Research in Scrivener at Rivers of Ink 2015

I’m giving a workshop on building your research files in Scrivener at the Rivers of Ink conference this Saturday. We’ll look at the different ways to bring items into the research folder, what kind of items can be put in Research, and how to build a Story Bible (or World Book or whatever you want to call it) using text files and Scrivener links. The result is a Wiki-style book that you can use as you write to keep everything consistent.

The conference itself is Friday and Saturday, at the Richland Public Library. You can go for one day or both, and registration is available at the door. See you there.


Flasher and Grinder

A second rejection for Hitch arrived last week. It’s now out with a market that was probably a mistake; they get so many submissions, they want 90 days. I should’ve gone with a smaller market.

At least I have an idea of how to find one, now. Through my explorations of the Intorwebs, I found The (Submission) Grinder. They’re attempting to fill in the hole left by Duotrope going behind a paywall, so I’m less upset about finding out about Duotrope when their switch to a paysite was news. I’ve found several new potential markets, including some that want flash fiction.

I’ve never even tried to write flash before, so this weekend I gave it a shot. I like what I got, so we’ll see what happens when I submit it. Anyone up for a beta-read?

Progress sometimes looks like regression

The only downside to the Magic Spreadsheet is the lack of an edit-tracking mechanism. This can make “edit weeks,” which I’ve been on since about the 20th, look like a lack of progress at best, and a declining word count at worst. (My workaround for this is to track the time I spend editing, then log the “word count” I usually get in that amount of time. It’s not perfect, but it works for me. Now if I can just get the motivation to edit every day…)

The first draft of the latest WIP started out at over 10,300 words. I have it down to almost 9,600, with 9,000 as the goal. The edit revealed several weak spots; there are scenes to add, scenes to cut, and an infinite number of other places to improve things.

For 23 in 2013, I need to get A Hitch in His Getalong submitted somewhere. It’s been sitting here two weeks, which is about 13 days longer than it should have.

First rejection letter, huzzah!

I took a big step a couple of weeks ago: I submitted my first story for publication. This morning, the reply was in my inbox:

Thank you for your submission. “A Hitch in His Getalong” was
interesting, but unfortunately, it was not quite right for us at this
time. We have had to reject many good stories for a variety of
reasons unrelated to their quality. We look forward to future
submissions from you.

So a form email, only fifteen days after submission, and I’m just a little giddy about it. I’m not saying there’s no disappointment, but come on, it was my first submission of my first story. The chances of getting it picked up were Lotto-type odds. So yes, I’m a little sad about it, but on balance this is positive because:

  1. I get to send it to the next publication.
  2. I get to send Escape Pod the next story when it’s ready
  3. I have proof that I’m a working writer.

It might sound strange, but I’ve had “Get my first rejection” as a goal for over a year. It’s obvious to me now that I wasn’t taking it seriously, or it would only have taken weeks, not months. But this means I’m one tiny step from completing my first round of the . I’ve taken the step most people never get to. (You’ll have to get the ebook to find out what the steps are.)

The next story, Calculating the Volume of Solid Objects, is in editing. I’ve already cut it by almost five percent and I see places to improve and tighten it all through. (I have to get the word count down, though. It started out at 10,300. Waaaay too long.)

The Forever War

The Forever WarThe Forever War by Joe Haldeman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An excellent story, but I think my expectations were a little too high, given the reputation of the book, and the way John Scalzi‘s introduction made me think it was paralleled by Old Man’s War more closely than it actually was.

I’m tempted to sit down and reread both Old Man’s War and Starship Troopers; the similarities between them, and the differences rooted in the decades between their authors, would make for an interesting Master’s thesis.

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The second-best thing about blogging

I know what the second-best thing about blogging is. It has to be the second-best thing, because the best thing is no one can interrupt you or make you stop. I can talk all I want and say anything and the worst, the very worst that can happen, is no one listens. That’s the awesome, right there.


The second-best thing is the makeovers. Click-click, type-type, done. New blog name, new theme, new everything! What old blog? That was aimless posturing by a clueless nobody. READ MY WORDS NOW and marvel at how wonderful I am. Six months later, if I want to do it again, POOF, its done again. Biggest Loser has nothing on this.