Sunday, March 21, 2010

End of Winter Round-Up

Well, spring came in yesterday. It was a lovely day, but today -- Sunday -- it's cold again. With wind chill, it feels like it's in the thirties. So the heater is on, and I'm wearing several layers of polar fleece.

So let's have a review of what happened this winter. I had several things published. If you never picked up a copy of The Heavy Metal Horror Anthology, that's okay. Go ahead and pick up a copy now.

Of course, An Honest Lie Volume One: Encouraging the Delinquency of Your Inner Child is still out there as well -- and don't you want your copy of that before the next edition comes out? After all, your going to want a complete set of my stories!

Two weeks ago, I attended the EPIC convention here in New Orleans. It was a great opportunity to network and find some new outlets for my work. It really seems like the ebook industry is taking off. On one hand, I can't wait to see what's going to happen as the iPad, Nook, and Kindle are more widely used. On the other, the ebook industry has been more open to the avant-garde and the beginning writer. As demand grows, I'm afraid the industry is going to shift to resembling what more traditional publishers accept in regards to quality, content, etc. Of course, one thing will prevent that: overhead. It is so much cheaper to publish an ebook that there will always be new markets, experimental markets, and publishers willing to take risk on a new or interesting writer. Hopefully, epubs will always keep in mind why they went into the business.

Finally, this winter I started a new job -- my fourth: teaching, editing, writing and this. Now, I'm teaching workshops to teachers on how to teach writing. My first gig was at a small Catholic school. Out of the ten teachers I instructed, two seemed totally into the workshop. The rest spent the time texting, chatting with each other, or glaring at me. I can sort of appreciate where they are coming from; I've sat through in-services and workshops where the presenter talked about completely irrelevant grade levels or applications... I hope I learned from those. I kept coming up with grade-level-appropriate examples. I gave them time to talk and reflect and write. I asked for questions quite often. This is the hard part: I didn't have any fun, but it pays enough that I could possibly drop the full time teaching gig... We'll see how it goes as I polish my delivery and become more familiar with the prepackaged workshop I've been given.

So spring is here now... Hopefully it will warm up later this week. Two more months of teaching before summer, and then who knows?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

An Honest Lie Two!

I got word yesterday that my story, "Independence," will be included in An Honest Lie Two: Delusions of Insignificance. I am, of course, quite pleased since this will be the second story from my unpublished California collection, All Along the Pacific, to appear in print. Everyone knows that a collection with stories that have already seen publication has a better chance of getting taken. Of course, I have quite a bit of work to do on some of the other stories before they would be ready.

Currently, I'm working on a few science fiction stories. Also, I've got my NaNoWriMo novel -- I finished it, but it was only 26,000 words -- with another author. If we can bump it up to 50,000, I'm certain we can find a place to get it published. This is a historical YA novel written specifically for eighth graders in Louisiana, but I think it has a wider appeal.

Friday, March 5, 2010

First Day at EPIC!

I had a great first day at the EPIC convention in New Orleans. I've met a lot of industry people, got a great bag of goodies, and ate some awesome food. Particularly, the dessert at lunch was delicious: strawberry mouse dome over sponge cake, topped with berries, coulis, creme anglaise, and whipped cream. The gentleman working our table was a hoot, keeping all the ladies entertained and giving impeccable service.

After what I learned today, I could definitely see myself cutting the strings to the day job and working full time. It's a goal.