Of Stories Honorably Mentioned

This afternoon I received a notice that the story I submitted for the Q1 2011 Writers of the Future contest got an Honorable Mention. Yay! The story in question is titled Family Tree, and I documented my struggles writing it back in December, in a blog titled On Endings. So I’m pleased to see that it got some recognition. Obviously, I would have been even more pleased if it had won, but, baby steps, people… baby steps.

Now I can try to sell it to a magazine. I’m optimistic that this story may end up being my first professional sale, although said optimism will probably soon get buried under rejection notices. But for now, there is hope.

Meanwhile, I submitted another story to the Q2 Writers of the Future Contest, one which I’ve struggled with even more. So if struggle = success, this one will definitely be a semi-finalist, at least.

And thus the cycle continues. Time to start working on my Q3 entry.

Of Stories Edited and Published

Issue Nineteen of Jersey Devil Press is out, and I have a story in it! Woo hoo! Read the issue here.

For the past few weeks I’ve been struggling to overcome a case of Editor’s Block. I have three major projects going on right now, and they’re all in the editing stage. Normally I like editing, but for some reason I’ve had trouble getting up to the motivation to buckle down and work on them. This is bad, since one of those stories I’m planning to submit for the Writers of the Future contest at the end of the month. I’ve gotten some excellent feedback on it from beta readers, I just have to finish incorporating said feedback into the draft.

Meanwhile, on my novel, I’m trying to retroactively construct an outline from what I’ve written, since what I’ve written diverges quite a bit from my original outline (oops). Also, my original outline left out large chunks that I now realize are needed– hopefully by doing this, I’ll have a roadmap of what I need to finish the first draft, which I’d still like to do by the time the World Science Fiction Convention rolls around in August.

Time to get cracking.

Story Up at Every Day Fiction

March 8th continues to be an auspicious day for me. In 2004, it was the date I embarked on an Appalachian Trail thru-hike. One year ago, on March 8, 2010, I wrote a post on that, and began hinting at what eventually became last year’s big adventure: a move from North Carolina to Seattle.

Appropriate then, that March 8th is the day my first “published” story appears. The title is From Here to the Sargasso, and it’s viewable over at Every Day Fiction. Go check it out.

From Here to the Sargasso is a slightly-fictionalized account of an encounter that really did happen, on New Smyrna Beach, in August of 2006. Charlie really is my brother, he really did go to L.A., and now he’s on Broadway, performing alongside Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette in the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Here’s his website.

Freddy the Sea Turtle, to my knowledge, does not have a website, but if anyone finds one, let me know. It would be nice to know he’s doing all right.

A Few Hours At Emerald City Comicon

It pains me to admit that, by and large, comic books are a gaping hole in my geek-cred. I’ve only bought a handful over the course of my life, and while I’ve certainly seen my share of comic book movies, in general I prefer my stories to be of the wordier variety.

But I still wanted to check out Emerald City Comicon. In part, it was only a ten-minute walk from my apartment. In another part, I hadn’t been to a comic convention before (except insofar as Dragon*Con has everything there), and I wanted to see how it compared. In a third part, it was an opportunity for cosplay photography.

Unfortunately, counterbalanced against all of those was the fact that for the past week I’ve been fighting the worst cold I’ve had in years. By Saturday I was feeling better, but I was still congested. So I set myself some ground rules (don’t shake hands with anyone… try not to breathe too close to anyone… be very careful about where you cough) and headed down to the Washington State Convention Center.

Despite my earlier comments, one type of comics that I do spend a lot of time reading is webcomics. So when I got there, my first stop was the Webcomics Weekly panel, starring Dave Kellett, Scott Kurtz, Kris Straub, and Brad Guigar. They’re an awesome group of guys, and their comics rock.

After that I walked around a bit. There were several artists in the exhibition area who I would have liked to have met, but I didn’t want to risk giving any of them my cold. So I mainly stuck with walking around, checking out some of the art on display, and taking pictures of costumes. The Washington State Convention Center is actually sort of a challenging place for photography– lots of different lighting conditions, running the gamut from darkened hallways to a variety of atrium-like settings, mean that you need to be fast with adjusting camera settings or you’re going to get a lot of photos that don’t come out. But there were plenty of good costumes that needed takin’ pictures of, so I gave it my best shot (no pun intended). The photos aren’t my greatest ever, but you can see the set here: Link

I had planned to stick around for the actual Masquerade, but after only a couple of hours, I was already starting to feel tired, so I headed out. All in all, it was a fun con, and would have been much more fun had I not been fighting a cold. Interestingly, there was much more of a family atmosphere here than a lot of cons I’ve been to– which can be both good and bad, but all in all it turned out all right.

Next up on the con list: Norwescon, in late April. Hopefully that should be enough time for me to finally get over this damn cold.