Okay, I admit and have before that I am a slow reader. I have no clue why but I am. I make no apologies for this. It is just the way I am. Having said that I just finished reading Tainted, edited by Aaron Polson and I have to say that is possibly one of the best, overall collections of short fiction that I have read in a while. I am not saying this just because I am sure Aaron will read this post because there is a good chance we will never run into one another and the worst he could do to me, aside from driving up from Kansas to punch me in the nose is put nasty things on my blog. He won't have to though because it is very good.
I loved the dicotomy of the stories, the new and the old. Jodi Lee versus Algeron Blackwood, Natalie Sin versus E.F. Benson. You get the idea. In most cases I enjoyed the retelling or the interpretation much more than the original (and I really forgot that you shouldn't read Blackwood at night right before bed) If I were a thumbs up-thumbs down type of guy I would give it two thumbs up. On the good old fashioned star system scale of one to five it would get a 4.5 stars. I really look forward to seeing what else this little publisher can do in the future. Tainted: Tales of Terror and the Supernatural. Strange Publications.
The title of this blog says a lot. I am trying to get through the dreaded stomach flu bug that is seeming to go through my family at this time. (my wife and son have had it so far, i am waiting for my daughter and I to catch it next.)
I don't know if this even is coherent at this point, and I have just gotten started. I am also worried that Felicity is thinking of abandoning us and going to Livejournal (where I don't even know her i.p. address)
I should start on another story. Either that or I should finish reading the book that I am working on. (i am not really working on it, it has been a joy to read actually. Tainted, edited by Aaron Polson. you all should pick it up if you haven't read it yet. I will write a review when I am done with it)
I really suppose I should try and get some sleep at this point. The vodka is starting to speak to me and it is telling me to see what the scores for the football games of the day are.
Okay, the finish line has been reached, NaNo is done for me. At least this year. I am ready to enjoy my Thanksgiving and most of my family in a travel filled weekend, end of week, whatever it is and get back to a normal writing schedule on Monday.
Unfortunately, my 'book' still has about 20-30k of filling out to make it complete. I am thinking that is my new goal in December. I will worry about it then. In the meantime a Hearty Congratulations to Aaron, Cate, Natalie, Ransom, an K.C.who all completed well ahead of me in their noveling exploits for the month. and so I don't slight my aunt who had plenty of good news herself please read my post from earlier today to find out what I am talking about.
One more thing before I go. I want to say that Barbara Custer sent me an e-card (Hallmark no less) wishing me a happy thanksgiving. She is the editor of Night to Dawn. This marks the first time that an editor has sent me anything that they didn't have to. I wish to thank her and let it be known that she is a very nice person (and she has fabulous taste is stories)
Now go out and enjoy everything that the next couple of days brings, be it Thanksgiving or just the end of the week.
Okay, I am not done. Yet. But I will be today. I should be able to blow through the 50,000 word mark sometime this afternoon, or perhaps this morning depending on how well my brood behaves. From there it is smooth sailing for the remaining few days of the month. Gorge myself on food tomorrow, repeat on Friday. Lay around feeling miserable and lazy for a couple of days after that and get back at it on the wagon again on Monday.
In other news, my Aunt K.A.Bye, who I told you had a series of children's books out with Boys Town Press just received good, no make that great news. I am just going to post the message she sent to family here:
The grandmother book won a "finalist" award from USA Book News and the book is now featured on their web site.
She went on to say that they are working with Barnes and Noble to get actual shelf space for the books in the stores. I must say that this has been a long road for her (she was actually writing and receiving rejection letters for some very good picture books when I was still in high school) but it seems to have finally paid off. I hope that this is inspirational to all of us other writers out there that in time, with patience, success will come. (I never did believe in the overnight success, but it is a wonderful dream)
Hope everyone has a long and fruitful weekend if I don't post before then.
I have known for a couple of weeks that Apex is having a raffle. I just found out that the raffle isn't going all that well. What that means for you is that you have the chance (and the fewer people who are involved the better for you anyway, bad for Apex and the charity they are donating 10% of the proceeds to) Anyway the link to the raffle stuff is HERE. I just signed myself up for an ARC of a Robert Bloch book, American Gothic. I am hoping but if I don't win, not a big deal. Not much cash and for a worthy cause.
Now if you haven't read my earlier post for the day, go ahead and read it, I've got to get typing.
we got our first snow on Saturday. The first snow that I had to get a shovel for anyway. It pretty much all melted away by Sunday afternoon but we still have a couple of odd patches floating around on the north side of the house and garage.
I can tell I am getting old. My fingers are worn to the nerves from handling shingles in freezing temperatures. Tiny bits of fiberglass are embedded throughout my soft writer's hands. They aren't used to doing much manual labor anymore. (I used to live for shingling houses. I loved to do it and I was good at it. Now not so much.) Thank god I have a roofing nailer yet. I really would have been hurting if I had to swing a hammer all day.
Of coarse I didn't get anything done with NaNo this weekend, but I have managed to get a couple thousand words written this morning already and plan on doing the same this afternoon. I still plan on being done by Wednesday.
On a happy note. A story of mine, Coffin Nails, that I started sending out to markets last November (and has undergone several re-writes in the process) has been picked up by Night to Dawn for publication in their Fall 2009 issue. Not a huge market but I think that the readers will enjoy it.
I hear my boy rattling around in his bed and I think I can get another hundred or so words in before he thinks he wants out. Later.
Okay, it is November 22, 2008. It is snowing and the temperature outside is a balmy 25 degrees Fahrenheit (I am not sure what that comes to in Celsius but it isn't real warm, I can tell you that). I could be working on my NaNo book (I am 40,500 words into it now, Yippee!) or I can go shingle a garage with a friend.
Guess which option I am going to take?
Yep, you guessed it. The sit on a roof and freeze option that at least involves getting paid, especially if I finish it today.
What the hell am I thinking. I wish my friends didn't know I was handy at all sometimes. Sadly it isn't even my friends garage, which would be a lot different. It would mean I would be doing this for nothing. It isn't the coldest I have roofed in, the coldest was a little house on a private lake where we shingled it (I shingled it, everyone else was too busy putting in windows) when it was a whopping 5 degrees.
I better get going. The darn place isn't going to shingle itself.
I am going to get to get 4000 words written today, which will put me at 40,000 words total. I plan on putting the finishing touches on my 'masterpiece' (wipes a tear from eye after a good laughing fit) and cross the 50,000 word mark on Wednesday. I do take weekends off you know.
Actually, I took most of yesterday off and only managed about 1000 words in that. I wrote a piece for Dark Jesters and I must say I enjoyed a good laugh at creature horror expense. I just hope the editors see my humor. The story came in at a paltry 1600 words which follows the guidelines of between 1500 and 2000 words. It also managed to kill three hours of my day between writing and editing. I had fun doing it though.
I still can't find pictures of the deer that wander through the backyard. Will keep looking.
Better get to writing. I have 4000 words to go, just for today.
I just wanted to post a picture that I took from my front door the other day. It is much like the view from my back door. Only the backdoor picture would have more deer and trees and less road and barn. For those of you who are from the city, that big green machine is a John Deere Combine. A combine is used to harvest crops, in this case corn. the Blue thing behind him, just behind the barn that fell over this summer, is a new holland tractor with a grain wagon in tow. There was actually another combine in the field but I couldn't get both of them in the shot. The other one ran right in front and off to the side so they could harvest about sixty feet of grain at at one time. (both of the combines have 30 foot head on them)
Okay, enough of the farm report.
I am also sorry for the post I put up yesterday. I read it again today and it made me sound conceited and I consider myself to be much more self-deprecating. It was a tiring day and, other than the first day of the month where I received my only acceptance it has been a miserable month. I am just hoping the month goes out like it came in. with good news. (It has gotten so bad that I have had one story rejected multiple times in the same week and I am not even sim subbing it!)
hope everyone's day is going spectacular. May we all write about 15000 words of phenomenal material that doesn't need any editing (speaking of that I hope that Dark Jesters is still accepting subs because I had a gruesomely funny thought last night right before bed. I had better write this down before I forget it.)
Later and if I ever find the pictures of the deer that frequent my back yard I will post them. Hunting season is almost upon us and I don't know how much longer they will last. (No, I will probably not shoot a deer out of my own backyard for my children to see. I will go to the timber preserve across the road where they can't see. )
You know that picture of the cat that every other person seemed to have in the early nineties and late 80's of the cat, grasping for dear life from the branch of a tree and below it were the words Hang in There. That is kind of what I am feeling like with my current batch of stories. I am just kind of hanging in there. I feel like my writing is better than 98% of the stuff out there but the editors are only taking the the top 1% ("I missed it by that much, chief," said Maxwell Smart)
I will hang in there until I am in the top 1% though, it might take a little (or a lot of time) and some patience.
In other news, my wife was pretty impressed she was Obi Won-Kenobi at 81% with Yoda as a close second at 80%. I was a little jealous. She is smarter than me though. She had to ask after she was done taking the test if that was good. (She really didn't get into the whole Star Wars thing.)
I did manage to rack up some more wordage on my book for NaNo today, despite trimming a door. I am now over, just over, 35000 words. I can start to see the light at the end of this tunnel.
I was going to post a picture of the combines that took out the corn across the road from my house but I think I will save it for tomorrow. Right now I am going to go watch some cartoons with the rest of the family.
Aside from that I got another 4000 words written yesterday which put me over 30000 so far. I don't think I will hit 4000 again today but will be exceptionally happy if I hit 3,000. I did do some cool things in the book yesterday. We saw the aftermath of what happens when a cow and a tank collide and the a rather unfortunate death in a church.
I don't where it is going today but I look forward to finding out.
Okay, it is 11:30 in the morning, my boy, amazingly enough, slept all night and even slept in this morning allowing me to get in 1000 words or so first thing. That just leaves me a good afternoon nap to hit my goal of 30,000 words finished by the time he wakes up.
I think I can do it. All I have to do is ignore him when he wakes up early. (Just kidding on that part. I am still ahead of schedule as far as I know. I am just behind Cate, Natalie, and of course the animal that is Aaron.)
On a lighter note. Just received an e-mail from Spinetingler magazine about a story I sent then in August (Burnt Offering) is still under review for the spring issue (along with about 60 other stories) but their winter issue should be out by Christmas time. Spleee!
I also received a rejection from Summerset Review for my short Wine for two this weekend so I went through the story again and sent it on to Clockwork Phoenix on the final day Mr. Allen was taking submissions. He wants fantasy on a literary level and that has been one of my stories that I have, until yesterday, only been sending to literary markets. It is the second story I have sent them and the first one, while still a rejection, was a nice rejection.
Good luck NaNo-ing to all and have fun with it. Later.
I did it. I still haven't killed anyone today but I did get my 4000 words down that I wanted to. Yippee! Time for a pint or a shot or something. Got the last of the words down as my boy was waking up from his afternoon nap. That should tide me over until Monday when I will need to punch out another 4000 words (I hope) and remain on track to finish this thing. Explosions are still just in the background but they are there.
Until next time, have a good weekend and good luck with NaNo to those of you involved.
Don't worry. I didn't kill anyone- today. I just took my kids to the zoo. My daughter had the day off because her schools volleyball team went to state, they lost but they went to state so the school decided they weren't going to have school. Needless to say I only got about 800 words written on my NaNo story. Not all bad. I did get to think up some pretty good plot lines while I was looking at the cute fuzzy woodland creatures that we don't have naturally around my own house. At least I thought they were pretty good.
So today, tomorrow, whenever I wake back up, I am back at it, goal 4000 words (I have to build a buffer in for the weekend, family is so not conducive to writing) I had better get to bed. 2:21 in the morning is not a good time for me to be up.
I know that my father won't read this. He doesn't know the web address but if he ever looks up his own name Bill Eyberg turns the big 60 today. I hope he has a happy birthday down there in Tabor, Iowa.
Now, down to some serious business. The business that I was actually going to discuss yesterday. Writing habits. I am not talking about dressing up like a nun and sitting in front of a typewriter waiting for divine intervention, although that would be fun. I am talking about little things we all do although none of them are the same.
I for example like to dress up like a nun and sit in front of a typewriter, scratch that thought. I really don't do that but I do like to work without a radio but with the laundry going on in the background while I sit at a small desk in my bedroom away from my office space. I don't know why I am much more prone to write like that but I am. I also like to have a glass or cup of something to drink at the ready. All the time. So I will brew a pot of coffee usually or have a pitcher sized glass of water at the ready. Soda doesn't work for me. I don't know why. Beer doesn't work either, although that doesn't stop me from trying, especially late in the afternoon when I am working on my blog post for the next day.
Latest NaNo count, 20,050 and rising. Still on track to finish. Still like where the story is going. Still am not going to post it for anyone to read until I have edited it. Sorry, I can't write flowery prose like Cate on my first draft. I save flowery stuff for my second drafts. Speaking of drafts I have one, ice cold and full of foamy goodness, waiting for me so until next time, later.
Well, after a long weekend, and weekday, I am back and ready to kick some literary butt. Well, maybe not literary butt but kick this writing thing in the butt and get some serious wordage down in my NaNo book. I kind of fell behind where I wanted to be be I am still on track to finish it by the end of the month. I was kind of hoping to be done with it around the 24th or so. It is really just an arbitrary date with no real significance but it looked good when I started this thing. I think, if the gods are smiling on me today I can breech the 20,000 word mark.
Unfortunately, while Mark is the re-write god I have no actual deity that I can go to for my actual writing. I might have to get out the woodcarving set and create one, maybe something with the face of Shakespeare and the body of a bunny rabbit and the tail of a zebra. I don't know what kind of luck he would bring but it would be fun to carve.
I had better stop daydreaming and start writing if I am going to make my goal today. (and to think I was actually going to talk of something of consequence today. Maybe tomorrow)
Unless something terrific or horridly tragic happens this weekend you won't hear from me until at least Monday. Now, before you go wailing 'how could he do this to us! Why me!' in the night, or day depending on where you are at in the world, let me explain. My wife doesn't work this weekend. When she is home my writing,inevitably, takes a turn for the worse-i.e. I don't do any writing at all, unless my boy gets me up at two in the morning and I am not tired for some reason when he goes back to sleep.
Okay, now that I have appropriately reassured you that I will, indeed, be back sometime early next week. Now, lets get down to business. NaNo report: going well, I have about 400 words until I hit the 15,000 word mark. Can't complain about this progress. I am well ahead of schedule. I am liking the story as well. My characters are just getting into the meat of the plot. The action is about ready to really ramp up. (big explosions and close calls)
Been a slow week, heck it has just been slow for correspondence from editors lately. At least the markets I have shown interest in. I am hoping this is a good sign. something Brian Keene said on his web site the other day struck me. 'If you want to be a professional writer you need to submit to professional markets.' sounds good to me but also harder than it sounds. There are only so many professional markets.
Anyway, here is to only good news to editors and much productivity on whatever project you happen to be working on this weekend and I will talk at you all later.
I really don't know what to write. My mind is still on the book I am working on. (will be over the 25% mark today, unfortunately the month is about that far gone as well)
I was actually supposed to be replacing a living room window at my mother-in-laws place today (It seems like all I do is replace windows, I finished replacing my kitchen windows this last weekend, but I do other things as well. Like replace doors for example.) Unfortunately the weather is not going to cooperate so I am going to watch The Shield and then I am going to write or maybe I will write then watch The Shield and then write some more.
Either way you get the idea of what my day is going to be like. Happy NaNo to all involved.
I just want to thank the media for making that perhaps the most anticlimactic and boring election I have ever had to endure. I just hope that the politicians are all lying about what they plan on doing with their new-found power.
I don't have the money to spend at this point. Maybe after I get my portfolio back up to snuff, or I have a huge book deal, whichever comes first.
My NaNo writing is going well however. I could get more done if I spent less time reading everyone's blogs (by the way I have added KC Shaw to my list if you cared to know, welcome KC) I hope to break another 2500 words by the end of the day which should put me into the 11,000 word category. Sadly, I am really liking the way the story is going although the outline got thrown out the window on the very first line. Go figure.
I had better get going, these stories aren't going to write themselves. We can't all get sweet deals like Joe the Plumber (the man was a failure as a plumber, what makes him think he can write a book (because they said I could. Something about a ghostwriter))
I've decided one thing about this election, okay several things, but one main thing. NO MATTER WHO WINS I WILL STILL BE A WRITER IN THE MORNING. There I have said it. I promise I will continue to write whatever comes to my convoluted little mind by whatever means necessary, be it keyboard, chalk, spraypaint or pencil. By any means necessary.
I am really looking forward to the news tomorrow, that is after the smoke has cleared (i.e. the gloating of the winning party) for the 2012 election to start with the campaigning of yet another bureaucrat that I don't care about and don't believe anything they say in front of a camera.
this is kind of what I feel NaNo is like. Like hiking to the Yukon without a clue.
I have however breached the 6000 word mark on my story, thanks to an intensive session while my boy slept where I just wrote over 4000 words in just over 2 hours. I am mentally drained. I think I will go enjoy an adult beverage and perhaps rake some leaves.
Before I go, J. Lee Moffatt over at Drops of Crimson just emailed me (It was a mass email but I got it nonetheless) that they are needing stories, poetry, and art for the December issue, so if you have something to give (it is a for the love market with a print antho at the end of the year) you can send it his way.
Now I need to find a literary market for a story that just got rejected by Witness.
Well I am going to do my month in review a few days late. It is only three days into November and I am already swamped.
In October I mostly focused on my YA book, Big Chief's Gold (working title). I have been trying to rewrite it and focusing on very little else other than housework. Other than that I wrote only two other stories, both flash. 1. The Proposal, a 700 word flash piece for the Dogs antho. I have yet to hear back from them. 2. Nine, a 650 word story I originally wrote for the Cat tales antho but after I got done writing it I realized I had failed one of the main guidelines (I tried to follow it but I just couldn't do it) of cats must be shown in a good light. I don't know if the cats in my story were in a bad light but something told me it wasn't quite what they wanted. I held it over and submitted it instead to 52 Stitches where they quickly accepted it. (Yippee!) It is officially my first paying market after giving away 7 other stories. (Thank you Aaron and Ed!)
Other than that I recieved a whopping 6 rejections for the month of October. I recieved them from Hobart, Dark Recesses, Time and Space, Night Train, Nineth Letter, and Susurrus. Half of them were personallized and quite nice, the rest were the same boring form letters that we all know and despise.
I already know that I will be working on nothing, other than the occational edit during November. Other than that I am trying to focus on my NaNo book Invasion. It was an idea that I came up with last year but haven't had the time to flesh out. I am hoping I can get this rough first draft done this month. It is more of a political thriller than anything else. I have never written anything quite like it. I hope it isn't complete crap when I am finished with it.
It has been a happy week, looking back on it I guess. We had a happy Monday, Happy Candy day and now to finish it off a Happy NaNo day.
Not actually the reason I wanted to write today. I wasnt' planning on writing at all, but Studs Turkel died Friday, October 31, 2008. He was a 96. For those of you who don't know who Studs was, he was a Pulitzer prize winning writer for his 1985 book, The Good War. He wasn't so much a writer as a historian, recording the histories of what he called the 'non-celebrated.' His boks were filled with accounts from everyday people who had lived through extraordinary and sometimes mundane things. He is a great reference for anyone looking for a character they just can't seem to flesh out.
Now, lets get out there and write. And don't forget that 52 Stitches opens for submissions today. They already have mine.