A quick state of the blog post

Hey folks,

Just wanted to address a few things real quick.

  1. “Sibling Rivalry” made it to the Mashstories short list(!) which means you can read it at the linky-link, leave comments, and even rate the story on different components such as character and language. There are some other cool stories on the list, so if you want some free reading, check it out. (related, this story inadvertently spawned a whole writing universe, tentatively titled Psychomachina, so look for more stories with this category soon-ish)
  2. I’ve recently found myself more active at Terrible Minds, Chuck Wendig’s blog / writing community. If you’re joining us from there: Welcome, new compatriots!
  3. I have discovered selectedTweets, so most of my FB posts will be 137 characters or less. #fb.
  4. Someday I’ll remember what I wanted to actually put at #3

Anyway, thanks for reading. Hopefully we’ll have a new story coming soon.

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So about that…

So about that X meets Y story. I’ve figured out exactly what I want to do and I’ve even realized that it’s a stand alone back story for an Athanasia character. (That’s good!)

Unfortunately, I couldn’t write it in a week. (That’s bad….)

However, I was able to use that time to pretty much finish off Sibling Rivalry (my next Mashstories short) and I should be hearing back on my triple submission to the American Short(er) Fiction contest, which means I’ll have between 1 and 3 rejected stories to post on the this site. (That’s good!)

But the frogurt is also cursed. (That’s bad)

Short story challenge X versus Y

Chuck Wendig posted an X meets Y flash fiction challenge on his blog that involved rolling a D20 to generate an elevator pitch for a story, and I just couldn’t resist at least taking a shot.

I got “Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Sherlock Holmes”. Now I’ve got one week to come up with two thousand words about a teenage cheerleader super sleuth. Or a hell mouth in victorian England. Or something. No matte how it goes, I’ll  post the draft here for people to enjoy and/or laugh at.

So basically, I got distracted again from the novel, the mash stories story, and the next Athanasia short. Hopefully something cool comes from it. Check back next week!

Holding Pattern – My first short listed story

Hello, lovely readers!

I just got word this morning that one of my stories is now on the Mash Stories competition shortlist.

So if you want to help out your humble narrator, please read my story and, if you like it or just want to help me out, click the Kudos / green thumbs up button at the top. Or, if you want, just leave me a comment about what you did / didn’t like.

Once you’ve done that, feel free to peruse the other stories on the list and do the same for them.

Even if I don’t win the top prize, being shortlisted means that it will be read and recorded by voice actors and released in podcast form. I’m counting that as a win in and of itself.

Thanks again, hope to hear what you think!

Those that guide us

Writers, especially science fiction and fantasy writers, rarely exist in a vacuum.

Everyone has the stories they grew up on, vivid worlds that helped them realize how much creative potential of the human mind, the ones that light the spark that grows into a flaming inferno of sleepless nights and ink-stained hands.

These guides, the writers that come before, act as inspiration and a challenge. To be considered on par with one of these greats would be a dream. To surpass them would be unbelievable.

Today Patrick Rothfuss, a relative newcomer to my shortlist of Great Authors, released a story for the Suvudu Cage Match. It is, at it’s heart, a piece of fan fiction, the kind you’d find on message boards written by fifteen year olds that think they can fix everything by inserting their own character. Except there was no Mary Sue. This was Felurian. And Death. And Susan Sto-Helit.

The story read more like a collaboration than a tribute. The voice in my head reading the write up was not Pat’s, but Neil Gaiman’s. There was a touch of Discworld, but also a touch of Good Omens. I laughed. I cried. I questioned myself as a writer for the millionth time. When confronted with this story, I have to ask who am I, to think I can write? Who am I to try and force my stories onto the world when there are writers like this out there?

Then I take a step back, tear this page of questions from my mind, and toss it on the fire, more fuel for inspiration. I’m not there yet, for sure, but if I stop now I’ll never be. The stories in my mind are fighting to get out, and even if no one reads them, at least they’ll be free.

So thank you Mr. Rothfuss, for a beautifully written tribute to Terry Pratchett. Thank you for lighting another sconce in the dark corridors of these catacombs. Most of all, thank you for another good story.

Ok, now that I’ve got all of that angst out of my system, here’s some questions for the void:

  • What writer inspires you the most?
  • When did you realize you wanted to create?
  • If you could have only three books with you on a desert island, what would they be?

First Lines

Happy Sunday, my lovely readers!

I’ve got another idea for what could be a recurring feature on the blog. I’m going to post the first line of one of my short stories, and you get to critique it. Tell me it sucks, tell me if it’s confusing, tell me you want to read more. If it inspires you to write something of your own, post a link in the comments and I’ll re-blog and tweet it.

This will probably become a recurring Friday feature (because I like the alliteration of First Line Friday) but I’ll go ahead and post one now as an example.

“Her fingertips tapped an absentminded pattern on the bed frame, the hollow echo of metal on metal muffled by muscle and skin.” 

Now it’s your turn, inter-webs. Let me know what you think!

Bring a #kittenConsul Party to Austin

Just so I’m covering all my social media bases, I figure I’ll post this here too.

Exploding Kittens is a card game that broke a number of kickstarter records. #kittenConsul parties are a chance to beta test the game, and I want to bring one to my hometown.

If enough people like our application video, then we could get a play test party at Dragon’s Lair, one of Austin’s best shops for all things nerdy.

So do me a favor, watch the video, and click like. When we reach 200 likes, we’ll post a video of outtakes and our cat person friend doing her thing for several minutes.

How do you write?

Quick question for my fellow writers:

What program(s) do you use in your creation process and why?

I almost exclusively use Pages, but I’ve been looking at Scrivener and Ulysses. The challenge I’m running into is my iterative draft process, and organizing things on iCloud drive is becoming a bit of a challenge.

Coming Soon – A new* feature!

Starting tomorrow I’ll be posting a one hundred word (or less) short story ever Wednesday. For now I’m calling this “One Hundred Word Wednesday”. Inspired by Just One Hundred Words, I see this as an opportunity to flex my creative muscles and my editing skills, and it will give me a chance to add a bit of creative content to this site without compromising anything that I might enter in a short story competition at some later date.

*Yes, I realize all features on this blog are new