Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More on Ray Gun Chronicles

I've added a link over at the right side of the screen to the Ray Gun Chronicles Kickstarter. Thirty-seven days to go to make this anthology a reality. The editor, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, has asked us writers to share the origins of our stories, and I'm happy to oblige.

My story in this anthology, "Malfunction," is unusual for a few reasons. First off, it's one of those rare stories that I wrote by the seat of my pants. I'm usually an obsessive outliner, but with this one, I simply started writing and let the story go where it would. I had no plan, no theme. I was as surprised as anyone when my malfunctioning android declared that he was a time traveler and one of the most important scientists in all of human history. This story is also unusual in that I wrote the first draft all in one sitting. I waited until my family had gone to bed, and then in the quiet living room, I wrote for about three hours straight. When the first draft was done, the revisions were minimal -- another rarity for me. Most of what's on the page are the raw, late-night conjurings of my imagination.

The acceptance from Ray Gun Revival was, at that time, the biggest sale of my fledgling career, and I am so happy that this story has found new life in the Ray Gun Chronicles anthology. For as little as a $5 pledge, you get a contributor's credit and an ebook copy of the anthology. For bigger pledges, there are bigger rewards. So go ahead and click the icon over at the right, make a pledge if you'd like, and help support this great project.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Updates and sniffles

Happy Sunday, everyone. I'm struggling through work today with a box of Kleenex, cough drops and DayQuil. I don't feel gross enough to call in sick and force one of my co-workers to fill in for me on their day off, but I've definitely had better days. My head feels stuffed with fluff, which makes it hard to focus, which makes it hard to write. My plan to pound out a few hundred words before work today ended with me falling asleep with my empty notebook on my lap.

Still, in the absence of any decent word count, we can still do some writerly updates.

The Ray Gun Chronicles Kickstarter is about one-eighth of the way to its goal with 39 days to go. If an anthology featuring stories from the likes of A.C. Crispin, Seanan McGuire, Mike Resnick and many others -- including yours truly -- sounds like something you'd like to read, then please go make a pledge and help this project become a reality.

Fireside Magazine, which recently published its third issue and has accepted my story "Catch a Fallen Star" for publication, will be making a big announcement soon. Stay tuned for more.

I've lowered the price on my story collection "Snake Oil and Other Tales of the Weird West" to $1.99. For less than the price of a cup of coffee, you get zombies, ghosts, dirigibles, moon men and much more. The collection is available on Kindle.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Raygun Chronicles Kickstarter is live

There's an anthology in the works of some of the best stories from the dearly departed Ray Gun Revival, plus some new stories as well -- a nice mix of up-and-coming writers and award-winning pros. Twenty-four stories in all, and one of those stories is mine. This is an awesome project with cool rewards at various levels of contribution, including of course either an ebook or print copy of the book. The Kickstarter goes through March 7, plenty of time to make a pledge, if you're so inclined.

You can find out more and make a pledge right here.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Triangulation open for submissions

I'd be remiss not to mention that Triangulation Anthologies is open to submissions through March 15. The theme is Steel Cities. You can find more information on the guidelines here. This is my second year as an assistant editor for Triangulation, and I hope you'll be sending your best stuff for us to read. Last year's Morning After anthology has nine stories on Tangent Online's recommended reading list for 2012.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Stuff and fluff

My first vacation in months starts tomorrow, and I cannot be happier about that. I don't plan to go anywhere, but it's not like I'll be lying around on the couch eating chips and watching movies the whole time (although there will be some of that). My to-do list is a mile long. Among other things, I'll be undergoing a root canal Wednesday, and I'm actually looking forward to it. I've been dealing with some serious pain in my lower jaw for about five weeks, ever since I had a cavity filling that apparently was too much to handle for the poor molar in question. But I had to wait until the new year to get it taken care of, thanks to my dental insurance having maxed out in 2012. It'll be nice to not have to take an ibprofen every four hours -- even in the middle of the night.

I've spent the first week of 2013 working, writing, running, reading and spending time with my hubby and kids. It's been a good start to the year. The running especially has been a luxury because I don't make time in my schedule for trips to the gym very often nowadays. I also have new running shoes for the first time in three years, and that makes all the difference.

Next week I have some boring-but-necessary stuff to get done: oil change for the car, scheduling a repair for the house we're renting out in North Carolina. I will also finally see "The Hobbit" and take my kids to the zoo. There are some new lion cubs that my daughter wants to see. I'm in desperate need of a haircut. And I plan to finish the short story I've been piddling my way through for the last month.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals for 2013

Happy New Year. Welcome to 2013, and may it be better than the year before it. Here are my goals for 2013, in writing and otherwise.

1. Write a novel.
I've been writing short stories for almost five years, with the purpose of learning the craft. I've come to love the short form and will continue to write and submit at that length. But it's time for me to tackle something longer. If I'm ever to have a career in writing, I need to go where the money is, and that's novels. I don't know what I'm going to write, or even in what genre. That'll be coming over the next month or so.

2. Apply to a writers workshop.
Specifically, Orson Scott Card's bootcamp. I applied last year, and I'll do it again. Of course that's no guarantee of getting in.

3. Take better care of myself.
Like most mothers, I put myself last on my own list of priorities. This year, I will make more of an effort to do things for myself. That means eating healthy and getting back to the gym on a regular basis. It means treating myself to a movie, or a new book, or a couple of pieces of clothing or shoes, and not feeling guilty about it.