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Storyteller's Keep II
26th-May-2008 03:18 pm - Memorial Day Remembrances
gray dragon
Wishing everyone well on this Memorial Day holiday.  

23rd-May-2008 01:11 pm - Week In Review

I've started my weekend early.  Sort of... I'm still working, but home and avoiding meetings.  

Here's my week in review. Okay, it's a little more than a week, but...   Mostly, it's a collection of photos I've been posting recently.  The photo bug has me, it appears.   Enjoy and have a safe weekend! 

12th-May-2008 09:38 pm - Storyteller's Keep Updates
gray dragon

In an effort to keep y'all up to date on what's been happening over on Storyteller's Keep I, here's some linkage.  Work  and writing have been keeping me far too busy to do much more than provide links to things I've found that I find interesting.  I've got a ton of pictures waiting to be tweaked, too.  Sigh... I wish there were more hours in the day. 

3rd-May-2008 11:22 am - I've been away for too long...
Work has been keeping me crazed. I'm looking forward to August when this release craziness will relax a bit. Hopefully, I'll have more time to post over the next couple of weeks (I need to improve my work/life/writing balance, I think). Here's a post of some pics I took on a recent "Haeley walk" near my house.

In my surfing absence, I've missed a lot, it seems.  I'm thinking about Jay Lake and his recent cancer diagnosis. The guy is such a treasure and I appreciate his open sharing. I also have to acknowledge lasirenadolce 's support during a challenging time. My thoughts are certainly with Jay, lasirenadolce , and their loved ones.   

If you haven't been screened and you are in a high-risk category (age, family history, etc.) get screened! It really isn't that awful and you're definately worth it. I've lost two other treasured people to cancer and if it's caught early, the prognisis is usually very good. So, DO IT!

In other fabulous news!! jubiettahas submitted her short story, "Nana Genevieve," for consideration in Wild Child Publishing's upcoming anthology, Starstepping. debbiemumford will be interviewing the anthology authors on her blog in upcoming weeks.  If 75 e-copies are sold, it will be published on real paper, meaning  jubiettawill get a real and tangible book to hold in hand.  Join me in helping to make this a reality for our ever-fabulous [info]jubietta.
gray dragon
Hey, gang. kehrli is trying to raise tuition money for Clarion. This was enough to motivate me to post even though I've been super slammed at work. Here's the post with a donate button. Easy as pie and I hope kehrli has a wonderful trip.

I am alive. I'm in release "H" "E" "double-hockey sticks." I'll be back to a regular posting schedule sometime this week.
gray dragon
Found this on James Gurney's blog.  I do so enjoy Bernstein!  And, his thoughts on metaphor translate well to writing.


There are a lot of good reminders tucked within this clip for us writers.    For example, Bernstein touches on the transferrance of the artist's thoughts, and the feelings behind those thoughts, to the listener (or reader).  The breadth of interpretation that might or can occur is potentially both vast and narrow based on our individual and shared experiences and make-up.  

He goes on to talk specifically about metaphor.  "Metaphor..." he says "...[carries] meaning beyond the literal.  The tangible.  Beyond the grossly semantic."  Through metaphor, we "... name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable."   This is it, in a nutshell. 

I don't really need to add anything, as the clip says a lot.  For me, it gets me ta'thinkin' on several tracks, which I like.  For example, I find myself wanting to explore his comment about the "... senses in which [music] cannot be considered a language."  Dang.   

Anyway, enjoy this little jewel.  I certainly do.

More from the Bernstein website, link.
New York Times review of the DVD release, link.
31st-Mar-2008 10:17 am - You know it's bad when...
gray dragon
... you're driving along and the semi in front of you locks up their brakes, jackknifing and smoke billowing. Nearly got sandwhiched between three semi trucks this morning. Veared off the road over the concrete boundary, behind another broken down semi.  I love my truck sometimes!

In good news, I finished the first draft of Beyond The Edge, a short I started at the Rainforest Writers Retreat. Yay!! Now I need to go in and revise, revise, revise. The intent was to successfully complete a short story (something that I find particularly challenging) and work out some details in the universe I'm writing two novels in. Success on both fronts! Yippee!!

Zokutou word meter
6,600 / 6,600
Beyond The Edge
28th-Mar-2008 10:56 am - What thaa...??
I woke up to snow this morning... My poor plants are stunned. 

Read the full post here.
Book Froggy

Just a quick reminder the Talebones subscription drive is still going. This is a great zine! I recommend it to anyone interested in some great work! Check out the Talebones subscription post for more details. Or, if you're intersted in some great books, click on over to Fairwood Press to do some book shoppin'.

25th-Mar-2008 11:04 pm - Norwescon 2008 - A brief report
gray dragon

I've had very little time since getting home to post anything or surf everyone's blogs. Here's a very brief report of my Norwescon adventure. More will follow soon!! Including tons of pictures -- I got some good ones of Jay!

24th-Mar-2008 10:35 am - Back Home from NorWescon
gray dragon

Made it home.  Got to see and visit with a number of folks.  The complete report will be posted later tonight. 

gray dragon
I'm preparing for NorWescon -- sewing a lot and pulling together some fun outfits. Last year the cowboy elf was a particular favorite, so I've put that in, again. I've got a few other fun ones to try this year. My lil'sis is joining me. I'm so excited because this is her first con!! She'll have a blast, I know.

I can't believe more than a week has passed since the Rainforest Writers Retreat (sad face). I've managed to keep some of the momentum going. I've written 29 pages on a -- well, it started out as a short story. I'm hoping to trim it back to a comfortable short length during the editing/revising process.

When I started out with this one, I was trying to kill two birds with one stone. Many of you know that I find short story writing particularly challenging. I wanted to push myself to complete a short story in two weeks time. I know writing short stories will improve my writing (craft) and as I always like a good challenge.

The other stone has to do with a series I'm working on. I'm writing two books in parallel. I have to write them at the same time in order to get both right because, although the stories a set during times generations upon generations apart, both are tied to the same event. One book is set during the time that this event starts and the other is set in a much later time when the event is resolved.

Anyway, I'm getting close to a next phase in the journies of the two stories and needed to figure out the specifics of one race the characters encounter. They are called the bat-riders. The short story is about a young Findling who is called to stand at the edge. I won't say whether he becomes a bat rider or not (cause I don't want to give it away), but the process of writing this short has really helped me figure out the culture and these details will definately enhance to the novels, too. I count this one a success!

I'd love to hear how you all have used short stories to enhance your longer works and how you use shorter works, including Flash and Short Shorts, as a tools in general.

Looking forward to seeing many of you at NorWescon!!
16th-Mar-2008 01:27 pm - Link Salad...
  • Talebones is starting a subscription drive. I encourage you to suscribe to this fabulous magazine. Read Patrick Swenson's post about the drive.
  • Jim Van Pelt posts about "knowing" your Landscapes.
  • Jay Lake posts about "dialogue." Some great comments there!
  • C.S. Inman about period word usage - more great thoughts and comments!
gray dragon

So, I'm working to set up a database to track my submissions.  I thought, why not set it up much like a SW defect tracking system utilizing fields with choices or values?  That way, I can define search criteria to track submissions as they move through the submission lifecycle, taking weekly snapshots in order to preserve history (can you tell I'm a process geek yet?).  This also enables me to set up metrics (i.e., aging metrics, # of submissions out, to whom, etc.).

Here's a list of items I'm thinking about tracking.  As I'm a newbie (or grommie if you surf), I'm sure there are things I'm not thinking about or accounting for, so any help from you all out there would be just awesome.

- Unique ID: each seperate submission would have a unique ID... beneficial for many reasons, including setting up any count functions
- Status: this is the submission lifecycle.  I could certainly use your experience here, but I was thinking about the following
    -Accepted with Changes
    -Rejected with Changes
    -Rejected with Changes - Re-submit
    -Contract Accepted
    -Pending Reason: edits, in review, contract definition, ??
    -Closed Reason: Rejected, Rejected with Changes, Published, No Response, ??
    -?? - What else should be here and should I remove any?
- Submit Date
- Re-Submit Date
- Closed Date
- Title: title of story/artwork submitted
- Type: short story, novella, novel, etc.
- Submittee: title of magazing, house, agency, etc. sent to (i.e, Talebones, TOR, etc.).
- Submittee Type: Magazine, eZine, Small Press, Big Publisher, etc.
- Submittee Contact: name of person submitted to
- Owner: current owner (this could be the submittee contact, me, agent, editor, etc.)
- Notes: this is where I keep detailed notes, comments, and history

That's it so far.  I know several of you use various tools to track your submissions. Do you have suggestions on tools?  Also, what do you like to track?  Are there additional fields and field choices/values you recommend I include?  Is it too hard to combine types, i.e., short stories with novellas or novels, or do you recommend I keep them in separate databases because their lifecycles are different? 

Thanks much for the help.

11th-Mar-2008 10:56 pm - Back from Rainforest Writers Retreat
I made it back safe and sound from this year's Rainforest Writers Retreat. What a fabulous event! I didn't meet one person there that I didn't like. Everyone was so welcoming and ready to have a little fun. Here's some links to posts and photos from the event.
  • Report: 2008 Rainforest Writers Retreat
  • Flickr Collection 
  • 5th-Mar-2008 09:37 am - Updates...
    gray dragon

    Here are a couple of updates from the last couple of days.  Enjoy!!

    2nd-Feb-2008 04:26 pm - The Observer...
    Iron Shutters
    I was walking (with Haeley) in the snow today (yes... we have snow. Can you believe it?), thinking about how I am such an observer. Hyperaware, as all of my sensory reactions absorb inputs from the surrounding environment, I find myself thinking, "If I was (this or that) character, how would I respond to this?" 

    There is a small, off-path trail that Haeley and I sometimes take that will transport me to a small, but fantastic wooded universe, complete with what I envision a Traveler's Circle (Explanation: Traveler's Circles are little protected alcoves along a path where travelers can stop over to rest.).

    Today, it's cold and the ground is quite soupy. I can't imagine having to stay out in weather such as this, but I know I often force my characters to do just that. I have one character in an upcoming book who is a bit of a book worm and not well traveled. He finds himself included in the daring rescue of his milk-brother. His companions? Beer-drinking rogues, all.

    It's not the cold. It's the wet. I'm certain, my character would take issue to sleeping outside in it, but he also wouldn't complain. Oh no.  Can't give the others any opportunity to razz him.  They'd have to squat and lean against trees or rocks. In fact, they probably wouldn't stop at all, figuring if they're going to be that miserable anyway, they might as well be miserable on their feet.

    As Haeley and I returned from our mini-adventure, I remember thinking, "as he sloshed along, this character probably wouldn't even care if their party was being stalked by wild beasts."  His focus would be on surviving the bitter cold gnawing away on the marrow in his bones.

    And so I sit here wondering... Have I become an observer, because I write or was I born this way.  Both my grandfather and grandmother were observers of the highest calibre as are my own parents.  So, yes... it's partly genetic.  And, (this thought just hit me) I can't help wondering if I am an observer, in part, because I'm the middle child. Here's the reasoning... The older ones are focused on by the adults as another resource capable of helping out. The younger ones are focused on because they need the most help. We middle kids just sort-of blend in.  Too old to need much help and too young for the responsibilities of helping out.   With nothing else to do, we sit and watch our other siblings do the things common to their place in the birth line.  

    Hmmm...I'll have to think more about this... More to come.
    Book Froggy

    I'm so happy to announce the launch of "Illustrating Stories!!"  My big sis and her dear friend Jackie have launched a new site.  In their words...

    "We are excited to launch this new creative space for all of us to come together to play, get inspired, and most of all illustrate our stories."

    The site has a wealth of resources, with more to "go live" throughout the month of February.  Do stop by and say "Hi" if you get a few seconds.  You'll be glad you did.

    28th-Jan-2008 11:39 pm - Updating the blog again...
    castle door
     I've been at it again.  Decided to update the look of my blog to something more customizable.  After reading and researching a lot, I found an option that works well enough, but I'm still not as happy as I'd like.  There's a number of things I like about LJ, but a number of things I like about TypePad better.  I'm pretty sure it's because I'm more familiar with TypePad and as I keep learning LJ, it'll even out a bit. 

    It snowed here today so I worked from home.  I haven't done that in a long while and, lemme tell ya... it was nice.   I got some more of the new short (??) story done, too.  Yay!! 
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