Saturday, December 8, 2018

Io Saturnalia, 2018!

This is a Saturnalia logo I designed, messing around in a shareware program Inkscape, looking to make my own Saturnalia greeting card for the season!

...

Yeah, I know. It doesn't exactly POP out at ya.

I need to learn how to draw A) Roman wine caskets, B) the funky Saturnalia hats, and C) full-out Chariot Race laurels.

In the meantime, if YOU need Saturnalia greeting cards, check it out at my CafePress store.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

NaNoWriMo 2018 Results

I reached the 50,000 word count.



The REAL struggle is - again - FINISHING THE DAMN THING.

More details on what I've got once I get to a completed stage...

Friday, November 23, 2018

Memories of Clermont Comic Con 2018

I went again this year, with hope that I have more titles of interest and able to get more customers. I did speak with a wonderful lady who loves reading, and was happy to get a copy of Strangely Funny and History and Mystery. I had more people ask about NaNoWriMo - I had a sign up promoting it - and a good number of people eager to get bookmarks for free.

Clermont is not a large-scale con like MegaCon or TampaBayCon, but it's pretty active for a city-run event. I'm hoping more people keep showing up for this.

Also, I asked for some help this year watching the table, so my nephew Drew volunteered to backup and help with sales and convention seeing.

The view from my table

Here's Drew as we get the table finished. Good lord, he's grown up since his
last comiccon (seen here at the Tampa Bay one in 2015)


Here's fellow author and convention vendor Bill Hatfield! He's sitting across
the aisle from me.

Here comes the first cosplayers of the day! Steam Punks!

R2! You see him rolling, they faintin...

The professional cosplayer area in the main lobby



One other thing that happened this trip: I got my brother Phil to see just how hilly Clermont is. A long-time cross country runner, even HE is impressed by the terrain.

Good luck, NaNo writers!


Sunday, November 18, 2018

CLERMONT COMIC CON NOW

I am at the show!

Tickets are $12 at the door!

JOIN US AND DIE.

...

Wait, that's my battlecry from City of Heroes MMO.

JOIN US AND BUY MERCH.

There, that's better.

I will blog a post-convention entry ASAP with pictures. Plus additional good news.

Keep NaNo-ing!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Clermont Comic Con November 18 COMING UP

I will be at CLERMONT COMIC CON on Sunday November 18!


Tickets are $12 per person. They'll be cosplayers, games, authors, artists, vendors aplenty!

To all seven people keeping track of this blog, I hope to see you there!

...

It's in Clermont.

Clermont, Florida.

...

...

The place with all the hills. Okay?

Sigh. GOOGLE MAP IT.

Just show up, will ya?

P.S. Still Writing NaNo!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

NaNoWriMo 2018: Day One

I started today!

It's gonna be about a man who meets a woman during the war!!!

And the cover's gonna be blue!

...

Wait, I did this before, didn't I...

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Five Year Anniversary with the Wiggle Cat

Five years ago tonight, waiting at an apartment in Bartow for trick-or-treaters that never showed, I instead heard the mewling of a hungry little tuxedo kitten.

So I figured what the heck, it's trick-or-treat, so I go get cat food from the store and come back and put it on a paper plate for the little kitteh to eat... whereupon three other cats jump out of the bushes and eat what's on the plate before she could. Still, I made sure to feed HER since she was the one brave enough to ask me.

And brave she was. And friendly. And wiggly. She'd flop down on the concrete and wiggle back and forth waiting for ear rubs.


I had just lost Tehya to cancer a week before Halloween, and here I was with a kitten just knocking on the door to come in. And she did come into the apartment, cautious but unafraid, and after a few visits I let her in and closed the door, and she had no problem with that.


That was how Ocean the Wiggle Cat came into my life. And then later her kittens.


BUT THAT IS ANOTHER ADVENTURE...

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Prepping for NaNoWriMo 2018: Starting This Week

November 1st is this Thursday, Gods help us.

That's when I start up the NaNo madness again.

Getting into the final stages of having an idea - one idea out of several I've been working on for months and years - and sticking to it through the 30 days towards a 50,000 word goal.

Need to avoid the distractions.

Need to have a laptop working.

Need to find a positive emotional state, a spark, a muse, a decent scented candle for aromatherapy, whatever it takes!!!


Thursday, October 25, 2018

There Are Days I Still Miss Tehya

Tonight is a painful anniversary of letting go of my first kitteh, Tehya.

We want our pets to live full lives, at least live as long as we do, and yet theirs are so brief. What hurts about Tehya's passing was how she hurt, suffering from lung cancer, starving away, mewling in pain... :(

I can't remember how she sounded anymore. I've forgotten her meows for "feed me" or her murmurs for "rub my head." I can still recall how she would come up to me on the sofa, find that spot in my arm as I lay there watching the television, and flop down into that spot with her head arched back for ear rubs and content purring. I fear I may forget that someday...



I miss you, Pretty Kitty.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

If I Want To Get Serious About Submitting Works

I did learn a few things while attending the sessions at FWA this past Saturday.

At the "Writing and Publishing Short Stories" program, the presenter mentioned a website called The Grinder as a warehouse tracking various publications asking for stories.



You can search by genre (it has Fantasy separate from Scifi separate from Horror separate from Romance separate from Humor... wait, Humor? Hmmmmm) and by other elements such as fees, royalties, and type of blood sacrifice needed to get accepted. It doesn't limit searches by deadlines, so you'd have to look at each entry to see when things are due.

But here's a good motivator for a writer who wants to get published, and in different locales and different genres. I'll be looking.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Getting Dumped By the FWA 2018

Why did they even bother to tell me I was a Finalist for the Royal Palms when I wasn't even going to win an actual award for it?

They're telling me that based on the scoring rubrics, I passed the Finalist grade (yay) but because so many others ALSO passed that Finalist grade (argh) I still REALLY didn't earn a Third, Second, or First place.

What a f... (stern pause) Why do this to people, okay?

Don't tell me I'm a Finalist and THEN tell me I didn't actually win anything.

I was better off just thinking from earlier I was a Semi-Finalist (they told me that first) and not a Finalist, because then I wouldn't have been sitting there at the Awards ceremony getting my guts yanked out.


Friday, October 19, 2018

Getting Pumped for the FWA 2018

There's a couple of things to note.

I plan on attending the Florida Writers Association's ceremony for the Royal Palm Literary Award. As a Finalist, I'm guaranteed a Third Place at the least (no, it turns out I was wrong about that), so here's knocking on processed wood about making it to First.

I've had some writing awards before: The South Florida Writers group had a short story contest of their own, which I earned a Second Place plaque back in 2002. When I was in Eighth Grade, I won a county award for Palm Harbor Middle for Writing... but that was kinda a cheat because I was the only one who submitted work for it (that was the FIRST year the school was back after the old one had closed 5-6 years earlier). I won Third Place for a Largo Library writing contest back in high school for a science fiction category, and oh what a funny situation that turned out to be...

I'd like to see if I can do well enough to earn a First Place, one that counts against decent competition.

Like I said, knock on processed wood about that.

The second thing to note is that I'm making a pitch to a literary agent at the conference. I don't have much besides some published shorts and a couple of unfinished novels, but the real challenge is making the pitch itself. See if I can argue my case as it were that I'm a viable writer worth finding a readership.

Gotta knock processed wood for this too.

Check my mood by the next post.

Monday, October 1, 2018

This Is A Crazy October So Bear With Me

1) Building up towards another year of NaNoWriMo!

2) I'm awaiting the awards ceremony for the Florida Writers Association and how I do for the Royal Palm Literary Award in Short Fiction this year!

3) Work at the library has gotten intense: I am currently serving as Interim Library Director while the city tries to hire a full-time Library Director (details are messy and we'll discuss it later).

4) This is the first October I plan on not getting door candy or having the lights on for Trick or Treat. It's been five years here, and nobody seems to think my neighbor is good for it. :(

5) I really really need to clear out some short fiction works before I head into NaNo. Using the anthology deadline idea may help.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Pinning This

Just pinning this here as a link to refer back to if I get the urge to submit stuff.

There's a Publishing And Other Forms Of Insanity blog that keeps track of indie mag and small press anthologies that I could submit short works to. I think it's not so much a deadline I need to find as it is a carrot to entice me to write something, ANYTHING, within a topic.

Anything for a challenge.


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Writing Update Again: FWA Royal Palm Awards FINALIST Status

You read that right, kiddos. I got bumped up from Semi-Finalist Status to FINALIST Status!

That means "A Face In the Light" is in the TOP THREE submissions to the Short Fiction category for the RPLA this year!  it wasn't in the Top Three after all.

I even get a new GIF to show off. Why did they bother sending me this GIF?


Insert Snoopy Happy Dance as well!

No. No dancing.



Thursday, August 9, 2018

Writing Update: FWA Royal Palm Awards

As a member of the Florida Writers Association, I am able to submit works to an annual competition for the Royal Palm Literary Awards. They have a category for Short Fiction (it does not break down by specific genre from there, alas), and I had an unpublished work "A Face In the Light" that I put in to see how it would do (critique/feedback is part of the review process). It's a personal story, it's one I think can be a good one if I can get the kinks ironed out.

I just received word from the judges that I reached the Semi-Finalist stage of the Awards.

Squee!

I'm not sure how many other stories I was competing against, and there is still no guarantee I will win outright. But getting THIS far in the competition is great news. It means that the story has enough style and oomph to win readers. It means I might actually be doing this writing thing right.

The finalists will be announced at the Annual Conference this October, so we will see then how I fare against the other good stories.

This is an unbelievably good way to brighten one's mood.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Curiosity and Saying Hello

Just checking, is anyone still visiting this blog? I know I don't keep it updated as often as I should.

I'm gonna unlock the comments options on this site just to see what the responses will be. Please take a moment to say Hallo.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Happy Friday the 13th From Mal the Krazy Kat July 2018

It's another Friday the 13th! Here for a special motivational speech is MAL THE KRAZY KAT!

Take it away, Malcolm!


WOOHOO! How's THAT for feeling the urge to celebrate this Friday the 13th it was MEANT to be! YEAH! (applause)

Okay, back to the writing.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Camp NaNo July 2018 Update

ARRRRRGHHHHHH MUST KEEP WRITING.

WORDS AND WORDS.

Must... avoid... ADVERBS...

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Friday, June 29, 2018

CampNaNo Right Around the Corner for July

I keep saying this. I keep looking for inspiration and moral support and the means and time to giterdun.

This coming Sunday is July 1st and the first official day for CampNaNoWriMo.

Doom me forever if I do not get my novel idea(s) done this time.

Just one novel... just to know what it feels like to cross that threshold...

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

National Writing Day Is a Thing Now?

Oh, okay, it seems to be something out of the UK:

National Writing Day is an annual celebration of writing designed to inspire people across the UK to get writing. Our message is simple: everyone has a story to tell and sharing it can be a source of pleasure and power.
On 27th June 2018, we will aim to inspire creative writing on a grand scale—young people are more inclined to write creatively if they see adults around them doing so and writing can benefit people of all ages. We welcome participation from any individual or group, regardless of age, gender, and cultural or economic backgrounds. Our aim is to promote all forms of writing and encourage communities to join in via a programme of public, educational and online activities.
National Writing Day is coordinated by First Story, a national literacy charity dedicated to changing lives through writing, and delivered in partnership with over thirty-five national literacy partners. It is made possible with support from Arts Council England and Old Possums Practical Trust.

Bloody Brits, thinking a novel can be written in a day. I've tried, it's not feasible even with a 3-Day Novel contest, best you can do is like 13000 words and that's barely a novella, how can I write a novel in a day when I've got to go to work at the library within the hour and this blog writing is cutting into that novel-writing time, you fiends no wonder you're falling apart to Brexit and...

Oh, it doesn't apply to Americans?! THANK YOU GEORGE WASHINGTON! (runs away)

...anyway I've got plans for Camp NaNo this July... so I'll be busy then.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

OFFICIAL: Strangely Funny V Now Available IN PRINT

The news is out, and so is the sixth volume of Strangely Funny Volume 5.

...

Yeah, and it's supposed to be a trilogy OW stop hitting me.


Best way to find it is on Amazon right now, follow this link here to get to it. The eBook version for Kindle is here too!

You can purchase a copy, but I would suggest holding off on that because as soon as I am able I hope to offer a FREE autographed copy giveaway event to promote this! PLEASE STAY TUNED!

If you don't wanna wait, please do buy a copy and I hope you enjoy my story "The Pumpkin Spice Must Flow." If you do purchase, kindly leave a review for the book please and thanks.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Camp NaNo July 2018 Motivation

HIT ME! (slap)

Tell me I need to finish a novel for once in my struggling artist life!!!

Link here to follow the atrocities when July begins.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

NOW AS eBOOK! Strangely Funny V Now Available on Kindle!

For those of you with ereaders - well okay, Kindle only - Amazon.com now has the 2018 edition of the sixth volume of a five volume set (don't ask) of Strangely Funny!

Somewhere in the madness of hitchhiking ghosts, devil deals, and double-parked cars there's a tale of coffee zombies titled "The Pumpkin Spice Must Flow" and I hope you enjoy it.



Granted, it's not in a print copy I can autograph for ye, but the physical books should be coming soon!

Please buy a copy if you're a Kindle user, and please let all your Kindle-owning friends know about it and the previous volumes (and I have stories in two of the earlier volumes as well)! You should find a lot of the stories hilarious!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Attending Florida Library Association Conference 2018

So I will be at the conference, focusing on getting the word out some more for our state's Outcomes and Standards.

But it's also the big weekend for the Orlando MegaCon. With Kaylee!

Busy busy busy.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Strangely Funny V: COMING SOON

With many thanks to Mystery & Horror LLC, who accepted my short submission "The Pumpkin Spice Must Flow," their latest volume of the Strangely Funny humor/horror series is set to come out this month!


See? Even the gargoyle is hopeful! Or amused. Or plotting to eat my vital organs. It's multiple choice, people...

I should get more information on exact day of release, and there should be some blogging interviewing going around, so keep informed here!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Writing Motivations: Finding Something Consistent To Do

I think one of the things I look for in a writing project is a deadline, the idea that I have a goal to reach as much as I have a story to tell. I've got ideas - there's about five plots I've got bouncing around in would-be novel formats, there's eight Talents (superhero) stories on the backburner off the top of my head, just came up with a plot idea two weeks ago I haven't even fleshed out yet - but without a deadline or sense of urgency those stories just, well, sit there.

One thing that's been mentioned before and something I've finally taken a look at is this site Wattpad. It's a self-publishing submission site for storytelling, covering not only fanfiction but also original fiction. It tracks online readers so you can get an idea how many people are reading - and liking - your stories. You can publish in a serial format, meaning you can do a novel chapter-by-chapter. I'm not entirely certain of the copyright rules - if you want to pull the online work so you can go publish it as a print novel - but I think it favors the writer being able to control their ownership of work.

My Camp NaNo project may not necessarily fit this serialized format... but one of my other science fiction story ideas might.

I'm going to trying this out this month of May, see how it goes.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Surrendering on Camp NaNo

I just can't keep up.

Writing this project just hasn't been any fun for me. I'm making this homework, and I've gotten too old for homework...

I still want to write, I want to get around to finishing this project (and Gods help me, some of the others) but right now I just can't get this alien invasion story anywhere near a finished draft.

I'm going to take a couple days to unwind, figure out what else I can do to get my inspiration back.

Sorry.

Go ahead and slap me like I asked earlier. I need the public shaming.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Cat Video: Friday the 13th

I know it's a little late getting posted, but here's a black cat enjoying some snacks on Friday the 13th.


Saturday, March 31, 2018

April 2018 Writing Projects

1. Cleaning up some of my short stories to submit to the FWA Royal Palm Awards.

2. Joining Camp NaNo this month to complete the YA alien invasion novel.

3. Slapping myself each hour I don't get any damn writing done when it could get done.


I expect to be covered in slap bruises by the end of next week.

Good luck to ye, too.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Quiet Man Question, Maybe a Pub Enthusiast Can Tell Me

Okay, so I got a question about this bit in the movie:

You can to scan ahead to the bit in the pub, when O'Flynn gets the gun to fire "one if by land two if by sea" and the bartender shouts "Gentlemen on a day like this, the drinks are on the house!"

And then all of a sudden every man there paying attention drop their whiskey glasses and refuse to take another sip.

I don't get it.

I'm a teetotaler, so I'm not hep to such things.

Is that a man in Ireland pays for his drinks regardless of the free and unhindered offering of a drink?

Please comment below.

In the meantime, here's my dinner movie I'll be watching as I eat Mexican food.

...what?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Just Noting for the Record: PI DAY

March 14th translates to 3.14 which are the first three numbers in pi, an irrational number that in theory goes on forever because it defines the curvature of a circle, which has no corner, meaning it keeps getting smoother and smoother and smoother but never stopping as you zoom into the infinite of nanospace and...

ahem. I'll start over.

It's Pi Day.


MMMMMMMMMM PI.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Librarianship and Social Media

In terms of marketing, libraries need every form of outreach they can think of.

But Facebook can only go so far. Tumblr requires near constant updating, as does Twitter.

Is Snapchat a good way to get teens more interested in using the library for reading or school work?

What other social media apps might work?

Suggestions? Please comment.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Submission time! Yay!

So again, I'm rushing up to the deadline for submissions, but hey I got this in this morning!

I submitted a short story "Knowing Dragons" to Darkhouse Books for their planned Shhh Murder anthology. I spotted it on a listing of online submissions - thank you, Gwendolyn Kiste! - and while it's in a genre - cozy mystery - I'm not usually working in, I noticed it was perfect for me in one regards.

The editors were going to give extra credit to anyone with a librarian background.

So, here's hoping the story passes muster!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

February 2018 Misdeeds In Action

Deadlines are coming up for various writing projects.

No more distractions.

The next blog entry I post will proclaim a story finished.

I swear it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dragons on the Wind of Morning, RIP Ursula Le Guin

What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?
-- Ursula K. Le Guin

A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.
-- Le Guin

“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”
-- from The Dispossessed

And now I need to read The Dispossessed.

I read her Wizard of Earthsea back in 8th grade.

I read Lathe of Heaven back in high school, maybe 11th grade.

I read Left Hand of Darkness in college, can't recall the year though.

I should have read more of her works.

Granted, I was content with reading Douglas Adams, and Frank Herbert, distracted by some groundbreaking writing in comic books during the 1990s and all.

But Le Guin was groundbreaking in her own way. Feminist but not overtly militant, philosophical - a Taoist - but not preachy, insightful in every way.

She passed away just now. A bright light in fantasy and science fiction lost to us. There are other lights, other voices, but hers was brighter than most and our world now diminished.

“I do not care what comes after; I have seen the dragons on the wind of morning.”
-- The Farthest Shore

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Resolutions

I keep kicking myself to do these things.

1) Get that damn novel finished from NaNoWriMo. I have four still in the works right now! /headdesk I *should* focus on the most current one, because there are emotional and personal needs to do so.

2) Start and submit a short story submission for this: Shhh... Murder anthology published by Dark House Books. Deadline is February 28th.

3) Exercise more. My diet's only going to do so much as I'm cutting back on my food intake from the holiday months.

4) Clean up that ghost girl story I have, make the changes my beta-reader suggested to improve an ending I think is hurting its submission chances.