25 Jun

Strangeness

Lisa sent me this under the subject header Almost a Darwin Award Winner.

progress:

My original thought was that I would do a couple short stories next, but instead I’m finding my mind wants to concentrate on a novel I’ve been thinking about for some time. So that’s what I’ve let myself do the past few days. Now I’m three pseudo-chapters in and having a little fun, which is good.

I’m calling them pseudo-chapters because I’m not thinking about the words I’m writing right now as if they are actually part of the story. Instead, this is pure discovery writing. I’m letting things flow and seeing what happens, and every now and again I stop and jot some bigger plot ideas down as I go. This isn’t even a draft. It’s a thought exercise. In this way I’ve found myself stretching the story out a little.

Isn’t creativity strange?

24 Jun

Focus

I’ve been suffering a bit of a post-project malaise the past two days. I was so focused on getting these two books ready that my brain is having a hard time disconnecting. I admit the day job job is taking a lot of cycles, too. It’s a busy time all around.

Focus, Ron. Focus.

I did manage a few words on another project–and they’ll all add us eventually, right?

The fact is, though, that when you’ve been into something deeply the brain does sometimes take a little while to fully change gears. In that light, here’s a fluffy piece of science reporting that suggests that all us writer-types may be in for a rude awakening more rapidly than some of us would like to think.

Personally, I’m not worried about the ebook idea itself. I think people will always want stories–and, in fact, I think the idea of shorter novels is fantastic. I loved the old short 50-60K books that you could sit down and read in a day and still have a little time left over. I think there’s some likelihood that stories delivered on bits and bytes may eventually reduce the need to see a big-ol’ book spine on the shelf, hence liberating the short novel once again.

Hey, it’s as good of a dream as any.

What I don’t like about ebooks and ebook readers today has everything to do with the need to play with formats. It’s not hard to click a few buttons and get your material into the format of your choice, but it’s annoying and the format conversions are not always so glorious.

Reading something should never be annoying.

21 Jun

The B-52s, China, and Other Messing Around

I was pretty tired this morning, so I put the B-52s on my iTunes. I did this because it is impossible to be lethargic when the B-52s are playing. I mean, you have to be seriously dead in the head to listen to their music and not at least get a little toe-tapping going, right? Then the head bobs just a little–enough to be cool, but not so much that you’ll look dorky if the government surveillance systems flying in geosynchronous orbit right over your house catch you and they post it to You-Tube. Not that you should be paranoid or anything.

It’s okay. Really, it is.

Anyway, I was up earlier this morning speaking to folks from China, which is pretty cool from about a hundred angles when you think about it a little. When I first started working, the idea that I would ever have collaborated productively with people in China would have completely boggled the mind. Now the idea of NOT doing so is passé.

The rest of this morning was about listening to the B-52s while finishing up bits and pieces that I’ve left to fall into the cracks as I was pressing to finish the last novel rewrite (which is now officially done for good–I think [grin]). This means I’ve put a submission together, and put my desktop back into something that resembles order. I updated some of my status files regarding submissions and whatnot.

It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’ve been busy all morning.

19 Jun

Radio Paradise

Pretty much all day Lisa and I have been listening to Radio Paradise, an internet radio station. This is not unusual for us, in fact I would say most of our Saturdays and Sundays provide for a serious amount of RP time. It’s a nice little, truly independent, listener-supported station with a really eclectic playlist.

Give it a try for a bit. See what you think.

What have you got to lose?

Progress: I think I’ve about wrestled phase II of the light rewrite to the ground. Down to the last fifteen pages, which I hope to finish tomorrow AM. I’ve also received and responded to the back-cover copy of Picasso’s Cat & Other Stories. So it’s been a bit busy.

BTW … I already posted this on FB, but I happened to see someone has a copy of Dragon #140 available on E-bay, which comes complete with fiction by lil’ ol’ me.

17 Jun

Light Rewrite: Phase II

If you’re not interested in the meanderings of story creation, then today’s notes are probably not for you. Sorry about that.

With that warning …

I spent part of the past few day’s thinking about “Gene Splice” and the overall purpose of the story. I think it holds together pretty well, but for some reason I still felt it wasn’t quite where it should be. Tuesday I think I came to the understanding of why I felt that was the case.

So, to make a long story short, I’m back to another small rewrite.

The fact was that I felt like I needed to amp up the main character’s changes over the course of the story. They were all there in my last effort, but upon reflection I worried they weren’t strong enough for someone who wasn’t me!

So yesterday I took a mental scan through the entire plot line, and identified five areas the I felt I could make prudent changes that would make this element shine.

This morning, I dealt with two of those five.

It’s going to cost me about a week, but it’s worth it.

15 Jun

A Few Odds And Ends …

First, I’m totally diggin’ Vera Nazarian’s Dreams of the Compass Rose.  It’s a really smooth piece of writing that uses language as a spell in itself.  Her characters really breathe, and her stories sneak up on you with a vengeance.  Even better, she’s made it available for free in several e-formats.  No time like the present, folks.

Next, the observant of you will notice I’ve added a Newsletter page.  I promise to only spam you when it’s really spam-worthy.  [grin]

And, finally, I’ve fixed the broken link in my last post that went to the Multitasking game.  Sorry about that.  Guess I lost my focus there.

14 Jun

The Multitasking World

I admit to being very interested in studies about how the brain works, and how we make decisions. I think the question of how the internet is influencing us, and what long-term changes it will take is one of the more interesting questions of this moment in history (perhaps just a bit behind wondering how genetics and our ability to change ourselves).

I recently read Jonah Lehrer’s “How Do We Decide,” and thought it was great.

With this in mind, I thought this study on attention and multitasking was fascinating.

You might take the two tests, too.

It told me I have quite a bit of focus, but am lacking a little on that ability to juggle multiple tasks (that sound you hear is Lisa chuffing a hearty “well-duh”).

Progress: Finished the light rewrite today (Yay me!). I’m going to do a little thematic work, but I think this means I have three books ready to market for, well, for the first time since ever.

12 Jun

By His Bootstraps

Listened to Heinlein’s “By His Bootstraps” today from Radio Drama Revival. Very cool version, played by Richard Dreyfuss, among a few others. These are the kinds of things that actually make me excited to go to the Health Club–it cuts out a chunk of time where I don’t really have anything to do but listen to the iPod.

This is a great, professionally done piece of work. Recommended.

Progress:

Down to 11 more pages to go on the Light Rewrite. I wanted to power through, but I completed about 70 pages worth, and my brain is a little loopy. Better to just let it sit until tomorrow and do it right.

11 Jun

Picasso’s Cat Available for Pre-Order


Hey, it’s finally Friday evening!

Weekends are the bestest.

And this weekend has been made just that much better now because I see that Picasso’s Cat & Other Stories is now available for pre-order at The Merry Blacksmith Press. You can order via Paypal, or contact the publisher at orders@merryblacksmith.com.

Being new to this marketing thing, I think this is where I’m supposed to say it makes a great gift, right? Or am I supposed to say it gets great gas mileage? How about “order now and get a free set of Ginsu knives!” (Actually, that last is a lie…I don’t think you get any knives, no matter when you order–bummer, I know).

Perhaps it’s better if I stick to writing the stories, eh?