General Chaos

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...

Read More

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?...

Read More

Motivational Sneaker

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 | 2 comments

Motivational Sneaker

I’ve been struggling to find motivation to write lately, so I thought maybe looking at things a different way would help. I pulled up my submission statistics and I was pretty impressed with what I found! 2013 2014 2015  Total Submissions 5 39 15 59 Personal Rejections 1 8 2 11 Total Rejections 4 36 7 47 Acceptances 0 3 1 4 Pending 0 1 7 8 These only reflect short story submissions as my novel queries are counted on a separate site. I was pleased to see that I’m on pace for 45 submissions this year. That seems a reasonable goal, especially considering much of February and March was lost time. I’d like to also top my personal rejections and acceptances from last year, but since those aren’t within my control I’ll refrain from making goals for those. Speaking of goals, during May I’m going to try to write a thumbnail for a new story each day. I’m not sure how it’s going to work out because I’ve never tried anything like this before, but hopefully I’ll at least get some good ideas out of it. I need to get Floyd engaged in the writing process again. He’s been a lazy monster lately and that’s just not acceptable. If he and I are going to be writing full-time in the near future, we’ve got to work together! I also need to get off my butt and work on my new novel. I’ve been avoiding it for months now because I worked myself into a logical corner that I haven’t quite managed to find my way out of it yet. Let’s set a deadline for this, just to keep me honest. I’m going to finish chapter 1, which I’ve already got about half done, by the end of the month. That’s eminently reasonable, even at my current snail’s pace. In sad/gross news, Shiva woke up with her face extremely swollen yesterday morning. She’d gotten in a fight with Clementine a week ago and it turns out one of the wounds from that fight abscessed quite badly. Took her to the vet this morning where they lanced the abscess and installed a drain. She’s currently bumping around the house with one of those giant cones around her head and is all-around quite miserable. *sigh* Poor girl. Hearts and puppies,...

Read More

Oh My Darlin’

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 | 0 comments

Oh My Darlin’

(I’m testing out some new posting apps today so apologies of this spams all my social media in an awful way, though I’m hopeful it will not.) I’ve been slacking on blog posts, yet again. Mostly, I think, I just haven’t had much to say. Everything in the new house is going well. We spend a lot of our spare time exploring the area so that’s probably part of the reason for less posts, and writing in general, on my part. The big news I have to share is a new member of our household. Those who follow me on Twitter of Facebook have likely seen her already, but this is Clementine! She is a two year old Catahoula Leopard Dog. Lots of energy and very demanding of attention which is probably another reason I’m writing less. I’m happy that she’s adopted me as her person but at the same time she requires a lot of watching because she tends to get herself into trouble if she gets bored. She’s VERY smart. Probably too smart. Very athletic and quite the escape artist. She’s escaped the house while were gone through two different doors. She’s also stolen an entire frozen burrito and a stick of butter from the counter. For all of that, she’s very loving and sweet. Shiva is… unimpressed so far. The new dog is too fast, too loud, and too rambunctious for her. They have had a few altercations, one that ended in a bleeding ear, but nothing too bad so far. Mostly just bluster. I’m not sure they will ever be best friends, but they are certainly siblings. Clem and I will have to find some sort of job for her, and I’m hoping to start an agility class with her soon to burn some of her boundless energy. At the dog park she runs for over an hour with few stops and still seems ready to go for more when I’m tired of chasing her. We work on obedience at home which helps, but isn’t enough activity for her. I may also try a place nearby that specializes in herding lessons. One interesting and cool thing I read about Catahoulas is that they are the only herding breed that herds from the front rather than behind. In other words, they antagonize the animals they are trying to herd into following them rather than driving them from behind. This explains her exasperating tendency to bark directly into her sister’s ear. She’s really only trying to get Shiva to chase her, which doesn’t work because Shiva doesn’t understand chasing as play and never really has. In writing news there isn’t much. As I mentioned a few weeks ago I’m taking a class on narrative and diversity. The class is going well and I’ve gotten several good story ideas. One in particular has caught my attention and I’m going to try to write some words on it this weekend. There’s been little movement on my novel in progress. I did manage to finish up the first scene in fairly good order, but I’m stuck on a plot point. It’s not hugely relevant to the area of the story I’m working on, but I need to know one of the character’s motivations before I can write much more of her. The issue is something that wouldn’t come up for about half the book, but it’s very important to how she would act in the first half and I just can’t get it right in my head. On an only slightly related note, I really have to read more. This week I’ve...

Read More

Back After A Brief Hibernation

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 | 4 comments

Back After A Brief Hibernation

As many of you knew I moved to Washington last week which was the reason for the two-week hiatus here on the blog. I spent the week driving across the country (3006 miles of distance from door-to-door). That was quite an adventure, but if I had to do it over again I’d allot more time for looking at random stuff along the way. As it was we did three 800 mile days which didn’t leave much time for sightseeing. And all of that speed ended up being for naught because we sat at the new house with none of our stuff until Saturday. Anyway, all of that aside the move has interrupted my writing quite a bit, and I don’t anticipate a return to regular words on the page or submissions for at least the rest of this week as I unpack the plethora of boxes and try to figure out where everything goes in the new house. I’ll attach some pictures at the end so you can see the new digs. I’m so in love with this new house. Lots of huge windows and the property is really gorgeous. This is a beautiful place to live and I’m so thrilled we could finally move somewhere a bit more us. We have a few issues to sort out (lack of decent internet and a minor invasion of yellow jackets in our kitchen) but overall things have gone, if not smoothly, at least as well as can be expected considering the distance we moved. I can’t wait to start gardening and learn all about the native flora and fauna of the area. As soon as I can find my real camera I’ll start taking pictures of everything and bore you to death with all of them. Okay, that’s all for now. I just wanted to get a quick update in and let everyone know that we’ve emerged on the other side of the move well and things will hopefully get back to normal soon. Hearts and puppies, -C A few photos as promised:              ...

Read More

Moving Right Along

Posted by on Feb 12, 2015 | 0 comments

Moving Right Along

First, in story news: Pre-orders are up for the first issue of Vitality, coming at the end of the month. If you would like a peek at the full table of contents you can see it here. “The Sorceress Who Had No Heart” is my favorite story that I’ve written so far, and I’m ridiculously proud of it, so I encourage you to run out and grab a copy of Vitality if you have an extra fiver to spare. Second, if you haven’t yet seen the new Shadowrun Kickstarter and you’re into cyperpunk and/or RPGs, run on over there and take a look. I dearly love the Shadowrun franchise and it is my absolute joy to share it with you. Third, the site redesign in is progress and going well. I’m working with the wonderful artist that designed the cover for Inspiration For Hire, Jay Aheer. She’s making several images for me, but I wanted to share the logo she painted in advance of the new page release: I <3 my new logo. So very much. I’m going to make it into stationary and I think post cards, along with having it on my site. Jay is a wonderful artist who I can’t say enough positive things about. Check out her website to see her art! Fourth, Month of Letters is still on! While it’s now too late for you to get a Valentine, I’m going to be sending out postcards during my cross-country drive from random interesting places along the way and if you’d like to get one, please fill out this form. Last, some candy for your eyes: Hearts and puppies,...

Read More
Page 1 of 181234101518