Friday, August 29, 2008

Quote for the Day

"Do it every day for a while. Do it as you would do scales on the piano. Do it by prearrangement with yourself. Do it as a debt of honor. And make a commitment to finishing things."

--Anne Lamott, quoting her father

"Wishes come true, not free."

--Stephen Sondheim, in "Into the Woods"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quote of the Day

"I never quite know when I am not writing. Sometimes my wife comes up to me at a party and says 'Dammit, Thurber, stop writing!' She usually catches me in the middle of a paragraph."

--James Thurber

"But I mark my beginning as a professional biographer from the day when my bank bounced a check because it was inadvertently dated 1772."

--R. Holmes

Lost in your work much? Have your mind send us a postcard from wherever it may be.

Book Pimpin'

Our friend Doselle has an awesome story out in the anthology THE DARKER MASK, and he's signing this week (on my birthday, no less!).  If you're in the LA area, check it out.  If not, well, buy it anyway.  It promises to be really cool. . . 

~picture to come!~

Just a reminder. The book signing for THE DARKER MASK (Tor Books 2008) is this weekend. Information is found below.  
                 7522 Sunset Blvd. 
                 Los Angeles, Ca 90046
                 323. 851.7223
Publishers Weekly describes The Darker Mask as: "Themed along the grayer areas of superhero fiction, this anthology of 18 original stories nonetheless covers a wide spectrum. Deceptively simple and entertaining while never skimping on serious topics, this tight anthology will satisfy any superhero enthusiast." I think that's likely true and, if not, the anthology features stories by well-known luminaries in the mystery and science-fiction genres, including Walter Mosley (Devil in a Blue Dress), so I'm sure there'll be something in it even for the discerning lit-snobs among you. 
There's coverage and further information available to be found here at the LA TIMES link: DM Book Signing

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


So I've been working on writing anywhere and everywhere, and generally just writing a lot.  Over the past week I've gotten into a groove where I wander over to the local public library to write over lunch.  It's perfect - 4 minutes from desk to desk, no one asking you to buy food or drink, no co-workers looking over your shoulder, free wifi, and all the reference books you might need. 

I just found out that this branch of the library will be closing on Sunday for remodeling, and will not reopen until January.  I'm so disappointed!!  Now I'm back to going out for lunch, or writing in the breakroom at work, neither of which really appeals.  

Has your favorite writing place ever disappeared?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Home from Writers of the Future

Well, I'm back from my adventure at Writers of the Future-- at least, my body is back in Minneapolis. I think my brain is still somewhere in beautiful California! Writers of the Future was a fantastic experience! The workshops were top quality with lots of "aha!" moments for me (and quite a few "ha ha" moments, too. We laughed a lot this week!) Tim Powers and K.D. Wentworth, who lead the workshop, are both extremely funny and have a gift for teaching. I took a ton of notes and seem to get something new out of them each time I reread them. The workshop is intensive and we covered a huge amount of ground. The professional writers who came to speak to us were wonderful-- very generous with their time, approachable and full of good advice about both the art and the business of writing. And my fellow WotF Volume 24 peers were an incredible group of talented, easy to like individuals. Many of the workshop leaders commented on how close our group was and how quickly we bonded (I think it was my friend David Parish-Whittaker who compared us to a litter of puppies :) I am thrilled to be in the same volume as these good folks and eager to keep in touch with them all.
The anthology itself is also a thrill. I read many volumes of WotF while entering the contest and my (slightly biased :) opinion is that WotF 24 holds its own with the best of them. The stories are extremely varied and I am enjoying finally having the chance to read every last one!
I'll try to blog more about WotF soon. At the moment, I have to actually write some fiction before I go try to make up my sleep debt!

New Inspirations

In short, I adored WorldCon. I came away very inspired to have my work published.

The biggest inspiration came from Melinda's Snodgrass' panel on screenwriting and Hollywood.
For those of you who don't know, Melinda is a professional screenwriter turned novelist. In this particular panel, she talked about her personal writing process. The following is a bit of advice she gave us:

(Please note: this is paraphrased from my notes)

We are all writing on limited time.
You must break your story down. (She gives her process for breaking a story down)
Don't waste time, don't get lost.
Remember writing is an art AND a job.

Since, I've been back, using her method for breaking a story down. For me, this particular method works well.

I can wake up in the morning/come home from work and know-where my character is, who are the supporting characters in the scene, what action is happening, and where my character is headed, etc. Knowing the basics has made my writing time much more productive.

In fact, today, I was able to write five chapters!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Three members of the Pixies have arrived safely at Denvention 3 and have jumped right in to the thick of things.  Heather, Norma and I are happily gorging ourselves on all the yummy knowledge, and getting in a lot of walking miles, too.  Downtown Denver is very pedestrian-friendly, which is so nice!

 I'm blogging more extensively over at my personal blog, and I'm sure we'll all stop in here a few times over the weekend to check in.  I hope all of you are having fabulous weeks/weekends as well!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Federations Anthology

John Joseph Adams, assistant editor for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, has a call for submissions for a new anthology.

From Star Trek to Star Wars, from Dune to Foundation, science fiction has a rich history of exploring the idea of vast intergalactic societies, and the challenges facing those living in or trying to manage such societies. The stories in Federations will continue that tradition.

What are the social/religious/environmental/technological implications of living in such a vast society? What happens when expansionist tendencies on a galactic scale come into conflict with the indigenous peoples of other planets, of other races? And what of the issue of communicating across such distances, or the problems caused by relativistic travel? These are just some of the questions and issues that the stories in Federations will take on.

Here's the link to the submission guidelines.

Monday, August 4, 2008

WotF Count-Down

Hey! Less than a week before I leave for the Writers of the Future workshop and award ceremony in California! I am extremely excited-- although right now I'm pretty wrapped up in the nitty-gritty of getting both myself and my daughter Shanika packed to go out of town at the same time. (Shanika will be spending the week at a sleep-away camp for kids with autism.) Dress code for WotF week is supposed to be "upscale casual" and, while everything I own qualifies as casual, very little qualifies as upscale, so packing is a bit of a challenge :) I am so eager to meet the other writers and to get everything I can out of the workshop. I am going to try my best to blog about the experience here-- although, in looking at other people's blogs about WotF, I have noticed a trend: People tend to blog the first day and not at all after that! Hmmm... I think it's safe to assume that we'll be kept busy... :)