Short stories, poetry, haiku, expository and technical non-fiction. Report Cards and observations on writing. This began as my repository of exercises from the "What If?" self-help writers group at AOL. It has become more and less, since leaving AOL.

Saturday, July 30

Virtual Postage Meter

If you are an average writer, you have a variety of manuscripts out in the slush piles of publishers, others waiting to go out and some returned with pink slips.

The Toolbox provided by Syne Mitchell is a virtual postage meter that allows you to calculate the weight of a ms and thus cost of postage needed to be purchased online or at the post office. Second, he's created a script that calculates the number of days between two calendar dates to determine response or, more often in my case, lack of response for ms you have already submitted. Just in case you are getting antsy-pantsy.

via Heather Shaw

Friday, July 29

25-Word Challenge: ORIENTAL NOIR

25-Word Challenge: ORIENTAL NOIR

WitNit has begun a chain story, set in Shanghai in an asian noir style. Come on, Whatevers, jump on in. The water's plenty warm...

The Rules: Add to the story with exactly 25 words, no more, no less. No consecutive comments, but feel free to come back and add more as often as you like. And Wired JAFA wisely reminds us to remember to hit F5 to refresh before you post!

And be sure to read each entry twice for story coherence.

Also, use BloggerWit for the story, NOT HaloWit.

The story title is ORIENTAL NOIR. And so we begin...

Luna Moth

Ethereal, sea foam visitor,
graces us but once in a blue moon.
Half a hand span and more.
Twenty times in my lifetime, maybe more.
Not rare, but never frequent.

Picture Credit: Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Copyright ©2003, 2005 All Rights Reserved to the Board of Regents, OSU.

Sunday, July 10

Some Thoughts On The "How" Of Writing.

A blogging acquaintance was complaining about the difficulties she was having writing a book about havng been raped. She was trying to edit herself as she went along. Here are my thoughts, left in a comment, about the writing process. Your mileage may vary -- you probably have a Prius.

"Allow yourself the freedom to write the way you want to write without self-censoring the first time through. Plenty of time for rewrites. Just let it come, spelling and grammatical errors and all (we all make them).

Once you have the tale you want to tell down on paper -- give it a rest. Take a week off. It's not going anywhere.

When you come back to it, bring your red pencil and go to town - be merciless, mark it up and indicate the rewrites desired. Let those sit a week or two, simmering.

Now go back and rewrite, using your marked up manuscript and your fresh view -- the one you have now that you have it all down on the page. Here it comes - now is when the turn of the phrase is polished, the extraneous cut, the explanation exposited upon - you get the idea.

Once you are done a major rewrite, farm it around to your writing support group for comments and suggestions. Once they have weighed in - edit or not, as YOU see fit.

Ready? Send it off to your chosen publisher or to your agent and let her market it for you.

Good luck - as someone has already pointed out, write from the heart. All the rest is just editing."

Friday, July 1

Simon of Space

Hello, my name is Simon. Or so they tell me.

I Think, Therefore

Do you remember the first moment of your life?

I do, but then most people suffer from the inherent deficits of infancy when they're born, whereas I had the special indignity and privilege of being thirty-six years old at the time.

Thus begins a new novel, a blognovel by Matthew Frederick Davis Hemming, better known as Cheeseburgerbrown to his afficianados. I know others have touted this novel, not the least of whom was AOL's own blogfather, John Scalzi. Still, I'm going to pimp it here, because I love this book so far and I haven't any reason to believe it'll tank before it ends. Give it a try folks and be prepared to lose many minutes a day to reading the further adventures of Simon.

About Me

My photo
Well past (by at least a decade) the half century mark. One foot in the grave, the other on a banana peel at the rim of the abyss and the view from here is disconcerting. I am a former student, pearl diver, cook, truck driver, firefighter, EMT, CEO, Town Fire Warden, mechanic, oiler, marine engineer and computer whiz bang. Mostly I sleep these days in an aluminum tube. And So It Goes... I waste my time reading blogs and kvetching about the weather, playing with our Schipperke sidekick, Ignatz McGraw and waiting hand by foot upon my wife, the Queen of our Hovel, She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO).