NaNoWriMo 2010….

November 1, 2010

Not this year.



I ain’t dead yet …

September 22, 2010

kayleigh has been away since Sunday at some training/seminar gig.   She returns late Thursday, and after she rests a bit we’re heading out Saturday on a day trip into Kentucky for some family-type goings on.

The World Fantasy Convention hits Columbus in 36 days.  I know this because I have a countdown gadget on my iGoogle page!   We’re  also making plans to attend the Chicago 2012 Worldcon.   This should be fun with GoH Mike Resnick and Toastmaster John Scalzi.  The Ohio Cabal rules!

(As a sidebar to the “Ohio Cabal rules!”, Paul Melko’s The Walls of the Universe has been optioned for a movie by some of the same folks that did Shrek.  And the book sequel has been sold to Tor).

In the meantime, I admit to being distracted and out of sorts and just plain tired.  I have a pestering — or perhaps I should say festering — story that just can’t seem to be completed the way I want.  I wanted it in circulation the first week of September but haven’t touched it for a couple of weeks.   This too causes a great amount of annoyance.  Now I’m hoping for the end of the month.  And then I can either go back to a long-term side project or something new, shiny, and distracting, or both.

Such is life.

George Scithers 1929-2010

April 20, 2010

I am very sad to see that editor George Scithers passed away yesterday after a massive heart attack two days before.

He rejected one of my first submitted stories a thousand years ago or so at Asimov’s — but in personal, kindly and handwritten fashion.   His book with Darrell Schweitzer,  On Writing Science Fiction — which I read after the rejection —  is still on my shelf.

Nominations for the Hugo Awards for 2010 have been announced.

I’m sure I’m not alone in foreseeing some confusion about the the novel nomination, Palimpsest, by Catherynne M. Valente , and the novella nomination, “Palimpsest,”  by Charles Stross.  John Scalzi’s The God Engines is also a novella nominee.

I heard Mike Resnick read his short story, “The Bride of Frankenstein,” at Context last year.   Was a funny story.

Mike’s of-late frequent co-writer, Lezli Robyn, is a John W. Campbell nominee as well.

Dear Muse, pt. 2 …

March 24, 2010

Dear Muse —

I thought I would follow-up on my last note to you.  I’ve still not heard from you and I’m pretty worried.  I’m more than worried.  I’m sad, really.  I’ve been this way on and off for a while now and being sad started me worrying a long time ago, and only made the sadness worse.  Have you totally left me alone with myself?  I am not myself without you, and wonder who I am now.

I’m still not reading either, although I’m still reading a chapter a night of the 365: Your Date with History I mentioned in my last note.  But otherwise I’ve not read an entire book in over six months.  Six months! With shelves of unread books I can’t seem to find anything to focus my attention on.  That is just wrong!

I’m blaming you for this.  When I read something I’m wondering why I didn’t write it.   Yes, I’m blaming you.   Not only am I feeling sad, but I’m also angry — very angry, and too much of the time.   Your absence is entirely uncalled for and it’s pissing me off!  Where the hell are you?!  You’d think you’d at least let me know where you are, and when you might be coming back, if ever!  If you’re not coming back, let me know.  At least then I can get on with my life.

…… I have weird thoughts sometimes.  Scary thoughts even to me, which is saying something I guess.    I don’t want you to feel bad but …. no, no, I do.  I do want you to feel bad and to worry about me.  I spend a lot of my time worrying about you and it’s only right that you worry about me in return.

You know, I’m not sure I would recognize you now even if we saw one another.  I’ve changed and, I suspect, so have you.  So fuck you, Muse.  Who needs you.  I will carry on without you.   You left me adrift in a lifeboat with no sail, no wind, and no oars.  I have no sense of direction and feel like I’m just spinning in circles when and if I’m moving at all.

Fuck you again and again and again!!!

…I guess I don’t need the things I thought I needed.

But what else is there?

Come back soon.  Just ….. because.

Dear Muse …

January 29, 2010

Dear Muse:

It has been some time since  we’ve seen one another or spoken.  I hope you are doing well, and that the next time we speak you’ll be telling me stories and exciting adventures, or even posing a philosophical question or two.

Perhaps you’ve been on vacation?  Next time you take off like this, maybe you could let me know beforehand that you’ll be gone but will be back, so I don’t worry?  Or drop me a postcard along the way?

I have been spending my nights in front of the television and browsing the net, reading far too many feeds and clicking on too many links.  I’ve managed to organize my desk a bit and get rid of several stacks of papers I didn’t need, organize some files on the computer, and do some back ups into the cloud.  It’s piddling work, but it needs done.  But I’d rather be working on a story or two instead of shuffling through story notes and partially written pieces that I can’t seem to get together right, or finish.

For some reason too I’ve not been able to get into a good book for months, although every night I read a day from 365: Your Date With History, which is a book that I’ve decided to make a year long endeavor, reading about the next day’s historical events.  It’s pretty interesting, but you know how I like history and odd tidbits.  Yesterday for example, I learned that on that date the emperor Charlamagne died in 814, and so did the egotistical  Henry VIII in 1547.  But it’s not doing what I know I should be doing with my time.

So back to our lack of communication.  I’d really like to see you, or at least hear from you.  Drop by as soon as you return.  Don’t wait, don’t hesitate.  We’ve things to do!   Although we’ve had our disagreements over the years when we don’t speak to one another for extended periods, I really thought we’d been getting along better the last many months.

I kind of miss you.  A lot.


NaNoWriMo 2009 update …

November 12, 2009

I am behind, as usual, in word output. I’ve played catch up today and am a shade over a quarter of the way to where I want to be at the end. This makes me behind but not nearly as behind as I could be, or as I was in years previous. I guess that’s something, especially since I seem to be concentrating more on quality than quantity of words.


It’s easy to get caught up in research, especially if you’re a history buff researching something you are writing about. It’s easy to get side tracked down an alley, into a dark door, or into another frigging region of the country. I’m talking research here, not the actual writing of the piece.

One of the problems with writing historical fiction is that documented history can be limited and/or limiting. You can find yourself locked into what is known as true.

And then, for drama’s sake – even if the real life events were dramatic – a writer needs to switch things around. He might have to put unsaid words into the mouths of real historical figures, or take a hint of gossip or rumor and make it true. He might need to take a small incident and make it larger, or, by contrast, make a large incident less so.

He might also have to take an event that happened in, say, 1881, and put it in 1885, to heighten dramatic effect.

Which annoys the shit out of me.

How can I write about a real historic event and put that event somewhere else in time, thus rendering it false?