Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Links & the Week in #storyeachnight: May 20th, 2012 Edition

May is absolutely flying by. I've been incredibly busy with any number of things this month. Our oldest is graduating high school in a couple of weeks but between now and then is the classic film convention which my father has been a major force behind for 43 years now. It's called Cinevent and every year well over 600 people come to watch movies, talk about movies, buy and sell movie memorabilia and so on. It's older than I am and I literally grew up with it.

This year the preparations for the convention have been extra "interesting" for me since my father was injured in late February and while he was convalescing I was tasked with doing a lot of the communications work which he would normally have been doing for the show. It's been a learning experience, that's for sure. I'm glad that I've done it to help him, the rest of the convention committee, and the attendees. It's also reminded me why I have little interest in being a convention organizer on a regular basis! And, for those of us who attend conventions -- science fiction, film, comics, what-have-you, it's been a reminder that the staff put in a heck of a lot of time and effort and voluntarily deal with no small amount of frustration to help put together a great experience for their attendees. (And, yes, sometimes a "great" experience isn't what ends up happening. But most cons I've been to in the past have been good or better.)

Speaking of conventions, I'm still trying to decide which one I'm going to make it to as part of my goals for the year. I'll be at Pulpfest almost for certain, but I barely count that since it's something I've been going to for years anyway. Context and Bouchercon both have a certain appeal to me, but I'll have to see as things get closer to the date for both of those.

A quick programming note: There won't be a Dissecting the Short Story post for May. Since I said I'd give the new format with reader votes, etc. at least two goes, I'll do one again soon, most likely in June.

Now with all that out of the way, on to first my weekly #storyeachnight rundown and the list of links I've found interesting for the week:

5/13 - "The Call" by Erin M. Hartshorn from DAILY SCIENCE FICTION. Story of a family cursed (?) to follow the Call of Adventure. Explores family relationships in that world. Might've liked more details on where Call led them.
5/14 - "Need" by Gary Braunbeck as reprinted in TO EACH THEIR DARKNESS. A wonderfully-written story told in a non-linear fashion. I was disturbingly aware of where it MUST be going from almost the very beginning. I don't think that this is a flaw -- I think it was an intentional decision to show what was about to happen and then step back and examine why it happened. (* My favorite for the week.)
5/15 - "Necrosis" by Dale Bailey from the 5-6/12 F&SF. A short horror tale set among the private club set of early 20th century.
5/16 - "Hoist With an Ark to the Stars" by David Glen Larson from DAILY SCIENCE FICTION. This story wouldn't have felt out of place in a 1950s/60s SF magazine. As you may guess, that has its pros and cons. (And, as someone who's written quite a few stories like that himself, that's not a condemnation of the story.)
5/17 - "To the Moon" by Ken Liu from FIRESIDE MAGAZINE ISSUE ONE. As is often the case with his stories I felt that the characterization was great.
5/18 - "Emerald Lakes" by Chuck Wendig from FIRESIDE MAGAZINE ISSUE ONE. (Not "Firestarter" magazine as I tweeted. The magazine's first issue was part of a Kickstarter effort, and I apparently mushed those together in my brain when I tweeted...) I basically liked it, great voice and character but I thought that there was one plot element which felt like a potentially big hole.
5/19 - "Closing Time" by Dave Zeltserman in 21 TALES. A gregarious gent buying rounds in an Irish bar is more than he seems. Ending genuinely surprised me, though it might have surprised me a bit less if I'd read the story in a different context.

And the links:

"7 Bad Habits of Successful Authors" (Rachelle Gardner) - This post talks about some bad habits but how they can potentially have an upside if harnessed correctly.

"Capturing the Essence: Gesture Drawing for Writers" (Andrew Romine at Inkpunks) - Andrew talks about adapting a technique from artists' toolkit for writers. It involves, in part, being ready to make quick notes as something strikes you. I've found using my smartphone to work better for this than he has, but that may just be a personal preference. I dislike writing longhand when I can avoid it.

"Markets for the More Discerning Submitter: Kaleidotrope" and "New Markets: Jukepop Serials and Specutopia" (Samuel Mae) - Samuel's starting a pair of new features on his blog relating to markets for submitting speculative fiction short stories. These two posts inaugurate the features.

Three story sales this week led to a very busy week on my blog.

"Monday May 14th #writemotivation Check In" - This was my weekly update on progress towards my goals as part of the #writemotivation community.

"Reprint/Podcast Sale: 'The Morandini Genie' to Cast of Wonders" - A short post announcing both my first reprint sale and my first podcast sale.

"Short Story Sale: 'Sequence' to Grand Science Fiction" - Wednesday saw this announcement of my second pro-rate fiction sale.

"DIY: Creating My Own eBook, Part Three - Lessons Learned" - The third and (for now) final post in my series about creating my own eBook. This related to the short story I published late last month, "Gravity's Pull."

"Short Story Sale: 'Pherusa Among the Stars' to Fantastic Frontiers Magazine" - A second post from me on Thursday included news of the sale of this flash fiction to a new online market.
A quick reminder, I'll be taking a blogging hiatus from Thursday the 24th through Sunday the 27th. I'll post a #writemotivation status check-in around Monday the 28th but it might be a day or two late.

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