Posts by Coral

I Survived SmokeCon!

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 | 0 comments

I Survived SmokeCon!

As the title says, I managed to survive the Smokepocalypse at Sasquan this weekend. Mostly the weather was quite lovely, although on Friday the sky looked like this in the afternoon: I made that my early night because I got a monster headache after being exposed to the smoke for a while. It smelled like the entire city was sitting inside a campfire. I felt sorry for people with lung ailments and I hope it rains there soon because the terrible air quality wasn’t fun. Aside from it looking like the end of days one day out of four, Sasquan was pretty wonderful for me. I met so many great people that I’ve spoken with online and had some amazing conversations. Overall, I was left with sense that our little(?) community of nerds is so much more welcoming than I ever thought it was before. I also got some encouraging feedback on the pitch and first few pages of Summoner’s Circle. Rereading parts of the book today before sending it out, I’m reminded how much I like that story. Here’s hoping it finds a home soon so you can all read it! I didn’t attend many panels, but one that I did sit in on that I wanted to share was “How to Write About Characters Who Are Smarter Than You”. The idea came from an article by Graham Moore found here. My favorite piece of wisdom gleaned from this panel was when you have an intricate plot point that you smart character needs to figure out, try working backward. You can invent all manner of clever clues along the way if you already know what the answer to the question is. In writerly news: Sunil Patel, a  fun chap I know from Twitter, wrote a helpful and informative series of articles about the Anatomy of a Sale. Where he relates, among other things, how he sold a thousand word kale joke to Asimov’s. The reason I’m bringing this up now is that he read us the aforementioned kale joke at Sasquan and it’s hilarious. Also what he has to say about submitting is important for writers to read. And, just because I’ve got the stats handy I’ll give an update on the State of the Writing as of today. Submissions: 51 Acceptances: 2 Form Rejections: 33 Personal Rejections: 6 I’m only 9 submissions away from my goal of 60 for this year! Pretty sure I’ll make it unless all of my stories currently out get accepted. I won’t cry if that happens. Promise. I do need at least one more acceptance before the year is out to tie last year, but there’s still plenty of time. Scarf ninja, signing off. -C...

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Good News Everyone!

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 | 1 comment

Good News Everyone!

I haven’t fixed the poison slime pipes, but I have sold a story! Some of you may have seen me mention it on Twitter or Facebook, but I didn’t want to release the name of the market until I had signed the contract, which I did just a little while ago. My story “Sustaining Memory” will be published on Diabolical Plots. I don’t have a date yet, but when I do I’ll share that information. If you have a few minutes and a love for Science Fiction and Fantasy, go browse the site–lots of great content there beyond just fiction. In other news, I’m off tomorrow for WorldCon in Spokane. I’ve never been to a con this large, and I’m a little frightened I’ll be overwhelmed by it, but I’m also excited that it happened to be in my new backyard this year which gave me a unique opportunity to go. I’ll give an update after with details of what I did and saw. Progress on Stoneshaper has been fairly nonexistent the last few months. I’ve decided my problem is that I like the story very much so far and I’m afraid of messing it up. I feel like once I make a few upcoming choices the story will veer one way or the other and I’m terrified of picking the ‘wrong’ one, though I’m not certain there even is a wrong choice to make. I have written a few new short stories though, so there’s an upside to my stagnation on that front at least. I’ve been writing a lot of Science Fiction lately, much more than usual. I don’t know if there’s a specific reason for that, or if it’s just a pattern of my creativity I’ve never picked up on before. There’s also been a recurring theme involving memory which I’ve found particular interesting. The story I just sold was the beginning of that pattern so maybe this kind of thing is what I should be writing more! In conclusion, here is a picture of Clementine being her usual adorable self.: Hearts and puppies,...

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Getting Under the Skin

Posted by on Jun 16, 2015 | 0 comments

Getting Under the Skin

I’m so very pleased to welcome the newest member of my fiction family: Skin Deep. This story is a Contemporary Erotic Romance with BDSM elements. The first in a series called Secrets at Midnight put out by Evernight Publishing, Skin Deep is about finding love in the aftermath of pain and loss. Here’s the blurb: Mirabel Soto disconnected herself from the many people and places that triggered memories of her husband following his death. She’s avoided everything that might remind her of him for three years and never looked back. Until the owner of Midnight, the BDSM club they frequented, calls her for a favor and she finds what she was missing in the form of a very large, very troubled former marine. Carson Brewer returned from the service broken. Discovering the source of his trauma may be the key to helping him cope with post-military life, but he shuts down whenever he’s confronted about what happened. Only pain brings him peace. Buy Skin Deep at: Evernight Publishing Amazon (US) Amazon (UK) All Romance...

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Review of Orphan Black, Season 1

Posted by on May 9, 2015 | 0 comments

Review of Orphan Black, Season 1

This review contains spoilers. Orphan Black is a scifi television series created by BBC America. The show takes place in Toronto, Canada and features as its main character Sarah Manning, a British punk rocker sort of girl who has predictably fallen in with the wrong crowd. The show starts with her on a train platform with the sense that she’s running from something and trying to come home. After a frustrating phone conversation, Sarah is shocked to discover another woman on the platform who looks just like her, and even more shocked when that other woman walks in front of a moving train. This is a powerful first image that evokes so many questions that seem to have no possibility of being answered. After all, the woman with the answers has just leapt to her death. We find out very quickly that Sarah is adept at thinking on her feet and a bit prone toward ruthlessness when she snatches up the purse of the woman who has just committed suicide in front of her. Sarah then seeks out her foster brother, Felix Dawkins, who is a wonderfully built character that helps give life to Sarah’s backstory. The two have a playful sibling relationship that brightens even the darkest of subplots (and there are a great many very dark subplots ahead). In many ways, Felix acts as the embodiment of Sarah’s conscience. For example, when he finds out she stole the look-alike’s purse, he confronts her. He also tries to convince Sarah that her plan to impersonate Elizabeth Childs, the woman who killed herself, is wrong, but Sarah isn’t so good at taking advice. She wants to take Beth’s money in order to leave town to escape a violent ex and start over making a nice life for her, Felix, and Sarah’s daughter Kira, who is currently in the care of their foster mother, Mrs. S. All of this sets up the arc of season one very well for us. Felix sums it up nicely, “Sarah, who is Elizabeth Childs?” The answer to this question the biggest spoiler that I’ll offer you, although it is revealed by the second episode. (Turn back now if you don’t want to find out!) Sarah and Beth are clones. There are also a handful of other clones you’ll meet throughout the first season. Finding out how and why the clones were created, and who’s trying to kill them, is the engine that drives Orphan Black forward. Tatiana Maslany plays all the clones and at first glance this seems like a recipe for generic and boring characters, but the reality of the show couldn’t be farther from that assumption. Each clone has her own voice, her own mannerisms, even her own walk, making them all distinct and vibrant. To me, this is a triumph of both writing and acting working together brilliantly. There is never a moment when you confuse neurotic stay-at-home mom Alison with tough-as-nails street urchin Sarah, not even when they try, failing miserably and often hilariously, to impersonate each other. As you can imagine, this creates all sorts of great plot points regarding the nature versus nurture debate. Why are the clones so different when their DNA is the same? The overall message here is that free will is a big deal, bigger than any biological imperatives that might be associated with our genes. The clones are the people they are because of their personal experiences rather than some abstract dictated by genetic accident. The science, unlike many television shows and movies in the science fiction genre, is eminently accessible. There is...

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Writing for the Big Screen

Posted by on May 8, 2015 | 0 comments

Writing for the Big Screen

In my various travels around ye olde internets I found a pretty cool writing contest that I thought I’d share here: The Writers Lab. This contest seeks to match up women over 40 interested in screenwriting with mentors. I wish I had a screenplay ready to send to them, but alas, I don’t. Hopefully this is something they repeat next year. Screenwriting is something I’ve thought about a lot. My writing is dialog heavy to start with. Most of my scenes come to me first as a snatch of dialog that gets filled in afterward with details. It’s also not really a secret that I’m a pretty big fan of visual media and if I could write a movie that someday got made, I’d be just plain tickled. To that end, I’ve started collecting some resources to teach me how to wrangle this beast, since I have zero experience in the field. I thought I’d share them here in case anyone else has an interest. A quick overview of some of the nuts and bolts of screenplays. A good description of what a screenplay is and isn’t. Here’s a pretty basic walk-through of screenwriting. Anatomy of a screenplay. A collection of articles about screenwriting. The YouTube channel Every Frame A Painting is one of my favorite finds. Short videos about movie-making. While not directly screenwriting, it helps to understand some of the hurdles visual media faces. FILM CRIT HULK is one of my favorite internet personalities, and when I found out he wrote a screenwriting book, well I just had to have to have it. I haven’t started it yet, but I expect good things, especially since the blurb is all in caps. Hee. Save the Cat. This has been on my Amazon wishlist forever because it’s supposed to be a pretty great writing book. I’m finally getting off my butt to get it now because it’s directly related to screenwriting. So, what are you favorite screenwriting resources?...

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