Tag Archives: nanowrimo

Kensei Universe?

Ever since a friend suggested on my Patreon page that I do a Kensei serial, my brain has been picking away at the idea. When it first came up, I pitched it to my wife, Dawn. Any writing I did on it would have to go through her for editing. Assuming a weekly short of about 5,000 words, could she handle that on top of the work she does for Mad Scientist Journal?

The short answer is “No.” But we compromised and said, “We’d do it for the right amount of money.” So I put it as the second milestone on Patreon. (The first is to cover the costs of Mad Scientist Journal.) Mostly the money is intended to compensate my lovely wife for helping with another one of my weird schemes.

Since then, I’ve been poking around ideas for what I would write. I have a lot of little seeds for sub-plots that I’ve jammed into my Kensei books. I don’t necessarily know how I’m going to resolve them all in the other two books I have planned. It may be easier to just turn them into plots for serials.

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NaNoWriMo 2011 Aftermath (with special guest star Mark Teppo)

I hit 50K on the very last night of National Novel Writing Month. I’d started November off on vacation and then got sick. So a very slow start and then very slow progress due to raw exhaustion. I didn’t see the doctor until the day before Thanksgiving and got antibiotics. So over the course of the last week of November I wrote over 25,000 words. After that I feel like someone’s been beating me in my sleep.

For this year’s NaNoWriMo, I relied entirely on the crude outline I created in the one-day workshop I did with Mark Teppo through¬†Clarion West‘s one-day workshop¬†in early October. For a lot of reasons, mostly involving the build-up to November (including World Fantasy Con and AmberCon Northwest back to back), I didn’t get a blog post about my experience with his workshop. Since the novel came out of the work I did in his workshop, and it’s a great chance to see how that worked for me, I figured it was best to combine those two posts.

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Several weeks ago, while talking about my submission to Cobalt City: Dark Carnival, my friend Torrey pointed out with faint surprise that I actually had fun writing my story about Snowflake. And, I’ll admit, I have had stupid fun writing for all the other Cobalt City stuff I’ve participated in. I can’t say that it’s strictly a matter of the publisher. My entry into Growing Dread was a very difficult thing to write. But I think overall my Cobalt City stories have allowed me the opportunity to cut loose and play with the topic a bit.
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In the words of John Carter: I live!

It’s been pretty hectic for the last couple months. Slamming words onto virtual paper in order to meet deadlines and get ready for NaNoWriMo, three trips to the emergency room, two conventions, and a trip out of state for Thanksgiving didn’t help my schedule any. So I’m doing lots of catch up right now.
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Announcements! Progress! Cake!

Okay, I’ll admit up front that the cake is a lie. You had to have seen that coming.

First off, my long time friend Joanne Uppendahl has put out a collection of her poetry called She Sho Gathers Stones. I’ve ordered my copy and you may be inclined to order it as well.

In more local to me news, I got a mention in my neighborhood blog. Because, you know, neighborhood newsletters are so last century. The article is about the launch of the Cobalt City Timeslip anthology, which I have a story in. There is also a reading and signing event at Wayward Coffeehouse on Ocotber 9th from 7-10. The girlfriend and I won’t be able to make it due to a conflicting engagement, but all the rest of the authors should be. You can also Pre-order the book here.

I’ve submitted a story to a pro market finally and received a rejection. This was one of the most discouraging rejections to date. Not only did they get my name wrong, but when offering feedback on the story they confused it with another piece they had read. I’ve turned around and re-submitted elsewhere. So here’s to hoping.

And now, the honeydew.

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Running with Chainsaws

Before I dig in with this, I’d like to give a hearty hurrah for Ann Charles, who has just won the Daphne du Maurier award in the unpublished division. Not only did Nearly Departed in Deadwood take first place in the “Mainstream Mystery/Suspense” category, but she was also the overall Daphne winner for that division. Rock on!

My big hurrah coming up is my first honest-to-gosh reading. This is the official blurb:

An Evening of Authors, Wayward Coffeehouse, August 21, 7-10pm.
Hosted by Jennifer Brozek and Nate Crowder. Come to an evening of authors and good coffee at Wayward Coffeehouse. We will be reading from recent and forthcoming releases, answering questions and generally having a good time. Come one, come all and enjoy an evening with your local authors. Find out what’s next. Authors include: Cat Rambo, Rosemary Jones, Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Alma Alexander, Nate Crowder, Jeremy Zimmerman, R. Schuyler Devin, Leah Cutter, Sunder Cameron Addams and Angela Korra’ti.

I don’t recognize all of those names, but the ones I do are people I sat on the other side of the table from during panels at Norwescon. I’m a little stunned to be amongst such luminaries. Holy mackerel.

Less auspicious is that I’ve received five rejections in a row. Two of them encouraged me to submit to them again. Two were people I’ve submitted to in the past and will probably submit to again in the future. One told me the anthology will not be coming out after all. D’oh. Two of my rejections came in today. After a night of fitful sleep because my bedroom is an oven right now, the rejections hit me a bit harder than they might normally. One of these five also qualifies as my fastest rejection ever. I’ve never been turned down the same day before.

And now, the honeydew.

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I feel like I just swam through eel infested waters.

First, some pimping!

This month, Wily Writers has been providing flash fiction weekly instead of short fiction every other week. The great thing about Wily Writers is that (a) it’s free and (b) they provide MP3 readings of all their stories. This week’s story is, “Grand-Monster” by Sasha Janel McBrayer.

(And, you know, I have a story there too if you want to look for that. *ahem*)

In other news, I spent Saturday night at a reading at Third Place Books for Apex Publishing’s Close Encounters of the Urban Kind. Jennifer Brozek, the editor of the anthology, coordinated the five authors that read and did signings. I meant to post information about the reading earlier, but have been too busy with deadlines to poke at this blog. Especially since most of my update is, “Still working on it.” And I also haven’t read the anthology.

BUT! That said, the readings I heard were marvelous. I felt definitely out of my league among some of these people, and I play D&D with a couple of them. Really top notch stuff. The authors present were:

  • Eric Scott de Bie, who I had the honor of hearing read at Norwescon earlier this year. I learned this weekend that he also comes from central California, and actually had to endure it through his teenage years. He’s also one of the people writing the novels for the Forgotten Realms these days.
  • Nathan Crowder. Yeah, that guy.
  • Rosemary Jones, who also has been writing for the Forgotten Realms these days.
  • Alma Alexander. She was on a couple panels I attended at Norwescon, and her reading was magnificent. Ms. Brozek introduced the story by saying that she picked it for the anthology because it made her cry. She did not exaggerate. I got choked up from hearing just a portion of it.
  • Shannon Page. I hadn’t heard of her before this night. But then, prior to this last winter I’d never heard of Jay Lake, who co-authors several stories with her. I guess I’m not hip to the cool new faces of SF/F. Or even some of the old ones. But I digress. Her reading was also good and holds a lot of promise.

(I feel I should add: Nate, Rosemary and Eric all had good readings as well. But I already knew they were going to be good. Alma Alexander and Shannon Page were unknown variables.)

Anyway, a quick update on the honeydew. New stuff is italicized, unless I screw up the HTML again.

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