Writing Update, 8/16

Not much to report, honestly, other than chipping away at drafting and rewrites. And, surprisingly, this isn’t causing me anxiety or consternation. It’s simply part of the work I want to do. Yes, it’s sometimes difficult and sometimes, word-count-wise, there isn’t a lot to show at the end of the day, but I’m okay with that. Maybe I might even be enjoying my work.

Many years ago, a friend from my LiveJournal days sent me the following:

The Vintage Man by Hafiz

On Ultimate Frisbee

If you watched ESPN2 or ESPNU (ESPN8) over the past week, you might have seen some ultimate frisbee* or caught this ad for the sport:

It’s a little schmaltzy and idealistic, but it also highlights some of the things that I love about ultimate.

Continue reading “On Ultimate Frisbee”

July 2017 Writing Wrap-Up


I had a secret July writing goal: Camp NaNoWriMo, 15,000 words.

Back in June, I thought adding 15K to Wicked Witch, Retired was a wild stretch goal. I decided that if I managed 10K, I’d be pretty happy. With the con and nationals (and Sundays off), I had 20 work days in July. I knew I’d be formatting/rereading some of Eric’s books too. Adding 10,000 words, that was going to be work. And then WesterCon happened and I left behind what had been dragging on me.

I added 15,428 words to WWR and rewrote 11,286 words.


Primarily, more of the above.

I’m also going to try my hand #FlashFicHive. It’s a bi-monthly Twitter-based flash fiction workshop. I used to write more flash fiction and I’d like to again. My only worry is that FlashFicHive is going to be a bit too social. The eternal conundrum of an introvert: the want to participate…but only a little.

Writing Update, (7/26)

Writing has been going pretty well since WesterCon. After the 4th, Eric and I sat down and worked out a plan for the next bunch of scenes. I ended up cutting what I had by about 3K and I’ve since added around 10K words. I’m currently doing a reread/rewrite on what I have. That’s been going better than any rewrite I’ve done previously. I’ve been a little slow getting back to it this week after a short week last week. Turns out, a weekend of team sports is kind of rough on an introvert. But gaining momentum back.

What is This?
Wicked Witch, Retired is my current writing project. It is the sort-of sequel to a flash story I wrote, “Wicked Witch for Hire,” which is currently available in the anthology Bounded in a Nutshell.

#1lineWed is a Twitter event hosted by @RWAKissofDeath. Every Wednesday writers share a line of their current work-in-progress based on a theme.

WesterCon 70 ~ Part 3: Art and “Aftermath”

Part 1: Steampunk & 19th Century F&SF
Part 2: Science and Writing

My second panel on Saturday was “Using Art and Literature to Build Science Identity.” Sadly, I came into this panel a little late after “Classic SF vs The Modern Perspective” went long and missed most of the introductions. It was a small group with KellyAnn Bonnell, her daughter (as AV support), artist Tom Deadstuff, and two other gentlemen besides Eric and me. We didn’t get too much into the art/lit aspects, but KellyAnn Bonnell did have an interesting list of what things engender science appreciation in kids. (Spoiler: it helps if parents are pro science to begin with!)

After the panel Eric ended up chatting with Tom Deadstuff about, well, stuff. The two had an ongoing conversation over the four days of the convention as we sat in the courtyard and defrosted (some of the meeting rooms were frigid!) and Mr. Deadstuff satisfied his cigarette habit. Sometimes they talked about the artistic process, about the journey of being independent artists, and about the different-but-sameness of being passionate about art or science and how to use that passion to get through life. I listened, mostly. It’s what I do.

Below: some of Tom Deadstuff’s art pieces. He was the local artist guest of honor, by the way. More of his work can be found on Facebook.

Directly related, Tom Deadstuff held a Paper Mache 101 class on Monday. That’s right. All the art above? Paper mache.

On Tuesday, we also attended “From Concept to Reality: Digital Art Painting” with Anabel Amis and “What to Draw When There’s Nothing to Draw” with Julie Dillon, Gilead, Tom Deadstuff, and Larry Elmore. That’s quite a bit of art for this writer and, really, I wish I would have gone to more art panels because…

Continue reading “WesterCon 70 ~ Part 3: Art and “Aftermath””

It’s Monday, What Are You… (7/10)


On Twitter, @bexthebookninja is hosting an informal #reReadathon this week. Above is my laughably large TRB stack for it, especially considering I want finish Club Deception by Sarah Skilton (an ARC) by its publication date next week.

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Date!

…Listening To?

I haven’t seen Baby Driver, but I’d heard that the soundtrack is pretty great. So far, I agree. (Apparently in the movie, Baby suffers from tinnitus and uses his personal soundtrack to drown out the internal noise. I can relate.)


Writing, editing and formatting, reading. Should be a nice “quiet” week.

What WAS I Doing?

WesterCon 70 ~ Part 2: Science and Writing

Part 1: Steampunk & 19th Century F&SF

I was glad to see a healthy science track during this convention. Science, especially space exploration, is important to speculative fiction, but I think that sometimes science for laymen is hard to do so it gets overlooked.

On Saturday, we attended “Year of the Dwarf Planet” with Dave Williams of ASU’s School of Earth & Space Exploration. It was a lot of information about New Horizon’s Pluto flyby and the Dawn orbiter of Ceres. Do you know what’s pretty cool about Ceres? Cryovolcanos. Basically, instead of molten rock bubbling up, water and other minerals create a frozen cone-like structures.

On Monday, there was “Exploring the Red Planet: What Could We Be Doing?” Steve Howe was part of the “Science of Steampunk” panel the day before. There was lots of talk about better, cheaper propulsion methods, but the coolest part was the concept of “hoppers” that we could use to pepper the surface of Mars and collect data. We also attended Steve Howe’s “Intelligent Tool-Using Dinosaurs: Would We Know?” Incongruously titled, the lecture was good (Howe is a great talker) with lots of audience back-and-forth. If dinosaurs had a culture, would we know it through the archaeological record?

The only other science panel I attended was “911 in Space!: Handling Medical Emergencies in Freefall” with another alum of “Science of Steampunk,” Bruce Davis. I’m not writing about space, and I never intend to, but  going into space had always been a way far-out dream of mine.  And that doesn’t change even though I now know how bleeding occurs in low grav. Luckily, there hasn’t been that many medical emergencies in space, but if we intend to send more people for longer periods of time, well, there are a lot of unanswered questions. Great panel. Eric also attended another with Bruce Davis about writing realistic wounds. I didn’t because I was attending some writing panel…

Over the four day weekend, I attended five panels on the nuts and bolts of writing and publishing. Mostly, I didn’t learn much. That isn’t to say the panels weren’t good, but I’m not a novice at this stuff anymore. (Yes, I haven’t been acting much like a professional either lately, but I’ll get to that later.) I was a little surprised that traditional publishing is still being emphasized, though hybrid publishing is a close second. I did pick up on an interesting synergy between Sharon Skinner’s “Kill Your Darlings” and Tom Leveen’s “Writing Exceptional Dialogue”: An emphasis on character intentions and goals on a macro *and* micro level. What is the character’s goal? What do they do, even in their dialogue, to achieve that goal? The secondary note on this is that honing these intentions can come after the first draft. I’m not sure that I entirely agree, but it’s something to think about.

There were two “writing” panels that were just a lot of fun. The first was “Married with Deadlines: Balancing Home Life When Your Significant Other Also Writes.” The panel featured three writing couples: Emily Devenport & Ernest Hogan, Marsheila Rockwell & Jeffrey J. Mariotte, and Yvonne Navarro & Weston Ochse. The good part of being married to a fellow writer? They know the struggle. The bad part? Idea stealing sharing! (Okay, not necessarily a bad thing.) Similarly, “Weird, Wild, Urban and Unknown: Speculative Fiction in the Southwest” with  Suzanne Lazear, Tom Leveen, Amy K. Nichols, Weston Ochse, and Guest of Honor Connie Willis was mostly about funny and harrowing stories about living in Arizona, but also the kind of inspiration that can be derived from our crazy and beautiful landscape.

I plan to Part 3 with some notes about the visual arts and “fallout” later in the week.