Yayy, it's working! I got farther, about 9,000 words. Pitiful compared to my usual Marathon Word Counts, but, a lot of it has side world building that's going very tight and it's going to be a good book.

The furry lump under the desk is not the footstool pillows. This is why I will never use fur or fake fur for floor pillows. I've been trained not to rest my foot on fur too hard, to just pet with my toes and get them washed.

This time the marathon just hasn't sparked hideous word counts, but what's coming out is a good book albeit slowly. It fills a big gap in the future history of the space novels and I did need all that backstory of who's spying on who why, who the bad guys are (not Earth even if it looks that way in Chapter 1) and where I'm going with it. My side notes border on an outline. My characters are interesting and I've got a couple of good villains in there. I'm happy with it -

And happy with today's short story, 3,226 words: Coproliths Impact on Coolant Systems at the K/T Boundary.

That is just what it's about and for those who don't speak technobabble, 'coproliths' are fossilized dung and you can figure the rest. :) The "K/T Boundary" is also called the Cretaceous Discontinuity, or, the point in geologic history when all the dinosaurs died...


Robert and Ari >^..^<


Chapter 1 Done - 3,185

Now I've got to figure out who the traitor is. I know who I want to frame on the crew, she acts suspiciously and I know her reasons for it. That's just her personality. I've got two or three good candidates and that's backstory that's NOT getting revealed anytime soon!

Poor little vampire! Spiked and half toasted and now the meanie Security Officer's going to yell at him and make him get up and go to work! Hee hee!

Ari is bouncing around the house like a big fuzzy kitten. We had a corned beef sandwich with Swiss cheese for lunch. He got to sniff it to see if he likes corned beef and swiss. He doesn't, but he got to sniff it anyway and I ate it. He had Whiskas.

Robert and Ari >^..^<


Marathon in 45 minutes.

Shifting gears to writing, not rewriting or sorting or reading critiques or working on webstuff. Not short stories. Novel. The opener that I've been carefully shearing away from so that I don't go writing it up before the starting gun. I really get into this Marathon Novel Writing thing. It's the third time for me.

I'll be making up for low wordcounts last week so fast in this. It's going to be a kick.

Robert and Ari >^..^< - it snowed and he had to check both windows to see if they made the ground white in both views...
Hello, blog. Nice to see you again.

Got up a bit later this afternoon, finally on my real schedule. So this is really the top of the day for getting things done - it's 9pm here and I'll probably hit my stride and start writing at... yeah, right, this is the sixth. When it turns midnight it's time for Book in a Week and a Nomad novel that an old friend's now drooling to read. Had a class earlier today on Worldbuilding so some of the afternoon was spent worldbuilding for it - and deepening some of the stuff I already had. Looking at what elements of the worldbuilding are vitally relevant to *this* volume as if it was the only Nomad novel that ever would be written - because for some readers it will be the first one they pick up.

And I checked out a free webhost for a potential online fiction ezine, it would be a lot of fun to set up one of those sometime. I need to publicize Raven Dance and I need to have some reason for readers to visit an author website, so, therefore, if I accept good stories for it and post new stories every month there's reason for readers to come back. I need to keep that one very open on content. But I need something to be the hook to get people to come to the site at all. I do my nonfiction on http://www.selfhelpforwriters.com - most of my inspirational articles wash up there. They do not host fiction sites. I wanted a fiction site. I know way too many good writers and they all need byline exposure.

And I need a link to sell my book on it, but this host does not have banner ads! Neato! I read the TOS and found out why. It has to upgrade to premium if you get a lot of traffic, makes sense to me! They put out a lot of free little sites and any that take off presumably *do* have a basis to start paying for space and bandwidth. TOS was stricter about No Illegal or Pornographic Content than anything else, so if I use that for a fiction site that happens to promote Raven Dance and Launchpad and link up with the maze of everything else I've done online or become the new hub or an auxiliary hub like the AOL homepage is now, but that will take a little work setting it up ... then either I can wean off of AOL entirely in using it or wind up moving enough traffic (and ebooks) to support a premium account. They look good.

It has a lot of possibilities and I have to decide what I'm going to do with it - whether it's the hub or a fiction magazine. If it's the hub and the hub includes free stories, mine and friends, if I use 'fiction' as an area in it I could combine that. Also reprint some of the stories I had up on other sites.

A little forethought is probably a good thing. Make some decisions and some design decisions, maybe even set it up offline and upload when I start it. I also finally uploaded one of my artworks to stick on a tee shirt at CafePress.com and will set up more as soon as I've got all that stuff taken care of - need to do more art. Sea Fan is only $2 over base price and it's a cool picture, the store name is sloanart.

I've collected critiques and I might try to get High Goth rewritten first - it's that or do another story and I did shift gears. It's hard to write when I'm in Rewrite Mode. I get immensely critical and do pay attention to prose details and structure and I'm basically looking down when I should be flying. But High Goth is part of the same series, at least same world as the novel I'm about to start and so that'll help get me hooked on that universe again. Despite all the temptations of New Villain, since New Villain is *not* publishable anytime soon and anything stand alone is definitely a candidate for rewrite and submission!

Onward! I'm procrastinating but also getting chores done as the procrastination method, so that's not a bad way to juggle things!

Robert and Ari >^..^< The invisible cat is taking a nap somewhere... he'd be cute if I could see him!
More rumination on submissions...

I had a few minutes of jitters when I sent out Incident at Clermont. Mostly during the part where I typed up the opener to the email and kept the e-cover part of the letter as simple as possible. Just what they asked for. Now this is where I recognize that I've changed a bit.

After I sent out Chazho, I went through major panic attacks for weeks, one way or the other. He'd take it but gut the theme and meaning of the book. (NOT, this editor's that good and the theme is pretty obvious.) He'd think it was too far out. (What a joke. This is an SFF publisher that's done weirder stuff.) He'll hate it and reject it. Not as scary as the possibility of 'my first sale, but I have to say no to it on grounds of artistic integrity. Not bloody likely. What I really hoped for was to sell it of course. It might fly. I'm less worried about it now because if it comes back, I will bash it again and then it becomes Agent Bait and goes out again. This time with a good SFF agent who actually knows those markets.

This time it's different. I procrastinated a lot on doing this but I've got a cushion now with all those other stories. I have enough in my hand to just play the numbers till I win. And just systematically start that one down the road, trusting it will stick somewhere. Everything goes to pro paying markets first till I run out of pro paying markets, then it's small press paying markets. I'll have to shuffle and track these stories a lot more closely than I ever did before. They keep going out there till they stick.

This isn't how I treated my stories most of my life. Even up to the last time I sent out short stories. I wrote a spate of them, three or four or six. Typed them up and proofread them and wrote cover letters and mailed them - and then didn't write any more short stories till they all came back with rejection slips. I had an encouraging rejection among the last batch, sent out around 2000 back at the shelter. I responded better to that one, sent that editor two or three stories before the anthology closed because he did take the time to critique and make suggestions for what he wanted instead. I didn't really get the 'film noir' feeling in any of them and when I look back, I needed to have already taken some of the classes I had at Forward Motion.

I know that if I faced that anthology again or a market similar to it, that I'd be able to come up with a far better story for it. Out of that batch, they could all be reworked and a couple of them were pretty good. Each only went to one market before I folded up and went back to writing novels. I was doing a lot better with novels than short stories. I'm starting, just starting to get to the point where my short stories with work get up into the range of skill my novels fall. I've become a lot more critical of them. In a good way. I'm also starting to recognize when they're workable.

Even the last one I sent to that editor could be punched up in a big way. The ending would change and some elements of the lady's character would change, I'd dramatize it more. She'd be a little more legit than she was in the last version. I have a little research to do to make him a bit more plausible. But it could work and would be Film Noir if it did, with a cyberpunk twist.

I haven't written much new stuff this week, the one minimal story for the Dare and a short-short that wasn't quite Dare length but really would not be improved by padding it that last 300 words or so. Still, it was a good week and these things get done. These things get done and easier all the time.

I started this blog entry just to post something wonderful, an internal victory. The fear went away as soon as I hit Send on my submission. It was just done. Gone, a chore that's finished, a quiet little satisfied feeling like looking at a cleared desk or an empty sink without dishes. It'll need to be done again and again for the rest of my life and right now that little bit of it's done and taken care of. Far cry from all my old fears. I'm not being judged. That story is the best that it can be right now, it's done and taken care of and I'll be too busy working on the other ones catching up with myself to worry about it.

Maybe I did just need to have enough other material to hand that I don't have everything loaded on any one submission. It worked with the novels and it works now with short stories and if I keep on this way, eventually they will all find their readers. Coming soon, lots more vampire stories. It's been a good night...

Robert and Ari >^..^< (Cats have fangs! It's love when I chew on your hand...)
It's all small steps.

Minutes ago, back when it was Jan. 5, 2002, I sent off the final draft of Incident at Clermont to Deep Outside SFFH. It met their criteria, they like fantasy and horror. They did not say 'no vampires' - only that they wanted original material with inevitable endings that were not cliche. Clermont isn't cliche. There's a small twist in that an entire vampire romance novel is implied in the opening sentence combined with the reactions of the vampire character, so for a little short story it has a ton of backstory - but it's not cliche and it is oddly enough a perfect little hybrid because SF itself is the Idea Story. It is that, it has a twist ending that's a little sad but happened long ago and illustrates human nature, whether it's still human or transformed into vampire. I like it.

The vampire readers loved it and perhaps my ratty old French knight will appeal to a broader group now that he's gotten his necessary rewrites. Dare is officially begun. I kept up with it the first week except for novel rewriting, which I intend to do in a heavy immersive LUMP all at once in the middle of the Dare when I get a bit ahead on the rest of it and make time.

It took me two days to get it from its previous state to this state. I will probably speed up. I have to remember that - when I first did a recognizable portrait it took five days to get it right and a year later, I could knock out the same thing in a couple of hours or less. Right now, I have to get it right even if it's slow. More practice, I'll still get it right and it won't be slow any more.

It's not that slow knocking out the roughs on the stories. And I did the new material story too - High Goth was as good as Incident at Clermont was after its rewrites on the rough - the more I do this, the better I will get till the rewrite processes are routine.


Robert and Ari >^..^< (may I have that sweater back, cat? I wanted to put it on, not play Danglestuff...)