Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Okay I'm Back!

Well, Planet Ds Tier Three Cluster Three is finally done. Just waiting for dana to edit and lay it out. I've been soooo backed up, I'm so far behind, it's just shameful.

I haven't started working on Scorch 2 again, I haven't done lots of what I'm supposed to be doing. In my defense, I am judging the Dream Realm Awards this year (the first round of which I've finished judging) and I am participating heavily in Thylacon, this years National Australian Science Fiction convention, which is being held right here in Hobart, Tasmania. How cool is that?

Though I'm on quite a few panels, my biggest reponsibility is a parody of the ABC (that's the Australian Broadcasting Company, not the ABC most Americans would recognize) tv series, the Glass House. So this friday night, I'll be hosting the Green House; a news-panel-comedy discussion of Australian current events in the year 2050. To tell you the truth, I'm nervous as hell. I mean...while I've scripted part of it, it's a panel show, and I have no idea how funny or quick-witted the panelists will be, not even myself. It's a lot of pressure. I can't wait until it's done, so I can enjoy the rest of the con.

One of the guests is Rob Valentine, the Lord Mayor of Hobart. It should be interesting. I'm interested in seeing if I make a fool of myself or not. Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I did get Planet Ds edited and now it's in dana's hands. I'd really REALLY like to ship it before the con.

Oh! Another thing that's been taking my time up is Novelspot. If you haven't been there click on the link above...www.novelspot.net, a new book review site. Yes, I'm there, helping to run things. So my time has been spent training reviewers, editing and making policy. I should be writing. I have to get back to writing afer the con, but when you see the site, you'll understand why I'm so enthused over the project and why I allow it to take up so much of my time.

Does this blog post sound like an excuse as to why I'm not writing. It probably is. When I'm not working on my writing, I feel like I'm playing hookey. Okay, maybe I am, but I do have other projects, two of which will be over soon. Then, finally, I can get back to Earth Scorched.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Whoops!

So I'm sitting here, updating the links on the articles section on my master nage website (see link above).

On some level, I knew there were issues of my Dominants View column Master-D-bates that I hadn't yet archived. I just hasn't made the time to rectify the situation before now. While I was working, I decided to check what was on my hard drive with what I had linked. Low and behold, I found an issue of Master-D-Bates that I can't find archived on the web. In fact, I can't find it anywhere. What the hell happened?

I was pretty sure I submitted it. Did I forget? Did it get lost in transit? Did it get forgotten on the other end? Was it consumed by cyber-termites?

I read the article, subtitled "You're not a Dominant If..."

It was terrific. How much stuff do you have to write to completely forget about some of it.

I'm just waiting to hear back from Kayla Kuffs (edtior of the Dominant's View) for an answer.

If it's not published, it will be in the next issue.

Sahara Ice - Dealing with Writer's Block

Yes, I've neglected my blog...again. My only excuse is that I'm completely unreliable, and you should never believe anything I say. It will all end in tears if you do. Just ask my ex-wives. lol

Anyway, the new issue of Sahara Ice is up (see the link above), but you don't have to take my word for it...go and read it for yourself.

This issue of Sahara Ice may or may not have anything to do with YOUR writer's block, but it's sure about mine.

And now, it's time to ride modestly off into the sunset.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Vote for Slave Heart

If you loved Slave Heart, and want to support my writing career, please consider voting for me in the Love Romances Golden Rose Award. Slave Heart has been nominated for the best erotic romance. To vote, go to http://www.loveromances.com/goldenrose.html of click on the link above!

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A Word About OQ

Years ago I was a huge Dungeons and Dragons player. I loved it. Back then we changed all the rules that didn't make sense, until we had a completely different game. So I wrote it an called it Doublestar.

This is not a computer based roleplaying game, but a pen and paper RPG, the type I love best. In any event, I wrote Doublestar. The player's handbook was 118 pages, and I even managed to get some illustrations for it, which was pretty cool. I sold about 50 copies at one point, before my first wife decided she owned half of it, even though she did nothing more than proofread the manual for me, and perhaps put up with me writing it.

In any event, Doublestar was rewritten a couple of years back under the name OQ, short for Odd is Ze Qwest. Yes, it's a very bad pun. If you don't get it, you don't want to know.

The best thing about OQ is that the character sheets are very detailed. The worst thing about OQ is that the character sheets are very detailed, or rather it takes a long time to generate a character (which is done by rolling dice, if you must know, and making a bunch of calculations).

Years ago, I had a doublestar character generation program that I wrote in basic on my old Amiga 500 computer. It was a great program. It did everything. It allowed you to generate a new, random character, or input one you've already rolled. Then you could save it, edit it, print a character sheet, what a great tool.

A year or so ago, I made a brave attempt to program an OQ character sheet generation program on some shareware basic program I downloaded on the computer. It sucked. I'm using a better version of basic now, and recently, since I had to give up origami due to back pain, began programming again. I had some of the program written and I'm back into it. I'm rather happy with how it's coming along.

I need a hobby that's really involving to unwind, or my mind won't shut off. I need to beat my mind into submission to get to sleep. So programming is perfect. Hopefully I'll have a working character generation program in a month or so. I'm pretty excited about it.

Oh, I don't play OQ, by the way, I just write the program. Pretty stupid, huh. Still, my stepson Lachlan has been interested in OQ for a long time and is trying to get some friends from school into it, so maybe it will come in handy anyway.

Maybe I'll even find a couple of friends here in Tassie who want to get a game together. Or maybe an online game, which would be problematical, but it could work.

I guess I'll have to give it some thought.

Stuff I've Been Working On

Well, dana and I are about halfway through the edit of A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation. We just got finished typing in the corrections for Virtual Confusion. Every time I read this story I like it more. For all that it's one of my oldest stories it's one of my favorites. I have a lot of favorites from back when, actually, and this is up there with them.

I am in the process of editing genre definitions for the reviewers at Novelspot to use at the request of Erika, our beloved site manager. I also did a dynamic interview (no I won't explain what that is here) with Adrianna Dane for Novelspot this week, which I have yet to finish editing.

I wrote the rough draft of a review for Novelspot, of Stephen King's book On Writing, which I loved. I have to read and review Tyrant Moon by Elaine Corvidae soon. I can't wait. She's a terrific writer.

I still have to write this months Speculative Fission column for the Novelspot newsletter, I'll probably do that tomorrow. Maybe. lol Hopefully I'll also finish up an article I wrote to help out the Novelspot review team called The Anatomy of a Review. It is Novelspot's goal to offer training to all our reviewers to improve the quality of their reviews over time. I hope it's a huge success.

I was over at Fictionwise today and I reached a milestone, if a small on. A Leaf in the Wind (which is currently the #41 fantasy bestseller on Fictionwise) now has over 30 ratings, 31 to be exact. It was sitting at 29 reader ratings for so long, I was beginning to think I'd never have 30 ratings on any of my books. Strangely enough, my top rated book only has twelve ratings. Go figure. A Cure for the Common Curse is also doing well rating-wise and continues to be a humor bestseller at Ereader.com, which is pretty cool.

I'm waiting for Deron Douglas of Double Dragon to send me a cover for Consigned to Darkness. It will be up for sale not long after that, which is good for me. It will put another ebook in fictionwise fantasy. You have to keep your name out there and that's one way to do it, but damn it's hard work.

I mean, if I'm finishing off a fantasy book, my erotica career languishes and vice versa. It's not easy. I have to come out with at least two books per career, or four books a year to make it, as close as I can tell. Fun, fun, fun.

I still don't have my issue of Sahara Ice edited, or my new Planet Ds issue written. I have to do both of these this week in addition to all the Novelspot chores I've been handling.

The fun never ends. lol

Saturday, April 16, 2005

I Think I Sold a Book

Okay, I've sold lots of books. However, this one is different.

A while back, I left a couple of copies of Fantasy Cereal, my Zumaya double novel, at a local bookstore called Ellison Hawker. The store specializes in science fiction and fantasy.

Today I stopped by and it looks like one copy has sold. I don't think any of my books have sold from a bookstore shelf before this (and if they did, I wasn't around to see it).

It's a small thing, but it's sorta cool.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

My Dream Allows Me No Time To Sleep

I should be writing Earth Scorched right now. I had thought to start that on April 1st. I'll be lucky to start it on May 1st.

Turns out I have to edit A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation for print. Lida Quillen from Twilight Times Publications contacted me. I should have had it in ages ago, but with the changes the company was going through, I really never had a clear date and admittedly, I kept putting it off for projects that were due. Now I'm cramming at the last hour again.

A Creative Edge is a seventeen-story anthology that's 93,000 words long. It includes all my early work including classic stories such as Music to My Ears, Born of Darkness, As Luck Would Have It and the Necklace of N'larikan. It differs from the very first ebook version that was published, with the addition of the short story Tales of Speculation. This was added as an afterthought.

See, I have a method for naming my anthologies. Dream Sequence and other Tales from Beyond was named for the titles stories Dream Sequence and Tales from Beyond. They are the first and last story in the book respectively. A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation starts with the story A Creative Edge, but lacked a story called Tales of Speculation at the end, so I wrote one. It's probably not as aptly named as it could be, but I wanted to use that name and the truth is, it's such a fun story no one has noticed that the name might have been better chosen. Naturally, I have to go and ruin everything by confessing here.

I have enough short stories for at least another anthology, maybe two. The tentative title of my third anthology would be Dream Warriors and other Rites of Passage. Rites of Passage was published in Twilight Times magazine, where as Dream Warriors, one of my favorite stories, remains unsubmitted. I really have to do something about that in my copious free time.

I just submitted my story Dead Wrong to Quantum Muse a new market for me. They don't pay a lot, but I can't think of a pro market that would take Dead Wrong and it was all edited and ready to go. I have a lot of stories like that, just about ready to go, sitting on my hard drive doing nothing. Should I sell them all for ten bucks a piece, or shoot for the gold? I guess I'll try a bit of both, depending on the story.

If you've been reading this blog, you'd know that two of my stories have recently been published in ezines (A Matter of Grave Importance and Euthanasia) and I'm looking to spread my name around a bit, and gain a wider audience by sending out some others. I don't care if I give them away, it's free advertising. That's how I look at it. Hell, Alaric Swifthand, Reflections of a Recovering Servant and Confronting the Void were all given away at one point for free, and they were a lot more work than a short story. But they helped me build a readership.

So now, I go back to my roots, submitting stories, in some cases for a pittance, trying to increase my share of a jam-packed market.

And instead of starting the new projects I have lined up (Earth Scorched, A Game of Ghosts), I have to try to get A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation as clean as possible for print.

Can I complain? Not really. I'm writing full time. I'm so far ahead of where I was two years ago, it's not funny. Sure I've got a long road ahead of me, and I may not yet see the light at the end of the tunnel, but at least I've reached the tunnel.

So if you don't hear from me for a while, I've got my head stuck in an edit. Hopefully I'll have enough strength at the end of each day to post here.

By the way, if you recognize the title of this blog installment, then consider yourself a die-hard fan. I used this title as the subtitle for one of my Shattered Fragments columns that appeared in The Wandering Troll Ezine years ago. If you didn't recognize it, that's cool too, because I only just thought of it now myself.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I folded The Sphinx

Okay I didn't get much done today. After staying up all night on Far Chatters to promote my work, I got to little sleep, did yet more work on the new webpages and then had to go to a quiz night at a local pub, helping to raise money for Thylacon, the Australian National SF convention that I'll be attending in June.

Afterwards, dana and I typed a few edits into a story called The Tree, which is part of my anthology A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation, which we're editing for print. Then I decided I needed to unwind. I found a number of origami diagrams online, and started downloading. I downloaded 52 files, including instructions on how to make an origami chess set and also, instructions on how to make The Sphinx.

It's pretty complex, at least for me. I didn't expect to be able to complete it the first time out but complete it I did. Soon as I figure out how to put pictures on this damned blog, I'm going to take a pic of it and show the world. It's not perfect, but I'm very proud of my Sphinx.

I guess I'd better get the editing done first tomorrow, before I start playing.

If anyone is interested in some of my older origami, check out the webpage link above. I've actually done more complex origami than this, but don't have pictures at this time.