Writing Update: March 2017

I just finished the first draft of my latest story, An Eye for Eligos. A dark musket and magic tale set during the American Revolution, where I attempted to channel the darker aspects of Howard’s writing. Violence, black magic, sinister monstrosities, all of the pulpy stuff I enjoy.

I did a quick editing pass, then read it to my wife. She usually mercilessly tears my stuff apart so her input is priceless. She liked it but pointed out that it was darker, a whole lot darker,  than my usual stuff.

Tomorrow I’m going to run a few more in-depth passes, let it sit, then send it to WotF. The contest right now is a bit of a placeholder, I don’t particularly feel that this piece will place, mostly due to its horror vibe and the higher level of violence. But that’s ok because I wrote it for my planned story collection that will have a dark sorcerous pulp theme.

I also intended to knock out something for the Baen contest but I don’t think I will make the deadline. I might dig through my digital closet and pull out some old story, spiff it up real quick, and hope it magically impresses.

This weekend I will begin on something for the 21st Action Pulp anthology I posted earlier. Something about Mexico, tequila, cartels, Santa Muerte, and mustaches.  When that’s done I’m planning on moving on to space babes, sentient techno-bears, and space mutants, something I believe will be sent to Cirsova if it opens up.

In between all of this I will try to squeeze in some blog posts. I devoured a bunch of Leiber, read Vance’s Lyonesse, and have Cirsova 5 loaded on my Kindle. Posts need to be written and discussions need to be started

An anthology I will be submitting to.

We are looking for 21st Century Pulp Revival stories. Who’s we? Well, there’s me, Rawle Nyanzi, Kevyn Winkless, and Sky Hernstrom. There is also a good chance that, once complete, the anthology will be published by Superversive Press. Right now payment details haven’t been worked out, but I’ll be honest, this collection is not likely […]

via 21st Century Wonder Stories: Call For Submissions — mishaburnett

Retrowave Writing Listening

The retro synthwave scene makes for great writing music. Everything might end up a bit cyberpunk, but yeah. Hours of this keeps me writing fast and furious, like a replicant on a murder rampage.

A Good Day

toryshighball.jpgI woke up this morning, checked my phone, and was greeted with a fresh rejection email. Not a big deal, rejections are part of the game. But this one was cool, it was a detailed, personal one. Something about getting a more in-depth reply makes the experience a bit more pleasant and motivates me to continue messing around with the submission game.

But the highlight of my day came while I was at work. My favorite story got accepted. Not only that, but it got accepted exactly where I wanted it to go. The market I sent it to matches the style of my writing and the story is a perfect fit. I look forward to sharing more details when everything is finalized.

Cheers!

Pathetic Lawnscaping Project

It seems that talking about lawns, yards, and grass is a popular topic discussed by writers on the blogosphere. Being a self-described writer I figured I should get in on the lawnscaping discussion, or else not be taken seriously.

I grew up in apartments and condominiums so I never had a backyard. Never had a lawn to mow or any of that cool suburban stuff. As a matter of fact, I have never lived in a house in the United States.

My current residence is my first ever house. Of course being a Japanese house it’s a bit different than you typical American domicile. But I finally have a yard. Well, sort of, I have a strip of weed infested dirt that I have no idea what to do with.

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My majestic yard, envy me.

 

Today I decided to actually get proactive on the whole yard maintenance thing. Mostly because I was embarrassed by the jungle of weeds covering the whole thing. In some places, it was several feet tall and unknown species of mammals lived underneath the lush canopy. I’m pretty sure the neighbors loved it. (I messed up and didn’t think about taking pictures before I murdered the weeds)

So after a bit of weed whacking, dirt scraping, and raking, the dirt strip looks presentable. I need to do some reading and figure out if I can spray some weed killer to get rid of the rest of them. But, my main goal is to make this area a presentable spot to read and relax. I need to do some self-teaching on the whole thing but my goal is to maybe drop some rocks on the ground, put up a nice outdoor table, and two chairs.

Then I can sit, drink tea, and be completely paranoid about poisonous centipedes crawling up my legs.

Writing Goals

The last couple of weeks I have been writing on and off, working my way through some short stories. I have two pieces out for submission right now that I am excited about and hope to get back this week. Most importantly my writing and my outlook on short fiction are revitalized. I am 100% into the pulp revolution and digging deep into old Fantasy fiction. The community inspired by Jeffro’s Appendix N, the discussions, the debates, and the reading recommendations, is hands down some of the best writing inspiration I have ever come across. I’m excited to take all this inspiration and put it down on paper, bringing my own ideas and concepts to the table.

Mura

My spirit animal. 

 

Right now I’m aiming for some fast and heavy writing. My short term goal is to submit to Writers of the Future and The Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. Both contests have an April 1st deadline. That means I need to sit down and knock out up to 25,000 words in the next two weeks. An achievable goal, but one that will be tough with my work schedule.

My mid-term goal, one that I want to accomplish by the end of the year is the indy release of a short story collection. I want to put out a 40,000 to 60,000-word collection, of my pulpiest fantasy stories. I want to do it indy and punk rock garage band style. I’m already putting together some outlines, picking my favorite topics, and coming up with some crazy crap. The pulp rev guys have inspired me, especially reading Hernstrom’s Thune’s Vison. A badass, indy published collection of fantastic stories.

I plan on having a productive spring and summer.

 

Support Indy Short Fiction

Eric over here just dropped the second short story in his Exiled Crown series. Good, independent, fiction, of the dark variety.

If you’re looking for a short Grimdark read on your lunch break, commute to work, or even if the grim darkness helps you sleep at night, Storm Witch is out today. It’s the second tale in my ongoing series The Exiled Crown. It can be read independently from Forsaken, but some of the elements from […]

via Storm Witch – Out Today — The Grimdark Review

My Favorite Fantasy Writer

robin-2Because it was Woman’s Day back home and everybody is posting their favorite books written by women, I felt like I should jump in and do the same. So here we go, Robin Hobb. She isn’t my favorite woman writer of fantasy, she’s actually my FAVORITE living writer of fantasy. I consider The Farseer Trilogy and the series that followed the best fantasy written in the past three decades. Nothing comes close in my opinion.

The Farseer books are deep, dark, character-driven works of art. A dark world filled with pain and suffering but populated with characters that are good and against all odds pull through and embrace heroism. The second book in the series has, in my opinion, the greatest fantasy scene featuring a strong heroine; Queen Kettricken rallying the soldiers and reminding them that the Forged were once their family.

Oh yeah, and Nighteyes, the best human and wolf relationship in Fantasy.

Cave Farming Dwarves with Caverna: The Cave Farmers by Uwe Rosenberg

20170226_213235.jpgFinally in bed after a relaxing but a somewhat unique weekend. I went to work for one day on Friday, caught up on hundreds of emails, and figured out my schedule for the next couple of weeks. Then I spent the rest of the weekend housesitting our friend’s dog with my Judy. It was actually rather fun, laid back, and allowed us to lay off spending after our Taiwan vacation.

The coolest part was that my copy of Caverna: The Cave Farmers arrived way ahead of schedule, so we got to play it all weekend.

Playing a few games of Lords of Waterdeep the other week really got me itching for some worker placement type games. Judy really loves Waterdeep and I like the idea of non-confrontational play and have always wanted to try a true complex Eurogame. We played Dominant Species, which I somewhat liked but found a bit frustrating and tiring, so I wanted to try one with a more friendly vibe.

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My Dwarf Farm

Caverna was exactly what I wanted. A complex game with a great Fantasy theme, Dwarves need to come back IMHO, that is easy to learn but will take a long time for me to solve. Judy and I liked it so much we actually played four games this weekend and are sitting at a 2-2 record.  Neither of us has gotten close to breaking 100 points yet.

I’m raising sheep, milking cows, growing pumpkins, and wheat, meanwhile, Judy is out there mining rubies and stockpiling ore. It’s quite fun.

I definitely get why Uwe Rosenberg is considered one of the best game designers. Caverna is a fantastic game. It makes me want to try out more of his games.

In other news, I finished Lyonesse: Suldrun’s Garden a few days ago. I loved it. Now I’m reading through the first Fritz Leiber collection, excellent writing.