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Michael Jasper
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 07:30 am:   

As the other post was get WAY long, let's continue talking about what we wrote today HERE.

Me, I haven't done anything as far as new writing, but I DID bring 15 query packages to the Post Office -- 7 of the Blackbeard novel, 8 of the Wannoshay novel. Only $40 to send 'em all off! What a deal!

I'm still casting about for a short story idea. Got a couple leads, and only 10 days to draft it!

I love a good challenge.
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Liz
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 11:33 am:   

I did about 2500 today on the new novel, also revised a short story. Reasonably pleased.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 11:45 am:   

Finally got around to transcribing the longhand work I'd done on the latest project. There are more sheets to be tanscribed, but at the moment, the raw word count comes to 3000 for a short story.

Did that over the weekend. I printed out what I have and brought it in to work so I could look at it during the lulls.

Mike, I didn't have much luck at the Negro League Museum on Sunday. I found out that your team was around from 1912 to 1918 and that it appeared to be independent (at least that is what the interactive flatscreen told me). Most of the information was centered on the Kansas City Monarchs.

If you could, shoot me your snail mail address and I'll send you the postcards I picked up.

Sorry about that. Since Lucius is the resident forum sports expert, might not hurt to ask him what he knows.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 09:21 am:   

Nice work, Liz!!! I'm still casting about for story ideas. It doesn't help that I've not had a free moment, and my usual writing time (4:30-6:30 a.m.) has been taken up the past 2 days by that weird thing called... SLEEPING.

I am a slacker.

Steven, no worries about the lack of info on the All Nations Team. That actually works in my favor... Heh heh heh... Thanks for looking, man! And for the postcards! VERY cool.
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Matt Jarpe
Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 06:40 pm:   

I just sent off a novelette on Sunday and got 1500 words into a new short tonight. It feels good to get onto something new.

The novelette has never been read before. Gordon (or John) will be the first person besides me to see it. That's the first time I've taken that risk, and I'm a bit nervous. However, if I do sell it, it will break me of my feeling that I can't give my own writing a critical eye.

4:30? AM? Really? Great googly moogly, that would about do me in.
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Simon Owens
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 12:37 am:   

finished 2,000 words tonight.

Not sure how I feel about March. In January and February I sold a short story a week, but it's been three weeks this month and I've only made one sale. However, I've been told that three of my stories are under consideration, so not all is lost. I'm hoping another sale will come floating in soon, even if it's a small one.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 07:15 am:   

Finally hit upon a story idea and did about 300 words on it this morning. It's all taking shape quite nicely inside my head, and just for kicks I started speaking my ideas into the tape recorder I'd forgotten about in my car.

So on my drive home yesterday and my drive this morning, I was hashing out my story ideas out loud. People probably thought I was crazy (though I mostly felt like Kyle MacLachlan's agent character in "Twin Peaks.") We'll see if it helps. It's kinda fun, and if it helsp passes the time on my commute, that's great.

Hey Matt -- good to see you here. Good luck with the novelette and new story! But shouldn't you have sent the story to Gardner first? Or did you? There's this weird protocol among editors -- they feel a bit possessive of their writers, and he actually said his feelings get hurt if you send stories to other editors before him. Unless my story is totally unfit for ASIMOV's, I send him my stories first. And even in the case of "Coal Ash and Sparrows," I send him stories I don't think have a chance of selling. Just a thought...

Simon -- I wish I could say I feel your pain, but having sold only one story so far this year, I can't! Just keep on writing and don't sweat selling or not selling. It'll happen. :-)
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 07:41 am:   

Matt Jarpe has arrived. Congrats on the latest. I wish I could be as prolific as you guys. The downside of writing longhand I suppose.

Mike, those postcards and a couple of other things from the NLBM should be in the mail today. You might find them handy.

Let's see, I skipped last night's workout (the gym is jammed on Tuesdays anyway) and scribbled out another five pages longhand, transcribed that and bumped my raw word count up to 4000 total (980 out of the five longhand sheets).

When I woke up this morning, I got another three pages longhand written.

So I'm plowing along. I hate citing word count, because I cut, add, paste, cut again, and go back and forth on a particular project. It is more useful for me to look at the longhand sheets I've produced (your standard 8.5 by 11 sheet). The current story is up to 25 3/4rds sheets.

I haven't sold anything yet at all, but I understand Simon's frustration.

Definitely headed for the gym tonight. Definitely.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Matt Jarpe
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 08:19 am:   

Mike, I send Gardner one story at at time, so I'm not competing against myself. Every time I've doubled up he buys one and bounces the other. If he's looking at something, which can take 3-4 months, and I get something ready to send off, I don't wait. I go to Gordon first in that case. If I sent everything to Gardner first I'd have at most 3 stories a year published, and that ain't gonna feed the kitty.

Any story that takes place in my "Coordinator Group" universe, Gardner gets first dibs. That is an unwritten rule that I follow. But I don't really feel that Gardner owns the rest of me. Maybe that's a mistake. I guess when "The Bad Hambuger" comes out in F&SF, a story Gardner never saw, I'll know. If he never buys anything from me again, or if he calls me a worthless piece of slime at Noreascon, I'll know.

I've got a science fantasy kind of thing incubating on my hard drive right now that took a sudden and unexpected turn towards horror. I'm thinking Ellen might like a look at it first.

Oh, and Murph, putting my name and the word prolific in the same paragraph ... I don't know. 3 stories in 4 years. I'm not exactly burning up the field. (I'm not really feeding the kitty either, but the point is I could be if I spread myself out a bit more.)
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:12 am:   

Matt,

Just remember the old quandry of quality versus quantity. There are some who are capable of doing both at the same time.

Three stories sold in four years though, isn't bad by my lights. I'm probably producing at about the same rate, just haven't sold yet.

I probably don't help myself by not submitting every finished product. I have three or four that just don't feel ready. So they sit in the file until I can figure out what is wrong with them.

Definitely a good idea to spread the material around the market though. If you are a truly prolific writer, I'd suspect that you could overload one editor with too much material in inventory. But that is just a guess.

BTW, I'm glad you had that discussion about stars to put habitable worlds around. I did some major reworking on a recent project as a result. The star I picked is definitely more suitable than Capella was.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:57 am:   

Yeah, good point, Matt. I didn't want to sound like I was telling you what to do. It was just one of those things I hadn't thought about until I heard Gardner and Kris Rusch talk about it at a workshop I attended that was taught by them. They don't "own" you, of course -- they just take a personal interest in your career.

Which is ALWAYS a good thing, since most people couldn't give two flips about a writer's career!

So you broke into F&SF? Congrats! That's a market I've pretty much given up on. Of course, he's seen every story I've written, and rejected it. And after something bounces from Gardner and Ellen, and maybe Strange Horizons, it goes to F&SF. At least he's quick, alas.
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Matt Jarpe
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 10:28 am:   

Yeah, I've been trying to bust down Gordon's door for a while. What finally did it is a mock-Chandleresque police procedural with hackers, near future. He's certainly more likely to take something weird, and much less likely to take the kind of space adventures I usually turn out.

Murph, I'm glad to hear you've moved on to yellower pastures with your story. Hal Clement taught me everything I know about where is a suitable place for a life planet.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:16 am:   

Hal sounds like an interesting guy. I'm truly sorry I never got to meet him.

I had my draft version with me at work today and found myself opening up the packet with pen in hand. Keep in mind, the damn thing isn't even done yet and that is when something occurred to me that more experienced writers probably already know.

If I edit something before it has a beginning, a middle and an ending, I'm going to drag out the process because I won't be able to resist the urge to punch in the changes.

So I've scrawled onto the cover page, "DO NOT EDIT UNTIL DRAFT IS COMPLETE!"

This way I don't even up doing six major drafts over four months.

Maybe this will expedite the process and make the rewriting side less painful (I hate rewrites, as Mike well knows, though they are most certainly necessary).

Yeah, Gordon doesn't seem to care for the rocketship type stories. Though Charles Finlay had a good one with his The Political Officer. My subscription has lapsed, so I can't speak for later editions.

Looking forward to reading about more intelligent cranberry juice, Matt.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 01:37 am:   

Okay, I'm getting all caught up with the various discussions here -- glad you guys dropped in, sorry for being a poor host!

Matt, for some reason I thought you WERE more prolific; I guess that's the result of getting published in the top SF magazine. To me you're almost an ASIMOV's regular!

And now that you're "in" at F&SF, I can see you becoming part of Gordon's bullpen as well. Sigh... Must not... get... jealous...

Steve, if I could add my unsolicited advice and suggest sending out those stories that you've finished. You never know -- if you feel they're finished, then an editor may be interested. But that's just me -- I'm hugely impatient and can't wait to send out a story. That's why I have a file of rejection letters that must be over 800 strong by now (I stopped counting).

One other thing I learned at that Kris Rusch/Gardner Dozois workshop was that you're not the best judge of your writing -- a paying editor IS. :-)

And, just to make things even more complicated, I like to "edit-as-I-go" on a story in progress. Which if I was doing longhand, I admit, would be a huge pain in the ass. But for the most part, what I really want to do when I'm drafting a story is to get it all out of my head as fast as possible.

Then comes... revision (cue "Psycho" theme music).

But the best thing about this fiction-writing gig is that there's no one right way to do it. You have to find your own processes, and that's half of the battle.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 07:33 am:   

I've read that from a number of editors, mainly that I shouldn't be holding back on submitting completed projects. But Plowshares into Swords has what I consider to be serious flaws (namely, no one notices the Koreans even though they are major players in the story).

I suppose I could just bag the three or four I have up and send them out. It would at least show to the editors that I'm not some blowhard on the aspirant side of things :-) .

Matt, I agree with Mike. It does seem like you are a regular at Asimov's. Good luck with F&SF. Let me know when it comes out and I'll go pick up an issue (need to renew my subscription, I suppose, let it lapse).

Mike wrote: But the best thing about this fiction-writing gig is that there's no one right way to do it. You have to find your own processes, and that's half of the battle.

God knows that is the truth. I think that is also what I like about it. Discovering what works for me.

The good news on the editing side is that I edit straight to computer. If their are narrative gaps, I'll rewrite those longhand, transcribe and paste, but that generally goes pretty fast. I'm usually on the final drafts when I'm at that stage.

Haven't done any writing today.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com

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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 07:55 am:   

Added a new scene to the new story, tentatively titled "Painting Haiti." Introduced my protag's neighbor Ferdie, a Serbian writer who's distressed by recent news in the paper.

This story is writing itself, more or less, every time I sit down to work on it. It's scary. I'm getting a feeling for it similar to when I wrote "Natural Order" a few years back -- like I'm tapping into something I've never tapped into before. It's a rush.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 07:56 am:   

Steve -- you make a good point about editing while you're transcribing. At least you're not staring at a blank screen -- you've got your handwritten version there to help you out. Cool.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 07:57 am:   

Oh, one last note -- dropped off a 15,000-word novella in the mail to Gardner, set in the same world as "Coal Ash and Sparrows." It's not SF, but pretty pulpy urban fantasy. Let's keep those fingers crossed, folks!
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Michael Jasper, aka
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 11:16 am:   

From my online journal:

Just got an email from an editor at one of the publishers I recently queried about the Blackbeard novel, and the editor wants to see the entire manuscript!

So along with the entire manuscript of The Last of the Hand, which is out to a different editor at a different publishing house, as of tomorrow morning I'll have Heart's Revenge out to an interested editor! And this publisher is a big one.

Can I just say how cool that is? And the irony is, after spending $40 to mail out 15 query packages on Monday to various publishers for various novels, this query was sent out -- you got it -- via email.

Woo-hoo! Fire up the ol' printer, boys. Laaater.
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Matt Jarpe
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 07:01 pm:   

Now it's me who must ... not... get jealous. Good for you. I can't even get an editor to reject one of my novels. They just won't read them. Are there really 15 publishers who will take unagented queries?

I finished the story I started on Tuesday. That's the fastest I've ever written a story since "Captains of Industry." I love it when they write themselves. Why should I do all the work? We'll see how it looks after the incubation period.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 07:30 am:   

Thanks, Matt, and congrats on finishing up that draft so fast! I was just getting on a roll with my new story, then got distracted by this novel stuff. And I don't foresee much time to write this weekend -- my wife wants us to paint the living room and bathroom. And the grass needs cutting. And the dog needs a bath.

Oh, domesticity!

I've been sending out query packages -- cover, SASE, synopsis, 1st 3 chapters -- to places regardless of whether they say they accept unagented submissions. Plus half of those 15 were to romance publishers, who are more open to slush-pile reading.

It's all about persistence and outlasting them. "Them" being editors, publishers, other writers, anyone else...
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 01:31 pm:   

Heh -- just got a rejection for the full manuscript I sent out for my fantasy novel. So there ya go. The rollercoaster keeps a-rollin' and a-coastin' along...
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Simon Owens
Posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 10:42 pm:   

650 words tonight. Not a bad chunk of wordage.

Got a Chizine rejection the other day saying that my story got passed up to the senior editor and that the beginning "blew both of us away, but we weren't crazy about the ending."

Oh well, the piece I'm writing tonight is specifically for them so I'll give them another try.
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 11:41 pm:   

Is it okay if I join in the bloody fray?

I managed to eke out about 500 words of an alternate-history piece about Kurt Cobain and Hank Williams today. 500 words is nothing less than a miracle for me -- I'm usually agonizingly slow, spending hours and hours on one or two paragraphs. Lately I've been doing some exercises a friend of mine suggested to speed up my writing, and so far they're working great.

Also made a few pages of notes toward a hard SF story I'm writing. We'll see how that goes; I can already tell it's going to involve tons and tons of research. Anybody know any good quantum physics websites?
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 10:56 am:   

Transcribed and printed out the first draft of a non science fiction piece. That was six hundred words.

I'm going to put some more work in on The Limb Knitter later today. Honest, I swear. Maybe I can reach 5,000 to 6,000 typed words total on that project (currently at exactly 4,009 words).

Mike probably doesn't mind my saying, "Welcome," Chris. :-) If he does, he'll let me know.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 06:27 pm:   

I didn't get much writing done today, only about a page and a half. I spent most of the day at the mall, saw a couple of movies and watched all the punk rock kids run around and cause trouble. The day wasn't totally wasted, though, because I usually get some pretty good character and story ideas from the various goings-on at the mall.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 06:10 am:   

Good to hear from y'all! I've been painting the inside of the house this weekend, and haven't gotten much writing done, but you gents are inspiring me to MAKE TIME to write. Welcome, Chris! :-)
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 08:27 am:   

Well, this weekend was productive. I got 1,665 words transcribed from my longhand efforts which brought the current project up to around 5,700. This morning I wrote up a tentative ending, which is two pages long.

I am finding it does help if you resist the urge to edit before you have the complete draft. I'm moving a lot faster this time around.

I also transcribed some non-fiction material from a personal experience. That was another 600 words.

So, I didn't paint, but I did get some writing done.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Matt Jarpe
Posted on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 01:43 pm:   

My little experiment of sending off a story that no one but myself has looked at backfired. I got the manuscript back from Gordon today. He was very nice about it, sent the full ms back in spite of the fact I had only included a SASE for the rejection slip. He had a lot of notes, and at first glance they look worthwhile. Gordon usually doesn't like to see a story twice, so I blew my chance there. I guess that means Gardner gets the benefit of Gordon's editing this time.

I've been embroiled in another one of my home remodeling projects from hell the past few days, but if I'm not too sleepy tonight I might embark on a new novel. Really a restart of a novel that flamed out at 40K words last year. I've got a new angle that I think is going to stretch me out to the magic 100K mark. Not to give anything away (for fear of jinxes, not for fear of idea theft, which is petty larceny at best in my case) but I came up the idea a few days ago, then this morning I started reading "The Crystal Spheres" by David Brin. Very similar, very spooky. It must be a sign.
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Jamie
Posted on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 03:09 pm:   

Have finally made some progress on a story that stalled out on me months ago. I had had a title and an idea percolating in the back of my brain, and over the weekend they met up with the stalled story and said "Hey! Let's hang out." It was a neat sensation, having two interesting bits dovetail like that.
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 03:24 pm:   

I love it when that happens. I stall out a lot on my stories -- most of the time, it's because the characters are boring and/or aren't going in the right direction. I almost always end up cannibalizing ideas from those old stories and turning them into something new once I come up with the right characters to tell the story.

I didn't do a whole lot of writing today -- 300 or so words on the alternate history story, and a basic outline for what I'm calling the "Stephen Baxter" story. This will be my first attempt at writing a story that has no human characters at all, and I'm pretty nervous/excited about how it'll turn out.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 05:57 pm:   

Cool news, gents -- thanks for dropping by and sharing. I've been slammed with non-writing work with the Day Job and taxes and painting the living room, so not much writing going on.

Though I did scrounge together some research for my story about a Haitian taxi driver in Raleigh today... It's coming together in my hindbrain, I think (sort of like Jamie's meeting ideas). Just have to put it all down on paper one 'a these days.

A story with no human characters -- cool idea, Chris. May have to try that one of these days!

Sorry about the bounce, Matt. Looks like Gardner was destined to buy it!
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 09:16 am:   

For your down and out part of town, Mike, you might want to toss in people who are having sex in public restrooms. We've chased our fair share out today and last week. The weather is changing so we are getting more weirdos.

I transcribed another 500 words which constitutes the ending of my first draft of the latest project. This means I can start reading over it, polishing, editing, throwing in more details.

Everyone is painting and doing spring cleaning. I suppose I should get to that, but I'm working overtime this weekend to pay for my summer photography course (always wanted to take photography).

I don't think I'm up for a story with no human characters yet. I'm still having trouble creating believable aliens. :-)

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 06:42 pm:   

I'm trying to get back to my story, but the mundane world's dragging me down. But we did finally get our taxes done, so in a month or two we should have a nice refund check or two coming out way.

Not much else to report 'round here...
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 06:19 am:   

This weekend I looked over my political satire cum secondary world tale of conquest, and sent it off to the nice folks at Fortress of Words. It's only a 2100 word story, but it's the most fiction I've written all year.

And I got a form email rejection from The New Yorker, which sucks, but I was expecting it.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 10:50 am:   

Jason,

My understanding is that The New Yorker is a pretty tough market to crack into. That is about all I know about them (I don't read it, never felt a remote urge to pick up a copy). They generally do serious American literature, right?

Anyway, as hard as they can be, I don't think I'd be too bummed out about a rejection from them.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Tribeless
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 05:06 pm:   

Jason, how long did it take for the New Yorker rejection to come back from the time of submission? I only ask because, being green, I mistakenly sent a story there six weeks ago.

From what I've read you were lucky to get one at all as I believe they have a pretty loose (to say the least) policy on their slush pile.

[By the way, hi Michael, I've lurked for a long time, and you'll see me on a lot of other boards, but this is my first to yours. Steven 'sort of' knows me ... ie, I've sent him and email in the past :-)) I enjoyed 'Wantaviewer'.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 05:51 pm:   

Hey Tribeless, howdy. Tribeless is good people, Mike. I'll vouch for him (for whatever that is worth :-) ).

Mike, that is good news on your goals accomplished from New Years. So many people give up on most of them.

Letting the latest complete manuscript rest for a bit, I started something else today to see if I can actually draft a new story while rewriting a current project. I've never had much luck at this but I'm going to try it again.

Anyway, got three longhand sheets cranked out on the new project. The working title for that is Mismanagement but that will probably change.

Oh, and I made it to the gym today.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Jamie
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 05:52 pm:   

The New Yorker has been prompt every time I've gotten bounced. Course, all you need is a time-delay and an autoresponder for that. :-)

You did send it to them via e-mail, right, Tribeless?
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Tribeless
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 06:17 pm:   

Yes, I did send via email. Sorry to harp on, but what particular email address do you send to ... and I'll try and dredge up the email to see where I did send it.

Steven, I'm sure your word is worth a lot (at least I wouldn't be arguing with anyone ex-army :-)).
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 08:46 pm:   

In a white-hot heat, I finished up my Kurt Cobain/Hank Williams story and dropped it in the mail to ASIMOV'S today. This is the first time I've submitted anything to Gardner, so I'm a little nervous about it. I had a scary thought today that since the tenth anniversary of Cobain's death is coming up, the magazines will be deluged with Nirvana stories. Hopefully that's not the case, and if it is, hopefully mine will stand out.

I'm not planning on writing anything tomorrow; I'm celebrating birthday number 22, and if all goes as planned, I'll be too shitfaced to think, much less write. And the day after THAT, of course, is Hangover Day, so I probably won't write anything then, either.

See y'all in a few days!
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 06:52 am:   

Nice work, Chris. Have a drink for me, youngster! (I remember my 20s fondly -- I was actually 23 when Cobain died -- I remember that day very clearly, and how I thought what a waste his suicide was). Sounds like a cool story.

Glad to have everyone here! Feel free to discuss your writing projects and questions here.

Tribeless -- New Yorker takes subs at fiction@newyorker.com, and keep the story in the body of the email, not as an attachment. Good luck -- they're extremely competitive, as you probably know!

Jason -- you're ahead of me in stories written this year! But I did add a bunch of wordage to some novels, so mebbe that counts for something...

Oh, and the entry Steven was talking about is here, over in my online journal. I'm realizing NOW, after three months of intense work, how drained I am. I've spent the past week just catching up on my sleep and reading. It sucks being old!
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 07:17 am:   

Tribeless, my word is worth about as much as my fruit salad. :-) That and two bucks at Starbucks might get you a latte (three bucks at the anticorporate independent coffeehouses).

Mike, you can't be any older than I am if you were 23 when Cobain died. Seems there is some thought that maybe it wasn't a suicide, that maybe Courtney Love might have done it.

That was an odd culture shock after spending a year in Korea. I got there in June 1992 when everyone was still wearing the late 1980's style (nobody had figured out what the new trend was, at least in the Midwest).

I get back in June 1993 and everyone is wearing baggy flannel, not bathing, and running around in ratty sweats.

And I was wearing starched docker khakis (some habits die hard, I finally killed that one though) and blue denim shirts.

I know everyone looks at Grunge rather fondly, but I for one, am truly glad that it finally passed.

Though you can't beat Ren and Stimpy or Soundgarten, or Alice in Chains.

Nothing like going overseas for a year. It is like a time warp.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com

P.S. Chris, I got good news for you. I don't get Hangovers. :-) People hate going out drinking with me.
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Jamie
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 10:08 am:   

Got a fair chunk of a new time-travel piece written whilst a) bored at work, or b) waiting for my ride to show up.

Hope to get the rough draft finished up tonight. But this means that the dovetailing story has been sitting untouched for a few days...
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Matt Jarpe
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 10:18 am:   

I loved the grunge days. For a brief, shining moment in the mid 90's I was in style. Then the style moved on and left me where I was before, a schlub with way too much flannel in his closet and denim in his dresser drawer.

I started a new story last night, a young adult SF thing inspired by a teddy bear my son brought home from school this week. I'm trying to get into the young adult habit before I start my YA SF novel. It's hard not putting in swear words and disembowelments and psychosexual head games and the like. I'm thinking of putting up a sign in my office saying "You know, for kids."

[Five points if you know what movie that's from.]
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 11:02 am:   

Speaking of Teddy Bears, you should read Harry Turtledove's The Road Not Taken. Not quite for kids, but it was pretty funny.

I didn't even have a pair of jeans in the mid-90's. I did the flannel, sweats and jeans thing before it was cool during the eighties, so I was most aggravated when the trend and I went in opposite directions.

And I don't think Pearl Jam or Nirvana helped while I was fighting depression. I reflexively turn the radio off when their stuff comes on.

But I understand everyone else liked them. And I admit to liking Courtney Love's music (even if she is a first class psychopath).

Mike, you need a Music Thread! :-)

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 09:39 pm:   

I saw Courtney on Howard Stern the other night -- what a raving looney. I don't know whether to hate her or feel sorry for her; she couldn't form a complete sentence and she had bruises all over her arms, legs, and neck. Awful.

Nirvana and Pearl Jam (especially PJ) actually helped me through many of my bouts of depression. It was sort of comforting in a strange way to realize that, hey, these guys have it as bad (or worse) than I do! I can easily see how they could have the opposite effect, though.

Best,
Chris Dodson
Visit my New and Improved Blog at:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/loveboatcaptain/
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 07:05 am:   

Yeah, I still listen to lots of Pearl Jam, and a good bit of the Nirvana Unplugged CD (I don't have any of the Nirvana regular CDs). I think it's great music, and not much new stuff today can compare to it.

In other news, I wrote the opening to my new novel yesterday. Oh boy. It's gonna be fun. I'm doing this one without a net -- no outline, no maps, no plans, nothing. Just a character and a situation. We'll see if I can pull it off. Tentative goal is to blast out a draft by my birthday, June 13. We shall see....
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 08:59 am:   

Mike, your birthday is exacrly one month before mine. Weren't born in 1971 were you?

I don't think the music is bad per se. It just wasn't a good time of life for me. Music can remind you of the good things, and it can remind you of the bad things.

I like Disturbed myself. Seether is good stuff. Enigma is also good stuff.

We didn't go over my story in class last night. Though some had actually completed it (along with a pile of writing from the other students) and thought pretty well of HCD.

Have not done any writing today.

Chris, I need to add your link to my blog.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Tribeless
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2004 - 07:34 pm:   

I like this thread, so I'm in (after a brief appearance above).

As I don't keep a blog like everybody else seems to (I would certainly not keep my diary online), the Readers Digest version of my writing/myself is that I used to write when I was doing an Arts degree (about 16 years ago), and had some poetry published then in a New Zealand literary journal (Landfall) - obviously I am a Kiwi.

Upon getting that degree, however, I realised I would not be able to make a living writing, so, as back then the only thing you really could do with an Arts degree was teach, (and I don't like kids), I got a part time job and did two accountancy degrees (undergraduate and post graduate). Thus, over the last 16 years I've been carving out an accountancy career, restricting the writing to only a diary (bascially) - because we alway write, right :-)

Call it a mid life crisis, I don't know, but over the last year or two I've been growing increasingly dissatisfied (with not writing structured material), thus decided to turn my hand to disciplined writing (ie, starting stories, finishing them, then submitting to professional paying markets). I just want to see if I have what it takes to get published.

My problem is that my career keeps me over-busy, consequently I only really have between about 11.30pm and midnight weekdays to write, and then only when I'm able (ie, I'm married :-)). Thus my output is pretty lousy. So you won't be seeing many posts from me, but I'll always be lurking.

To date I've now finished two speculative fiction short stories. The first has been rejected by JJA over at F&SF, plus by Strange Horizons (but I got a personal comment from the editor of the latter). This was the story I've also foolishly sent off to The New Yorker. I've just finished my second story which I sent off yesterday to SCI-FICTION - and am kicking myself because despite proofing at least eight times I realise it still has a damned typo.

Re my first story, I now hate it (but this always used to happen with anything I wrote years ago, so seems part of the process with me). I still like the story I've just sent off (otherwise I wouldn't have submitted), although it is an issue based story, hard to pull off (thus is strong on characterisation and 'darkish' comedy).

My current project is to write a flash fiction piece (under 500 words) to submit to Ideomancer. I have developed the idea, a single concept, just have to write it.

In my online life I belong to a very small critique group called Inklings, which I'm finding very enjoyable and valuable. In my real life ... well, I'm an accountant, so no one, other than my wife, even knows I write (hence the importance of the Internet to me).

And that is me.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 08:59 am:   

Welcome Tribeless! Thanks for stopping by. And feel free to use your real name -- nobody here bites. :-)

I know how you feel about time -- I'm married as well, and have to get up WAY too early in the morning to find time to write. But it's usually worth it (until you get burnt out and sleep-deprived, like I did last week, and take some time off).

And Steven, I've got a year on ya -- born in 1970. And you're right about the effect of music on memory, and vice-versa -- grunge music always takes me back to the early nineties, when I was living in Nebraska and teaching junior high, as well as moving to North Carolina and eventually meeting my wife. I'm a nostalgic bastard. :-)

And I haven't written anything today -- yet. Just got me a large latte and am ready to get rolling here at the coffee shop in Smithfield, NC (I'm here for a wedding this afternoon).

So maybe I'll have some news later...
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 10:40 am:   

Okay, cool -- just added 800 words to my short story in progress. I'm FINALLY getting to the conflict, after about 2,000 words of set-up. I can do some major chopping later. I'm happy with how it's shaping up.

So happy, actually, that I've set up a new spot on this message board to share excerpts from current works-in-progress, Today's Writing Excerpts.

Feel free to share a couple paragraphs from your writing from today, and any other day, over there!
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 10:53 am:   

Oh, hell, I just added 300 words to the new novel as well. That's what I get for drinking lattes...!
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 02:04 pm:   

Well, since I was at work today (which meant sitting at a security desk in a deserted building NOT being pestered by loads of stupid questions from lost twits wearing business suits) I actually got some work done on the latest project. I scribbled up the First Draft full of notes, questions, and comments like, "He isn't going to be talking like that if X happened to him, Murphy."

I got that done, identified the gaps, weak areas, and some things I want to add in. So that will mean some more longhand composition (I do paragraph rewrites the same way).

I've managed to get to this stage in two weeks, when on my last project it took nearly two months. I think waiting until I have a full first draft before rewriting is helping.

I've also managed to avoid the ball and chain known as Marriage (yeah, I'm sour, but I'm happy that other people find BLISS in the institution, especially homosexuals [Oops, letting my liberal side show, that won't do around here] so. . .).

:-)

I'm off to the gym after I get done posting around, checking mail, that sort of thing.

A paragraph or two, Mike? I suppose I could do an excerpt from something I've been yammering about.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com

P.S. Speaking of writing and writers, I read over at Alastair Reynolds' website that he has made the transition to Full Time Writer. Good for him. There is another form of bliss right there (the full time writing, that is). :-)
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 03:02 pm:   

I'm still doing research for my hard SF story, which means I'm pretty much at a standstill as far as the actual writing goes. In the meantime, I've been looking through some old projects of mine and trying to rescue anything that might be salvageable. Three good candidates so far - we'll see what happens.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 06:37 am:   

Back to getting up EARLY again, after missing Sunday and Monday due to lots of running around with various errands and other fun tasks. Almost slept in, but dragged ass out of bed at 5 a.m., read some of the other excellent excerpts over at Today's Writing Excerpts, and I was off to the races.

Expanded and finished a scene on the short story set in Raleigh, and also added some fun background to the new novel. Things are rolling along again, at last!
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Mike
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 06:38 am:   

Oh, and I'll be bringing 3 more novel queries (one for the fantasy novel, 2 for the SF novel) to the PO today, finishing up all my querying for a while. Fingers crossed!
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 06:31 am:   

Roused myself at 4:30 a.m. (damn that daylight savings time, making it feel like 3:30 a.m.) and got some more writing done on a new scene in the short story, which is taking shape nicely. A lot of my stories take place in a compressed period of time, so it's nice having this one spread out across a couple days or so.

I also got distracted, doing some research into the Haiti coupe in '91 and Aristides' return to power in '94, and how that compares to current politics in Haiti today, with Aristide gone again. It's all gonna tie into the story. Somehow.

And I also added some more odds and ends to the novel, for good measure. Just got to keep plugging away, even though it's terribly frustrating only having an hour or 2 every day to work on my fiction.

I'd try to write more at night, but I'm just too worn out after work, plus I'd like to spend time with my wife at SOME point during the week... (grumble grumble grumble)
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Friday, April 09, 2004 - 10:51 pm:   

The Day Job's been kind of hectic lately, so I haven't gotten a whole lot of writing done. I did finally start on the hard SF story, and it's turning out to be much more difficult to write than I originally thought. They don't call it hard SF for nothing, I guess.

Chris Dodson
http://www.livejournal.com/users/loveboatcaptain/
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 05:00 am:   

Yeah, I hear ya, Chris! Good lick on the writing project. I've been on a bit of a hiatus as well, mostly from being too tired to get up early and type.

But... I had a rewrite request from a magazine editor of a major British magazine for my Wannoshay story "Redemption, Drawing Near," so I'll be banging away at that today, in between painting the bathroom and cutting the lawn. I'm quite, quite excited about this one!
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 05:11 am:   

um, change "Good lick" to "Good luck" above... It's early.
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 01:21 pm:   

LOL, Mike. I like ya, but I'm not sure I really want a good lick from you (or a bad one, for that matter.) :-)
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 09:19 pm:   

Oh, and good *ahem* LUCK with the Wannoshay story. I loved "Crossing the Camp", "Wantaviewer", and the others, so I'm looking forward to this one.

I didn't have much time for writing today. My 10-year-old niece whipped my ass in basketball this morning, so I'm still trying to recuperate from that. Hopefully I'll be over the humiliation tomorrow . . .
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2004 - 06:06 am:   

Thanks, Chris! I appreciate your luck-wishing as well your comments on my other Wannoshay stories. Feedback like that is always great to hear.

The story I'm working on focuses on Father Joshua from "Crossing the Camp," and Mr. Murphy provided me with many fine military details on that one. THank you sir!

Now I need to finish my revision of it...
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2004 - 02:04 pm:   

Glad I could be of help, Mike.

I got rolling again on The Limb Knitter last night. I got four longhand sheets done for the second draft. I'm reworking the beginning to make it a little more efficient, and to do the "Showing" instead of "Telling" better. Basically trying to get rid of the infodumps.

I'll have to putter some more on it later.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 04:24 pm:   

Got a three more longhand sheets composed for the second draft of The Limb Knitter. It is going pretty well. I'd work on it more tonight, but I have this Literature class to go to (that is just awful).

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 06:59 pm:   

Gave up on the hard SF story -- it just wasn't turning out like I'd hoped, so I threw it in the closet for later reconsideration. Since that project fell through, I've been working on a mainstream-ish noir story called "Wreckage", which is sort of like what would happen if J.G. Ballard's CRASH and Dan Simmons' "Dying in Bangkok" mated. I've got about four pages of that one written so far. It feels like it wants to be a novella, so it'll probably take awhile.

Also working on the horror story I posted an excerpt of in the other thread. I'm about two pages away from the end of that one; I just need to finish and revise it, and off to SCIFICTION it goes.

I also have a somewhat off-topic question for all you other writers out there. Do you work on one project at a time, or multiple projects at once? I do the latter because I tend to get really bored with a story if I work on it for long stretches of time, but I've been wondering if that might be detrimental to the stories. For instance, if I put a story away in April and pick it up again in August, I wonder if there might be subtle mood or style changes that I might be missing during the revision process. Anyway, I was just wondering how the rest of y'all do it.

Chris Dodson
http://www.livejournal.com/users/loveboatcaptain/
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 04:33 am:   

Nice work, guys -- keep us posted on how those projects going. Chris, I try to stick with one project at a time, to keep the intensity and focus going, but sometimes life doesn't cooperate. Usually if you get completely stuck on a story or novel, it helps to get some distance from it for a week or two.

But yeah, just spinning your wheels is painful. If a story's not working, let it sit for a while if you just can't get going on it. Or hell, just slap a crazy ending on it and see how it looks. The DELETE button is a wonderful thing...

Right now I'm trying to draft a new novel, trying to finish a story, and revising a pair of stories for an editor. I always feel like I'm doing a dozen things all at once. It's annoying as HELL.

That said, I did get my first wave of revisions done to "Redemption," but now it's 1300 words longer than my previous draft! I need to do some polishing and a bit of cutting. Ow.

But the hardest part is done. Down to just the tweaking now.
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Matt Jarpe
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 05:15 am:   

I work wherever the inspiration hits. If a story runs out of gas, I drop it for a while. If more than one story is working, I have to give both of them some attention. If nothing is speaking to me, I watch TV or read. Right now I've got four stories in the tinkering stage, a couple of story stumps that I might get back to someday, and two novels still on the drawing board.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 09:12 am:   

I did a longhand descriptive paragraph for a particular story prop today related to The Limb Knitter. Sometimes when I'm relieving people at the posts that don't have ISP, I get in a bit of puttering with the pen.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Simon Owens
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 11:27 am:   

800 word story last night

It's been a month and counting since my last sale.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 06:17 pm:   

Done, done, done with the revising to the story, which is actually a novelette! Emailed it off to the editor, along with another story he was interested in, and let's see what happens!

I really, really like this revised version. Good thing there are good editors out there. They make me look smart.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 07:03 am:   

I got another couple of sheets done last night.

Simon, that is something that you can write a story that short. I have a hell of a time cramming everything I want to do into 10K story.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Tribeless
Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 01:53 am:   

Having trouble getting into another project. The problem is I've set myself the target of writing a short story with no political component ... very hard :-)
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 06:50 am:   

Yeah, I'm having trouble getting focused as well. But Real Life has been pretty nuts for me so far this month. I did manage to squeeze in time to touch up what has to be my last Wannoshay story, "Back to the Old Neighborhood" (though I fear it may be more of a vignette than a stand-alone story -- anyone interested in reading it to let me know?).

I'm hoping to get back into my short story soon, and then onto the new novel. And I'd be a happy, happy man if one (or hell both) of the stories I had at the British SF mag sold, soon... :-)
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Simon Owens
Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 09:33 pm:   

Re: Steven

I used to be that way, but now I have a hard time getting my stories over 2,000 words (2k is about my average). I think in 2003 I only wrote 4 stories total that were over 3,000 words. And that's out of like 60 stories written that year (I write a lot).

In highschool all my stories averaged out at about 10,000 words. I think I'll eventually get back to that length once I've honed my craft a little more and feel more comfortable writing at a greater length. I'm currently working on a novelette with another Neo-pro, but I have no idea when we'll get around to finishing it and sending it off to Ellen.
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 11:27 pm:   

Mike said: " . . .anyone interested in reading it to let me know?"

Ooh, me, me! *jumps up and down* Like I said, I'm a huge fan of the Wannoshay stories. Even though I haven't read it, I can say that I don't think it's necessarily bad just because it's a vignette -- those can be pretty powerful, too.

Chris Dodson
Journal: The Passion of the Chris
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 05:26 am:   

Chris -- the story's on its way to you -- thanks, man!
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 09:01 am:   

My problem, Simon, is that I have a bad habit of trying to cram too much crap into my stories. The last project was much improved by a suggestion that I cut the first eight pages (a flashback) and see about compressing some other scenes. I took two scenes, smashed them into one and the story seemed to run better.

Mike, I'll be more than happy to look at a Wannoshay story. It will give me a chance to put The Limb Knitter on the mental backburner for an hour.

And I got another longhand sheet done yesterday. I'm going to try and spend a chunk of time on The Limb Knitter this weekend.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 09:34 am:   

Steven -- thanks! I'll send it right to ya!
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2004 - 07:36 am:   

Mike, got it loud and clear. I'll have some feedback no later than the end of the week.

Got laundry to do today, so maybe I'll get some more writing done. You'd be amazed at how much writing you can get done at the laundromat.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 09:29 am:   

I transcribed four sheets for The Limb Knitter last night. I also scribbled out another four sheets of longhand over the weekend. The transcribed pages come to 1079 words, putting the transcribed total above 7,000.

I've budgeted 10,000 words for the second draft. I'm hoping once I get a second draft done to go through and figure out what is redundant. The final submission goal is 8,000 words.

BTW, Mike, read your story over the weekend. I'll e-mail you some feedback by the end of the week. Good stuff.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 11:31 am:   

No writing today other than a journal entry to celebrate selling my Wannoshay story, "Redemption, Drawing Near," to INTERZONE!!!

Tomorrow, I must get back to work on the new story. I must.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 11:55 am:   

Hey congrats on that, Mike! That is great news! I saw you mention that in your blog, but work and life have been a little bit more hectic than usual.

Have a beer. I'd buy you one if I were in your neck of the woods.

At any rate, I'd say you deserve a day off, Mike.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 12:44 pm:   

Oh, and huge thanks go to Mr Murphy for not only reading and commenting on that story, but for giving me lots of good details for the soldiers who appear in the opening scene!
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Simon Owens
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 10:38 pm:   

I'd buy you a beer too, but I'm too young :-( Man, I need to turn 21.

Oh yeah, congrats!
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 10:48 pm:   

Well, we live too far apart for me to buy you a beer, Mike, but I'll certainly DRINK one in your honor! Cheers! :-)

Chris Dodson
Journal: The Passion of the Chris
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 07:04 am:   

I'm keeping tabs on everyone who's promised me a beer! I'm buying the first round, tho.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 07:09 am:   

Mike,

If that is the story I'm thinking of, then additional thanks may need to go to a certain Colonel at Fort Leavenworth. I'll be sure to forward it to him.

Chris, I did drink a beer in Mike's honor last night.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 08:51 pm:   

So what do you all think of Dozois stepping down from ASIMOV'S? As I said in a thread in the F&SF board, one of my main goals as a writer was to eventually sell him a story, but now it looks like that may never happen. *sigh* But it'll be nice to see more fiction from him.

Chris Dodson
The Passion of the Chris
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Tribeless
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 01:34 am:   

On the way back from a short holiday I managed to get pinged by a mufti for speeding: NZ$80 fine plus 20 demerit points. Worse, I was right at the start of a five hour drive, meaning, with my lovely wife checking the speedo every five minutes, an excruciatingly slow drive home right on the speed limit (and in the end just about a six hour drive). Even more annoying, just five minutes before I'd been passed by a car which didn't get pinged because he, I assume, had a hawk. More fool me. The Officer gave me the lecture about how speed kills, to which I gave my theory about how speed doesn't kill at all, idiots do. Didn't help my case I suspect.


You pay your income tax, GST blah de blah de blah but then they just keep on fleecing you.

So, no promises of a beer from me Mike :-)

(Sorry, slightly off thread - but I'm annoyed)
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 07:05 am:   

Shit. I read your post, Chris and thought, "Oh surely not."

Then I checked Locus. It's true.

Well, I wish him the best. I've not met him personally, but I think pretty highly of him.

The good news is that maybe we will see more fiction from him as a result. And 19 years is a long run to be editor.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Michael Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 01:35 pm:   

Sorry about the ticket, Tribeless -- I've gotten caught almost half a dozen times in the past decade or so, exceeding the speed limit. Though I have to say, your line about your wife "checking the speedo" has a WHOLE other meaning here in America...

As for Gardner leaving ASIMOV's, I'm mostly sad for an era ending -- more details at my online journal. Gardner's a great guy, and will be remembered for many, many years for all his work.
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 04:28 pm:   

Chris, you can still possibly sell to Dozois. He's still doing THE YEARS BEST anthology and maybe others. Alas, it will probably have to be a reprint, though.
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 04:52 pm:   

Yeah, Simon Owens reminded me of that in my LiveJournal; I had completely forgotten about the YEAR'S BEST. So I can still sell to him, it'll just be twenty times harder. Maybe this will inspire me to start writing better. :-)

Chris Dodson
Journal: The Passion of the Chris
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 04:55 pm:   

And to get things back on topic, I wrote 300 words today of my story "The Incredibly Strange Tale of What Happened at the Forty-Second Annual Hogslop County Baloney Sandwich Contest." The end is in sight, and soon it'll be flying off to Gard . . . er, Sheila.

Chris Dodson
Journal: The Passion of the Chris
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 07:15 am:   

Oh yeah, WRITING! I've kind of forgotten the topic myself!

But I did jam out 400 words on my once-stalled story this morning, and I'm almost at the scene that I'd first envisioned when I started writing it. Strangely, it took me almost 4,000 words to get to that point!

Once I get rolling on it again, I hope to finish up by the end of the month. And I may use the setting and characters and expand them into a novel -- I'm really loving all the characters I've created for this one.

This would be the novel AFTER the current novel I just started, and AFTER the baseball novel I've been planning for almost 6 years... Novel number 7, I think... Sheesh.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 09:16 am:   

I've spent the last three days scribbling on drafts trying to consolidate three scenes into one scene. The good news about consolidating scenes is that it makes your story smaller and/or gives you more room to cram other stuff in. So that is what I've been doing over the past couple of days (while trying to get over the news that changes are afoot at Asimov's).

I've got a couple of other projects I'm fiddling with. I'm trying to resist the strong urge to do multiple projects at once, like I did last year. I think this is another thing that tends to slow down my productivity.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Simon Owens
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 10:20 am:   

Few hundred words last night.

Today I broke my losing streak with a poetry sale to Kenoma.
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Matt Jarpe
Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 08:18 am:   

I opened up a story called "Planet of Love" (or maybe "Goddess of Love") last night and started to tinker. I thought it was done, but Gardner had a different idea, and damn it, he was right.

The story is in three sections. Part one got a minor tweak, parts two and three are now smashed together in one. Now I need to dream up a new part 3.

It's three vignettes surrounding the terraforming of Venus, and the relationships between men and women that occur during the different phases of the project. The last one is when the planet is ready for habiation. I was thinking of a twisty take on a spring time fertility ritual, but so far nothing is coming to me.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 08:47 am:   

Matt,

Is some poor, hapless virgin (male or female) going to end up getting gored by the village, then plowed into the freshly terraformed soil?

Just wondering. It was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw your comment about spring time fertility rituals. I also remember the classic short story The Lottery, which touched on a similar theme.

Umm, the above sounds like I'm being catty or smartassed. That isn't my intention. I'm actually trying to help, offer feedback, etc. :-) If it rubs you wrong, I apologize now for it.

As for me, I got some of the scene consolidation work done yesterday, slapped in some of the new 2nd Draft transcriptions into the new draft of The Limb Knitter. I printed that out today at work so I could read over it. There are still some longhand composed pieces I need to transcribe so I can include them as well.

And I did manage to shave some of the overall story word count down to around 6,100 words. This number will probably rove back and forth as I rewrite the drafts.

I've got a single page longhand sketch for two more stories that are unrelated to The Limb Knitter. One of them is actually a humorous, light hearted piece (God knows I'm ready to write one after the dark stuff I've done lately).

Matt, if you ever need a reader for you stuff. Let me know.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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T Andrews
Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 12:53 pm:   

My short story, tentatively titled, 'Planting Season' is stalled. It's another take on spring rituals, only it's a decapitation/bloodletting scenario...but the instant the king lost his head, my muse took off, too.
Now I don't know what to do.
My mother suggested writing 'something nice, dear'.:-)
Oh well. Maybe I'll give this one a time-out.
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Matt Jarpe
Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 01:42 pm:   

I don't know, guys. Maybe we're reading different books, but I always thought a spring ritual involved screwing in a corn field, no? I think I've got the ending I need for the story. I'll give it a whirl tonight and see if it works.
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 02:35 pm:   

Sounds good, Matt. Can't wait to read it!

The ending is now in sight for my mainstream crime story "You're My Brother, and I Love You - Now Put Down the Damn Gun." I have probably two or three pages to go. I like the title, but everyone else I know hates it, so I may change that before it gets sent off to EQMM.

Chris Dodson
Journal: The Passion of the Chris
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 03:05 pm:   

I personally prefer screwing in a cornfield as opposed to plowing some poor soul under the soil.

Can be hard on your knees though. :-) Their's as well.

I spent most of the day writing up all of the marginalia from my first draft down into a seperate document. That way I don't do the constant back and forth between drafts that drives me nuts.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Matt Jarpe
Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 07:43 pm:   

Yep, not only did my ending work but I dropped it down to 4800 words from over 6000. So I guess I wrote a negative 1500 words tonight, but I've got a much better story as a result.
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T Andrews
Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 08:05 pm:   

Well guys, you have a point re: the cornfields and um, screwing. However, good soil requires good fertilizer, and really~ what's a ritual without a human sacrifice or two? :-)
Glad you fellows had a good writing day.
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Mike
Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 07:11 am:   

This topic is continued here.

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