Monthly Archives: June 2009

Damned Baptists would be an awesome name for a band.

I like to say my first favorite TV show ever was Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. This is not true. My first favorite TV show ever was Charlie’s Angels. My favorite Angel? Surprisingly, not Farrah Fawcett’s Jill. It was Chris, her replacement, played by Cheryl Ladd. But Farrah Fawcett was cool too. My favorite Farrah era was her crazy years, where she babbled on Lettermand and there were stories that she was throwing wild parties and defecating on her own lawn (I blame Ryan O’Neil). This was just after the critically acclaimed Burning Bed years. But I was too young to watch that. Still, Farrah, I salute you. Go gently into that good night. You deserve the rest now.

And Michael Jackson’s Thriller was the first album I ever really wanted to buy, but wasn’t allowed to because it was unholy rock music(yeah, right!) and my church did not approve. This was also the era in which I was not allowed to go see Return of the Jedi because the church frowned on its members going to “the show,” and the cool kids called it in 1984. Damn Baptists … sorry, I know I’m going someplace bad now. Michael Jackson’s amazing flame out out of weird accusations and long-delayed projects (hello Katrina relief song?) was just as entertaining as Farrah’s. But Michael’s work was good. Black and White is still my favorite MJ song (will not go near Man in the Mirror), but I always thought he was kind of a sad case always trying to reclaim a childhood that was stolen from him by the mass media and an abusive father.

I think we all kind of knew it was going to end suddenly, so Michael, go get some peace as well now.

weirdness note: I found out about MJ’s death via a twitter message form Randall Flagg. This will give me something to talk about with the psychiatrist next week.

Sorry, I got nothing on Ed McMahon, except that I was always really hoping he was going to show up at my house with balloons and a giant check, and am still somewhat disappointed it did not happen.

Anyway, Farrah, MJ, ED … go gently and all that …

adding her condolences:


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Posted by on June 26, 2009 in culture


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What it wants to be … ?

Lately, some current projects have spiralled out of control. This is not strange for me. A short story I was working on, with an eye to a specific anthology, kicked out the 6000 word roadblock and kept racing along. Right now, its double that. And to really do the story justice, it probably needs to be about 30,000. No one publishes workes of 30,000 words right now. WAAAAAY too long for a short story market, and much too short for a novel. I guess it could be serialized, especially since it does follow a pretty specific three-act structure, but you really only get to serialize if you are a big name. Me? Not even a name, let alone one of any size (no fat jokes, please).

And I could bludgeon it down, get it under 20,000 maybe. But It’s a complicated piece which relies on some (if I may say so myself) pretty intricate worldbuilding. So this entire idea is probably not one to be used in a short story. And I really, really don’t have time to start another novel right now.

Fortunately, another story which can easily (at least with some judicious editing) slide in under the word count presented itself, and I’ll be turning that in instead.

And I’m hearing murmers from the publishing world that they’re actively looking for novels now in the 50-60,000 wd range from new authors, and this other idea can easily become that. And that brings up the question I have … do I just write them as they come and put no word count imposition on them, or do I need to find a structure for this type of thing. I always hate it when new (it’s mostly new) writers say “well, i just let the story flow through me,” and more alarmingly, “these characters just started writing themselves and told me what they were going to do.” Yes, if your story is alive, situations and motivations will present themselves to you in surprising and challenging ways, but you’re still in charge of the story. Abdicating your authorial responsibility and just writing what comes to mind usually devolves into lazy cliche. Yes, Jerry B. “I don’t kill off characters I find them dead” Jenkins, I am looking at you.

But this is a digression. Should I be letting the stories be what they want to be, or do I try to get them into some form that has an actual hope of selling? Just wondering …

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Posted by on June 25, 2009 in life, writing


Footprints out soon! And a signing!

Just wanted to put up a notice that Footprints, an anthology published by Hadley-Rille Books and edited by Eric T. Reynolds and Jay Lake, will be coming out this month. The date I’ve heard is July 19th, but I am not certain of that. What I am certain about is that I will be signing/reading from Footprints at Powell’s Book at Cedar Hill Crossing in Beaverton, Oregon. I will be appearing with Jody Sherry and Brenda Cooper, other writers from the anthology. I will probably be reading from my story, “Dust in the Stellar Wind.”

This is only my second signing ever, so of course it still feels weird, even if it is a nice chance to feel a like a “for-real grown up writer” for a couple of hours. I then return to my daily life and realize I’m not much of a grown-up anything. So, it’s all good.

And I know that all of my dozens of fan (not a typo!) will be really excited about this, but i’m really looking forward to it.


Posted by on June 23, 2009 in writing


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