Thalia

I’m working on a blog entry about the BLW but want to lace it with some of the many pictures I took. Same is true of London.

Working on The Black Wind’s Whispers book assembly portion. The contracts have been sent out and immediately, over half of the people agreed.

Call me Pygmalion, because I’ve fallen for the statue of Thalia, the muse of comedy, from the British Museum…

Not my picture. But I will post my own pics soon enough.

I’d like to think there’s something healthy about loving the material. I suppose there’s no way it can disappoint or break your heart.

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More to Come

Yesterday night, I finished my final short story of the year for The Black Wind’s Whispers although the page count really stretched the definition of “short.”

The length is bothersome, but it was critical to make a sharp story to explain the origin of the driving plot device. My first draft was summarily rejected. So I struggled to improve the power of the story. This took legitimate research and expounding on details, and the end result hogged word length more than I intended. Perhaps there will be cuts.

Based on certain definitions, the tale is somewhere between a short story and novella. I am debating either reducing its length or cutting it into two parts and separating them somewhere within the anth. I know a good spot within the story to do just that. I will discuss our strategy with the editors soon.

I will be fighting hard to get the book published probably late next week. In the mean time, I got to push the contract out tonight (no more delays on that).

With five (perhaps six) stories under my belt, I think I’ll finish the year by shooting a few more rejections at Every Day Fiction (and learning patience from their critiques). Research a few publishers and see what’s cooking. Then fail to complete a novel for NaNoWriMo, and by fail I mean probably not even start.

I leave for London tomorrow. I may or may not post once more before then. Expect a few BLW pictures when I return.

Self Responsibility

Today, I’m rewriting what is the most important story I’ve ever written thus far. Others will eclipse it in time, but this is a milestone of importance.

I say this not because of ‘how good it is’, because it isn’t good. I got my fingers crossed that when I finished, it will be. Or at least that it will be better. I say this because of all the people behind it and relying on it. Just as I am relying on their work. There is a self-imposed due date that others besides myself are holding me too. There is the critical question of future anthologies, but all that is technically dependent upon how this one goes.

The story in question is difficult. It takes place in the city of London, a place that I am very unfamiliar with. It takes place in the early seventies, a period of which I didn’t exist yet. It involves the London Police Force during that decade, a subject that my knowledge is near oblivious.

I’m quite thankful for the assistance of the two editors and a chum who happens to be a member of the London police force himself for their insight on how to improve the story. Their comments have reignited my passion for writing.

Ouya and London (No Relation)

You are so small! Is funny to me!

You are so small! Is funny to me!

I’ve been quietly watching the Ouya with growing respect.

The Ouya is a new console due out in about six months. Best described, it’s an attempt at a console revolution: free-to-play games, open source, no licensing needed for developers, hardware modifiability. It uses the Android 4.0 operating system, has a USB 2.0 port, ethernet and can allow for up to four wireless controllers.

Ouya got its start thanks to a promising Kickstarter campaign that brought in over $8.5 million in seed money from over 63,000 backers. So far, the list of confirmed games is somewhat small, but they still have six months to gather partners. They also have a few mentionable names thrown around, such as Square Enix’s Final Fantasy III (confirmed) and Minecraft (in discussion).

Ouya’s biggest selling point is it’s potential: the development creativity of the PC meets the accessibility of the living room console. You know those addictive flash games you play on Newgrounds? Imagine if you could play them on your television with up to four friends.

Skeptics are not wrong when they point to the long list of failed consoles, such as the Turbo Grafix-16 and 3DO as cause for concern. Ouya is competing with three major giants in Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, and that’s not including the diverse and somewhat independent PC gamer types. But Ouya has time to get its act together before its release date in March of 2013.

No promises as to whether I’ll get it, but I’ll be watching.

Oh, and I’ll be heading to London in November.

P.S. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Valve Software will open up its free-game selection from Steam to Ouya. If nothing else, then just Team Fortress 2. Given Valve’s recent move to produce for Linux, it’s safe to assume that the eggheads at Valve are at least scratching their chin about it…

Go For! …Silver…

Bad news, it's all I got. Good news, silver is a weakness of werewolves and germs. Take that, Gold Ticketers!

Bad news, it's all I got. Good news, silver is a weakness of werewolves and germs. Take that, Gold Ticketers!

It has been an interesting weekend.

Let’s start with Friday. I was very prepared to purchase a Gold Ticket for the Black Library Weekender. I set an alarm for 8 pm GMT and left the Shoutbox open so the guys could talk about it. I set up a long distance plan for a day with Verizon and made sure that my finances were in order.

And everything still went wrong.

About 3 pm EST, a recruiter called. The phone interview went well, but I wasn’t paying attention to other things. For starters, 3 pm EST is 8 pm GMT; I got bad information from a website.

Of course, the guys were yelling about this on the Shoutbox. But I was on the phone, pacing about and not paying a moment of attention. When I was finished, it was too late. The Gold Tickets had sold out. I had missed my chance.

I settled for a Silver Ticket. Yeah, it’s not what I wanted. But it might be a good thing in the end. I’ve never been to the UK or Europe. The spare $295, the price difference of the two ticket grades, can be blown on staying for another couple of days to see London. Perhaps I can even start my vacation in Germany and make my way towards London before going to Nottingham, and leaving on Sunday night.

Hell, another day and night in Europe would be great. I already set aside some time and money to see at least London, but settling for the Silver can really be more of a blessing than a curse. There’s so much more I can do. So much more to see. One opportunity might be lost, but it just creates another.

There’s plenty to do. I have to get my passport. I have to figure out exactly where I’m going, and the best time to buy plane tickets. If I intend to go to Germany, I should strengthen my German skills. I have to figure out the money conversion, research travel arrangements and lodging reservations.

In other news, the idea for what maybe my first novel has popped up in my head. I’ve jotted down some ideas and know some of the themes I want to use. But there’s plenty of research to be done first. I also have to finish my short stories and prepare for the next Black Library submission window.

Interviews on Tuesday and Wednesday, by the way. Ahhh, where does the time go…