Archive for October, 2010

Sleep rejected, submitted

Had Sleep shot down in very short order by ASIM, which doesn’t surprise me too much.  It’s a tough story to find a good market for because it isn’t quite spec fic, even if it did get once picked up for a dark comedy anthology.  I’ve sent it back out the door, this time trying an audio market.

Because I’ve realized one thing.  Short stories are like children.  You need to raise them, make sure they’re ready for the world, but at a certain point you need to kick them out the door and tell them to get a job!  I’ve got three out right now, I’m going to try and get a fourth in the form of Div!0 in circulation.  Because short stories’ll never get bought just sitting on my hard drive.

Nanowrimo starts tomorrow.

2013 deadline is FAST approaching (Friday, people, Friday) so I’ll probably have to pass on it, since I don’t even really have a concept.  Two more deadlines looking better and added to a calendar over there on the right hand tool bar.  Yay, calendars.

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Going to the Daily Show

Completely non-writing related, but this is my blog, so I get to talk about what I want to talk about.  And today it’s the fact that I was in the Daily Show audience last night.  That’s 10/27/2010 for those who aren’t reading this today, so the episode where Obama became the first sitting president to be on the show.

First off, I got “tickets” several months ago when they first got offered, having no idea who the guest would end up being.  I just knew the show was going to be in DC, and that Thursdays are a bad night for me.  Sure, I had an outside hope that they might land a presidential interview and that he might be in-studio and not either remote or pre-recorded and that it might be the episode that I got tickets for.  So when it was announced that he would be on the night I had my “tickets” for and would be in-studio.  Oh, I was psyched.

Now, for those who don’t know the process, I keep saying “tickets” because all that we really got for signing up online was a reservation to get to stand in line for the actual first-come-first-serve tickets.  The Daily Show overbooks, at least when it’s on the road.  I’ve read up on the process when it’s in New York and see it’s a little different than what we went through.  So that meant taking a half day and showing up early to stand in the rain outside the Harmon Center across the street from Verizon.  A street that was, by the way, filled with temporary stables for the Washington International Horse Show taking place at Verizon.  Fortunately we got the covered side of the stables, so it smelled  little like horse manure, not a lot like horse manure.

In line I got interviewed for local NBC 4.  Lot of great questions like “do you think the Daily Show is becoming a major information source for young adults?”  My answer was a diplomatic version of “yes, if you’re asking that question in 2000.”  I don’t think I made the show, because I always stammer when I have a news camera shoved in my face (okay, “always” means “twice”) and the fact that, even with an umbrella, I was a soaking wet mass by that point.

Then I saw the tickets.  The magic yellow tickets being handed out to the crowd.  Then…they stopped.  Literally 9 people in front of my wife and I the last yellow ticket, #495, was handed out and the ticket people vanished.  For like a half hour.  The sun came out, but I wasn’t feeling any cheerier.  Anyone who was following my tweets last night probably noted my rising anxiety just from the rising volume of tweets.  For that half hour it was rather fitting that my twitter phone client is called “spaz.”  Finally, the clipboard came back out and someone came around with blue tickets.  “They’re just as good as the yellow ones” we were told.  Which is a good thing, because if we had been told, as we would get told later, that the blue tickets were non-guaranteed seats, then I would have spent another hour freaking out instead of finally calming down.

Here’s how it worked.  There were pink tickets.  These were VIPs.  Like that guy.  And that other guy.  Really, I didn’t recognize a single one of the VIPs, but then again there are maybe 10 total members of Congress that I would recognize on site, and I’m guessing these weren’t even congressmen, more likely staffers and friends who used connections.  Then there were the yellow tickets.  As best I could figure, the combination of the promised VIP tickets and the yellow tickets would be a capacity crowd.  Blue tickets got to fill in the rest of the space, covering for pink ticketers that, for one reason or another, didn’t show up.  It’s hard to guess how much they were overbooked by, I’m horrible at estimating crowd numbers.  But considering I bet there were people who didn’t show up because of the last minute change in filming time, the shitty weather, or any other reason, they probably overbooked by at least 50% if not by a full double capacity.

Another half hour and finally we started filing in and through the Secret Service screening.  Well, by we I mean the pink and yellow ticket people.  The blue tickets were stopped at the door, so again we were people #10 and #11 on the outside looking in.  Actually #12 and #13 since 34 and 35 were allowed by ushers to cut in front of us.  Another fifteen minutes, and the blue tickets were let in to deposit our umbrellas in giant bins and get screened.  I’ll note: we were told to have a photo ID handy, but at no point did anyone look at it.  Then, the blues lined up in numerical order (screw you, 34 and 35) and got to wait while they let the pink tickets in.  Then the yellow tickets in.  This was the first time anyone said out loud that the blue tickets were non-guaranteed seats.

No drama, the blue people started getting in, and we were right at the front of that.  We actually got about three rows better than we would have, cause we were willing to sit across an aisle rather than directly next to each other.  Actually, everytime blue people got an upgrade, there were a few yellow people who complained.  See, this is DC.  By giving us tiered tickets, they created an artificial and temporary class system.  And it was time for some class warfare.  When a trio of blue ticket people were pulled out and taken down to fill some seats in the third row, there was a lot of complaining from the yellow ticket people.  I was happy, it was the trio in front of us in line who were very nice and chatting with us, and even shared information with us when one member of their group went looking for the right people to ask about more tickets.

Loud music.  Local warm-up comic.  The Jon Stewart came out for a brief question and answer.  Again, it was a DC crowd, so he was rather surprised when the first question wasn’t something silly like “who would win, a bear or a shark” or “what super power you would take” but “who is your favorite Congressman”.  Then, the show started.  It wasn’t quite the show you saw on television.  There was an opening bit.  “Our newest segment: Keep the president waiting.”  Jon Stewart doodled, spun around in his chair, and did the classic “you must pay the rent!” routine before bringing Obama out.  At the end, they announced the interview had gone long, and they needed to reshoot the opening going straight into the guest.  You can see it for yourself watching the show.  When he brings out Obama, his desk is empty.  When Obama comes out, there’s paperwork on the desk.

There was a post-show Q&A, mostly to keep us in our seats until Secret Service had cleared the building.  Then we got to find our umbrellas on three giant tables, and had the rest of the evening.  It was a hell of a lot of fun, and worth the fact that I’m getting up early all week to shift time, had to stand in the rain, and got my ATM card eaten by a Capital One machine after the show (they’ll know how I felt if they run back their overnight ATM film).

A supposition.  I saw Olivia Munn.  She waved at me.  Take that, internet!  Other people saw Jason Jones and John Oliver.  The entire cast was there for an episode that was going to be 100% interview.  I’m betting, I’m just betting, that they had an entire episode scripted and ready to go, including an emergency guest, in case the president had to cancel last minute.  Cause he’s the fricken president.  Sometimes there’s stuff he just has to do.  Would be interesting to know who the emergency guest was.

And that was it.  My Daily Show experience.

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Unleaded quickie, Nanowrimo

New post up at Unleaded featuring SMBC and me…well, linking right back here again.

Next Monday marks the beginning of Nanowrimo.  This year I’ll be missing a big chunk of the month as I’m heading to New Orleans for a cruise to celebrating the wedding of the proprietors of the Unleaded Blog (yay!).  That means that the standard 50,000 word goal is out the window.  But here’s the thing.  I wouldn’t really want to anyway.  I feel like I’m less than 50,000 words from the end of Capsule, and that trying to put that many more words into it would be contrived.  And I sure as hell don’t want to start anything new, no matter how much I’ve been thinking about a plotline I’m currently calling “The Filibuster” (based on the old definition…shameless 200 Years cross-link).  So here’s my Nanowrimo goal:

Maintain Nano pace on any day that I’m not on vacation until I get to the end of Capsule.  Then work on editing, oh dare I even say it?  End of the Line.

Also, came up with an odd idea for a flash fiction piece that I’m hoping to write and post here in the blog by the end of the month.  Yay, flash fiction!

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Apparently I’m Huge in the UK

I was putting together various e-commerce links for the Rust tab up there.  While linking to the Kindle edition on Amazon UK, I found this:

#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Crime, Thrillers & Mystery > Thrillers > Technothrillers
#5 in Books > Crime, Thrillers & Mystery > Technothrillers

Holy crap, when I discovered it yesterday it was 12 and 22.  I love you too, UK!

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I’m back, baby!

So here’s what happened.  A few months ago, while I was creating my new blog I somehow managed to corrupt my old blog’s database in some horrible unrecoverable way.  At that time, it had been over a year since I’d gotten any comments on the blog, and hadn’t made a new post in several months.  Additionally, I was relying largely on Unleaded to replace my blog, since I was making weekly posts there.  And that was okay, but there was something I missed about having a blog.

Well, this weekend is Capclave here in DC.  And, among the other panels I sat in on, one was hosted by Tee Morris about what a writer’s presence on the internet should be.  It really just inspired me to reopen this blog and start it again from scratch.  And hopefully use it a lot better than I ever used it before.

Gone:  The old name of the blog.  It was such a spur of the moment decision that I liked less and less as I went (and really constrained post titles in a way that was starting to annoy me).

Gone:  Never updating.  Hopefully.

New:  I have an email address!  I mean, I’ve always had one, but now I’ve got an address @DLThurston.com  It feels so professional.

New:  Short stories.  I’m planning on posting the occasional flash piece here.  The plan is for the series to be called “Fortnightly Stories”, which will create a much better schedule than the old Thing A Week idea did.

New:  Twitter!  Well, not yet, but part of the Tee Morris talk had me thinking that maybe it’s time for me to stop being Mr. Luddite Head when it comes to Twitter and Facebook.  Except only Twitter.  My wife actually grumped at Tee for this, “why did you tell my husband to join Twitter?”  To make it clear, he didn’t tell me.  If I make the decision it’s of my own accord.

Gosh.  New blog.  Or renewed blog.  I’m going to see if I can backdate some posts and bring over some of my Unleaded contributions.  Unfortunately, everything else is just gone.  It’s a shame, but it was time to get the hell over it and get started again.

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Capclave Prep

Doing the final preps for Capclave 2010, and I’m excited about going.  As seen in my Week of Action post (and editing that almost made me forget to post this) I’m hoping to go there with the first three chapters of Capsule cleaned up a little.  Do I expect someone to ask for them?  No.  Do I want to be ready in the off chance someone does?  Hell yeah.  Now, I did have an initial plan to have the first three chapters available on a thumb drive “what, you’d like to read them, well I just happen to have them here…”  However (1) that struck me as a little smarmy, (2) it struck me that no one was going to say “I’ll read your first three chapters but only if you can give me them RIGHT NOW!” and (3) I’d kinda like to do one more quick editing pass if someone does ask for them.

What I will be traveling with are cards I’ve printed up with a small ad for Rust, including a pointer over to Smashwords and a short-term coupon.  That’s part of what’s great about Smashwords, it’s nice to be able to offer an exclusive Capclave price.  Cause people like things when they’re cheaper.  Suggestion: Avery #8869.  They’re “print to the edge” cards, with “clean edges”.  What that means is each card is set off from every other card, so you can make your graphic a little large than the card to make sure it fills as thoroughly as possible.  And the clean edges really do pop out as advertised and don’t look like they got torn out of a perforated sheet.  Add in a color printer and I think they really look sharp.

I’m happy with the cards, and I’m looking forward to going.

This post cross-posted with Unleaded – Fuel for Writers

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Week of Action

Here was the preliminary schedule for my week of action.  I’ll keep this up to date through the week as I do things:

  • Friday: Edit and submit Queen of Belmeth
  • Saturday: Identify market and submit Sleep
  • Sunday: Identify market and submit Div!0 or The Rustler
  • Monday: Edit Capsule, chapter 1
  • Tuesday: Edit Capsule, chapter 2
  • Wednesday: Edit Capsule, chapter 3

Things got to a slow start, as editing Belmeth took more time than I anticipated.  I did the editing Friday night, but as it was getting late, decided I wanted to give the story one last read-over while well rested.  I did one last pass this morning, and sent it off to the contest at around 12:30.  I’m still planning on getting Sleep sent out this evening to catch up to my schedule, probably to Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.  It’ll be easier to send out because I’m just going to give it a quick read-over rather than a full edit.

Updates as I have them.

Update: Saturday 9pm.  Sleep submitted to ASIM.

Update: Sunday 5pm.  The Rustler submitted to Hyrda Publications for the Steam Works anthology.

Update: Completed an editing pass on Chapter One of Capsule.  Can’t promise that I don’t want to do another before an editor saw it.  No longer plan to have a copy of the first three chapters on a thumb drive to hand to someone.  That was a somewhat silly idea anyway, no one would be willing to read it but unwilling to wait until the end of the weekend.

Update: Completed an editing pass on Chapter Two.  Even if I’m not entirely thrilled with the results quite yet, it is getting me back into the story.  Yay!

Update: Today’s editing felt the best.  I don’t know if it’s because the original was in better shape or if I’ve just been getting more into an editing groove.  I heard once the idea of writing that you take something through to the end and then start over the first quarter because by the end you’ll have finally found your voice.  Anyway, week of action: epic win.

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