my next novel guilt-free. Check it out here. And suddenly the sun pokes through the clouds, and beckons me to follow my muse. I must take the dog for a walk before it rains. But I will be churning out ideas and characters along the way. :) Then back and outlining, mapping, writing. Yeah!

New Star Trek Movie, "Dear Jane" Letter, writing, revising and peddling my wares

The good news: JJ Abrams, directing! The bad news: We have to wait till Christmas. In the meantime, here's the teaser trailer. Not much, but it does whet the appetite a little.

I just got a "Dear Jane" letter this week. But it was a glowing one. ALL the editors liked the story, but they didn't have room for it. I'm trying to get more organized about sending stuff out. I'm developing a database so that I can know at a glance who accepts reprints, who pays what, what their word limits are, etc. Especially for the ones I've already scoped out, and know what they like. Market research is time consuming. I'm hoping this will help. It's time I stopped repeating my efforts every time I bat a story back into play. Of course, this exercise made something all too clear. Almost no one takes reprints! Ugh!

Meantime, I'm sick of my novel. It's been here too long, stinking up the place like last night's fish. I have to make myself finish the rewrites. I think I need to start the next one at the same time, so I can be writing again, instead of just revising. Much more satisfying. And the next one should be great to write. I can't wait any more. Maybe I'll do the Revision in a Month thing in March on the old one. >sigh<

I'm still waiting for the new issue at Nanobison, featuring my story, "Jolaneering". I'll let you know when it's up. I just sent another story out to make the rounds. I hope you'll see it this year. My fingers are crossed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Not another former-spouses team saving the world from disaster!

I'm beginning to think that it's some unwritten prerequisite for disaster movies! Enough already! How many disaster movies have you seen where the two scientific experts called in on the disaster (man-made or otherwise -- usually the former) are ex-spouses? I tuned in to the SF channel after an especially long day, thinking a disaster flick would be okay if I'm working on the lap top while I'm watching. Then she says, "We're not married anymore, remember," to the other scientist and I yelled at the TV in protest. It's as bad as large mutated (fill in the blank) movies. How are these done-to-death themes still getting produced, viewed and, presumably, making money?

Okay, I'm done ranting. I feel much better now. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Compared to Douglas Adams!

Saturday, the twelfth, after my reading in Santa Rosa, from my new book, Awesome Lavratt, another author compared me to Douglas Adams! Woo hoo! And then my publisher did the following Saturday. :) I'm a huge fan of his work, and obviously influenced by him. Now to find someone famous to say it for the back of the book. If only I can scoop up all those Douglas Adams fans out there who are dying for something new.

That story I recently rewrote that didn't know what it wanted to be when it grew up? The one about the tiny aliens stealing drugs from Earth? I went with the dangerous heist route and sent it out. Now I keep wanting to make the other choice, too, and write it as it began, as a fun little romp with a punch line. Maybe if I change it just enough and change the title...

And the other story I just rewrote doesn't want to end, and no one wants it too. >sigh< style="font-weight: bold;">Under the Suns of Sarshan, so I wanted to kick all these things out the door. I think I'll leave it as a short. I can always return to Chance's world later with a longer story. It's dripping with possibilities.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

When Green Tips Collide

This is a departure from my usual post. I thought I'd rant a while. I just heard a "green tip" on the radio. Not for the first time, it struck me that the solution to one kind of damaging waste of energy or resources encroaches on another. How do you choose? Imagine a child or child-like person trying to follow all of them that he or she could.

One tip instructed us to mow more often and leave the grass trimmings to return to the soil, eliminating the need for fertilizer. What about the fossil fuel or electricity we use for the mower?

Another said to throw stuff into the compost bin or into the garbage rather than running the garbage disposal. The garbage? This is better? Who measured?

The alternate suggestion was to run the disposal without water. Are you willing to burn out your motor? Not me. And does it work as well that way? Wouldn't it make it work harder, thus using more energy? So we save water, but use more power.

Don't get me wrong. I recycle like crazy. I'm the nut that called the garbage and recycling company to ask if I could recycle the toilet paper rolls. I even recycle the paper tags off my clothes, carefully separating the plastic tabs out. I don't run a half-full dishwasher and never use the dry cycle. I use cold water in the washer. I turn down the thermostat, turn off unneeded lights.

I used to do a lot of my errands by walking. Since then, our son got a dog that he doesn't walk. So I walk the dog (that I can't bring in to the bank, store, post office, etc) and then I have no time or energy to walk again for the errands. Maybe I can get one of my neighbors to buddy up on errands with me once or twice a week. We can each hold the leashes while the other goes in to do the errand. Might work.... Of course the obvious solution is to get the son to walk his own dog. Yeah! Like that's going to happen. He's old enough to vote, sign a contract and go to college. And too big to send to his room.

Bring on the green tips. Just keep the nonsensical ones to yourself.

Don't be sheep. Research the dubious tips, and make the greener choice.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Building Worlds with Words OR My Fifteen Minutes of Fame

I made it into the local paper today. I'm in the "Magnified" section of the Community Voice: Building Worlds With Words. I'm reading from my new novel, Awesome Lavratt, on Saturday in Santa Rosa. It's at Mysterious Future Bookstore on 5th St. near the mall for those who are local and available from 2-4PM.

And to make my week complete, the local rock station played my "perfect 10 (songs)" last night. Want to know what they were? I tried not to pick the overplayed ones. Here's the list I came up with:

1 Crossroads by Eric Clapton
2 Summer in the City by Lovin' Spoonful
3 Aja by Steely Dan
4 Love in an Elevator by Aerosmith
5 All Right Now by Free
6 Hoedown by Emerson, Lake & Palmer
7 Framed by Burton Cummings
8 Fat Bottom Girls by Queen
9 Load Out/Stay by Jackson Brown
10 Superstition by Stevie Ray Vaughn

I also have another one of my babies (stories) ready to leave the nest. I'm hoping to give it the final once-over this afternoon, and send it out to a print magazine. Fingers crossed. The story is about tiny thieving aliens who travel to Earth for a special heist. This story morphed so much that its original title, although cute (Short People Have More Reason), no longer provides an accurate glimpse into the story. Maybe "The Grasshopper Caper"? I don't know. I have to mull it. Feel free to provide suggestions. :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Where I Usually Write??

I have a reporter coming over to do a feature for the local paper. He said he'd like to get a photo of me where I do my writing. I do it everywhere! My husband accused me of having a compulsion to write (why thank you! :) ) when I was writing a scene for my newest story on the back of a Mapquest printout I found in the car. He was helping his Mom at the airport and I waited in the car offsite since it was going to be a while. Yeah. I'm a tightwad. I parked in a hotel parking lot, waiting for his call. This was after circling like a vulture three times.

I hate being stuck waiting somewhere without something I'm working on or something to read. And sometimes those are the BEST times to write because you can't possibly do anything else. Getting the oil changed, the tires rotated or sitting in the doctor's office waiting room. That is if they don't have a TV you can't turn off or escape from. I remember reading an article in Poets & Writers about writing in bed. I've done that, too. I write while walking the dog--at least mentally. I write in my sleep. I love it when I wake up with a great story. :)

Of course, the writing can begin on a napkin, the back of a receipt or a legal pad, but it eventually has to go into the computer. What did we ever do without copy, paste, find and replace?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Waiting with Baited Breath

I'm BAAAAAACCCK! I'm typing with all ten digits, nearly over a nasty cold and back to reading and writing. I'm looking forward to seeing "Jolaneering" at Nanobison this month. No date has been given. I'm also crossing my fingers regarding a short-listed reprint at another ezine. Meanwhile, I've accepted a "Revision in a Week" challenge at OWWW (Other Worlds Writing Workshop). I have two stories that have languished since September, when I wrote them in a "Short Story in a Week" challenge at the same online workshop. I also look forward to finishing that story I woke up with and catching up on my reading.

I just finished Madeleine L'Engle's A Circle of Quiet. What an incredible book. I highly recommend it. It's spiritual odyssey, philosophy, social commentary, autobiographical and does, occasionally, touch on the business of writing (at least as it fits into our lives or shapes it).