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Showing posts from September, 2011

Further adventures of NYC Midnight...oh, and Daleks!!!

FenCon Day 2:

By the second day, I mustered enough courage? stamina? to attend some actual panels. They were entertaining, instructional and enlightening. After dinner, I began to wish I could have a do-over as I suddenly realized how much I was missing by allowing myself to be overwhelmed the day before... *sigh*

The first panel I attended, impressed upon me the importance of word choice--- specifically in the realm of context. One of the panelists used as an example, a mistake she herself had made. The lines of discussion previously had been about ensuring that you were using the correct word. She wanted to point out that you could use a word, that in terms of definition would make sense, but, which might have a more accepted definition that would take the word out of context. Her beta readers were quick to point out the mistake she had made. In a love scene, she described the man caressing his lover's "spare breasts"--- the author, had of course, meant to illustrate t…

Root Beer ... AND... NYC Midnight Round 2

FenCon--- Day 1

Made it to Dallas around 3-4p this afternoon and while milling around, waiting for the room I reserved to finally pass inspection so I could unpack my suitcase, I realized how overwhelmed I was by the sheer level of activity. There were so many panels to choose from, so many cliques of authors, readers, Steampunk devotees, etc, that I couldn't see which way I was walking.

I finally settled into my room, with the intent of clearing my head and accepted that I would probably not be attending the 3 panels I had asterisked on my program guide for today.

I was/am okay with that... I'm in Dallas, things will get better....

Annnnnd, the evening became much, much, much better.

     For anybody that may ever stay in the Dallas Crowne Plaza hotel... you MUST have McArthur's (hotel restaurant) Sweet Chocolate Creme Brulee... with raspberries.... It. Is. Heaven... in a ramekin! I spent an entire hour trying to stretch the experience of it.

And, as if I didn'…

Judges' reaction to NYC Midnight entry....

The good thing about the NYC Midnight contest is the feedback that comes with every entry. There is a forum set up on the site, explicitly designed for competitors to post links to their stories to receive peer feedback. And, as a bonus, the judges send an email with their own feedback. 

This is a new experience for me. Most of the competitions out there that I've entered feel so very distant. You send your story into the ether of blind-judging and wait until the "winner announcement date" to know whether or not your story sucked--- and when you didn't place, there's nothing to indicate how close you might have come to placing. 

There is a sense of community at NYC Midnight, one that is intent on encouraging writers and developing writers with constructive feedback. 

I've included what the judges said about my piece. Apparently, I understood the Romantic Comedy genre better than I thought I did. And, the parts the judges felt needed work were exactly what I alre…

NYC Midnight Round 1 Results are in....

The officials just posted the results for Round 1, which took place last month over the Aug 19th- 21st weekend. For Round 1, my assigned genre was Romantic Comedy, my assigned location was A Hair salon, and my assigned object to include was A Box Of Tissue. The resulting story, A Night In Before The Night Out, placed 11th. Not a stellar showing, but, as it was my first attempt at NYC Midnight challenges annnnnd as I have never written a Romantic Comedy in my life, I think I did fairly well--- especially considering that any story ranked 16th+ did not receive any points for this round.

In hindsight, my story was grossly lacking any sort of conflict or plot movement, and as Romantic Comedy isn't a genre I read, I was at a loss as to what the story should contain. I think the judges were a bit too giving, or lenient, in assigning my ranking in the group.

Round 2 starts tomorrow night... while I'm attending FenCon VIII in Dallas. It should be interesting to see how I fare trying t…

7X7 Awards

David Macaulay, from Brits in the USA, passed this little award on to me about a week ago.... and, it's taken me that long to come up with the posts that are part of the award's requisites.

The idea of the 7X7 award is simple enough... you list the blog post from your archive that most represents the 7 categories provided, and then you pass the award to 7 other bloggers--- simple....

At least, I thought it would be, but then I was stuck trying to figure out what blog posts I had that would even qualify ----

---- then I realized that it's all subjective and meant to fun, so I just picked some that came close.... some of these posts, I'll admit, I had forgotten that I wrote. Funny what you stumble across when you start researching your own archives.... 
But, back to the point of this post--- links to my category-specific blogs :
Most Beautiful: As you pass my grave, with all your thoughts on me....This was a hard category to select a blog post for.... when I think about b…

Stupid ol' clouds, why you got to rain on my parade??

Figures.... this weekend is setting up to be an Epic Win, and I have to set myself up as an Epic Fail....

So many wonderful things are aligning in my microcosmic/nerdy universe for this weekend that I can hardly stand it... and lo, I am hardly standing at all *pathetic sigh*

September 23rd kicks off----

     1/ FenCon VIII in Dallas, linked here. It'll be the first time I've seen a literary convention and the first time I've seen any part of Dallas, other than the airport. I can't wait for this road-trip!

     2/ The second part of the First Round of NYC Midnight Flash Fiction contest, linked here. I don't really know how I'm going to manage to get this story written in 48 hrs while the convention's going on--- let's hope the hotel's WiFi doesn't flip out--- I blogged about the first part of the First Round here, and posted my first round story, here, if you'd like to give it a read.

    3/ Season 7 of one of the few shows I actually try to …

Dying to get in, or dying to get out....

It was a day for death....

.... if there could ever be such a day---

It struck me as odd, on the way to work this afternoon, the number of death-related references I passed.

On any regular day there is the occasional, even incidental references to death--- passing conversations, news reports, mortuary advertisements--- but, today, the frequency of reference was enough to give me pause.

First, there was a church marquee that asked the question: Where will you spend eternity? Not an off-hand question for a church marquee, but, most of the churches near my house use quirky, play-on-word slogans to entice new followers. This was the first time I could recall such an ominous line.

Then, there was the cemetery that I pass everyday. Most times, the cemetery is quiet--- perhaps the occasional  burial. Today, however, the cemetery had seen FOUR new residents move in. The funerals had just finished, the mounds freshly formed, the tents still sitting over the graves.

Finally, another 5 miles dow…

Where were you the day the world stopped.....

I recall the day being very quiet, as if the world had stopped breathing.

When the tragedy actually occurred, I was most likely asleep.

The first moment I realized what had happened, I was in my dorm room. Having just showered, I turned on the television while I finished dressing for class. The only thing I really remember is being completely dumb-founded. I stood for a few moments, watching the news feed play and replay the collapsing of the towers and I couldn't move.

Even though my brain and eyes struggled to convince me that what I was witnessing wasn't real, my heart and legs had already succumbed. I sank to my bed and for a full minute, I stopped breathing. Things like this don't happen... not here. Tragedies like this occur in other parts of the world ... not here. 

I don't remember how I got to my lab that day, I'm not even sure if I was on time. But, I do remember that we didn't have much of a class that day-- everyone made it to the lecture, they jus…

Monster--- A book review

Just finished A. Lee Martinez's engaging story, Monster.
I will freely admit that I don't dabble in the world of SciFi on a regular basis. It's nothing personal against the genre, just not overly fond of the alien world-building that so many times can weigh down an otherwise pleasant story. 
There is a certain finesse, which is necessary to introduce a new set of  'rules' outside our comfortable reality. Some authors have that finesse, others don't. 
A. Lee Martinez has that finesse. 
The title-character, Monster Dionysus, a human-like entity who changes colors every time he wakes, is a member of Cryptobiological Containment and Rescue Services (CCRS). He spends his nights, with the help of his inter-dimensional paper gnome helper, Chester, bagging cryptos. Got a problem with Yetis raiding the ice cream freezer at your local grocery store, just call CCRS and they'll contain, bag and remove your unwelcome intruders. 
Monster's tedious job and tedious re…