marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
Is there an Ipad app that will edit MS Word documents without totally borking them?

If it can fix a couple of tricky past/present tense problems in my almost-finished story that would be a plus.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
Huffington Post has a slide show of writers who were "late bloomers," i.e. started writing later in life.  Of course I clicked over to it for some encouragement, since my writing tends to be stalled most of the time but I have hopes of publishing something someday.  So it seems that publishing your first book at 37 or 38 makes you a late bloomer.  Oh. Well, I guess I can't actually disagree with that. Apparently I have missed the late-bloomer train already, and I will have to continue to cling to Grandma Moses as a role model.

Chuckle

Jan. 24th, 2011 08:06 pm
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
The Journal of Universal Rejection

"You can send your manuscript here without suffering waves of anxiety regarding the eventual fate of your submission...."
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)

Anyone have an idea how long Tor.com takes to reply to submissions?  I'm eager to add to my collection of rejection notes but I don't want to pester them if I'm still in the usual-response window.  I subbed about 6 months ago.


marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
Holy crap, I finished a story. 

That I started writing in 2008.

I'm on a roll! If I keep it going, I can have another story finished in time for the Chicago Worldcon!
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
I have a story about a monster who eats people. Well, it's about the people, who then band together to kill said monster and eat him.  I've been thinking of this as a fantasy story, because it's essentially a pretty traditional dragon story.  Except there is not actually a dragon; it's a different monster.  And there are some fairly stabby bits, and people are woeful at times about all the death.  Is a fantasy with a lot of woe and stabbing maybe a dark fantasy or horror-ish fantasy?  I'm not ready to sub it yet (since half of it is still in my brain instead of on paper) but I'm wondering if I should try some of the horror-ish venues first instead of sending it to a bunch of fantasy editors who will think it's nasty.

I am also thinking my satire about a shop where you go to commit suicide neatly might also be more welcome at horror-ish venues than the SF/F places I've been sending it, but I know nothing about horror fiction (because it's scary, and I scare easily) so I dunno.

Thoughts?
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
via [livejournal.com profile] dsudis , a little widget that statistically analyzes text you dump into it and compares it to various authors.  I dumped a page of one of my stories into it and got: 

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!



I am heartened by the fact that when I dumped the first three paragraphs of The Dead into it, it said "I" write like James Joyce. I wanted to try dumping part of a free online Stephen King short story into it, but "free King story"=bwa ha ha ha ha right.

I'm pleased that it decided my prose is King-like, because he writes a type of straight-ahead "invisible" prose that I like a lot (his plots are another matter). I don't try to emulate him but I do like his style. I suppose if I try to emulate anyone stylistically it's Hemingway, except without all the bull (-fighting and -shit). I am aware that I do not succeed, what with my love of tortuous sentences, but it's good to have a touchstone.

This reminds me that once I told my Mom that I had gotten an audiobook of Hemingway short stories, and that I'd listened to one story so far. She said, drily, "was it about love, and death?" To which I truthfully replied "yes, and bullfighting," which made her about fall over with glee and mockery. She is an English professor with not much use for Hemingway.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
So, Mike had cleared a big chunk of time this weekend so he could watch Charlie on his own and I could go to Wiscon for a day. Since I'm not going, most of that day is available for re-purposing.  Mike's going to watch Charlie on his own for 6 + hours tomorrow while I drive a couple suburbs away, to a very nice library that has tiny private rooms with desks in them.  I am going to print out drafts and notes from the three stories that have been stuck in my mental queue since early 2009 (when the group project I had been writing for went kablooey), and I am going to put new batteries in my Alphasmart, and by gum I am going to draft those three stories, end-to-end.

Ferghal's Fall:  about a very hungry god, and his dwindling supply of worshippers
The Dig:  about an archaeological dig, and the personal secrets it turns up
Career Girl: a retro tale about a 1920's career girl trying to decide if she should accept a marriage proposal. Also, aliens attack.

They're all complete in my head....I just have to extract them.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
When your characters sit around on couches for an entire chapter discussing what kind of people they are, and what kind of person or archetype each of your other main characters is, and what their life paths have been and are meant to be, while your main character continually bemoans his lack of a clear sense of identity, this reader feels that she has ceased to read a novel and is instead reading the author's notes about a novel.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
Sometime I would like to see a group of characters in an SF novel sit down and have a meal that doesn't consist mainly of giant barbequed hunks of exposition. It's like there's a rule: if an author wants to have someone deliver a tedious speech explaining how the in-story government, water plant, or FTL drive works, it's copacetic as long as everybody's eating.


(Why yes, I *am* reading Heinlein at the moment!)
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
I drove past a big square building on South Western Ave....hardly any windows, big marquee sign across the front:
(sorry, couldn't get a pic of my own b/c driving)

MANAU - CUTLERY - SLICERS - GRINDERS - BAND SAWS sales and service

I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if a person ducked in there to get away from the rain, or a serial killer, or something.



Potatoes

Aug. 5th, 2009 01:21 pm
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
Potatoes actually come in a wide variety of colors:



Except when they don't:




Comparison inspired by this, via [profile] james_nicoll  and [livejournal.com profile] ktempest .  Scroll down to Paul Di Filippo's comment in which he discusses potatoes and corn and Sonic Youth.

Icons forthcoming.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
With a short-short deadline! Contest closes May 22.  Sounds cool.

http://www.darkfantasy.org/fantasy/?p=2712
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
I subbed "It's Your Funeral" to Clarkesworld. They say they respond within a few days, awesome! So I can keep the rejections coming in at a good clip.

So far, it's been rejected by F&SF, Strange Horizons, and Futurismic. Weird Tales sat on it for a while, then closed their submissions and bounced it unread. 

I also have a rejection from Glimmer Train in the pile, for a different story called Fratricide. I have no idea where to sub that one next, because I know fuckall about lit-fic markets, because I mostly hate lit fic. Except when I write it, don'ch'a know.

More, more! Bring on the rejections!  What I said a while back, about how the awfulness of the adoption process makes story rejections feel okay by comparison?  So far, it is holding true.

marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
I don't write fiction for fun.  Put another way, I do not enjoy writing fiction. Put yet another way, I fucking hate writing fiction, at least sometimes.  So I don't write much of it.

The problem is that I really like fiction written by me.   When I manage to write something, and finish it, I go "yay neato," and am happy about it.  And I remember a time, LONG ago, when I enjoyed writing all sorts of things, and I keep hoping I can get to a place like that again.

I sometimes think about writing some fanfic, because fic writing seems to be a joyful activity.  I'm not sure if it will be joyful for me, or will be more of the standard death-struggle with my bitchmuse, but I'm tentatively willing to find out.

I'm not particularly deep into any fandoms at the moment, although I may be re-watching all of Stargate: SG1 pretty soon.  And back in the day I used to be fond of B5 fic...jeez I'm old.  So I'm in the phase of  cogitating about stories I might want to tell, and stuff I've read or watched that seems like it has gaps.  I believe I may be able to find a loose plot thread or two in the X-Men somewhere...

Anyway: dear flist and anyone else who's interested, do you fic?  What fandoms?  Does it bring you joy, or is it a death struggle?  (I know some ficcers who write to fix the broken parts of the things they love, so it ultimately brings them joy, but there's a crucible to endure in writing it)  Do you write your own biological characters, and if so, is your process the same or different with your adopted characters?  Etc - tell me whatever you want to tell me about ficcing, or other writing, or fandoms, etc.

(Um and in case it needs saying, this is a fic-friendly place; please don't be copyrighteous.)
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)

I'm writing a story with a telepath in it, and I find myself falling back on the parameters set by other treatments of telepathy - proximity-based effect, touch-based effect, inhuman characters (vamps, androids) aren't readable, it's hard for telepaths to be comfortable around other people, etc.  I generally try to do something new with tired old concepts, but on this one my muse is just being damn lazy.

So I've gotten as far as realizing that having a teep character feel more relaxed around someone inhuman whose mind she can't read is straight outta Sookie-Stackhouse-land and has to go.  And I'm guarding against totally ripping off the paramaters of telepathy from Babylon 5 The Demolished Man. But my thinkpan is probably full of other telepath ideas that I may not know are overused or unoriginal. 

So, internets, wanna help me out?  What are some telepath clichés? Which ones are particularly tiresome?

marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (bluehair)
Go Here to see what this is about. Elise ([livejournal.com profile] elisem ) made the amazing pendant and Jo ([livejournal.com profile] papersky ) made the wonderful first poem and the meme.


-------------------------------------
What I know of Oracles

1. They see things.  Yes.  Everyone knows this, even me.
2. They see through the lens of you.  The visions have no form without the lens. Without me.
3. They fear the things they see. If they are brave, they warn; if not, they leave you be.
4. My Pythia flinched in that long-ago springtime. She could not bear to see.
5. Days later, I understood. Your death had been there all along, shining through the lens of me.
6. I know nothing more of Oracles.  They will not look at me.

-Mary Dell

marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
So I have 4 stories in various stages of work, and I'm not in the mood to work on any of them.  Unlike many (most?) other writers, I only write when I feel like it, so I produce very little, but I don't have angst (I used to try to do BIC and wordcounts and stuff, and that just contributed to my writers block).

-One story is almost done, but it may be too personal to show in public, so meh, I am not motivated.

-One story's first draft is almost done, but I have to change the title and name of a central character because it turns out someone in SFF fandom has the same rather unusual name.  Since the character in question gets killed and eaten it might be taken the wrong way, otherwise . However, I really like the name in that context.  Also I'm not sure the startup venue that I was writing the story for is a going concern.  Meh, not motivated.

-One story is a traditional whiz-bang about aliens attacking in the 1920's, except feminist (the story not the aliens), and I've got all the plot points and some of the dialogue worked out, but I need to do research to make sure I write a proper story about a 1920's architecture firm. Research? Meh. 

-One story is a complex elegy about failing relationships, archaeology, and the lies of history. I have it mostly worked out in my head but parts of it are not ripe, and I cannot write unripe stories. Meh.

-Of course there's also a novel, but let's not even go there.

A proper procrastinator would start an entirely NEW story, but I think I'll just let them all percolate while I spend my designated weekly "me time"* playing video games.


*Mike and I each take a half-day or so every weekend to do something fun for ourselves while the other one hangs out with the baby, as long as everyone's healthy. Ah, precious sanity time.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
I'm quite sure that there was not a big red sign on Weird Tales' submission guidelines page back in mid-January when I subbed a story to them. But a month later they have bounced my story submission with "sorry, we're closed to unsolicited subs until March 31 - feel free to submit again after that deadline" and I see there is a big red sign in place now.

So when a mag temporarily closes to unsolicited subs, they kick back all of the unread slush they've been sitting on? I guess I can see how that would happen, given that closing to subs is probably a sign of being too busy to read the slush. But it's annoying to have had my only decent story out of circulation for a whole month for no reason.
marydell: My hand holding a medusa head sculpture (by me) that's missing its snakes (Default)
Anyone know a good SF-short-story venue for a satire about suicide & empathy?  It's been rejected by F&SF, Futurismic, and Strange Horizons so far.  I have a whopping 2 finished stories that I'm willing to have in circulation and right now neither of them is subbed anywhere (the other one is lit-fic, and I'm probably not going to try very hard to place it).

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