Where to find TOTALED

ETA: Galaxy’s Edge has re-released TOTALED on their website.

Hi, folks,

My short story TOTALED first appeared in Mike Resnick’s Galaxy’s Edge #9 in July of 2014. That issue is no longer available online, but you can buy it as an ebook at many online booksellers.

TOTALED can be found in  The Best of Galaxy’s Edge 2013-2014.

TOTALED is also available as a single short story at Amazon, BN.com and Kobo.

You can also read it for free at Wattpad.

Happy reading!

.

 

Winning Writers of the Future – It’s kind of head asplodey

Winning Writers of the Future – It’s kind of head asplodey

Sometime back in July, I got a phone call from Joni Labaqui letting me know that not only had I won Writers of the Future, I’d won first place for Q2 of V31. Yes, winning WOTF is a major squeegasm, but it’s more complicated than that, too. In addition to doing the Tom Cruise sock dance in the middle of my kitchen, I also got hit with a healthy dose of impostor anxiety, survivor guilt and a weird, disoriented “Well now what do I do?” feeling.

See, I sent in my first WOTF entry as a dreamy-eyed teen back when Reagan was president and the Berlin Wall was still standing. At that time, my twin goals as an aspiring writer were to A) win WOTF, and B) join SFWA.

In March of 2014, I joined SFWA as an Active Member, and by then I’d accepted the idea that I’d probably pro out of WOTF before I won. I guess I should have heard the Universe laughing. Then July rolled around and boom-boom, major life goal accomplished – now what? I felt a little lost. I guess I’m a person who needs goals.

Then someone said I’d make a great Dread Pirate Roberts. Er, no wait, someone showed me Christie Yant’s awesome, customizable career bingo sheet, and ZOMG!  I WILL DO ALL THE THINGS!!

Anyhow, so while I was rolling around with my head all asploded, I neglected to post that I’d won. Then it was time for the Q3 finalists / winners to be announced, and I didn’t want to steal their fire. Ditto for Q4, and now here I am, feeling like a goofball and finally blogging about it almost seven months after the fact.

So, um, hey – I won Writers of the Future!!!11!1!

Writers of the Future: Oops, I did it again!

Writers of the Future: Oops, I did it again!

If you know me from any of my online hangouts, what I’m about to tell you is old news. I’m a Writers of the Future finalist for the second quarter (Q2) of Volume 31. Yayyy, me!

 

I’m excited, but it’s my third time riding this bus, so I’m well aware that it usually lets me off at right back at the same stop where I got on.  Something is different this time, though. As the news started to trickle out, I realized I wasn’t alone. My friend and editor Josh Essoe also got a finalist nod, so then there were two of us.

Party of two? No way!  My friend and fellow former finalist Holly Heisey also got a call. So did forum friend and fellow Codexian Samantha Murray, and my friend and workshop buddy Scott Parkin, who shared the finalist hot seat with me in Q4 of Volume 29.  Yeah, out of eight possible spots, five us know each other. Now that’s a party!

 

To be fair, there are three more finalists who I’ve yet to meet. Only three of us can win, but with so many friends on the list, I’ll be delighted no matter what happens.

On the writerly glory of Mondays

I’m a fan of Mondays. I know it sounds odd, but for me and my writing, Monday is the most important day of the week.

Monday has never been about racking up serious word count, or even about diving into monster revisions. Instead, Monday is about prevention. In particular, Monday is about preventing those work-stopping moments that happen all too frequently in a writer’s life. What do I mean by that?

“Rats! We’re out of milk.”

Or cat food. Or toilet paper, or any one of a list of things that means I have to stop everything, get in the car and remedy the situation right then and there. Ditto for things like “Mom, I’m out of socks.” Or gym clothes. Or “I need 35 cupcakes and sunscreen for school today and I forgot to tell you.” Doctors’ appointments. Due dates for bills. All of that administrivia of day to day life that tends to throw a wrench in your writing plans if you don’t stay on top of it.

So Monday is about staying on top of it. It’s about clearing the deck so I can spend the rest of the week focusing on my work with a minimum of disruption. It’s also about scheduling my writing during the family’s work and school hours so we can be a family on evenings and weekends.

Here’s what Mondays look like for me:

  • I go over the family schedule for details about work meetings, Scout meetings, play practice, permission slips, school minimum days., etc. If anything deviates from the norm, I try to find out on Monday so I can plan my work for the rest of the week.
  • I make a to-do list for the week. (Yes, some of you who know me are shocked by this, I know.) The list covers everything from writing deadlines to bills to doctor appointments.
  • I do about four loads of laundry, fold it and put it away.
  • I inventory the grocery situation, check the ads and pick up anything we’re low on.
  • While I’m out, I fill the gas tank, do any banking and pick up prescriptions, dry cleaning, cat food, etc.
  • I plan dinner for the rest of the week.

Most of the time, I’m done and home between 10 and 11 am, and I can spend the rest of the day writing. A well-executed Monday keeps my stress level low and my productivity high by making the week run smoothly.  The stress level part of it is important for me because I write my best when I’m relaxed and calm. I hate the weeks where I tell myself that I’ll finish something “next week” only to find that next week has a four hour client meeting, two doctor’s appointments, an after school event and an early dismissal day, a vet visit and a spouse who needs a ride to the airport.

My high wordcount days? They’re usually later in the week, made possible by the writerly glory of Mondays.

What a difference a year makes

It’s been quite the year. Since my last post about writing, I have:

  • been a finalist twice in Writers of the Future
  • made my first SFWA-qualifying sale
  • signed a multi-volume novel contract
  • completed the first book in the above
  • become a full-time writer who makes a living writing

It’s all been such a whirlwind that I’ve let my blogging slip. Here’s to more regular posts in the immediate future.

And speaking of Writers of the Future, my WOTF bestie Tina Gower won first place in her quarter, followed by the prestigious and envy-inducing Gold Award. Check out her story “Twelve Seconds” in Volume 29.

 

Ben’s Recovery Fund

Ben’s Recovery Fund

Dear Internet,

You might have noticed that I don’t ask for much. I’ve never held a Kickstarter, if I’ve asked you to buy a book it’s usually free, etc.

I’m asking now.

My friend and writing mentor, David Farland (aka Dave Wolverton), needs help. His son Ben suffered a long boarding accident last week, and the list of injuries is horrific. Bruised lungs. Broken pelvis. Fractured skull. Traumatic brain injury.

The expenses are astronomical (think millions), and Dave, like many writers, is uninsured thanks to a pre-existing medical condition.

If you can spare anything, even if it’s just a few dollars, please help.

http://www.gofundme.com/BensRecovery

Ben Wolverton
Ben Wolverton


FIRST CALL is live!

FIRST CALL is live!

The first Farthane story went live today. It’s one part ancient cataclysm, one part mystical order and one part little girl with kitten. For my friends at Writers of the Future, this was my Q1 entry.

First Call: A Farthane Story

“When the Call comes, it must be obeyed.”

Since the time of shadow and ash, the citizens of Eriyu have been guided by the Judicars, a mystical order devoted to Truth. Jerra, a young initiate, is ready to face the final trial that will allow her to become a full-fledged Judicar. But Truth isn’t easy to see, especially when her own mentor turns against her.

Length: approx. 6,200 words, including a short novel excerpt
Genre: fantasy, action & adventure, strong female characters
Market: written for adults but YA-friendly (no swearing, no sex)

P.S. If you’re looking for the Farthane website, it will be live soon. For now, feel free to hang out here.   🙂

WOTF Results and Five Bargain Brain Books

Quickie post!

1) All Q1 finalists for the Writers of the Future contest have been called, and I am not one of them. I’m super-excited for them, and not at all disappointed that I didn’t make the list. Next time! I’m hoping for the press release / blog post that lists all of the awards from Honorable Mention on up sometime this week. Maybe even today!

2) For those of you with a Kindle app and an interest in brain stuff, today’s Kindle Daily Deal is a good one. Five brain books for $1.99 each.  The link was a monster, so I’ve shortened it: http://amzn.to/KXTvDj

Happy writing!