Archive for July, 2010

A really thoughtful blog over on Ferrett’s livejournal. It’s particularly relevant to us writer types, who are constantly looking for “story” in the everyday.

I agree with his analysis and would even go one step further to suggest that this need for story, this seed of psychodrama, is one way we are manipulated. Politicians, priests, advertisers and even newscasters are well aware that narrative compels the majority to (varying degrees of) action. He or she who controls the narrative controls the issue… unless the masses are aware of this lever and can effectively disengage it from their impulse to act. And no, this is not a call to arms against the machine (that would be ironic, wouldn’t it?), but a simple observation. Writers, in particular, need to be aware of motivational drives in people.

The difference, of course, is that we writers only use that power for good. (Is my face straight?)


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Tweet tweet

I have a couple of tweets upcoming on trapeze in case you’re interested.  No pay, but these things are kind of fun to write. They seem to function on the level of a crossword puzzle for me, which MAY help keep the old brain working at a higher level as I get older.

On the other hand, you folks might think my brain has already gone to mush after reading the first tweet (July 8). It’s a chance I’ll just have to take.

The second tweet is up today (July 15). Have at it.

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New flash

I’m happy to report that one of my “Monsters” flash pieces has appeared over at Everyday Weirdness. Coincidentally, it came one day after Mickey Mills’ weird take, “Still Life”.

It’s a small world after all… I hope you enjoy both offerings.

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For those of you who have not had the good fortune to read Ferrett Steinmetz’ incredible stories (in places like Asimov’s and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and GUD and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and Shimmer as well as other impressive venues), you can absolve yourselves of that particular sin by reading his blog in support of Clarion.

You WILL NOT be disappointed. The man sweats interesting prose. The merest peck from his keyboard leaves an afterimage in your psyche.

His intent is to give you a taste of the Clarion experience. Not only will be be blogging, but he’ll also write three first draft stories, give you the insider track on his critiquing process, and even critique a few stories from his followers.

Let me say this again. You WILL NOT be disappointed. And you’ll be supporting a very good cause for aspiring writers and avid readers alike. Clarion has a long tradition of producing some of the finest genre writers and I suspect we’ll be looking back in a few years and saying that, in Ferrett Steinmetz, it has produced yet one more.

Please support his effort to support writers. And spread the word wide and well.

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We’ve received 15 of 19 signed contracts from contributors at this point. We’ve sent those names and addresses on to Parsec to begin arranging payments.

On the layout front, we’re basically finished, but for a final close read through. We’ve sent pdf proofs to each contributor now and given them a week to make corrections. We should give two weeks, but the end of the rainbow is suddenly nigh. We must get the final copy to the printer by July 15 in order to assure delivery before Confluence (July 25 in Pittsburgh).

We’re set up with Lightning Source and have purchased ISBNs, so it’s mainly a matter of getting files into proper upload format at this point. I expect to be spending considerable time on that in the next week.

We hope you will enjoy reading the anthology as much as we’ve enjoyed finding worthy pieces to put into Triangulation: End of the Rainbow. May it become a shining pot of gold for those who find it in bookstores and on the web.

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We received word today that Sue’s third check for her advance on The Price of Stones will be arriving in a day or two. This is a pleasant surprise, in that we’re always hearing about the crappy way publishers treat writers these days. I suspect they don’t get enough credit when they treat writers well. Viking-Penguin has been an absolute pleasure to work with, through the editorial process, through galley proofs, and into the publicity phase. They’ve been encouraging and helpful and very professional.

Another thing they have been is prompt with their payments. The advance was broken into four installments, which is pretty common these days, and we were a little leery of long waits between checks. Would they delay payment until the last possible moment every time? Would they put us through hoops to collect? The answers, happily, are “no” and “no”. Sue’s payments have arrived in a timely manner, without any snags whatsoever. This payment, for example, was due upon publication of hardcover, which occurred technically on June 10, and formally on June 14. The check arrived at our agent on June 29.

Not bad, eh? Perfect timing too, as we had just called our bank to explore options for moving our money to another type of account since our balance is on the verge of dipping below an important threshold. Now, we should be okay for several months. Hooray Viking!

To make a pleasant day more pleasant, I also learned this morning that Thaumotrope had purchased a tweet of mine for publication (today at 6 PM!). Five cents a word is nice, even if it’s only $1.20 total. Hooray Thaumatrope!

Then, as I was checking email before heading off to bed, I discovered that Everyday Weirdness wants to purchase a flash fiction from me.  Hooray Weirdness!

These pleasant surprises go a long way toward making the everyday uncertainties of the writing life more tolerable. Hooray surprises!

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