Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dissection Preview, Getting to Know You, September Goals

This is your biweekly headsup that a short story dissection is coming later this week. Friday I'll be posting a dissection of "Less Stately Mansions" by Rob Chilson. This story was published in the July/August 2011 edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. So, if you have that issue and haven't read this story yet, now would be the time! If you're not familiar with my Dissecting the Short Story series, what I will do is write up a detailed analysis of the story and what I think may have been some of the issues that the writer considered in crafting their story.  The most recent Dissection was for Dave Zeltserman's "A Hostage Situation."

Next, since there are a LOT of new people coming to the blog thanks, in part, to Rachel Harrie's Platform-Building Campaign, I wanted to have a quick getting to know you with my readers!

So, for anyone who wants to join in, here are five questions. I'll give my answers as the first comment on the post.

1) What is a book that you remember being very influential to you as a child?
2) Food -- spicy or mild?
3) What's your favorite "fun" activity besides writing and reading.
4) Setting aside any health/political/social/family issues...  If you could pick one place and time to live, where would it be?
5) What's your favorite movie series?

While you're mulling those questions over, I'm going to announce my personal writing goals for September.

1) Write 15,000 words of fiction across at least four stories.
2) Take all of my August stories which have not yet gone through Beta/critique through Beta/critique. (If you're interested in partnering with me for this type of activity, please leave a comment below!)
3) Stick to my planned Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday blogging schedule.

If you'd like to share your goals with me and my readers, feel free to add those to your comments!


  1. 1) The Isaac Asimov Presents series of anthologies for stories published year-by-year starting in the late '30s.

    2) Spicy.

    3) Active - practicing Tae Kwon Do. Passive - going to Blue Jackets hockey games.

    4) Jazz Age New York City. I'd get to see Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, etc. play baseball, go hear great music, and maybe even be a pulp writer!

    5) The Lord of the Rings series.

  2. Hi Michael! Best of luck with your goals!

    As for getting to know me...are you sure you want to? (;

    1) Angela's Ashes. I had that read to me when I was about four or five, and I still remember passages from it.

    2)Very spicy. Mouthwatering, eye-stinging spicy.

    3) I like to pain tabletop miniatures. (Am a horrible geek.)I also love to jog and exercise. (Still a geek.)

    4) 1920s NYC, as long as I wasn't shot. I want to be a Flapper so badly.

    5) Movie series...I honestly have no idea. Don't watch enough movies to have one, I guess.

  3. 1) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    2) Mild
    3) Is there really something else? Oh, well I suppose tickling sessions with my little chipmunk (she's a hoot, my kiddo)
    4) This is somewhat difficult, but I suppose I would choose the time of the Harlem Renaissance. To witness a cultural explosion of literature, art and amazing.
    5) Though I, too, love LOTR, I must state that my FAVE is the Matrix series.

    I would be interested in partnering for Beta/Critique

  4. Thanks, Marlena and Angela, for playing along!

    How interesting is this -- all three of us so far have chosen essentially the same time and place!

    Angela, I sent you an email to discuss Beta/Critique. Thanks!

  5. Great idea!

    1) CHRISTINE. I read a lot of horror as a child, but this one really held me. I always enjoy a good tragedy.
    2) Spicy!
    3) What's your favorite "fun" activity besides writing and reading.
    3) Video games. Preferably ones with good stories :)
    4) Hmmm...I actually like where and when I am. Plus I couldn't live without the internet. Yes, I have a bit of an addiction.
    5) Alien. Again, I love the horror.

    Good luck with your goals. Have a great September.

  6. @JE, if I was going to pick a Stephen King novel that stuck with me as a young adult, it would be "The Long Walk." Something about that book of his really grabbed me. As far as Alien goes, if they'd stopped at three movies (Yes, I'm one of the people who actually LIKED Alien^3 reasonably well.) then that would be way up there on my list. A:R, though, did NOT work for me and I'm pretending the Alien vs. Predator movies don't exist.

    Also, per your comment on your Blogger profile, check your email as I've sent you a note about possible critique partnering.

  7. Hey Michael! Rance from over in the Campaign! I thought I'd join in too! :) Why the hell not?

    1) PET SEMATARY. I guess influential King is a theme here! :) After I read this, I knew I wanted to write. I wanted to get sucked into a world as a writer the way I did as a reader when I read that book.
    2) Mild! I'm a spice pansy!
    3) Video games!
    4) America prior to the Civil War -- there were so many new lines of thought being developed and literature was blossoming as we tried to actually create a body of lit as opposed to just adopt England's.
    5) My favorite series would be the Harry Potter movies.

  8. By the way, Michael, I got your e-mail. Hoping my response arrived okay. Also, you have an award over at my blog.

  9. Good luck with your writing goals this month!!

    To answer your questions:

    1)I was obsessed with Hansel and Gretel for a time. I imagined fighting evil forces with my older bro, although I was always the one protecting him while he cowered in fear.
    2) A friend once told me that if we ever turned to cannibalism and we tasted like what we ate, I would be as bland as tofu.
    3) I’m a TV junkie
    4) Hmm…this is just contributing to my blandness, but I’d probably just want to go hang out in a suburban basement in the mid-1970s and listen to records.
    5) Wow…tough one. Because I love Rocky, but hate V, so can’t pick that. And I love Jaws, but the sequels got progressively worse.

  10. Angela, yes, I received your email. I plan to start looking at it tonight. Thanks!

    Rance and Jennifer, welcome! Looks like we've got a 3-3 tie now on mild vs. spicy.

  11. Yep, I'm one of your newer visitors! This short story dissection sounds intriguing - great exercise.

  12. Hello, Trisha! Thanks for stopping by; I hope you enjoy reading the story dissection tomorrow.

  13. 1. I think it was a Nancy Drew book that my mom had. Or a choose your own adventure type book.

    2. I'm a wuss, mild.

    3. Swimming, going to the movies or messing around with my horses.

    4. Scotland, probably the 1990s.

    5. Hmmm...I guess Alien. I'm a horror movie addict. :D

    Good luck on your goals. I know I have one where I want to write 100k for the year but haven't done any sort of monthly goals.

  14. Thanks for stopping by my blog! You want to know something funny? You almost ended up in all three of my groups (fantasy, short and new bloggers) but then Rach rearranged them :D But I guess even one group is enough to get people together ;)

    Interesting questions, let me see:

    1) I don't know about influential, but there are a few that got stuck in my mind all this time. "Journey to the Center of the Earth" by Jules Verne, "Vinnetou" by Karl May (even though I enjoyed it extremely, even then I noticed his main character was too much of a male Marry Sue, so I guess it showed me what not to do), "Nemesis" by Issac Asimov and of course, "Lord of the Rings", which I read long before all this movie business came about.
    2) Spicy, sweet, sour, tart, anything that is not bland, I like.
    3) I love to draw. I used to do Aikido, but due to some health issues, it's on hold for now.
    4) Africa. Any day and age.
    5) Pirates of the Caribbean. And Cronicles of Narnia, although I still haven't watched all of them.

    Oh, and about Beta/critique, I'll do yours if you'll do mine ;D

  15. Daina, I guess I'll be seeing you around the campaign a lot!

    Yeah, "influential" is one of those words that can be tricky. "Meaningful" or even "memorable" might have been better choices.

    I would like to be able to draw, but apparently not enough to have ever put time into it. Stick figures are the limit of my drawing skill. :)

    I'll send you an email about Beta/critique.

  16. Whoops! Daina, guess I was mistaken in saying that I'd send you an email. I don't see it on your blog or profile. Mine should be visible on my profile. Feel free to drop me a line to discuss or whack me on the nose and point me to your email address if it's sitting somewhere and I just overlooked it!