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My first original short story, Illegal Beagles
, is available right here on this LJ as a freebie. Read, enjoy, feedback is adored. There is a completely optional "donate" button at the bottom if you feel like tossing a couple of bucks my way. ;)Summary:
Russell Fisk hates transporting live cargo, but a creditor has him over a barrel. So now he has to get a pack of hunting Beagles to the client, while dodging Feds and dealing with an alien passenger who's more than slightly odd. And, oh, hey, one of the dogs is in labor.
I've had six short stories published in various venues.The Cow and the Beanstalk
was published in Azure Valley
, an imprint of TM Publishing
We all know the story of Jack the Giant Killer. How he traded a cow for some magic beans, killed a giant, avenged his father, and lived happily ever after. Now, everyone assumes the bean man was out to cheat Jack -- but, you know, the beans really were magic. He delivered on his promise and then disappeared, never to be seen again. So, what was so special about a cow, that a fellow would be willing to trade beans like that for her?
was published in Plasma Frequency
. It's a free download!Summary:
A security guard with electronic sensory enhancements accompanies a group of art students down to the home planet of a new alien species. While there, he sees things he shouldn't--but he's not sure if he's really seeing them, or if the enhancements have finally made him crack.
"Affairs of Dragons
" was published in Renard's Menagerie
, which is sadly defunct. It's also available through Anthology Builder
, which is where the link to the story will take you. And you can read the beginning of it here
. It's the sequel to "Illegal Beagles."Summary:
A spaceship crew is hired by a mother dragon to move her eggs from one planet to another. She's in the middle of an ugly divorce and an uglier clan war. The eggs aren't supposed
" was published in AfterburnSF
but can no longer be read online. It's available through Anthology Builder here
, and it also appears in the "Fight On! Weird Enclaves and Black Pits
" anthology. The link in the title will take you to a short preview, and it's available through Amazon here
Desperate faeries raid a beehive for the honey they need to make it through a deadly winter. But at what cost to both faeries and bees?
"Fortunes of Soldiers
" was published by Cosmos
magazine, with a fabulous illustration by Emrah Elmasli
. You can also buy it through Anthology Builder
(link takes you to a preview of it).Summary:
Two week's pay for one night's work, babysitting a spoiled asteroid heiress? Mercenary Jake O'Dell thinks all his jobs should be this easy. Until, of course, everything goes disastrously wrong.
"Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf
" was published by Darwin's Evolutions
, with a fabulous illustration by Karl Nordman
. It's available as a trade paperback for $9.99 (along with several other stories by several other awesome writers), or a high-quality .pdf download for $2.73. It's also available through Anthology Builder
. You can read the beginning of it here
, and purchase it here
Mark Newman loves being a werewolf. But when his wife finds out she's pregnant, she attempts to cure him against his will, in his sleep. Naturally, it goes horribly wrong--and it goes even wronger when she gets a well-meaning priest involved, poor fellow.
My author page at Anthology Builder is here
. You can read more of my fiction right here on this LJ. I have a "DVD extra" from my first novel that introduces a couple of characters to each other under less-than-optimal circumstances, and you can read that here
. This is one of my very favorite scenes. And I try to post a snippet every Saturday (subject to change), and those can be accessed via my snippets tag
Most of this LJ is me whining about writing, with some Real Life and Fannish Squee thrown in on occasion. I have more information on my User Info
page, or you can peruse my tags
and see if anything in there looks interesting.
So. Come in, kick back, have fun. If you feel like commenting, please do.
Print out the schedule (after a wrestling match with my printer that I ultimately won after discovering the PEBKAC)
Highlight the schedule so I know where I want to be and when SO MUCH COOL STUFF OMG
Box up the books I want to take for signing
Check the weather
Pack clothes, still
Go to the bank and trade my hundreds that I used to save up for this thing for bills that are actually useable
- Grocery shop so my boys will have food while I'm gone and I will have snax for the road
- Clean my house. Or at least the bathrooms
I'll probably add more to this list as I think of it. Eek.
I haven't posted one since February! You guys are allowed to poke me for them. So, from Glam!Ben. Setup: Ben is recovering from a paralyzing wolfsbane drip, and Bauman is the bad guy trying to be a supervillain, holding a shotgun.
Bauman just smiled. "I'm going to surround myself with your wife as soon as I take you out of the picture for good. The whole mates-for-life thing ceases being a thing when the Mate is dead."
"Uh-huh. This is my skeptical face, Bauman."
Janni glared. "And this is my 'not in a million years, you bastard' face. Even if I was single, I wouldn't go off with your sorry, bad-writing ass."
Now Bauman was offended. "Bad writing? My movies have been very successful at the box office, missy."
"That's because the talent rose above the material," she snapped back.
"I'll just have to teach you respect once you're my Mate."
"In between all the vomiting I'd be doing?"
This was all good, Ben thought, because it was giving him time to recover his strength and mobility. "You tell him, honey."
"Shut up," Bauman said.
"Yes, very articulate, is that the kind of dialogue you give your characters? No wonder Janni comes home from the set and throws things. It's not because you hit on her at every single opportunity even though she's shot you down every single time, it's because of the crap writing. My sympathies, honey, I see how it is now."
Bauman stalked forward, a snarl on his face. "Just remember who's got the gun, wolf." He pumped it for emphasis, and a shell went flying out. He looked comically surprised at that.
And Ben decided he was done with this bullshit. He rose fluidly off the table and prowled toward Bauman. "And this right here is another case of 'did not do the research.' No wonder Hollywood never gets this shit right. Next thing, you'll hold the damn thing sideways and try to shoot me one-handed." He smiled. It wasn't a nice expression. "Actually, I'd like you to do that. It would be funny."
Honestly, this story was a lot of fun to write.
In other news, I'm still working on my last two outlines. June is going to sneak up and bite me if I'm not careful.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love me some superhero movies, and I think the DC vs Marvel thing is stoopid. "Lois and Clark" remains, to this day, one of my all-time favorite TV shows. I have seen the trailer for "Man of Steel" and am intrigued thereby.
However, I'm also looking at the people involved in this thing and squinting.
Christopher Nolan--I know people think he hung the moon or something, but he just doesn't do it for me. I absolutely adore
"The Prestige" and "Memento," but "Inception" and his Batman trilogy leave me cold. And it comes down to characters. Someone needs to tell Christian Bale that there's a difference between "stoic" and "wooden," and no one should cast Leo DeCaprio in anything ever.
Zack Snyder--also hit and miss. "Watchmen" isn't the kind of movie you actually like
, but I respect what he did with it (for the most part). But I almost wonder if my feelings about that film are based more on Jackie Earle Haley's performance than anything else, because that dude was amazing. I liked "The Owls of Ga'Hoole," but... it's animated. I never saw "300" because it just looked like an overblown war movie. I missed "Sucker Punch" out a sense that he was handling delicate material like mental illness in a both ham-fisted and flippant manner.
David S. Goyer--I just looked up his writing credits
. Oh, God.
And see, these guys make movies I should adore
. I proudly wear my geek cred on my sleeve for all to see. Their movies are right up my alley--
Or they should be. But they're not. It comes down to characters for me. Give me a character I care about and I will follow you all the way down the rabbit hole and come out smiling on the other side. Or, hell, you can leave me there, I don't care. But something about the material that these guys put out just bugs
. Either they can't wring decent performances out of their actors, or the writing itself doesn't let the characters shine. It's telling that I care more about Gordon and Alfred than I do about Bruce. Oldman and Caine shine even with bad material.
And I swear to God that if they give Supes the same treatment they gave the Bat, I'm going to scream.
The final three outlines for the June NaNo project are being recalcitrant
. I finally banged out Pinch 2 for the Chambliss Story, but the other two are sitting there mocking me
. I have 11 days to work these things up before I start writing in earnest on June 1, and the one I really should be working on (the steampunk one for this
, isn't coming together at all
I may go to the coffee shop an hour or so early tomorrow night and do some work
in a different environment.
...I'm emphasizing words. This is probably a bad
You know, I had some pithy things to say about moviemaking and Marvel vs DC and storytelling and all that happy horse poo, but since LJ has been recalcitrant
over the past two days
about letting me post, all those thoughts have completely flown out of my head. I may go through my IMDB posts later tomorrow and try to get something coherent out of that dog's breakfast of this week's edition of "Arguing with Idiots," or I may not. Right now it's up in the air.
One good thing all this wrangling with DC fanboys gave me was the hook for the third outline I need for my June NaNo push.
Some person said that setting IM3 during Christmas was "confusing" and that no superhero movies ever
should be set during the holidays because they're all big summer blockbusters. Never mind that Thor 2 is out in November, that Die Hard came out in July, or that The Fugitive (which is set during St. Patrick's Day) came out in August. NO. IM3 being set during Christmas is not to be borne
. Or something, IDEK.
Anyway. My hook for my 3rd outline is: *drumroll* Superhero story set during Christmas. Can he save the city from supervillains in time to open presents without giving away his secret identity?
So now I have Hooks. I just need Story.
Tue, May. 14th, 2013, 12:00 pm
- Mon, 12:44: Worked up my blurb for the Alex&Megan story last night. Honestly, I should do one for all of them.
- Mon, 13:50: #Gosnell guilty of 3 counts of 1st-degree murder for killing 3 babies born alive in his abortuary. Prosecution seeks death penalty. Good.
- Mon, 14:02: Sub packet for rejected story done. Will send it tomorrow when I'm out. High hopes for this one. Of course, I say that about them all...
- Mon, 15:00: The MoS trailer looks shiny, but am I the only one going "I don't particularly like Nolan's Batman, so why will this be any different?"
- Tue, 09:40: I love waking up to a rejection in my inbox & the realization that I have no extant markets to send the story to next. #bestthingever
Mon, May. 13th, 2013, 12:00 pm
- Sun, 13:39: Poked markets and sent the first Alex&Megan story off to one that's new to me. Pay's not much, but now I have breathing room for the blurb.
- Sun, 20:04: One of my outlines... http://t.co/NrkZu9Dojh
- Sun, 21:20: #coulsonlives! Oh my goodness I can't wait for Agents of SHIELD.
- Sun, 21:50: I have my hook scribbled out for the Chambliss story. I have his backstory set in my brain. Now I need frontstory, and to meld the two.
Involves Chambliss's backstory. Part of the problem is that I want to weave it into a present-day narrative as well.
I think I've figured out how to do this--I'll flip back and forth between backstory and present-day, and then bring it to a head where he has to decide if he's going to stay here or go back to the Fae realm. He doesn't particularly belong
in either place. A woman who loves him is in Fae, but his adopted family is here.
I'm just not sure I have the chops to pull this off. Not only that, but it may very well be knocking on novella territory, which is a hard sell anywhere. But, you know what? I don't honestly care about "hard sell," I care about telling the story I want to tell.
So. It's an ambitious project. And I guess I'll find out if I can do it when I try.
In this case, I got to cross off "edit UFO story." It is edited, finished, and out the door.
I also crossed off "write Fearful Symmetries" and "edit Fearful Symmetries," because I decided to send them CatFeet instead. And thus the Addiction Vamp outline got moved to the NaNo folder, and I also got to cross off "outline #4 for NaNo."
So, now, I need three more outlines for NaNo, and a blurb for not!Iron Man. I have ideas for two of those outlines, and the blurb won't really be that difficult, although I should sit down and re-read Not!Iron Man just to refresh my memory on it. This will not be a hardship, as I love that story to itty-bitty pieces.
It's nice to see more items crossed off than items I still need to do on that list. I'm not feeling quite so overwhelmed anymore.
Sat, May. 11th, 2013, 12:00 pm
- Fri, 13:05: RT @monsterhunter45: If I don't need 12 rewrites to publish a novel, how come the White House needs 12 rewrites for a press release? They'r…
- Fri, 13:19: RT @GPollowitz: Summary: IRS sorry about abusing govt power, now register your guns you paranoid freaks.
- Fri, 22:42: The Unicorn Time-Travel story... http://t.co/0Pz3eFi8y9
- Fri, 23:04: Just did some math. Since January 1st, I have penned *drumroll, plz* 76,100 new words of submittable fiction.
Is out the door to the UFO anthology. And it's a good thing I re-read the guidelines.
Oh, God, wish me luck. I love this story to itty-bitty pieces.EDIT:
And I sent CatFeet to Fearful Symmetries, because why wait.
That's everything but not!Iron Man on sub. Still need a blurb for that.
Fri, May. 10th, 2013, 12:00 pm
- Thu, 16:26: It's very difficult to make a story about RACE CARS "creepy and atmospheric." Who knew?
- Thu, 17:06: I guess I should read the front page of a publication I've subbed to in order to find out what's going on, not the sub page. Lesson learned.
- Thu, 17:08: This at least gives me a little breathing room, and I don't feel quite so obligated to write a brand new story now.
- Thu, 18:03: It occurs to me that I may be somewhat burned out on writing. http://t.co/aRC36d7H8N
- Fri, 10:21: Fun with rejections this week, which I suppose is one of the hazards of having 20 stories out. Flipped it; now I outline.
I have penned over 75000 words across eight stories since January. That is a lot
of words for me in a very short period of time.
And that may be one reason why I can't get any momentum up for this new story. It might not be that there's something wrong with the outline or the story itself; it might just be that my brain is tired.
So. At this point, I'm not going to sweat that story. I have another one I can sub to the antho I had in mind for it, and if this one gets written before the deadline, that's fine, but it's not an absolute necessity. Meanwhile, I have four more outlines to gin up for June, and Hook for two of them. So that's next on my plate.
Outlines keep the Writer Brain engaged without overtaxing it, I think. So, at this point, I think that's what I'm going to do: concentrate on the outlines and mentally prep for June.
Thu, May. 9th, 2013, 12:00 pm
- Wed, 12:43: First scene in new outline blocked out. Rejected story flipped. Going to see #IronMan3 (again), this time w/open captions.
- Wed, 23:46: Now... I outline some more. I can't wait to actually write this story, b/c it's going to be AWESOME. It will be known as "de-wolfed Ben."
- Thu, 00:09: Having a dog means never having to go to the bathroom by yourself.
- Thu, 00:41: Is it just me, or is this... stupid. And ridiculous. http://t.co/zf2QfWkpkd A gun display ban IN MUSEUMS? Oh, Chicago.
- Thu, 02:01: And there's an outline in the can. Since I've got 2 left over from January, I now have 3 for June. It's actually outline#3 on my to-do list.
- Thu, 02:02: Outlines 1&2 on the to-do list have their own rudimentary hooks. The important thing is, I got to cross something off.
Wed, May. 8th, 2013, 12:00 pm
- Tue, 13:09: Another rejected story flipped. Running out of markets for that one. *sadface*
- Tue, 18:28: RT @DJRotaryRachel: A good cure for writer's block is to remember that you'll never do worse than "Unobtainium."
- Tue, 18:31: I should surgically excise myself from the IMDB IM3 board. My IQ drops just by being there. Plus I'm not getting any work done.
- Wed, 00:07: Okay, I have the hook for my first new outline for June. Another story about Ben, because I love him.
- Wed, 00:10: I'm getting to where I could put out an antho starring these characters. I have nearly 55K words about them, not counting the novel.
Tue, May. 7th, 2013, 12:00 pm
- Mon, 12:59: #DearPiers: If you're so concerned about dead kids, why are you completely silent about Kermit #Gosnell?
- Mon, 13:01: My string of "better class of rejections" continues: A personal one from one of the Big Three, & my second from them.
Mon, May. 6th, 2013, 12:00 pm
- Sun, 22:37: Banging my head on this story. It still has no title. Good thing I don't have to sub it 'til the 31st.
- Sun, 23:05: Merrily whacking out words whilst hunting a title. #amediting
Sun, May. 5th, 2013, 12:00 pm
- Sat, 12:20: Rejected story flipped, now time for some #amwriting. For some reason, not enthused about this one.
The issue of Azure Valley
that the Cow story is in is out and available for your perusal! I never got a head's-up for this, but there it is and you can read it now.
This story came about because I had the errant thought one day that actual magic beans
were a pretty high price to pay for a perfectly ordinary dry cow. And that got me to thinking about what might be so special about ol' Milky White that someone would cough up such a high price for her. And this story came out of that.
I hope you enjoy it. :)
Fri, May. 3rd, 2013, 12:00 pm
- Thu, 13:13: So, hey. I just did some number-crunching, and it turns out that I've written about 40K MORE words since January than I did all of 2012. :o
- Thu, 19:15: Outline complete (so to speak), rejected story flipped, IM2 & "Avengers" watched. Now #amwriting and waiting for #IronMan3 at 9:20.
- Fri, 11:26: #IronMan3 was everything I hoped it would be and more. Now I need to see it in IMAX.
Thu, May. 2nd, 2013, 12:00 pm
- Wed, 15:25: I have an embarrassment of riches--so much so that when I get a rejection, I have ONE place to flip it to. If I'm lucky.
- Wed, 15:46: Story flipped. Back to staring at this hateful, hateful outline. This one will be my ninth story on the year. Assuming I can finish it.
- Wed, 16:27: AUGH. It's May! http://t.co/0bZotpLybU
- Wed, 19:27: I am having horrible problems with this outline. http://t.co/XbbSeZL7Rv
- Wed, 20:41: Ah, here we go. I have something a little different that's not quite so... fraught. Now I'm cooking.
Problems. Plural. Yes.
1. I'm honestly not sure I have the chops to pull it off.
2. Addiction is a sensitive topic. My main character is a nasty creature who hopes this guy stays addicted
. I just know
I'm going to do something wrong or insensitive here. Hell, the whole concept is insensitive.
3. It's predictable. And I'm not sure how to twist the plot to make it less so.
And yet, I'm loath to leave it and pick something else. I have my first line, last line, and title. I never
have those things lined up like that. Back-burnering it seems like giving up, but at the same time I need something I can bang out halfway quickly because the deadline is the 31st and
I've got all this other stuff to do, not to mention MisCon at the end of the month.
The concept is different enough to get an editor's attention, I think. Everyone I've pitched this to has gone "Ooo." However, see 1, 2, and 3 above. If I suck at writing it, all the high concept in the world won't save it. Ideas, as we say, are a dime a dozen. Execution is everything.
And nothing else is pinging me. I'm burnt out on serial killers and ghosts. Actual vampires are overdone, and zombies, and
werewolves, and I don't want to be pigeonholed as "That lady who writes werewolf fiction." Seven of my last twelve stories starred werewolves, in various incarnations. To be fair, five of them take place in the same 'verse, but still.
So. *siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh* I don't know what to do.