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Just a short note, because I really have to get my head into this:  3 Day Novel begins at midnight.  Follow (if you dare) the maniacal crew from all over the US and Canada (and the world) as we try to write a 30k novella in 72 hours.  http://SmartURL.it/3DN_ChatZone

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Porch Time

I live in the Northeast US.  This means that Spring is usually around April.  Thanks to El Nino, we’ve been blessed with an early Spring (or at least a week of spring-like temps)  Thus, I’ve repaired to The Porch.

The Porch is a rather vast area, screened in decades ago by my late father and brother-in-law.  We never really took advantage of it…until I started two things: writing, and making wine.  The Wonderful Wife cannot be in the same room as a glass of wine, else asthma sets in.  No, I don’t understand it, but I adjust.

Enter The Porch.  The perfect place to enjoy wine without concern, as well as the perfect place to write.  All of my Three Day Novels were written on The Porch.  I love The Porch so much that The Retirement Home will be constructed with one.  Second floor, or first?  Hmmmm…

Tonight was the first time this year that I have been able to use The Porch.  I finished that story I referenced earlier–the one dating from 2007.

The bottle is empty now, the bladder full, the story finished.  Tomorrow is work, and the weekend is more John-estate stuff.  But for now, the night is quiet, dark, and deep, as Frost said.  The crickets chirp, the cheddar is warm and soft, the wine in the glass is the best pour of the night.  I will sip the wine and think of all that might have been, had John lived.

Entropy is the king of all.  Friends die, we age, wine warms, cheese decays.  This laptop will become non-functional at some point.  But Spring is soon, and rebirth and renewal is right around the corner.  We will all fall victim to The Big Rip at some unfathomable time in the future.  None of that matters.

What matters now is life, and memory, and story.  Have you written yours?

 

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As an author, I am doing many things at once:

  • Editing The Honorable Thing
  • Writing and submitting Short Stories
  • Recording Podcasts

Now, it’s time to add another layer:  Querying for Demons On Vacation.  I’ve been putzing around, on and off, with agent queries on DOV.  It’s time to kick that effort back into gear.  I’ll be splitting posts between this blog and the blog dedicated to DOV. On this blog will be the How and Why and Where of agent querying.  Over on the DOV blog, I’ll post specific results and lessons learned that are particular to that work.

So, if you have a complete manuscript that’s sitting in a trunk, just waiting to get put out on the street, feel free to join with me!  NOTE: I am going the Traditional Route.  If you are going Self-Pub, most of this will not apply to you (though read anyway–knowledge is power!)

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I wish the joy and peace of Christmas to all.  You know all the arguments to and fro about “Put the Christ back in Christmas”.  I shan’t add to them here.  But, I think, I will explain my perspective a touch.

Christmas, to me, is all about looking outside myself.  Looking to others and for others, and about others.  There’s a lot of strife in the world, but there’s really only so much I can do about that.  There’s a hell of a lot more I can do right nearby, though.  The neighbor fussing around with his snowblower that just won’t work.  Here-borrow mine.  The writer who is going off on retreat–let’s fill a forum with reminisces about why we all appreciate her, so she returns to post after post about why she is important to us.

Random acts of kindness.  That’s how I celebrate Christmas.  Turning to my opponents and saying “thank you–you keep me sharp”.

You might not celebrate Christmas.  That’s fine–it’s a free country, one that I dedicated a decade of my life to protect.  I thank those who stand watch–not just the military, but the police and firemen and EMTs and doctors who staff the life-critical infrastructure of this great land so that the rest of us can enjoy a day to be with the ones we love.

To all, then.  Merry Christmas.  May the season infuse your soul, free your Muse, and result in a burst of sustained creativity to last for all of 2014.  That would be the best present I could give to you, my loyal readers.

 

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Status

I am sure you’ve wondered what happened to me.  It’s been right there, in the forefront of your mind, daily.  Where’s Bill?  Did he have some kind of accident with the flensing knive?

No.  But thank you for the concern.  🙂  There have been some medical issues with people I care about deeply, and the usual Fall events (3 Day Novel, NaNoWriMo) have been taking up substantial portions of my time, and work has become more consuming.  So, the flensing has been postponed.  Yes, I know, August to December is one hell of a postponement, but There Are Reasons, and now that they have been addressed, let’s get back to our muttons.

 

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So…I went to a writing conference about 60 miles away.  Nice, little intimate affair–130 or so attendees.  Well run, too.  I was rather pleased with how organized things were.  There were sessions on the craft of writing, agent and editor interviews, a reception, and a book fair.  All in all, a great experience. 
 
Yes, I signed up for an agent interview.  Two days before the start, there was an email that said “there are more openings, if you want a second agent interview, email”, so, of course, I did.  So, how did I do?
 
1.   The second agent’s interview was completed in 90 seconds.  “I don’t have anything to say…you’ve answered all of my questions,” the agent said.  She wants the first fifty pages of DOV.  Then she wants my Sirens book [3DN 2011] when I finish it.  Then she wants The Honorable Thing if/when my mentor rejects it.  “I really like your approach to writing” was her comment.
 
2.    The original agent interview was actually the second one chronologically.  She wants the first three chapters of Demons, but was uninterested in the rest.  She was not nearly as enthusiastic as the other.  Am I glad I signed up for another agent interview!

3.    While waiting to pitch #2 above, an editor plucked my arm and asked me to tell her what I was working on.  I went over the pitches again.  She wants everything #1 wants, wants me to enter Sirens in an Epic Fantasy contest, and to write a second Sirens Novella.  Maybe the Sirens will ride again in 3DN2013….

4.    In the coffee line, I was discussing a website where people bid on voiceover work (continuation of a convo from te day before) when the woman behind her in the coffee line asked for my email address.  Seems a close friend of hers, a director, was firing the current VO guy on a completed animated film, and was looking around for some talent.  There’s more, but let’s see if I get the part first.

So, do you think it was worth the ~200 bux that the conference cost?  There were some pretty terrific sessions, too!

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RSS feeds are wonderful things.  They let you follow blogs without actually having to surf to them.  (Note: my RSS feed is off to the right)

So, I have a feed for Rocket Science News, a blog about Rocket Science an anthology by Ian Sales where my non-fiction piece “A Ray of Sunshine” appeared.  One of the five non-fiction pieces, Karen Burnham’s “The Complexity of the Humble Spacesuit”, was on the shortlist for the British Science Fiction Association’s annual awards.  Congratulations, Karen!

Then I wondered.  Who else was on the list?  So I looked.  And there it was: A Ray of Sunshine.  I was shocked clean through.  It was a thrill to be published, but to be nominated for a BFSA Award?  Stunning!

Whoever nominated my story, my everlasting thanks.  You made my day.

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