Friday, March 4, 2011

Linkage Vol. 2

More posts on editing, this time a list of the editing podcasts Writing Excuses have done. March is NaNoEdMo, so we will be focusing on editing our novels at the Writers Meet in MilkWood. At least, I will be. This post is to give me an easier link to add to my nifty SecondLife notecard. Hope they are a help to you.

Killing Your Darlings

This Sucks and I'm a Horrible Writer
Talking Revision with Moshe Feder(editor at Tor)
Working with Editors
Line Editing
Line Editing Dialogue
Critiquing Dan's First Novel

This is my FAVORITE writing podcast, hilarious hosts(especially Dan) and lots of good information.

As to Inky's word count challenge, I've been more of a 250 a dayer than a 1000 a dayer. Family crap and rejections keeping my head in the wrong place. It's a work in progress.

Happy editing!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Linkage Vol. 1

So I like to add 'age' on the end of words. I promise I don't do it in fiction unless dialogue calls for it. But I digress. This is the first of my blog posts of links. Most of what I'm offering today is reading material as I begin editing my NaNo novel. Chuck Wendig's blog is fun times, I like his style. So here are his posts on editing from December:

Why You Need Help Editing
Edit Your Shit 1: Copyedit
Edit your Shit 2: Content
Edit Your Shit 3: Context
Structure Baby!

I do this because they were a pain in the ass to find on the terrible minds site and might be helpful to someone.

In other news, I put the first Lucas story up on Smashwords. Please, tell me what more needs to be edited in my shit. I want a few opinions before I put up a cleaner version. Editing never ends. Realize this now and your writing world will be a lot happier.

I am also a proud participant in Inkygirl's Word Count challenge.

I have made my first day of the thousand word goal(1349 to be exact), and so proudly display her web badge. I will get it in the sidebar soon enough.

What are your editing goals for this year?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

DWS's Races

This one doesn't really count for Dean Wesley Smith's Submission Race but check out SCR(Shit Creek Review).

I sent in four poems for their "Random Issue". We shall see how it works out. Would be an appropriate place for my first publication credit. In terms of DWS's challenge, I'll call each set of poems submitted to a paying market as the same amount of points a short story sub gets, which is 1 point.

I have a pretty laughable score at the moment. Looking at Duotrope's submission tracker, my total comes to 6 points. As to the new eRace he describes, I can't count the novel I wrote for National Novel Writing Month this year on Smashwords, but that will be up for purchase by the end of winter. I will be putting up a series of fantasy stories as ebooks as well. More will come as I get off my bum and produce more content in the coming year. At least that's the goal.

What are your submission goals for the new year?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holding Light: A Holiday Tale

Since I didn't write a seasonal story till super late, enjoy it for free. I like this one, but worry it's a bit too twisted.

Holding Light

Tara sat in the midst of a tangled pit of Christmas lights, face lit up with every color of the rainbow.

"Well, at least they still work," Roger said, stepping over the left side of the mess with care and unplugging it from the wall.

"No thanks to you Roger." Tara began to pick apart two strings of lights, weaving the unplugged end over, under, and through.

"Don't start Tara." Roger sat down on the couch and turned on the game.

"Why shouldn't I? All of my decorations are up." Cheers erupted from the TV as the announcer called first down.

"I work all week Tara. I don't need this shit."

"Work. You mean the 'work' that is barely paying our bills. I make almost as much as you doing transcriptions." Tara yanked the free end of the lights through a nodule of tangled ones, popping off a light with a small 'snap'.

"The game is on. Stop being so loud."

"Are you at least going to put them up?"

Roger shifted on the couch and opened the tab on his Colt 45. The hiss of carbonation filled a break in the announcers' commentary. "I thought you could do that. There's a college game on after this."

"Oh really? And what if I have something else to do?" Tara spread the nodule apart and then began to maneuver the free end of the lights in and out, destroying the weave.

"You don't have anything to do. I can't go out there anyway, it'll give me a cold."

"Are you that big of a pussy now Roger?" Tara felt the points of tiny lights dig into her palm. Relax girl, she thought, don't let his five year old bullshit get to you.

"What did you call me?" Roger sat forward, beer in one hand, other in a fist on his thigh.

"I called you a pussy. It's an appropriate term for a man who won't go outside in the cold."

"You need to get off your high horse Tara. You're a secretary, for Christ's sake."

"I'm a Transcriptionist, dumb ass."

"What did you call me?" Roger got up from the couch and leaned over the coffee table, his face spitting distance from Tara's.

"You heard me. Watch your stupid game and leave me alone." Tara took up the strings of lights again and began unweaving the strands, head down and focused on her work.

Roger snarled at the back of her head. "What did you call me, bitch?"

"You heard me. Now sit down."

Roger growled, then spit the mucus at Tara's head, covering her hair in viscous gel.

Tara spun and used her hands to push herself up to a standing position. She leaned down and grabbed the closest strings of lights, whipping them around to slap Roger in the face. Then she grabbed an end in each hand, jumped onto his back, and threw her improvised garrote over his head. It fell on his chest.

Roger was too concerned with trying to pull Tara off of him to even feel the lights hit him. He dumped beer all over them both trying to throw his can of Colt 45 at her head, then grabbed at Tara's upper arms. Tara didn't stop, barely felt his hands on her or the beer running down her back. Adrenaline sustained her, giving her hands the strength to keep pulling the ends of the strings, planting her feet on Roger and throwing all her weight back to put pressure against his neck.

It was too much. The tree went down under their combined weight, pine branches snapping and filling the room with the smell of Christmas cheer and new-to-you used cars. Tara felt the needles dig into her back, fill up her hair. She wrapped her legs around Roger's midsection and squeezed, making it almost impossible for him to fling her off. He was always a skinny little drunk, Tara thought, as she felt the last tremors of Roger's life vibrate her thighs. He might have screamed, but she couldn't hear. She didn't care.

The lights reclaimed from around Roger's neck, Tara pushed him off of her and stood.

"Should've given me a golden ring," she breathed, as she stared down at his body, the neck covered in bright red dots from the points of the lights.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Christmas Time


Carry me away on white flakes
the dandruff lazy Santa makes
too busy eating cookies and
ornament hanging, present wrapping
stuffing his bags while the elves sing
the reindeer assist as a band
clanging their jingle bells, stomping
their hooves, transport me to winter
town, where commercialism is banned.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mr. Sanderson's Dialogue Challenge

In case I lose my nerve before Sunday, here are my three pages of dialogue. I may extend it, but right now, it feels right the way it is. The challenge was to write 5-10 pages of dialogue, two characters, no blocking, no tagging, no exposition beyond what their words imply. Instructions for sharing, if you dare to accept the challenge, are on Brandon Sanderson's Facebook page. Deadline is Sunday.

"The world is full of decay."

"We shouldn't add to it then."

"It's not our decision."

"Then who's is it?"

"You know."

"I don't know."

"No, you know. Don't make me say it."

"But I don't know!"

"It doesn't matter Charlie, we need to do our job."

"For a boss I don't even know?"

"Yes. Do as I say son."

"But not as you do, right? You do it. I'll walk home."

"You cannot do that."

"Why not?"

"You are not old enough to be on your own."

"Oh really? Then why did you lie to Mom?"

"I needed you on this mission."

"Don't you have a partner or something? I thought you were a cop."

"Not exactly."

"What are you than?"

"More like what are we, my son."

"I don't work with you. I'm thirteen. How could I sign up for this?"

"You did not. It is who we are."

"Couldn't Mom help you instead? She's great at killing things. You've seen the garden."

"Your mother will have no part of this."

"Than I won't either."

"You have no choice."

"Why? Because you say so?"


"Then why?"

"I cannot tell you. You must figure it out on your own."

"Is this some sort of test? I don't do well on those, you know."

"It is not a test. But everyone in our condition has to find their own reasons, their own why."

"It's so beautiful Father."

"I know."

"Can't I keep it?"

"No. Think of how much I am gone. Could we keep all of those? It would not be fair."

"Well, you always say the world's not fair."

"Take it son, your mother is expecting us for dinner."

"I don't know how."

"Touch it. You will see how."

"It's smiling at me."

"It does not belong here, son, do the job."

"I don't want a job!"

"You have as much choice in this as you did in your sex, boy, now do it. I cannot stand to hear it much longer."

"She's laying down, Dad, she knows what's coming."

"Always remember what it is son. Always."

"I don't know what she is! I just know she's beautiful!"

"You have to do it now son."

"Don't touch me! Murder her yourself!"

"Shake it off son. It will all be clear. Let her go."


"You have to do this. You chose to care for it. I told you to close off your mind."

"I won't! You'll have to kill us both!"

"Please don't make me end it, my son. Find your power, end it yourself, please."

"You're choking me!"

"You must see reason. Take its life. They cannot be allowed to stay."

"But-she's-so-beautiful-her-mind-the answers-"

"Do what you have to do or I will have to."


"What do you see?"

"The poisoned-heart-it's-black-I'll-"

"And what do you see now son?

"The world is full of decay."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I don't need permission to be wrong or right.

More PAD Chapbook Challenge this fine Sunday morning.


Is it wrong to crave the distance
shutterby and feel resistance
to the quote unquote
normal reality
that binds us all
in corporate misery.

I can't be shamed into submission
never bought, always listening
the shutter snaps closed
image captured
separation, soul renewed
to what is right and new.

"Can I Go"

The leaves are blowing
a deep knowing
winter's on the mend.
Kicking daisies
defining maybes
helping me around the bend.
Natural permission
to hide away
I am not scared of the cold
seeping, embracing
covering, lacing over
all we claim to know.
In the early dark
I see the spark of stars
and wonder-
can I go?