Saturday, April 25, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Some recent Shenanigans

Me: Did you see that .gif on Imgur the other day, of that guy playing fetch with his headcrab?
Fiancé: ....."that guy?" Come on.
Me: What, I didn't play those games!
Fiancé: [silence]
Me: ...Gordon.....
Fiancé: You can do it, honey.
Me: Lightfoot!  [yes, I knew this was wrong]
Fiancé: Freeman. Gordon Freeman.
[and then he replaced Gordon Lightfoot lyrics with Halflife words. It was awesome.]

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

oh, the synopsis

I'm working on my synopsis for The Last Song, and I stumbled upon this lovely picture. It's beautiful and says everything I need it to. The trick is making people forget this is how things end (provided they know/recognize the myth to begin with). At least one of my readers was, in fact, "fooled" 'til the last line.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My First Publication! "Adventuring", in Daily Science Fiction

I put off telling you guys about my acceptance, because I've been burned before.

But, it's really happening! Happened, rather. My fantasy flash fiction story, "Adventuring", is today's Daily Science Fiction story. Go read it. It'll be quick!

Daily Science Fiction, if you did not know, publishes scifi and fantasy every weekday. You can get the daily free story right in your email (as I do) or visit their site each day. My understanding is they have a monthly digest available for Kindle. A lot of people, when they read the story, do comment about it on their Facebook page. You can also follow them on Twitter. Daily Science Fiction is a Science Fiction Writers of America qualifying market.

"Adventuring" was one of my October submissions. I sent it in on October 29, and got the acceptance on December 7! Its inspiration came from a couple of places...playing Dungeons and Dragons, of course(5th edition is pretty fun so far, by the way). A Chuck Wendig prompt, I think, but I can't remember what one and did not, of course, record that bit of information.

Monday, March 30, 2015

What if nobody slept anymore? fiction prompt

The writing workshop continues to be fun. The group wants to consider having a theme for "homework" so we can come back with pieces and see what we've all come up with. Like a prompt, but perhaps larger/more open ended. And definitely meant to be something more complete than what you do in ten minutes!

But this past Saturday (on March 28) one of the prompts we did was "What if nobody slept anymore"? I read a book last year, Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun, which I guess stuck with me more than I thought. It was about an insomnia epidemic. It influenced my piece, I'd be lying if I said it didn't, but I think my as yet undetermined cause, and the progression of events, would differ considerably.

But. Nobody can sleep. Here's what I wrote:

Friday, March 27, 2015

When starting over....isn't starting over?

So on Monday, in Holding Pattern, I wrote about how I wasn't really writing. And I tossed out, at the end, how maybe I'd mash up one of my camp novels and a prior NaNoWriMo novel, both of which reached 50k but neither of which were finished.

Of course, I've been thinking about it ever since.

This isn't as simple as alternating paragraphs and seeing what happens, or whatever. I'm sure there are some scraps of the manuscripts that can exist as such, but overall, we're talking a clean slate, Page One Chapter One bottom up project here, almost as though I'd never written any of it in the first place. I think the serial killer bits need to go. An I think a tremendous flaw in my take on Hamlet was leaving out the supernatural. I think a tremendous flaw in my Asbury Park project was that I did not make it modern, and took too long to get to the fucking point. I can probably still keep the title of the Hamlet project, Esto Quod Es, at least as a placeholder (and I haven't quite solved my Plot Cliff problem, though my subconscious insists it's working).

I haven't written anything yet. But I'm getting a mental sense of the shape of it, the arc, how it all hangs together. I've been listening to about the right music it seems, Bruce Springsteen but also much of what Pandora thinks is like Bruce Springsteen (Protip: sometimes Pandora is wrong. Do not hesitate to tell Pandora when Pandora is wrong).

But I've already spent time with all of these characters. I've got a sense of their wants and their needs, and most importantly their goals. I'm not starting from scratch, not quite. I've been reading both of the novels (finished Asbury Park, working on Esto Quod Es) and have been pleased several times with what already exists. I just need to isolate those pleasing islands and string tem with other beads of appropriately matching size, shape, and coloration.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Branching Interests

Sometimes, there are topics I gain interest in seemingly out of nowhere. Space was kind of gestured at me (I met an astronaut, Pete Conrad, when I was very young) but not really supported in any kind of long reaching way. Nobody influenced my interest in things like shamans and cave paintings, for example (and I still need to finish Mircea Eliade's book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, which I only read about half of and put down. So really, I need to restart it and read the whole way through.)

But, whatever the source, I am interested in shamans and cave paintings, and so was stoked to see this article from the Smithsonian about a full scale replica of Chauvet Cave that they've constructed in France (where the original Chauvet is, natch). If you don't yet know why this is amazingly cool, get thee to Netflix or your library and find The Cave of Forgotten Dreams to watch. It's incomprehensible just how amazing a space it is. It also amazes me that Chauvet Cave was discovered in 1994, but I didn't hear about it at the time.

But there are a lot of things I didn't know about at the time. For instance, the International Space Station, which captivates a lot of my interest now, was built while I was in high school. Piece by piece constructed in orbit, and I had no idea. I wish I'd become a space nerd far earlier, really I do. But a thing my dad would have thought was really cool is there's an intersect of space and beer coming out on April 13; namely, Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene, Oregon is releasing Ground Control, which is an imperial stout they've brewed from yeast they launched into space.

That I can tell, the yeast wasn't left in space, but rather was launched (encapsulated in vials), reached a certain space altitude, and returned to earth. So, kind of gimmicky sure, but it was yeast that went into space and survived, remaining healthy enough to be used for brewing. Yeast can be kind of sensitive, so this does hold some real interest beyond "fuck yeah, space beer." They don't seem to have t-shirts or hats or anything, which is disappointing. It's also going to be a limited release, so I don't know if it'll come to my area or not. There are a couple places here in town which have fairly good beer selections.

Of course, I'm not particularly into beer, though I am inclined to be a beer snob on principle. But I dislike dark beers far less than I dislike light beers, and as I mentioned last week, I did drink an Irish Car Bomb on St. Patrick's day, which was interesting. The Guiness on its own tasted all right, it wasn't aversive to me when I sipped it before taking the plunge (to make sure I could). The hard alcohol (it's half a shot of whiskey and half a shot of Bailey's, essentially) was all right as well, probably because of the Bailey's. And the two together? Cancelled out the things I dislike about each other. So that was kind of cool. I'm not saying it's My Drink™ now or anything like that (I don't really have one of those. Whiskey Sours are....okay anyway. Rum and Coke might be the closest, I guess, if it's the dark spiced rum like Kraken or Cockspur).