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Comments and Balticon

Some administrative notes.

First: I have scaled back the tight grip that I held on comments.  I had a few blogs that descended into spam, so I’ve likely over reacted in the way I hate when other people do it (punish a few by making things nearly impossible for everyone).  Akismet is patrolling, and into every blog a little spam will fall.  Hopefully it doesn’t go too crazy.  (I’m also hoping that by saying spam three times, this is where they’ll land, spambots are weird that way).

Second: I’m going to be hitting Balticon on Saturday.  It’ll be my first time at a con with my writing name, rather than my regular name, on my badge.  Find me!  Ask me for a networking card!  Gawk at how many times my fantastic wife was able to get “DL” and “Thurston” onto a 3″x5″ piece of card stock (hint: 5 and 4).

Third: The Rust experiment has been closed.  I love the story, I love the book, I love that it taught me I could write novel-length fiction.  I love that anyone supported it.  But it is what it is: written quickly by a novice, edited by an amateur, and slung together into ePub formats by someone who was learning as he went.  Going forward, it’s not what I want to be the face of my fiction.  I thank everyone who read it, even (hell: especially) the guy who gave it two stars on Amazon.  He taught me I’ve reached a point where I can let negative critiques roll off my back and just keep right on going.  There’s a time where that wasn’t true.  To everyone who read it and liked it, I’m thrilled, for everyone who read it and didn’t, thanks for at least giving me a try.  One day it might be back in some format, but I can’t say when or how.

That is all.

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Fortnightcaps administrative note

Due to me getting hooked on the 5 Minute Fiction contest every Tuesday, Fortnightcaps will shift to being posted on Thursdays, effective this week.  Anyone looking for a little fresh fiction from me today, check out over here around 1:40pm.  Or come by earlier and join in the fun!

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Moment of Zen

Gotten two submissions off this week.  Feels good.  So I’m going to allow myself a moment of rest.



Alright, back to work.

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Brief moment of self congratulations

Yesterday my blog had its best viewership since the relaunch.  Now I’m not going to say how low of a bar that was to clear, exactly, but to anyone new poking around I’d like to give a hearty welcome.  There’ll be new Fortnightcaps up every other Tuesday and between then my musings about writing, beer making, gardening, and whatever else crosses my mind.

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Just a few housekeeping things.

Thing the first: I have decided to discontinue my 200 Years blog.  It was interesting when I started it, but I was starting to drift away from the project and felt it was cutting into my writing time more than I wanted.

Thing the second: I wanted to wait until I had some good momentum going before making this blog available on the Kindle.  Well, I feel I have that momentum, so it’s available.  You can search for the little known actual title of this blog “Writerly Words” or you can just click this link.  I swear I’ve uploaded images that’ll show up in a day or two so it’s not just the generic “No image available” thing.

That is all.

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The year that wasn’t, the year that will be

Over on Unleaded, I took a look ahead at 2011 today.  So here I’m going to take a look back on 2010.

I had two main goals this past year.  I wanted to get Capsule finished by Balticon, and I wanted to start the search for literary representation.  Unfortunately as many who know me are aware, this ended up being the year that I battled a few months of health issues in the form of a rather drawn out case of GERD.  It created a lot of insomnia, which left me tired, and which in the end left me not writing.  By the time I started feeling better my momentum on Capsule was dead in the water, and I’m still trying to get it back now, almost exactly a year after the condition started.

So yeah.  Cry cry cry woe is me.  I recognize that I failed to meet a lot of my 2010 goals, and I can blame that on anything I want and look back in despair, or I can look ahead to 2011 and what I hope to accomplish.  For this purpose, I have outlined a set of four goals that I hope aren’t too lofty, but are still enough of a stretch that I have to work at achieving them.

1)  Finish the first draft of Capsule.  I could give myself any number of deadlines for this.  Balticon, Capclave, Ravencon, but really I’ll be happy if by this time next year I’ve started the editing process.  I don’t want to rush it, but I don’t want the momentum to carry me into the doldrums any further than it already has.

2)  Have at least three short stories out for consideration at all times.  I currently have four that I really consider submission ready: Sleep, Rustler, Div 0, and Queen of Belmeth.  With the Queen getting passed over for the Commonplace Book of Lovecraft, that mean I currently have just two stories out.  This goal includes having more stories that I feel could be submitted as well as keeping a constant eye on target markets for those stories.  I can’t sell any story that I don’t actively try to sell, and I need to be a hell of a lot better about that than I currently am.

3)  Find at least six anthologies that I would have to write a story for scratch for, and do so.  I’m going to count Primogeniture as the first of those six, because it’s my goal, damn it, and I can do what I want with it.  There are several that have already come and gone that I meant to work up stories for.  Historical Lovecraft’s deadline is just 5 days away, too soon for me to finish anything at this point, and that upsets me.  Plus this will help my goal #2.

4)  Start my Fortnight Caps project.  This will be a every-other-week posting of a flash piece, either one that I’ve already written or one that I’m freshly inspired to write, here on the blog.  It’s an effort to increase eyeballs and maybe, just maybe, my profile as a writer.  Even if just a tiny bit.

An ancillary goal that needs to be included with both #2 and #3 is to better track where my short stories are and have been.  I realized the other day I couldn’t remember the name of the audio anthology I’d sent Sleep off to, for example.  That’s something I really should be able to look up.  Also, I’m going to stop using my Hotmail to send submissions and switch over to my email addresses.

So best of luck to everyone with the new year, with your writing if you choose to write, or any other venture you choose to undertake.

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Going dark

This blog will be going dark for two weeks while I’m attending the wedding of the proprietors of Unleaded, and my dear friends, Day and Renee.  Don’t think I’ll get much writing done, not even planning to travel with a laptop.  But should be some good stories when I’m back.

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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  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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