Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Happily Home

Now Playing: YOU KNOW NOTHING by Ramin Djawadi
Just Read: FOOL by Christopher Moore--Very fun, super funny and witty. I loved the language and the humor. Good example of a book I don't have the talent to write, haha.
Reading Now: THE CAPTAINS by W.E.B. Griffin

Successfully back on the East Coast!

It was a long drive all by my lonesome, but I gotta say, it was a great time. Just me, my Camaro, and the open road, from California across the Nevada desert, through the Utah rock structures, up into the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and down in the rolling plains of Kansas and Missouri, back to the forests of Kentucky and the Appalachian Mountains of winding West Virginia, down through the hills of Virginia and finally the Piedmont of North Carolina. Home!

I think everyone should drive across the country at least once in their lives. Take some time to see the land flying by your window and realize how far people have come, how much work they did, and how much wonderful wilderness is still out there to enjoy. The American cities are amazing and cultured and have so many secret details. The memory pool I can pull from for settings now is so much more detailed.

As soon as I got home I was gone again. It was my best friend's birthday, and we went to Disney World to celebrate and to watch his girlfriend compete in Dance World's 2014--a great and fantastic show, so proud and happy for them! In between shows we got to drink beers at every country in Epcot, ride super rides, and watch live music. So hard to beat Disney, and one of my favorite parts--the fireworks show--I can remember watching as a ten year old kid and wanting to write stories as exciting as that show. It was the same at twenty-four.

Lots of work ahead of me--I made a list of stories to edit, and it's a long one. I still have to pound out April's W1S1 story, and I got a rejection from my story that was on hold at the Writers of the Future contest, so that story has to get back out there somewhere. One thing about writing, there are always more stories to be written. The work NEVER stops. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

On Your Mark

Now Playing: STAR WARS THEME by John Williams

The time has come to say goodbye to the West Coast. 

I've been out here since September, and made more friends and more memories than I can fit into a simple blog post. More than a few might well end up as characters and stories one day. Have a beer out with me one night, and perhaps I'll share some. 

I'm really looking forward to being home for a while, and to starting my next three-month adventure stint in Washington, D.C. 

 I wonder what new stories the nation's capitol will present? Only time will tell. 

I'm starting the cross-country drive in the next few minutes. A middle of the night departure to avoid LA and Vegas traffic (if I'm lucky), stop tonight in Boulder, CO, then on to St. Louis day 2, and home in Raleigh, NC Saturday night. I feel like a main character setting off on a quest.

A wise hobbit once said: It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and you never know where you might be swept off to.

Let's find out, shall we?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

New Story Published!

Now Playing: SEVEN NATION ARMY by the White Stripes
Just Read: THE GOOD NURSE by Charles Graeber--Frightening in how easy it was for someone to commit something so heinous in a place of trust. Great book, but lots of heebie jeebies. Made me feel insane myself a few times.
Reading Now: FOOL by Christopher Moore

My story "Dancing in the Black Blizzard" was published this morning!

I'm very excited to see this story in print . . . finally! Like I mentioned in my last blog post, this story is one of my old favorites, and it's been through a lot of revisions and rejections (even some personalized ones) before the final draft found a home at a great new magazine: Perihelion Science Fiction.

The word "perihelion" describes a place in a planet's orbit where it is closest to the sun. Appearing its pages makes me feel like that--warm and prosperous. It's an addictive feeling, having a good story published in a good magazine, and it makes me really want to continue having stories accepted the rest of this W1S1 challenge. I have some good drafts out there that need to be revised, and hopefully, with some perseverance, they'll find homes like "Dancing in the Black Blizzard" did.

Take a moment to savor this . . . now, back to work!