Archive for category Old Weird South

Goodreads Giveaway

Last week in my State of the Writer post, I said that the anthology The Old Weird South, featuring my story “The South, Rise Again,” would be out soon. In a couple of days. Well…it came out that afternoon, which was a fantastic bit of news. It marks my third short story out this year, which is a pretty damn good year since my previous record high was zero short stories published in a calendar year. I focused the main announcement on Unleaded, as another Unleaded contributor is in the anthology, and over on Twitter where things move fast and furious. So this is the official announcement here, on Writerly Words, with two extra bits of news.

Extra bit of news one: The publishers have announced a Goodreads giveaway, offering ten copies of the anthology up for grabs! Head on over to the anthology’s page on Goodreads between now and December 19th and look for the “Enter to win” button. You have to be a Goodreads member to enter, but seriously, aren’t you already? If not, this is a good opportunity to join. Then go ahead and add me as a friend on the site. I’ve been meaning to expand my list of Goodreads friends, and if you’re reading this blog, you totally count.

Extra bit of new two: As part of the advertising for the book, there isn’t just a Goodreads giveaway, but two of the stories are available, in their entirety, free online. Which excites me more because my story is one of the two available. So if you’d like to read “The South, Rise Again,” you can do so over on the anthology’s website. You can also check out Megan Engelhardt’s “A True Story about the Devil and Jaime’s Shoes,” a story in the style of early twentieth century southern folk stories.

If you want a copy of the anthology and don’t win the giveaway, or don’t want to wait for the giveaway, The Old Weird South is available in print at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or digitally from Smashwords, the Kindle store, and should eventually be available from the Nook and iBook stores. The website for the anthology also says “or your favorite local bookstore.” So tell you what, if you see it on the shelf, snap a picture with your smart phone and send it to me on Twitter and I’ll…do something that wouldn’t legally make this a contest. I don’t know what yet.

And if you want to check out my two other 2012 publications, look for Steam Works from Hydra Publications or The Memory Eater, now just $0.99 on Kindle.

Phew, I always feel a little dirty after one of these advertising posts. Look for me tomorrow on Unleaded talking about generation ship tropes and not about where and how you can buy books with my name in them.

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State of the Writer: November 2012

Picture released under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported by Wikipedian Someone35.

What do you mean it’s the second?

2012 Goal: Query Nickajack. Last night started a new phase for Nickajack that will see my wife and I find a half hour, even if it’s in two fifteen minute chunks, to read at least one scene of Nickajack out loud a night. It’s a great way to hear the adjectives, the filtering, and the misworded dialogue. The intent is to fix these on the fly and to identify spots where props appear or disappear, character motivations aren’t as strong as they could be, and other plot weaknesses that we can then go back and fix up. This is the novel moving forward in a substantive way for the first time since the birth of our daughter, and it feels good to be back into it. If we push hard and have a good product on our hands, we hope to be ready for the first round of alpha readers by January. No later than March is my hope.

The ultimate plan is two rounds of external readers, the first likely drawn from those who have seen the novel as we’ve crafted it, and the second drawn from those who have no knowledge of the plot or the twists. Each will be followed by a round of editing based on comments. After both rounds are done, then we’ll be querying this bad boy. We likely wouldn’t have made the 2012 query goal even if we hadn’t had a kid, even if we did work straight through, but I’m still glad I set the goal so high. Occasionally you need something completely out of your grasp to keep you jumping.

If you fall into either of the camps that we’re looking to draw readers from, keep an eye out. I’m not looking for volunteers yet, but I will be soon.

In other writing news, I’ve accepted final edits of my story for Old Weird South, and the publisher is hoping that the anthology is out by December 1. I know that dates like this frequently slide, we’ll see about when it will actually come out. If it does hit that date, or up to 30 days later, that will be three short stories published in 2012. Which is awesome. I’ll need to get my ass in gear if I want to match or top that in 2013, and set my sights on some professional rate sales.

State of the author’s beer. Man…I’ve got to bottle that stuff. It’s okay to hang out in the fermenter, but yeah, I’ve got to get that bottled. Maybe that’s a this weekend thing.

State of the author’s bees. They survived the storm in one piece, and now we’re focusing on winterizing them. This means keeping them fed with sugar syrup and pollen so they have reserves to make it through the hard months ahead. That’ll probably be its own post in the next month or two.

State of the author’s baby. Eight weeks old now and super cute. She should start “hatching” over the next few weeks, but she already looks at us and smiles. This is all part of the process by which she’ll learn what is and isn’t a face, and what is and isn’t a person. So while she smiles at us, she’ll also smile at the cats, the wall, and random spots in the middle distance. Still, any smiling is smiling, and it’s awesome to see.

This month is Nanowrimo. The editing I mentioned above is my primary project, but I think I’m going to pick two other goals.

  • Redraft Vampire of Mars
  • Finish draft of Antioch, 1098

That’ll be a great start if I am going to try to top this year’s three published stories. Jen Brinn, sage leader of the Cat Vacuuming Society, always cautions to not make sales a goal since they’re beyond the writer’s control…but it would still be nice to at least match this year’s output.

If you’re doing Nanowrimo, best of luck with your projects!

Update: Earlier version of this post stated my baby was eight months not eight weeks old. They grow up fast, but not that fast.

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State of the Writer: October 2012

2012 Goal: Query Nickajack.

I’m starting with those words only because I promised, at the beginning of the year, that I would start every State of the Writer post this year with those words, to remind me that was my goal for the year. At this point it’s now the second of October, and we’re not even to beta readers, so I can say it will not happen. Does that make me regret the goal? Not in the least. It’s been a fire under my ass all year to keep working on the novel. But…life gets in the way sometimes.

I didn’t write this blog post yesterday. I had the Add New Post page open, ready to go, but I didn’t write it. Because I knew what it would say. That’s cheating. The entire reason I started these monthly posts back in February 2011 was to not only trumpet my accomplishments, but to keep myself honest as a writer. During September of 2012 my only writerly activity was to accept the edits on my story for the upcoming Old Weird South anthology. For which I was immediately paid, making this simultaneous one of my least and most productive months ever as a writer, depending on the criterion you want to use.

Writing with a baby has proven to be difficult. It’s hard to write when you’re not getting as much sleep (though I’m getting less not sleep than my wife, who is busy being the awesomest mom ever, sorry my mom). I was going to kick back into writing yesterday, but we had an opportunity for a date night with my wife to have sushi and go see a movie. When you’ve got a baby, those are the nights you cannot pass up, no matter how much you want to get back into writing. We saw Looper, and last night is one of the few nights I don’t regret not writing in the last month. Tonight, it’s back to the grind. My goals at first are going to be modest. 500 words of writing or 30 minutes of editing. Every week night. Morning writing has ended for now, it may return with the new year as I learn what my new morning schedule is. It may not if the new schedule will not accommodate it. If it doesn’t, I will find another 15 minute chunk of time daily that is exclusively for first drafting. One of my first goals will be prepping Vampires of Mars for circulation among some pro-rate markets. I hope to have it out to the first stop (wherever that ends up being) by the end of the week.

I have the best possible excuse in the world for not writing, not just a baby, but a fantastic baby. Going forward, I will likely refer to her as Little Bird in this blog and on Twitter, following the habits of Tee Morris, Chuck Wendig, and others of not referring to their children by name online. It’s ultimately up to her to craft an identity connect with her name on the internet, which she won’t be doing for a good long while (more on that later in the week, likely). I’d been planning to give her an online nickname for awhile. Little Bird is one my wife started using, and I rather liked.

State of the Authors Beer: Hoping to bottle π Stout this weekend, especially since I promised some bottles to coworkers yesterday.

State of the Authors Bees: It’s been a rough summer for nectar in Northern Virginia, not just for my bees but across the region. That’s probably why my one hive was robbed. To prepare the bees for winter, we are feeding them 2-to-1 sugar syrup so we’ll hopefully not lose both hives our first year.

October also features Capclave, which I’m still determining how I’ll approach, and Flashathon, which I’m doing a poor job talking about.

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