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I have always heard voices. Not from the outside, not hallucinations, but voices that come from somewhere in my head. It never pays to go looking for them. I have to wait for them to appear. Sometimes a voice that I'm waiting for never shows up at all, or it might emerge from some deep place and not be at all what I was expecting.

About a month ago, I went to go hear retired Rear Admiral Dr. David Titley speak about climate change and security concerns. As he was speaking, a couple of book ideas came to me. I've been thinking a lot about one of the ideas, a military fiction/spy novel. I've written a couple hundred words, but they were, um, crap.

I stopped thinking about it and let it rest in the back of my head. Sometimes when I do that, the idea never does develop. Last night, I was walking the dog and a voice whispered to me: My mother tells me that I was born on the night of a supermoon. Maybe that's why I lead a life of deception.

I thought to myself that it was too lyrical a beginning for a spy novel. *shrug* Oh, well! Onward.
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Lisa,

Thank you so much for submitting. I would love to take "Written in the Book of the Woods" for Reckoning, if it's still available and you're still interested. I have to confess it made me cry a little. It is very much the kind of thing I want to publish, weird and deep and affecting.

If this sounds okay to you, can you please send me your mailing address (and/or an email address for me to send PayPal money to), and also a short bio if you have one? Then I can get a story contract written up.

Sincerely,

Michael J. DeLuca

Reckoning Editor


And, oh noes! it's the dreaded Bio! Blerg! (help!)

betas?

Nov. 13th, 2014 10:37 am
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I'm just about done with the first chapter of the non-fiction that I'm working on. The chapter is going to land at around 3K just short of 3.7K. I know that [personal profile] boxofdelights said she'd take a look at it -- anybody else interested? At this point, I'm looking for critique on style and structure -- not so much typos and spelling errors. I want to know if the narrative grabs you, if you'd keep reading. I want to know if the structure of the chapter is off-putting.

Just chime in and I'll send you an invite to the google drive page.
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On June 30, 2011 I sent out a story -- here's my cover letter.

Dear Editors,

Attached is my short story The Windows of His Soul for your consideration. It is a steampunk-ish fantasy story that comes at ~3400 words.

A few of my stories have been published in small magizines, both print and ezines such as Expanded Horizons, 42Magazine, Sirr, and in the anthology Phase Time with Sonar4 publications.

The story I'm submitting was written at the Viable Paradise writer's workshop. Sitting in a lecture, I had a sudden image of a soul captured inside a crystal. The steampunk flowed from that and what could be a better fuel for a steampunk soul-sucking device than petrified pixies?

I hope that you enjoy it,

L. J. Geoffrion


This afternoon, I got a reply!

Hi, Lisa!

My apologies for not responding sooner to your submission. I'm afraid events in my personal life took me away from Untreed Reads for the second half of 2011, and I spent most of the first half of 2012 getting things back in order.

I've had the opportunity to read The Windows of His Soul and I must say I was conflicted. In the end, I did have to choose to pass on the story.

I think you've done an exceptional job with the actual use of language and literary expression, but I think it's almost TOO literary. As a result, I felt it loses something of the ability for the reader to relate to it, and my concern is that a reader would need to re-read the story several times to figure out exactly who is doing what and what's going on.

I'm sorry that this one is a no for me, but I must say that I'm hoping you'll consider sending more work to us in the future. We're currently closed to submissions, but hope to reopen later this fall. Be sure to keep an eye on our Submissions Page at our website for updates. Again, I'd REALLY like to read more from you. You have tremendous talent, and I'm sure the right project will appear for us to work on together.

Best,

Jay Hartman

Editor-in-Chief

Untreed Reads Publishing


Too literary! Even re-reading it makes me chuckle.... I dunno, I thought that it flowed pretty well, and nobody else said that they couldn't follow it. Huh.
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But every time I see DW, I think of Doctor Who.

Home: I'm feeling pretty good, even though Mike's going back home today. But he was here for over a week, and it's been wonderful.

Work: No work today!

School: Only two weeks left of this semester. I have no idea about my grades. I'm thinking that I'll be doing so-so. Which, really, is okay for me right now.

I've got myself signed up for 16 credits this summer: the required Health class, Social Neuropsychology, and retaking Pharmacology and Human Growth and Development. I might also take an independent study for my nutrition minor, which would put me at 18 credits. The interesting thing is that they are *all* online courses. I'm curious to see how I'll do with that.

Writing: Grant and I are finishing up our edits, and throwing Count The Stars to the VP-XII crit group sometime toward the end of the group.

Serene's beautiful 42 Magazine was delivered to my house yesterday. It really is lovely. And my story is right at the middle of the magazine, where it falls open. And the artwork is wonderful! I love it.

I should hear something by the end of the month about the two pieces I entered into the NMU short story and essay contests. I should also hear something from Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet and The Pedestal by mid-May or so.

Now that CTS is off and running, it's time to work on something else. I think I'll tackle the re-write of Matilda and then the If's alien-Russian Mafia story.
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Speaking of submissions, I've got to get some more stories in the pipline. Count the Stars should be done in four to eight weeks, I guess. I think that I can fix Matilda, but I don't know what the heck to do with Goober (other than, ya know, find a plot.) I've got Mike's ROI story to write, the synesthesia story. That'll give me six in rotation (assuming I don't sell one before I finish them all.)

Hey, VPers! Anybody wanna collaborate? [livejournal.com profile] towersofgrey can tell ya what a blast it is! Or what was that idea that [livejournal.com profile] epi_lj gave me? Oh yeah, the kid pulled off the street to do tech support. Yeah, that's a good one, too. Needs a hook, though.
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Group is ded; can't even access old messages or manuscript files. Grr.
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--I've got three psych classes this semester, and nothing else (well, other than work and kids and car repairs.) Today, I had tests in both social psych and research methods, and I've got to read a paper and write a short essay tonight for my psych of the individual class.

Today in social psych, we watched the original tape that was made of the Milgram study. I wonder at what point I would have stopped. I'd like to think that I wouldn't have done it at all, but I know for a fact that I would've. Everyone did. Every single one.

I've got a paper that's due for the social psych class on the 20th, and I've got to start working on my two other presentations. The presentation on psych of the individual is just mine, but I have to work with three others on the research methods presentation. I'm usually good at working with groups, but one of my group members is hrm, I'm not sure how to put this. Arrogant and rude, I suppose. *grin* I'm arrogant, too, but I'm not rude. I feel like I want to wear a t-shirt that says "Just because I'm cheerful doesn't mean I won't rip your annoying head off and shove it up your ass."

-- My #2 son and his girlfriend are coming up from Gaylord for the weekend. Mike will be home on Saturday, too. Which means I need to do some housework. Bleh. I should hire someone to come help. It's not too much for me to do, but it's more than I want to do. Aw, who am I kidding, I'll never find someone by tomorrow afternoon.

-- Just sent the first round of edits to [livejournal.com profile] towersofgrey for the once over. So far, we have a completed work of about 11K. As I said before, an awkward length. I have to say, it's a strange kind of intimacy, working with another writer. Have you ever got that feeling of crushing on a character? It's silly, right, 'cause he's not real. Well it's kindof like that with my collaborator - a strange kind of writing intimacy that feels not quite real. I write something, and I think, oh, he will have fun with this or I'll get something back and grin furiously because I just knew he was going to do that, or weirder still, that's what I was gonna do. The very best part but also slightly disconcerting is how we make each others' writing better.

-- the steampunk faery ghostbusters story goes out to F&SF tomorrow. Black Holes says I should have a response in a couple of weeks. I buy the first round at Wiscon if they bite!
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That was quick! Betty got rejected by Side Shows 2, but at least they sent me some feedback. I worked her over some and sent her off to Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet.

I added about 300 words, and they were necessary words. Plumped out Betty's character, made the kid Dorothy a little creepier and gave the ending more impact. Still haven't heard back from Coyote Wild; Black Holes says that it should be another month or so (the steampunk ghost-hunter faery story).

Luke, the dog and three cats are in bed with me. I might need to go sleep on the couch.

Edit: Well, damn. Just found out that Coyote Wild is on hiatus. "If you placed a story with us it's released." So, now to look for another market for Oh My Heart, Oh My Soul.

Fly!

Mar. 6th, 2009 11:53 am
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There's this old Monty Python sketch, one of their cartoons, where a king wants to learn how to fly, so he takes all of his scientists or such up to the top of the tower and boots them off: *boot* Fly! *aargh* --- *boot* Fly! *aargh* ... Funny, but I dont' remember how it ended.

Got Big Betty back from Fantasy magazine:
Thank you for your story to our magazine, but unfortunately it isn't quite right for Fantasy. We hope that you continue trying, however, and look forward to many more submissions.

I submitted my response time to Black Holes and was looking around and found a call for submissions to Side Shows:

Side Show 2 is a trade paperback anthology of entertaining stories designed to awaken the thrills, chills, and spills, and memories of time spent on the midway and beyond. We want unique stories about side shows, freak shows, traveling shows, carnivals, circuses, and fairs. Stories may fall into one or more of three genres: horror, fantasy, and science fiction (although typically we do not expect many science fiction stories). Although we are looking for original stories, we will consider reprints, but probably will accept no more than two--we really want original work.

The pay is awful - $12 for original stories, and one free copy of the book. But, anyway, here's hoping.

I finished my Water Tiger story arc on Ever/was, so now I really need to dig into Count the Stars. (I'm still not happy with that title. Suggestions accepted.)

My car is still broken. I put a new (well, off one of the parts cars) fusible link module in, and there's still a short somewhere. It's very frustrating. My Dad, bless him, is letting me borrow his little car for the weekend.

So, work this evening, but before that, a parent-teacher conference with Sam where I will hear all of his teachers say what a smart guy he is and how it's too bad that he makes no effort.
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I've been feeling very write-y the last couple of days. I'm finishing off my [livejournal.com profile] ever_was Water Tiger story arc. (I know, I know ... the dreaded fanfic)
But I'm also re-reading Count the Stars and making notes. I think it really wants to be a novel.

And just now, I went to the potty and saw that I'm spotting. Which is kindof scary, 'cause I feel all write-y; I can see everything, feel what my characters feel, see what's missing between that and what I'm putting down on the page; it's the edge of the fey and that's not what's worrying me but that it comes with my menses and my menses are going away.

A part of me is not panicked at all. The greater part of me, really. But there's that voice, the fey-voice that whispers with jagged star light and night wind -- that voice is very, very worried.
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For some reason, I am thinking of fanfic. No, like, really thinking about it. What is it about fanfic that makes it so compelling to, specifically, so many women? Many readers of fanfic, if not most, choose fanfic over published fic -- and not from just one franchise, but all different kinds of fanfic, from Harry Potter to Gunsmoke to Vorkosigan. And the majority of both writers and readers are women.

Are there men fanfic writers who just don't post it? Do men not write for the fun of it? Do men feel less inclined to play with somebody else's toys? Are men more sensitive to being labeled non-creative?

And why are fanfic writers pitied and scorned, where the writers of published fanfic, like the numerous Star Wars, X-Files, and Dragonlance books are accepted as ligit? What is Songs of the Dying Earth, if not fanfic? Really good fanfic, but still.

And if most women choose reading fanfic over published fic, what does this say about published fic?
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There's an article on Fantasy Magazine about fanfic. Here was my reply:


Hello. My name is LJG, and I write fanfic.

I’ve guess I’ve been doing fic for thirty years now. My gateway fic was Star Trek, the original series. My friends and I would sit around the library pit at Graveraet Middle school and grow our own, passing it around with giggles, sighs and moans of despair. If they were really good, we’d act them out. I was always Kirk.

When I got married, I kicked it for a while. Kids’ll do that to you sometimes. But we got our first home computer in 1993 and I started diddling with usenet. Around that time, I wrote a Quantum Leap novel and stuck it in a drawer.

A few years later, and I was heavy into LiveJournal. Oh, I go for Facebook and MySpace, to to be with the in crowd, but LiveJournal is where I spend most of my time. One day, someone on my flist posted a link to a YouTube vid.

It was a pirated scene from the new Doctor Who. I really dug it, I mean *really.* Kind of lost myself for a while in a frantic search for every bit of video I could find. Started dreaming about the Doctor and talking to him in my head. Became a shipper. Yeah. I’m telling you, it happens.

Then, one fateful day, someone rec’d a really good Doctor Who fanfic.

Fanfic.

The word reverberated in my head. I was reading the google hits before I knew it and, still in a daze of remembered joy and passion, hope, excitement and realistic expectation of some dig-my-eyes-out-with-a-spoon badness, there I was at Teaspoon.

I probably do about one or two hours of heavy fanfic reading every day. And, of course, there’s the writing. My escasy and agony.

I knew I’d gone over the edge when I’d started rec’ing fic to my kids. I’m sick I tell you.

But my husband and I are still together. He’s a good guy, listens to my snippets without rolling his eyes too much. Even does the Doctor when I batt my lashes at him (but lets not go there.)

Yeah, I suppose I should get a life. You know, instead of a fantastic life.
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First draft is done! I can really see that this is just the skeleton. It needs more beauty, more heart, and a little more science. A market would be nice, too.

I think I started writing around Dec 3, 2008. And [livejournal.com profile] towersofgrey sent me "the end" last night. So that's about 55 days. Not too bad, with our schedules. Right now, it's around 10.2K -- I figure it'll gain another 1K-2K in the next draft.

I'm always curious about the writers who end up cutting stuff from their first drafts. Mine are almost always annoyingly cryptic -- the cliff notes of the story that it should be. As I said before, [livejournal.com profile] towersofgrey and I make a good team.

Question: Can you think of any other sf titles of "Count The Stars" ? It sounds familiar, but I'm not getting any hits of google.
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Classes
9 am -- Social Psychology; The professor is demanding that we all buy the latest edition of the text, so I asked the class if there was someone who wanted to "rent" their books to me, and I have a new study-mate, David. I have a feeling that this is going to develop into a comfortable friendship.

10 am -- Intro to Research Methods; Looks like I'm gonna be a research assistant. How could I pass it up? Too cool. My professor is a small, laid back fellow from Japan, Dr. Takahiro Yamaguchi.

3 pm -- Individual Differences and the Development of Personality; This is going to be a rather intense, fascinating course.

Work

I work from 5p - midnight at the center, tonight. Yesterday, one of the counselors told me that it didn't feel like I was a new hire, "It's more like you've been away, and you came back." The feeling is very mutual. I love this job.

At the other job, my elderly client was presenting symptoms of norovirus when I left on Sunday. I haven't heard anything, so I'd guess that he's doing as well as expected. I go in there tomorrow 3p-10p, so I'll find out then. My whole house was sick with it last week, but two of the other aides had been sick with it, too. And I called and told my supervisor that my family was sick, and she told me to come on in. But there's a good chance that I'm the one who carried the virus to him. Poor fella.

Home

Since Carl moved into his girlfriend's home last summer, my relationship with Sam has been blossoming. He is really pumped for Comicon. We were talking costuming last night, and he decided on reprising Old Greg. I shall be putting up a wish list for accrutments.

He's really serious about making gaming a carreer. There's a geek-heaven college down in Florida that looks like heaven, Full Sail. He still wants to get his private pilot's license, too.

I haven't decided if this is the best way to go. If the world was going to keep chugging along as it is, I'd say, yeah, go for it. But I don't think we have much "chug" left. Still, having someone who can program might not be a bad idea. And he'll have back-up skills.

Writing

The first draft of the collaboration is almost done! I think it'll finish up somewhere between novellette and novella in length. I have absolutely no idea if it's any good. We're gonna give it another spit and polish, and then throw it at the writing group and see what they think. Which reminds me, I'm behind on my crits.
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My Doctor Who fanfic was nominated for a Children of Time Award. Both [livejournal.com profile] ever_was was nominated, and my stuff on Teaspoon.

Very cool, even if it's just fanfic.

Quote!

Dec. 18th, 2008 05:14 pm
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"Magic in fiction is the time-honored way of slipping a hand up the skirt of convention and giving her something to smile mysteriously about." -- Lilith Saintcrow

Thanks [livejournal.com profile] julia_reynolds for pointing the way to a very interesting essay about female heroines and Urban Fantasy:

What truly defines UF, and why the genre has exploded recently, is the moral and ethical ambiguity of its protagonists.

Urban fantasy is pretty much the only genre today exploring not only the ethics of power and consent, but also serious questions of violence and gender relations from a primarily female point of view.


I think that something else that urban fantasy is exploring is the nature of god and gods, and mankind's relationship with god. "What if God were one of us?" I'm reading eBear's Blood and Iron, and though there's no God of All in it's pages, there's Fae and Hell and everything in between (and power, lust, despair and honor; it's very yummy.)

One of the characters of the WIP is a strong female, violent when she needs to be, nurturing because she can. I like her, though someone that strong is intimidating. Though, come to think of it, I can imagine going out to pub crawl with her.
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[livejournal.com profile] ever_was got a great write up at the DW fic rec site, [livejournal.com profile] quite_right_too.

This means that I'll have to start writing episodes again!

WIP

Dec. 14th, 2008 01:40 am
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I've hit that spot in the WIP where I'm wondering if it's any good. I mean, *I* think that it's good... Actually, I've never written anything with such a complex plot. I've also never had so much damn fun writing. Both of these things bode well.

When I got [livejournal.com profile] towersofgrey's section this morning, I actually did a happy dance. Well, it was more like a skip, but still. I cannot express how good it feels to be stuck somewhere and have your collaborator just pull the story through. Damn.
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I may very well have to take chemistry again. I don't friggin' believe it. I crashed and burned like a flaming crash-and-burned thing. I actually did worse than the first time I took it, in 2006. It'd almost be funny IF I DIDN'T HAVE TO TAKE CHEMISTRY AGAIN.

*sigh*

I shuffled around campus yesterday, and found out that I will graduate with my BS in psych (minor in nutrition) in August '09. Then I will graduate with my LPN in May of '10.(1) This winter, I'll have three psych classes, and in the summer, I'll have my last psych class, the required Health Promotion class, a directed study on substance abuse and .... Chemistry! Joy.

The short story that I was working on with [livejournal.com profile] towersofgrey has exploded into a novella. We'll have over 6000 words when this next bit is finished, and I don't see the end for another 12k-15K at least. The only problem that I have with this is that I'm not sure what kind of market is out there for that length.

I'm still loving the process. When I got stuck in other stuff I was writing, I always went to Mike and bounced ideas off of him, and that was ok, but *wow* is it different bouncing ideas off of another writer. Like fantastically, brilliantly and other Doctor Who words different.



(1) -- NMU won't let me get my LPN certificate and BS concurrently, because then they couldn't charge me at post-baccalaureate rates for my certificate. I'm rather hopelessly angered by this. Perhaps I could blow up the chemistry lab in retribution.... (well, I know that I could....)

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