Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolutions 2011

For 2011, I resolve:

-To write like the wind in a hurricane, hard and fast and never looking back to see the devastation I leave in my wake. If I achieve Two Million Words in a year, THEN I'll be happy and naught else shall soothe my failure! This storm will be remembered to the sixth generation.
-To get in as good shape physically as I am mentally. This is not a very difficult goal, unless I stop drinking for health reasons. That'd make it tougher.
-To keep the girlfriend happy, since she's really good at absorbing my Creati-babble
-To stop checking my sales stats so damn much, jeez. Either it's "Bad" or it's "Good...for now." Neither are very useful one way or the other. I'll check them every Pay Cycle, like a normal person should, or incidentally while I'm uploading new stuff, which is a fair reward.
-To stop being on the Internet so much, in furtherance of the above goals. I'll update this blog, read the e-magazines to keep my hand in the competition, and check out my blogroll. Then off I go.
-To become Rich Beyond The Dreams of Avarice. Because that's an awesome thing to say.
-To get a damn Kindle already, no matter what I said. It's close enough!
-To stop worrying and love my backstory, while expanding it daily.

Only 514 years to go...


Oh, I also resolve to learn some sort of computer programming, just in case I go back in time and get the chance to impress my dream girl in the hopes that she will give me her hand in marriage after a suitable period of seduction.


4000 words? Yes
Short Story "Cosmast Rhyt" finished, submitted (1/50)
- - - -


Friday, December 31, 2010

Old Year's Resolutions 2010

In 2010, I resolved (or retroactively resolved):

1. To only write for pay, thus to only write that for which I should be paid, thus thus to find a way to get paid for so doing. Thus Thrice: To become a professional writer.
2. To have a girlfriend who doesn't mind that I write more than I talk, this despite my nigh-incessant babble.
3. To be wealthy and handsome.
4. To Not Die.

I achieved:
-At least a theoretical framework and a practical application towards achieving One, to wit: Write.
-Two. Right before the buzzer, but it counts.
-Three? Eh. One out of two ain't bad.
-I knocked Four out of the park. I have a innate talent for it, I suspect.

On those merits, I give myself a B for 2010.

Happy New Year! Continue Not To Die, and have some of this whynot:
Ah, beer...
250 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long to Die"
- - - -
Reading - ?


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Is It Just Me?

Is it just me, or is the universe getting better and better?

Maybe it's just my inherent joy at being the best there is, but having a writing career and a pretty girl who likes me at the same time is enough to send me off into the ethereal plains of useless jibberjabber. Still, I recognize that this is a writing blog, so I'll provide you with an alternative:

Stuff happens. It's mostly your own damn fault. Or somebody else's


What did I do?

There is no way I can justify talking myself out of getting immediately shot except by Refuge in Audacity.

And that's no way to live.

250 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long to Die"
Short Story "Science Up Some Love"
- - - -
Reading - ?


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Send For The Clowns

I was writing my exciting Alien Invasion short story (q.v. The End Is Near) and I kept running into a common decision point: Goofy or Serious? (Which one is Fun here?)

So I thought and I thought, and eventually my mind supplied the solution: Hey, why don't I just write a "Goofy" Alien Invasion story and a "Serious" Alien Invasion story? In tandem, even, putting the Goofy decision path into one story and the Serious decision path into another until they finally branch off entirely and have their own adventures?

This was such an elegant solution that I figured I might as well write a really short blog post about it, thus solving the problem of proper tone forever.

You're welcome.


I'm still searching for a Steampunk story that is as interesting as the meta-concept of Steampunk itself. It's either that or I'll have to eventually figure out how to string together on my own the fun images I get when I contemplate Steampunk. I think it's because none of those images are ever characters, as opposed to designs for cool steam tanks that run on steam.

That's it! Sex!

250 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long to Die"
Short Story "Treachery Afoot"
Short Story "Treachery Effete"
- - - -
Reading - Why Do We Need to Predict the Future?
(New York Times)


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The End Is Near

My general dislike of Aliens in Science Fiction is put on hold for a good story about Humanity fighting a total war against alien invaders. The three criteria are:

It must be set as close to The Present Day as possible, incorporating as many of the awesome real weapons humans have managed to concoct and applying them to the slaughter (or at least attempted slaughter) of aliens. I don't care if that means it's a little dated 10 years from now, as long as it doesn't feel dated when it was actually published. I'm willing to call it Alternate History, The Good if it actually is.

Everybody must know about the alien threat. When they discovered the threat, whatever lame secret Alien FBI was in charge handed it over to the public, which then applied that massive defense budget they'd been paying their taxes for all these years to the problem. None of this sneaking around, I want my alien invaders to be blatant and I want humanity's response to be equally open.

It must be awesome (without being stupid). That's a tricky one, but I know it can be done. My main goto is Freedom's Landing (and the subsequent series) by Anne McCaffrey. Some of the defeated parts of humanity get dumped on a crappy colony planet, but then smash their way back off and liberate Earth. Some quality science fiction is laid out, much like the alien oppressor.

Of course, I'm saying all this. Now I've got to put my word count where my mouth is and bust out an alien invasion story. Oh-hoho? Do I smell the sweat stench of "Treachery Afoot"? I believe I do. I believe I do.

And now to emphasize my point, the best game with the cheesiest intro ever!

Haha! Take that, alien scum! Don't mess with multicultural Earth! X-COM just kicked your ass with weapons that are notoriously incapable of kicking your ass in-game. Sucks to be you.


Why is Controversy such a popular post? Albeit it is one of my personal favorites, so maybe my taste intersected with that of the masses. That's probably a good sign. In any case, it's just as true today as it was then.

Oh, she's just doing that on purpose now, but that's not really something I want to discourage. And we do need the water.

250 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long to Die"
Short Story "Treachery Afoot"
- - - -
Reading - The Dark Side of Young Adult Fiction
(New York Times)


Monday, December 27, 2010

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

So at least you've got that going for you?

In my continuing quest to Rethink Everything (The title of a future post? Probably...), I came to the rather obvious conclusion that Q10 doesn't work on every computer I use. Q10 has thus far been my text editor of choice for rapid-fire typing, but as I've been ratcheting up My Writing Game (We'll find out...) I find myself using any and every system at hand to tap out words in my Otherwise Idle Moments (Time Travel is fun...), and I need a common program to Throw It All Together (Future me is pushing it now.).

So I thought and I thought, and decided to learn and use Emacs. It's free, open, cross-platform and has really convenient keystroke commands. I hate touching the mouse when I type.  I can probably figure out how to make it do the typewriter noises, even. I'll let you know whether this is a good idea after a couple months of practical testing.


I read Rahul Kanakia's latest blog post and pondered: Hey: reviewing short stories? That's a good idea. I resolved to steal the idea but uncharacteristically did not attempt to pass it off as my own this time. Am I becoming a better person or a worse writer? Either way, my criteria will be Linkable free, so I can link to it first before spoiling the heck out of it, and Likeable by me, because I'm too lazy to give negative reviews. 

Mostly it'll be about what Craft techniques I intend to steal without attribution.   


I like to include some sort of exchange rate when I mention cash in my stories, just for future readers. I mean, read the Bible and you have no idea what anything was worth, except maybe a dove. If only Moses had mentioned the prevailing rate for FREEDOM (hint: ain't free).

Anyways, make sure to insert it super-subtle, like in this example:

"Gosh!" said Timmy, taking the roll of banknotes. "I could buy nearly three loaves of bread with that. If it weren't for the money-sucking Government Tax Enforcers with their insatiable laser gun power pack budget."

"Keep up the fight, man," said the bored paymaster behind his desk.

250 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long to Die"
- - - -
Reading - ?


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Me vs Me

Sometimes I find myself just sitting and wondering "Why am I not writing?" It's a comic, tragic, just plain silly event and it leads me to pinpoint me as my primary foe. Or at least the only foe with whom I have any fight.

Publishers? Eh, they're theoretically on my side (at least on the Writing side). If they like it, they'll buy it, if they don't like it, well...there're more publishers. Fighting them won't make a difference one way or the other.

Readers? They want something to read that doesn't suck, and they're willing to pay for it. That's not so much a "fight" as a "transaction". The customer is always right. Of course, I lay emphasis on the word "customer", e.g. Someone Who Would Actually Buy Something.

Still, Publishers and Readers are more like babies demanding to be fed than enemies trying to steal my food. That'd be Me. That jerk who sometimes sits around all day wasting time on the Internet or watching some stupid show. As Mr. Screwtape brags to his nephew about the victim: "You can keep him up late at night, not roistering, but staring at a dead fire in a cold room."

Too depressing? I modify the Ratatouille* cooking mantra for application: "Anybody can write." It's just that the difference between "can" and "will" is a wide gap of apathy and other interests, or just wasting time until death's sweet sweet embrace. Oops.

*Micro review: Great Movie, I liked all of it except the scenes where only rats were talking. Except the cooking montage and the final wrap-up.

Anyways, I'm going to beat myself up. That'll show me who's boss. Me, that's who.

Meanwhile, I'll be writing.


Are you scared of the dark?

Yes, jeez, leave me alone.

(time passes)

Ah! Stop showing me The Dark, you jerk.

250 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long to Die"
- - - -
Reading - ?

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