Monday, November 30, 2009


"Under A Racer's Moon" has been submitted to LL Dreamspell for their Dreamspell Nightmares 2 anthology. Now it's time to cross fingers and move on.

That's going to be a little more difficult this time due to the fact I was having some format difficulties with the manuscript, and I hope the attachment I sent them came through all right.

While the word processor that comes free with Windows 7 is pretty good, at times there seems to be some line spacing and formatting issues when I try to have Word 2007 read it on my main computer. The only real long term solution to this is going to have to be getting Word 2007 for my laptop too. Of course, that's a pretty expensive proposition.

Ah well, time to start thinking of other short stories.

Final Labors

Now that I have input from several different proofreaders, the time has come to collate their advice and corrections and get the story ready for submission. This particular story didn't get a lot of corrections from any of them, so it shouldn't take too long. I hope. I intend to get it fixed and submitted by tonight. Then it's on to the next project.

Whatever that is.

I've got an idea for Pill Hill's Pandora anthology, but it still needs more thought. A couple of other half baked ideas also lurk at the edge of my mind. The interesting thing is that with the submission of "Racer's Moon," I will only need to write only one more story to achieve my goal of twelve stories this year. I actually feel pretty good about that. But I want to make sure that whatever I write measures up to the quality of my other stories, so there can be no hurrying.

Then I can wash my hands of short stories and focus on bigger projects.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Humor in Horror

Does humor belong in horror?

I think it depends.

Humor is a tool, and I think it's important to keep that in mind when you are writing your story. The first question you have to ask yourself is, "Does humor even belong in this story?" Some stories it will add a range of emotion too, others it will ruin. If you are trying to create an atmosphere of unrelenting fear, humor can go a long way towards screwing that up.

That's not to say that humor will dispel the fear in a story. If done well, it simply provides a counterpart to the suspense. In some cases it can even be employed by a character as a way of trying to alleviate his fear, thus underscoring the direness of his situation if handled well. Kind of another way of whistling past the graveyard. But handling it well is very important. Overdo it and it ceases to become a horror story. Do it lamely and it could actually spoil the story. Lame humor has a way of seeping into the rest of a story and making it lame too. If it doesn't work, better to cut it out.

So ultimately, I think humor does help a lot of horror stories. As long as the writer remembers that it's an ingredient, and not the goal of the recipe.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Good AfterMorning

Karla let me sleep in today, earning her the status of Weekend Goddess.

I'm now blearily facing my computer and sipping some absolutely wonderful coffee that Cheri Galbiati left for me to make. I'll have to find out what it is from her later. If I had of tried it sooner, I could have asked her last night while visiting her house.

We gossiped and talked writing while I tried to evenly ration out affections to her four festive furry four-legged kids. I failed pretty spectacularly as Hannah managed to claim the spot beside me on the couch and soak up about ninety percent of the attention. All were pretty happy with it though. Cheri also kindly agreed to give my story "Under a Racer's Moon," a read over. I'm always grateful for any proofreading I can get from anybody, and she is very good.

On another note, The Bitter End anthology has just come out and will soon be available on It contains my story, "The World in Strips." I'll put up a link to it once they get it in stock and the image up.

Ah well, I think I shall relax today and let the kids run the show. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Day After

It's the day after Thanksgiving, and I have both kids home with me. This pretty much ensures that nothing productive is going to happen today. At least not until Karla gets home.

I'm not about to go out today. The stores are madhouses, and the traffic probably isn't very good either. I'll just stay home and try to keep the kids from burning the house down.

Tonight and tomorrow I'll try and finish editing "Under a Racer's Moon" and get it sent off to LL Dreamspell. 'Then I can turn my attention back to a couple of projects I'm looking at for Pill Hill Press.

Work, work, work :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Don't Try This at Home

Remember, these guys are professionals.

Okay, not really. We're probably lucky there weren't fatalities. But the lights around the house are hung.

Thanksgiving went very well. The food was delicious. The family togetherness was great. The Cowboys won their football game. And the house is actually still in decent shape. What more can you ask for than that?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Big Day Arrives

It is Thanksgiving.

The day that all diets must bow before then stand aside.

For this day is about family, food, football, and togetherness. For being grateful for all the good things that we have, and the opportunity that we have to share them. It's about turkey, dressing, deviled eggs, potato salad, a variety of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, pumpkin pie, and the house smelling so good that it makes your mouth water.

It's the start of the holiday season. It's the Macy's Thanksgiving parade on TV. It's the traditional football games at Dallas and Detroit. It's the battle against the post meal afternoon nap. It's sitting around on couches and catching up with everybody. It's the second helping later in the day, once you have digested enough to make room.

It's good.

The Nitty Gritty

Twenty four hours until Thanksgiving. And the house is a dive.

There will be no writing on Weds. There will only be kids and cleaning. There will be nothing else. There is nothing else.

It is me against the mess. Mano a mano. A battle to the finish and the victor takes the spoils. No holds barred. No quarter asked or given. No mercy. What must be done, must be done. Insert your favorite one liner here. This is for all the marbles. Let's get ready to rumble!

I sure hope Heather comes tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Our U-verse is back in business. It's a pretty good deal, but when it goes down you lose your TV, your phone, AND your internet. Joy!

On another note. My most recent short story "Night Run," has been renamed "Under A Racer's Moon." I still have to hear back from my proofreaders and find out what all it's problems are though. I suppose I could also ask Karla if "humph!" is a good or bad thing.

My house is a huge mess, and the countdown to Thanksgiving has begun. Argh!

The Next Step in the Process

The gears of the process are turning and now I move on to the next phase. Getting my story critiqued. I just emailed one copy off to one of my "editors", and I'll be printing a copy out tomorrow to take to another.
I actually got my wife to read it, and she rated it a solid "humph!" I'm a little unclear if that means she liked it or not, but I accept all reviews uncritically.
That's always the best and worst part of handing your story over to have it critiqued. What if they think it stinks? What if it really does stink? On the one hand, that's your baby. On the other, you need the truth. The only advice I have is to be your own worst critic, and not hand anything over until you feel reasonably confident about it. Just be objective while being your own worst critic. Don't hold back good stuff out of fear. And don't hand over bad stuff to prove to yourself you're not afraid.
Confused? You should be. I am.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Heading Home

After a three day weekend at the grandparent's house, I like to think that the kids are finally ready to come home. In reality they probably aren't, but I think the grandparents are worn out. Everybody had a good time, but all good things must come to an end. . .just so we can recover from them if nothing else.

I'm ready to get back home myself so I can move my short story to my main computer and do some real editing on it, and also send it off to my proofreaders.

Then I can focus on trying to squeeze that twelfth story out of my poor overused grey cells, so that I can actually claim to have reached the goal I set for myself this year. Only one more to go. I can do it. I know I can.

I think.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Last night, I put the closing sentence on my new short story. After weeks of writer's block, it was great being able to type something out, and knowing it wasn't total garbage while I was doing it. It is currently called "Night Run," but that's just a placeholder name till I come up with something better.
It's actually in decent shape, and I think I can get it edited and submitted sometime the week after Thanksgiving. About the only anthology I think it would fit in would be the LL Dreamspell Nightmares 2 anthology. It's already got two of my stories in it, so I don't know if they will be willing to take another one from me or not. Oh well, I guess there is only one way to find out.
The kiddo's have been enjoying their weekend at Nonni's and Daddo's, and soaking in all that attention that grandparents excel at giving. Naturally, they are also being spoiled rotten at the same time. Oh well, they might as well enjoy it while the getting is good. I know I did when I was their age.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sleeping In

Due to unexpected craziness from yesterday, I'm going to have to drive to Bryan this afternoon. Therefore I'm going to go back to bed and sleep in.

Got a little work done on the story. I know where it's going now. I just have to figure out how I intend to get it there. In this case, the trip is the destination.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thursday Beckons.

Ah Thursday! Both kids are off to school all day, and it's the day after the housecleaner has come and repaired the worst of the mess. A great chance to make progress, either on a story or on other chores. I might ought to do a little of both. With Thanksgiving approaching, I need to chip away at the thousand things that need to be done before the family descends on this house.

Yesterday, I slept in for most of the morning and then most of the afternoon was taken up by taking Rowan to her therapists. She did very well yesterday, and earned much praise. We discovered that she has taught herself to sight read several words, mainly numbers and colors. Not bad for a four year old. Her speech therapist says she is an extremely visual processor.

Meanwhile poor Sheridan was up Weds night with muscle cramps. I used to have those as a kid at night and they really sucked.

Needless to say, with all the kids interactions going on, I didn't get much writing done. At least I'm getting a better idea where the story is going. That in itself is important, as it allows me to write faster when I do sit down to write. Headwork can save you a lot of time in front of the computer screen.

Another Great Stride Into the 21st Century

I have now installed an e-book reader onto my new laptop, and discovered that I can use my library card to download ebooks onto my computer. How cool is that? I can now carry a library around with me.

I reached almost 2000 words on the short story I'm working on, but it has reached a part that I need to give serious thought to before continueing, as the decision I make at this part of the story will dictate the nature of the ending. I'm happy with it so far, even though Karla pointed out a rather silly goof I made early into it that kept being an issue later. It's easily fixable too.

The funny thing is that I don't really know an anthology currently open that would be suitable for it. Not that that matters, since I can always just write it and then hunt an appropriate place for it later. It's a ghost story, but a slightly odd one.

Oh well, I need to hit the bed so I can get the kiddo's off to school in the morning. I've been going to bed early the past couple of nights so that I could be operating on more sleep, but I kind of screwed that up tonight. Might as well hit the hay before I make things worse.

Good night.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I'm actually writing! I actually have a flow of words going and I have to stop and make dinner!


Do kids really have to eat every day?

A Crack in the Wall?

I'm actually toying with a short story at the moment. I already have a beginning, and some idea of a middle, but I haven't figured out how I want to end it yet. It's another ghost story, set first in a drive-in diner in the fifties, then later out on a dark highway as a young local daredevil gets in a car race with a vengeful spirit. I like the feel of it so far. Could my writer's block be crumbling?

On another front, Sheridan has expressed an interest in joining Cub Scouts. He really has no idea what they are, but he knows he wants to do it. I'm not really averse to the idea itself, it's just that finding the time could be a problem. He does need to get out more, as he is currently turning into a little computer potato. He was excited to see that I had bought Christmas lights for the house this year, and is now enthusiastically offering his services to help put them up. Needless to say, I've been noncommital on that issue. The scenes of holiday disaster that that boy conjures are scary enough without putting him on a roof.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Or not . . .

It seems I'm a zucchini short of what the recipe calls for. Hmmm...

Food and Writing

Ratatoille for dinner tonight.

I try to include cooking, and food, in my writing from time to time. I just like the way it seems to tie things down, and add another element to a story. It gives you an added chance to bring all the senses into play, and it can be mundane or exotic, as the situation dictates.

Eating is one of the most basic needs, and it adds a layer of believability to a charactor for him to partake in it from time to time. It allows for statements to be made about a character's tastes and personality, without coming right out and saying it. Food is a background in and of itself, and the different places and ways it is served makes for excellent settings. A simple cooler full of sandwiches can set the atmosphere as much as a spiced rack of lamb over a brazier of hot coals. It says something about the partakers, and it helps create the mood.

Rainy Morning

I woke to the sound of the rain hammering my window, creating the type of atmosphere that makes it very hard to get out of bed. Something about a dark, rainy day just makes me want to curl up and go right back to sleep. The rhythm of the drops on the roof is a natural lullabye.

But, duty calls . . .

The absence of such duty, and the sole company of my wife, made yesterday a small slice of heaven. Karla and I's outing to the Renfest was the most quietly enjoyable time I have had in a very long time. Just wandering from shop to shop, looking at the "sparklies", and even buying something here or there, was pure bliss. Especially as opposed to the previous outings where the pace was entirely different and the focus was on appeasing demands for riding the next ride, and moving on. We definitely need to find a way to spend time like that more often.

Ah well, I have lunches to pack as Rowan's bus will be here shortly.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Renfest Today

Karla and I will be dropping the kids off with Aunt Tigger (who is hereby nominated for sainthood) today and going to the Texas Renaissance Festival. It will be the first time we've done anything without the kids in probably over a year.

Somehow I get this picture of us staring at each other and trying to figure out something to say that doesn't involve diapers, lunches, school, teachers, homework, kid's clothes, toys, or kids nutrition. Seriously, I can't think of a conversation we've had lately that didn't involve those kind of things . . . with the exception of asking how her day at work was.

It will be weird, because back when we were young and childless we loved to go to the Renfest. I even went once in the throes of pneumonia. But that was back before we looked at the world through the prism of how it related to the kids. I wonder if we can get away from that for just one day. It would be nice.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Compensating for Something?

I went and watched the movie 2012 tonight, and while it wasn't the worst movie in the world, it turned out to be everything I feared it would be. A massive CGI fest, strung together with a paper thin plot and a ludicrous ending. As a popcorn movie, I suppose it works, but the over-reliance on CGI has always been a personal gripe of mine.
The funny thing is that while I was watching the movie and privately grousing about it, I started thinking about "The Ways of Khrem" and how I need to be careful to avoid the literary equivelent of the same thing when I rewrite it. Khrem is a fantastical city that the novel takes place in, and in some ways is almost a charactor of the story itself. But I realize now that I would go overboard on descriptions and prose in regards to it, instead of getting on with the story. I'm going to have to cut a bunch of that out, yet still work enough of it into the action of the story so that the cities charactor remains. I have a couple of ideas on that.
Saturday, we stay home and take care of the housework and some overdue shopping for Rowan. Sunday, if everything goes well, we will drop the kids of with their Aunt Tigger so that Karla and I can go to the Renfest together . . . just the two of us. That will be really good.

Friday, November 13, 2009

'tis the season . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I wonder if I just have a mild case of what the kids have. I have had the occasional cough, but no real sore throat. On the other hand I have been drug out and tired, and sleeping inordinate amounts . . . ten hour stretches followed by four hour naps. I would say over the past six days that have have spent the better half of each day asleep. Pretty much, if I didn't have Rowan to watch I was unconscious.

Oh well, this too shall pass.

Maybe it's all the ragweed in the air.

I think I'll hang up Christmas lights at Thanksgiving, that way there will be people there to pick me up if I fall down and go boom. It will be an extra fun bonus for Sheridan, and kind of mark Thanksgiving as the beginning of the holiday season for him. I imagine the evil corporations out there would like us to think it starts at Halloween, but the traditionalist in me rebels at that. I still can't get over some of my neighbors hanging up "halloween lights."

I ought to write about really horrible things that happen to people who mess up our holidays. That'll show'em.

More Autumn Goodness

Sheridan stayed home yesterday, and so he and I did a good Father/Son activity that suited this harvest time of the year. We each played computer games on our own computer. You could feel that autumn nip in the air as he played Spore and I surfed the internet. The keyboards clicked with the crisp staccato of fall.

Other than that, I was pretty useless today. And it felt great.

I realize I can't walk totally away from writing, or this blog will turn into a maudlin affair about nothing but the kids. And while I'm sure Nonni would be happy with that, I know others might get a tad bored. So I will have to keep my mind at least a little bit on writing related topics while I'm taking my sabbatical.

I'm actually toying with one idea, but being very careful not to push it, of two people driving to a distant destination at night. One leading in a van, the other following in a car. The person in the van picks up somebody that his partner comes to realize may not be normal. A lot of ways that can go.

Oh well, thats all for now. I've got to get a little shuteye before it's time to get the kids breakfast ready.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It Might Be Time to Savor the Moment

Still frustrated with my lack of production on the writing front, I'm about ready to consider that frustration to be part of the problem. I might be in a self reinforcing cycle here, and if so it might be time to consider a different approach. Maybe I need to mentally relax a little bit and not think about writing for a little while. Perhaps I need to focus on the present instead. Live life for a little bit instead of always attempting to conjure situations in my head.

Thanksgiving is two weeks away, and it's time to start getting ready for that. Maybe a little decoration is in order? That's a scary proposition when you live with Rowan, though. Things that aren't nailed down have a tendency to end up all over the place. And she notices when something new arrives in her environment. And while she has been doing much better lately, possibly due to the accidental discovery of piracetam on my part, her ability to get into mischief has not abated in the least. Still, it's worth considering.

My hands seem to have improved, and my typing as returned almost to normal. Sigh. Now I have to wonder if Diet Dr. Pepper really is the problem here. I'm drinking tea with stevia at the moment. It isn't bad, but it's hardly the glorious nector of the gods that Diet Dr. Pepper is.

I haven't totally stopped thinking about writing though. I'm still considering what I'm going to do with Argiope, and the Ways of Khrem. The fact that I still think about those is probably a good indication that the time is swift approaching to refocus my attention in their direction. Ten short stories wasn't the goal I had set for myself, but it isn't exactly a disgraceful failure either.

Rowan went back to school yesterday, which only leaves me with Sheridan. He seems to be better, but he may still be a day away. We'll see. Having kids constantly around might have a little to do with my lack of production too. Maybe.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Ray of Hope

It's three o'clock in the morning, but I went to bed early so it's not so bad. Honestly I'm feeling a little sharper and more lucid than I have in a couple of days, so maybe I'm shaking this fugue off. Sheridan is still hoarse, so I'll be keeping him home again, but unless Rowan wakes up in a relapse I will be sending her back to school today. Karla has been down with this too, and I'm hoping she gets to feeling better soon.

We won't go into what the house looks like right now.

I'm so far behind on Nanowrimo that I'm not even worried about it right now. That might actually be the correct way to look at things for the moment. I have to remind myself that I'm not always in control of the conditions I'm trying to perform under. My mind has been sluggish, and my hands have been almost useless for the past four or five days, but this morning they do seem better. So that's a bright spot also. Could things be looking up? Allowing a little room for optimism is always a good thing. I'm taking lots of fish oil and piracetam. Lets hope they help.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's been Four Days

. . . that the kids have been able to gang up on me and trash the house. One more day of this and I'm going to need a snorkel.

Day Two: Virus Bugaloo

The kids are at home with the flu again today. Sheridan is hoarse and running the occasional fever, and Rowan has the same cough he has. So far, my symptoms are mild. I just have to get used to having Noggin running in the background all day. I also will be needing to go to the store since I haven't been able to do it with two sick kids home. I've got enough supplies to get me through the day.

After messing around with my laptop for a while, and trying to figure out why internet explorer keeps locking up, I think I may have identified the cause. It may be my wifi mouse. It's going to take more experimentation but so far I haven't had any lockups when using just the touchpad. We shall see. I'm not a big fan of touchpads, and if this turns out to be the problem then I will probably go back and get a usb mouse with a wire. I'm just old fashioned that way.

Monday, November 9, 2009

An Unbearable Fogginess of Being

Between sick kids, hand problems, November in general, and possible writers block, I have written approximately a thousand words this month. I think I've been worrying too much about it, and the frustration has kind of become another block of it's own. So I need to change gears.

I've currently got the family in bed and I'm listening to X Rock 80 on the internet. It reminds me a lot of listening to the old XEROK-AM 150,000 watt station that blasted out of the Mexico at night back when I was a teenager in the seventies. I used to sit up in my room with my earphones on, listening to it at night. I liked to think that even though I was out in the country, I was listening to the same thing a lot of the other kids were so I was part of something. That and the music was good. They went by X Rock 80 back then too.

This websites music selection feels the same. I wonder if they're going for that, because I can close my eyes and almost be back in my old bedroom.

I've decided to lay off the diet Dr. Pepper for a few days and see if my hands improve. Actually, they're doing a little better right now so there might be something to it. On the other hand it might be total coincidence and I'm denying myself Dr. Pepper for nothing. The horror! Yes, this is the kind of thing that my mind can get stuck on. Stephen King ain't got nothing to worry about.

Abba is now singing Chiquitita, and it's 1979 all over again . . .

Just Great

Both kids are staying home today with me due to waking up with hacking coughs. Sigh, another day outnumbered and alone.


I forgot to show our two jack o lanterns from this year. The kids had a good time making them, although Sheridan was very fussy about the "pumpkin goo." Now they have departed for that great landfill in the . . . well, in the ground, Iguess.
The Cowboys won last night, and now have sole possession of first place in their division. It's only half way through the season though, so lets see if they can hold on to it.
My hands are still giving me trouble, so I've decided to bite the bullet and swear off the Diet Dr. Peppers for a while. We'll see if that improves things. Now it's stevia and tea.
I'm up late because I forgot to get the kids anything for their lunches during the day so I had to go out to Walmart tonight and get their stuff. Now to put things up and go to bed.
Hopefully I can get some writing done tomorrow. I intend to try. But we know where that road paved with good intentions leads . . .

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Adventure With Kids

Karla has another day of continuing education, so I am home alone with the kids again. On top of that, there is a birthday party for one of Sheridan's friends scheduled for this afternoon, and then the Dallas Cowboys play for first place in their division tonight.

I think it's a safe bet that not a lot of writing is going to happen today. Me efforts will probably be more towards preserving my sanity.

Monday is starting to look pretty good.

I'm way behind in Nanowrimo, but hopefully I can make up at least some of the lost ground over the coming week. I have a lot to do though. After two days with the kids home all day, the house is starting to descend into chaos. So at least part of Monday is going to be devoted to reclaiming that. What happened to the weekend being the time to catch up? Now I'm having to catch up from the weekend?

There were a lot of things about this parenting gig that weren't explained to me.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


"The World in Strips" has been edited, and sent back to Pill Hill Press. "The Bitter End" anthology will hopefully appear either later this month or next month. It's a relief to get that out of the way early. My hands are being a pain today, so now I can quit worrying about that and let them relax.


I'm going to have to move to my laptop to edit this story because it has a bigger screen than my main computer and it's easier to display two windows side by side on that one.

How sad is that?

Time to start pestering Karla for a new computer.

Saturday Assessment

Shown above are the covers to anthologies that have, or will have, stories of mine in them. Some of them have more than one. Not a bad collection all in all. They represent the successful part of a years work. I can live with that.

This weekend Karla has continuing education, which means I'll be at home alone with the kids all weekend. So I won't be getting a lot done. Oh well, it's all in a good cause. I'll try and keep my goals small. My only goal will be to try and do that edit of "The World in Strips" for Pill Hill Press . . . and try to keep the kids from bringing the house down around my ears, of course. Sounds reasonable.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Because Sometimes I Don't Know When to Stop

Time to Go . . .

and pick up the kiddo. I've managed to get the mess in the house down to the point it only looks like one grenade went off in here. That's an improvement.

I'll also be dropping my contract with Pill Hill Press for "The World in Strips" off in the mail. They sent me a copy for editing, which is no big deal. Almost all of their suggestions make sense, and shouldn't take me long at all to implement.

I think I'll take my new laptop to Denny's tonight.

A Letter to the Manufacturer

Dear Farberware,

I just want you to know I bought your handy heavy duty kitchen shears because I needed something to open exactly the type of ridiculously tough plastic packaging that you chose to put those shears into.

Thanks for that.


Inspiration Strikes

So after giving my muse a severe flogging, I now have an idea for a short story. You have to be tough with muses, or they get lazy on you.

It's marketability will be fairly narrow, since it will be written for a specific anthology for Pill Hill Press, but I'm not complaining. At least I have something to write. That makes for a happier, sunnier Nate.

I've got some housework to catch up on today, and I'm just a tad under the weather, so I'll be sticking close to home. That's okay, I could stand to get a few things done . . . or I'll be the one on the end of a flogging.

Sigh, it's a tough world.

Oh yeah . . . I bought Christmas lights while shopping last night. I promised Sheridan last year that we would have them this time, so I'm starting to prepare. They are multicolored icicle lights. I think it's time to start giving the kids more of an idea of the holidays, by decorating and stuff. Since we are hosting Thanksgiving this year, I probably ought to look in that direction too.

I've been thinking about "Argiope" and "The Ways of Khrem" again lately. Pretty soon I'll have to look into getting back into those projects. I'm starting to get a feel about how I might do that.

Since I already have a first (albiet terrible) draft of TWoK already done, I can farm it out for advice while going ahead and picking up and writing Argiope where I last left off. I also have some artwork for a possible book cover for Argiope on order, as an inspirational piece while writing it.

"Flight of the Lark" is way down the road, but the research can be done. I just discovered a steamboat museum in Beaumont that I now absolutely must visit. It could be invaluable for FotL.

Plotting the novels I intend to write in the future makes me feel better about the short stories I'm not writing right now. How's that for logic.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Time To Start Flogging Muses

While delighted over recent successes in selling stories, I have to remind myself that one of those stories was written back in April, with only minor editorial changes since then. The other was written at the end of September, meaning it's been a month without any worthwhile output. Just some promising but aborted starts.

Apparently I'm going to have to get tough with my muses.

They have obviously been slacking in a big way, and deserve to be punished. Punished sternly. Because I sure ain't going to get that pyramid built at this rate. I'm still getting glimmers of ideas, so I hope it's those brain supplements kicking in and starting to make me smart and creative and stuff.


You got to get tough with muses.

Writing in November

I am now of the opinion that they could have hardly picked a worse month than November to have Nanowrimo. I finally broke a thousand words. How pitiful is that? I've been known to put out twenty thousand words in a week. On the other hand I'm having the germs of an idea or two for a couple of short stories. Nothing concrete yet, but if either show any sign of turning into anything I will turn my attention to writing those in a heartbeat. I'm all about production, and this year short stories are my bread and butter.

The new wireless network is a bit of a hit or miss proposition so far. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but it means I'm now exiled to the laptop since it can be claimed I have an internet machine on it. Sigh. I'm also going to have to adapt to this new keyboard. That's slowing me down as well.

Just listen to me whine about the hard time I'm having with all my shiny new toys :P

Ah well, this writer's block will pass and then I'll be out of things to complain about. Then what will I do?

On a side note;

Yesterday at Rowans speech therapy she was being offered a choice between two objects while I watched from a nearby chair. They then specifically asked her, "What do you want?" She stated all at once, "I want Daddy!" and ran over and hugged me. Words can't express how surprised everybody was, and how I felt. All I can say is that it was pretty darn good.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lightning Strikes Twice

My story "The World in Strips" has been accepted by Pill Hill Press for their "The Bitter End: Tales of Nautical Terror" anthology.

That's two stories accepted over the course of one day . . . and now makes nine of the ten short story's I've written sold.

Wow. Just wow.

Knowing my karma, I better start wearing safety gear.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What I've Got . . . "The Warp." The First 500 Words

The Warp
By D. Nathan Hilliard
(My mishmash for Nanowrimo)

Liza woke, huddled in the back corner of her dark closet, and lay silently as she let her hearing determine her chances of exiting her lair alive.

After five minutes of nothing but the sound of her own pulse beating in her head, she decided to risk moving. The clothes carpeting the floor muted any noise she produced as she rose to her feet. Her questing hand found the rod where her clothes used to hang, now empty to ensure that no accidental clatter of hangers might bring any number of forms of horrible death upon her.
Putting her ear to the door, she stilled her breathing and listened again. This constituted her “door routine,” one of the many habits that kept her alive. Even though this door represented the fourth door between her and the outside world (the others being the bedroom door, hallway door, and then front or back doors), things had gotten in as far as three doors before. Only a week ago, she had been forced to lie almost two days in silent terror while listening to something move around in the bedroom outside the closet.

She never found out what it had been, and didn’t really care. Once it left, she only concerned herself with finding its means of entry and seeing what she could do to prevent it from happening again. Figuring out some way to lock the hallway and bedroom doors listed high on her priorities, although she feared the presence of a locked door might alert one of the more intelligent predators that wandered through of her existence.

Not everything that roamed her neighborhood killed out of mindless instinct. Some thngs put a little forethought into it.

Another Happy Dance Scheduled!

"Rite of Passage" has been accepted by LL Dreamspell for their Dreamspell Nightmares 2 anthology.


In the midst of the doldrums of writer's block, this is great news.

Early to Bed

I fell asleep early last night . . . lulled to sleep by the drone of my magnificent new television turned to the comforting sounds of Monday Night Football. The wife woke me sometime around halftime and sent me to bed.

Still struggling with the writers block. I've pretty much decided that I'm just going to write a mish mash for NaNoWriMo. Just cram together all the different images I can use for future horror stories into one semi-sensical story. Then I'll have them for future use. I don't know if that would count as a real story, but at least it will be something.

Then there is the creeping matter of the housework. "Creeping" in the sense that the mess is rising like a tide around me.

Sigh. Talk about a horror story . . .

Oh well, time to get the kids off to school.

Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNoWriMo and the Real World

Sigh, it's November the second and I haven't started writing yet, due to real world issues.

Randy and Kyle came and installed my new 42" flatscreen TV last night, and I spent the evening restraining Rowan so she wouldn't be in the middle of things. Today, Rowans bus didn't show up so we took her to school, and I'm trying to straighten things out with the transportation dept of the schools. Then there is still the matter of the wreckage that is my kitchen, which needs to be cleaned up.

And this evening there is going to be the siren call of that aforementioned 42" TV and Monday Night Football.

It just ain't fair, I tell you!

And lets not forget my current case of writer's block. Oh no, let's not forget that.

Sigh. It's already the second day of November and I'm behind.

No pressure.

UPDATE: I finally got things squared away the school bus service and it looks like Rowan gets to come home for the evening. This parenting stuff is hard.

Shuffling Into The 21st Centruy

Guess what?

I'm making this blog entry from my new laptop while sitting at Denny's. Totally cool! I have arrived! I have now evolved to the ranks of Homo Technicus!

Typing on this laptop feels different, and my fingers hate adjusting to new things. But I shall persist. This is just too cool. And the response time is pretty much like being on a cable modem. I feel so geeky.

Now if I can just figure out my cell phone . . .

Sunday, November 1, 2009

National Novel Writing Month

I have signed up to participate in NaNoWriMo, and naturally I do this while fighting the worst case of writers block in my short career. But that's no excuse for not whipping out fifty thousand words in a month, right? All I got to do is come up with an idea I like for this masterpiece. Oh, wait a minute, there's that writers block again.

Oh well, I got my shiny new laptop. Between the two of us, we'll overcome this somehow. BTW, why do they have this event in a month that has Thanksgiving in it? That's like a guaranteed two or three days you aren't really going to be able to write. Heck, after I finish stuffing myself with turkey and dressing, I'm lucky to remain conscious for two days afterward. Ah well, things are what they are, and enjoying a good whine might make me feel better but it not fix anything.

Me and mighty laptop will overcome.