Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Big thanks for Kami on the help last night. I've been toying with a character idea, a very strong, very unique (I think) individual.  I was driving myself nuts trying to figure out the right POV, because the meat of this was the slow reveal of what and how the character came to be.

Kami, in her writerly wisdom, pointed out that it depended on the story.  What was the plot? Bingo.  Character studies are not stories.  Vignettes are vignettes.  The POV is to tell a story, not to revel in the POV. And whining is not character development (inside joke).

So, I have the character cold and some details about the world.  Now I just need to choose a story to tell.

Thanks, K.

Monday, March 16, 2009

They Come Like Schools of Jellyfish

What is it with rejections?  They seem to come in clusters.

Two rejections drifted in today, both of them really neat with long, graceful tentacles and phosphorescent parts.  I got a lovely signed rejection from F&SF's assistant editor (who I will not name in case this might generate unwelcome mail disguised as rewrite requests) and a highly praising, makes-me-blush kind of rejection from one of Brain Harvest's editors.  I know, it would be far more interesting if I threw a tantrum instead of looking at these as something positive and noteworthy.  I guess I'll just have to be boring, because I feel like I'm doing well, and I'm not inspired to say anything bad about these rejections.  If anything, I want to thank the editors for taking the time to respond promptly and with encouragement.

I found a brief blog entry here with some fascinating comments.  Keep reading!  There are guest appearances in the comments that you won't want to miss.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

First batch of first quarter Honorable Mentions for Writers of the Future are up:


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Thanks, Kami, for arranging access.
The other INKers know me, so this is for the hordes of INK fans  (The Inklings, unofficial sex motto: "Come get an INKling"):
I'm the author of "Meditations on Violence", which has been getting pretty good reviews on Amazon and was in its second or third printing last I checked.  I've done a chapter in "The Way to Black Belt" two in "Fighter's Fact Book 2: Street Fighting Essentials" and wrote the sarcastic introduction (Marc "Animal" MacYoung wrote the sensitive introduction) to the soon to be released "Little Black Book of Violence".

So my publishing credits are all nonfiction, which is fine with me.  I actually have a problem reading most fiction because it sucks.  I have serious problems with plots that hinge on character stupidity to work; evil bad guys described by an author who wouldn't know evil (the extreme, like Saddam or Pol Pot who did things that would shock Steven King nor the mundane, like the local man who wouldn't let the neighbor molest his daughter because that was his right as the father and he didn't share); that don't understand anything about physical conflict...  I summed up genre fiction at a convention once, "It's like most of the authors have never been in a fight and only had sex- with a partner- once."  

The few fiction authors I do like have been there, done that and either write close to the bone or laugh about the unlaughable.

Non-writing stuff: Martial arts since 1981. Started working Corrections in 1991 and during that time taught officers, led a tactical team, was point man for mental health issues, worked and played with Search and Rescue and spent a lot of time with hard core criminals. Then I got bored and went to a certain dry and sandy country. Though in the mountains on the North, where I am, it has rained almost every day for two weeks.

INK blogs are more about the writing process than what I share on my personal blog. That sounds good.

Carole, Steve, Kami- thanks for the welcome. I'll try not to make anybody cry.

State of the Submissions

I have stuff out to the following places:  Wet Ink, Writers of the Future, Brain Harvest, F&SF, and Byzarium.   Oddly, four of the five are flash fiction subs, and the fifth is one of my shorter short stories, though not quite a flash.  Considering that flash is the form I find the most difficult to write, this is rather kewl and strange and funny.  It also means that I really need to work on those longer length short stories, and I really need to get some agent subs out there.  Right now I have no queries out.  None.  

After an edit I sent out a short, the one that INK looked at recently, to Lucky Labs.  Now C.S. can, if she likes, pick apart my editing style.  

I keep meaning to work on T.E.P. (aka the weird bird story) but it's a daunting project. I didn't mean for it to have parallel plots of equal weight that dovetail at the end into a (not quite there) uneasy ending.  It's so much easier to edit on Masks or one of the other novels.  That's telling to my level of (un)skill with short stories--I can dive into a novel and play for hours and the time seems to zip by, but when I approach a short story I feel like I'm handling a cactus and I don't have gloves on.  The minutes crawl by.  The only thing that's easy about editing a short story is that I can scan through the thing in just a few minutes and get a good sense of the overall pace.  That's a handy thing to be able to do.  I suppose it would be possible to do with a novel, skimming over the chapters almost as fast as a flip book, relying on intimate memory to get a sense of the overall feel.  It's something that would require practice, I think, and it wouldn't take a trivial amount of time.

I've mailed my deposit for Dean Smith's Master's Class coming up this fall.  Amazing how not that long ago it seemed that the class had been put off until the distant future, a future that now appears to be racing up on me.  I've started reading the required books for the class.  The first one is a pleasant surprise--definitely not one I would have picked up on my own.  I'm glad Dean recommended that we start with ones we're least likely to read.

So that's the state of Kami's writing.  I hope we'll meet this Friday on schedule.  See some or none of you then!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

INK member update

INK congratulates past member Cheri on a recent rewrite of her first novel and wishes her good fortune in her writing and editing future.

Great work Cheri!