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This blog is my online wordsmith workshop, where you'll find notes on my writing experiences, excerpts from my fantasy and science fiction novels, and essays of a more homeworld flavor.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

had a visitor
We had a visitor we hadn't seen in a long time and had a great chat catching up. Among the topics was career prospects and, in passing, the option of vanity presses. I don't like the idea, generally, the more so because it gets heavily pushed by advertisers, and there has to be something wrong with anything pushed that hard. Also, it won't establish any kind of credentials. Still, going through one of the services that does on-demand publishing as a pseudo vanity press would at least test the waters... It has the potential for making a little money if it's done well. In order to make anything that way, though, I'm sure the author also needs to be a sales person, to send people to the site, to persuade them that's it's worth reading. At this stage, I'm not even sure how to persuade readers to check out my free blogs, so selling something that costs money... not there yet.

I finished posting the rest of my Earthquake story at http://enexplorations.blogspot.com/search/label/Earthquake%20challenge
Another Qiri scene has been posted, starting her life with the pirates.
30 mar 10 @ 8:02 pm

Friday, March 26, 2010

And on to the next "world"
The same universe, some of the same characters, but a new ship and crew and new conditions for Qiri. You can see from the formatting I had fun with the second one especially (the first one was just hard, being hard on one's characters is always a challenge). Trying to convey incoherency in what is mostly the POV character (I usually do omni, but looking over the shoulder of one character more often than the rest) is always an interesting challenge and I opted for physical diassociation in the format combined with a few phrases that don't make sense if you think about them but might in the context of semi-consciousness. Hope you like the effect.

I see the tv shows have finally picked up the earthquake theme. I've seen ads for Fringe, CSI, and others all having earthquake shows in the near future. I suppose they wrote them up quick and have been in the process of filming the last month. Less wacky than mine, I'm sure.

It looks like my Color of Silence theme story will be intime for the Parsec competition, so you won't be seeing that for awhile: after Confluence at the end of July or after I find out I didn't win, whichever comes first.

Writer's Challenge: find a competition upcoming (or past) and write a piece that meets its requirements, even if you don't plan to enter. Pieces that fit one competition often fit another, later, and you'll build your available collection for when the opportunity arises.
26 mar 10 @ 8:35 pm

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

nearing the end or a start of more?
http://enexplorations.blogspot.com/search/label/Earthquake%20challenge has some more Earthquake scenes.

The scene on space Explorations was a challenging one, mostly because I had two versions, both of them wrong, so I chopped both of them up, scrambled them together, removed some redundancies, and you can see if the results worked. We're close to where i was considering ending the book, if not earlier, but I think rather that this makes a good start to Book 2, so I'll continue posting a while yet. How far I get will depend on whether I can stay ahead of my posts, as Book 2 is a little rougher than book 1 in more ways than one.

For one, even more piecemeal, but maybe enough to count as done-ish. For another, more bad guys, behaving like bad guys, and I'm always undertain how far I can and should go with bad being evil and nasty. Definately don't want to offer ideas or how-to's for wanna-be criminals! So right now its heavy on the nasty verbiage and threats, lighter on evil action in the reader's view. I look forward to your feedback!

If , however, you'd rather more fantasy, on the order of my first book here, now's the time to say! I have a book waiting in line...
23 mar 10 @ 8:04 pm

Friday, March 19, 2010

i shouldn't look at stats, challenge follow-up
Thought I was doing really well while i was traveling - steady, high numbers (for me) of readers while I was traveling and the day before I come back, two thirds drop away. I guess they prefered when I wasn't posting anything new...

I've started posting my response to my own Earthquake story challenge at http://enexplorations.blogspot.com/search/label/Earthquake%20challenge
i think I have two of the words on the list in the tale so far, with one more to go, but I have plenty of scenes to do it in. I've participated in challenges with lots more words but I was more interested in seeing if anyone would write a disaster explanation story.

As I said last time, since I only had a couple of days between posts, I left the one I posted Wednesday on space Explorations in place and added the next section. It's one I had lots of fun with and I hope you can picture even half of what I had in mind when I wrote it. The one thing I think I think it lacks is a sense of being an alien planet. I'm not Heinlein and some of the other classic space fiction writers, managing to make every planet a really new world with an inter-related nature and conditions and all. I try to add enough to make it a different world than Earth, mostly, but not always my much and it seemed reasonable to let this one, a human colony world, be very Earth-like, with our central characters as the visiting aliens. Make the scene easy to film :->

These days it seems to pay to make filming doable, since they say publishers are always looking for the next movie hit in books. Though these days, what can be done on film is much more versatile, and in Qiri's case, a Saturday cartoon series sometimes seems more appropriate. What do you think? Enough imagery in this scene for a good cartoon? Not in the overly talky ones, of course... Hmm. How can you show picture-scenes of political issues? I'll have to give some more thought to that one. The video I describe works well enough here, but that last scene before I left... Suggestions welcome.
19 mar 10 @ 8:30 pm

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm back and catcing up
I have a draft of my earthquake story but it's still in hand- written form so it may be a day or two before I start posting it. I wrote quite a bit on my travels--it always wakes up my creative juices to be away from the computer--including the missing scene between scenes 1 and 2 for Qiri's story and have posted that (much shorter than my earthquake tale so I could type it up quickly).

I also wrote a piece for the Parsec competition, even though I suspect I've missed the deadline for entries. It bothered me that the challenge topic frustrated my creativity (Color of Silence) so I kept thinking what I could do with something so non-concrete (last year's was "Dark Glass", but I found out about it after the deadline.) I had a lot of ideas for that one! Something with a physical interpretation is always doable, in my view, something wholely metaphoric... but I thought of something in the process of working on the Earthquake story and wrote it. If I've missed the deadline, I'll post it here as soon as I can get it typed. If I've made the deadline by the time it's typed, you'll have to wait for this fall (winners get published in July or August and it doesn't seem fair to post entries before then).

More on my travels shortly but I'll leave the new Qiri scene up (maybe add additional scenes) to give readers a chance to see it.
17 mar 10 @ 8:37 pm

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'll be away awhile
No posts for at least a week and a half so I've put a long Qiri post for now. I intended it to be even longer. Evetually I think the conversation is going to get violently interrupted by a follow-up attack but I haven't yet decided how to handle the attack. Definately more personal than the attack on the street, perhaps some hints from the attackers on what it is all about but nothing too blatent. If I get it written during my journey, I'll post it even though it will mean repeating some of the current scene. I haven't decided about weapons though. Serious assassins would know that different weapons apply in close quarters, or at least need to be handled differently, but I'm not sure whether an assassin would use a similar weapon, use the same one differntly or use something radically different. I think most readers would accept the latter, or perhaps a mix with a second attacker.

I hoped also to get back to writing a Fiction Friday post but didn't even get time to check this week's prompt, so instead I'll offer one of my own: Explain the recent rash of earthquakes in the form of a story using the words basket, candle, and tournament somewhere in the story. I've started one (not yet with those words) and will post it, done or not, on my return.
5 mar 10 @ 10:32 pm

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Coins and encounters
I spent much of my day off sorting coins, long overdue. I'm not a serious collector by any means, no stack of coin books, no coins framed in tiny little display cards, just lots of piggy banks with spending money and a variety of "collectible" coins in piggy banks and just a few books for things like the state quarters. The spendable change can add up quickly and we typically use it for camping fees and postcards about once a year. Always fun to see the faces of people in middle-of-nowhere little camp stores when we hand them roles of quarters, nickels, and dimes.

I haven't decided whether it was something that needed to be done (I have a long list) or whether it was a way to avoid what I still need-- a trip to the library and the Writer's Guide.

Like several recent scenes, one of the scenes I posted today, with the other elds, traveled a bit, though it landed where it began. It had been moved to a later book in the set, got entirely rewritten, and then I put the original version back here (leaving the new version in its place in the later book). This version has also been changed from the original draft, redirected for purposes of this scene and to ensure that it not seem repetitive when its sister scene comes up. Mostly it's where it is now to fulfil the purpose for bringing it back--something to happen to flesh out the evening and to convey some of the side issues of Qiri’s life and nature. I planned to put the planetary history elsewhere, but this seemed a nice fit, adding texture through narrative in a heavily dialog piece and as a commentary on eld offworld.

2 mar 10 @ 8:05 pm

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Be sure to get in touch so I know you're out there! See contacts page or e-mail wyverns(at)earthlink(dot)net.

Every word should be an experience