Monday, March 31, 2008
I hope I proofed it enough. I was a little rushed by the end. I wanted to give myself enough time to fiddle with printing, since there always seems to be some issue with printing. I have the added hoop to jump, too, of emailing the ms from Abba to Phoenix, since Abba and the printer aren't on speaking terms.
But the ms downloaded without issue, and the printing ran like a dream. Amazing!
I didn't mess up the envelope, either, like I did last time (forgot to include the SASE). I did have to run out earlier for more envelopes, though. But I checked on that before I got started today, so I had plenty of time for that, rather than last minute panic.
I'm amazed how smoothly this went, considering I was down to the wire! Yay! Another submission for our tally.
Next week, I'm going to submit AFE for publication. Just have to figure out where.
And tomorrow--Script Frenzy!
I'm so not ready.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
In the Footsteps of Gilgamesh
(Edited by Mark S. Deniz)
1st April 2009 Gilgamesh Press will publish their first anthology, In the Footsteps of Gilgamesh. They want to help promote new writers – one of their company goals – by reserving a slot in the anthology for a story from a writer who is, as yet, unpublished in any fiction medium.
The anthology will concern itself with tales from Assyrian mythology, such as the creation story and the Epic of Gilgamesh. However, the stories in In the Footsteps of Gilgamesh will be interpretations or re-writes of these tales, and will come under the genre umbrella of speculative fiction.
This means that before you write, you are to familiarise yourself with stories from Assyrian mythology before coming up with a story that has one of the tales from old Mesopotamia as its base.
You may write, for example, a futuristic science-fiction tale, a fantasy short story which takes place on another world or a straight horror story, as long as there is clearly some reference to the story you are basing it upon within.
Your story should be between 3,000 – 5,000 words and must contain speculative fiction elements (such as those mentioned above).
Any questions for those unsure of the theme are welcome and can be directed to: email@example.com
Submissions must be sent in Rich Text Format (.rtf), Double Spaced in Courier New font and the subject line should state ‘Submission: (your story title)’. Send your submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your stories will be read by a panel of six judges and the winning entry will be chosen to be published in the anthology. The winner will also receive two copies of the book.
The deadline is 1st December 2008 and all writers will be notified as to the status of their story as soon after this date as possible.
Cheri is our first new member since INK's founding. We met her during the last Nanowrimo and it was an easy choice to invite her to try out the group. Since she hasn't run away screaming, we've made her official, with her own bookcase picture and expectation of paying meeting dues (get that dollar ready, Cheri!).
I'll be posting bio info on the website as soon as Cheri gets it to me. In the meantime, check out her website, Stirling Editing. She published a newsletter every other month (Kami had an article in the last newsletter, which she first posted here on INK).
Welcome to the group, Cheri! We're expecting big things out of you. BIG!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Finished Iceholm, sent it to the group for blood-letting at next week's meeting. Apparently, I'll be the only victim on the altar of critique, which makes me a little nervous. This is a new version of an old story and while I'm curious how it will read, I'm feeling protective of it and hope it will get as many pats on the back as it will stabs in the gut. Either way, however, it'll end up better for it.
Now I'm looking forward to my script-writing. I'm waffling between two opposite ideas. One is a horror, the other an adventure with a sprinkling of romance. Both have about as much plot idea going for them. Both are interesting. Both would help improve my writing by attempting in their own ways. But I can't write both. Guess I'll be spending the next week going back and forth between the two ideas until the day Script Frenzy begins. It's anyone's guess at this point which way I'll go. Yesterday, I swore it would be the adventure. Today I'm leaning toward the horror. Anyone's guess.
Ooo, new game to play—Word to Blog. I’ll have to learn that one.
Just so all y’all know, I’ve decided to subject myself to a flogging. I don’t know when the Masks opening will end up on Flogging the Quill, but it will eventually, I hope, unless there’s a chance of getting rejected. How sucky would that be.
I’m sorry, your opening is so bad I’m unwilling to comment on it. At all. Thanks for sending me your ms portion, but please don’t send anymore.
I’m addicted to reading and commenting on the 3x a week (MWF) posts, I have to admit. How fun that I might end up being one of the victi—er—lucky writers that get showcased for torture and public humiliation! Yay!
Friday, March 21, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Check it out here: Upcoming Events for April.
And I've decided, to help myself out with plotting, that I'm going to adapt The Trunk to a screenplay. So when I get around to writing it, I have more of a plot put together than I do now.
I'm looking forward to it! It should be an interesting attempt, and whether the script works or not, it will be good to play around with the plot.
Anyone else up for the challenge? You'll find me as Carissa.Reid on the Script Frenzy site.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
We talked writing for a bit, then each of us read from something we brought, if we brought something. I read from the first draft of my urban fantasy piece, "Telling It True." Everyone had helpful suggestions and comments and I came up with a few for my own piece from the reading. Carole read from "Ash" and it was well received, too, with a few more helpful comments for her to assimilate. Sean read the first chapter of a piece he wrote a few days before and it was very inspiring. I won't say anything about it here, except to say that I'm very interested to see where it goes.
We set up the meeting for next month and put together what we'd be doing. Some actual writing time and then more reading and commenting.
I liked having a more informal setting to just kick back. It was rather ORCish in a way, and it will be fun to have the writing time, too.
But even moreso, I am very much wanting to make it a weekly habit of getting out of the house at least once for a few hours of writing time. I'll have to look at each week as it comes and see where I can squirrel away the time. And in case anyone wants to join me, I'll keep you posted here.
Speaking of keeping things posted, I have only three more months of toolbox retrofitting to do, and then I'll just be keeping it current. I'm also going to start a sidebar on the INK FAQ page that lists what groups are meeting in the area for the week/month in case folks are looking for some place to join in. INK is invitation only, but there are a couple of open group, like the Washougal library, and I thought it was be fun to keep a list going for both prose and poetry and also readings that I here about in the Vancouver area. I get a lot of the emails anyway. Time to spread the news!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Most of the 'how to write a novel' books on the market include handy lists for conceptualizing a character's backstory. Carole has the epitome of character concept worksheets, and while many writers find this sort of things useful, I've always balked at it. Yes, I, the lover of All Things List, balked. And now I understand why.
These lists encourage the consideration of things like dress code, political alignment, funky quirks, level of education, pet peeves, that sort of thing. But where, in all of these helpful lists, is it said how to use this information in your novel. How do you condense pages of character concept into a walking, talking character partaking of your plot? They don't, because they aren't really a character's back Story. They lack the very definition of story: Conflict, Resolution, Outcome.
For me, everything about a character's backstory should be setting up the hows and whys a character is involved in the plot of the novel. Why do they make the choices they make? (Because such and such happened when they were seven) Why do they trust the people they do? (Because so and so is like that kindly aunt who helped raise them)
Knowing all that other information is just character dressing. It isn't actually in depth character analysis. Even running a character through a personality test, like Myers-Briggs, will only get you so far. Those are too general. A good place to start, but not where to end.
The backstory needs to be the character's mold, or the long garden path full of sunshine and rain, bramble and roses, they followed to reach the events in the novel. It's a building of the character to be in the right place and in the right frame of mind (even if it all goes horribly wrong--as good plots often do) to be THE character of the story.
Realizing this lack has made me realize what I've been missing in Jamesina's character (from the Reven book Kami and I are co-writing). I have a few sketchy events from her past (her mother's death, her father and brother's falling out, her taking up her brother's place in the hospital), but I have nothing that has had a real effect and impact on the formation of her character, and so she hasn't built a strong enough character, based on past conflicts and resolutions (good and bad) that have made her who she is when the story takes place. The entire point of backstory is missing, and so her character is shallow and thinly motivated.
This week, I'm going to be writing some of those missing conflicts out. Give her a real past that has teeth and has both bitten her and bitten others around her. Who knows what she'll be like on the other side of those small stories that will never see the light of day, but I do know she'll have far more depth than the pale, tepid thing that's trying to keep up with the story now.
And that's another point about backstory. It's backstory. It may never come out in the course of the Real Story (and often it shouldn't), but it is necessary foundation. It has to be there, just like the setting and plot have to be there. Like Ragu: It'sa in there!
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
We spent about an hour and a half going through them at Best Buy with lots of help from two awesome sales associates. The one he found for us and that TC jumped on is an HP Pavilion TK-57. And before any of you say anything about our choice other than "Good call" or "Yay," I'll have you all know I tried to call everyone I knew with a laptop for recommendations (that means Carole and Steve, Kami, and my Mom, who just got a new one with help from computer whiz Curt), and absolutely no one was home (or near their phones). So I trusted to Fate, and Zack and Olympia and TC (and hey, how can you go wrong with a sales associate named Olympia?).
I'm very excited to get to know my new laptop. I'm calling him Abba, as in the bishop title, not the band. Though I kinda like the band. Maybe both are appropriate.
I have a huge learning curve, though, with Vista and the new Word program. And I asked about issues with the new Word program, remembering that Steve had major problems, so I feel somewhat girded for battle. I'll be playing with it today. No, I'm not currently using the laptop to write this--we pick it up today from the store, as I used their coolly dubbed Geek Squad to optimize it for me.
Whee! Laptop! I'm so excited!
Saturday, March 1, 2008
They have been fun (if odd) dreams. But my favorites have been the two that have given my story ideas. Two short stories, one less complex than the other and more fully formed, but still. I'm dreaming in short stories now. I guess some of Carole is rubbing off on my too. I never saw myself as a short story writer, but I'm glad I've given myself room to become one.