clhollandwriter: (Default)
My February #12for12 piece "Essence" was published over at Riddled with Arrows. It's a market that specialises in meta-fiction - writing about writing - so the story is little more than an extended literary joke, but I like it. Not least because I was experimenting with different formats earlier in the year, something flash makes easy to play with, so it's told through the medium of an internet chat log.

Very little writing done in March, other than getting the other oubliette piece out, as mentioned before. Towards the end of the month I wrote a poem, then finished it off and submitted it over the weekend so it counts for April's #12for12. I'm supposed to be spending the next six weeks writing a novella at the rate of 400 words a day, but I had an otherwise rough weekend so I'm already two days behind. It doesn't help that I don't have a name for my main character yet (or even an idea why they're the main character, I'm not sure they are), or an opening scene. I've a good idea where I'm going, just not where to start.

At this point it's still possible to catch up, but I'd better get started soon.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
It's been a month since I started using a bullet journal, so I thought it was time for an update.

I'm still using and loving it. It's helped to keep me organised, and remember to do things that would otherwise slip off the radar. The only thing that's missing is submission deadlines, since they're in the diary I bought last year. As I suspected it's becoming a pain having two separate planners, so I'm going to start putting the deadlines into the bullet journal too. Maybe not all of them to start with, just the ones I've actually decided to write for, but that could change. We'll see how it goes.

I've started using the back as a scrapbook for ticket stubs and the like. There's only a ticket for Rogue One at the moment, but I'm sure it'll fill up over the year. Again, I don't want more than one notebook on the go.

I managed to write three pieces of flash in January but two of them are probably going straight in the oubliette. It's not a great start to #12for12, but I think the other's salvageable so there's that.
clhollandwriter: (marchin)
I somehow managed to completely miss that my story "The Silver Spoon" was up at The Colored Lens, even though the ebook's been up on Amazon for a while. It's a Christmas story for those are maybe a little sick of family tensions, so the timing worked out anyway.

My only other Christmas story is "And a Cup of Good Cheer", which is also a tad on the dark side. It's still up at 10 Flash Quarterly, although the market's been dead for a while now. It's a shame, it was a market I really liked, because I love writing to prompts. There don't seem to be many prompt-based market's around these days.

I'm currently pondering another Christmas story. This one's not light and fluffy either. I'm sensing a theme...
clhollandwriter: (Inigo)
We went to see Mad Max: Fury Road last week, and I have to admit I was a tad underwhelmed.

Don't get me wrong, it was impressive what they managed to do using physical effects instead of CGI - and a refreshing change as well - but as a film I found it a bit dull. Perhaps because it's pretty much one long chase scene, because I had the same problem with the fight scenes in Age of Ultron. They just went on and on and on and on...

Still, it did a lot right. While Max was in the right place at the right time, as with all the other movies he's not really the driving force behind the story it just sort of happens to him. This allows Furiosa to be the kickass protagonist and drive most of the plot's conflict in a way that's much more honest than if Max were doing it. Which, let's face it, he wouldn't because he never volunteers to get himself in these situations. It's just a shame that the plot (such as it is) goes in such a straight line I saw the plot twist coming pretty much as they put the gun in the drawer, and there weren't any real surprises. Except one, which was a refreshing change to movie-fare but to mention it would be a spoiler.

On the whole I liked it. The women were allowed to kick ass and not rely on men to save them (another refreshing change from most of what comes out of Hollywood these days), and it was as daft as any other film in the franchise. I just, I don't know, expected more of something.


In other news: no flash challenge for me this week as next week I'm on lates again. Last week I sat down to write but couldn't make anything of the prompts. It happens that way sometimes. I did write two poems on Monday though, typing them on my phone while on the bus. For some reason that seems to work quite well as a drafting method for poems. I don't know why, but I don't feel comfortable writing in a notebook on public transport these days. The phone doesn't work as well for prose though, so I need to get over it!
clhollandwriter: (marchin)
Not much to update, at the moment. This weekend I missed the Liberty Hall flash challenge because it's my week to work late and I knew I wouldnt want to do the crits. Late week I give myself permission to get nothing done. I've got some ideas on what to do with the previous week's story, too, although it involves a complete rewrite and includes switching it from present day to a futuristic setting. This will obviously impact it in unexpected ways so I'm looking forward to the challenge.

It's nice that LH is still ticking along, although I have to say I miss the days when it was bustling with activity. To be fair, a lot of the drop-off seems to be people moving on to the next stage of their careers - Aliette de Bodard and TL Morganfield are both writers I originally met there, and I know Mary Robinette Kowal was a member before my time. But there doesn't seem to have been an influx of new members to make up the losses, so it's very quiet. While I don't need another lively forum to keep track of, the flash challenge definitely benefits from a larger number of participants.

A couple of weeks ago I started a story over at another site, for a contest, but didn't get it finished. I've got a title and a very basic idea, but didn't have enough to get a complete story done by the deadline. So that's on the pile with all the other stories I don't quite know what to do with. Part of the plan is, over the next few weeks, to get all of these half-stories together and printed out so I can start working on them again - some of them are years old now and need either finishing or trunking.

None of that will get done this this week. Late week wrecks my brain, so I'll probably spend my evenings playing Minecraft instead.
clhollandwriter: (marchin)
So, I think I need to blog more. Certainly not every day (the A-Z Challenge drove me nuts!) but maybe once a week or once a fortnight. I used to really enjoy it, but got out of the habit somewhere along the way. Like so many things it's hard to find time for blogging when you're not doing it any more.

Sometimes it's hard to convince yourself anyone's interested in what you have to say, but that's true of writing anything.

I'm not sure what I'll blog about, since I'm not writing as much as I used to. Maybe I'll put some things up about making jewellery, or books and films, and just general stuff I like. I don't know yet. I need to come up with a plan.

In writing news, I did the Flash Challenge over at Liberty Hall for the first time in ages. What I came up with wasn't really a story, as such, but it could definitely be worked into something longer. I was supposed to be spending the weekend writing for a contest on another writers' group, but the story isn't fully formed in my head yet - just enough to know it wasn't going to easily fit in the wordcount, and that I needed more than I had to write it. So that's composting for now, but I will get back to it.

And I'm trying my hand at poetry, although I have to admit I don't "get" speculative poetry at all. If it's a story why not just tell it as a story? I have a copy of the 2013 Rhysling Antology I'm working my way through, although the long poems look quite daunting. And poetry itself is much more enjoyable now I understand how it works - something they never managed to teach me at school or university.

I just need more time to write, and read, and make jewellery, and bake, and sleep. And do all the things, really.
clhollandwriter: (Moogle)
I managed to forget that my flash story "Paying for Death" was published by Sorcerous Signals. Things have been a little bust lately, what with broken bones (not mine!) and overtime at the day job. Here's a link!


"You're sure you want to do this?"

That was it. No greeting, no discussion. Mirri nodded and swallowed around the lump in
her throat, proffering a lock of golden hair tied with a thread.
clhollandwriter: (poppy)
I've been meaning to do a blog post for a while now, but honestly haven't had that much to post about. It doesn't help that a fair bit of December was lost to flu - first my OH was down with it for a week, so of course I had to take over all the household tasks and making sure he was fed etc. Then just as he started to get better, it was my turn. I'd booked a Thursday and Friday off work to tidy up and get the Christmas decorations up but ended up being off from early afternoon Wednesday until the following Wednesday. Being sick is really boring - too tired to read, not enough brain to write, I just ended up watching DVDs non-stop. I can't even remember what I watched, but that might be because of the insomnia since I didn't do more than doze for four days in a row.

We finally got the Christmas decorations up - although that was only a wreath and a card hanger - on 21st December. It was nice and easy to put away again though.

I never used to be a big fan of New Year, being the arbitrary marking of the calendar that it is. This year I was glad to see it, since 2013 was a year of stress. It's nice to draw a line under things. Of course there were a lot of articles going around about how New Year's resolutions are pointless because if you really meant it you'd do it anyway. I think they're missing the point. Of course there's no sense to them if you make them in February. But it's always said that you should set goals and deadlines if you want to get anything done, and that's what New Year is for. The last few months of the year are a grey wintery slog, miserable for making changes. It's hard to think about diet when craving comforting stodge, or exercise when it's dark when you get up and when you get home, or doing All the Things when you're tired all the time. Without New Year's resolutions, I think most people would just keep plodding along as usual.

My resolutions are mostly to do with writing. I'm rebooting Write 1 Sub 1, since I haven't managed it since September. Plus I'm going to make the effort to get over to Liberty Hall to do the Flash Challenge at least once a month. I'm also determined to be kinder to myself, and not beat myself up over slacking sometimes. Also read more, since that disappeared under the weight of all the Shoulds. Which is why I'm on my fourth book already this month.

January's for a fresh start. Let's see if I can keep it up until December.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
Another bunch of writing links I've linked from the last week:

Writing for Women's Magazines
Five Ways to Write When You Really Don't Want To
The Business of Writing: Turn Your Income Stream into a River
and Terry Pratchett interview: Sex, Death and Nature

That's pretty much it. I'm behind on my novella, but did manage to get the flash challenge done over at Liberty Hall last night. I updated all the links in the Bibliography section on Saturday, and found a few that are no longer working. That's the reason for putting the stories out in e-books. I should think about doing another one soon, but I think it might be May before enough rights have reverted to me to make it worth doing.
clhollandwriter: (Matter)
Anyone who's more up to date than I've been this week will already have seen, but my story "This is the Way the World Begins" was up at Daily Science Fiction on Thursday.

Also Steven Wittenberg Gordon posted some nice comments about it over at his blog.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
Here are some links I've liked in the last week:

Author Spotlight with Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette over at Lightspeed.
Another great post from Eizabeth Ducie - Getting Paid.
A useful submission calendar for writers.

And, at the risk of being cheeky, I have a new website for my freelance work.


Not a great deal of other news as I've been spending a lot of time on my Tax Return and proofreading course lately. Although I did manage the Flash Challenge over at Liberty Hall yesterday.
clhollandwriter: (Moogle)
I've been busy sorting out my ebooks this weekend. "The Reflection of Memory" is now available at Amazon and Smashwords for $0.99. I decided not to go with KDP Select this time, and release it on both sites at the same time.

In conjunction with this, "A World in Clockwork and Other Stories" is free at Amazon today and tomorrow. "Golems, Vampires and Wanderers" is free too, because I fixed some formatting issues and put a new version up. I also used it to practice formatting for Smashwords, since it will be available to put up there in a couple of weeks.

Any reviews would be welcome, even if you don't like what you read!

Yesterday I did the Flash Challenge over at Liberty Hall, so I need to do my crits for that this week. I also got three poems drafted last week, so overall I'm feeling quite productive.
clhollandwriter: (eyes)
I failed at the Liberty Hall challenge this weekend, the trigger was good it just didn't do anything for me. It wasn't a total loss though, since I got 800 words typed up from a notebook instead.

Etsy have started providing an About page for their users, so I also spent the weekend setting mine up. The photos need a tweak, since the site has cropped some of them in odd places, but it's looking OK so far. I really like having it, since it was difficult to get everything into the welcome message.

I stumbled across a great jewellery blog via Twitter, wirewrapped.eu. As you might imagine, the owner focusses on wire-wrapping, and makes a selection of beautiful Goth and steampunk jewellery. I'm jealous!

Other than that there's not a lot to report. I'm still plodding away. :)
clhollandwriter: (Default)
I've been a bit quiet lately, if you don't count tweets, because I've been busy with other things.

I've made a bunch of wraparound bracelets (blogged about here), and also designed a few more pieces I dont have the parts/expertise to make yet. There are so many different types of jewellery-making I'd love to try - resin, polymer clay, and shrink plastic in particular. One thing at a time.

Last weekend I got a 1600 (DQed) story out in the Liberty Hall flash challenge. The BF will be busy with an online gaming challenge this weekend, so I'm going to try and get in this week too - I'd forgotten the buzz when things go right.

And in other news, I've worked my way up to the marked assignment in the proofreading course. However, I'm going to go through the unit again before I try it because there are a few things I'm not sure of. It's like learning a new language, and languages are hard.
clhollandwriter: (marchin)
My story "Conversations With Dragons" will be published at Kazka Press tomorrow. I love their 713 word story contest, it's an interesting challenge to do something with the trigger in such a short wordcount. Clicky link when there is one.

I really need to stop looking on Etsy. The problem is, I keep getting ideas for things to make for which I don't have the parts. And I have plenty of parts already. This weekend I'll be experimenting with the camera to get some photos of what I've been making. It needs natural light really, and there's precious little of that in the evenings at the moment!


The real reason women spend so long shopping for clothes

Man in shop: These trousers are the right waist and leg size, it says so in inches on the label. I don't need to try them on, I'll just take them home.

Woman in shop: These trousers are my size, but I'll just try them on to be sure. Darn, too small! I'll try a size larger - far too big, and the legs seem to be made for someone on stilts. How about these? Oh look, my size fits around the waist but the legs are inches too short. Next size up? The legs are fine but the waist is like clown trousers.
Repeat with every other pair of trousers in the shop.
Well, that's that. Off to try another shop and their arbitrary sizing policy!

And that's just with trousers. I can't count the number of times I've gone in a shop where the tops are sized for girls with the hips and breasts of a teenage boy.
clhollandwriter: (block)
I've been offline for a couple of days, in a sadly failed attempt to get ahead with my November not-quite-NaNo project (a 20-40k novella), so I forgot to post up a link to "The Noise" over at Kazka Press:


I should get back to writing - so far I have characters, settings, backstory, and nothing is happening. :(


A sale!

Oct. 27th, 2011 04:38 pm
clhollandwriter: (Moogle)
I've just found out that my flash story "The Noise" has been accepted for the Kazka Press October Flash Fiction Contest. It will appear at http://kazkapress.wordpress.com/ on 1st November.

The stories had to be exactly 713 words long, and based on a prompt. This month it was the fascinating story of UVB-76, a Russian numbers station prone to making some very odd noises.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
In for the 300th Flash Challenge over at Liberty Hall this weekend. I just hope another 36 hour headache doesn't get in the way of the voting and critting this time.

The trigger was trippy, to say the least. I remember when we used to get triggers that strange every week. So I have a story, and it's completely WFT?, so I'm looking forward to seeing the reaction it gets.

Two stories in two weeks. I guess that means I'm a writer again.

Also, for interested parties, the End-of Year contest triggers have been anounced over at Liberty Hall. The deadline for submission is 14th October, and to enter you have to have taken part in a flash challenge either last week, this week, or next week. Guidelines (and prizes) here.
clhollandwriter: (Moogle)
Just finished the flash challenge over at LH, with my first piece of spec fic in a couple of months. And now I'm too excited and revved up to sleep, which is a shame as I have to get to bed soon to be fresh for the thrills of work tomorrow.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
I've just done the flash challenge over at Liberty Hall for the first time in I don't know how long. The triggers were great, but my story did its own thing and I've ended up with I don't know what. It's better than nothing, I suppose, since I've been having issues with prose lately. I've written a bunch of poems since getting back from Swanwick though. They're not very good but at least they're something.

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