Sunday, November 30, 2008

Damn word counts

I don't know why, but my works tend to fall around the 60,000 word mark. That's too long for the few novella publishers out there, and it's too short for the novel markets. Granted, if I was writing mainstream fiction it would be fine, but for SF, most markets want at least 80k.

I finished the latest revisions of the novelization of A Problem in Translation, and it came in at 61,574 words. I guess that means it's back to the drawing board with it. I suppose I need to find several new scenes to add...but I'm just not sure where.

For now, I'll probably set it aside for a few weeks, and let it stew in my brain.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday is over

My original plan had been to title this entry "I Survived Black Friday," but then I read about a Wal-Mart employee in New York being trampled to death by crazy shoppers and I decided that would be a tasteless title.

Come on people. We're talking about saving a few it really worth killing an employee over? I'm sorry but when hundreds of people run the poor guy over...and then step around his broken body, you can't call it an accident, and all of those shoppers should be deeply ashamed of what they did today.

As for my Black Friday, we were busy, but nothing like that. The first two hours, we were crazy busy, but then after that, it was just more of a steady busy. No matter what, we definitely earned our paychecks today.

Thanksgiving went well here. Rebecca made a fabulous dinner. She'd never done a turkey before, and she was absolutely convinced that she was going to ruin it, but in all honesty, it was one of the best turkeys I've ever we have tons of leftovers.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Black Friday

For my 30+ years on this planet, I've managed to avoid Black Friday like the plague. I don't generally like crowds, and I really hate them in stores or malls, so I've never seen a reason to partake in the festivities.

However, now that I have a retail job, I find that I will be working on Black Friday, and not only that, but I have to be in at 5 a.m. I'm really not sure what to expect, as our location is pretty slow, so there might not be very many people coming in. Still, I think we will be busier than normal, so I would guess the day will pass quick. After that, it's one short day on Saturday and then two days off. I'm hoping to use that time to finish up the revisions on the novella/short novel that I've been working on...but it isn't turning out like I'd hoped, so it probably won't be the final revisions like I'd wanted them to be...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving here in the U.S. For me, this holiday has always brought up mixed feelings. Since becoming an adult (at least in age, not necessarily in maturity) I haven't really been a part of a family. Yes, I have been in relationships during the holidays, but they've always been highly say the least.

This year, I suddenly find myself with a family. Rebecca and I have been together for a little over a year, and our little family will be celebrating Thanksgiving together, and as the cliche requires...that makes me very thankful.

Some other things I'm thankful for would be the rest of my family...who are scattered all over the States, my friends (including the childhood friends who I've just started to re-connect with), my readers (you're the ones that make writing worthwhile), and of course the end of the Bush administration.

One thing that has always bothered me about this holiday is that in a lot of ways it seems to celebrate the exploitation of the Native American population. Let's face it, most of those early colonies would not have survived without the help of the local Indians...and it's a disgrace how they were repaid for their help. Knowing that some of my ancestors walked the Trail of Tears always makes me a bit morose on Thanksgiving.

So, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and I ask that you please try to take a few minutes to remember the atrocities committed against the Indian people after that first Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The aStore

For those of you not reading this in an RSS feed, you've probably noticed that there's a new widget at the top of my main's also on most of the pages on my homepage.

This is an Amazon aStore widget. The aStore I've created features a number of the books I've written or edited. Unfortunately, it doesn't have most of the Sam's Dot titles I've worked on because they're not available on Amazon...which is the one thing keeping Sam's Dot from being one of the major small press markets.

Yes, it's just one more attempt by me to try to make more money off of the hard work I've put into my writing and editing...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Still undecided

I've been debating back and forth whether or not I'll see this when it comes out.

Now that I've seen this preview, I can honestly say that I'm still undecided. Parts of it look good, and other parts look ridiculous...

Friday, November 14, 2008


I woke up this morning to get ready for work, and found that it had snowed overnight. It wasn't a lot of snow...just enough to almost cover the grass, but it was the first measurable snow we've had in Denver so far this Fall. According to my memory, which isn't what it used to be, this is the latest first snow we've had since I've lived here.

Of course, the sun came out and melted it all away, but at least I finally got my snow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The job search is over

For better, or for worse, I once again have a "real" job. Tomorrow at 6 a.m. I report for duty at Office Depot, where I'll be doing stocking and sales.

It's certainly not my dream job, but it is a job. Given the limited hours I'm actually available, I'm reasonably happy to have this. At least it's not food. I don't know if I could have handled another food job.

Looking on the bright side, I will hopefully get a discount on things like paper and mailing supplies...that's always a good thing for a freelance writer.

Also, today is Veterans' Day here in America, so I would like to take the time to wish every veteran a Happy Veterans' Day, and thank them for their service. Be sure you're all doing the same.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The real losers in this election

The ballots have been cast, and the votes have been counted. The media has told us who the winners are and who the losers are, but I'd like to take a moment to tell you who the real losers in this election are. It's actually a very simple answer...go look in a mirrror. That's right America, you and me, the American people are the real losers in this election.

Of the two main candidates for president, I do believe that the lesser of two evils won. I think we will be better off with Obama than we would have been with McCain, but I still don't think we're in good shape.

The simple reason for this is that both the Democrats and the Republicans are owned by big business, and it's big business that makes the decisions for these politicians. Whether it's the Republicans and the oil companies, or the Democrats and the pharmaceutical companies, these people are more interested in doing what is best for major corporations and for their own political careers than they are in doing what is right for the American people...the people who put them in power.

The system is stacked to favor the two party system. If you don't believe me, just look into what a third party candidate has to do to get on the ballot in most states. And forget about media coverage (which is what generally governs the American view of the world.) The media is too closely tied to the major parties to ever let a third party candidate get the kind of coverage needed to mount a serious charge. Have you ever wondered why you didn't see a Green or Libertarian candidate in the debates? Simple. The debates are owned and operated by the two major parties...thus locking out any chance for a third party candidate.

As long as we continue to have a corporate democracy as opposed to a representative democracy, it will be the American people who continue to suffer. So, in future elections, please consider the possibility of voting for a third party candidate.

Having said all of this, I offer my hearty congratulations to President-elect Obama. Of the two, I'm glad it's him. I hope he can restore some of the America that has been destroyed by the current administration, and I certainly hope that he will bring about some racial healing in this country...something that is still badly needed.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

An entry about writing

And finally, an entry without pictures...

While at MileHiCon last week, I moderated a panel about getting inside the minds of non-human characters. It was a great of the best I've ever done...and it gave me a lot of ideas for the novelization of my short story A Problem in Translation.

So, earlier this week, I started on the revisions. Right now I'm just making notes on the manuscript itself, but soon I'll be back at the keyboard, and hopefully it will be good enough to a major market...


Last night was my first Halloween as a dad. I think what struck me more than anything is the surprising number of people that don't give out candy. I can remember being a kid and going around one or two blocks and coming home with the mother lode of candy. But last night we had to drive around a lot just to find streets where people were actually giving out candy.

The kids still did well, because let's face it, they really don't need too much candy. I was also struck by the amount of candy that we threw out. Rebecca and I were both very cautious and we threw out anything that looked even slightly suspicious.

This year, the girls went as a bride and a unicorn...even though the unicorn had wings, which struck me as odd. We finally decided it was a pegicorn.

MileHiCon pics

Obviously I'm trying to get caught up on blogging tonight...

Here are some pics from last weekend's MileHiCon.

The Getting into the Minds of Non-Humans Panel
(picture courtesy of Ian Brazee-Cannon)

The girls made masks...

Then they got to go to make costumes out of scrap...

Then all of the kids got to pose with a working R2 unit...

The neighborhood

From previous posts, you've probably gathered that we live in an area that's rich in wildlife, even though we're still in the city. The other night as we were coming home, we came across three very large raccoons, who didn't seem to be the least bit afraid of people...and the other day while I was on my way to a job interview, I heard a rustling sound coming from the dry canal that runs close to us. I walked over to investigate, and there was a very large coyote strolling through the canal. He looked up at me and started walking a little faster, but he didn't run from me.

Here are some pics I've taken over the last couple of months...

Why can't we be friends?

As many of you know when Rebecca and I moved in together, we each brought a cat. I brought Mosi, and she brought K.J. To say that the blending of this part of our family has not been very successful would be an understatement. K.J. has tried to make friends, but Mosi usually chases him or attacks him for no reason...although I'm sure she thinks there's a reason.

Still, sometimes they get along better than they want us to know. One day when Rebecca was taking a nap while I was working at my computer, I turned around and saw these...