Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I has new living space!

Tuesday is here, and I am all moved in. Technically, you could argue that I was moved in Sunday, even though maneuvering was difficult. As of last night, the furniture is arranged, and the slow process of bring boxes up from the garage has begun. Overall, not to shabby.

Days moving stuff: 2 1/2
Panic attacks: 1
Hours cleaning the old place: 3
Couch hefted over the balcony: 1
Boxes in my garage: too many
Times I got peed on: 1
Times I considered killing my cat: 1
$50 shower head with seven settings: 1
Stuff that got broken: 0
Injuries: 1
Scuff marks on the wall: Erik 1, Erin 1

The townhouse is really nice. Three floors, if you count the garage. Also, we're at the back of the complex and the top of the hill, which means no one behind us and a great view. Two bedrooms, two and half baths, end unit. It's very close to the mailbox, but a bit of a walk to the dumpster. The kitchen has a pantry that's HUGE. Pretty awesome stuff. I'll be sure to take some pictures once everything is set up and pretty, before we make a mess!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bloodheir by Brain Ruckley

Finished it yesterday. Much good stuff. His first book, Winterbirth, was awesome as well. Very rich world, albeit a little confusing to keep track of all the names sometimes. However, he kindly provides a guide to who is whom, which a quick glance at fixed the trouble. Overall though, both are great reads. Can't wait for book three.

What next...

I think I'm going to finish The Witcher - a book from Poland that was made into a pretty neat video game. I need to figure out how that happened, and totally copy.

Some news!

I just got the mock up cover for the short story anthology I'm in from Permuted Press, Monstrous. Sweet.

My name is on it.


He also says, we're very very close. So, some more news soon, I hopes. And, of course, the requirement for you all (you know who you are!) to buy 6-8 copies each. Monster short stories make wonderful holiday gifts, you know.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dreams are the weird.

First, I dreamed of Warhammer. Many times. Over and over repetitive running in circles kind of dreams. That one, I get. I played way too many hours this weekend.

Second, I dreamed that my teeth were breaking and falling out of my mouth. Then, I went to some slum to see a dentist that looked like the crazy young guy from Animal Planet. He told me I was screwed, and that I'd have to get dentures. I hate the broken teeth dreams. It's a reoccurring one for me, kind like my spiders-are-going-to-eat-me dreams.

And finally, I had a dream that my cat, Chunky Butt (which is a girl and fixed) had a litter of kittens. They were all cute and fluffy. Except for one, which had two heads.

Seriously. WTF dream?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sunday = WAR

Finally. They have released the headstart dates for Warhammer Online. I can rest my weary soul, and prepare for the reckoning properly. Sunday is headstart start. Woots! I think I'll be taking Monday off work (my freebie day from working so hard in Vegas on Saturday!) and get my fix all day long.

Hopefully, Erik's parents will not arrive on Sunday. No big if they do. I just need to tap the servers as soon as they go live and secure the names I want for my characters. Priorities, yo.

Spore is fun!

Check out my creations!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Workin' Hard

Phew. Glad today is almost over. Made some awesome headway in my work load for work related thingies.

Also, went through some anthologies, trying to decide if/what I want to try submitting for next. I'm kind of excited about the premise of this one, mostly because of some of the authors they've already selected. Jean Rabe and Brain Ruckley! Would be pretty neat to be in the same anthology as them! Ironicly, this is also about big critters - same as my short story that is going to be published later this year. Weird.

Then, I looked into some online critique group/classes (which are expensive). And - ta-da! - finished the current round of revisions for my (still) unnamed short story for Warrior Wisewomen.

Now if 5:00 would come on and get here, I can go home and finish taking over the Spore universe.


Lots to do this month.

Magazine assignments:
Good Works
ProFiles: So What Do You Do?
Article about the Employee Website

Still hacking away at the Executive Biographies, 25 year warehouse stories and my standard week-to-week content on the employee website.

In addition, there is the ever mounting concern of conquering space with my Spore creatures, and WAR starts next week (hehehe) Oh, and Erik's parents and cousin are visiting the end of this week. Oh, and I have a Photoshop class I'm taking at the local community college. Oh, and I need to finish my revision of my short story for Warrior Wisewomen. Oh, and I need to keep working on my manuscript. Oh, and summer is officially over.

September sucks. And here I thought being in school or being a teacher was the only reason to hate September.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Funny stuff

So I was reading Elizabeth Bear's blog and this particular article was hilarious.

This, I think, is my favorite part.

"My job as a writer is to manipulate people. It's what stories do. However, my job as a writer is to make them collaborate with and enjoy being part of the manipulation, not feel like I'm jerking their chain." - Elizabeth Bear


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Critiquer and Critiquee

Labor Day marked the first "real" meeting for the new writing group I recently joined. For this session we critiqued the preface and first chapter of a mystery and my own short story (the unnamed one which I plan to submitted to the Warrior Wisewomen 2 anthology).

We started with the mystery, and then moved on to my piece. I got some great feedback! And I realized a few things:

- As much as a loved the idea of directly referencing a character from "the dark book" it wasn't working in the context of this piece. Sorry Arvis. No soup for you buddy. (to clarify: this short story is a tale about historical events that preface "the dark book")

- I spent a few pages describing an alien species and a medical procedure, both of which are really irrelevant for this piece (at least in that amount of detail I included).

- With the above scene axed, I had a few ideas spawned from a number of great suggestions to fill the space and address a) a character development issue and b) a reference to the main characters past which I failed to explore in enough depth.

- I learned that if you want to say someone committed suicide, you have to be very direct and clear about it. Or, at the very least, much more direct and clear than I was in draft one. When three out of three readers don't get it, the author (moi) gets one of these:

The plan is for me to create a new draft, and give it to the group again to look over once my turn comes up in the rotation again. No worries; the deadline for Warrior Wisewomen 2 is not until December.

Zombies: None for me.

No dice on my submission to The World is Dead anthology via Permuted Press. I got a very polite rejection letter from the editor saying:

"It's an interesting premise, but I really did see the ending coming from p. 12 on. Thank you for submitting and I wish you every luck and success with your writing."

Like they say, any rejection letter giving feedback is a good thing. As motivation, I've added this one to the spot on my wall reserved for rejection letters. Right now it's with the other two I have up from my earliest submission of my first manuscript. Right next to those is my $15 check for my other short story which was accepted. :)

Babylon A.D.

I have mixed feelings. I was totally there; the movie was great. Visuals were awesome. Vin was awesome. There was even a voice over of him talking at the start - very Riddick and Pitch Black and made me squeal a little in delight. Action was exciting, the plot was cooking', the world was dark and interesting. The characters were intriguing. I was loving it.

Then they had to go all weird with the ending. I won't go into the specifics, but unless they're planning a pretty incredible sequel ... Bunk I say. Very anticlimactic for an otherwise great flick. I liked the rest of it so much that I can't say I didn't like the movie based on the crappy ending. I think most of the theater shared my feelings. There was an odd silence at the end, followed by a bunch of dissatisfied mutters.

Maybe the deluxe DVD edition will have an alternate ending. A girl can dream, can't she?


So, PAX was a blast!

We ended up going Saturday and Sunday. Yay swag!

We got Dragon Age: Origins posters, t-shirts and tattoo sleeves, stickers and hotel cards. Sadly, we didn't win the signed shield. The demonstration was awesome; they showed some new areas and a new character, as well as the trailer. The booth was set up like a tavern. In one of the demos the party wiped, which was pretty hilarious. Needless to say, I was super excited. Spring 2009. Bioware is the bomb. We also went to another presentation where they unveiled the Dragon Age toolset. Looks pretty sweet, and easy to use. I look forward to playing with it. A lot.

As for Warhammer Online, the response to their panel was a little overwhelming, so instead of getting an hour presentation and Q&A we only got 30 minutes. It was fun, but a little bit of a bummer. They didn't really cover anything important - it was more of a pep rally of sorts and some humor. Fun, but I was hoping for some actual news. Like, oh perhaps just maybe, WHEN IS HEADSTART?!? We did find the headstart date online when we got home, however. If the source is reliable and nothing changes, I'll be grinding away, without impending deletion, on September 14th. Let there be WAAAGGHHH!!

Wizards of the Coast had their Character Creator software up for demo, and we picked up a D&D beanie hat and Magic: The Gathering mouse pads.

I tried Avion (and got a slap bracelet) which appears to be a new MMO by NCsoft. The cool factor was the ability to fly with your own wings, but otherwise same old same old. Oh, and I got a Dungeon Runners blinky necklace.

We watched the Spore presentation. It was hilarious. Looks like it's going to be a fun game, and you can play through it pretty quick. I'm looking forward to evolving through a puddle of primordial ooze.

Also, We tested out some Sacred 2, which I was unimpressed with. Might have been simply because it wasn't really working. Items weren't functioning correctly, NPC's had no dialogue and I couldn't map and use most abilities. I enjoyed the original Sacred, but personally I think Titan Quest was a lot cooler for a hackie-slashie. And who thought giving a Dryad a blowgun was a cool idea? Really? Meh.

Overall, very fun and well organized event. I had a blast! Unfortunately, we tried to have Cheesecake Factory twice, and failed. Too long of a wait for sore feet after walking around all day long.