Friday, July 30, 2010

Notebook Nugget...nope, I've not forgotten about these...

I haven't included any "Notebook Nuggets" in my posts lately. For you newbies, I have a notebook where I paste inspirational sayings, scripture, clips from encouraging emails, and even fortunes from fortune cookies. Lately, none of them have really jumped out at me the way they did when I first pasted them in there. But I feel like I should pick something today.

I think I'll post a few actually--maybe randomly chosen. Maybe, they're not meant to speak to me today, but to you....

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

"Many a false step is made by standing still." (fortune cookie)

"Place special emphasis on old friendship." (fortune cookie)

"Oh my goodness, I can't wait to see what God pulls out of you!" (excerpt from email from my friend Shawna)

OK, so that last one did jump out at me. What hit me about it is that we always talk about God working "through" us, and it's true that He does. But He also gifted us with abilities, and through our decisions and actions we grow (or at least should grow) those abilities. So, there's something in us that is really *us* and God helps us draw that out. I think that's pretty cool :).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Character-driven Cyberpunk

I'll admit I've never been a big sci-fi reader. Sci-fi movie watcher, yes, but I tend to get lost in technical descriptions and battle scenes. But I've recently discovered that the problem is my definition of sci-fi. I've been lumping everything together with hard sci-fi. There are a plethora of sub-genres, though, including the one Grace Bridges' Legendary Space Pilgrims falls under: cyberpunk.

For those of you who don't know what cyberpunk is, Wikipedia says that its focus is "high tech and low life"--"advanced science...coupled with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order."

That's Legendary Space Pilgrims for sure. Planet Monday is "high-tech" but uses "low life" ideas such as slavery and government control of emotions. The social order is definitely topsy-turvy, as people are forced to labor day in and day out, and any upswing in emotion sends them off to be mindwiped.

However, one slave--Mario--is visited by a Voice that speaks of hope and escape from the oppressive Planet Monday. He convinces Caitlin, a fellow slave and the woman he loves, to join him. After their escape, they experience the real story--their own personal journeys to emotional freedom.

This is my second trip into the mind of Grace Bridges. I read Faith Awakened a few months ago, which has more of a literary feel. But Grace stays true to her strengths in Legendary Space Pilgrims, offering a well-paced, character-driven story that will get you thinking about your own journey with God.

Visit Splashdown Books for more info and to purchase Grace's books.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Check it out!

I didn't get to see my mom the week of my birthday, but I went over to her house today and she gave me my present. She had a charm made for me:

Yep, that's the drawing I did for the cover of Finding Angel engraved on there!

And here's the back:

It's the exact font I used on the cover:

How. Cool. Is. That. :D

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Today's Randomness

I haven't posted in almost a week, and to be honest it's because I haven't had much to say. You already know about the two new stories out, and the cover art at Digital Dragon if you've been following me. (If not, scroll back to the last two posts.) Other than that, it's been quiet this week.

What has been happening is:

--Last week was my birthday, and we spent the weekend at a Disney hotel (Port Orleans) to celebrate. LOTS of eating out, and we went to see Blue Man Group. That was surreal. Definitely worth seeing if you get the chance. The show's over by Universal Studios, and we went into a gift shop that's outside the park itself. They had Harry Potter Stuff. I couldn't help myself--I bought a t-shirt:

Yes, Ravenclaw is where I see myself :). Oh, and my son bought a pack of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, something he's been begging to do for a while. He loved it, even getting the nasty flavors. Boys :P.

--I've been participating in lots of discussions on my writers (Yahoo) loops about Christian fantasy and horror. Amazing the range of opinions on those topics! (I'll spare you the details.)

--I'm working on a short story to submit to Port Yonder Press for an anthology about Elves. It's yet another story that's related to my book, Finding Angel. What I've got so far was very well recieved by my critique group, so I hope PYP feels the same way!

--I've been submitting some of my previously published stories to places that take reprints, and also submitting artwork.

I wish I had more "news" to bring. Or some deep, insightful article about writing or, well, anything. But my brain's just not going there these days. It's focused on trying to get these stories out and finding places to sell them. And contemplating the different options for getting Finding Angel published. Maybe with the next post....

Anyway, I haven't been ignoring ya ;).

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tear down the walls...

Some of my work, like the story I had published earlier this week ("Frog Face"), was written purely for fun. Mean fun, maybe ;), but it's just a story.

Today my story "Fire Wall" was published in The Absent Willow Review and it was not written for fun. At all.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Beetle What?

My artwork made the cover of Digital Dragon Magazine! Woot!

Hop on over and give 'em a read--there are always great stories in this magazine (hence my excitement over making their cover!). Seriously, now. If ya read the story I posted about last time, ya know what's good for ya ;). Digital Dragon Magazine--CLICK.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hoppy Birthday

Today I turn 40. I should have something really profound to say. Some deep piece of advice, some nugget of wisdom....

But I feel just like I did yesterday.

Yes, there are balloons all over my house right now--my husband surprised me by decorating our kitchen and living room, including two "over the hill" balloons tied to my office chair :P. Yes, I got to open gifts this morning--including tickets to Blue Man Group (yay!) from my husband, a hand-made felt pillow from my son--heart-shaped and with "I love you" written on the front with permanent marker--and a sweet card made by my daughter.

But I feel like the same me.

So, without further ado, I give you my latest published work that shows just how twisted "me" is. CLICK.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's Been a While, So Let's Review a Book....

I haven't reviewed a book in a while, so I'd like to post about something I just got finished reading: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. I loved this book. It is so unique, so original.

Incarceron is a high-tech prison--and an experiment. Take the dregs of society, lock them in, and use them to create a utopia. A flawless plan, right? The problem is it doesn't take into consideration human nature...or the possibility of the prison becoming self-aware.

None can enter and none can leave.

Then why does Finn feel certain he is from Outside? And if he is, how can he return?

On the Outside is Claudia, the daughter of Incarceron's warden, who is trying to escape her own prison--an arranged marriage. When she and Finn each find matching crystal keys, will Escape finally come?

I found this book completely amazing. Right up there with The Hunger Games. At least. Mind-numbingly cool.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What kind of ketchup bottle are you?

An odd analogy occurred to me today, and I felt the need to share it. Maybe it will bring a smile to your face...or a roll to your eyes. Anyway, here goes:

Writing is like pouring ketchup.

There are three ways, in general, to get ketchup out of a bottle--the old-fashioned kind, not the squeezie :P.

First, what I'm going to call the "pop and glop." Some people have this knack of being able to flip a ketchup bottle over, give it one well-aimed pop, and a perfectly-sized glop of ketchup comes out. There are writers who have mastered this method for their writing. They sit down each day--most likely always at the same time--and write for X number of hours, or pound out X number of words. This is great for disciplined writers who can through force of will or nature get into the zone.
This is not me.

Second, there are those that set the bottle upside down after they pull it out of the fridge, and leave it on the table until all the ketchup has run "down" to the "top." Then they carefully open the lid and pour. This is great for patient writers who ruminate on their work, "writing" it in their mind and then just heading to the computer to put the already formed work on paper.

Third, there are the people who grab the bottle, bang on the bottom over and over with nothing coming out, and then--either by the natural force of gravity--or through a fit of frustration and a knife crammed into the bottle's neck--a ginormous gush of ketchup floods out all over everything. This kind of writer sits at his/her desk, banging his/her head, wishing they were a "pop and glop" writer or a patient up-side-downer. They spend day after day thinking they're deluding themselves, that they're not a real writer, and the darn ketchup is NEVER going to come out--and then...glug, glug, glug...massive amounts of messy creativity come gushing forth.
This is...most of the

How about you?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"The Artist" in Print!!!

My short story "The Artist" can be found in the pages of Beyond Centauri's July 2010 issue. Beyond Centauri is a "magazine of fantasy, science fiction, and ewww-gross for younger readers [for readers of all ages], published quarterly on the 1st day of January, April, July, and October. Beyond Centauri publishes short stories, poems, illustrations, puzzles, articles, and movie reviews."

"The Artist" is a story that was originally published online in Mindflights, which has recently closed it's doors. I am thrilled to see the story getting a second chance, and in a print magazine! It's a supplement to Finding Angel--a bit of back story about one of the characters.

To order a copy of the July issue, or a full subscription to Beyond Centauri, click here.

And here is the full line-up you can find in this issue:

Issue 29
Larry Hodges: The Meteor Always Strikes Once
Barbara Bockman: Area 29
Patty Jansen: From the Parrot's Mouth
Anne Culbreath Watkins: The Dream-Reader
John Bushore: Two For A Dollar
Kat Heckenbach: The Artist
Kate Runnels: Kotoko's Dream
BJ Blanks: Cob And Lobbers
Simon Hardy Butler: The Treasure of the Chickadees
Jessie Peacock: Watercolored Different
Debby Feo: Star Struck
Pamela Love: Something In The Wood
Flash Fiction
Larry Hodges: Patsy At The Snake Show
Elizabeth Penrose: The Land of the Golden Purse
C. William Hinderliter: scifaiku
M. Grant Reed: Cosmic Wonder
Debby Feo: Hidden In Plain Sight
C. William Hinderliter: scifaiku
K. S. Hardy: The Monk
Guy Belleranti: Rapid Reader
Ruth Naylor: What Might Force?
K. S. Hardy: Funeral For The Dryads
K. S. Hardy: Moon Miracle
K. S. Hardy: Robot Butterflies
Keith Sikora: Solere
Adonis Emir: Tales From Behind The Wall
Tyree Campbell: Pyra and the Tektites [Part 4]
Dominic Ortega: Awakened
7ARS: Two for a Dollar
Richard H. Fay: Tree-Climbing Crimbolain
Lillian Kopaska-Merkel: fairy companionship
Marge Simon: Penaggalar
Cathy Buburuz: Solere