Archive for November, 2010

Harry Potter

Image by Pixelsior via Flickr

We saw the new Harry Potter movie today. It’s good cinema and a solid addition to the series, but the storytelling did stall a bit here and there and we’d forgotten some of the secondary characters and plot lines, which made aspects a little murky for casual HP fans like us, but it was certainly worth seeing.

Progress today:

1. Read stories at Liberty Hall. The quality of the stories this time is amazing.

2. Wrote a 90 minute flash for Show Me Your Lits.

3. Submitted a twitter fiction to Seedpod.

4. Reviewed proof of “Dog Days” for State of Imagination.  They changed my opening, which was a bit experimental for their tastes. I’m not happy with the new opening (too passive), so will have to put on my thinking cap and come up with a compromise, I think.

Triangulation: End of the Rainbow

End of the Rainbow

5. Worked on letter templates for the Triangulation Anthology.


Logo used by Wikileaks

Image via Wikipedia

Finally, I’m interested in what folks think about the Wikileaks situation. Some of the recently leaked diplomatic documents may well have compromised people’s safety, but by and large appear to be back room deals and good-old-boy chatter. Is diplomatic transparency more helpful than dangerous or vice versa? My own feeling, initially, is that if diplomats can’t discuss options openly, maybe they shouldn’t be options at all. As Janice Joplin could have said, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to hide.”


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A Turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving

We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends (and turkey, though the turkey did not enjoy it nearly as much, I fear). And now, after an afternoon of edge-of-the-seat American football, I feel rejuvenated. Hopefully that will carry over to tomorrow.

As for today:

1. Wrote a flash for Liberty Hall prompt. 1300 words in 75 minutes is a new record for me.

2. Read Chapters 27-28 in Pride and Prejudice. Lizzy being Lizzy (“I am going to-morrow where I shall find a man who has not one agreeable quality, who has neither manner nor sense to recommend him. Stupid men are the only ones worth knowing, after all.”) and Collins playing Butthead.

Over the weekend, I received an acceptance for “Dog Days” from State of Imagination. I’m happy to find a home for my post-Apocalypse doggies. They are my best friends after all.

Photo of actor Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielson

I also won the Liberty Hall challenge last week, which was nice. I’m getting better at writing a complete flash in 90 minutes. Flexing for Write1Sub1. Speaking of which, you’ll find my friend, Milo’s blog entry there along with an informative video. Sounds like he has a sound strategy going in. Tune in next Sunday for my own much less sound strategy.

Finally, we lament the death of Leslie Nielsen. He was 84, but he never got old. We’ll miss you, Leslie.

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White Albino Squirrel

Albino Squirrel

Progress today:

1. Added 300 words to Chapter 3. I’m interested in it again, which is much cooler than the alternative.

2. Updated editorial site for upcoming Triangulation Anthology.

3. Submitted a flash to Strange Love. They liked my cover letter, which is 1/1000th of the battle.

4. Read flashes at Show Me Your Lits.

5. Interacted with daughter unit. She shaved my head and reminded me why she’s a pretty neat young lady.

Youngstown, 1910s: Central Square and Viaduct ...

Youngstown, 1910s

6. Attended the launch party for Youngstown State’s new literary journal, Jenny. It was neat to see so much creative energy and listen to readings of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, including two poems by my sweetie. She was her usual remarkable self (goosebumps) 🙂

While I would like to continue working tonight, I’m feeling the call of the pillow. That doesn’t mean I won’t be thinking about all the other stuff I have to do.

Camp Buehring, Kuwait - Lt. Col. David Cogdall...

Image via Wikipedia

Let me leave you with the latest from my gal Sarah. It seems that not only can she see Russia from her back porch, she can see Kim Jong-il on her friended list. It was an odd slip of the tongue, given that it’s the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and she loathes democrats. In her defense, she only made the mistake twice.

But it’s not all bad news for Republicans.

Today Tom Delay was convicted of money laundering. Tom always said his fund raising was squeaky clean. This confirms that he did launder the bulk of it.

Tom Delay's Carnival of Corruption

Image by eli867 via Flickr

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Ate Day

Liberty Hall

Liberty Hall. Image by jaqian via Flickr

Progress today:

1. wrote a flash for Show Me Your Lits.

2. read flashes at Liberty Hall.

3. caught up on Daily Science Fiction, at least a bit. One story, in particular, caught my attention. Outside the Box by Brian Winfrey. His first short story attempt. I’ll be interested to see what else he comes up with, whether he’s trapped within this lively voice or it is simply one facet of his craft.

4. worked some more on my critique for Australia.

5. first read on second critique

6. tweaked a flash piece and submitted it to Daily Science Fiction.

7. subbed a twitter fiction to Nanoism. I’ve had difficulty breaking into that market. I think my work is a touch too genre for his taste, but it’s on my bucket list now. We’ll see just how stubborn I really am. Have a look at Simon Kewin’s twitter fiction there. Cool, eh?

8. read Chapters 24-26 in Pride and Prejudice. To tell the truth, my mind kept wandering, but there was a marriage and a touch of fairly hilarious (and insightful) prose, as well as Lizzy deciding what love is not (she’s wrong, of course).

So, while I didn’t exactly finish what I wanted to finish, I did work my tail off, so I’m not going to beat myself up too much. I’ll leave that task to you, dear reader.

elephant pissing

Image by mygothlaundry via Flickr

In closing, I’m pretty pissed at North Korea today. That country needs a diaper change or something. And what’s with the hair? I hope it doesn’t blow up into more than the usual tantrum for world attention.

Kim Jong Il

Image by Dunechaser via Flickr

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Depiction of Behemoth from Collin de Plancy's ...

A nod to Patty Jansen

Progress today:

1. A couple hundred words in chapter 3

2. Critique nearly done

Not a productive day, though I did visit with a friend’s cat and read a pulp adventure story.

I will do better tomorrow.


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The folks over at Show Me Your Lits are discussing how we approach commenting on stories. Here’s how I answered, in case it’s helpful to you (if it is, you probably do need help).

My first goal is to understand what the flash is attempting to do to my brain and heart. This is different than trying to figure out what the author was trying to do. In 90 minutes, there’s a lot of unintentional effect, I think, and rather than me trying to infer the author’s motive, it seems more prudent to gaze into the wide eyes of that bunch ‘o words on the screen and ask: Okay, what is it you want from me? How can I help you get it? Does this have to do with that incident in Indiana?

Sometimes, I can see that the story is going about its business wrong, maybe pinching my nipple when it should be massaging my neck, or it’s shouting when a whisper will do, or it’s just not paying attention to itself (which kinda makes me think maybe I shouldn’t either). I mean I know what I respond to, right?

School banner

Honest Engine

So I try to be honest. I mean if a story looks me in the face and says, “Hey, does this make my butt look big?” I’m not doing anyone a service by telling it it has pretty eyes. I’m more likely to say, “Yeah, a little bit, but you know if you shift that around or maybe leave that bit off, it’s going to make a difference. Oh, and those eyes of yours are sure pretty.” That butt’s not going to shrink on its own is it? (well, sometimes, but not usually). So, yeah, I’m honest, but I try not to be brutal about it. I’m going to stop short of saying, “You’re a fat slob!”, mainly because that’s only going to make my own butt look bigger. Also, these stories are real bad about taking blatant negativity out on the poor authors whose fingers they used to get themselves onto my screen. They’re passive-aggressive like that.

So if something I write about that bunch ‘o words on my screen makes you wince or even hurt inside, please understand that it’s not intentional. I only meant to tell that flash that its butt looks a little big from my perspective. Maybe I need new glasses, or maybe that story’s just going a little passive aggressive on you. Tell it to behave or you won’t give it any more bones to gnaw.

If you’re serious about reaching your potential, it’s important to learn how to detach from your work (not while you’re writing it, but afterward, when you’re gauging its impact on other minds). There’s you and there’s this story that came out of you. What about that umbilical, you say? Learn to pinch that off while you reshape the prose. You’ll end up with more beautiful children.

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Australian Coat of Arms (adopted 1912)

Image via Wikipedia

Progress today:

1. Wrote a 1200 word flash for Liberty Hall. It’s a great idea, but 90 minutes did not do it justice. I’m hoping it will become the first scene of a longer story.

2. Started critique for my Australian friend. It’s taking longer than I wanted because I want to do a thorough job. I feel like he’s so close to breaking through that next layer of frustration.

3. Watched my Steelers trounce Oakland (for a change). Ooops, that’s not writing.

In other words, I didn’t achieve my goals for today. Ugh.


1. Finish Critique

2. Do critique for Triangulation purchaser

3. 500 words on Chapter 3.

4. 2-3 chapters in Pride and Prejudice

Feel free to heckle in the comments section. I would if it were you 🙂

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