October 2xCreative

October is freaky busy around here. There’s birthdays, anniversaries, family visits, Thanksgiving… it’s busy.

So of course I decided to sign up for the October 2xcreative project 🙂

Basically if you sign up you’re randomly paired with someone else who has signed up and you work on a creative undertaking together, then you share your results with the community.

There haven’t been a whole lot of sign-ups over there lately and I think it’s a great community so I’d like that to change. If you have a little bit of spare time this month why not pop over and sign up. You might just enjoy yourself, and besides, I need a partner and right now I’m the only person signed up 😉

Clicky here to go to the sign-up post 🙂

Interwebz are Bad (for me) Mmk?

Something is wrong with me.

I can’t get anything done these days (and by days I mean months). It’s really bothering me. I feel like I’m wasting my life and, as I bet you can imagine, that’s not a good feeling.

I don’t want to go into a long self-pitying ramble, or play the self-diagnosis/analysis thing here. Those things won’t help me and will only bore you. There is a strong possibility there are a few labels we could plop onto me if I were to talk with a psychologist and I bet they would even be treatable, but there’s another strong possibility. I think the internet is bad for me.

I realise how ridiculous that sounds coming from someone who runs an e-zine, but it’s true.

When I am unplugged I feel focused, centered, relaxed and I get things done.

My samples are somewhat biased by the fact I’m normally only unplugged when I’m on vacation, so I’m going to (unscientifically) test my new ‘The internet is bad for me’ hypothesis over the next few months. I can’t unplug completely (work and wow make sure of that) but I am going to dramaticaly limit my internet access. Seriously.

The network is going to be configured to be down all day but for an hour (except on my raid day). One hour a day of being online*. One hour. Saying it I feel a mixture of dread and excitement.

I’m going to have one hour to check social networking websites, research, look up markets, surf, Flickr, read Niteblade submissions, you name it. Email is something I’ll be able to download and read offline, and compose replies to send when I go online, so that shouldn’t be a problem. However, only having an hour of browser time is going to require a lot of prioritizing on my part. It’s going to be challenging but I think it will largely sort itself out without too much concious thought from me.

Best of all, maybe I’ll be able to focus and actually get stuff written, revised, done. Focus is good — keep your fingers crossed this will help give it back to me.

I’ll let you know how this goes.

As a reward for reading this far, here are some pictures I took yesterday when I went to the U of A campus on a photo safari:

*The network will be on in the evenings but cutting access to an hour during working hours is pretty dramatic. That’s 6 or 7 hours less internet a day.

Funneh

I’m working on my zombie chapbook today (mostly trying to figure out what to include). That involves a lot of looking at file names and going ‘What the hell is that?’ and then opening them to find out. It’s a bit frustrating but it is helping me clean out folders a bit. Tossing things into the ‘Trunk’ directory when their time has come and reminding me of a piece or two that really just need a little attention to be something I could be proud to submit.

It also resulted in my re-discovering this drabble. I remember writing it back when I first learned what a drabble was (in 2007!) and it was actually my second drabble ever. It falls into a third category ‘Cute, but not really worth revising’. It is worth sharing here though, I think, because it made me smile, hopefully you’ll have the same reaction.

A Long Day

Jack cursed himself for the third time and stomped angrily around the clearing.

If he returned to the ship his crew would know what a fool he’d been and wouldn’t respect him anymore. He should have brought one of them with him to help, they could they have carried the darned chest instead of he, and done the digging too.

Swearing once more Jack dropped to his knees and began to dig in the soft sand; it was going to be a long day.

“What kind of barnacle sucking, bilge-brained pirate goes to bury treasure without a shovel?!” he screamed.

On a related note, there’s nothing that’s humbling in quite the same way as reading some of your old work, is there? It’s inspiring though, to look bad and see how much I’ve improved in the past 4 years because it makes me excited to see how I’ll be writing in 2015 🙂

*posts before she can no longer resist the urge to start editing*

😉

Guest Blogger: Jon Pinnock

Are you kidding me? Take a look at that cover right there. How freaking amazing is that? I love it. Seriously. And I know, I know, you can’t judge a book by its cover, but dude! Also, I know Jon and happen to think he’s a pretty awesome guy and a skilled writer, so, ya know, that helps…

Right. I should start at the beginning, I suppose, instead of just sort of gushing randomly.

There’s this guy, right? Named Jonathan Pinnock and he submitted a story to Niteblade. It was a great story and I happily accepted it. I enjoyed working with him and followed him on Twitter. I have since gotten to know him better and consider him a friend.

His novel, Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens was recently released and though I haven’t yet read it (It’s sold out on Amazon.ca at the moment) I am seriously looking forward to it.

When I learned he was doing a blog tour, I invited him to make a stop here. I think Jonathan is my first ever guest blogger on this blog, and what did he chose for his topic? Um, in part, me. O_o

Give it a read and then please check out the links at the bottom, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

 

~*~

Hello everyone. I’m supposed to be here to say a bit to publicise something I’ve written, but I really think I ought to say a bit about Rhonda instead. Because Rhonda is one of a very special bunch of people that keep writers like me going: small press editors.

In case you don’t know, Rhonda edits a Horror and Fantasy magazine called Niteblade. It’s a reasonably challenging publication to get into: according to Duotrope, only 7.5% of submissions get accepted (and you can bet the real figure is considerably lower than that). So for an aspiring writer, to get accepted by Rhonda is pretty encouraging.

Back in 2008, when I was struggling to make my mark on the world, I had stuff published in a number of small press magazines, including Niteblade (with a rather odd bodyswap story called “An Unsuitable Replacement” if I remember correctly). I think a clocked up somewhere between 30 and 40 hits that year, and each publication felt like another step along the very long and twisting road towards becoming a writer.

The editors of magazines like Niteblade aren’t in it for the money. It really is a labour of love. Again, according to Duotrope, rejections are sent out an average of 18.5 days after receipt and acceptances an average of 23.5 days. If you stop to consider the amount of consistent effort required to keep up that quality of turnaround (and also imagine what some of the rejected pieces must actually be like), you realise why so many of these magazines fold. But some of them, like Niteblade, keep going, publishing stuff from the likes of you and me.

So here I am, with my first novel in the shops. It’s called “Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens”, it’s a comic sci-fi sequel to “Pride and Prejudice” and it’s very funny if I say so myself (but I’m kind of biased, I suppose). If you want to read more about how it came to be written and published (by Proxima, an imprint of the extremely respectable Salt Publishing), please do take a look at some of the other posts on this blog tour (check out www.jonathanpinnock.com for more details). For now, I’d just like to salute the heroes of the small presses and thank all the folk out there like Rhonda who keep on doing it for the love. I wouldn’t have got to this point without you guys.

Important stuff about the book: the website for it is at www.mrsdarcyvsthealiens.com and it’s available in all the usual online places (including, amazingly, the Jane Austen Centre Online Giftshop, where they have some signed copies). If you’re in the UK, it’s still on promotion in WHSmith, so you can actually buy it in a high street store. How about that?

~*~

Thank you so much for stopping by Jonathan, and best of luck with Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens and all your future projects 🙂

 

Miss Me?

Wow. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Did you miss me?

I unplugged and went here for vacation:


(in case that slideshow isn’t working for you, check out the pictures here)

It was lovely. I was unplugged, unstressed… relaxed. I learned a few things about myself and recharged my batteries and came home.

Then I promptly got sick.

Okay, so there was a little time in between the return and the sickness, but it wasn’t long, and I’m just now getting better… and re-recharging my batteries LOL

Such is life, right?

In between my last blog and now we also put out another issue of Niteblade:

It’s a fabulous issue. I say that a lot, and I’m never lying LOL This one is great and if you like fantasy and horror stories or poems (and if you don’t why are you reading my blog anyway?) it’s totally worth a visit. Just click the picture, it will take you there.

Right now I’m trying to catch up on my essay-writing course for school and I’m starting to brainstorm some ideas for this year’s NaNo novel (I’m thinking it may be a western O_o. I know, right?). In the next couple days I’m hoping to begin working on the layout for my zombie poetry chapbook and maybe some *gasp* edits.

And I sold a poem to the new Zombiefied! anthology

Also, I have a super schmexy new pen I need to take pictures of to share with you.

Oh! And I have some friends who will be doing guest posts here too.

The point I’m trying to make is, I’m back.

And I missed you.