Thursday, December 11, 2008

NaNoWriMo...its over!

November has come and gone, and I have 50,000+ words to show for it. I won NaNoWriMo, but got a form rejection for the 4th quarter of Writers of the Future. I guess one out of two isn't bad.

Time to give that story another pass through for spelling errors and send it out again. I refer to Heinlein's Rule #5: Keep the story in the mail until someone buys it.

Fire and forget.

It's a bit early to review the year, but I have to say I'm very pleased with my level of production. I have to go back and count, but I estimate 150,000+ words for the year...the most for me since I've gotten serious about writing.

Now it's back to finishing up the story for Q1 of the next WotF.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

NaNoWriMo -- The words keep on rollin'

NaNoWriMo week 4 starts monday. It's the home stretch and I'm primed for a big run.

In week three, I made the biggest strides, yet, to eat away at my word shortage. TECHNICALLY, there is no shortage. The first two days of the month I spent trying to finish the short story I was working on. That was about 3000 words over those two days, but I chose not to include those in my NaNo project. I'm trying to keep it honest.

Heading into week 4, I'm 1.6 days behind. If I hold the productivity that I've been making than I'll cross 50K with a couple days to spare. I will have won NaNoWriMO. It will be my biggest writing achievement to date. That leads to the next challenge: Maintaining that productivity after NaNo is over. If I can do that, the first draft of my first novel will be done by Christmas (projecting between 80 and 100K words total.)

I guess that will be the test for whether or not I've really learned something in the month of November, then, won't it?

50K FTW!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NaNoWriMo working for me

The second week of NaNoWriMo is called the 'sophomore slump'. Not for me. I had a 2 day word deficit going, but I'm chipping away at it steadily. The novel started out pretty rough, as I said in the previous post, but I've written some scenes that I'm pretty happy with.

I've also stumbled upon the Farpoint Media family of podcasts. I've found some really good writing related shows that i'll be listening to regularly. I personally recommend DragonPage, Cover to Cover with Michael R. Menennga and Michael Stackpole. You can check out the full line of podcasts at Farpoint Media

That's all for now.

50K FTW!!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A little off the pace

My NaNoWriMo word count is off a bit, but I'm pretty pleased with my progress. Write everyday, dammit. That's the montra, and I've been close. I do need a couple of big days to get back on track and I hope they happen soon so that my word deficit doesn't get to be insurmountable.

They say the first week is the honeymoon. Your excited, your determined. The second week is coming up and everyone says that's when it gets hard. The novelty of the endeavor has warn off. Your internal editor is sreaming that you're writing total crap. The impulse is to go cycle back and fix what you've done.

That's not the point of NaNo.

Writing...and writing the goal. The stuff I've written so far is probably some of the most disjointed I've ever done. The beginning flails about and all together it flows like clogged sewer line...but I'm doing it.

My one complaint (if there is one) is the lack of science fiction novels being written in my local NaNo region. I haven't looked at every profile, of course, but there seem to be a butt load of fantasy, some of which is World of Warcraft fan fic.

Noticing this took me back to the discussion I had with Rick Novy about Fantasy Vs. Science Fiction in publishing. I still think it's easier to break into fantasy. More titles published. The publishers are more likely to buy lots more first novel manuscripts if they seem competent, throw them out into the market and see what sticks. i don't think Sci-Fi has that luxury.

But enough of that. Back to NaNo work.



Sunday, October 26, 2008


This year I'm participating in the National Novel Writing Month challenge.

Write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. It's tough.

My novel won't likely be finished at 50k, but if I make that number it's a winner to me.

Get the details at

50K FTW!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Live your lives as normal

I've got to go a different route for this post. There probably will be very little about writing or machinima this time. I feel like its time that I try to shed my own light on this economic turmoil that our country is going through.

First of all, I find almost unfathomable that the biggest investment banks and insurance companies would go belly up at the same time. Lehman Brothers...really??? An investment bank started during the civil war that has weathered two world wars, the great depression, three other wars, the stock market crash of '87 and everything else all of a sudden throws in the towel.


Washington Mutual?? Now the biggest bank failure in history... All at once?


Pardon the conspiracy theory flavor of this, but believe me when I tell you this was engineered. There is such a want from a few select liberal powerhouses to move this country to a socialist format that they will stop at nothing to make it happen.

The ground work is being laid under the disguise of "change". Barack Obama is the poster boy for this movement. The current administration is (unfortunately) weak, ineffective, and disliked by the people partly from their own policies and mostly from the media microanalyzing and playing up anything that could me thought of as a mistake or a misstep. This is the perfect time for all of this to be put into place under the disguise of "change".

Just a side note here about the administration. President Bush's approval ratings are at historical lows, 20 or 30 percentile that last time I saw. But the democratically controlled congress that was voted in because the people were dismayed by the performance of the congress when the republicans were in charge has achieved SINGLE DIGIT approval ratings!!!

Oh yeah, change is good. (Geesh)

In this period of economic turmoil (brought on by the Clinton administration, I might add) its easy for people to be wowed by the shiny packaging of Obama's sales pitch for stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Don't be fooled!!! How many socialist systems have lasted longer than our free market economy??? None that I can think of. I'd have to do some research to confirm that.

Listen to me on this...

The way to make it through these economic troubles is simple if the government doesn't monkey around with it (with the exception of putting back in place regulations that were instituted after the great depression to prevent another).

Live your lives as normal.

That's it. Don't do anything radical. Don't live outside your means. If your still 20 or 30 years away from retirment, don't dump your 401k. You haven't really lost anything unless you cash it in right NOW. If we all renew our NORMAL spending, the market will come back. It will take some time. All of those huge gains in one shot were bad anyway. Slower, steady growth is less volatile and will be lasting.

Remember a free market economy requires us to participate in it.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

E-pub? Nah, give me something I can hold when I read.

I'm in to technology, no doubt about it. If I could, I'd probably change my middle name to 'digital'. With that being said, even I have to draw the line in a couple of places. As a would-be writer, I'd draw that first line at the E-publication.

I know this should be right up my alley. What's more 'tech' than internet E-pubs, right? Maybe its a product of my age. I'm almost 40 and grew up during the transition from what I'll call the 'analog age', to today. I know what an LP is, dammit. BetaMax missed the boat courtesy of Sony's greed. I've seen the rise of the internet and the access to the world that it brings to anyone with a connection. It's been quite a ride. So what's my problem with E-pubs? Partially, its that universal access I mentioned a second ago.

The net and the the technology that has spawned with it, has made it so frighteningly easy for the average joe to create media and showcase it on the biggest stage around. Just about anyone can start an E-publication nowadays...consequently, almost everyone has.

*** Let me preface this by saying that I don't know EVERYTHING about e-pubs and have only submitted to them a couple of times. If what I state as fact is incorrect, please let me know. Now, read on ***

In my search for markets to submit my work, I see more and more that are E-pub only. First, my practical objections...

A: With so many e-pubs bursting on the scene at once, how can any one of them earn any real credibility? At the top of the heap in SF E-pubs right now is Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show and this is a great market having earned SFWA credit for its contributors, but this is only a single exception. Keep in mind that I'm talking about strict E-pubs only. There are plenty of markets that do both at this point.

B: Imagine the size of the slush piles in the inboxes at the infinite number of e-pubs taking email submissions. I can't even fathom the slush at IGMS. Editors have to get through it quickly and may pass over some good work in the process. Some may argue that the story should have caught the editor's eye in the first couple of paragraphs, but I don't see it quite that way. A print submission represents (to me) an investment in time and energy and the love of the work. Mass email submissions are easy, for sure. Too easy. What does it take for a hack to throw something together and paste it in an email? A lot less effort, in my opinion.

C: How does a contributor get paid, really? A low end print pub will pay in copies. What does an equivalent e-pub give you? Copies? Not the same thing. Exposure? How many hits do most e-pubs get? Your story will likely stew in digital hell for at least a year (depending on the rights you give the e-pub upon acceptance) not to be seen by human eyes.

As for my PERSONAL objections....

I prefer to have something in my hand when reading. Yeah, I can sit and read from a monitor. But scrolling that mouse wheel IS NOT the same as flipping a page. Monitor light can be harsh to some and some e-pubs choose bad color contrasts between text and background which makes it harder to sit in front of that monitor reading a story. This is probably where I show my age. I love print. Seeing one of my stories in print jsut means more to me. Don't misunderstand, I'd LOVE to get accepted by IGMS, but this is an exception.

I know I'm gonna catch hell from anyone who reads this, but that's not likely to happen. Like E-pubs, anyone can blog nowadays and I've gotten lost in the shuffle too. :)

In my writing news... My writing got sidetracked by the august machinima contest. I gotta get back in the saddle.