Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Stuff and fluff

My story "30 Pounds of Human Tissue" is now posted to the Daily Science Fiction website. It's been there since Monday, but I haven't had the opportunity to blog about it until now. Enjoy!

My husband and I took the kids to see "The Amazing Spider-Man" yesterday at the local cheap theater. With five people in the family, the $2.50 theater is just about the only way we can afford to see movies outside of waiting for the DVD release. Anyway, I did not enjoy this reboot as much as the original Sam Raimi movie. This new version is too dark and angsty for my tastes. There was so little joy in it, especially in the way-too-serious relationship between Peter and Gwen. Let Batman keep the angst, and let Peter Parker have some fun. I also think the movie would have benefited from cutting about 15 or 20 minutes from the run time.

WorldCon is this weekend in Chicago and DragonCon in Atlanta, and I will sadly not be at either one. But I will be watching the Hugo Awards ceremony online and rooting for Stanley Schmidt to win for best editor, as this is his last chance. His retirement as Analog editor was announced today.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Some of my favorite flash

Coming on the heels of a publication of one of my flash stories, I was thinking the other day about what my favorite flash stories are. I receive two flashes in my e-mail box most mornings, courtesy of Daily Science Fiction and Every Day Fiction, so I read a lot of them. But a handful stand out. Here are four of my favorites:

Ponies by Kij Johnson. The last line kills me every time.
"Hello," Said the Gun by Jay Lake. I love the tension that comes from a protagonist not understanding how much danger she's in.
Evil Robot Monkey by Mary Robinette Kowal. A wonderful idea, wonderfully executed.
Freefall by Eric James Stone. A great premise; the resolution is what makes the story.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Thank you

I had some anxiety over my pro-publishing debut, the normal jitters worrying that no one would like my story. So the positive response I received yesterday was gratifying and a little overwhelming. I've never received so much feedback on one of my original stories.

Today I went out to the mailbox and got another pleasant surprise. My contributor copy of the new Triangulation anthology, "Morning After." This anthology was my first stint on the other side of the slush pile, as an assistant editor rather than a writer, and I'm proud of the hard work that the editing team put in. The experience gave me new perspective on what editors are looking for, which in turn will help with my writing. So here it is:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Publication day

Subscribers to Daily Science Fiction are receiving my story "30 Pounds of Human Tissue" in their e-mail boxes today. Nonsubscribers will be able to read the story next week when it goes up on the DSF website.

Some background on how this story came about: A friend and fellow writer, Dustin Adams, posed a challenge a few months ago that we both write and submit a flash story every month. This was the second story I wrote as part of that challenge, and DSF was the first place I submitted it. As for the idea itself, like many of my story ideas, I can't pinpoint one thing that sparked it. But I love robots and I love children, and so putting them together seemed to make sense.

My house: Enter at your own risk

The homefront looks somewhat like a sick ward this weekend. My daughter picked up a cold last week, then gave it to one of her brothers, then to me and my husband. We sound like a NyQuil commercial: coughing, sneezing, sniffling, etc. Only my oldest son has managed to avoid getting the virus. I hope the kids are feeling better by tomorrow for their first day of school -- especially my daughter. The first day of kindergarten is a milestone, and I don't want her lifelong memory to be, "I was so sick and miserable that day ..."

So I've been going to work and sleeping, and that's about it. No writing to speak of the past couple days. I hope the virus goes away soon because it's killing my productivity.

Friday, August 17, 2012

August, so far

It's been too long since I last posted here. Let's see what news I have to share since the start of August.

Not much.

I've been writing, of course. I finished a 4,000-word story that my critique partners did not like very much. They suggested ways to fix it, but I don't know whether I'm willing to start from scratch on a story that I'm not overly passionate about in the first place. So I started a new story instead, an expansion of a flash piece I wrote a couple months ago, and I'm thoroughly enjoying this one so far.

I finished reading Carrie Vaughn's "Kitty and the Silver Bullet" a few days ago. I plowed through it, as I almost always do with Carrie Vaughn's books because her writing style is readable. I'm now reading Lev Grossman's "The Magician King." I blogged about the first book in that series, "The Magicians," last year. I loved Grossman's writing style but not his protagonist. We'll see whether Quintin can manage to be a less-miserable person this time around.

And the big news: On Monday, I will have my pro-writing debut when Daily Science Fiction publishes my flash story "30 Pounds of Human Tissue." Only DSF subscribers will get the story that day. Everyone else will have to wait a week until it's posted to the DSF website.