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Month: January 2008



… that feels good.

Dropped into Forward Motion tonight.  You know, the loyalty of that group is really astonishing.  The same core people have been there at the same time for nearly five years.  Still writing, still encouraging, still having fun.  High five, yous. :)

Many thanks to Clam for the writing prompt, which turned into 525 words of a new story.  I haven't had that much fun writing anything in a really long time. 

And since today I picked the Creative Commons license that I intend to use when I stick my crap on the web, it will eventually be online.  Huzzah!

Okay.  I think I'm off for the night.  Cheers.

See, this is what I mean by 'validation'

See, this is what I mean by 'validation'

Over at SFNovelists, another excellent post, this time from Tate Hallaway.

I'm like this, too.  I do have a lot of ideas piled up, but they're ideas that are piling up in the same way that stuff accumulates in a linen closet — it's not that I'm constantly having ideas, it's that I have them rarely and stick them in my mental closet until I can figure out what to do with them.  Thus we get stories that I've been working on for four years. 

I actually stopped writing down a lot of the ideas I have.  I used to write them down on whatever was handy when they struck, and then added them to a file when I could.  But when I'd then review the file later very few of the ideas were interesting to me anymore.  So now it's only the ones that stick, the ones that work their way into my brain like a splinter.  Very few new stories get started, but the ones that do are important to me. 

Part of that may be a sort of a literary dystrophy just from being out of shape.  It does seem that back when I was writing nightly I didn't have the same problem. 

Back to the read-through.

Stuff on the brain

Stuff on the brain

So yesterday I decided to poke a couple of stories with a stick and see if either of them responded.  One did.  With the help of a worksheet on 30-minute-outlining, I think I might have a handle on a story that I started four years ago but just didn't seem to want to gel.

Funny, isn't it, the writing time line?  It's so much longer than we want it to be.  I do know writers who can go from first draft to submission in 30 days, but I also know many like me (and know of many well-known published writers in the same boat) who don't find resolution to stories for years. 

Something I've been thinking about a lot lately is online publishing.  We of Forward Motion, past and present, know that online publishing is a viable medium.  We know this because we have FM, we have Zette, we have access to people who have published that way.  But we also know about First North American Serial Rights, and password-protected forums for crits (thank you, LJ,) and we get a little nervous about certain things.

My old website is down.  I took it down a few weeks back — I was tired of the design, and unhappy with the content.  I bought and Patrick and I talked about doing a redesign (he's a web designer, among other things – check out the superhot redesign) and possibly including — gasp — my actual fiction.  This, as we know, negates the ol' First North American Serial Rights and makes any works published on the web unsalable except as a reprint.

The question is: Do I care? 

The answer is:  No.

I've been looking into Creative Commons licensing.  Let's face it — anything that I put on a website is a) still under my own copyright, and b) not good enough for the print (and online semi-pro) pubs to consider.  They've been through rejection after rejection already.  Putting them on the web really just reveals what a hack I am.  I still want to protect it, because even after six years at this game I'm a n00b, and that's what we do.

But… still.

The thing is this:  we are on the cusp.  Zette was way ahead of the curve.  Online publishing will soon be The Way To Publish — without the overhead of the traditional press, and with Print on Demand available to satisfy our booklust, and with decent PDAs and actual eBook Readers available, we would be foolish not to embrace the new paradigm.  It's coming, and we could be out ahead of the pack.  I could finish this novel, for instance, and make it available online as a PDF under Creative Commons (as Cory Doctorow did with Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom*,) and who knows?  Maybe it'll find an audience.

I was thinking about Clam's novel from a couple of years ago.  It was so atmospheric — there is an audience for it, it just might be a POD audience, or a Free Download audience.  And what's wrong with that?  (Of course it could be a Tor audience, too, and who doesn't want that?!)

So these are the things kicking around in my head as I try to finish 'Red Carpet' and work on editing Found Objects.  I will submit 'Red Carpet' via the traditional routes, but when I've had enough of that (and I typically only go with five rejections before I retire a manuscript) maybe it'll end up on my [new] website as a PDF under Creative Commons.

What about you? We can't all be Moosey ;) in anthology after anthology (but man would I like to be.  There is something SOOOO sexy about print — ha! Sexy.  Moosey in print.  Get it?)  Is online publishing-without-pay, or Creative Commons, something you've considered?

* I first read Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom as a free eBook on my Zodiac PDA.  I have subsequently bought two print copies because I loved it so much and wanted others to read it.  This is the point.

Medical science FTW

Medical science FTW

Man, second day of whatever these godzilla antibiotics are and I feel SO much better already.  There are always side effects to these things, but what I've got so far is totally tolerable and much preferred over this stupid infection that I've had for a MONTH (and has survived two rounds of inferior antibiotics already.)  

I'm up due to repeated cat attacks, the house is quiet and I'm enjoying a Saturday morning:  Pumpkin Spice coffee, a manuscript, and a red pen. 

The read-through is fun.  Not because the existing work is good — most of it isn't — but because I can see right away how it could be better.  New scenes are coming up and I'm making notes on them.  I'm resisting the temptation to go write them just yet, because I want to get through the read-through first so I have the story in my head as a whole.  I want to get through this phase by the end of the month, which should be easily doable.  I just finished page 68, and I've only got 250 total.  

One of the things that I've found is that my protagonist needs a serious character overhaul.  He's not sympathetic in the least at the beginning, and instead of being a complex, multifaceted person ripe for change, he's just a dick.  Nobody wants to read about someone like that.  So he's going to need a lot of work.  

That part of my day being over now, at least for the moment, I leave you with an excellent post on the necessity of boredom from Elizabeth Bear's blog.

Also, for happy, glowy, heart-fluttering evidence that true love exists — and furthermore, lasts * — go read Wil Wheaton's post on the best thing, ever.

* (I don't doubt it.  I have other evidence, sitting in my inbox.)

o hai.

o hai.

I has a blog.


The holidays passed without a blip from me here; it was a holiday season different from any before it, because I got to spend it with Patrick for the first time, and also my entire extended family (paternal side.)  It ranged from stressful to awesome, and deserved to be written about.  Alas.

Soooo… I'm sending off a story to Asimov's, I've pulled the novel off the shelf and have started my first read-through, I'm editing another story and thinking up a couple of new ones, and as usual it feels so good that I wonder why I haven't been doing it all along.  I mean, I know the answer, I've covered this here before — too many real issues to manage in real life makes it hard for me to sit around and daydream, which is what writing for me tends to be.  But my head is back in the clouds again, for the moment.

I'm not quite in the right blogging space, but I did want to wave my hands around a bit and say hi, I'm still here, I haven't given up yet.  In lieu of anything interesting or inspiring from me, I'll point you instead to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Novelists Blog, and this lovely post by Alma Alexander.  

I have reason to believe that 2008 is going to kick some serious ass.  

Happy New Year.