Monday, April 27, 2009

Chillin' and Shillin'

OK, day-job stuff is put aside, dinner has been eaten, blogs have been read, and the kiddies are off doing kiddie things...time to write. After a blog post. Ahem.
One more reason I want to be Neil Gaiman when I grow up: instead of posting things like "whine whine worked all day and now I get to write until midnight bitch moan", I would get to post things like "When my friend Lisa Snellings came out to install the statue in the nook, ... " and "So from Tuesday for ten days I'll be New York, Paris, London."

So, yeah. Time to write.
Of course, after I shill my latest article on How to (try and) protect your company from interweb flashmobs, like the one that almost killed Spore, is boxing Amazon around like a pillow, and has successfully turned the MPAA and RIAA into divisions of LexCorp.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rawk and Roll

Another crazy week...

If you haven't already, you still have a chance to enter Robert Swartwood's Hint Fiction contest. Kinda like flash, but 25 words or less. Ha! General Electric couldn't have made fiction more efficient! Robert is getting some great press on this deal as well, stop by and check it out. Cool literary prizes, and special guest judge Stewart O'Nan.
After all of the drama 2009 has brought so far (including Amazon wins with Kindle2, Amazon loses with selective search results, #queryfail, #agentfail, and, believe it or not, #failfail), it's been a pretty quiet week (at least in my neck of the desert). 

I did just learn that local author Vicki Pettersson will be the speaker at the May Las Vegas writer's meetup, which should be cool. I scanned her bio, it sounds like she is a wild-idea-turns-into-writing-career example, and I would imagine has some good stories and/or insight on the industry.
I am still behind on reading blogs this has been a big steaming pile of no fun, and lots of little roadblocks keep popping up. One of them is Outlook, or, as I've gotten to know it: Look out! Its RSS reader sucks, and I'm done with it. I spent an hour yesterday porting all of my feeds over to Google Reader; hopefully it will actually provide updates that are correct (there are a couple that it would just totally ignore, and I thought there just weren't updates...hopefully that's done, and I can get caught up with ya'll again!). 

I'm curious what everyone else uses for RSS readers?
The girls went shopping today, and I rawked out on my novel...rawk==about 2,000 words for me these days. Which puts me at about 3,000 for the week, which does not rawk at all. 
What's cooler than getting a box from Amazon? Getting a box from Amazon full of skeleton parts. In my house, Halloween planning starts, oh...about January. Is that bad? That seems bad.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Time, stress, and natural disasters

I'm really struggling with finding time to do all of the things writing-related: working on my novel, knocking out articles for Examiner, reading everyone's blogs, keeping up on lit news, updating this blog, and squeezing in some reading when I can. And to top it off, I'm trying to juggle a Facebook account in the mix as well. Good thing I don't have a social life, or this would have been the end of it. This is really getting to be as much of a job as, job. If I had a Twitter account, I'd probably go mad.

But, enough sour grapes...I made my bed, and shall lie/lay (I always get that wrong--just pick whichever is correct and pretend that's what I wrote) in it.

It has, however, pretty much spelled the end of my short story writing for the forseeable future. I really like short stories, but I need to knuckle down and focus on bigger game for the time being. Having two stories out from last year rejected kind of cemented that decision. If things don't work out with Examiner, I may go back to some shorts...but right now, I can't afford it.
I got an email from Ralan saying that an unnamed market had been declared dead by Duotrope, but was, in fact, still alive, albeit behind on slush and perhaps taking a small break. Does anyone know who they were talking about? Was it, perchance, From the Asylum? Their website seems to be active, but I didn't root around.
Writing: it's ten to eleven pacific time, and I just broke 1k on my novel, after spending a big chunk of the day with writer's block on Examiner articles. My problem with Examiner is that I understand their goal of being a regional news outlet, but my articles seem, to me at least, to be coming out like editorials. Need more news, less Jeremy.

Reading: I hate to say this about any book, but I got halfway through the audiobook for Ted Dekker's Boneman's Daughter, and I had to quit. I just really wasn't into it. I don't know if it was that I didn't like his writing style, or that I just don't really get into those kinds of books (kind of a suspense/mystery thing, I guess...I never read that genre), or if the narrator was distracting, or a combination thereof. It was like work trying to pay attention to it. If Ted Dekker reads this, sorry, man...I tried. Not my cuppa tea, I guess. 

Since my dog ate the antho I was reading, I might grab Steinbeck next.
OK, this is absolutely the last you will hear about my vacation...I threw some clips together of our trip to the volcano and put it up on Youtube. From a storytelling perspective, there was so much there that was inspiring. From the point where highway 11 was eaten by the lava flow up to where the lava dumps into the ocean, it was like effing Mordor, if Mordor had ocean frontage. Amazing to think that this particular eruption has been going for like 22 years.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I've been gone for so long, it feels like I'm coming up for air...

It's going to take me a good week to get caught up on my personal email, work email, and blogs, so don't flick my ears if I don't read your page for a few more days.

So, yeah...back from Hawaii, semi-rested, semi-sunburned, freshly tattooed, and feeling the pull of inertia which keeps wanting to draw me back to bed. (tons of pix up on our family website, if you're interested)

But, reality calls...
I did manage to squeeze out 800 words on Aquarium during some downtime. That was as much time as I had, and about as much effort as I was willing to put into it. Last night was my first opportunity to write since we've been back, and I rattled out another 1k on the book.

I did manage to finish reading Rabbit, Run on the endless flight. Updike had a gift with words.
Before I left, I put my name in for consideration to do some freelance journalism for Examiner, it seems, is the re-imagining of the San Francisco Examiner. They ceased print operations earlier this year, and are now focusing on "citizen journalism", albeit with some minor editorial oversight and basic reporter vetting (had to submit a sample article, etc). They pay on a Google-style black-box sliding scale, which means you have no idea how much you'll make until you get paid. Hmph. 

It's easy to be skeptical, but we'll see how it goes. I'm having fun with it. So far it seems to be shaking out to a penny a view or so, maybe a little more. I know some of you are interested in freelance, I'll let you all know how it goes as we progress (and I get paid). And, needless to say, I'll have a fresh crop of linkies up here as I put new articles up.

In the meantime, feel free to read my first two articles on workplace issues (here, and here). May not be the most exciting reads for this group, but's good practice, and it moves me further into the realm of full-time, professional writing. I just keep reminding myself that Gaiman started out as a journalist, too.
We never made it to the sacrificial grounds on the north end of the island, but we did spend two days in the Volcanoes National Park, which was nothing short of amazing. Here is a lava flow from Kiluaea dumping into the ocean. I'll have a video up on Youtube later this week.