Sunday, November 8, 2015

October report and NaNoWriMo doubts

All right, so October didn't really go as planned.

I mean, it kind of did. I sent out 21 submissions, 2 of which were queries for The Last Song. That's good progress, right? I've gotten 12 rejections back already, many of which came in the last week or so. 2 were personal, 10 were form.

But. In the middle of October, my organs staged a revolt (I am now acutely aware of where my kidneys are) and I'm still getting back on the horse from that. I haven't been reading anything, just watching stuff on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Other than yesterday's workshop, I haven't written a damn thing three weeks. So. It would seem NaNoWriMo isn't going to happen for me this year. Which is okay. I think I'm still pretty numbed from being sick and wanting to sleep all the time (okay, I still kind of want to sleep all the time).

My life isn't creatively bereft, anyway. We've got a lot of gaming going on still (I only missed a couple sessions of our assorted Pathfinder games through my sickness), including a new Shadowrun story in which I'm playing a decker (though not the same decker depicted in this post). It's probably the party role I've enjoyed best, though I did really like my brief stint as the Face (which is the person who arranges jobs and payments, does the risky purchasing, liasons with contacts, etc.)

Monday, October 5, 2015

October, October

So, it's October 5, and I'm at that stage of pre-writing I like to call "But what am I gonna write for NaNoWriMooooooo?"  (imagine that in a whiny child voice. Five year old, say)

Because I don't know what I'm going to write for NaNoWriMo. I could actually write the sequel to Learn to Howl this time, but I've actually gotten a somewhat notion of how to rewrite Learn to Howl so it's no longer "Is this YA?" as a few people have asked (I mean, I guess as it stands, it could be NA urban fantasy, but New Adult currently has mostly to do with things like "steamy scenes" and "heat levels", and there is none of that in Learn to Howl. Theoretically, there's room for non-romance, but romance-y stuff is what's caught fire there [hurr hurr].)

I did kinda-sorta think of a way I could write a sequel to The Last Song....but considering I'm hearing crickets and form R's on that front, a saying about eggs and baskets comes to mind. Also, Angry Robot Books is going to have another open door submission period in December, so I could send either manuscript there.

But, I feel like I should keep with the spirit of NaNoWriMo and break new ground. So maybe I'll stop dithering and write some fucking space scifi (my Get Your Ass to Mars shirt should arrive today, in fact. I purchased it from Buzz Aldrin's site after live-watching the NASA brief on how THEY FOUND EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL LIQUID WATER THERE and if you're not excited about that you should be).

And so, in this state, I am gesturing at what I did last October, which is submitting something, somewhere, each day. A paying market (I only submit to paying markets, and in the case of Daily Science Fiction, it really paid off. And then got me the non-paying but still freaking awesome spot on the Far-Fetched Fables podcast.)

(Okay, I'm either in rare form, or reading Jenny Lawson's new book, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things , is influencing me more than I realized. Whatevs.)

Thus far, I've sent out 5 things (to One Story, Shimmer, Nightmare, See the Elephant, and Tin House) and received 2 rejections already (Shimmer, Nightmare), which is very good for my turnaround in that I have few old ragged stories to rub together still. A few new ones that still need the edges polished. Oh yeah, and titles. Freaking titles.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Quotable Quotes from Gaming Life

A lot of gaming quotes are really only funny in context. I know it, you know that. Some gamers don't.

Then, there are some gaming quotes that are funny regardless. May I direct your attention to: Out of Context D&D

We frequently have D&D going in my household (well, Pathfinder), but we've also had Shadow Run and most recently Fading Suns going on in our gaming group. I thought I'd wade through and find some gems from there.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Shadowrun Story

I'm sure you remember my 30 Days of D&D back in May. Well, Dungeons and Dragons isn't the only tabletop role playing game I partake of; we've regularly played World of Darkness games, we've had a couple of Fading Suns games (in one right now, actually), and most recently, we've had a few Shadowrun games.

Now Shadowrun is interesting, and a game/setting which has taken me by surprise with how inspiring it's been. Shadowrun is, to quote the 1d4chan article, is "what would happen if William Gibson and Mercedes Lackey had a love child." In a way, it's one reason I've read all the William Gibson I have just lately. In addition to his books being Goddamn awesome.

But anyway. The Shadowrun character I played last summer, following up/finishing up this spring (ish) was street named Bells. She is a character whose headspace I felt able to enter easily, naturally, and the stories I wrote about her made the GM very happy (and influenced the overall plot of the game, though I didn't realize that 'til we were winding down). So, the story I'm sharing here is a story of Bells, after the game ended.

I do not own any of the Shadowrun properties, copyright or trademarks on terminology used here, etc. It's an exercise within an existing game setting. I do hope it's enjoyable, even without the context of the game we played!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Flash Fiction Finalist (or, Close But No Cigar)

I post every once in awhile about how I take part in Janet Reid's 100 word flash fiction contests. Well, after some stiff competition this summer, I still didn't win, but I was a finalist for the final one of the season.

Even though I haven't gotten mentioned a whole lot, I do try to enter each one of Ms. Reid's contests. Writing a story in 100 words, beginning-middle-end, is damn hard. It's a writing muscle challenge, to be sure.

The words to include were: remove, escape, away, lull, spare  (can use the word as part of a larger one)

And this is what I came up with:

When Becca was removed from her family and set up in our spare room, she was too old to be a kid and too young to be on her own. The only comfort she accepted was the lullaby of Grimalkin's burbling purr.

A person's ghosts are hard to get away from, but she was almost okay. Then the whispers started again. The knocking. Grimalkin hissed arched-back at empty corners, a tuxedo asterisk.

We labored over her escape plan, and there was no margin for error when we sent her off to prom, barred the doors, and set the fire.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Some quotes, mostly from work

Coworker: Jen's necklace is full of pixies!
Me: Well, they're probably dead by now, so the chiming you hear is the sound of their bones.
Coworker: You're fucked up.

Housemate: So there's this guy named Minotauro, and I wonder how you get a name like Minotauro.
Me: Well, your mom fucks a bull....
Housemate: Yeah, that's fair.

Coworker: "Who's the bad guy in Star Wars that's dressed all in black"? No, that question is too hard, the kids won't know it.
Me: Look, if those kids are so ignorant they don't know who Darth Fucking Vader is, your next program is showing them ALL of the Star Wars movie.
Coworker: Okay.
Me: Clockwork Orange style.
Coworker: ....oh

On August 6:
Me: Today is the anniversary of when the Enola Gay dropped Little Boy on Hiroshima.
Friend 1: ....oh
Friend 2: the only trivia I have about today is that it's Soleil Moon Frye's birthday.
Friend 1: Who's that?
Me and Friend 2: PUNKY BREWSTER

Coworker: *holds up magazine with a picture of a platter on it that has a 3d dinosaur in the middle* it's for...with candy?
Me: It's a shame the sides aren't higher, you could fill it with dark chocolate pudding and it'd be like the La Brea Tar Pits.
Newest Coworker: ....well that's....morbid....

And finally:

Two men were talking a little too loudly down the hall, while my coworker and I were dealing with a line. I finished up, and then the comment that broke the camels' back: "...hasn't been touched in 45 years!"

I went down the hallway to confront the gentlemen, and realized one of them was holding a fire extinguisher. He was the fire extinguisher maintenance guy. I got their attention and said "I'm sorry, but we need you to be a little more quiet than that, especially after your last comment, which could really be misconstrued.

They looked at me, looked at each other, and cracked up.