Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Links and the Week in #storyeachnight/#poemeachnight: June 17th, 2012 Edition

And another week has come and gone. Where does the time go?

Here are the stories and (starting on Saturday June 9th) poems from this week. Putting this together, I realize it's gotten to be a fairly large block of text. I'll have to give some consideration to whether I keep creating this summary every Sunday. The most recent week or so of everyone's #storyeachnight and #poemeachnight tweets should usually be available to review on Twitter.

6/10 - Story: "Immersion" by Aliette de Bodard from CLARKESWORLD #69. Intricate story of culture and the lengths some choose to go to so they can feel like they belong. Poem: "I Know A Man" by Robert Creeley from THE VINTAGE BOOK OF CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POETRY. A very short poem and sort of fascinating. Four terse verses, each of which short enough that they could be a tweet. Also includes word reductions such as "sd" for "said" and "yr" for "you're." This poem is ~ 50 years old, best as I can tell but if you showed it to me and told me someone had just tweeted it, I wouldn't have batted an eye. Utterly fascinating.
6/11 - Story: "Spring-Fingered Jack" by Susan Casper from 100 HAIR-RAISING LITTLE HORROR STORIES. A story of video-game violence which seems as if it must have been ahead of its time (1983), predicting future hyper-violent games. Poem: "Early Elegy: Smallpox" by Claudia Emerson from the June 2012 issue of POETRY MAGAZINE.
6/12 - Story: "Light in the Darkness" by Sir Andrew Caldecott from NOT EXACTLY GHOSTS. A nicely atmospheric tale of skepticism and curses in a foreign land. I'm looking forward to reading more of these stories by Sir Caldecott. Poem: "Onions" by William Matthews from VBOCAP. This is the type of poem that makes me feel like I don't understand poems. Some interesting imagery near the end around how onion smell lingers on the skin but overall I felt like I missed his point.
6/13 - Story: "The Magician of Words" by Ruth Nestvold from DAILY SCIENCE FICTION. Wonderful poetic story with great imagery. Poem: "On the Ice Planet" by Julia Rios from NEW MYTHS Issue #19. Paints its setting & character well.
6/14 - Story: "Her Words Make It Go Away" by Michael Penkas from ONE BUCK HORROR Issue #5. Well written flash horror story. Poem: "The Physics of Age and Baseball" by Greg Beatty from STAR*LINE 34.4. Nicely done with astronomical effects of gravity used as metaphor for the effects of aging on an athlete's body. Plus -- baseball poetry!
6/15 - Story: "Heaven's Touch" by Jason Sanford from the 8/12 ASIMOV'S. A fantastic story, strong narrative voice and characters. A well-crafted and involving plot, too. One of the best stories I've read recently. Poem: "My House of the Future" by G. O. Clark, also from the 8/12 ASIMOV'S. Fun, whimsical verse about just what the title suggests.
6/16 - Story: "Chinvat" by Sunny Moraine from SHIMMER #14. A ruined Golden Gate bridge and the beings who visit it are key. Poem: "The Night Mirror" by John Hollander from VBOCAP. Vivid images in this poem -- glimpses of an unbalanced mind?

And now, the links:

"What We Should Look for in a Beta Reader" (Jami Gold) - This is a great piece on working with beta readers/critique partners. I'm very glad that I've found some wonderful people to work with on getting feedback on my stories. I know there are some people who claim that critiques do more harm that good to writers and I suppose there probably are cases where that's true. But, for me, I'm very confident that one of the things that has improved my writing over the past ten months has been asking for, receiving, and listening to critiques from other writers. Not every critique will be helpful, and there's no rule that you have to act on all the feedback you receive even from helpful critiques. But it's hard to get enough objectivity around your own work to see where it's not doing what you want.

"Waiting for a Story to Get Going" (Moody Writing) - A reminder that active characters are generally more interesting than passive characters. If your character is waiting for things to happen, will the readers wait with them? (Hmm... I think I need to think about this for one of my own recent stories!)

"When Am I Going to Find Some Freaking Patience Already?!!" (Valerie R Lawson) - Patience (and a cousin in an odd sort of way, Persistence) are two very important attributes for a writer aiming for publication. Valerie talks about her need to exhibit patience

And here are this week's posts from my blog:

"Special Ops is Live on the Ray Gun Revival Site" - Monday saw the publication of my story "Special Ops" on Ray Gun Revival. I also posted an update on the status of my June goals.

"What You'd Call 'Guidelines'" - Thursday I blogged about writers' guidelines and why it's important to read, understand, and follow them when submitting for publication.

"Short Story Sale: 'ReFormed' to Buzzy Mag" - Finally, Saturday brought my announcement of the sale of my science fiction short story "ReFormed."

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