Welcome, Daily Science Fiction readers

Hi! If you’re stopping by because you just read my flash “The Call” in Daily Science Fiction, thank you. It means a lot to me that you liked it enough to find out more about me. (Or maybe that you hated it enough to hunt me down and tell me how awful I am. Strong emotion is the point.) The long version of who I am is on my About me page. The short version is I’m a writer who has a varied background and likes to reflect that in her writing.

If you’d like to see more of what I’ve written, check out the Short stories page, which has links to other stories on-line as well as pointers to anthologies where some of my work appears. I’ve also self-published some work, including one mystery novel, a couple of science fiction novellas, and some shorter works. Links for that can be found on my Hartshorn Publishing page, including links for excerpts.

Last month, I participated in the A to Z Blog Challenge, using a theme of epic fantasy. I’ve also done a number of posts defining different genres, and every Monday, I like to blog about something I’m grateful for. (Today, I’m grateful for readers!) I also participate in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour each month, where a bunch of writers post on the same topic on their blog; here’s my latest post, on deadlines.

I also blog about my garden, books I’ve read recently, recipes (infrequently), my family (without names mentioned), and anything else that seizes my fancy. Take a look around, comment if you feel so inclined, or maybe even subscribe to get e-mail updates of new posts. (Comments are closed on posts older than 21 days, so if you want to talk about something older, either comment here or use the contact form. Also, I moderate the first comment from new visitors, and I use Akismet to weed out spam. It keeps the site friendly.)

So happy you came by!

What are you grateful or happy for today?

O is for opportunity

Opportunity, we’re told, unlike the postman, only knocks once. There are both truths and fictions inherent in that idea. Anthologies, for example, are a one-shot deal, generally: if you don’t have a story that fits, the deadline passes and with it, the opportunity. Many contests, however, are repeating — quarterly (Writers of the Future) or annually (the Science Fiction at the UPC Award, the Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest). Submissions in general can be repeated to other magazines, other editors, other agents. Opportunities litter the ground.

On the other hand, when a new opportunity comes up, it’s nice to be able to grab it immediately. When Daily Science Fiction opened to submissions last year, I sent them something the very first day. When Moongypsy Press had their contest to celebrate their first anniversary, I took time out from my other commitments to put together a novel proposal. Both of those actions paid off for me — I sold “Essence of Truth” to Daily Science Fiction, and my proposed novel, Touching Time, won Moongypsy’s contest.

I heard about another potential opportunity recently, and I immediately started brainstorming on how I could address it. I think the window on this chance is a bit wider than for some others — at least, I hope it is. This time, I don’t feel comfortable dropping everything else to the back burner while I take a flyer on something that might not play out. I’ve made commitments, such as finishing Touching Time, and I feel meeting those before I chase the latest opportunity is important.

On the other hand, I am planning ahead, getting things set up so I can grab the opportunity when I can. Given a choice, I grab every opportunity I can.

Coming up in December

snowy treeThis week — tomorrow, in fact — my drabble “Heartbeat” will be e-mailed out by Daily Science Fiction. A week later, it’ll go up on their Website. If you haven’t subscribed to their e-mails yet, why on Earth not?

Deadlines approaching:
Bewere the Night, edited by Ekaterina Skedia, has a December 31st deadline, but she urges earlier submission if possible.

Quarterly deadline for Writers of the Future contest is also December 31st. My friend D. M. Bonanno recently became a semifinalist. Who’s next?


You’ve probably noticed I haven’t posted as much the past couple of weeks. I’ve been under the weather and feeling like it was taking all I had to get my work done, spend time with my family, and try to get some words in for NaNoWriMo. Monday, I finally went to the doctor’s office and found that I have acute bronchitis. So the less energy, less oxygen for the brain feeling? Perfectly normal.

I now have a plethora of medications, and they’re beginning to help. Meanwhile, I’m going to try to be here (I have a review I need to post later today for a poetry chapbook), but if I’m not on as much, it’s because I’m still recovering.

What have I gotten done in the last couple of weeks? Proofread a book, read three books (Kraken by China Miéville, Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, and Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold), spent Thanksgiving weekend with my family (lots of cooking and movie watching), and wrote almost 1,000 words per day on average for NaNoWriMo. No, I didn’t win this year — second year I haven’t — but I feel good about the story so far. Fortunately, reading books and watching movies don’t take much energy.

Now I’m looking at December and seeing what I need to wrap up for the year, as well as looking ahead to 2011. I won’t post my 2011 ideas yet, but here’s what I’m looking at for this month:

  1. Get well. This may take a week or two, possibly even longer for the cough to fade completely.
  2. Finish writing the novel I started for NaNoWriMo. It’s a cozy mystery, estimating final word count around 60,000 words, which means I’m over half done with it.
  3. Finish the short story I started in November and send it off to its intended market.
  4. Round up the stories that I currently don’t have out at markets (I wasn’t particularly good at resubmitting things during November) and get them back out the door.
  5. Family time — birthdays, concert, holidays, luminaria, getting Christmas cards mailed.

That should keep me occupied.

Other things happening this month:

  • My book giveaway contest ends Friday, and I’ll be choosing a winner this weekend. If you haven’t entered yet, do so!
  • My drabble, “Heartbeat,” will be the e-mail story for Daily Science Fiction on December 7th.

What about you? What are your December plans?