Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Conventions added to my schedule

Good morning, Internet friends and colleagues. Over the weekend I updated my Schedule page to reflect a couple of new conventions I've registered to attend over the summer. First, I'll be at ArmadilloCon in Austin at the end of July. Second, I'll be at KillerCon in Las Vegas near the end of September.

I foresee a lot of lady-like perspiration in my future. Rawr.

I'm attending a lot of conventions this year, and that's because I'm not sure how much longer I'll have the time free. I want to learn what I can and meet as many people as I can while I'm able. So that's happening. As an aside, I won't be at Foolscap this year because it conflicts with KillerCon. It's a bummer, but KillerCon is more in line with the stuff I've been writing this year.

I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend. Jer and I finished watching all three seasons of "Community," and now I am ruined for all other sit-coms. Not much else to report. I submitted a flash fiction piece on Friday and played Diablo 3. I need to write another couple of stories in the next few weeks. I should get on that.

My friend Torrey has a story up at the Mad Scientist Journal today. It's about carnivorous unicorns, written in the style of a scientific paper. It's a fun, imaginative read and you should check it out.

Happy Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New podcast, new acceptance, and Community

I have a new podcast up at EveryDayFiction.com. This week I'm reading The Hurt Club by James Van Pelt. It's a great story and the first time I've used a Snowball mic. The sound quality is amazing.

I also heard yesterday I'll have a literary-ish piece in the July issue of Short, Fast, and Deadly. They accept prose less than 420 characters (about 75 words) that fits a particular theme. July's theme is "work that steals at least one line from a William Carlos Williams poem and incorporates at least one fruit."

My piece is called "The Pragmatic Groom," and it's actually the first non-speculative fiction piece I'll have published.

In other news, Jer and I have started watching Community from the pilot episode and we're loving this show. I think what turned me off in the past was watching the episodes out of order--I could never figure out where they were in a character's arc. Now it makes perfect sense and is hilarious to boot.

Too bad about creator Dan Harmon's forced exit from the show. It'll be interesting to see what happens with season four.

Friday, May 18, 2012

An Off Week

It's been an off week. A year ago I was watching my cat die, although I didn't know that's what was happening at the time. Lymphoma of the kidneys.

He was eight. He slept on my legs. I still miss him.

But nobody wants to hear about that.

Diablo 3 came out a few days ago. I created a female monk and played until I got dizzy. I love the game. I hate that I have to stay connected to battle.net while I play my single player game.

That sums up the past few days.

I also finished reading the second book of the Hunger Games Trilogy and read Tim Powers' "Last Call." I enjoyed both for different reasons. "Last Call" made me curious about Tarot cards again.

Weight Watchers has been going okay. I slipped once or twice, but the end result is an overall health improvement so let's call it a win.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Free Audio Stories Online

I've recently had the honor of reading stories for some very talented authors. In the past month I've recorded the following five podcasts, which you can listen to for free online:

  • "Outwitted" by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt for Wily Writers. Posted May 12, 2012.

  • "Captain Quasar and the Popularity Contest on Goobalox Five" by Milo James Fowler at Every Day Fiction. Posted May 7, 2012.

  • "Flowers for Clockwork Street" by Jennifer R. Fierro at Every Day Fiction. Posted April 30, 2012.

  • "On the Unlawful Events Taking Place at Outcast's Last" by A.D. Spencer at Wily Writers. Posted April 29, 2012.

  • "The Widow’s Tale" by J. Chris Lawrence at Every Day Fiction. Posted April 16, 2012.

All files are in mp3 format and easy to download for later listening. I recorded another one this morning and it will be posted next Monday at Every Day Fiction. Thanks!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hello, darkness, my old acquaintance

I started Weight Watchers again.

I hate announcing stuff like this because it always feels like I'll jinx it, but there you go. I'm doing the etools version so for this first week I tracked my food and exercise online with only some slight modifications to my diet. I thought I was making good choices, but the records show that although the choices weren't terrible, portion control was an issue.

This first week I went over my point limit partly because I was more focused on making myself move again than eating correctly. This week I'm going to try to get within those limits and keep moving.

I won't lie. Sometimes I resent that making healthier choices is a lifestyle that lasts FOREVER. But it's past time to try again.

So yeah. I'm doing this now.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A flashback to eight years ago

I was reading over some old entries and found one from eight years ago I'd like to share. To me it sums up how far Jer and I have come since we shared that old 800-square foot duplex and worked for a university. It's also fun for me to see how my writing style has changed in the intervening years. (I hadn't written any short stories yet, only plays.)

When I wrote this entry, the situation was it'd been a year since Jer and I had visited Seattle on vacation and decided we wanted to move there/here. We were living in southern California and I was working in a ticket office for an arts presenter. We didn't have much money and we both felt stuck.

The following entry was posted May 21, 2004:

Ever since I set foot in Seattle, the city has been under my skin. I haven't gone one day without thinking about it. I sit here, I think about it. I go to work, I think about moving there. I see myself buying a house there. I see myself writing there. It's such a pretty picture in my mind.

No other city has elicited such a gut reaction. And maybe it's because I've romanticized this idea of Seattle. Books and coffee, rain, and affordable housing. Not to mention, Twin Peaks and Tom Robbins ...

Circumstance is pushing me in a direction. I could let it continue to push, or I could shift positions. Isn't that what it's all about? Do I let things happen to me? Or do I take the initiative?

Nobody likes an abstract. So here's a solid. How do you work a forty hour week, then come home and write something fresh and exciting every day? How do you handle rejection, week after week? When you choose writing, aren't you really sentencing yourself to a life of waiting? Aren't you that girl on the beach waving starry-eyed to the pirate with a heart of gold? I'll see ya in the next port, baby. But he's lying. It's not a real eye-patch anyway. And that heart of his? Pyrite, baby. (Sadly, when he said pyrite, you heard PIRATE. Is nothing sacred?)

Or maybe I'm just procrastinating. Maybe I'm doing everything I can to keep from finishing my play. Because if I finish it, then people get to judge it. If I never print, produce, or publish it, it's my word against yours. And I say it's brilliant. You've never beheld such magnificence. Take a memo: Dear Pulitzer Committee, I've finished another play. Let's skip the formality and cut the crap. I'm better than Shakespeare. Love, Me. Hear that? That is the sound of no one contradicting me.

The original entry was titled Pity Party, Table for One.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Knuckles says hi

I absolutely love that the new Blogger admin pages don't work in IE9. They only work in Chrome.

And by love I mean dislike.

We've had beautiful weather in Seattle the past few days. I mowed the lawn and pulled a bunch of weeds, yanked out some ivy, hand trimmed some grass. As you do. I'd like to buy a battery operated hedge trimmer of some kind to help with the bushes. If there's a model you'd recommend, please tell the comments.

On the good news front: I have a new podcast up at Every Day Fiction this morning. This week I'm reading a story by Milo James Fowler called "Captain Quasar and the Popularity Contest on Goobalox Five." This is another fun one that's been on the list of EDF top stories since it was published in February.

If you feel so inclined, please vote, comment, share. All EDF podcasts are easily downloadable to your iPod or other mp3 device. Just right-click on the podcast link and select "Save target as" or whatever variation is standard wording on your browser. Perfect for listening on your commute, doing yard work, or getting some exercise.

Have I convinced you yet? Or am I going to have to send Knuckles your way to do some real convincin'.

Ha ha. Threatening is the best form of marketing.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

When the Dead Decide to Disco now online

I'm excited to share my new story, "When the Dead Decide to Disco" is now online at EveryDayFiction.com. Please feel free to give it a star rating or a comment. Thanks!

Before the ghosts of the old couple braved the house, they armed themselves with tools from the garden shed. Bill liberated an iron trowel from the cobwebs and clutched it in a clammy hand. His wife, Matilda, chose a rake, bits of grass and earth clumped around the curved metal spikes like soiled claws...

Click to read more "When the Dead Decide to Disco"

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Three New Things

May is starting well. I have two new podcasts online and a new story going live tomorrow.

At Every Day Fiction, you can hear me read "Flowers for Clockwork Street" by Jennifer R. Fierro. This story was a finalist for the 2012 Micro Award and has ranked as one of the top EDF stories since it was published last August. Check out the author's website Seedlings.

I also volunteered to record a couple of stories for Wily Writers. The first of these went live on Sunday and it's called "On the Unlawful Events Taking Place at Outcast's Last" by A.D. Spencer. This one is a space western and was a lot of fun to read.

My own piece, "When the Dead Decide to Disco," will be the story for May 2nd at Every Day Fiction. I wrote this one last November and I'm excited it's found a home.