Monday, March 29, 2010

good week, but it early yet

Last week was the best week I have had writing so far this year. Close to 9,000 words down in various projects and I actually liked where they were going. About damn time.

This has been a slow year so far. this week, depending on the boy, will probably not be nearly as productive. I have to visit the dentist and the weather is supposed to be nice enough to work n the yard, and boy does the yard need work. You have no clue how much work it is to keep up on 2.5 acres unless you have 2.5 acres then I am in sympathy with you. I still need to take down my Christmas lights outside (don't laugh, up until last week I didn't have solid ground, that wasn't ice, to put a ladder up).

Well, I had better get going. I have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And now for something completely different

I haven't written more than a flash fiction piece all year. My short story bone seems to have taken a holiday of sorts and I didn't know how i was going to get it back. I would like to thank R.Thomas Riley and Aaron Polson, two of my favorite writers,  for pointing out the Permuted Press antho coming up about time travel. I had an idea almost immediately and now, this morning, I shall set forth to write it before it slips from my ear and hurts itself on the floor.  With any luck, tomorrow I will have another short story to my name and my first finished first draft all year. By the end of next week I hope to have a polished story, worthy of submission. Time will tell.

And now for your viewing pleasure some helpful hints on how not to be seen. And something completely different

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday morning

For some reason my son thinks that going to bed really late and getting up super early is the thing to do. Darn little insomniac. Yesterday it wasn't an issue. I got several thousand words written throughout the day, installed a new toilet, baked cookies, made shrimp scampi, and even got a little bit of reading in (The Graveyard Book for those of you interested what decision I made on Friday) before he finally went back to bed.

Today will not be nearly as productive. I have stuff to do around the house. Little projects I would like to finish here and there. There are groceries to be gotten and more foodstuffs to prepare for consumption. From the sound of the dog and his paws it would appear that he will be getting a bath today as well.

At least I feel like I am not wasting my days at this point. That counts for something, doesn't it? I believe that the winter blahs are over, at least for me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Reading List

I just finished my 7th book of the year last night. Hey, for me this is good. I just read the second book in Shroud Publications Hiram Grange saga- Hiram Grange & The Twelve Little Hitlers. Excellent read. I read both books in the Hiram Grange series this week. Both written by different writers and both weird as hell. I look forward to the rest of them coming out.

Now I don't know what to read. I have Stephen King's newest doorstop, Under the Dome sitting on my shelf as well as Neil Gaiman's, The Graveyard Book. I also have a couple of Hard Case Crime books I have yet to sift through and some Tom Piccirrili I haven't read either. I could read Dan Brown's newest book or go the literary route and read a book I got from my wife's cousin for Christmas. Speaking of books as presents I have George Carlin's newest on my shelf, unopened as well. Decisions, decisions.

Anyone have any suggestions? What route would you go?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Time to get philosophical on y'all

I will apologize in advance for this post. You can move on if you want to. I am going to talk amongst myself for a minute or so.

I spent a good chunk of my afternoon in a Zen-like state with my chainsaw. We became one with each other. I had time to think about my current WIP and the state of my yard and came to the conclusion that they are linked, in more than one way actually. My WIP is about a boy who goes to work for his Grandpa for a Summer. More specifically he is putting in a fence around the farm. If anyone has done this they know is it hard work. It is even harder when you are only 13. I think it gets more difficult when you hit 36 as well, but that is a story for another day.

the fence is only part of the story. I was looking around my yard and the flooding that is occurring right now. It is different than previous years. The water is running a different way but it is coming from the same places. What has changed? I put a load of rocks (they sprout like weeds every year in my pasture) in a washout that has caused me problems in the past. Not a big deal. It wasn't even that many rocks. Still, it changed the route the water took. Steered it I guess you could say.

Now I bet I have a good chunk of you wondering how rocks and water and fences and a chainsaw have in common. Not a lot, to be honest. I go to thinking about the rocks and how I change little things in my manuscript and the ramifications it has for the entire story. If something happens to this character or this character doesn't experience this how will it change the greater story? I am still thinking about it and the grander picture of it, but I am glad to have these thoughts out in the open.

Sorry to bore everyone with this little monologue. Carry on.

Monday, March 15, 2010

It is kinda like that

The snow is finally melting around here. The rivers are flooding and the place is generally a mess. It is a wonderful time of the year. I think I may go make some effigies snowmen before it is all gone.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Like ice cubes to Eskimos

In the book writing business I have heard many times over that it isn't what is hot but what is going to be. Don't go chasing trends. Blah, blah, blah.

I am not complaining. Far from it. I wish those writers who started the trends nothing but the finest. J.K. Rowling, R.L. Stine, Lemminy Snicket; they have all created things that have become bigger than the original idea. But in the publishing industry, while it seems they are looking for the next big thing, they really aren't buying right now.

We can blame the economy. It seems to be a popular scapegoat at this juncture. 'No one is buying,' is heard in quite a few circles. 'We only want sure things.' Like that ever happens.

You may wonder why I am writing this. Am I disillusioned? Mad? Crazy? Far from it. I am determined. I have hope that what I write will find a home. I received a kind rejection from an agent this morning. He is looking for the type of Middle grade books that I like to write. He flat out admitted that he hasn't been able to sell any of them at this point, so he is being twice as selective about what he takes on. (My particular writing being realistic adventures for the male child, ages 8-14). It isn't selling. Especially if it isn't funny (sorry, mine isn't).

I can't say as I blame them. We have enough to worry about with the natural disasters we hear about every day and the state of the economy. The last thing that most kids want to read about is realistic fiction. They want to escape. I wonder how many of the classics that we liked yesterday would be published in today's market. I wonder if the Hardy Boys would make it through the slush today. Tom Sawyer almost certainly wouldn't.

I dare say that, in spite of this,  The Diary of Anne Frank would and How to Eat Fried Worms would be another run-away success stories, even in today's market. I think we could potentially throw The Little Prince in this if some of the language were tweaked slightly (It reads a little stilted but is still an incredible story).

I am sorry for the ramblings. I am just looking over my library and the 'Classics' that I have enjoyed over the years and wonder where they fit into today's reading agenda. Move on now. Nothing to see.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Last man standing

Well, so far I am the only one in my house who hasn't gotten this nasty stomach virus that is slowly (it has a 4 day incubation period as far as we can tell) knocking off everyone in the house. I spent the night on the couch trying to avoid it, catching up on bad television and reading until my eyes could no longer stay open. My neck is paying the price for my sleeping arrangements now.

I would have written until the wee hours of the morning, but I have a thing. I really can't write at night. My brain is drained and my body only wants to try to relax. If I can't write by 3 in the afternoon I have serious writers block. I may get some writing done today, if the kids will cooperate and the dog doesn't want out every five minutes. Come to think of it, this counts as writing. Doesn't it? Probably not.

If you are looking for some great reading, head on over to the 52 Stitches website and read Cate Gardener's story. It is a nice little dystopian fantasy with a very Cate ending to it.  I really enjoyed how she built a world in so few words. It left a distinct picture in my head.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Don't know the words

As a fan of Iowa State University (widely known for their academics and not for their sporting teams) we frequently didn't know the words to the school fight song. In spite of this we would sing along at sporting events to the beat with the words, "Don't know the words. Don't know the words. Don't know the words and I don't care!"  It might be one of those, you had to be there moments, but it puts a smile on my face.

Enough of that tangent. I have been battling a sick kid and installing a sump pump this week and in spite of this have written a couple of thousand words. I am pretty happy with myself. They probably suck and will have to be cut later, but they are there for now, another reminder that I tried this week, in spite of myself.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I might be lying to you. . .

The rules are as follows:

1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you.
4. Tell up to 6 outrageous lies about yourself and at least 1 outrageous truth.
5. Nominate 3 creative writers who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies.
6. Post links to the 3 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

I would like to thank Danielle for giving me the opportunity to have something to post today. So, to be quick about it, here we go-

1. I like to lick electric fences.
2. The last time I was hit by a car was on my birthday.
3. I haven't killed anyone in six years.
4. I saved a dog once by taking my foot off of its head and pulling it out of the toilet.
5. I helped deliver a baby in a freight elevator.
6. Few people know this but I was the youngest of the hostages in the Iran hostage crisis. It put me way behind in school.
7. The current design on the postage stamp was actually my idea. So was Windows 7.

Okay, that was fun and yes, one of those is actually true. I would like to give the opportunity to do this to anyone would like to try (I know, a cop-out, but I am running out of people who haven't been nominated already.)

Now I have to go. My boy is sick and I have things to do today. The fate of the world is in my hands. :)