Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Self-Imposed Deadline

Stalled out on The Blood Prayer for the moment, and it's been too long since I created something new. Therefore, since I apparently can't work without a deadline, I'm going to dive into the oil rig story that's been bubbling in my subconscious since early March. It's called The Century War, and I've got a preliminary scene list worked out and some leftover bits from my first (aborted) stab at it from before the summer.

Randy Ingermanson suggests that when setting measurable mileposts for yourself, you should reward yourself for meeting them and/or punish yourself if you don't (even a small, token fine of $5.00) In that vein--

Deadline for the first draft: September 30.
Upon completion on (or prior to) that date, I will order a Funky Q Chicken pizza from Mellow Mushroom.
Upon failure to meet the deadline, I will forego all soft drinks for a week.

I feel more motivated already.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dragon*Con Wrap Up

Well, it's been a week and at last I can move again without a caffeine I.V. Time for some pics!

Thursday, about 9:00 p.m. This is the badge pickup line that greeted me once I got into the Sheraton after waiting for three hours outside.

Allan Gilbreath, me, and Kimberly Richardson, editor of Dreams of Steam, Saturday afternoon at the Kerlak Publishing booth in the Exhibitor's Hall.

My sensei Ann Crispin and I, Sunday night, at the Pacific Rim Bistro on Peachtree Center Ave.

I spent the rest of the Con stalking former cast members of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (or anyone dressed like them) and telling people to shop at the Kerlak booth, especially those who were steampunk-inclined.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dragon*Con: Post Two

Okay, where was I?

Saturday A.C. Crispin's Master Class for Novelists! Met with all the students to go over issues we had in common: pacing, foreshadowing vs. predictability, the importance of query letters. Will meet one-on-one later for a personal novel critique.

Stood in line next to an Ozzy Osbourne lookalike for the DragonCon After Dark costume contest - a lot of waiting for too short a show. Saw Stan Lee walking by. Stayed up for a midnight screening of Zombieland, possibly the cutest zombie movie ever made, but not the same caliber as Shaun of the Dead.

Sunday Dropped a lot of money in the dealers' room. Hope to track down Kevin J. Anderson and Kevin Murphy later and get autographs. Going to dinner tonight with some friends & writers. Also, just got an email from an editor about my Time Travel Story saying it's passed the first elimination round but needs some revisions. I can handle revisions. Tonight: a late, late Cruxshadows concert, unless I really am too old to rock and roll, but too young to die.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dragon*Con: Post One

Thursday A.C. Crispin's Basic Writing Workshop, bright and early. Lots of good information, starting from the basics (just like it says on the tin). Characterization. Plot. Show-don't-tell. Story Logic. Setting and description. Point of view. Lots of handouts, lots to share with my writers group in Hoover. Bunch of websites to check out, such as the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL), Caveat Scriptor, and (of course) Absolute Write. Looking forward to tomorrow. Strangely compelled to write in sentence fragments.

Then, got in line to get my badge. Let me just say, for the official record, "Oh my fucking God!" Four and a half hours in line. Four and a half hours. First, I had to completely circumnavigate the Sheraton, winding through part of the parking deck along the way. Once I got inside the hotel, they sent us to a ballroom where we had to navigate the endless rope-maze from hell. Once we got to the front, they broke us up into lines alphabetically by our last name. What never occurred to anyone organizing the check-in process was that names are not evenly distributed in the alphabet. Apparently, the biggest cluster is L-O, so while the H-K's and the T-Z's were zipping through, anyone with a name of French, Scottish, or Irish descent was stuck in eternal purgatory. For four and a half hours.

Gasp. Pant. Wheeze.

Cold pizza for dinner. Then to bed. (Or foldaway cot, as the case may be.)

Friday Writing workshop part II. A word on copyright. Writing alien aliens. The importance of research. Marketing & Networking.

Special guest Nebula Award Winner and former Writing Workshop student Eugie Foster dropped in to talk about marketing short fiction. She's sold about 100BZillion stories of her own in the last few years, including "Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast." Her new story collection is Returning My Sister's Face.

Then, ran over to the Exhibitors Hall to find the Kerlak booth and met the awesome Kimberly Richardson and Allan Gilbreath. Pictures will follow in a later post.

Chillin' for a while, then off to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reunion / Cinematic Titanic show.

To be or not to be continued...