While my arm continues to heal and I continue to type very poorly, I thought I’d share a treat.
The results of the Dark Crystal AuthorQuest contest were released last week. Judges picked five finalists and twenty-five editors’ picks from a pool of 500 submissions.
My submission, Outcasts of the Dark Crystal . . . wasn’t picked.
On hiatus. I’m currently recovering from arm surgery, so I won’t be around as much as I had hoped. I’ll post updates as things progress.
I write this from a large, one-bedroom apartment in Tampa. After weeks of packing boxes, reserving moving equipment, enlisting friends, and worrying a path in my floor, I finished my move.
Periods of transition are ripe for flights of fancy, from my experience. I think that’s what attracts me to writing: I love pretending to be something else. This time, it was a fantasy of moving abroad to teach English, something many of my friends have done.
I’ll be scarce around here for a month or so as I move into a new apartment. I’ve detested moving ever since childhood, when my family once moved three times in a single year, and I’m not looking forward to the act itself. However, my new digs are closer to work, giving me more spare time for writing and other geeky activities.
In the meantime, I’ll be writing a draft of a middle grade story I’ve toyed around with for a couple years, along with weeks of packing and paperwork.
While I’m gone, have a look at my WattPad page. Right now it’s an island of misfit stories — pieces I couldn’t place anywhere, or were too niche to find a good market for. Uncle Jim at Viable Paradise says to submit things until hell won’t have them, but I like to think of this as purgatory, where good stories that fall short can make penance until they’re printed in an author’s story anthology years later.
See you in a few weeks!
This year saw me at my most uncomfortable.
One of my worst tendencies as a writer is to rely too much on simple and weak vocabulary. Often I’ll address this in later drafts, when the emphasis is on improving the language moreso than the plot. One of the best ways to see your own usage patterns is to use a word cloud service to visualize often-repeated words.
I’ve been mostly silent for the past month or so. Part of this was my trip to Japan, having been too busy to update. Part of this is due to some work issues (I work for a government contractor, and the shutdown messed up our entire project schedule this year.)
However, mostly it’s because I’m working on some project I won’t discuss.
The bamboo grove in Arashiyama, near Kyoto
I woke up a little past midnight this morning. Since arriving from Japan a few days ago, the time difference hasn’t been kind on my working habits. I’ve woken up at 3 or 4 AM, read blogs and written, and showered before dawn has even started.
I’ve thought about how to write a post-trip update. I don’t care for travelogues; my friends write them often after their own vacations, but it’s too dry a format for me. I prefer impressions, but too much happened in two weeks to summarize nicely.
I’ve had some frustrations since my return. Besides my flip-flopped sleeping habits, the weather here is much warmer and more humid, the land flatter, the buildings shorter, the people
inhospitable impolite. Getting around is comparatively more difficult. On the other hand, understanding what everyone says, and being able to read every street sign or piece of literature, is some compensation.
No, I won’t be writing a 4,000-word travelogue, or a week-long series of essays about things I learned on the trip (although I considered that!). Instead, here’s one thing I decided, with what I encountered or learned that led me to this.
I’ll be sporadically out of touch for the next couple weeks, as I spend time exploring a beautiful and complex country. Oh, and riding many, many trains.
This is my first time overseas, but not the first time for members of my family. I never had an opportunity to go when I was younger, as the programs offered by my high school were too expensive, and I didn’t qualify for those at my last college. I spent a very long time saving money for this kind of trip, as well as the past twelve months planning and paying for it. Suffice it to say: it’s been a long time coming.
Expect a post or twenty about my journeys when I get back.
Is it justified to complain about simple plots anymore?
I’m referring to criticism leveled at, most recently, Pacific Rim and Gravity. In years past, film such as Lost in Translation were argued to have thin or even no plot at all.