Tuesday, June 30, 2009

today is a good day

I finally finished my edits, on paper, yesterday. Today I plan on transferring some of those edits to the computer. I know this takes longer, but I feel that I am more thorough. I know I am an anomaly when it comes to this, but I don't care. I also seem to add a lot instead of cutting. Yes, there was some cutting, but I seemed to add as much or more back. I hope it made for a stronger story. I will know on the third read and more after my wife gives it a try.

In other news, I was excited to see that Duotrope has added a ton of new markets, most don't pay, but the markets are there. Also Apex magazine is back and accepting submissions. I just wish I had a story to send them. My mind is aflutter with new ideas and not a single one is short story length. Am I alone in this?

I hope to start making my posts a little more timely and not so sporadic as they have become. I appologize for this. Have a great Tuesday.

Friday, June 26, 2009

the post of 7 sins

"Sometimes you can learn more about a person by what they don’t tell you. Sometimes you can learn a lot from the things they just make up. If you are tagged with this Meme, lie to me. Then tag 7 other folks (one for each deadly sin) and hope they can lie."

Carrie Harris
tagged me for this one. I am trying to figure out why. I am not funny and I don't like to lie, unless I have a good reason for it or I just think the truth doesn't sound right.

Anyway, here are my answers...

Pride: What is your biggest contribution to the world?

My biggest contribution to the world would have to be the internet. It was during my tenure in congress that I took the initiative to pass legislation to invent the internet.

Envy: What do your coworkers wish they had which is yours?

When I worked with people they were jealous of my yard. The way I have to mow it every week and the lovely shade of dandelion yellow it turns every spring. Others wished they had my ability to make up words while dealing with mechanical things.

Gluttony: What did you eat last night?

I made a delicious meal of leftovers with some new food thrown underneath for texture.

Lust: What really lights your fire?

I like to use a kindling of small sticks and those lighters that are long with the electronic clicker. Then put the larger pieces of kindling on top and finally the logs that you will roast the marshmallows with.

Anger: What is the last thing that really pissed you off?

People talking in movies. even worse, people having conversations with the actors in the movies. I could tell you about the woman yelling at Wesley Snipes while we were watching Blade.

Greed: Name something you keep from others.

My credit card information. That would be silly to give to others. I don't know you.

Sloth: What's the laziest thing you've ever done?

Nothing. What is lazier than that?

Well, that was fun. For the next people to do this (and you don't have to if you don't want to. You can be slothful- really, its okay) I pick Cate, Aaron, Jameson, Barry, and BT.

Now, go forth and enjoy the weekend. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday, already

I can't believe how fast this week is going. Yesterday, before the boy woke up, I managed to get another 2500 words edited in the ol' novella. Just 30 pages to go (7500 words) I hope to get through that today. I seemed to have really found my stride in the second half of it and haven't had nearly as many notes on the page as I did the first half. I hope this holds up. Although I am thinking of changing the ending. Not really changing the ending, but more like changing how the ending comes about. If that makes any sense.

I also managed a nice lunch out with the wife yesterday at a local Chinese restaurant. It was nice, and good food. Don't ask what I had. I end up butchering the spelling of whatever we eat. If it wasn't for Oscar Mayer I wouldn't know how to spell bologna.

If anyone is interested, I came across this editorial by JA Konrath about the whole free vs pay market on e-books. Interesting article. it is here. He also wrote an article about his own sales online (I found it interesting, I don't know if you will) Here I know that these numbers don't apply to me (I have never had a best seller, or a pro sale for that matter) but numbers still fascinate me.

Hope everyone has a good Thursday. Have a productive, virus free, acceptance filled day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yesterday was a good day

I have to say I liked yesterday. I might have to mark June 22, 2009 down in my list of good days, like my wedding anniversary, the birth of my children and my birthday. I got not one, but two acceptances yesterday. This made me feel pretty good, considering I hadn't heard from an editor, good or bad, since May 9. One was for my story Undertow, which is actually a sequel of sorts to the story I submitted to the Dead Bait anthology (and subsequently rejected) and the other was actually a reprint of a story that I enjoyed writing immensely. Solitaire and other Games Children Play was accepted into a witch anthology. It was odd because I had never really thought of reprints. It is nice when a story does double duty.

To top it all off I managed to get one thing done on my list from yesterday. The yard has been mowed (now I need to take the weedeater to it).

Because we are in a heat advisory today, with temperatures nearing 100 degrees and a feels like temp of 105-110, I am staying inside today. It will be a good day to work on my edits, and maybe read a book. Maybe I could read the Necrotic Tissue that I received in the mail yesterday. Whatever I do I am not going to get to the weedeater today.

Time to get some work done. Have a good day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Goals for the week

I have a very succinct list of goals for this week. I am writing them down so as to remind myself. If you are actually interested that is fantastic.

1. finish this round of edits in my novella. I said it would take 8 working days for this and I have put in 4 or 5 so far. I am on track to finish within this time frame. That is just the paper edits. Then I have to take the time to put those corrections into my wp file. that will probably take 2 or three days.

2. put the last coat of drywall plaster on my tape joints in the spare bedroom I have been working on. This should only take a couple of hours.

3. brew my first batch of beer. The kids got me a beer brewing kit for Father's day. They must really love me. ;) I am actually looking forward to this project, and really looking forward to the finished product. Something that really can't be rushed.

4. mow the yard. I think I will start on this today. we have 2.5 acres and is has rained like crazy in the last week. I am considering having my neighbor bale it into hay for the cattle. Either that or I need sheep to graze in it. Actually it will only take about 2 hours to mow the whole thing. the trimming is going to take about that long as well.

I think that about covered it. I have a couple of other things I would like to get done: finish my vermin story because I think I am about 300 words from the end, take a load of scrap metal to the landfill, go fishing, weed the garden. But I will get to those as I see fit.

hope everyone has a productive and fun week. I can say that because I don't work for a living. ;)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Not much to say

This has been a good and bad week. Not anything groundbreaking either way. For those of you that read my last post the dentist thing went well. I still have all of my original teeth. I did manage to lose my cell phone and had to order a new one and my back went out (a rib actually) Those were the bad things. I also managed to go with the wife and daughter to see UP!. Very good movie. The 3-D was different than it used to be. I am also halfway through my edits on my novella at this point.

In other news, I finished reading one book and started on, perhaps, one of the most unique books I have ever read. The story telling is actually pretty straight forward, it is the point of view that we get the story from. Chet the Dog. Yep, it is told from the dog's point of view and it is good. I actually bought Dog On It three months ago and I am now the 3rd person to read this copy. Mind you, the story itself isn't groundbreaking. No huge revelations about how to write are coming forth while I am reading this, but it is a fast read and entertaining. After all, don't we read to be entertained.

Hope everyone has a good weekend. I plan on grilling out and looking at antiques this weekend. Last year at this antique walk I bought a 1910 copy of the O'Henry book Options. I can't wait to see what I can find this year.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm still here

I have been taking it easy, with my writing, the last couple of days. It has been a good time to work around the house while Ann is home. Today is the last day of that and we are going to the dentist. I know, be still my beating heart.

I haven't been writing, but in true never give up writerly fashion I have been thinking of writing. Working through edits and re-writes in my head as I go about the household tasks that I have been more prone to do these last five days. I think I have come up with a better ending for the novella that I wrote and look forward to implementing that when I get to that part of the manuscript. I will be getting back to that starting tomorrow, between killing off the weeds in the driveway and pulling weeds in the strawberries. You can see just how exciting my life really is.

Still have heard no news from any editors in 5 weeks now. I don't recall my inbox being this dead, ever. Still, 2012 AD is closing to submissions tomorrow and they have managed to hold my story for a very long time. My guess is that my rejection letter got lost in cyberspace somewhere.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The proper business model

One of these days I am going to be inundated with rejection letters (and hopefully and acceptance or two). Most of my stories, with the exception of the flash piece I sent shroud has been out two months or longer. In fact of the 12 pieces I have out in submission land right now seven have been out for 100 days or longer. Not looking good. I wonder if many of those markets are still in existence. All I know is that their website's are still up.

Also, has anyone noticed the number of new markets on Duotrope.com today. Most of you might go, 'no, I didn't notice any new markets on Duotrope today.' That is because there are none. NONE! I think that many new markets aren't getting out of the development phase and those that are going are on life-support right now, thanks to a cash infusion from their editors. Ask any editor and they will tell you that you can't make money on subscribers. It is all about the advertisers and right now no one is putting their money into magazine advertising. Well, I exaggerate a little bit. People are putting their money into advertising, but not as much as they used to and they want to make sure they get their money's worth. After all would you spend $30 of your ad budget to reach 100 people ($.30/ person) or would you spend $200 to reach 1500 people ($.13/person). Exactly. Especially if you were looking at the same target audience.

I guess the reason for this post is that I am looking at this as something I like to do, but it is still a business. You almost have to, unless you aren't planning on subbing any of your work or just to the FTL markets (nothing wrong with them, they have to pay their bills too) I would like to aspire a little more than that and get paid for my words. I am not planning on retiring on my income from writing, mostly I like to entertain and being on stage and in front of a camera scares me. Even the lowliest screen actor gets compensated to supplement his main income of waiting tables.

I don't even have the table waiting option to keep me in spare change to support the magazines and publishers I want to support. It is a vicious cycle.

Am I alone in this line of thought, Are we to look at this as a business or are we supposed to be happy that anyone would want to read what we write in the first place and leave it at that? I don't want to come across as greedy, I'm not. If I wanted to make money I would have gotten an MBA or a teaching certificate or a degree that people would actually want to hire me with. As it is, I hold a BFA with an emphasis in Creative Writing. I am pretty much screwed. I have an art degree and I can't hardly draw stick figures. At least if a restaurant opens close to me I have good table manners.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Where the heck did this week go?

In case you missed it, Thursday is upon us already. My week has thus far been productive an busy and I wouldn't have it any other way. As far as edits go I should be done with this round of edits in another 8 working days. I say working days because my wife has a nice little respite from work starting Saturday and she doesn't have to go back for 5 days. I can't wait. Meanwhile, I don't know how much time will be spent with red pen to paper. (yes, I do use a red pen. Little things like comma's and periods don't get lost on the page.)

This book (novella) isn't as bad as I thought it might be after letting it simmer for awhile. I am doing my fair share of adding to and taking away, but I have to say it is more enjoyable than a full blown re-write.

I also finished my flash piece for the Shroud flash fiction contest #7. I will be curious to see what makes it. After reading the magazine I would have to say I stand a chance although my story doesn't contain a monster or a good scare. It is horrifying, but I don't know if I would classify it as horror. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone but me. Anyway, it has been submitted.

I don't know a lot today so I will say goodbye for now.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monday went well

At least the sun is shining here today. We are supposed to get another inch of rain tonight, but for now the sun is shining.

Yesterday I started in on the editing, major editing, of my novella which I am now calling 'Behind These Walls.' In my usual style, I am doing more adding to than taking away. At the rate I am going this could take me awhile. It probably didn't help that I stopped to play a couple of round of Wii bowling with my daughter (she kicked my butt every time and she has terrible form. I got her back when we played tennis.)

I also started a flash piece for Shroud's newest contest. Unfortunately, the story is due Friday so I have to get cracking (those of you that know what the contest is will get the joke there). I think I have a good story line going for it, I just need to get my ending into it.

I doubt if I get a lot done today, my children and I are going on a roadtrip to my Mothers place so I can fix some things around her house and so the kids can visit their grandma. I had better get going. It takes two hours to get there.

Monday, June 8, 2009

All sorts of goodness

Yes, it is Monday and I am associating that with all sorts of goodness. First off, a great big Congratulations to Felicity Dowker, one of the most kreative spellers I know, who won the Ditmar Award for Best New Talent. Talk about a gal who has taken the underworld by storm with her dark fiction.

In other down under news, if Jaws didn't make you squeamish to get in the water, BT's story Murky Depths on 52 Stitches will.

the third thing I am cheering about is that I am done hanging sheetrock in my spare bedroom. Most of you won't give a damn about that, but I am glad that part of the construction is done. (I still have more sheetrock to hang, but the bedroom is done which is all I was worried about.) My back is also so far out of whack I am afraid that I won't be able to sneeze this week. You think I'm kidding. It has happened to me before.

In other news we had a spectacular lighting storm last night. I wish I had set up my video camera to record it. Sometimes hindsight blah, blah, blah.

This week starts editing. Major editing of a 24,000 word novella I would like to submit to Damnation Books. I also have a Vermin antho story I can see the end from where I sit, I just need to get there, edit it and submit before the deadline is over. In July. These two projects should consume most of my free time this week, and then some.

Hope everyone has a good week. Probably read more about me tomorrow, unless My house floats away with all the rain we have been getting lately.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday, its Friday

The title of this post was meant to be sing-song style, not unlike Debbie Reynold's in Singin' In the Rain singing, "Sunset and Camdon!" If you haven't seen that movie in a while you are missing out. Best musical ever! At least in my humble opinion.

But I digress. I did manage to finish the 3rd and I hope final rewrite of my MG book, Big Chief's Gold. That is still a working title so don't be alarmed that it stinks on ice. Now I have endless edits before I start to farm it out to agents and possible publishers. Should be an interesting experiment. I did enjoy writing it. How else can you explain rewriting the same story 3 times, from different points of view or characters. I wouldn't do that with just any story. Most I would have given up on long before that happened.

So what happens today. First I need to go to the lumberyard and pick up more drywall so I can finish that bedroom I started two months ago (it is looking really good. I just have the closet and part of the walls to hang and then I finish and paint the walls, trim it out and call it done.) It should be the quietest room in the house, because I have taken the time to soundproof it with mucho insulation. this afternoon I need to clean the house. So I think It is safe to say that my writing is done for the week. Stick a fork in it and hope it all comes back to me on Monday.

Until Monday, have a great weekend. And now for you viewing pleasure a scene from Singin' in the Rain, Donald O'Conner in Make 'em Laugh. I don't know how old he was when he did this scene but it had to be hard on him.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My week So Far

I haven't been online much this week. It has been rather hectic. I have had two chiropractor appointments, two tee-ball practices, a child's birthday party (not my own kid), and I spent yesterday at the mother-in-laws replacing a window I am pretty sure was original to the house (it was installed with forged square nails). I am fairly tired. Still I have found time to write. I wrote in the park on Tuesday while my daughter was at her birthday party, and my boy slept in his carseat. if that isn't a reason to own a laptop computer, I don't know what is.

I am now within a chapter of finishing the 3rd draft of my MG book (Yippee!) This is the book I have changed point of view three times now. I think I have it right this time. If I don't I am not changing it again. I should finish this draft today, if the children let me. Then I am planning on working on a short story I started last month before I delve into editing a novella I wrote. I hope, after reading it again, that it doesn't suck terribly bad. I shall find out when I start that, next week.

You don't expect me try to cram all of this into one week do you?

I still haven't heard back from an editor in almost a month now. Soon, one way or another, I hope. Silence is more unnerving than anything else in this business.

Gotta go. Still much to do today.

Monday, June 1, 2009

May in Review

May was S-l-o-w. Very Slow. I haven't heard back from an Editor since May 9. Nothing. So my tally for the month is one acceptance from Fissure magazine (very cool little chapbook magazine) and two rejections. I wrote a single little story all 100 words of it for Necrotic Tissue. They weren't open to submissions so I sent it on to Weird tales where they rejected it. Now I am back to waiting for NT to open up.

I have 10 stories out in sub land. 5 of which have been out for 100 days or more and several others creeping up on it. I have been working, not feverishly but at a steady pace to finish my latest draft of Big Chief's Gold, the MG book I have been working on. I think I have two more chapters to finish and then I can get to work on another completed manuscript. It will be a round robin event with my books this summer. Get done working on one, put it away for a time and work on another until I have one ready to go out the door. Then the fun begins.

I am planning on catching up on some reading today. I finished reading a John Saul book this weekend. Interesting, a fun read, but like many books I read I thought the ending was a little rushed. At least it had a good epilogue to tie it all together.

Until later, have a good Monday.