I’ve admitted it before, and I’ll admit it again: I was not a typical or an agreeable English major. Part of the assumption people make about English majors is that we all must love literature, which is a class of reading material all its own. My university offered two options, an English BA that emphasized literature, or one that emphasized writing. I took the latter. I distinguished myself (not in a good way) by once telling a professor that the John Donne poem he’d assigned us was “the worst thing I’ve ever read” – only to have him look mildly horrified and counter that he’d written his dissertation on Donne. Continue reading
Category Archives: Random Thoughts
The way that some people are picky eaters, I’m a picky sci-fi fan. The way others might wrinkle their noses and pluck mushrooms from their casserole, I remove lots of things from my sci-fi buffet. I’d like to like it all. I really would. But I don’t. And I have a confession. I wish I could like Blade Runner. I really do. But I don’t like it and the reason why – tragically – has almost nothing to do with the story itself. I hate the music. While I appreciate the idea of replicants and the exploration of what-makes-us-human, I can’t get past the awful soundtrack. I’ve tried. It’s (to me) so, so, so awful that I don’t plan to ever attempt watching it again, unless it’s muted and I’m just reading the dialogue captions. Continue reading
I am participating in the Writing Contest: How Writing Has Positively Influenced My Life (hosted by Positive Writer), and I would love to say that writing has made me more insightful, more sympathetic, more creative, and more disciplined. It might have. But the biggest impact writing has had on my life is my social skills. I needed to improve them…I needed, in fact, to acquire them in the first place. I went from a shy adolescence to a near-reclusive young adulthood. I went to college and sat in the back of every classroom. I took jobs in maintenance, data entry, and research, in positions where I could deal with other people as little as possible. For years I used my free time to write and write and write, and dreamed of the blessed day when I could quit going out in public altogether. I wanted to be a New York Times bestselling author, and have my groceries delivered, and write in seclusion and never face the peril of interacting with other human beings. Ever. Continue reading
So, I have only one resolution for 2015: more bike rides.
And that’s it. I started doing more writing and revising months ago and will keep doing that. The Minnows Literary Guild started off the new year with a fresh anthology release, and my writing goals, efforts, and plans are all proceeding exactly as I want them.
The very best part of my single resolution is that I get to wait for better weather to bother with it. So, 2015 is awesome already. (That’s right. It’s awesome already.)
When the Taos Toolbox workshop ended in July, I left better equipped to tackle my writing and with lots of new ideas to consider when it comes to publishing. And then I got back to the nuts and bolts of daily life. Throw a couple of wrenches into the works, and it’s suddenly September, and I don’t seem to have accomplished a thing.
I kept planning to take the time to say something about Taos, but the experience was so complex that I couldn’t sum it up quickly or neatly. I kept planning to apply what I’d learned to my novels-in-progress, but what I’d learned was too much to put into immediate practice (like trying to unpack boxcar in a single afternoon).
So here I am, adding a blogpost to say that I’m doing things. Just not things coherent enough to report on -yet.
Moving day has come and gone – at last. The house went on the market back in November. I was so excited, I started packing then. We had a new house picked out, and I dreamed of it for four months while I gradually packed up an entire household’s worth of items. Unpacking happened in just under three weeks, and the new house is a writer’s dream: an oasis of relative quiet after years spent in a bustling neighborhood on a busy street.
In lieu of putting up routine blog posts, I’ve been working on a manuscript for Taos Toolbox and submitting short stories thither and yon. “Trust and Treachery” is scheduled to be out next month and should make an appearance at Balticon. Alas, I won’t be able to make it to the convention but am excited that the anthology will soon be available. My story in it, “Listener,” is one my better pieces (if I do say so myself).
I fell in love with science fiction my freshman year of college. And storytelling not long after that. I’d become a last-minute fan of Star Trek: TNG just a half season before it ended. About six months after that, I saw Stargate and, for reasons that weren’t clear to me then, I kept going back to see it. Something drew me a dozen more times to see it before it left the theater. I was an undergrad. The only way I could afford a baker’s dozen viewings was to save my measly funds meant for vending-machine coffee and hit the cheaper midnight showings. I went back again and again, mesmerized by something a fellow student criticized as a “predictable flick with stock characters.” I assumed by predictable, she meant that the good guys won, and by stock characters, she meant villains and heroes. Continue reading