Saturday, December 15, 2001

I have a fan! Actually, that's a gross exaggeration, but I did receive an e-mail this morning from someone who read "We'll Always Have Paris". Aside from the ego pump, which was and is enormous, this note got me thinking about Holly's question about why we write.

I thought about this question a lot before I answered it. My reaction to getting this note this morning was one of feeling validated and satisfied. This is the reason that I write -- the main one, anyway. There is a tremendous satisfaction and gratification in knowing that something that I wrote touched another life. I have disturbed the Universe. Somewhere in the world, someone now carries a tiny piece of me in their heart. I have left a mark, no matter how small, on the walls of the world.

The challenge now is to redouble my efforts, to make a bigger mark, and a bigger one after that, to reach out to other people and show them what I see and what I feel and make them see and feel the same things, so they will understand me better and, through me, others.

Early New Year's Resolution: make more of an effort to provide feedback to other writer. It makes a real difference.

Thursday, December 13, 2001

Wrote a short and quick Winterfest Tale for Holly's Challenge. 583 words - 128 supplied by Holly = 555 original.

Snorland Comments screwed and I just don't have time for that right now. If you have anything to say, just e-mail me. Ain't technology grand?

Blogspot appears to be off the air. It was hiccupping on the comments last night, which might have been an early indication of a problem. Thank Heavens for BlogBuddy!

"Writing Down the Bones" is just as fabulous as everybody says it is! Just got started on it, but I can already see that I'm going to have to get a separate notebook just to keep track of all the ideas that I want to remember. Required reading for all creative writers! I also like the size of the book. Just right for a shirt pocket. It is also so small that it forces the reader to focus on it very carefully, which really helps people like me that tend to drift sometimes while reading.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Sucky day. VPN still not working. Router admin is an idiot. Even if he knew which one was his thumb, he still couldn't figure out which hole to stick it in.

Also got word that software has to be installed on 48 systems in 3 different cities before 8:30 Monday AM. Looks like overtime this weekend . That commercial about IT is dead on the money. Hell, I even got a call last week from the woman who "opened that virus just like you told me not to".


Things are looking up, though. My copy of "Writing Down the Bones" came in this evening. Good times coming. If I can just get some time to read it!

Maybe I'll start a new virus hoax. The Trojan-Enz worm. Symptoms include mild convulsions accompanied by giggling and/or screaming followed by lethargy and mood swings. Possible side effects are swelling followed by sleeplessness, ulcers, and disappearing funds. Virus is curable by marriage, side effects are incurable, but usuallly clear up within about twenty years.

Pretty sad.

Thanks for the comments, BTW. Scary to think that somebody besides me is reading this swill.

Well, "Baby Blues" got rejected by Vestal Review. On the plus side, I got a personal note from the editor saying that they liked the story by that it wasn't dramatic enough for their taste. Progress! Form letters get tiresome after a while. Back to Writer's Market in search of further markets. I think this one has a future, if I can just locate the right place for it.

Monday, December 10, 2001

Monday, monday. Back to the Real World. Bleah!

Fighting with a "Network Engineer" over how to configure his switch to allow us to run a VPN. Jesus! How do people get these jobs? I had to look up the documentation for him and e-mail them to him so he can manage his own equipment! Heaven help us all.

Had a few slow minutes, so went back and started re-reading some of Holly's articles on writing ( for those of you who don't know ). Always a good source of inspiration when I'm feeling like I'm beating my head on a brick wall. Thanks, Holly!

Back when I started this Blog, I promised to tell the story of my Writer's Block, so here goes:

I've always written. When I was a kid, I used to hide under the covers at night (when I was supposed to be sleeping) with a flashlight and a notebook and write. Went for poetry in big way in high school and college, but finally figured out that I really suck at it, so I went back to short stories.

I never wrote anything that I thought was even remotely publishable until about five years ago, when I got on a vampire kick. I wrote a couple of pretty decent tales and got them online at the Redrum Coffeehouse, now defunct (Hi, Lesa! Miss you!). That was a real ego boost, and I started to get really serious about writing. Unfortunately, I immediately ran into trouble. Everything I wrote was flat and uninspired. The more I struggled, the worse it got. Finally, about three years ago, I pretty much just gave up writing. Missed it, too. That was a really bad time.

About ten months ago, things started to change. I was getting these story ideas, again. Trouble was, they were not horror stories, so I didn't know what to do with them. Tried to force a couple of them, put in monsters, stuff like that, but they wouldn't have it. I finally got one of them to come out. After a lot of birth pains and sweat, it turned into "We'll Always Have Paris". Sent it off to a horror site (it has a ghost in it, after all, and I was still convinced that I was a Horror Writer). Got back a letter almost immediately that said "It's a good story, but it's not horror". After I got over my hurt feelings (I always get my feelings hurt when the rejections come in), I sat down and took a serious look at the story. Turns out, they were right! It's a pretty good ghost story, but it's mainly a love story. Sent if off the The Writer's Hood. After some revisions (much needed, I'm still rawer than I like to admit), it went up in the December edition (in the General Fiction section, if anybody cares).

Anyway, it took me a long time to understand that the writing is the important part. Categories are only conveniences. At the risk of offending the Pagans, I guess you could say "An it hurt no one, write what you will". Just do it.

Glad to be out of that. Words and ideas are flowing again, and hope arises for a real professional publication Real Soon Now!

Sunday, December 09, 2001

Edited "The Easy Way Out" (found several areas that needed some improvement) and submitted to The Poet's Canvas (now also a paying market for short fiction)

Another one for the rejection pile. Pif says that "The Easy Way Out" is "not what we're looking for at the moment" :-( . I'll take another look at it this afternoon, and see who's next on the list for it. Got to get it back out the door before my feelings get too hurt.

Pick up work on "Play It Again, Sam" - start 276 words end 1022 words.

Have to put this one aside for a little bit and let the characters sort themselves out a little bit.

In the meantime, I need to worldbuild a little bit on "Bones".

Went to the Christmas Cantata last night at the Methodist Church. Came away feeling flat. They did a really good job, and it was a good show, it just didn't help. Even Charlie Brown didn't help this year. Maybe if it would just get cold, or even cool off a little bit. Short sleeves in the middle of December! Ridiculous! Janis Joplin helps for a little while. Nothing like a dose of dem ol' Kozmic Blues when things look bleak.

OK. This is really, really the last one, then back to work. I promise.

Still screwing around with the comments. Can't seem to get the link to line up the way I want it to. Got to let it drop and get back to work!

Story idea: What happened to Sam after everybody else left Casablanca? What was his take on the whole situation, anyway? How did he feel about being left behind?