A Hop Blog?

No, a blog hop. It’s early, I’m still drinking my tea so shush you. I have been watching this strange virus circling around my friends’ blogs over the past couple of weeks, causing insanity and mayhem. First Marie caught it, and that’s where it mutated from a common blog hop into the oddity it has become. An unusual component of this blog virus is that you choose three people to pass it on to. Marie gave it to Matt, Hayden and Geoff. Then Matt tagged Adam Shaftoe, who has now given it to me.

And so, here follows the questions posed to me by Adam, which I am compelled to answer.

1 – If you could time travel and steal somebody else’s novel/short story/film for yourself, what would it be?

This is tough. I was tempted to say The Black Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop as it is a favourite of mine and the series I have reread the most (I’ve lost count now), but I must admit I am a little afraid of how twisted her brain must be in order to have written it, so maybe I’ll just let her keep it. I know! I would travel to the future and steal my own novel. I know you are all just dying to get your hands on it, so let’s speed up the process, shall we? 😉

2 – What writing sin do you actively have to struggle against in your own work?

The dreaded white room, ie not actually describing the setting. It’s a little ironic, given my experience doing NaNoWriMo. NaNo tends to encourage too much and inefficient description thanks to the all-encompassing goal of sheer word count. I’ve gotten better with it, though I also have to watch for just using visual description and forgetting all those other lovely senses.

3 – Pick three writers, past or present, that you would want to have dinner with. Why those writers?

The Bard, aka Billy Wigglesticks, aka William Shakespeare, then I can finally find out the truth of whether or not he actually wrote all those plays himself. More importantly, I want to know if they had a real bear or a man in a bear costume for the line “Exeunt, pursued by bear.”
Seneca, so I can give him shit for writing Thyestes and thus inspiring a whole trend of Revenge Plays during the Renaissance, which almost destroyed my already fragile sanity in university. I must strongly advise you all against reading several Revenge Tragedies over the span of a week. It is massively depressing.
(I see my theatre side is showing through here.)
And Wilhelmina Sanchez because I absolutely loved her book The Velvet Crossing (published in 2307) and would love to pick her brain about it and ask her some questions about life in the 24th Century, also next week’s winning lottery numbers. Strange that the library doesn’t seem to have that work on offer any more or any other future works.

4 – You have forty-two words, write a story.

John closed his eyes and squeezed Suzanne’s hand. He swallowed the lump in his throat and looked deeply into her azure eyes, glossy with unshed tears.

“When are you coming back?” she asked, her voice small and trembling.

“I don’t know.” Never.

And so this would be the point where I tag other writers. But my immune system has vanquished this virus.

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Checking In

At the beginning of the year, I had a whole list of things I was hoping to accomplish in 2014. I’ve discussed these and my progress with some of my writing buddies, but since I posted that list here I thought maybe I should post an update here as well. You know, keep myself honest. 😉

My goal is to submit 6 new short stories by the end of the year. I am well on my way. So far I have submitted 5. Four of those were already drafted, some already critiqued by the Narwhals, but they went through editing and finalizing (as much as a story is ever final before publication) and made their first submissions only in 2014. One of the stories is the umpteenth attempting at writing a story that has been in my head for about two years now. The first version was lost when my old laptop crashed. Afterwards I tried approaching it from a very different angle (first person recounting of things well after the fact), didn’t like it and so I shelved the whole idea for several months. I came up with a new approach to the story, tried again, had it critiqued, edited and critiqued again. But I decided that the story wasn’t going in the direction that I wanted so I shelved it yet again. Then less than a month ago I came up with yet another idea on how to approach the story, wrote it, got a little feedback, and finally pressed the send button on this version. I sent it to Writers of the Future for their March 31 deadline so it won’t be until this summer that I hear back on that.

I’ve also started drafting a story for a South-East Asia steampunk anthology and have ideas percolating for a dieselpunk anthology. So I should surpass my 6 story goal. yay! I haven’t had a chance to work on the novel yet. Balancing storytelling (another rehearsal, a smaller one, for Iliad last Saturday, and wrapped up the Arthur show), slushing and writing has been enough of a challenge of late. But it is on the to-do list and I think especially in the later half of this year I should have more time to focus on that.

Oh, and one last thing. Happy 30th rejection to me! I just hit 30 last night with a rejection from On Spec. A little sad they didn’t take the story but I got some fantastic feedback on it. That story will have to wait for revisions before it goes out to market again. And I still have a second story awaiting a response from On Spec, so who knows? (knock on wood)

PS. No April Fools’ jokes here, the internet has enough of them. 😉