Thursday, March 24, 2016

Not a Rejection

Opened my email today to find something from Cast of Wonders, a young adult sci-fi / fantasy podcast.

"Another rejection," I thought, and prepared to move it to my folder of "Most cherished rejections."

But it wasn't. Apparently a story I submitted has passed the first stage of their review process.

To quote the tenth Doctor when the Titanic crashed into the TARDIS, "What? What? WHAT?"

No, it isn't an acceptance. Not even close. But it isn't a rejection. And it makes me happy.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Pageview glitch?

So, Blogger tells me I had 106 pageviews on Thursday. Up from 4 the day before. Now, I'm assuming it's some sort of glitch or something, but hello to anyone actually reading this!

Saturday, March 12, 2016


In the time travel western I'm writing, outlaws ride utahraptors. They're the size of horses, and. they. have. feathers. (Sorry, Jurassic Park; you've always been my favorite movie, but your "velociraptors" leave a lot to be desired in the realism department. Like I can talk; my technicolor raptors wear saddles and attack stagecoaches... but at least they have feathers).

This lovely lady is River, the mount of the as yet unnamed outlaw leader. I opted against full, wing-like arm feathers as I like the flowy look of the feathers on her head and tail (and I don't have the skills to make it look nice that way).
I traced the outline from this diagram on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Things I learned writing Anachronism

With my first novella finished, as polished as it's ever going to get, and starting to be sent off into the void of the few publishers who want sci-fi novellas, I thought I'd make a list of things I learned writing it, if only for my own reference.

    • According to my search history, I Googled "List of fictional time travelers." As opposed to, you know, the non-fictional ones, which is a surprisingly short list.
    • You can go inside the Gateway Arch (I mean, technically I learned this on the SyFy show Defiance, but I learned the logistics of doing so in a non-post-apocalyptic world. I guess I thought it was just a giant statue or something?).
    • How to drive a car. Specifically, which pedal is the accelerator. I am 25. Even if I don't drive, that seems like something I should have known by now.
    • What it feels like to get shot. Because, while clever, I wasn't sure if calling it a "shooting pain" was accurate.
    • How to treat a bullet wound without medical care. I found much more information than I expected, wanted, or needed, including one page that included such gems as "Don’t get shot again," "Don’t insert things into the bullet hole," and " Constantly check the wound for new maggots and remove as you see them." I love the Internet.
    • What to call the flashing lights atop a police cruiser. Because I was pretty sure they were not, as I referred to them in my first draft, "bloop-bloop lights" (when I don't know a word, I put in a placeholder, usually a silly one to amuse myself during editing). They're called "lightbars," apparently.
    • How to outrun the cops.
    • Bank vaults, and breaking into them.
    • Satellite pictures of the White House and surrounding areas. Am I on a watch list yet?
    • Basically everything about every museum in the DC area, their collections, and their hours. And then I ended up creating a fictional one instead.
    • There is more than one Gutenberg Bible, and they're ridiculously heavy.
    • What museum display cases are made of and how much it would hurt/kill someone who happened to be standing near one if it happened to go boom.
    • I've been spelling "provoke" and "succumb" wrong for my entire life. I honestly thought I had my spellcheck set to British English or something when it put red lines under "prevoke" and "succomb."

Sunday, March 6, 2016

I Hate This Book I Love

I've got this idea for a book. It's a good idea and I really like it.

Which must be why I've started and restarted it five times, each from a different perspective or starting at a different point in the story.

Now I think I've got it figured out. The story, I've realized, should be about the villain of the other attempts, and her rise and possibly fall as the leader of an outlaw gang of dinosaur bandits.

For the record - or my own amusement - this is as far as I got in my last attempt:

The first rays of morning peeked over the craggy mountaintops, flooding the valley with a golden light that ushered the chill from the air. Yellow grasses still sparkling with dew swayed in a breeze that smelled of flowers. A creature bellowed somewhere in the distance but didn't break the tranquility of the wilderness.
Carmen [surname] sat in the long shadow of a sprawling acacia, one only a few trees in the area, shaking and pulling her knees to her chin.

Yeah, not my best, and I really had no idea where I was going.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Quick Update

I've just sent my novella to a publisher. I have a few more on my list, but I want to go over the cover letters once more before I send them.

This is exciting for me. I've struggled with confidence and motivation in the past, but now I'm in a better place where I can deal with rejection and waiting without going nuts, as we writers are wont to do.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Finishing a Novella

I've never liked finishing things. My childhood was littered with art projects that were 99% complete and schoolbooks whose last chapter never saw the light of day, and countless unfinished stories and emails languish in my computer files and draft folders.

It's a problem, and though I would never blame all of my (many) problems on my ADHD, it's something I've read a lot of people with the condition struggle with - the interesting or challenging part of the task is done, so why bore myself with the little fiddly bits at the end? (In my gradeschool years, I was known to neglect finishing a multi-step math problem because "I figured out the answer, why do I need to prove it?" Yeah, that excuse went over well.)

But as I've realized the only thing I've ever wanted in life is to be a published author, and as I've been working towards that goal, it's become obvious that I need to finish - and edit - my work.

It's boring. It's mind numbing. I can recite entire passages from memory because I've read and rewritten and reread them so many times. I both love and hate every word and character. But I'm not complaining (even if it sounds like it).

I've finished something. Something that isn't awful (and that's coming from someone who is more critical of her own work more than Stadler and Waldorf are of the Muppet Show). And I've gone through every line and scene to make it the best it can be. And yeah, maybe it's a novella-length sci-fi story about a time traveler and the future president on a road trip to prevent a nuclear war, and maybe there aren't many markets for works like that, but it's gotten me to see the endgame in my work. I know I can finish things that aren't just short stories. I'm going to submit it to as many places that will let me, and I'm not going to let my laziness or disinterest be the obstacle I can't overcome.

Tomorrow I can start that awful process of sending my beloved words out to be rejected. For right now, I wrote a book. I finished and polished it. It isn't awful. And that feels really good.