Thursday, August 31, 2006

overtime

tired.... working overtime and sunburned from it.

*#*#* auto mechanic had my PU 2 1/2 days and "didn't get to it" and "hasn't gotten to" the work truck yet either. Gonna have to find another mechanic.

Writing? What's that?

Brain fried from twisting it tooooo many different directions lately. Going yet another responsible direction tomorrow. Oh joy.

Need a vacation.

Send me smiles, my friends. I love ya for it :)

~kc

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Blah...

I've got the day-job blues and can't seem to write when it's time to write. Any helpful suggestions?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

out of pocket

Hey guys, I'll be out of pocket for a few days so if I don't answer my e-mail, this is why: going to a trade show for the day-job to look at large equipment [oh joy]. Am definitely taking a full book bag with me! Back next week. :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Personal Space

Dug into my library and pulled out WALKING IN THIS WORLD: The Practical Art of Creativity, by Julia Cameron, and renewed my aquaintance with that volume by looking in the table of contents then turning to the chapter that addresses my current dilemma. Chapter 5 is "Discovering a Sense of Personal Territory," and made me cry to read it. Section 1 is "Sexuality vs Caretaking" and explains one of the reasons I've been so down lately. I quote from the book: "Creative energy and sexual energy are both our personal energy. Our use of them is private, and to pretend otherwise is debilitating and abusive. In point of fact, the two energies are so closely intertwined, they may be experienced as nearly identical. We conceive children and we concieve creative projects. Both energies are sacred. They spring from the same source, our inner core. Our creative energy, like our sexual energy, must not be sqandered. And yet, we are often asked to do just that." Ms Cameron goes on to say that, as artists, we should respect our own need for personal space and not let others--no matter how much we love them--steal that energy from us on a continual basis. She gives us permission to say, "No, not now." In the following chapter, she adds, "Contrary to mythology about us, artists are generous, often overly generous [ain't that the truth!]. We listen to others deeply, sometimes too deeply for our own good. We are susceptible to their hurt feelings and their pouting when we withdraw, and so sometimes we do listen to them even as our creative energy ebbs out of our own life and into theirs [yup!]. This creates exhaustion, irritation, and, finally, rage. It's not that we are unwilling to share our time and attention. It is that people must give us the courtsey of listening accurately to our needs about when and how we can do it. We may have huge energy stores, but they are our energy stores and we have the right to determine along what lines we want our energies to flow. For this reason, we may need to draw more boundaries than many people, and those who love us must be conscious that unless they can respect this, they are not a freind at all." So, even though I'm supposed to be responsible for my day-job 24-7, I think I'm going to start saying, "Hey, guys--I'm not answering the telephone any more from 7-9 on weekday mornings; and if you don't like it...grow up, please. I need my space."

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Con Report

Just got back from ArmadilloCon and thought ya'll would like to know what transpired. Anyone who knows me, knows that I go for the panels. Sure parties are great, and I adore meeting people--both old friends and new. But I go to conventions to learn. I'll give a list of the panels I attended with quick blips of each. If you want greater detail on any subject, just ask.

-1- "Now that you have written a story...how do you sell it?" I got my question answered on how to handle that one NY publisher that's had a submission of mine for over 2 years without giving me a response--I was told, "Politely inform them that they no longer have exclusive rights to look at it." I must admit that made me feel a lot better, because waiting for over 2 years with a submission at only one house is enough to drive any writer batty. I also heard other things in the panel that I already knew but will share here with you: Speculations.com and SFWA are good writer's resources. The Pikes Peak Writer's Conference is a good one. And Writer's of the Future is a good place to submit. Here are a couple of resources that were new to me: some place on the Net there's this "Evil Editor" who is quite good a critiquing query letters. And if you're in the market for an agent, try AgentQuery.com

-2- "Meet the Pros Party" Well, this isn't really a panel, but it is fun! Especially when a friend of yours drags you up to a NYC editor and orders you to pitch your story :) Thanks Chuck.

-3- "Building the Perfect Universe" Perfect? Panels that start at 10:00 on a Friday night do not come up with perfect scenarios. They come up with rediculous ones. Watching James P. Hogan, Elizabeth Moon, Julie Czerneda, Paul Benjamin, and Mikal Trimm compete on how fast they could come up with a complete working universe was histerical. Especially when the main point devolved into a discussion on how their worlds revolved around beer.

-4- Mmm, somewhere along the way I stumbled onto a panel about a TV show called "Lost" that a lot of people seem to be addicted to. Oh boy, I've had my head in books too long [I've never even heard of it.] Sounds interesting enough that I might go look one of these days.

-5- A tangent: I found out that David Gemmell died a few weeks ago of a stroke. That does make me very sad. I met David at the World Fantasy Convention in 2000 and he took me aside and told me all about how important it is for writers to have critiquers. After that I discovered what a great story-teller he is/was. A tragic loss to our community.

-6- Okay, then I stumbled into the art show and, darn it, one of the pieces bit me. I'm now down $75 but have a very nice fettish [necklace with carved animals] of serpentine and ?bone done in the Chinese Zodiac. I forgot to get the artist's name--will need to find that out.

-7- along the way I had great food to eat. Started the con with a scrumptuous steak dinner at Texas Land & Cattle Company. And for breakfast every morning I ate at this little Mexican resturant that serves great eggs & chorizo for $5. The rest of my "meals" were compliments of the con suite [thank you!] [and yes, I did deposit tips]

-8- The first panel I went to Saturday morning was called the Art of Editing. I learned the shades of editing that I'd not previously been familiar with; and that as a reviewer I need to be aware that "all published books have typos, so get over it."

-9- "What you should have read this year" panel discussion brought suggestions like: Elizabeth Moon's newest book [forgot the title], Spin Control by Chris Moriarty, A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, some author named Giddeon DeFoe who is said to write "very surreal", a fantasy called Miliceene Virtu by Sarah Monett, the author James Morrow, and a series called Star Fist. They also told a funny Robin Hobb story--I had known that her real name is not Robin Hobb, but the why-fors of the change are interesting: Seems her original publisher decided not to buy her next book, so she changed her name and sold the next book to an English publisher who then resold the rights back to her original publisher who didn't know it was her! Ooo, sneaky!

-10- "The magic of Collaboration" --I tried collaborating on a story several years ago. My friend & I came up with a great story, but we both got too busy with other projects to keep this one alive. I've since met someone else and am toying with the idea of asking her to collaborate on a story, so these tips I learned might come in use.... These are the things that are most important to remember when you are collaborating on a project with someone else: (a) respect the other person, put the project first, egos just get in the way; (b) have fun; (c) play on each other's strengths; (d) don't use the word "no".

-11- "NASA's Robotic Missions to Mercury & Pluto" Cool! For your information, the MESSANGER will pass Mecury on 1-14-08, 10-6-08, 9-30-09, and again on 3-18-11. And the New Horizons Mission to Pluto--did you know that it was "the fastest space craft to ever have left Earth?" I hadn't known that. It crossed the lunar orbit in 9 hours! Launched January 19, 2006, it will take 9.5 years to get to Pluto, and 8.4 years of that will be after Jupiter. The fuel source of the Mercury probe is solar, but the fuel source of the Pluto one is radiothermal and it will use a boost from Jupiter's gravity-well when it gets there.

-12- "Why we need small press" As if life isn't complicated enough, the small presses go and make a very convincing argument against the larger publishers. I'm still on the fence. The news on Smart Paper and electronic books that hold entire libraries in your hand yet turn pages like a real book appear to be about 15 years away in technological development that makes the product available to the mass market, as I understood it anyway.

-13- "Paranormal Romance" --I only caught the end of this panel, but heard a good joke and got a good tip. The joke: "You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think." The writing tip was: if you're going to write paranormal romance you better write fast because the publisher will want to put out several sequels a year for as many years as you can keep it up! Recommended reading: A Civil Campain by Lois McMaster Bujold [I've read it and absolutley adored it], and The Time Traveler's Wife.

-14- "Space Opera: Not Just an Adventure Anymore" devolved into a discussion on the label Space Opera. I didn't find this panel that enjoyable, except for Jame's Hogan's wonderful sense of humor. I did learn, however, that "Mixed Genre" is now called "Slip Stream." Whatever.

I got tired after that. Sat in on a few Readings then went to bed. Ditched out on the Sunday program because I wasn't feeling well. Can't wait to go back to Austin, however, for the Big One this fall!

~kc

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Blah summer. I don't know what it is--the heat or the yucky day-job--but everything seems to bog down at this time of year. If you are waiting on me to complete a book review for you, please don't hold your breath. I have a large stack to read and am not doing much about it right now. Got caught in the muse and have to write on novels and poems for therapy against reality. I just can't stop writing [GRIN] I'll try to get to those books I need to review within the next six months.

As for editing--I am still doing that, so please keep sending as I very much enjoy it and dream of someday making editing my day-job [well, one can dream!] though I wouldn't want to live in New York City--I dearly love the Southwest for it's colors, people, warm sunshine, and especially the FOOD! :)

I'm going conning next week up at ArmadilloCon in Austin. Hope to see good friends and make some new ones.