Tag Archives: update

Question About Scrivener

So tonight I was fiddling around with Scrivener trying to figure out how to get it to automatically do a couple of formatting things.  I’d had to do them manually before, but I’ve got some stories I want to submit over the next few days. I wanted to know what I was misunderstanding.

I solved the problems I was trying to figure out, but then I noticed something odd.  The word count on Scrivener was 18.1k.  When I compiled it into an RTF docuement, it was 12.8k.  That’s a pretty big difference. I compared the words in the opening section, and the RTF count was two words less than the Scrivener count.

Anyone have any idea what’s going on here? I’m inclined to trust the Scrivener count because when each section’s word count when tallied adds up to the total.  And the words in each section are only the words of the story.

I want to send this out, but not with such a discrepancy in the word counts.

January Writing Report

So I set out to be more productive writing this year. That wasn’t a particularly high bar, given that I hardly wrote anything the second half of last year. This year I set some boundaries in place. So far they’ve held, but it’s been dicey  a few times.

Here’s how I did. I managed to write every single day of January. The highest word count was on the first, with 2764 words that day. The lowest was 519. I managed to write a total of 37,152 words, including tonight’s count, for a daily average of 1198.  I’m not sure how sustainable that is.

What did I write? I finished three items that had been mouldering on my hard drive. One novellette and two short stories. I added a little to a fourth.  I also completed two short stories from scratch. This past Sunday, I didn’t compose any fiction, but the review of C. L. Moore’s “There Shall Be Darkness” will become a chapter in a book I’m planning, so I counted it.

Right now I’m working on a novella. I’m not quite sure where some parts of it are going, but trust me, it’s going to be awesome. It’s got lost cities, sorcerer-kings, time travel, cursed princes, talking apes, and it’s sword and sorcery.

I’ve been thinking the last few days about what I can accomplish if I can keep this pace up. I’m not writing at pulp speed yet, but I accomplished more than I thought I would when I started 31 days ago.  I think for the rest of the year, I’m going to concentrate on novels and novellas that I’ll publish myself. I’ll still try to write short stories in between for fun and to submit to selected markets.

I’ve got two short cross-genre novels, one science fiction and one fantasy, and both mystery that are finished and just need to be cleaned up.  Also on the burner are a deep space disaster novel, a hard science-sword and planet blend, a noir novel, a dark fantasy-love story mashup, and a far future science fantasy. All but the noir novel have been started.  There are various other projects on the back burner that might get moved up if Yorricka the Muse decides to be kind.

If I can maintain this pace, even for part of the year, I should be able to get some of those out the door.

Slight Change of Plans

In addition to the book signing on Saturday, there was some other excitement in our world.  My son is in the band, and the Area marching competition was Saturday in Odessa.  It was successful.  For the first time in decades, the band from his high school is going to be competing in the state competition.  It’s just after the World Fantasy Convention, and like the WFC, it’s also in San Antonio.

Because Texas has so many high schools, only half of them are eligible to compete at the state level in any given year.  I don’t understand all the details, but it’s based on the size of the school.  From what I understand (and I may be wrong), 1A, 3A, and 5A compete one year and 2A, 4A, and 6A the next year.  Or something like that.  All I know is  that he only gets two chances to go to state while he’s in high school.

Needless to say, my wife and I will be attending.  Yes, I’m going to come home from San Antonio and return two days later.  Because I need to get a lot of work done in advance of both trips rather than one, I’m going into radio silence on the blog for a bit.  The Halloween reviews will resume in November.  I might post a short item or two while I’m at WFC.  If I don’t, then the after convention report will be delayed by about a week.

Signing at Burrowing Owl Books

Photo: Dallas Bell

So yesterday I headed to Canyon, TX, for a signing at Burrowing Owl Books.  I’d like to thank the proprietor, Dallas Bell, for hosting the event.  I had a great time.  Burrowing Owl Books is a welcoming, cozy place.  I wish it weren’t so far away; it’s the sort of place I would hang out in on a regular basis.  They have a great selection of new and used books; I intend to return when I can spend more time.  The selection of regional books looks especially interesting.

The signing was for Road Kill Volume 2Summer Baker was the other author in attendance.  That’s her on the left in the picture below.  The crusty looking guy next to her is me, in case you were wondering.

Summer Baker (l.) and Your Intrepid Blogger (r.) Photo: Dallas Bell

We were sitting at a table just inside the door.  There had been a hard freeze the night before, but the afternoon had warmed up nicely and the door to the shop was open.  Business was brisk, and the first hour flew by.  While we didn’t sell out, most of the books were gone by the time we were done.  Summer and I signed a some stock for the store.  I don’t know if Burrowing Owl does mail order, but you can contact them and ask.

Summer and I had not met before.  We had a chance to chat a bit during the second hour when things slowed down some.  I found her to be a charming and interesting young lady who is very serious about her writing.  She’s a member of a rather large writer’s group.  If I understood her correctly, this was her first professional sale.  I don’t expect it will be her last.

Everyone seemed pleased with the signing and thought it was a success.  I’d like to thank Dallas again for hosting us.  I had a wonderful time.  If you’re in the area, do stop in.  Burrowing Owl Books is on the square in Canyon.  The square is a groovy place with a great coffee shop (I stopped by before driving home) and a tavern (if I hadn’t been driving) along with some shops I’m sure my wife will want to visit.

 

Rough Week

I’ve got several reviews I’m been intending to write, but this week hasn’t been that week.  I hope to have some up by the end of the weekend.

Monday we got word that one of our graduate students who had left the country to present an invited paper at a conference had been denied readmission.  Our TA assignments were already stretched to the breaking point, and now we have to fill another hole in the schedule.  Then Monday evening a student with an illegally obtained handgun fatally shot a university police officer when he was picked up on a drug related incident.  To top the day off, an acquaintance was killed in a collision that night, leaving a young wife and children.

Tuesday there was a fire in one of the dorms, and yesterday a student with no history of health issues had a major seizure in class.

Not the best week for blogging.  By the time I’ve been able to sit down and write anything, I’ve been to brain dead and fried to put words together.  Hopefully next week will be quieter.

Announcing Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers, Vol. 2

I’ve been sitting on this for a while. The official announcement has been made, so I think I can talk about it now.

I’ve got a story in the forthcoming Road Kill Vol. 2.  You may have remembered I reviewed the first volume last year.

The launch date is October 21. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to make the launch party. It’s on the opposite side of the state.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Texas, you can drive all day and never leave the state.

Anyway, I’m very pleased and honored to have been included in this book.  I’ll post more details when I have them, such as how to get a copy for your very own.

To Book the Face or Not?

I don’t do Facebook. My wiseacre reason for not doing so is that lost friends from high school are lost for a reason and should remain that way. That’s not entirely a joke.

Six or so years ago, I had an account for about a week and quickly deleted it. It kept trying to put me in contact with people who didn’t even rise to the level of lost friends from high school. About a decade and a half ago, I made a joyful noise sang in the choir at the church I attended, which is on the other side of the state (TX) from where I live now. I was flooded with suggestions to send friend requests to a number of people I had known at that time. Several of them were children of a woman in the choir. I had almost no contact with them when they were kids, didn’t really know them then, and had had no interactions with them since I’d moved. I found the whole situation a bit creepy. Send friend requests to kids I barely knew a decade previously? No thanks.

I deleted the account. Someone later told me that Facebook made friend suggestions based on your email address. Made sense, I guess.

Since then, I’ve from time to time considered getting a new account, one attached to the email address associated with this blog. That email is primarily for writing and blogging activities, not personal things. James Reasoner told me at Armadillocon I’m the only one of the authors he’s published who doesn’t have a Facebook account. Then Charles Gramlich posted earlier today about his experience being off Facebook for a month. His point #8 was about missing calls for submissions from certain markets. That got my attention.

On the other hand, Adrian Simmons, the editor of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, once told me Facebook in some ways is like a nonstop online convention and can be a real time sink. I don’t need another distraction. I have Twitter for that.

So I’m going to throw the question out there. Should I get a Facebook account or not? Will the advantages out weigh the disadvantages? What do you guys think?

Back in the Saddle Again

It’s been rather quiet in this corner of the internet the last few months.  That’s not because I wanted it that way.  Real Life has kept me busy.

But hopefully (crosses fingers, knocks on wood, throws salt over shoulder) that’s going to change.  The first summer session of classes is over, we’re back from vacation, and things should slow down a little bit.  I’m not teaching second summer, so even though I’m still supervising the labs, I should have a bit more free time.  I won’t be attending Armadillocon unless something changes; I can’t justify the expense.  Not with World Fantasy later this year.

I’ll be doing more blogging, although I’m not going to be accepting many review requests.  I’ve got too many books I’ve dropped the ball on that I need to read and review.  Most reviews will be things I’ve read because I’ve wanted to.  There will be some of those within the next few days. Continue reading