Wednesday, October 21, 2009

From Hell's Heart, I Write at Thee!

Despite still being under the weather, I managed to hammer out a new Forces of Geek column. Who knew it would be "timely" and all that, given SF Signal's Mind Meld question today?

Right after submitting the column I followed one of the links from the Mind Meld thing to a larger discussion collated at Lou Anders' blog. I love the quotation from James Enge about the effect of mainstreaming, but don't we already have that today with some of the paranormal romance stuff and SyFy movies? I think his remarks, and the article Lou points to, require some more consideration. After all, this kind of stuff is an important part of the social life of SF (as I talk about in my FoG column!).

But I am out of juice for today. Hopefully a bit more rest and good night's sleep will knock this bug or whatever out of me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I am happy to announce that the following projects are done:

1) My new column at Forces of Geek is up: go enjoy it!

2) I finished the rough draft of my story "A Fine Day to Watch the Dragons Die." Hopefully it will be read by a few folks and commented on so that I can get back to it over the weekend and polish it up. It needs work, especially towards the end, but it feels like the important elements are all there. I am thrilled that it's done. And what really got it done was giving myself a firm deadline and a basic word count. When I got stuck about 2/3rds of the way through, I had to set some endpoints, and once I did, it got done. Whew!

3) I decided on the next story and have begun writing it. The working title is "Skull-face, Hogtamer, and the Dead Cricket Society." It's hard to describe; the idea came out of a daydream I had after selling some Hunter S. Thompson and Beat books to what appeared to be a goth biker gang. It's part post-apocalyptic fable, part postmodern farce, and part thought-exercise on what's important about life. I think the hardest part will be maintaining a consistency of tone that incorporates all of those pieces. And not going insane half-way through.

4) Earlier in the week, in a bout of brain-freeze over my writing, I did some thumb-drive cleaning and I think I finally have all of my writing files in one place on my computer (and backed up on 2 different thumbs!). I found a lot of cool ideas and silly fragments. They aren't well-organized within the file, but they are there. I have a big pile of ideas; now to start breathing life into them. . . .

5) I think I found a good image to use for Fantasy Magazine's 2009 Halloween Flash Fiction and Graphic Contest. I just need to make sure I can use it. And, y'know, write a good 1,000-word story in a week.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Because I said I would. . .

. . . even though it's about 12 hours too late!

Prepare for Blogging Tidbit Madness!

1) Writing output was low this week because the family was home. My wife is a Renaissance Faire performer and is on the road some weekends, and recently her father needed some help, so she is with him every other week, which means that I see her and our daughter for about 4 days every two weeks. This is a temporary thing for now, but it means that when they are here I try to concentrate on them and very little writing gets done.

2) However, I did do some organizing, which was great because I found some ideas and writing info in odd places. And I did it while engaging in razzberry contests with my daughter :-).

3) Felicia Day was interviewed by Wired AND Time this week. Quite a coup for an indy web entertainer! She was also on Jimmy Fallon's talk show, so she's getting some heavy press attention for herself and The Guild. I came to watch The Guild rather late (end of Season 2), but it's a great show and, most importantly to me, well-written. The amount of care that goes into the series, and the obvious affinity that Day has for the subject matter, comes through very clearly and makes it even more enjoyable to watch. I like the fact that despite their length each installment feels like a full TV episode. I credit some of that to the combination of concise dialogue and narrative pacing; without musical interludes, random pans of exterior settings, and other fillers that you find in many TV shows, The Guild boils your viewing experience down to the essentials and lets you connect to the moment the characters are experiencing. Without a lot of foreshadowing or extraneous character interaction, you are immediately plunged into the story. That unfiltered, yet down-to-earth, quality gives The Guild its combination of punch and hilarity.

4) It's Steampunk Month at This seems gimmicky, but so far I've enjoyed what they have to offer, including a guest blog from Cherie Priest and a roundup of steampunk animation, including the wonderfully-done The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello. I highly recommend it; not only is the story good, but the shadow-puppet animation sets an eerie, crisp visual tone to the tale. It is another good example of how short-form web entertainment can be done professionally and wonderfully.