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07 October 2014 @ 07:35 am
Still figuring out how to put everything into one day. Missed out on making multiple posts yesterday, despite my earlier vow. After the rest of the day at work, daughter volleyball game, getting home, dinner, cleaning up, and planning for the next day, I was done! Which is why I write in the morning before work because otherwise I wouldn't get it done.

Hanging at the coffee house right now before work. Just finished up another draft for the Apex Publishing Micro Fiction contest. I now have at least one first draft in each of the five categories. Now comes the hard work of winnowing down to those 250 (or less) words that can still carry the whole story. By October 14. These stories will need to be strong from the start because otherwise they will get quickly dropped. I imagine Apex is getting a LOT of entries.

Here's the link to the contest, for those who might be interested:

No matter what happens, it's been a good exercise and a chance to produce some different stories from what I normally write. These are darker, with an edge. We'll see what happens...

- yeff
Current Mood: diligent
Current Music: Dead Can Dance
06 October 2014 @ 09:29 am
Well, the "blog every day" didn't last... But I will make up for it with multiple blogs today.

Since October 1, have been working on stories for the Apex Micro Fiction contest. 250 words or less means I can crank out a story on a whim of an idea and then move on. Which is fun, and perhaps what I needed right now this early in the renewed way tempt at writing.

I currently have five stories, covering four of the five subjects. I'll finish off one or two or three more, cover the subjects, then edit and send in one per subject (as allowed).

Having fun so far!

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02 October 2014 @ 08:40 pm
Because of various morning errands, I only had 30 minutes to write. But in that time I managed to almost do two stories for the Apex Micro Fiction contest. Finished a Banshee story, and got through most of a Wendigo story.

My plan for the Apex Micro Fiction contest is to spend about a week writing as many stories as I can, then pick the best in each category and send it in. There are five categories, so that's five micro-stories. Nice!

I have about 30 minutes tomorrow so let's see what I can do in that time. Keeping on trucking!

- yeff
01 October 2014 @ 07:40 am
It is October 1. In this month, I vow to:
- post something to the blog every day (currently LJ, though WordPress is tempting)
- finish the grounds-up rewrite of "The Dybbuk's Moll"
- enter stories in each of the five categories of the Apex Micro Fiction contest (deadline Oct 14)
- only have a Chai Latte when I'm writing.

I look forward to many Chai Lattes this month.
29 September 2014 @ 11:31 am
Had a dentist's appointment this AM. Went to a nearby coffee shop (a very cool one) to do some writing before the appointment. Instead, spent the time working on games and questions for a Sci-Fi Ask Me Another I want to run at Orycon with Curtis Chen.

OK, it was still creative. But it wasn't the original task I set out to do.

Still learning...

- yeff
So I submitted a story to F&SF for the special issue guest-edited by CC Finlay, and a few days ago I rejection a very nice rejection that felt non-stock and ended with "please submit in the future" (or something like that).

But I can't say exactly what it said because I accidentally *deleted* the email! Sheesh.

For it being my first submission in five years, I am very happy with the result. I knew the story wasn't as strong as it could be but I decided to submit it at the last minute. Now I can do a little clean up (or even rewrite, it's a flash piece) and send it off elsewhere. While I continue a grounds-up rewrite of another story that I've wanted to submit for many many years.

All part of getting back in the game again...
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
01 June 2014 @ 10:40 pm
One of my favorite interactions with jaylake: After he attended the 2007 WorldCon in Japan, he posted a picture of a car lot with a ferris wheel to his LJ and said it was story material. Challenged to prove it, he posted an opening paragraph of a story about Yokohama Sid and his Used Ferris Wheel lot. For fun, I added a short paragraph on the character Sid.
Jay posted both to his blog with an open invitation to all to add to the effort and many people did.

After a few days, I looked at the various pieces and said "I think there's a story here", ordered the parts, added a little text as spackle and paint, and mailed it to him. He gave the resulting group story feature time on the LJ. Enjoying collaboration, openly sharing ideas, and embracing the result - I think it says a lot about Jay. It was also one of the most fun experiences I've had writing.

Here's the resulting story, a blast from the past and a fond memory:

- yeff
22 April 2013 @ 06:59 pm
Quick followup to the Scholastic Education reprint request I mentioned a couple days ago (

The contact arrived and specified an amount. And that amount was ... $500! (yes, five hundred dollars).

Nice! My best sale ever.

And I do have to say that I went to the Viable Paradise community for advice on reimbursement and possible amount and they were spot on with the advice. Yet another reason to attend Viable Paradise - a great community who know what they are talking about.

Hm. Now that it looks like a story of mine will be in a middle-grade reader, perhaps I should get cooking on that YA steampunk fairytale novel that's sitting in the story trunk. Write it for the fun of writing it, and you never know what could happen after that...
21 April 2013 @ 03:59 pm
Went to ROBOGAMES 2013 yesterday ( with my younger daughter, my brother-in-law, and his 5-year-old son. Everyone involved had a great time checking out the variety of robot activities available.

The main focus of ROBOGAMES is the "Combat Arena", a large space (30x30?) surrounded by see-through plastic walls on all sides and covered with a roof structure (for lights, etc) and clear material as well. There were bleachers on three sides of the arena and they were full throughout the day with people watching the battles.

Middleweight (up to 60 lbs) and Heavyweight (up to 220 lbs) battles were held in the arena. These are very impressive. Most robots are squat and square (low center of gravity) and either try to flip their opponent (using an inclined front like the cow catcher on a train, sometimes with a extra hydraulic shove) or slam the opponent into the metal bars around the arena (using a blunt front) or simply thrash their opponent (saw blades were very popular). The top machine we saw was "Last Rites" which featured a blunt rotating 75-lb "blade" in the front. It absolutely destroyed "Vlad The Impaler II", an armored box which was a flipper. And I mean DESTROYED. Parts were flying everywhere, making us happy for the plastic walls.

It wasn't all about robot destruction. There were also art exhibits, robots wandering the floors, maze solving robots, robot soccer, robot "wrestling" (the small Lucha Libre robot was one of my favorites), and lego mindstorms competitions with younger kids.

All in all, a great day that was a heck of a lot of fun. I'm still perusing how one might design a combat robot that could actually survive a match and maybe even inflict some damage. And I'd highly recommend ROBOGAMES for the robot enthusiast in your family.
I just received a reprint request from Scholastic Education for one my stories. They'd like to use the story in a reading curriculum targeted at middle school students (grade 6-8), encouraging them to explore writing (a good cause).

The conversation was short and didn't mention pay rate, but they are sending me the paperwork to review. Being a good VP graduate I intend to make sure I'm getting paid for the reprint.

So, my questions are:
- Has anyone ever sold a reprint to a market like this before?
- If so, what did you get paid?
- Any reason I shouldn't expect payment for the reprint?

In the lack of any feedback, I plan to ask for 5 cents/word. I figure that everyone else associated with the material (including Scholastic) is being paid, thus I should be paid too. 5 cents/word seems reasonable.

As a note, the reading curriculum mentioned to me was "Code X" and I believe it's the one mentioned on this page at the Scholastic website:

Any thoughts would be appreciated,

- yeff
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