Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oscar predictions

I'm a little late in getting these posted this year, only a few hours before the ceremony. And I've seen only three or four of the nominated films and only one of the best picture nominees ("Lincoln"). Nevertheless, here are my guesses (some of which are completely arbitrary guesses) on who will win.

Picture: Argo
Director: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Supporting actor: Alan Arkin, Argo
Supporting actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Animated film: Wreck-It-Ralph
Foreign film: Amour
Original screenplay: Zero Dark Thirty
Adapted screenplay: Argo
Costume design: Les Miserables
Original Song: Skyfall
Documentary: Searching For Sugar Man
Documentary short: Mondays at Racine
Makeup and hair: Les Miserables
Production design: Life of Pi
Film editing: Argo
Cinematography: Life of Pi
Sound editing: Argo
Sound mixing: Les Miserables
Visual effects: Life of Pi
Short film animated: Paperman
Short film live action: Buzhashi Boys

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

General updatery

I have a Q&A posted today for the Fireside Kickstarter. I think the timing is rather interesting. I talk about my story that takes place on a planet whose orbit takes it through an asteroid belt, which might resonate with people after the Russian meteor and the larger near-miss of last week.

In other news, I finished a story yesterday. The writing got to be a bit of a slog on this one, but it's done. Thank goodness. I wish I could say it was my second or third story of the year, but alas it is No. 1. I will strive to do better.

And I am currently reading outside my normal fantasy/science-fiction genres, having picked up the crime drama "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn. I'm about 80 percent through, which means I don't even know how it ends yet, but I will recommend this book to just about anyone. Flynn has done some things I'm in awe of. First off, there's the twist. Not just a twist but The Twist, in all caps, a jaw-dropping "holy crap!" moment that I never saw coming. I'm rarely surprised, so a twist like this is a rare and precious gift for me. Flynn has also managed the magic trick of making characters who do horrible terrible awful things to each other into relatively sympathetic characters. I'm rooting for everyone, and I have no clue how it's going to turn out. I love that. Great stuff.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Two Kickstarters, one interview

The editors of Fireside Magazine and Raygun Chronicles (Brian White and Bryan Thomas Schmidt) have an interview posted to SF Signal today about crowdfunding and their respective projects. I'm not sure on this, but I might be the only writer with stories involved in both. Check out the interview right here. And you can make pledges for the Kickstarters, too!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

General updatery

We're almost a week into February, so it might be a good time to talk about progress so far for the year. On writing, I finished a short story about halfway through January and, after receiving some feedback, decided to scrap all but the first 500 words and start from scratch. The new version is in every sense a new story and is more interesting to me as a storyteller. It might be interesting sometime to make both versions available, though I'm not big on showing off my failures.

I've also been doing a lot of promotion for projects that I have stories involved in, which you know if you ever watch this blog or follow me on Google+. Two Kickstarters, both ongoing: Raygun Chronicles and Fireside Magazine. Bryan Thomas Schmidt, the editor of Raygun Chronicles, has a post today at SF Signal on how that project came about. And I'll have Q&As related to both projects coming out in the next week or so.

In non-writing news, my efforts to get back in shape took a backslide this past week as I came down with a bad cold. It's hard to run when you can't breathe. And my kids celebrated their 100th day of school on Monday. I volunteered to help with activities in my daughter's kindergarten class. There was much cutting and gluing involved, and was a lot of fun. I should volunteer more often.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Review for "Snake Oil and Other Tales"

Plasma Frequency has reviewed my ebook collection in its new issue, and the reviewer (also the magazine's editor Richard Flores IV) has such nice things to say. Here's an excerpt:

All three stories reflect Campbell-Hicks' natural ability to tell a great tale. They are fun to read, have enjoyable plot points with real conflict, imagination, and just all around a good read.
If you enjoy steampunk and weird West, this collection is well worth how much you'd pay for a cup of coffee and much more satisfying. So, download issues of Plasma Frequency here, and "Snake Oil and Other Tales of the Weird West" is available for purchase on Kindle here. Enjoy!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Fireside Kickstarter is live!

After its first three fantastic issues, Fireside Magazine is going big. It's Kickstarter went live this morning to fund the magazine for the entire year. If it's successful, Fireside will relaunch in July with a new issue every month featuring short stories (full disclosure: one of those stories is mine), flash fiction and a serialized novel. One of the best rewards for making a pledge is a full-year subscription, but there are tons more rewards at various levels of contribution. As editor Brian White says, this magazine is dedicated to two things: good storytelling and decent pay for its writers. If you're a fan of either of those things, please consider making a pledge today.

And the Kickstarter also continues for the Raygun Chronicles anthology of space opera stories. To go to where you can a pledge, you can click right here or on the icon at the right side of the page.