Monday, November 28, 2005

Where the Heck Have I Been?

I’ve been not writing, that’s where I’ve been. This past holiday week, everyone has had the same days off I’ve had. While that makes for nifty holiday fun, it also makes for stinky holiday writing. But fear not, phase 2 of my master plan has already been set into motion.

Phase 1 was getting the forty hour a week job, which I had done shortly before beginning this blog. Originally, phase 2 was to get a laptop. With that laptop, I could then steal away to the backyard or the car or the bathroom or whatever and get some work done away from distraction. The price was a major stumbling block. I couldn’t stand the thought of spending that kind of dough on a machine that I only planned to use for writing. After a failed attempt at a good deal on Black Friday, I resorted to searching for word processors online. Not a whole lot has changed in word processor technology in the years since I last saw one. They still use daisy wheel printers! I cringed, imagining myself trying to track down replacement wheels and ribbon. Then my son, who was trying to pry me away from the computer so we could play Magic: The Gathering, suggested an Alphasmart which his friend uses.

The Alphasmart 3000 IR is a keyboard with a memory and a little screen. According to the website, it runs for hundreds (!) of hours on 3 AA batteries (!) and stores about 100 single spaced pages of text. You can use it anywhere and then upload your work to your PC. It auto-saves every keystroke and turns on and off in a couple of seconds. This thing sounds great and I talked my wife into getting me one for Christmas. We ordered it yesterday.

I’ll let you know if it lives up to the hype. If it does, I think my output is going to seriously increase. Not only will I be able to bring it wherever I go and crank out the words at a moment’s notice, I won’t have the distractions of the Internet and e-mail or anything else. The only thing you can use this thing for is writing.

Why don’t I just use a fifty-nine cent notebook and pen, you ask? I do, for ideas and quick notes, but I hate using them for work of any length, because I have to type it all into the PC anyway. Besides, I type a lot faster than I write.

It’s still going to be more than a week before I get a day off by myself. Whatever I can sneak in between now and then will be a bonus.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Something to Read

I can’t believe I’ve been away for a week! To What it May Concern is now up at Antipodean SF issue 90, so go check it out.

I finished the first draft of A Girl in Crisis the other day (It’s been sitting around for a couple of years, waiting for a decent ending) and I think it’s going to take more work than I thought. It’s a decent enough story, but the writing is pretty clunky. That’s to be expected for a first draft. I just remembered it as being better than it actually was.

Scifiction is being given the ax along with one of my favorite editors, Ellen Datlow. Please make sure you visit the site while it’s still up and dig through the archives to read some great speculative fiction.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Holy Cow! A Comment!

And here I thought no one was reading this blog. A reader named Bobo posted the following:

can I read the Purpose of the machine??

I'm very happy that you’re interested, Bobo, but unfortunately you’ll have to wait an unspecified amount of time before reading the story. Most of the stories that I mention on this blog are stories that I am submitting to magazine editors for publication and so I cannot make them available for the general public at this time. Hopefully these stories will be published and then anyone who wants to can buy the magazines and read them.

I’ll let you know as things come up. For instance, my flash fiction piece, To What it May Concern (Number 42 in the catalog) should be available in a matter of days at Antipodean SF, issue 90. You can also read some of my older stories at my website, STIMULUS.

Sometimes You're Just Inspired

An idea struck me as was going for the mail today and I quickly wrote number 48, a piece of flash fiction (Under 500 words) called, The Next Vampire Story. I’ll be mailing it shortly.

The next story I’m planning on finishing has the working title, A Girl in Crisis. I’m thinking it will be done within about a week and a half, but who know if any others like today’s will sneak themselves in in the meantime?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Number 46

I should make this clear here and now: Not every story is a story. Pretty much whatever I decide to send to an editor is considered a story for the purpose of this blog and my life in general. For instance, #31 is issue 1 of a comic book script, Unity. And #25 is a poem, Mr. Mellon Puts on his Fingers. Last night I jotted down a little poetic bit of insanity called Running Downhill, Naked and just sent it off. Therefore it is now and forever number 46. If that doesn’t suit you, I’m afraid you’ll have to find someway to cope with it. It’s my blog, my life, my rules.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Writing, Writing, Nothing Exciting

Nothing is really congealing at the moment, but that’s okay. I’m throwing a little bit of work into a lot of different stories. Ultimately, I think, if I keep this up, I will have a steady stream of finished stories. I’ll have too many almost-done stories not to.

Poor Roothi is a mess. It’s about as subtle as a marching band right now and clunky as hell. Still I tinker, waiting for the answer to rush up and jump right onto the screen with a splash that will spray little droplets of light all over myself and my keyboard. Patience.

Although NaNoWriMo is not exactly my cup of tea, it comes close to making me want to do something. This William C. Dietz article was closer to the mark, so I’m going to try to write a book over the course of a year. The tricky bit is the outline. I don’t work from outlines, but I see his point in doing so in a case like this. I’ve got a rough idea for the book, but I’m struggling with the outline. As soon as I have something, I’ll have at the book.