Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Few Updates

Well, the first full week of classes with students is over, and oddly I don't feel so wiped out. I even got a little work done in the yard today. On top of that, I revised and submitted a speculative fiction piece today that's been sitting in a file for nearly three years, I think.

If you haven't already, please donate a little to get Things We Are Not off the ground. Here's the link again: http://mbranesf3.blogspot.com/2009/08/sponsorship-drive-still-needs-105.html

Despite the fact that I'm not too swamped with anything, I'm still not working, because there's a Saints game on, and I have to watch most of it. I know half time is over now and I'm off to see the Saints finish beating Oakland. Cheers!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Two Submissions Out This Week

Despite heading back to work, complete with students, this week, I managed to send out two stories. If one of them -- a flash paranormal piece -- doesn't get picked up, I'll post it on my Web site or blog.

Speaking of which, you should head on over to www.cbcalsing.com and check out my new site. I had been using Web Site Tonight, which gave me a free five-page site with my domain name, but I started using Yolasite.com instead, and I'm really impressed with how much better the interface and templates are, as well as how great the site looks compared to my old one.

Monday, August 17, 2009

"This Neighborhood"

My flash-fiction piece, "This Neighborhood," will be appearing in the fall edition of Flashquake. It goes live September 1.

I wrote this story one night after a similar incident at the neighborhood bar where I hang out. A girl, right in view of the security camera trained on the front door, had her purse stolen. People in the bar went after the perpetrator, but he was not caught. I wondered what would have happened if they had found him. That evening, the cops were called and a report filed, but I imagine nothing came of it in the long run. The New Orleans police are...difficult to work with at times, and things like purse snatching often fall by the wayside.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Another Slow Week

I started back to work this week. Summer coming to an end is always difficult, and now writing is on hold. I'm basically sitting around to hear on about thirteen stories that are still out on submission. I got two no-thanks this week, which definitely made the days pass more slowly. One was the third rejection on the same story. I guess I might be relying on a few old tropes to make it work, but I thought the ending worked. The other was a flash piece that I can definitely rewrite to submit to some other flash contest. The editors gave me some good comments with their rejection.

I have started planning for NaNoWriMo. I think I said I wasn't interested in writing novels, but this seems like a fun contest. I've recruited a few people into a support group of sorts. I know the outline and have started research, and I have plenty of time left to plan. I'm hoping I can actually pull it off.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Donate to help "Things We Are Not" get off the ground

My story "Seeker" will be in the upcoming anthology Things We Are Not. The editor/ publisher is taking donations to help with publication. If you feel like being a benefactor to some great writers, please donate here.

I go back to my full-time teaching job on Monday, so the writing will be a little slow. I intend to start researching and outlining for my novel which I'll write during the National Novel Writing Month in November. Normally, I stick to the short stories, but I had a good idea, there might be a market for it, and it's a contest with yourself to try to write 50,000 words in thirty days. Sounds like fun to me.

Other than that, this weekend I'll finish a space pirate story to send off to another anthology. That's my goal for tomorrow, along with taking some pictures for the Web Site to promote TWAN.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dream last night

I had this bizarre dream right before the alarm went off that I'd thought I'd share here before I turn it into a story.

I was one of the dog people -- like Jojo, with hypertichosis -- in the Barnum and Bailey sideshow; this was back during the great train days. Barnum had decided that I'd lived past my prime and the best thing to do was to put me down, and of couse sell tickets. I kept trying to explain that I was a person, not a dog, but he said the audience wants a show, so they're going to get it. Finally, I told him, "Listen, I'm only fifty-six in dog years. Why not kill me when I'm seventy-seven?" He thought about and decided that was okay. I could live three more people years. But what were we going to do about the crowd that had gathered? Then the alarm went off.

No stealing my idea now. I'm going to used this, okay?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"Da Hessians" is up

Here is a direct link from The Copperfield Review to my voice, flash-fiction piece "Da Hessians."

Other than that, not a lot writing-wise went on this week. I finished an editing job instead and another big project that had been sitting around for too long.