Friday, December 29, 2006
I only have about three more short fiction pieces I want to write before I turn my attention back to long fiction. On deck is the end of the year challenge from Liberty Hall, which is being run in conjunction with Shimmer magazine. In this challenge, the story should be triggered by a painting that will grace the cover of the magazine. Of course, most of those folks are fantasy writers, and it's been difficult for me to put an sfnal spin on it, but I have an idea solidifying.
I also want to write a short-short for a certain themed children's magazine, and I have the misty beginnings of a sfnal story involving W. A. Mozart near the end of his life. When I finish those, I'll turn my attention to redrafting my novel Neanderthal Swan Song. I'd like to have that finished before the kids get out of school for the summer.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I underwent three hours of computer guided surgery via cat-scan. The whole set-up is pretty slick, even if it requires the patient wear vice grips on their head. It doesn't matter much, the patient is unconscious.
I'm recovering today with plastic tubes in my nostrils and gause over the end of my nose. I won't describe this in any more detail because it will turn your stomach. I've recovered enough that the hardware is the most irritating part. I'm still tired and slow, but mostly I want this stuff off and out of my face. It will be removed tomorrow just before lunch, and supposedly I'll feel a lot better after that.
Submitted a story to Writers of the Future today. It's not the one I had been working on. Instead, I sent a short novelette that I couldn't send anywhere else because all my other options are currently saturated. I want to try to finish up the story in progress this weekend. I'm closing in on that 100K for the year.
Monday, December 11, 2006
I'm so psyched to have a father-daughter combo!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Audrey played her winning flute solo at the school band concert last night. She played a 3-minute solo in front of a standing-room-only crowd. That's a pretty tall order for an 11-year-old. However, she played almost flawlessly and received a raucous ovation when she finished. I can imagine how good that must have felt. Amazingly, she's very modest about her talent. She's no braggart, and a performer should have humility.
Monday, December 04, 2006
I made a goal of 5000 words per week for 2007. that equates to well over 300K for the year. With everything else in life, I'm not sure if I'll hit that. I'm only at about 1100 for this week. I should have fewer ruts in 2007 since I'll largely work on long fiction. Two novels alone should account for 200K.
Monday, November 27, 2006
I set a goal for 100,000 new short fiction words on 2006, and with this big surge over the past few days, I'm sitting around 92,000 with over a month to go. That leaves one or two more stories by the end of the year and I'll have hit the target.
"The Great Basilisk Race" will be story number 36 in circulation. If you add back the four I sold this year, the number is 40. I wrote almost all of them since Bootcamp in June of 2005. They range from a low of 185 words to a high of 14484 words. The main population falls between 4000 and 6000.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Again, today, lethargy almost shackled me, but I forced myself to write. Now, two hours and change later, I completed both the story and my best single-session word count ever, 2199 words. (No, I'm not going to hunt for a word to insert for the nice number.) It feel's good to pound out the words that way, especially when I run out of story before I run out of vigor. The first 500 words felt as painful as yesterday's slog-a-thon. Once I got past there, the story just few out of my fingers. Ba-boom, the story's done. I'll give it the once-over tomorrow to clean it up, then I'll send it into the world on Monday.
Interestingly enough, the plot I started with never made it into the story, so I still have that one to write eventually. This one changed from a horror story about the dangers of experimenting where we arguably have no business, into an emotional character story about betrayal. Sometimes writing is funny that way.
Friday, November 24, 2006
You are The Hierophant
Divine Wisdom. Manifestation. Explanation. Teaching.
All things relating to education, patience, help from superiors.The Hierophant is often considered to be a Guardian Angel.
The Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess between her two pillars deals with realms beyond this Earth, the Hierophant (or High Priest) deals with worldly problems. He is well suited to do this because he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of a crisis. The Hierophant's only problem is that he can be stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Now if you'll excuse me *sniff* I have to make plans to attend the Berkshire-Hathaway shareholder meeting next May to exercise my 1/200th vote.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
She played Haydn's Serenade, and played it well, despite the fact that her piano accompanist had to recover from having a page of music upside-down as a result of dropping the music. Audrey played on without missing a beat, allowing the pianist to jump back into the piece quickly.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Because Dr. Bova was going to be in Phoenix this month, he offered to meet with me and deliver the manuscript in person. Today was the day.
I met with Dr. Bova at The Poison Pen in central Phoenix, and arrived about ten minutes before his signing. He signed the manuscript for me without personalizing because I told him I would eventually auction it again at a SFWA charity auction. He also signed my copy of his pamphlet '10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Writing,' and also signed my copy of 'How to Write Science Fiction That Sells,' personalized for this one.
We had a pleasant discussion for about five minutes before he went back into the bookstore for his signing and I got back into the car for my drive back to work.
Ben Bova is a very pleasant man. I hope I have the chance to speak with him again.
Monday, October 02, 2006
I have a very good collection of TOC-mates. Tim Pratt is an emerging big name. Orson Scott Card has a story in every issue. In addition, fellow Codexians Alethea Kontis, Oliver Dale, and James Maxey have stories in this issue. Brian Dolton I know from Hatrack, OSC's web site. It's almost a family affair here.
Looking back over the story, which I wrote nearly a year ago, I can see how much my writing has changed and improved over that time. This story seems very passive to me. I suppose we all grow.
Click on the "current Issue" hyperlink to see the table of contents and access the beginning of the story.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
In other news, the publication of "The Adjoa Gambit" in intergalatic medicine show is imminent. News when I have it.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Monday, June 12, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
This makes my first fiction sale at professional rates, which is defined by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America as minimum 5 cents per word. It isn't a tremendously large sum of money, but then, the money isn't the point. This is my first sale that will have real exposure. The exciting part about this sale is that IGMS was the first market for this story.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Again, all the writers donated the stories, and all the profits go to tsunami relief. If you buy one book this year, consider making it elementals. If you click the link at right to go to my home page, you will find a banner ad at the bottom to take you directly to the book on Amazon.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Friday, May 05, 2006
Spent the early hours wandering around the hospitality suite. Met Karen Anderson, widow of the late great Poul Anderson, one of my all-time favorite writers. Very nice lady.
I attended a lecture on Current NASA planetary exploration activities by Dr. David Williams of Arizona State University.
Went back up to the hospitality suite and got into a group discussion (with me mostly listening) that included Jacqueline Lichtenberg. Stayed there until my fellow Codex writer Eric James Stone arrived. (His web site is linked from mine.)
Eric and I decided to grab some lunch, but ran into none other than Harlan Ellison, who is the grand master this year. Scott Card is right, anyone who spends five minutes in a room with Ellison has a story. Eric has a new name (how can you discard a name given by Ellison, even by accident?) and I have some of Ellison's DNA on a water bottle.
And, for Scott D: I have photographic evidence to prove I am at least an inch taller than Ellison. he is such a giant in so many other ways that I'm just thrilled to have finally met the man.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
My girls both won blue ribbons in the band instrument evaluation fo rthe local school district.
Most notable is that my son has a new attitude about playing trumpet. He was very resistant, and I gave him an ultimatum an hour before we left for his lesson back in February. He was whining and screaming and throwing a world-class tantrum. His ultimatum was this: Pick up the horn and play something, anything, befor your lesson otherwise you are finished playing trumpet. Five minutes before we left for what I thought would be his last lesson, he played a C scale. I took him aside and asked him if this means he was going to have a new commitment to playing. He said yes, and has practiced pretty much every day since. His teacher notices a vast improvement, and the boy's emboucher muscles are much stronger. He's playing notes much higher than he's played before, and it has become fun for him again. I love when my instinct is right.
The notices for the 2006 Q1 Writers of the Future contest started going out recently. I haven't heard anything yet. I think this story is likely to fare better than the last, but I dont think it's good enough to be a finalist. The story is too linear and predictible. I mailed another one for Q2 a few days ago that I think has an even better chance.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
The flow of traffic on Loop 101 in the north valley, including the Scottsdale stretch, was upwards of 80 MPH. this is the flow, not the people zooming past.
They turned the system on this past monday and had something like 7000 photos taken on the first day, with numbers significantly decreased over the following days. There are only warnings mailed right now, but tickets will be mailed starting Feb 22.
The radar will only take a photo when your speed is 11 MPH over the posted limit of 65 MPH. This is standard in the valley of the sun for photo radar and for officers.
My fears: Flashes at night will distract drivers and cause accidents when travelling at freeway speeds. That hasn't happened yet.
What I've noticed over the past week is that the speed of freeway traffic is about 70 to 75 MPH on Loop 101 in Phoenix to the west and on the Indian Reservation to the south (the geography is actually east, but the freeway jogs east onto the reservation about five miles after it turns south on the east side).
Going away from Scottsdale, the flow of traffic gradually increases until it's back in the mid seventies about three miles past the city limit. Going toward Scottsdale, the traffic gradually slow at about the same distance. What surprises me is that in Scottsdale proper, the speed slows down to under 60 MPH near the first trap, despite the fact that it won't trigger until 76 MPH. There are three or four in each direction. Based on a sample size of one (I have driven past more than one trap only today) the speed increases to about 65 after the first trap.
So far, it seems to be spectacularly successful and may be the wave of the future across the country. You may wonder why the highway patrol doesn't just put more speed cops on the highway, and that has been the argument against the photo radar traps. I don't know the answer to that. Maybe they were too busy responding to accidents.
Anyhoo....be forwarned...may be coming to a town near you.
Friday, January 27, 2006
My older daughter, Audrey, came home with a note a few days ago that said she did not pass the math honors test. She scored 93rd percentile and she needed 97th percentile. Well, just after I heard about Reanna passing, I went up to the bedroom to change, and there was a message on the answering machine. It seems her teacher made an error while grading the exam, and she actually passed the test! This poor girl has scored between the 91st and 96th percentile on five consecutive honors tests, so I am very happy for her that she finally managed to get that "just one more" question right. She is now in both math and reading honors.
This means, twice the helping with homework for Dad, but we are all thrilled with their success.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Last night was the Four Peaks District (Grand Canyon Council BSA) district dinner, and I was given a plaque that enshrines me into the district hall of fame for Roundtable Commissioner. it was a nice gesture and a complete surprise to me.