Friday, May 25, 2012

Twice in One Week? Geez!

I don't want to accuse mother nature of being inherently evil - but seriously, what's the deal?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Giving 110%

I'm not sure I ever understood those type of statements. Because if I'm giving 110% then I suppose I'm working on a scale of 1000. So that would mean I'm really giving 11%, which is kind of lame. But whatever, that has nothing to do with anything. I just wanted to put a number in my title.

I'm sure everyone will be happy to know that my tooth sorta took care of itself. I don't think it was an infection, but instead something stupid, like clenching my teeth really hard in my sleep.

So, after installing a mouthguard while I slept I found the teeth startedfeeling better. For a day or two, I don't think I could recall enjoying the pure pleasure of eating more after the tooth thing passed. It had been more than a week since I'd had any solid food.

I celebrated by having oatmeal for breakfast.

Well, I always have oatmeal for breakfast when I'm at work - except for the week prior when my teeth hurt too bad to have oatmeal, which is a real thing, because even though oatmeal is pretty soft, you still have to chew it, and the chewing motion was excruciating - and so I made my perfect breakfast: Piping hot oatmeal.

Oh, which I promptly spilled all over myself.


The next day it looked like this:

That's weird, I don't recall my arm being that hairy.
I had to go to the doc for a checkup anyway, so I asked if it was anything to be worried about. Turns out that I'll probably be okay, although there may be some scarring. A few blisters formed and all.

So, to recap. I nearly lost a finger due to a 'getting myself dressed accident', nearly lost the ability to eat due to a tooth grinding incident, and nearly lost my arm due to an oatmeal related disaster.

And that's all during the last couple of months.

Is there any question that should the apocalypse actually happen that I'd be dead within hours? I get injured in my sleep people, I'm a dead man walking.

Anyhow, I've about done all I can with that one.

Logo by Vic Caswell!
I hope everyone is aware that a new podcast is on the scene. The most excellent Vic Caswell and Emily White have started their PodPeople podcast that focuses on YA lit. The first episode is up and it was great to hear them talk books. Please check it out.

In other news, I'm rolling back the number of posts I'm going to be putting up for a while, probably for the summer at least. Time is always my enemy. It marches on without any consideration for what I want it to do. So, while I've been giving blogging my all (pathetic, I know) I'm not getting as much writing done as I should be. So, the hope is for a bit more productivity from me as a result.

I'm thinking about two posts per week right now, I'll play it by ear though and see. Maybe I can make some of them sorta interesting.

I think I had actual news today, but I got caught up in my personal drama and can't seem to recall what it was.

Happy Monday folks.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Don't Look, Because I'm Not Here

I am taking a nice little vacation from blogging right now. I was going to post some stuff this week, but then I decided I won’t, well, except for this. I have a ton of stuff I need to catch up on - artsy things and writing goals.

As I’m sure the world waits with baited breath for my return. I thought I’d at least post this, which is a notice that I’m not posting. It may seem contradictory to do that. But it makes perfect sense to me.

Have a good week.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Backworlds!

Like all things in life, I even arrive at scheduled internet parties late. Sorry to Mary for dragging my feet on this. But I am very excited about her new release, The Backworlds.

I read her novella, Semper Audacia, last year, and it was one of the more memorable stories I read. I quickly moved on to her other shorter works and loved them all. I've been anticipating this release for a very long time. I can't wait to read it. 

So, please go check out this release. I think you can get it for free at Smashwords or Nook (I know, she's crazy for doing that, right?) or you can give her a buck for all her hard work at Amazon before they realize they are the only ones charging for it and they knock their price down to free as well.

Check out her blurb below:

The Backworlds is here!

The first story in the Backworlds series by M. Pax. A vision of how humanity might colonize the galaxy some day in the distant future.

The Backworlds
After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.

Available from: Amazon / AmazonUK / Smashwords / Feedbooks
Other links to more outlets can be found at either Wistful Nebulae or MPax

The Backworlds is an ebook and a free read. All formats can be found at Smashwords and Feedbooks.

It’ll take a few weeks to work its way down to free on Amazon Kindle. It will also be available on B&N and iTunes. Sign up for M. Pax’s mailing list to be notified the day it does go free on Amazon, and when the book becomes available at other outlets. You’ll also receive coupons for discounts on future publications. NEWSLETTER

M. Pax’s inspiration comes from the wilds of Oregon, especially the high desert where she shares her home with two cats and a husband unit. Creative sparks also come from Pine Mountain Observatory where she spend her summers working as a star guide. She writes mostly science fiction and fantasy, but confesses to an obsession with Jane Austen. She blogs at her website, and at Wistful Nebuae. You’ll find links there to connect on Twitter, Goodread, FB and other sites.

The sequel, Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge, will be released in July 2012. It will be available in all ebook formats and paperback.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A-Z Reflections Post...Plus, My Tooth Hurts

Today is the official reflections post for the A-Z challenge. Yes, it’s an official thing. I’m not just being overly introspective. I would have provided a link or something, but  as it is almost every day when I try to check out someone's site, blogger is down, so I don't have a link to share.

Despite the fact that I’ve been blogging since 2009, I didn’t participate in the A-Z challenge until this year. Mostly because my immediate reaction to anything that everyone else is doing makes me not want to be a part. I realize that makes no sense, since I’m blogging in order to be a part of the social landscape, so why would I do that and then not want to participate?

I have no idea.

So, realizing this, I decided to face my issues head on by jumping in and being a part.

And what a time it was. I met some great folks that I had not met before, and I saw some really clever themes out there.

But, what about my own posts? What did I learn?

Well, I learned that I can produce a lot of stuff relatively quickly if I need to. Churning out a sketch per day seemed easy breezy at first, but as I started dabbling in using colors and more and more elements, I started spending more and more time on each image.

I also started feeling like I was doing the same thing more and more… here’s a breakdown of what I drew*:

Total images:                        25
Men                                     17
Women                                1
Monsters/animals                  2
Inanimate things                    2
Group scenes                        2
From a story I wrote               6             

That just says to me that I’m probably not the versatile of an artist.

I did start running out of steam right at the end, I got a tooth infection** that was little more than an annoyance at first, but by that last weekend I was in some serious trouble. I managed to get it all done though, and it feels like a victory.

The tooth, that may be the topic of an upcoming post, because my pain should be shared with everyone.

*I made up all the numbers involved aside from the total, which is accurate, as I drew 25 images during the month, and one I farmed out to my wife.

**Not an infection, technically, I don't think. It's really complicated, but I tell people its an infection so they can kinda understand, since the symptoms are similar. As of this writing, I'm still suffering more than a week later, I've lost more than 10 pounds because I cannot eat, and I generally feel like my ailing tooth is destroying my life.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Insecure Writers... May Edition

Can’t believe the whole A-Z challenge thing is over. I’ll be reflecting on that next week. But for now I’m here to talk about my insecurities. I think every post I do is about my insecurities, but I suppose this in the one-time per month I have a permission from a support group to post about it.

Yes, it's the brainchild of Alex J Cavanaugh - a monthly look at all the things that writers stress over. Click to learn more.

For me, possibly my biggest insecurity, or at least the one I try my best to actively avoid, is rejection. During the heat of the A-Z challenge I got dinged with a couple of rejections from stories I’d submitted. One was my sci fi novel that I’ve been shopping around so long that I’m afraid it’s no longer relevant. Well, relevant might not be the right word, but already  rendered all but impossible as a contemporary tale. I did go through the thing last year and give everyone iPhones to make it feel more modern. But that sort of thing is a Band-Aid, not a fix. So after another year or so I’ll either have to really rewrite it – which I might have to do anyway – or give it a firm date and call it a historical science fiction piece.

I’m going to give it one more go with the traditional track before I give up and throw the thing up as a self-published work and move on. Regardless, I think I’ll need a new query letter. My previous ones were targeting editors, and my new ones will be targeted at (sigh) super agents.

So, I can say goodbye to this gem:

“Dear Editor,

My novel, The Blutonian Death Egg, has been compared to such made up works as, The Man Who Forgot That He Couldn’t Remember, and the classic, White Elephants and Pink Whales: One Man’s Descent into Nicorette Addiction.

James Coastsman is a know-nothing, lazy, unmotivated, borderline sociopathic loner that gets forced into becoming an astronaut because he’s also me! And I’m awesome and should totally get to be an astronaut. So, while I’m he’s astronauting, he saves the world, kinda, gets the girl, and fights the establishment that is jealous of him.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to call this POS at least as good as some of the crappier SF being published currently, I mean, did you read <title redacted>? What a crapfest that was. So it isn’t like you’re throwing out winners right and left. I mean, c’mon.”

I know, who could reject that? My new query will probably be something along the lines of:

Dear Agent,

My previous attempts at submitting directly to publishing houses have met with some crushing rejections, despite a terrific query letter.

I’m coming to you because I’ve been led to believe that you can actually get me a book deal, please do so now. I’ll be honest with you, I read a book published at a major house by one of your clients and I found that book incredibly mediocre. He was a first time novelist, so I’m pretty sure that you can get some otherwise unremarkable stuff noticed. I can’t imagine how bad it was before it had several rounds of rewrites and professional editing. I may not be capable of producing award winning fiction, but I can at least whip up something as good as <name redacted> has.

My book? Well, my completed manuscript is something about a slacker that goes into space because I needed him to for the story. Think Dumb and Dumber meets Apollo 13… Also, there may be government conspiracies… I’m not sure because I’ve got so many plot holes that I can’t recall what is on purpose and what is the result of sloppy planning. I’m not big on plotting anyway. I doubt any readers will get past the first couple of chapters so I’ve not put a lot of effort into a satisfying ending. Just slap a good looking cover on it and we’re gold!


Wow. No matter how many times I read it I start to think I’ve got a sure fired best seller on my hands. Surely no one would reject that.