Monday, July 26, 2010

Old Ghosts

I like it when I look at words that I have given order to and realize that I wouldn't change a whole lot about them. I was looking at a story that I haven't looked at in six months (that is how long it has been with an editor) and realized that I really like them. I am changing a little here and there on it. Expanding my characters story, just a little, wondering where the road can lead him, but the bones of the story are still there.

I have been thinking of revisiting some of my longer pieces (And they shall have pages and we shall call them books) and seeing what I would change this time around. I have nothing to lose but time.

Just what I needed, more projects.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


The wife and I took the family to an amusement park yesterday. It was a lot of fun and I think that my wife got it right when she said she hadn't had that much fun since she was little and got to experience much of the same rides the first time. It was a lot of fun, I will admit. There is something about being whipped around until you are dizzy that is satisfying and unnerving at the same time. Before I go any further, I am a roller coaster junkie. I love them, the faster the better. I am proud to say that my seven year old is one as well. She loved being plummeted toward the earth with several G's of force trying to force her from the seat only to be whipped skyward again at the last second, laughing the whole time.

It reminded me a little of writing. You never know where the action will take you and you hope that every failsafe works and you don't go crashing into the ground. At least my writing is like that, I don't know about you. All I know is that I enjoy the ride.

I would post a picture that the park took of my wife and daughter at the bottom of the first big drop, but they would both kill me, so next time you come over for a beer remind me and I will be happy to show you.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Anniversary Date, sort of. . .

My wife and I (it will be 14 years sometime next week of wedded bliss) have celebrated our anniversary in many different ways. We have taken in Broadway musicals, looked for household fixtures (sorry about that one, Ann), worked on the house(Yep, sorry about that one as well), and just gone out for dinner and a movie. Yesterday's will go down in history as perhaps the weirdest Anniversary date of them all. We went to a bodies exhibit.

Yep, you heard me right. A bodies exhibit. Dead bodies  and their parts laid open for the world to see. It was fascinating. Vivid sections of the human anatomy peeled back for a closer view. And apparently there are a lot of people who will pay good money to see this as well as the place was fairly busy with people, old and young, male and female looking at the nerve ending and dissected lung tissue, the male and female sex organs in all their glory (and without skin). If you want to know what I actually saw they have a pretty good web page. Body Exhibit. You know you want to.

What do you expect when a dark fiction writer and a doctorate of Pharmacy get together.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

good read

So, last night I finished reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series from Rick Riordan. Very fun. It has a Harry Potter feel to it. Kid abandoned by father, finds out he is a demi-god and he has powers that mere mortals only dream of. It was a fun ride that took me through 5 books and roughly 1500 pages.

Where HP is told from a 3rd person PoV, PJ is told from the first person. This worked well for this book. Percy could inject his observations and wit into the story and it made for a great read because of it.

Anyway, now I have to dig through my pile of books and figure out what to read next. It is a deep pile, one that apparently has no bottom (mostly because I have no willpower).

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

detail work

I was working in my shop yesterday. It was the little stuff (sanding, fitting pieces)that you don't think should take very long and then, before you know it, the whole afternoon is shot and you are all sweaty and stinky. I think writing is like that. A first draft really does go quickly. It is the detail that can make or break a story that takes all the time. It is the stuff that most readers take for granted.

Have a happy Tuesday!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Beg, Borrow and Steal

I borrow ideas all the time. Mostly recipes. If I don't know a recipe I try to figure it out. One of my favorite pastimes is to go to restaurants to get ideas. I wonder how much we do that when we read. I read in an interview with John Grisham that he isn't much of a reader (I don't know if I would brag about that as a bestselling writer), and that he doesn't read at all when he is working on a book. He doesn't want the other person's story to influence his own style (this I can vaguely understand). I wonder how much we are all inclined to borrow what we see or read.

So last night's borrowed recipe is chocolate Oreo Tallcake. I had to make my own, because Ruby Tuesdays no longer makes it. I have no clue why. We used to go in there specifically for dessert. Here it is. I made a chocolate fudge cake from mix and topped it off with chocolate fudge frosting. I put this in a bowl with some vanilla ice cream and then topped this off with (and in this order) caramel sauce, whipped cream, crushed Oreo cookies and chocolate sauce.

What idea are you going to steal borrow today?

Friday, July 9, 2010

I had a really cool post thought up for today, but I forgot it

I love how we can get so involved in our character's world that we can almost forget they aren't real. I am having that problem with two stories I am working on. One has some serious problems (and they became even more serious this morning. I had no clue they were this bad for him.) and the other has a quandary of the heart that makes me want to go up to him and say, 'no, pick her. the other chick ain't worth it.'

At least it keeps the writing interesting, but it makes it kind of awkward when you start talking about them like they really exist.
'You know, Bob is becoming a real SOB.'
'Who's Bob?'
'He lives up Keiser Hill, is the youth minister for the church, dark hair, built like a Buddha.'
'What the hell are you talking about?'
'Uh, never mind.'

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I really did get some writing done over the last six days. Really. Honest. It was on Friday, but it happened. I think I may have written on Thursday as well. In the meantime I had a good vacation (how can a guy with no job have a vacation?). I finished hanging 70 foot of gutter on my house and mowed the yard, that table top I was talking about months ago is closer to being done and is now perfectly round thanks to a jig I saw on The New Yankee Workshop. I also managed to grill out some delicious meat and ate some tasty sweets and went to the zoo with my family where I met with my sister, her husband and my niece who will turn 2 in a couple of months. It was fun.

Perhaps one of the most exciting things I did this weekend was reclaim my library. It has been used as a baby store room and impromptu toddler closet for the last 3 years. No more. My wife and I did a serious clean up and move around and it is now ours again (insert evil laugh here). I even spent a part of the 4th sitting in there reading in the leather club chairs, with the fireplace in front of me and dark wood surrounding me. A politically incorrect picture of Little Black Sambo on my right, framed and showing the little tyke outwitting the hungry tiger. It was great. I may have to escape to there again today.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

June in a Nutshell

This is going to be an easy one. I wrote zero new stories and aside from a hold on one story I didn't hear squat about any of my short stories. I am sensing a trend here.

Here is how my short story numbers look. I have 7 shorts out right now. They have been out for 465, 151, 147, 119, 92, 85, and 57 days. I haven't gotten an acceptance or a rejection since May 4. I would think with that many stories out I should have heard more than I have. I am about to give up on the 465 (and I would if it wasn't such a good market and I didn't already know they had ridiculously long wait times. What was I thinking?) Most of the rest of them I fully expect to hear back from before the end of July.

Of course, that is what I said about them in June. I think the Summer is just a slow time of the year and beer and barbecue grills beckon them more than a fistful of slush. Having read slush in my earlier days I don't blame them. It is hard work and they deserve a summer off as well. I know I have spent more time with my tomatoes and working on my house than I have with my writing this Summer. So be it.

I hope those of us in the States enjoy your Independence Day holiday and to the rest of you enjoy your weekend. I am outta here, unless I hear some spectacular news in the interim. ;)