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Anything for a Weird Life

Mar. 24th, 2016

02:37 am - Quick poll:

Are you still reading Livejournal?

Yes
7(100.0%)

Jul. 11th, 2010

04:16 pm - Flash Fiction contest

Escape Pod is having a flash fiction contest right now - 500 word SF stories. I entered two, the first time I've ever submitted a story for possible publication*. I think they're both pretty good, but there are 156 stories in the contest, many from pro authors, so I doubt mine will come in the top 3. Still, I'm pretty keyed up about it, both for how well they do and the resulting feedback. I've always had some ambition to be a writer, but man were my skills rusty. A 500 word challenge was just the sort of thing to help me refine them a bit.

The stories are being publicly voted on, you see, by anyone at the Escape Artists forum. You need to sign up for an account before you can see the stories, so that they remain "unpublished". I'm not going to post them here until after the contest at least. But if you want to, you can sign up on the forums and read them there. Of course, they're all anonymous, so you probably won't recognize which two are mine. But who knows, you might end up voting for them anyway.

The stories are being put out in small groups, with the top vote getters advancing on to the next round. Groups are put up every other day, and I always look nervously to see if one of mine is in each new group. The contest will last over a month, though most stories won't last nearly so long. But who knows, maybe maybe they'll get published on the podcast. Or at least I'll get some good feedback on my writing.


*Yes, I've been published in Analog magazine for the Coalition to Ban DHMO page, but that was neither fiction nor was it submitted - they came to me and asked if they could publish it.

May. 24th, 2010

03:22 pm - om nom nom

Cookie Dough:

One step in a process
9(33.3%)
And end unto itself
18(66.7%)

Apr. 29th, 2010

01:30 pm - The Slush Pile

So I've been asked to be a volunteer slush pile reader for Escape Pod, the science fiction short story podcast I listen to. The podcast is taking a break while new folks take over, and the submissions pile has apparently gotten a bit large.

My job is to read the stories, and give a thumbs up to the ones that are publishable, even if I don't like them personally. I've read through 10 stories so far, and usually that line is pretty clear-cut. Some of the bad stuff is pretty amusing, actually. They want me to give a brief sentence or two on why I gave the story a yes or no - and here they are sans context of story names or authors:

Yes.
Well written, certainly publishable. I found the ending a bit weak, but the setup was good and creepy.

No.
Not really horrible, but pretty amateur hour. Sort of neat idea, sometimes painful writing.

No.
Just no.

Not for Escape Pod.
This is probably a publishable quality story, but it's not science fiction, it's fantasy. Podcastle might consider it, though I personally think it needs some polish.

Yes.
Pretty funny stuff, worth considering.

No.
Well, there's a reason they call 'em slush piles. Ug. Not sure if this was trying to be a parody or homage to 50's SF, or if it's just bad. Well, either way it's bad.

Yes.
Certainly publishable quality. Personally I think Escape Pod has run too many robot stories, but I like this one better than most!

Yes.
Pretty good writing quality, the world building is pretty heavy handed though. The ending redeems that somewhat however.

No.
Not horridly written, but extremely pointless.

Yes.
Somewhat disturbing while being funny, this would go great on Drabblecast.
The writing is a tad awkward in places, but still.


50/50 is probably pretty good for a slush pile, actually.

Jan. 3rd, 2010

08:58 pm - By far the best statement I've read on the internet this year:

"My prediction is that in another ten years we will look back on this decade with 2020 hindsight."

Oct. 22nd, 2009

04:31 pm - Steamcon (or maybe not)

gcuvier is coming up this weekend, and our plan is to attend Steamcon. Though it looks like admissions may well be sold out before we can get there, so who knows if we'll actually be hanging out with the Steampunk crowd or not.

But if you're going I look forward to seeing you, or sorry for missing you, whichever ends up applying.

It should be a fun weekend either way, however.

Oct. 13th, 2009

07:17 pm - For those who know anything about them

What's the best way to go about purchasing a generator?

I'm not really that informed on the subject, but it seems like a good idea to pursue...

Sep. 24th, 2009

11:29 am - Paint

Where should one go to get, say, a nice white outdoor paint suitable for fences?

Sep. 15th, 2009

09:10 am - Finally saw playing snow leopard cubs!

Went to the zoo on Sunday after dropping gcuvier off at the train station. I went straight to the Snow Leopard exhibit, to see two cute but napping cubs, with Mom watching from the other side of the enclosure. I camped out and waited for them to finish their nap. Half an hour later I was rewarded with romping and playing kittens. Mostly they stayed over to the far side, where I could see but couldn't really get good pictures. The little boy did come out to play with mom several times though, as evidenced by these videos:

I'd recommend full screen and HD for full pouncing experience.


This video is longer and not as exciting... but still: Baby Snow Leopard!

Aug. 23rd, 2009

10:35 pm - Sooj Firedancing video

s00j (and others) gave fire dancing performances after the LizAID concert. They said we could record 'em so long as they were put on teh intarwebs... so as promised, here's Sooj spinning poi to Cake's cover of "Mahna Mahna"(!)

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