Books for the Beach

Last night, I mulled over my bookshelves, trying to select books in the “beach reading” genre. I realized perhaps I owned none.

Instead, I picked these three:

Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

The Goblin Mirror, C.J. Cherryh

Stories from the New Yorker, edited by Deborah Treisman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today is the final day of the Clarion Write-a-Thon. I am happy to report that I wasn’t completely worthless and actually managed to finish a short story! Yes, I realize the goal was 3 short stories, but I’m taking this victory. I’m letting the story stew over my vacation, then read it again for any final edits, and send it off for potential publication. Thanks to Clarion for lending me a kickstart.

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Day One of Clarion

Today’s word count: 309

Today is the official start of the 2011 Clarion Write-a-Thon in which I have pledged to write 3 short stories and submit them for publication. I wrote a healthy 300 words today on the short story that I’m working on re-writing from the ground up. I’m feeling better about the description in the story and its overall tone. In the end, I’m hoping for a an off-beat, unique, humorous science fiction story.

Here’s a tiny excerpt:

The image crisped on the point of becoming cinders, its glossy surface losing all luster. The colors of the photograph flashed negative, then popped back to colors seemingly too brilliant for the world. Finally, it settled on a black and white so contrasted that the content of the image appeared mangled and unreadable.

For those in the room who had seen the image before its transformation, the man writhing on the floor before them was its unmistakable subject. Others only watched in complacent horror, faces fixed but eyes darting desparately, as the man grimaced and cleaved at the floor and himself in agony. 

That’s it! I can’t reveal too much too much of the story in the hopes that one day I will get it published. But, if it doesn’t make it, I will post the entire story here for anyone who is interested.

We had a garage sale this weekend to benefit the dog rescue I volunteer with, and another volunteer donated this book.

I love when I discover random, vintage scifi books that I’ve never even heard of. I snatched this one and I think I’ll give it a read once I’m done with my current book (one of the Wheel of Time books). It might sound a bit cliche, but I do find myself drawn to books by female scifi/fantasy authors more so than those authored by men. It has nothing to do with feminism, just an honest affinity. I’ll report back on whether it’s a good read!

Breakthrough!

Today’s word count: 0 (just lots of brainstorming)

Moments ago, I had a major breakthrough on the current short story I’m revising. When I originally wrote the story, I was really excited about its potential. And, as with most things I write, when I read it back again, I realized the plot flopped. I tried to rewrite the story, just fixing bad tenses and sloppy writing, but that failed to do much for its overall impression.

I still very much believe in the core idea of the story, so I am trying once again to remake it from the ground up. This means a complete rewrite with a whole new plot. The main character is staying the same, but I’m fleshing him out a bit more. I’m introducing a new character as well as bulking up some of the other minor characters. I’m hoping to give it more of an “in the moment” feel and less of a past tense, irrelevant tone.

The aforementioned breakthrough came in the plot. I’ve mulled over the plot, struggling with whether to keep it the same, and if not, unsure of how to revamp it. Well today, the ideas started flowing and I think I’ve got it. No, I know I’ve got it this time around. The new plot is obscure, meaty and challenging. Now, I just have to write it and make it work.

 

I received my first sponsorship for the Clarion Write-a-Thon! Granted, it’s my boyfriend, but it’s still nice.

Sponsor Me!

Todays’s word count: 298

I finally have the Clarion Write-a-Thon link for sponsorships. Here it is! This sponsorship program is similar to a relay for life or a breast cancer walk. You sponsor me in my goal, and the money goes towards a good cause. In this case, the cause is the Clarion Foundation, which supports science fiction/fantasy writers and runs workshops once a year at UCSD. In my estimation, that is a pretty good cause, but being a scifi/fantasy writer, perhaps I am biased.

 

I met someone today who very generously offered to read and edit what I write. She has some copyediting experience, and is very familiar with the scifi/fantasy genre, so I would value her opinion. Now, all it leaves me to do are two things: 1) Write something, and 2) have enough confidence in what I’ve written to actually allow someone else to read it. I suffer from an ongoing lack of confidence in what I write. A certain degree of self-criticism is healthy, but I am beginning to realize that I have taken it too far. So, along with my goal of writing three short stories this summer, I am also going to add the requirement that at least one other person aside from me has to read the story before I submit it for potential publication. The idea, after all, is to have millions of people read my stories, isn’t it?

Clarion Write-a-Thon

Today’s word count: 430

I just signed up for the Clarion Write-a-Thon. My goal is to complete three short stories in the allotted time (June 26-August 6) and submit them for publication. I’m putting the emphasis on short stories because this is an outlet I have been trying to push myself in, and also because I don’t want to complete just another NaNoWriMo. Clarion is different in that it gives me the flexibility to decide what my goals are, and also to have family, friends and random people possibly sponsor me in that goal with all funds going towards the Clarion Workshop program. The actual Clarion Workshop is happening at the same time at UCSD. Since that’s where I attended college, I do feel a sort of kinship to the program.

The first short story is already written and just needs to be revised. I hope that isn’t cheating. It’s a humorous look at the old belief that photographs steal your soul. If I don’t ever manage to get it published, I’ll post it here for fun.