Monday, November 30, 2009

End of November

Well, it is the end of November. I have little hope that I will actually get any more responses this month (although it could happen) so I will start this post with my stats.

Accepted stories: 1 to 52 Stitches called 'The Problem With Gnomes' I like this little story and I can't wait to see the rest of the line-up.

Rejected stories: 2. both of which have gone on to find where they properly belong. (I hope)

Stories written: 0. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I couldn't even finish my nano book, although I do have a damn good start on it. I am also working on a short story that I have yet to complete. We will tack onto this stat that I still managed to write 43,000 words, just not all in one story. I can't complain. It was probably my last year to attempt NaNo. It was fun. Everyone should do it. At least once.

Published: 1. 'The Passenger' has been published, and beautifully I might add, in Midnight Echo. Link at the right because I am lazy today.

In other news I am a picture of health. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes. I went to the doctor today (3rd time this month) and after running a battery of tests usually reserved for men almost 2X my age, they have declared me to be in good health. While they could come up with no concrete reason why I have problems breathing sometimes lately I am happy to say that my heart is in good shape, especially. I am also in good shape, although after running the stress test I have found out I would have to do a lot of conditioning to get in shape for the Olympics. I guess that ship has sailed because I am not interested in doing that much work. I will stick to writing.

That is good because I have some stories I need to get back to work on. December is upon us. Hope you all had a good November.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Tomorrow celebrates the 388th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving in this country. it was a long hard summer and they learned a lot about the land they lived on, their new neighbors, and about themselves as well. It was as good a reason as any to celebrate the end of the harvest and hoping that they would make it through the winter months again.

Brings into focus all of the struggles we have to deal with on a daily basis. The broken ATM machine, the grocery store is out of the bread that we like, the internet is SO slow. It really makes it seem kind of pathetic. I wonder what our children will look at and expect from the world (This microwave is taking too long, its been like 5 seconds already). Or if we can find our roots and take the tough road because it will make us better in the long run.

I hope we can look at tomorrow and say, yes, we can persevere and grow from it, gain wisdom and move on, embrace new things and share with others. Let us hope we can get through the next winter together.

Monday, November 23, 2009

One week to go, 15K left

I have seven days and 15,000 words to go in my NaNo project. I actually think I have closer to 25K left in the story but that is for another day. Either way, I don't know if I am going to finish on time. It is looking pretty bleak. Life is just getting in the way this year. I will still try and I am still enjoying the story that I have going so we will see where I end up next Monday.

Mind you, Monday morning I have a Dr.'s appointment and I don't know if they will decide I need something drastic like heart surgery then or not (I don't think that is in the cards, but I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't need stents). If I do it will put a damper on my writing plans for the rest of the year.

Still, I can't complain. I haven't had a month where I have written 35K in one month this year. It might be more but I haven't added my short story numbers in yet.

Now I am off to grill steaks and make nachos from them. My cardiologist would be so proud, cheese and red meat on salty fried chips and don't forget the sour cream. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A little about me

Okay, I know this is a writing blog but I am going to post this here anyway. Yesterday I went to the Dr. to get some tests run. Blood, chest x-ray, and an EKG. I am thirty-five by the way. The blood work came back good. No viruses, everything normal, cholesterol is a high but I have known that for years and changing my diet hasn't helped. The Chest x-ray was clear. The EKG showed a partial blockage in the right ventricular arteries.

So, basically I have the mind of a child, the body of a healthy 35 year old (I'm not overweight according to my Dr.), and the heart of an old man. I am going in for a consultation in December. I don't know what that will entail and I don't know if surgery is on the table (the rest of the males in my family on my mom's side are full of stents) or if they are going to try the med route. I am hoping for the latter, mostly because the thought of having them push a small tube through my veins makes me a little queasy.

Needless to say I didn't get my writing done that I wanted to yesterday. All morning I was waiting for the call back about the tests and then I was looking crap up, trying to find out all I could about it during the afternoon. My total word count for yesterday was a measly 1200 words. A far cry from the 2800 I wanted to hit. So today I find myself 3100 words behind schedule and ready to go. No more distractions for me today.

So, in conclusion. I am okay. things are under control and now I must get back to writing, my book is looking like it might be short anyway.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Midnight somewhere in the world

My very short ghost story, The Passenger, is up in Midnight Echo issue 3. The issue is flat out cool with an awesomely done comic and a couple of Stoker winners headlining the ToC.

My NaNo progress was slow yesterday, I was sidelined with two Dr. appointments (One chiropractor, one regular Dr.) and grocery getting. I had to conclude my Dr. visits this morning (I hope they are done anyway) getting some tests. Nothing major, just making sure my family medical history isn't going to haunt me anytime soon. That and it has felt like I have been standing in a pool of water up to my neck when I breathe for the last couple of weeks. I hope I have a case of asthma or something like that.

Anyway, I had better get to writing. I was pretty well caught up when I woke up yesterday morning and now I appear to be behind again on my NaNo book.

Words: 27,069 goal by the end of today: 30,000 (you can laugh now, I am)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Still behind, but gaining

So this weekend was spent running around. I managed to make it into the largest cities in two states in two days and still managed to write about 3400 words. 1700 of them were in the car yesterday on my way to Des Moines, where, thanks to an old college buddy I obtained Office Pro 2003 (I know, it is already years old, but it should be able to transform .doc files into readable .rtf files which is all I really want to do with it). Hurray for friends with more tech gadgets than me!

In other news I am still behind on my NaNo project, but only by a day so I can catch up to that, I hope. Still, other writing stuff needs to get done in the meantime, I have a short story I need to finish and submit (thank God for the new program). Also my story threw me another twist last night. I will be curious to see how my characters cope with this latest wrench thrown in the works.

And if anyone needs a laugh, I mean a really good belly laugh and you even vaguely remember the 80's then go to Carrie Harris's blog today and watch the video she has posted.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday, Thank goodness

I would post a flash story today, but I don't have any to post. Sorry.

Instead I will post my progress on my NaNo book. I am 100 pages into it and not quite to the 20 K mark. I should hit that pretty easy this morning if the boy and his propensity for puzzles doesn't get in the way.

I have been amazed how I keep thinking of stories for the second and third tier characters in this book and giving them complete lives. these lives are only in my head so far and not on the page. They only have lives on the page as long as it moves the other characters story forward. It has me thinking of books like John Dos Passos's Manhattan Transfer or Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio. Both are excellent books that deal with the intricate natures of our lives and the way they intertwine with those around us. (Yes, I had to study both of them for English Lit classes in college.)

I am still hoping to get caught up and perhaps get a little ahead over the weekend, but I don't know if that is going to be a pipedream or reality.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Keepin' It short

I am a full day behind on my NaNo book. Taking a three day vacation will do that to you I guess. I plan on catching up completely over the next couple of days (I think I have started that before). So as of yesterday I stand at 78 pages of text and 15,094 words. I think I use big words or something because at that rate I will be at just under 300 pages before I am done. Doesn't matter, it will get done.

Anyway, this book isn't going to write itself, although it is trying its best and is going pretty smooth. Still, the computer insists that I actually pull up the program and type words into the file to accomplish my goal. Thank you to all of you cheerleading out there, it means a lot and it seems to help.

I gotta go. Later.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I am writing this from my hotel room. It is a nice room, a suite actually. The Fairly Oddparents is on the television and my boy has had me awake for an hour. I would take him downstairs for breakfast, but I need to get him dressed and his clothes are in the other room where his mother is trying to sleep.

My word count, while a little behind schedule is not so far behind that I can't catch up again (only 300 words as of last night). I am really getting into a lot of subplots that I wasn't expecting. They work well in the story and I am glad they have been found. It is giving the story a much more rounded feel to it than the linear story I wrote last year.

As long as we are talking well rounded stories, you should head over to Aaron and Jameson's blogs to find the locations for their newest published stories. Both are excellent little reads this fine Sunday morning.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Barns and other flammible objects

Okay, so I am roughly 700 words ahead of schedule now, which means I only have about 950 to meet my goal. The writing is going amazingly well, and is probably amazingly bad by the same token. I would be amazed if this storyline is anywhere near publishable. It should probably be punishable.

Still, the story keeps on rolling. Words keep getting put on the page and I am having a good time. I hope to hit 10K by tomorrow morning if I am lucky. I have a feeling this weekend will put me behind again, but if this week has taught me anything it is that playing catch up is kind of fun.

In other news, my wife called on the way to work and the neighbors barn is on fire. It wasn't being used for anything other than storing some old farm equipment, but she met the fire trucks so she is thinking it is an accidental fire and not a purposeful one meant to get rid of an old building. Either that or they are trying to contain it from getting into the dried corn fields.

Have a good day. Until later.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NaNo, day 2

so I, like many others, am two days into NaNo. My word count is a little lacking, but I am not concerned. I was down 600 on day one and I am only down 400 as of last night (a net gain of 200). This isn't too bad considering I am only writing in quick bursts of 5-10 minutes at a time throughout the day. The strategy seems to be working and I should be ahead by the end of the week, just in time to go visit my sister and her new son (My nephew is a brute at 9 pounds 3 ounces). I am hoping the hotel time is productive time, following the same strategy of bursting. We will see.

In other news, Halloween was fun. The local funeral parlor had someone dressed as a zombie out front. I should have taken a picture, but I am not that quick. I promise if they do it again next year I will snap away.

Also I found out that the issue I have with my word processing software could be costing me sales. When I format in .rtf it does wonky things to the spacing, some of it is doubled, some of it isn't. Things that are centered aren't anymore and my headers are gone completely in some cases. Lucky for me I have a friend who is an IT guy and is giving me his old copy of Office 2003. I look forward to it.

Happy NaNo, everyone!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October in Retrospect

I have managed to blow my record by not getting acceptances in October. This is the first time since November I believe. As they say, all good things must come to an end. I did receive seven rejections and managed to write two new stories and start on another (I still need to finish up that Zombie Western). I had two stories published. Beneath the Willows was published in Bards and Sages and The Glass Jar was published in Fissure. In an uninteresting side note both of these publication managed to get my name wrong. Bards and Sages fixed it but as Fissure is a chapbook form and has already gone to print I will be known in there as James Eyberg.

Today is the first day of NaNo and I should be working on that, but I am using this as a writing exercise and trying to loosen my stiff fingers (because getting old stinks). Good luck to everyone doing it and to all of you out there cheerleading us on, thank you.