Morning Cuppa – 04/12/13 – Space! Extinction! Chuck Wendig!

It’s Friday, and I’m talking about space! And Chuck Wendig! And launching Chuck Wendig into space!

  • DOOOM. At least if you think that Stephen Hawking is a smart enough guy to drop this sort of knowledge on us: humanity will go extinct within this millennium if we don’t start moving into space.bruce-willis-armageddon While the prognosis may seem grim, it’s a great kick in the ass for all of us to start thinking more proactively about space exploration.
  • Also in space news, NASA is floating a plan to ‘shrink wrap’ an asteroid and bring it into lunar orbit. It sounds like an interesting possibility for bringing more resources — AND ALIEN MICROBES — into the planet. Of course, the cretins in congress will probably choke on the price tag, so we’ll see how far this plan goes. Maybe getting Bruce Willis to be the spokesperson will help?
  • If you’re in South Florida, as I most definitely am in a corporeal sense, you may be interested to know that author Chuck Wendig will be in town tomorrow, Saturday the 13th at 11:30 at the Stranahan House in Fort Lauderdale. He’ll be doing a reading, signing, and some pantsless dancing while we throw unripened mangoes at him.

Morning Cuppa – 03/19/13 – Writing contest! Apex increases rates! Chain store implosion!

Here we go Tuesday, here we go! [stomp, stomp]

  • One of the most active sci-fi groups in the country, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, has opened up for submissions to their Amateur Writing Contest. Not so fast though, you have to be a Maryland resident in order to qualify. I post it here to pose the question to you dear reader, why don’t I live in Maryland? These folks always have something cooking…
  • Apex Magazine has increased the pay rates for artwork, nonfiction and reprints, if any of these fall under your wheelhouse (score 2 points for using wheelhouse in my blog).
  • More bad news for U.S. bookstores, or at least chain bookstores, they “saw their share decrease from 32 percent to 19 percent of volume.” Meanwhile huge gains were made in the ebook retail space.
  • Chuck Wendig’s new fantasy novel is teased on io9, Gods and Monsters: Unclean Spirits. It’s part of a new series that he’s putting together and is available for pre-order now.
  • And Wil Wheaton has a Crusher family reunion with his “space mom” Gates McFadden.

Morning Cuppa – 03/05/13 – Scrivener and Snowflakes! Between Two Thorns! Writer Beware!

Sorry all, forgot to hit publish on this one earlier today. I’ve got a few quickies for you and I’m off!

  • For users of Scrivener, I recently came across this template for the Snowflake method. There’s nothing too complex about it, but it does get your gears running on how to organize and create content using this method. For those not familiar with the Snowflake method, it takes the conceptual idea of fractals and applies that to story generation. You start out with a core, one sentence, and then build 5 sentences off of that. Then you take those 5 sentences and make 5 sentences from each of them, and so on. It’s a novel (hah) approach that I’m attempting to incorporate in my next book.
  • Emma Newman‘s new book Between Two Thorns is excerpted on Tor.com.
  • Chuck Wendig shares 25 Things Writers Should Beware
    • 15. BULLSHIT SOCIAL MEDIA SERVICES 

      Social media ain’t that goddamn hard, people. You know how, like, you’re a person who walks around and talks to people at the mall, or at work, or at the dinner table? And how it doesn’t behoove you to be a total fucking asshole there? Do the same thing online. There! Ta-da! I just saved you from hiring a social media guru who will take your money in order to infuse your social media presence with the rank snot-curdling odor of sour douchebaggery (“brand!” “platform!” “Klout score!”). Also: piss on anybody who wants to take your money to give you 10,000 new “followers” in the blink of an eye.

Morning Cuppa – 02/26/13 – Fav writer’s blogs! Janice Hardy! Chuck Wendig! (they rockz) Rifftrax Twilight!

I’ve got some great stuff to share today from a couple of my favorite bloggers and some exciting news from Rifftrax!

  • Evil genius Janice Hardy has one of the best blogs about writing around. Seriously, I need some of your skillz! In this post she describes alternate ways to describe character reactions. The part where my face melted was when she recommended not sweating it in the first draft and then coming back and doing a “reaction revision” afterwards, in other words, make their emotions pop more. If you’re not a writer that may come across a bit underwhelming. If you are a writer, getting ANY advice that changes and improves the way you approach your craft is enough to leave you thankful to have been lead to the doorstep of Valhalla.
  • Another evil genius that is so good he should be on a damn box of cereal is Chuck Wendig. If you’re writing, (anything, it doesn’t have to be genre) and you think to yourself, this part is hard, what the hell am I supposed to do now? Chuck Wendig has probably already answered you with his psychic-miracle-ninja powers. Today he shares, “HOW TO KARATE YOUR NOVEL AND EDIT THAT MOTHERFUCKER HARD: A NO-FOOLIN’ FIX-THAT-SHIT EDITING PLAN TO FINISH THE GODDAMN JOB.” And this is exactly the kick in the ass I needed today. I’m not even going to pull any quotes from it, just go read it. While I’m sitting around with my finished novel, weeping that I don’t know how to edit and getting snot crusted in my beard Chuck comes along and helps me to my feet and then does a roundhouse kick to my self-doubt. He should make a book from these posts. [EDIT: he has and here, and here too] Thanks dude.
  • Rifftrax jumpstarted their Kickstarter yesterday. Their goal? To raise enough money to buy the rights to Twilight, which fans voted as the worst movie of all time, so that they can riff it live and broadcast it to theaters across the nation. They reached their goal within an hour. As of 7:30 this morning, they had more than doubled it.

Morning Cuppa – 02/20/13 – Net Minds! 5 authors who failed before success! Read like a writer!

Good Wednesday folks, I hope you’ve had a chance now to listen to my new podcast, if not, go check it out! Today I’m sharing a few writerly posts as well as some leads on jobs. Good day!

  • Strange Horizons is still on the hunt for some volunteers to be Junior Webmasters, 4-5 hours per week. If you’re familiar with HTML, CSS and PHP, your skills could come in handy. Heck, I’d do it myself if I had the time!
  • Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, is teaming up with a new publishing company, Net Minds to release his new book about Steve Jobs and Apple and his role with the company. The premise of Net Minds is to flip the publishing model on its head. Authors will forego an advance in favor of receiving 80% of royalties and a much quicker turn-around. Bushnell intends to invest half of the profits of his book back into the company.
  • Feeling bummed out by the number of rejections your book has received? Cracked.com has culled a list of five missteps from publishers, books that they missed that went on to become classics. George Orwell, J.K. Rowling, John Kennedy Toole… don’t worry, you’re in good company!
  • Do you write? Chuck Wendig tries to shake you out of your entertainment fugue and start reading like a writer.
  • If you’re an author and would like me to buy your book, leave a comment on this blog.