Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rejection, But

Back in October, I sent out my story "The Cave Painter" to the Pedestal magazine for consideration in their speculative fiction edition. The Pedestal is primarily a literary fiction market - they identified guest editors to manage this edition.

The story I submitted was a short piece I wrote over a year ago. I didn't even consider it a full story until my Alpha Reader kicked me. She also recommended this market for it, as the Pedestal is a good e-zine that pays well (8 cents a word).

I got a rejection today, but a lovely one. Apparently out of 600 submissions, it made the top 13, just not the final ToC of 7 stories. I got some very kind words from one of the guest editors, and was told the story was recommended to the editor of the next issue. Considering the story is only vaguely speculative, I thought this was a great response.

So, a rejection -- but a very positive one.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Summer of Flight Comments

I had a great Thai dinner with my Alpha Reader the other day. We spent something like four and a half hours discussing Summer of Flight (and eating, and drinking tea).

I was extremely relieved by the comments. Overall, it got a passing grade, with some work to get it into the A category. However, the work that needs to be done is pretty straightforward. Unlike my first attempt at writing a book - this one was good. ::laugh::

She's asked a bunch of questions -- but most of the answers (and corresponding changes) are easy to make. The funniest comment of course was that the book needs"30 percent more sneaking." Which it does, in hindsight.

So, that's why I have an Alpha Reader. To keep me from making it too easy on my characters. My goal is to make all the edits before the end of the holidays. I figure this is doable, seeing as I am not ripping apart the book, just adding words, making clarifications, and changing two or three scenes.

But I have a plan, and I intend to stick with it. I'd like to start sending the book to my Beta Readers soon after the new year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Editing Assignment

A few months ago, I found out my name had been referred to a Small Press as someone who could do substantive editing of F/SF. I was asked if I was interested -- and of course said yes. I've missed editing, and having the chance to professionally edit a novel -- kind of awesome.

While I was away, the publisher contacted me about a specific project. Today we confirmed the deal. I'll be editing an SF book for the company. One of their first forays into this field (although they've published a wide variety of books in other genres). If it goes well, there could be more opportunities in the future.

Wish me luck.

(And no, this has nothing to do with the secret project -- this was just another project floating in the miasma of my creative interests).

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hawaii Pictures

I thought I'd share some Hawaii pictures, since people have been asking...

1. Waikiki Beach Sunset.

I am always amazed at sunsets over water. I am in awe at the colours -- which can't be captured perfectly in a picture, though I will continue to try. You can see how this was inspiring, right? This was taken on Waikiki Beach across from the Marriott Waikiki (where I spent my last couple of nights).

2. Hilton Lagoon and Ocean with Diamondhead in the Distance.

I was staying a two minute walk from this viewpoint. I could walk along the beach in the mornings, sipping coffee, or be inspired in the afternoon.

3. Pali Lookout (Nu'uanu State Park).

According to the guide posting, Mark Twain once said this was the most beautiful views in the world. I can just imagine what it might have been like when there were no buildings there. This lookout was also the site of the Battle of Nu'uanu Pali in 1795, whereby King Kamehameha united the Hawaiian Islands. Mind you, he did it by forcing 400 of his enemies off the side of a cliff.

4. Giant Clam on a Reef (And a Jellyfish).

Okay, this was taken at the Honolulu Aquarium. Still -- look at that awesome clam.

Okay, I had to sneak in a jellyfish picture. I was so excited to see them. They really are luminescent. It was so cool.

5. Sunset Beach (North Shore).
This is the surf coming in on the North Shore. The foam in the distance reminds me of snow.

6. Surfers on the North Shore.

Yes, I had to take surfing pictures. This is one of my favourites since so many folks are riding the same wave. I have some nice single shots too, including one of a good wipe-out.

7. Byodo-In (Byodo Temple Replica).

You would think I mixed up my pictures, but no. This beautiful Japanese Temple on the Windward Coast of O'ahu is a replica of a 900 year old temple in Japan. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised considering there are so many Japanese, or those of Japanese descent on the islands, but still, it took my breath away. Look at the clouds hanging over the mountain in the background.

8. Palm Trees in Paradise.

Palm trees. Ocean surf. Cliffs. Even a lighthouse in the distance. If you ever look up paradise in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Hawaii.

And there you have it...shots from my writing retreat. I took many more pictures, but these ones are among my favourites. Truly an inspiring place to visit. You can look forward to Writers' House -- Hawaii, if I ever win the lottery.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Three Days

...left here in Hawaii.

Hard to believe how fast time flies. At the end of that time, I will have finished Summer of Flight (the novel), and hopefully Summer of Flight (the script) -- which is almost done.

I will also have ripped apart the beginning of Shadows of Autumn a couple of times, but I am slowly progressing on that front.

And of course, I will have finished the extended pitch for the Secret Project. I figure that fairly accounts for the reason Book 2 isn't farther along.

Above all, I will have completely relaxed for the first time in...oh, forever I think. I have never felt as lighthearted and hopeful in my entire life.

Five weeks in paradise will do that.

I look forward to carrying that feeling with me through the last month of my writing sabbatical.