sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
I continue to struggle with getting my linux box to communicate with the wireless router. For the moment I've moved the cable connecting my computer to the router so it runs around the edges of the room and is less obtrusive, but it's a stopgap. I still want to get the damned wireless adapter to work, but so far no dice. I've been communicating with people on the OpenSuse forums as well as the Portland Linux Users Group (PLUG) mailing list. I've made some progress, I think; I now have the right drivers and firmware for my chosen adapter on my system...but I can't get my computer to see the USB adapter.

I know the USB port works. I can plug other USB items into it (like my Nook ereader) and they work just fine. I don't know if there's something wrong in my operating system or hardware or whether perhaps the adapter itself is borked. I'm waiting to see if anyone can tell me definitively which--or even how to test to find out. It's really frustrating me--I know it should work. Other people running linux use this very software and hardware. I don't know why mine won't work.

In other news, we discarded (sold, donated, gave away or simply junked) a lot of furniture during the prep for moving out of our house and into the apartment. Some of it was just stuff we didn't use anymore. Some of it was stuff we'd never really liked anyhow. Some of it was furniture we didn't want to bring with because it's fabric covered and could (and no does does) harbor dust mites, to which my lovely and talented wife is allergic. So we took this move as an opportunity to make changes.

We're replacing a number of things. Dressers, computer desks, lamps, side tables, chairs and a sofa. We've bought a couple of recliners and a sofa loveseat from Ikea. They all have leather upholstery instead of fabric, to minimize the mite problem. The loveseat is smaller than our original couch so Snippy and I can sit close even when occupying opposite ends of it. The recliners are incredibly comfortable. We like very much.

I spent all day today assembling furniture. A large new dresser for me to replace the one I've been using, which Snippy will take over (she likes it). I adding shelving to a bathroom cabinet. I also assembled her new standing computer desk. There's more to do tomorrow, but I'm done for tonight.

I got a rejection today on a short story from Sniplits. I haven't checked my spreadsheet yet, but I have the sense that it was out for quite a long while. But then, I haven't done anything on the writing front in a long while. That's going to change. Now that the prep for and the move are behind us, and we're settling into the new place, I can focus on my writing again. I'm looking forward to it.

I think I'm going to track my progress with Dean Wesley Smith's "race" approach in 2011. You give yourself points for everything you have out in circulation, and you can compare your score with other writers who are doing likewise. You get 1 point for each short story, 3 points for every novel submission package (chapters and an outline) and 8 points for every full novel manuscript you have circulating. As things sell, you take them off the list. If you're losing points faster than you can add them, well, that's a problem you want to have.

He posted about it just today, and discussed the differences in scoring between traditional publications and epublishing (specifically, self-publishing via Kindle, SmashWords and other venues). The scoring for epublication is a bit different: 1 point per short story, 3 points per collection, and 5 points for novels. Novels get fewer points because they don't have to be nearly as long in this venue as in traditional publishing; "the pulps" are making a comeback, now that short novels can be produced and sold again. Also, you don't take things off the list when they sell. Epublication can be forever; it costs you nothing to leave a publication up for sale indefinitely. So the goal is simply to rack up as many points as humanly possible.

Anyhow, I intend to start writing short stories again, as well as longer works. Last year I focused on writing a couple of full-length novels and abandoned short stories. I don't want to do that again. I've been studying up on story structure and plotting, which are my weakness as a seat-of-my-pants writer, and I think I can learn more by practicing with short stories. I will, however, also keep working on novels (viewing anything of 15,000 words or more as at least a short novel).

sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
It's been a while since I posted. (My lovely and talented wife prodded me about that; I communicate better in writing than verbally, so she likes it when I post about what I'm doing and thinking.) So here goes:

I have a Nook now. I bought Snippy one as an early birthday present in June. She's enjoyed it immensely. She uses it all the time, and has loaded it with lots of books, some purchased, some free, some fanfic she snagged from teh internetz. I am most impressed by the eInk display. When we could read it under the bright summer sun at the beach as easily as any paperback book (try THAT with a laptop!), I was sold. (Yes, I know it isn't only the Nook that has eInk--shut up!)

So last weekend, we bought ME a Nook as an early birthday present. (Very early--my birthday's in January.) I immediately went out and downloaded a bunch of free fiction from Barnes & Nobles' website, and from the Baen Free Library. I also found a piece of software named Calibre, which will convert a wide variety of electronic formats into another wide variety of electronic formats, which means I can turn html docs (like fanfic on webpages) into epub documents my Nook can read. It can also turn .lit format documents into epub format--so I have all my Cobblestone stories on my Nook now too. (I'm also using the cover art from those stories as screensavers, so we can tell which Nook is mine.) I will no doubt be buying books for my Nook eventually, but I'm trying not to spend any money on that just now.

You see, we're going to sell the house. We've toyed with the idea for years, sometimes seriously, sometimes as a "what if" game. But just recently we flipped from "we could sell the house" to "we are selling the house." It seems like the thing to do. Because we (and by "we" I mean my lovely and talented wife, since it's her house) were smart, we never overmortgaged the house during the real estate bubble. Which means that we can easily get considerably more for it than we owe; how much more depends on how much work we want to put into buffing it up for resale. We'll be talking to our realtor about how to get the best bang for our buck on that score. We already had a stager look at the property and give us a long list of suggestions; the realtor will know better which ones will make the biggest difference in what we can reasonably ask for the house.

So we've spent the last week (Snippy's vacation from work) drifting through the house trying to decide what we'll keep and use when we move (into an apartment, most likely), what we'll keep and store (for an eventual new house purchase down the road), what we can sell or donate, and what we can trash. Also? Packing. TWENTY-FIVE banker boxes of books are already stacked in a corner of the dining room and we haven't packed up all the books yet! (Another reason for the Nook--we won't go into complete reading withdrawal while we stage the house for sale--which means no or only a handful of books in sight.)

We've both bounced between excitement and terror. Usually not at the same time, so we could encourage one another. But it's going to be a stressful few months as we work to pack, clean, store or dispose of stuff, get the house whipped into shape, and then live like guests while we keep it in shape to show off until we can sell it. We'll manage, though. Despite occasional doubts, we thought long and hard (and discussed it repeatedly), before deciding this was a good decision.

My vacation from writing has extended through this week. I haven't written a damn thing. So this coming week, it's back on the horse, dammit! I have two novels yet to finish. If I start feeling like nobody would ever buy what I want to write, I need to go look a the "recent deals" listings on Publisher's Marketplace. There are premises for novels that I find bizarrely unlikely and yet someone bought it! No idea too outrageous. I just need to write it well.

So, in the spirit of throwing myself back into the game, I hereby announce my intent to write a cyberpunk tale. (I saw a call for cyberpunk novellas from one of the big epublishers; I may not actually send it to them, though. They want a very narrow word count: 25-30K. No more, no less. Another market won't have so many genre stories flooding their in-box, and won't care about the word count since they all publsh in numerous lengths. But I do intend to write it. Cue Yul Brynner from The Ten Commandments:

"So let it be written, SO LET IT BE WRITTEN!"

...okay, that's not exactly how the quote goes. Close enough, though.

In other writing news, I got a rejection on a story I sent to a new market. I discovered the market via Duotrope's Digest, where it was flagged as a "fledgling" market, meaning it had been in existence for less than six months. Today I got the weekly email from Duotrope that lists new markets, open anthologies, markets which have temporarily closed (or reopened), and dead markets. Guess who was among the newly dead? Yep. The same folks who rejected me.

Just as well they rejected me, I suppose. It would have been a major bummer to have gotten an acceptance--only to discover that the market had immediately folded.

There's been no movement on a couple of recent short story submissions. They're both to markets which have given me personal rejections, so I'm getting closer to success there. I like to think that that (no response yet) is a good sign; it means they haven't immediately rejected them. On the other hand, I'm told that the NYC publishing world more or less shuts down in August when everyone takes their vacations...so maybe the manuscripts have simply sat unread all last month. We'll see.

Also, no movement on my two novel manuscripts in a while either. We'll see how it goes.

Stories in Circulation: 12
Rejections: 57
Stories Accepted: SEVEN
Stories to Resubmit: 1

Novel Queries
Strange Attractors (urban fantasy): 4 queries out, 9 rejections
Repossessor (science fiction): 5 queries out, no responses


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sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
sinanju

December 2016

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