Monday, March 31, 2008

New Features Coming

I plan to have my "Where to Find SF Reviews" page up this week. Keep those suggestions coming for sites I can add. Thanks for those that have helped already.

I just set up a Live Journal account. It's ann_wilkes, if you're in that blogosphere. This one will continue to be my main blog, but now I can comment on LJ blogs, too.

If anyone remembers the whole sad story of my pirated story, "Immunity Project," (see the post of that name, Dec 07) or even if you don't, I have more news regarding that story. I'm waiting to hear back from a magazine that accepts reprints. If they accept it, you'll get to read it there. If they don't, I'm going to post it here as a serial. Just a little something for my lovely readers. Everyone likes a freebee, right? Failing that, I'll throw "Marfina" up for your reading pleasure. Especially my friends in Chelan, WA. A feature story about yours truly will be in the Chelan Mirror soon. Perhaps they can coincide. "Marfina" is set in Chelan.

I spent half my day researching markets. I did manage to rewrite my story "The Heist"--that story that wanted to be suspenseful AND funny. After receiving a "Dear Jane" on Saturday, all doubt was removed that I took it in the wrong direction. I rewrote it as a funny flash. I'm sure it will fare better now. Fingers crossed. I sent it off today.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Got a Twofer!

I sent off a short autobiographical vignette to an anthology editor years ago. Then I sent to Chicken Soup for the Soul and another anthology. I just got word on Saturday that it will be included in the next volume of Vintage Voices, the last place I sent it. Two days later, I got an email from the first anthology editor. After all those years, the project is going forward and they want my piece. I thought I had to choose. I thought, what rotten timing!

The best news is that I can have my cake and eat it, too! It will appear in both anthologies. :) Vintage Voices should be out in September. No definite date yet on the other.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Vote for me!

Just want to point out the little Vote for Me link to the right. It increases my ranking in BlogTopList. Thanks.

Don't Slay the Writer While Saving the Planet!

I just heard a "green tip" on the radio advising people to use the library, buy books used and donate them or give them to friends. Well, that's fine unless you're the writer counting on those sales! Of course, I use the library and bought two books used today. But I also buy new ones. I'm all for saving the planet, but don't forget the starving artists.

In fact, for Christmas I love to find handmade items from local artists. It saves the planet because 1) no one trucked it in. 2) no third world country's work force was exploited and 3) the money stays in the local economy. And they're wonderful gifts that they can't find at their local store.

I spent yesterday trying to confuse myself. I worked on a novel AND a short story covering the same events in the same world with the same people. I must be crazy. But I couldn't wait for the short story to get critiqued before I started on the novel. People live in a habitat on the back of a sentient, telepathic, giant whale-like creature. What's not to love?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Finding SF Book Reviews

I've been trolling the internet off and on for a couple months looking for places that do sf book reviews. There doesn't seem to be any one place that has a list of mags or online sites that do them. I'm considering fixing that problem in the process of my own research. I have to find the information anyway. My publisher doesn't specialize in SF/F, so they don't have those kinds of resources. I figure if I have to compile all this myself, I need to keep track of it for next time. Why not use it as a tool to drive readers to my blog/website in the process? I know HTML and I'm not afraid to use it! :)

Where do you go for SF reviews? You can help me build the site. And readers can report broken links or folded mags.

All suggestions welcome. Even, "That's a bad idea" or "It's already been done right here, why couldn't you find it?". Hey, if you give me a URL that has all this info already without having to click on each magazine and go to their site to see if they do reviews, I'll send you a copy of my book, Awesome Lavratt for free.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Free Podcast -- Paulo Bacigalupi reading "The People of Sand and Slag"

Warning: Both interviewers use my pet peeve phrase, "without further ado". If you can brave that, Paulo reads "The People of Sand and Slag".

Happy Easter to all Westerners who celebrate it today. Mine is still a month away (Orthodox Easter, AKA Pascha).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Hare's Literary Tea

This Saturday is the March Hare's Literary Tea, presented by Redwood Writers Club as part of their Odd Month Readings. I'll be the March Hare (MC). I won't be reading at this event, but I will have copies of Awesome Lavratt available.

Here's the specifics:

Redwood Writers Club presents

ODD MONTH READINGS

The March Hare's Literary Tea
March 22, 2008
2-4PM
The Sebastopol branch of the Sonoma County Library
7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol, CA

Featuring West County Writers

BYOT
(Bring Your Own Tea)


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Crawling out of the Snooze...

I'm slowly getting over this virus. Still not up to par, but can at least be vertical a little longer. The short story I intended to write this week didn't happen, but at least the article did. Maybe I'll rewrite my little people story the other way tomorrow. Make it short and funny instead of tense and dramatic. I couldn't make up my mind and had it trying to do both. I picked the wrong way, I think, evidenced by the rejections it's received.

Here's a fun site for you. I can't even remember how I found it. Oh, yeah, I have a Google alert for Douglas Adams fans. I figure if they like funny SF, they might like Awesome Lavratt. There it is. One of my dirty little marketing secrets. Anyhow, this guy writes a story every week for a year and they all have to do with a monkey, monster or spaceman. Douglas Adams search hit on his story "The Man Who Wasn't There" for week 42, of course. His name is D J Sylvis. The site's called Monkey, Monster or Spaceman?

If anyone wants an autographed copy of Awesome Lavratt, remember, you can order it directly from me for the same price. I'll put a link up on the website for orders next week. Meantime, just use the email link on my website.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Daytime TV

Having been knocked down by a second respiratory virus this year, I was forced to watch TV since my head's imminent implosion and the ice pick behind my eyeball made reading difficult.

When my husband's sick, he watches the History Channel and the Discovery channels. I watch the SF Channel and movies. I would have went out and bought the new SG1 movie if I wasn't so sick. And Hubby got the bug first and had to go back to work, which was all the activity he was up to for the day. Instead, I watched Alien on Tuesday and Aliens on Wednesday. Nice, comforting fare.

On Monday, I was tasked with writing a first person article for my home-town paper. I managed to get that done while I was still fully functional. On Wednesday, my first box of Awesome Lavratt books arrived. :) My husband took the cheesy "here I am with my book" photo that the editor requested tonight. I just hope it's not obvious how sick I felt. The puffiness, at least was down, and my nose not as red.

For any Stargate SG1 fans, I think I found another OOPS. You know it's harder and harder for these things to be missed when we can rewind, record and watch these episodes to death. I watched the episode where they found out that the Russians had their own gate. When the entity goes back through the gate, via Teal'C, he dials the gate. WHY? They were all there because it was stuck dialed to the place he already wanted to go. When did it get shut down? They hadn't fixed it yet, right?

I'm going to crawl back to bed now...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Critique Groups

I found a very interesting post on Keith Snyder's blog about critique groups. It has really gotten me thinking. I'm starting to consider Stephen King's approach. Just finish the thing, put it in a drawer for a few months, while working on short stories or other projects. Then, pull it out and do your own rewrite now that you can have some perspective. Last, print out six copies for six people to read it and give you feedback before you do a final rewrite. The hard part, it seems, is finding those six people.

Here's the link to Keith's post.

I keep going back to the same thing. I need reader impressions on the basic story arc, plot, pace, you know, the big picture. That's hard to get when you submit it one chapter every two weeks. And getting help with editing before that's done is rather pointless when those paragraphs or even that chapter may not be in the next rewrite. >sigh<

And here I am, the coordinator of critique groups for my local writer's club. Go figure. I still find them helpful for shorter works. They're not unhelpful for the longer stuff, and I appreciate all their efforts. I think it's just my process that's to blame. And this novel is driving me nuts. It's been in rewrites way too long. I need to finish it or chuck it and move on.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Speaking of Speaking...

If you missed my talk on public speaking/reading at the Redwood Writers Club meeting last Sunday, go to this RWC page and it will be like you were there. Except you won't have an opportunity to read "Sing a Song of Sixpence" as a candidate's campaign speech, or practice diction, pace and eye contact with "Three Blind Mice". Everyone had fun with those.

I'm still pulling my costume together for the upcoming RWC Odd Month Reading: The March Hare's Literary Tea. I have my hat, complete with ears and a vest, a bow tie and a tweed overcoat. The Tea (BYOT -Bring Your Own Tea) will be held at the Sebastopol branch of the Sonoma County Library on March 22nd from 2-4PM.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tech "Support"?

Would that I could! I would love to post the transcript of my tech support chat today. Shouldn't a sufficient command of the English language be a prerequisite for helping people in English-speaking countries? And I don't know if he was juggling so many chats at once that he forgot what my problem was or he was just stalling for time while he read the help pages himself. Ugh!

Outlook has moved my emails from the outbox to the sent folder, but it's not clear if they're really gone. One of them bounced and it was an anthology entry with a deadline of noon tomorrow. Gmail came to the rescue there. And Outlook keeps trying to send the same two phantom emails that aren't there over and over again.

I knew I should stick to web mail for my lap top! And this is after losing all my emails when my son wiped my hard drive to fix another problem, because I didn't back them up. Lost those and all my pictures not loaded to Kodak. I guess it could be a lot worse. Some people have their whole hard drive fry with no back up. Oh, and I forgot to back up my desktop one last time, and the reviewer list for the Lavratt was sent from Outlook and stored on the desktop. Tomorrow's project is recreating that list. Not to mention calling tech support since the guy I was in the chat with finally admitted it was more than he could handle.

On the plus side, I finished my first story in the universe of my next novel. The people-living-on-whales one. This was actually a collaboration of sorts. My husband and I bounced ideas around on a walk and a drive. He gave me the ending. I wrote this in three days and love it. I've already posted it to OWWW (Other World's Writing Workshop) with one day to spare on the SSIAW (Short Story in a Week) challenge.

We went out to Himalayan to celebrate. Okay, so we really went out because I lost track of time between writing and tech bologna, and didn't have anything ready for dinner.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Goosebump Time!

The first email back from a friend saying she just bought my book gave me goosebumps! It's a wild ride! I'm keeping my nose to the ground for any possible publicity opportunities. And playing around with my third novel while procrastinating on the rewrites on the second. I'm writing short stories in the universe of my third novel to get some ideas of where I want to take it. It has oodles of possibilities. And a universe that can be recycled again and again. :)

What a treat the episode before last of the Sarah Connor Chronicles was. I just watched it, having been out of town for a week and playing catch up since. She's quite a dancer. She trained as a ballerina before she started acting.

I'm really enjoying her character. Completely emotionless, yet able to dance in such a way as to bring out emotion, even in her dissenters. It's always interesting when we have an AI next to humans to show us how fickle we are. :)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Awesome news! Awesome Lavratt now available!

My book, Awesome Lavratt, is now available online through the publisher. Get yours now! This is a limited advanced edition. Tell your friends! A punny ride through the galaxy filled with mind control, passion and adventure.