Saturday, December 31, 2011

Adios, 2011

Well, this is the last day of the year. It's been a good one, in many respects. No major health issues, job is fine, lots of fiction published.

I've been on vacation since Christmas Eve, so there's been no new writing done. I did pick up a copy of a book, "H. G. Wells: Journalism and Prophecy", at a used book store Wednesday. It was published by W. Warren Wagar in 1964. It is very interesting to read some of Wells' essays written in the last 40 years of his life. I think it will be valuable both for research as well as cerebral stimulation.

I also picked up a copy of the 1977 edition of Fredric Brown's "What Mad Universe."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kudos from Bewildering Stories

Don Webb of Bewildering Stories has sent word that "Tell Gilgamesh I'm Sorry" has been given one of the ezine's Mariner Awards for 2011. "The Mariner Awards are named for one of the first successful interplanetary missions. The more than 43 titles listed — out of 383 for the year — are the crème de la crème, the ones that the Review Board rated “very good” or “excellent” in 2011. They have earned Bewildering Stories’ most signal honor." says the website.

If you'd like to read the story, go thisaway:

Monday, December 26, 2011

"Rockets and Reindeer" takes off

4 Star Stories published my short holiday-themed story "Rockets and Reindeer" in its winter issue. You can find the story here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Not much to report...

...on the genre front. Daily Science Fiction returned my flash "Wet and Wild", but noted it almost made it to the second round. When I wrote it at FenCon someone suggested I send it to them, "they use a lot of flashes." But I already had "Great White Ship" in their slush pile - which they accepted.

Much of this coming week will be taken up with cleaning and otherwise getting ready for the house sitter who will be here between Christmas and New Year's. Patricia and I will be on the East Coast visiting family.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday "Bigfoot Fruit" basket

I finished up "Bigfoot Fruit" tonight. Came in at 4,488 words. This is the 99th story I've written. I submitted it to one of the major genre mags. This will probably be my last story for 2011, I can't see how I would have time between now and the end of the year to write another one.

I got a rejection today from one of the major mags. The editor wrote "It's nice to see an upbeat story - seems like everything that's coming across my desk these days is depressing." Still didn't buy the story, but that's an interesting comment.

Got suggested edits from David Gray at 4 Star Stories for "Rockets and Reindeer". Did them and sent it back. This will be my 11th story published this year, my 61st overall.

"Rockets and Reindeer" was originally published as a Christmas Eve blog post in 2004, so I suppose it would be considered a reprint.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Bigfoot Fruit" is ripe

Finished the first draft of "Bigfoot Fruit" today. Came in just under 4,600 words. I had done most of the work by Monday, but I had to add an ending today. Ran it by Patricia and she said the ending worked fine. I will start tweaks and edits tomorrow.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Almost done

I worked Sunday and today on "Bigfoot Fruit". Almost finished, just need one scene at the end for the closing. Length just passed 4,000 words.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Latest acceptances

Got word that Wesley Kawato at Nova SF wants to buy a story of mine; we have to work on the edits, but I don't think that will be a serious problem. Nova SF previously published my story "Good Old Gal" in Issue No. 18 in 2006. If this holds true, it is my third story already set to publish in 2012; I have already signed contracts for Daily SF and BuzzyMag.

David Gray at 4 Star Stories says it looks like a go for "Rockets and Reindeer" to run in the Winter issue. That will be my 11th story published in 2011.

Started the weekend with a household chore; I had to dispose of a brush pile in the back yard that's been accumulating since Spring 2010. Normally, it would have been torched last fall or winter, but we have been in a drought and a burn ban was in effect until last Tuesday. We had almost five inches of rain last weekend, which allowed the burn ban to be lifted.

The pile was about 15 feet long, ten feet wide, and maybe four feet high. I started it at 2 p.m. and it was essentially burned down to embers by 10 p.m., although the ashes are still smoldering this morning.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Back on-line

Just finished a two-day process of installing a new desktop computer. I retired a computer I bought in the summer of 2003. It served me well, but it just too slow now for surfing the web, and the hard drive was 90 percent full - I couldn't install any new software.

The old computer was in a room where DSL ran, but when we got a laptop for the wife two years ago we got a wireless router, so I have the new desktop on wireless and I moved it to my personal office - which means I have two desks now, one with a computer and the other with a typewriter.

That's uncommon.

Scanned the first draft of "Bigfoot Fruit" and will be working on it this weekend.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

“Troop 50 goes hiking”

In 1969, when I was 12 years old, I joined the Boy Scouts. The first time I went on a hike and overnight camp, I was so impressed that I felt compelled to share news of the event with the world. I used a piece of yellow lined paper that was supposed to be for a 7th grade French assignment and instead printed in longhand the 149-word story below. I dropped it in the mail to the local weekly newspaper, the Billerica News, owned and operated by Stanley J. Bocko – who also happened to be the local Democratic State Representative – and they printed it in their next issue, during the first week in December. I didn't think to include a by-line. The adult leaders were puzzled about where the article originated until I fessed up.

I still have the clipping, and so in commemoration of the start of my career as a published writer – and thanks to the modern miracle of optical character recognition software – I bring you the tale from 42 years ago:

Troop 50 goes hiking

On November 28, Troop 50, which is sponsored by the First Congregational Church, on Andover Road, held its annual November Hike This year it was held in Buddy style, scouts being assigned to partners, and hiking in two's. The route began at the First Congregational Church, wound around Farmers Lane, ascended up Fox Hill, and went down to the gravel pits off Pond St. Once there, the partners set up separate camps, using large sheets of plastic for shelter.

All cooking was done without utensils, meaning no pots, pans, knives, forks, etc. At first it seemed hard, but the newer scouts soon got the knack of it.

After eating breakfast Saturday morning, the scouts broke camp, some hiking back to their homes, others leaving in cars. The trip was well enjoyed by the 20 plus scouts who attended, and they are looking forward to the same trip next year.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Off to slush

I finished "Digging on Olympus" this morning. The first draft was almost 4,000 words, but it shrank down to 3,820 by the time I was finished - which is a good sign. This is the first case where I wrote a story at home on a typewriter, scanned the pages and made a file of it. I've dropped in the slush pile of one of the major magazines this morning. That makes four subs I got off this morning.

"Digging" is the eighth story I've written this year - the 98th overall. I'm probably going to attack "Bigfoot Fruit" next.

Six stories ahead

I just realized that "Tell Gilgamesh I'm Sorry" is the 60th story I've had published. My first was "Silvern" in Revolution SF in June 2003. Golfers take pride is being able to "shoot their age". Since I am 54, I am six stories ahead of my age.

Attempting to improve on that record, I've subbed three stories today, one in the mail to F&SF, and e-subs to Daily Science Fiction and Not One of Us. I am trying to get caught up on my submissions list, which has been neglected while I was recovering from the cold and sinusitis.

"Tell Gilgamesh I'm Sorry"

Bewildering Stories is up with its latest issue, and they've published "Tell Gilgamesh I'm Sorry". It's the second story I've published with them this year (The first was "Blackhats and Blackberrys) and my tenth of the year.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

All quiet

Nothing to report on the fiction front, still working on the finishing touches for "Digging on Olympus". This weekend is the first is almost a month that I've been completely healthy, since coming down with a cold that ended in sinusitis. I have a number of chores and errands I need to get caught up with, that have been put off because of ill health.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Final touches

I scanned "Digging on Olympus" and I am currently doing final tweaks and edits. Some strange ideas in here, but some sharp dialogue, also.

Whatever happened to that old Sunbelt?

By LOU ANTONELLI Managing Editor It’s rained almost daily for the past four months. The ground is saturated; walking across grass is lik...