Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sorry, still busy

I have been spending time with the family this week. The wife is on vacation so we managed to go out for our Anniversary on Monday (13 years as a married couple) and go to the zoo yesterday. Saturday I will be taking my daughter to the rodeo and in between we have been going to the pool, working on the house and just hanging out.

I will get back to writing and posting sometime next week when things return to the dull normality that I like to call life.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Saturday

Why is it, when we have a lot of time to kill we waste more time and get less done? Seriously. I have most of the housework done and the kids are being good. Do you think I could get started on anything today? Heck no. Instead I am watching cartoons, catching up on the news and drinking copious amounts of coffee (New blend, seems to be inundated with caffeine.)

I should be working on edits for my MG book. I still might make it into that desk to work on it (Yes, I work at a different desk to write. It is smaller and not as cluttered and is more atmospheric.) Or I could be working on a new story that I haven't thought of yet, which is always fun.

In the spirit of Cate's meet knew people I would like to introduce you to some new friends I have added to my blogroll of late. The first one is Adam Whitlatch. A fellow writer from Iowa who has a story coming out in Shroud #7 (next issue). His blog is a rant on all things and is quite a hoot. I recommend reading it. The next is Alexis Grant. She recently got back from Africa and is writing a memoir of her travels. Her blog is about her quest to write it down. I think we can all relate to her and what she is going through, even if we haven't traveled to Africa.

I hope you enjoy reading from my new friends and have a great weekend. Hopefully, I will figure out how to make my day more productive.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Horny Thursday!

Now that I have your attention (The title of this post only came about because of Cate's response to my Hump Day remark yesterday, (and was my wife's idea) which only means that at Wednesday you are in the middle of the week and on the downward slid to the weekend. Over the hump as it were.)

Creativity seems to be returning. Still having a hard time getting to edits, but I am producing more work this week than I have the rest of the summer. Today's effort was a flash fiction piece that I started last month and mentioned yesterday. I want to thank my beta reader (Thank you Barry!) because my editing skills are obviously lacking today. It wasn't even horror, it was more of a crime confessional. Kinda fun.

In other news, and speaking of my wife, she went to school and is friends with a gal who ended up marrying a guy, Chad Calek, who has a movie coming out. Here is the trailer for American Ghost Hunter and there is harsh language in this trailer, so you have been warned.

So for the rest of the day I need to finish mowing the yard and take the kids swimming, where I will continue to be the whitest person at the pool (I used to get a really good tan, but I was roofing houses back then.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WIP Wednesday

It is Wednesday and I should be writing about my writing, but I am at a loss this summer. Even my edits seem to have come to a standstill. I have finished two stories this month. I have another one that I need to get cracking on so I can meet the August 1st deadline (I started it last month and haven't touched it since). Now I have swim lessons (I just about wrote that as lesions) and an anniversary coming up next week to go with my wife's well deserved vacation time. Needless to say, this has been a very unproductive (with the writing anyway) Summer.

I think for today's WIP I may work on that story for The First Line. It starts out 'My life is a sham-' Cool premise, I think I can make something work for it. We will find out. Have a happy hump day and may the rest of it go smoothly for you all.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Everyone else is doing it.

I am a sheep and this mem has been going around this weekend. It looked like fun so I decided to play along.

1.Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times.
Any Disney movie ever made and Brandon Lee's The Crow. The Crow because I wanted to and the Disney because I have kids.

2.Name a movie that you’ve seen multiple times in the theater.
Aladdin. I was in College and, at the time, I didn't drink. It seemed like the thing to do on a Friday night.

3.Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.
Johnny Depp. His range is incredible.

4.Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.
Paul Walker. He annoys me.

5.Name a movie that you can and do quote from.
Batman. The Tim Burton Original.

6.Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.
Singin' In The Rain. Any Disney movie.

7.Name a movie that you have been known to sing along.
See above.

8.Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see.
The Crow.

9.Name a movie that you own.
Star Wars. Although I own many more than that.

10.Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.
Someone else mentioned Will Smith. How can you go wrong with Will Smith.

11.Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what?
Yes, but I couldn't tell you what the movie was. Technically we weren't at the drive in but you could see it and pull the sound from the radio from where I lived at the time.

12.Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven’t yet gotten around to it.
Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. the kids got it for me for Christmas last year and I still haven't watched it.

13.Ever walked out of a movie?
I don't remember. Probably not.

14.Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.
Up! What an incredible movie.

15.What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?
Up! Before that it was probably Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist.

16.What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?
Action Adventure, or animation.

17.What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?
The Muppet Movie

18.What movie do you wish you had never seen?
The good son with that home alone kid. Not enjoyable.

19.What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?
Clockwork Orange

20.What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?
Blair Witch Project, only the first time.

21.What is the funniest movie you’ve seen?
Big with Tom Hanks. Monty Python's Holy Grail is a close second.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Literary Vs. Genre

I have been thinking of this topic quite a bit this week. After all we are all genre writers here. Aren't we. So what does that mean for the literary works we might squeeze out from time to time. I have done it, had them published even. I know several of you have done the same thing. So what does it mean? Anything?

I don't think so. Genre is usually bound by the rules set by the reader. If the reader thinks it is horror, science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, thriller. . .it is. No questions asked. If it can't be classified as any of these, or is focused more on the character than the plot (sorry literary writers out there, I had a professor use those exact words about literary works) then you have a literary work. Character makes great literature and plot is born from conflict. I could probably whittle down most literary works into a genre if you really wanted me to but the snooty professors and academia will throw me into a kettle of boiling oil for tarnishing their beloved works. Let me show you what I mean.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens- Ghost story. Ghosts are the stuff of horror but still considered a literary work worthy of serious discussion.

Beloved by Toni Morrison- Ghost story. Still didn't stop Oprah from using it in her book club and making a really bad movie about it.

Moby Dick- Herman Mellville. Adventure/thriller. One of the most boring books I have ever made it through.

The Immoralist- Andre Gide. Erotica. Disguised as a serious literary discussion this is really no better than many penthouse forums in its subject matter.

As I lay Dying- William Faulkner. Horror. There is more discussion of death and the rotting of body parts here than almost any story I have read by King.

The awakening- Kate Chopin. Romance. It is a sexual awakening people. The author wasn't even trying to cover that up very well.

I could go on but you get the idea. All of the genre's are really just literary themes that have been indulged upon. This is another reason I don't take 'literary' fiction that seriously. Even Shakespeare had fun with bones, witches, ghosts, fairies, death, and suicide.

In an aside, and to show you that 'genre' fiction is worthy of discussion in academia I took classes in Science Fiction Literature (English 240) Iowa State University (ISU), Gothic Literature (English 3470) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), Native American Literature (don't recall the number) UNO, Woman's literature (again, I don't recall the number) UNO, Children's Literature (English 296) ISU. I could go on, but it has been 15 years for many of these classes and I took more literature classes than most of the English majors so I have just plain forgotten some of them.

Isn't it nice to know that we are all just literary writers, just more indulgent than most.

Have a great Friday and a glorious weekend.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Missing: one muse

My muse is gone. I don't know where she went, maybe on an extended vacation, but at least she turned up long enough yesterday to get a flash story out. then, just like a snap of the fingers, she was gone again. I am beginning to miss my muse. If you see her, tell her I miss her and give her bus fare for the ride home. I will pay you back.

Actually, things are about to get back to normal. As soon as we wrap up the half-dozen or so projects I have going on around my house we will be back in the writing groove and my muse might not feel so neglected. I just hope she will forgive me some shop time so I can build some bedroom furniture for the kids and a bar for myself.

I hope your muses aren't feeling neglected at this point in the summer.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sorry, been busy

I have actually been busy lately. I have been putting up trim in the house, helping the wife scrape paint :P, bottling beer, doing a very few edits, playing with the children, going to the zoo, going to an art museum to see original Little Golden Book art (very cool), cleaning house, and living my life. See, I have had very little time to blog about it. I have been able to keep up on everyone else while I do all of this.

Today, I have more things to do around the house. Some trim I stained last night needs to be lacquered and after that I have a ceiling to sand so I can texture and paint that room. After that I might try to get to a little bit of editing. Either that or I might try to edit first and then try to get some work done around the house. I think that might work. Needless to say, I will not be starting any new stories until this housework is done. I hope it doesn't take very long. I am starting to miss the writing to be honest about it. As you read this and I put it down the action of the typing is almost hypnotic and lulling me into a short story.

Have a good Monday. I will try to be better about posts this week. I don't have anything else to do.

Update: Because Carrie asked and I had almost forgotten about it, My back is much better. After repeated trips to the chiropractor we managed to keep my hips from popping out of place and allowing me to walk again. I still don't know what I did to get that way.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

WIP Wednesday

It is Wednesday, already. My back is completely out and my daughter is going on a sleepover tonight. I don't know if I will get any writing done today. If I do it won't be writing. It will be editing. I am starting another major edit today of my WIP, Big Chief's Gold (tentative title). I managed 20 pages yesterday and I hope to get that many today, if I get to sit down to it at all.

I am also still thinking of that book idea and I really need to start a new notebook to jot notes into. I think I am going to need a lot of notes. In my head it is a cast of thousands, although most will remain unnamed. I think it would be best that way ;). Also I am thinking the locals will be varied, which is far different than what I normally do and centralize everything. I think it is going to be an interesting project. One that will require a lot of lead time before I start putting fingers to keyboard.

If you want a really interesting read today, head over to EDF and read Aaron's story. I enjoyed it and i think he would to know what you think of it as well.

Have a good Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sometimes the time flies

I sat down yesterday afternoon to finish my Vermin story. I thought I had about 300-400 words left in it. by the time I pulled up for air I had added another 2000 words. Oops. Still, I read it through- pulled some lines, added others, checked my punctuation and verb tenses- and shipped it off. Somehow, a story I wondered if I would be able to hit the 3K minimum became an almost 7K story. I still don't know how it happened. I never write them that long, ever. Not unless I am writing a book or a novella. It is my longest 'short' story to date. I believe it is the longest story I have ever submitted.

In other news- I have other shorts I would like to write. Today will not be the day they get started though. With two of the three things on my to-do list for the month of July out of the way, I am going to start in on the third thing, which is edit my MG book and get it ready to submit to agents. I have high hopes for this one. It isn't supernatural, but instead bound by reality and written from the point of view of a boy. This is not the way most MG books are written these days so I don't know if I stand a shot with it at all. We will find out. I always liked the action adventure stories when I was growing up. I hope that stories like this still have a place in today's world.

I hope everyone is having a good week. Talk at you all later.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dateline: Monday, July 6

It was a good weekend. I still have all of my fingers and toes. My eyes are not bandaged up and I still have beer in the fridge. I got no writing down but I did come up with some good scenes while I was mowing. Whether I can turn them into a cohesive manuscript is another story.

It is one of those tales that if people like it they would love it and if they don't it would probably be on most banned book lists (I think they refer to those as cult titles). I think I might try to write it. It would probably be a pretty lengthy manuscript. Just what I need, another project. Today I am going to focus on getting my Vermin story done and get it out the door tomorrow. Nothing like getting two of your writing goals for the month (of three) done by the 7th.

Now I have to get the children dressed and brew a pot of coffee. I need to pick up some paint for the porch floor and work that into my schedule sometime this afternoon.

Friday, July 3, 2009

And they call this a holiday

Tomorrow may be the Independence Day but it is not a holiday, not around this house. I ave finished putting my edits into the computer and after reading the ending, for the 5th time on full read through, I am not happy with it. It seems to be missing something that I can't put my finger on. I think I may have to let this one simmer for a while longer and maybe change the POV that I tell the story from. Not what I want to do, but I think it will do the story more justice. Besides, it is only 23,000 words long so it won't take long to change it. I just have two POV's I would tell the story from. The third one I can't consider because they die in the end.

So, now that one project is filed until a later date I can focus on cleaning the house and building monkey bars for the kids. Tomorrow I bake some cookies and then we blow stuff up, or watch other people blow stuff up, legally. It is completely legal.

Also, before I go I want to give a shout out to Barry Napier who just had his collection, Debris, picked up by Library of Horror Press. If you haven't already, go on over and give him a virtual pat on the back. Even if you don't know him. He would like to meet you. He is a nice guy, really.

To all of you out there, have a good and safe weekend. Don't put sparklers near your eye or in your friends eye, although rude strangers- NO, Don't do that either.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thirsty Thursday

the old stand by at the bars in Ames (and probably everywhere else) was Thirsty Thursday. The weekend is so close from here you can almost taste it. Regrettably, weekends don't mean as much to me as they used to. Granted I don't have to go to class anymore, but I also don't go to work anymore (The luxury of being a stay at home dad). This means Thursday is just another day and I hope to accomplish 2 things. 1. get another 25 pages of edits into the computer. 2. finish reading the non-fiction book I started 3 days ago. Everything else I want to do today is gravy.

I know I said earlier that my edits would take 2 or 3 days to input. They are going much slower than that. So far I have worked for 2 days on it (not a lot of time each day but as much as my life allows) and I am only half through the process. I almost dread the process I have in front of me with my MG book. It is only slightly longer and I am unsure how much work I have to do with it. It is a 3rd re-write of it so I am hoping it goes smoother.

In the meantime, I am enjoying the unseasonably cool weather we seem to be having right now. It isn't even cloudy, just cool. Mos of the day I can open the windows up and let the fresh air flow through the house. I also took the boy out yesterday to check the raspberries (and look for fuzzy woodland creatures) and can report that most of them are not yet ripe. But soon. . .

Hope everyone has a good day and if, for some reason, I don't post tomorrow and you live in the states, Happy Independence Day (that is the 4th of July)!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June in retrospect

I really can't believe June is gone already. It seems like just yesterday it was March. This year is breaking the speed limit or something. I don't know what.

So, let me think of what June was. Okay, after checking my records I wrote one flash piece for Shroud and edited and edited and then I edited some more, but I finished with my edits on Beneath These Walls. I also managed no rejections and two acceptances, although one was a reprint. I have, as of this morning, 11 stories out in sub land. I read two books this month and started a third (it is non-fiction and probably wouldn't interest most of you).

Now I have goals for July. My first writing goal is to finish putting all of my edits into the computer and print a copy for my wife to read. I then plan on putting her suggestions to good use and then submit it. My second goal is to finish my Vermin story and submit it. My Third and final goal is to edit my MG book, let my wife read that, use her suggestions and start shopping for agents this month. I think I just crammed way too much into my month.

Let the fun of July begin!