Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Submission Challenge (I'm not sure what else to call it)

Well, I sent in my first story submission for the October Submission Challenge. The story is one of my newer shorts, and I sent it to Strange Horizons.

Taking part in this....challenge? Game? Madness? has a couple of purposes for me. One, I'll put endings on some stories I've beein githering about for YEARS. Will they be the right endings? I guess I'll find out. But all these half finished stories laying about are kind of like having half finished coffee cups laying about. Nobody will consume them in their current state.

(ew. that was a terrible metaphor. Ah well.)

Anyway. It'll also keep my mind off the approach of NaNoWriMo. Or keep my mind in just the right stage to approach NaNoWriMo, which is to say I'll be thinking about my novel, but not obsessing it into the ground so I can't actually write it in November. I'm pretty sure I have my idea. One of the shorts I'm finishing has to do with it in a satellite fashion, which is interesting.

And, thirdly, if I submit prolifically, it will increase my chances of publication. Casting a wide net is much better than just dangling a couple of hooks, and I haven't lowered my submission standard. I will send only to magazines whose work I've enjoyed, who will pay me (the Submission Grinder helps immeasurably with this).

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sometimes, voracious fans can push me from "indifferent" to "against it"

I'm not morally against Doctor Who. Theoretically, it should be in my wheelhouse. But I've become so inundated by the fandom because, y'know, I exist on the Internet, that I actually shrink from Doctor Who mentions. I hate it when "my" daily shirt sites of Doctor Who shirts (which is a lot).

So then I feel like a person in an Elder Scrolls game, where sometimes they just HATE your character and scowl at them on sight, because of what they're dressed in or something.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The submission and rejection cycle

I've got...four stories still out at magazines. I got a form rejection from one magazine this week. I'm dreadfully hopeful about one of my submissions, in such a manner that each email I have makes my heart leap into my throat, like it's the rejection coming in. Or an acceptance. I just can't even.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lazy Linking™ September 23 2014 (space news)

I stayed up super late on Saturday night to watch the SpaceX resupply launch to the ISS. Cargo includes mice (apparently), a 3D printer (!) and a bunch of experiment equipment. Dragon (the SpaceX ship) will return to Earth with frozen lettuce samples which were grown in space. Space lettuce! They want to know if it's safe to eat, natch, and if it's a viable thing to think about doing, say, on the Moon or Mars. Dragon also has solar wings, which were spread in the third phase of the launch, after the Falcon rocket and its Merlin vacuum engine (I'm not making this up) deployed or fell off or whatever they're said to do.

there's actual accepted naming conventions for Space Things, as set forth by the International Astronomical Union. So sure, you can spend that fifty bucks or whatever to "name a star", but its real name is going to be numbers and letters, or Canis Major, or whatever.

And in Mars news, the MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) craft inserted in Mars orbit on Sunday night.

Scientists have made diamonds into nanothreads, which seems as though it might work as well as (or better?) than carbon nanofiber in order to make a space elevator.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Playing Dress Up

I still haven't made any kind of headway on which novel to work on next, what to title my newest short story, etc. It's that time in my writing cycle, I guess, where ideas are fomenting and I just need to leave the lid on. Interestingly, a literary agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency put up a blog post which kind of helps me in this regard: Productive Procrastination. I guess I am technically procrastinating, as I can just sit down and squeeze the words out, whether they want to come or not. But instead, I'll do some side "sketches", as it were.

See, every once in awhile I remember Polyvore and how cool I thought it was when I found it. Look, you can create outfits for your characters! Endless applications! (well, maybe not endless, but as many applications as there are characters, anyway).  So I've played "dress up" with a couple of my characters.

Oh yeah, and I've been sick all week, as a further excuse.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You like it when I'm spontaneous

So, Mahria (and her husband) came to visit a couple of weeks ago. We had a weekend of gaming and fun, which was very cool. We're doing the Pathfinder "Rise of the Runelords" adventure path.

She and I were standing in the dollar store during a supplies expedition, and I looked down at a square, foil-wrapped package. It was labeled Ed Hardy, and for a moment, I wondered why the fuck Ed Hardy had come out with a condom line. And if it made a fake tattoo on one's....member.

I pointed this out to Mahria, who gestured as one would at one's...member and said "I got it for you, baby. You said you like it when I'm spontaneous." We then dissolved into hysterical laughter, to the chagrin of our fellow shoppers. This is what happens when Mahria and I go anywhere together.

But this is what it actually was:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Geographic Issues

Due to my diatribes/obsessions on South Africa and Detroit, you may have noticed that even if I'm significantly altering the history or even present rules of reality in a real-world place, I want to be pretty accurate with regards to said real-world place.

Novel-wise, I've so far only done my home state of New Jersey once, this past November. I set it in my area, but just prior to my birth. So, enough overlap of geography I was very familiar with, combined with those apocryphal things of an era (and area) which give places in time their flavor (and no, that novel isn't finished, though I did hit the requisite 50k).

Manasquan Inlet, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons