“Creativity is a continual surprise.”
Ray Bradbury

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Another One Bites The Dust, Redux
Tue 2006-12-05 10:10:00 (single post)
  • 5,000 words (if poetry, lines) long

I have got to think up new titles for blog posts that simply say "X will not be published in Y." Most of them start with "Another." In any case, Aberrant Dreams will not be publishing "Heroes To Believe In." I know this 'cause I got another rejection slip. Writers get those. I must be a writer or something. Onward!

Because I am not bitter
Thu 2006-07-13 15:06:19 (single post)
  • 5,000 words (if poetry, lines) long

Well, I'm not. I know people sometimes say "Not that I'm bitter or anything" in a sarcastic sort of way to imply that yes, they are bitter, very bitter indeed, and they'll hope you realize that and sympathize with them, but me, I'm not.

No, really!

Anyway, Twenty Epics is out. And you should buy it. And so, in fact, should I.

The anthology's submission guidelines proposed the riddle, "How can a work of short fiction be 'epic'?" You might remember that I submitted a story to this anthology, but I don't think I ever blogged about the rejection letter. Said letter made me very happy with its handwritten note complimenting my writing while lamenting the story just wasn't quite epic enough. Having failed to answer the riddle myself, I am very curious to read the riddle's various solutions.

It's so very difficult to be bitter when there are 20 new stories to be read, all of them guaranteed epic!

(Meanwhile, this is not the "more later with writing" post I promised. But I am home, and the Dell Inspiron E1505 is with me, and I am using it, and it rocks.)

Sallying Forth Once Again
Tue 2006-06-06 17:29:28 (single post)
  • 5,000 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 2,764 words (if poetry, lines) long

It's probably getting boring to hear it, but I've sent "Turbulence" and "Heroes" back out again into the slush. Hurrah! I am being a Writer, yes I am.

Although I don't usually like to say which markets I'm trying until I get an answer back, yea or nay, I will mention that my first choice for "Turbulence" turned out to be a non-starter. DNA Publications's Fantastic Stories of the Imagination has apparently not been heard from in some time. Andrew Burt's The Black Hole has no data on them later than 2004. (Absolute Magnitude, on the other hand, has quite a rew recent rejections logged, but I suspect that market likes its science fiction somewhat "harder" than this story delivers. So I have sent it elsewhere.)

So there that is. In other me-write-fiction news, tomorrow is the beginning of a couple of critique periods for me. I've got the first two chapters of The Golden Bridle to be released to Critters.org, and the short story "The Impact of Snowflakes" entering the Newbie Queue at Critique Circle. If you're a member of either, I sure wouldn't mind the feedback. If you're not, but you want to read and comment on these pieces, it takes no time at all to sign up at these sites and dive into the queues.

And then on the work-for-hire side of my life, I have a June 19 deadline, so if I seem to get a little freaky between now and then, don't worry, that's just my standard operating procedure.

And for those who haven't noticed, the AbsoluteWrite.com Water Cooler (i.e. big huge honkin' 7000+ member forum) is up and functional again without a jot of lost data. All hard feelings against those involved in its time down should be sublimated into posting the 20 Worst Agents list far and wide, with the proper preamble attached and donating generously to AbsoluteWrite.com to help pay its bills and fund the legal proceedings. (The post at Jenna's blog is dated, but the PayPal button still works.) No mention of the persons involved in the ISP Which Cannot Be Named, we are told, will be tolerated at the Cooler. It's called "taking the high road," and it grates harshly upon still stinging nerves, and it's the best thing to do. So do.

Wrapping Up A Few More Ventures
Fri 2006-05-19 09:07:37 (single post)
  • 1,900 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 6,708 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 5,000 words (if poetry, lines) long

Heyo. Long week of recovering from after-travel. This happens. You'd think there's nothing to do on a train but relax, y'know, sleep and eat and knit and read and sleep some more? But maybe I suppose the train is stressier than it looks: what stop are we at? how long do we stop there? is there wi-fi nearby? how long until Denver? how far behind schedule are we now? is it dinner-time yet? Sort of a low-grade undercurrent of time awareness and schedule anxiety that makes real relaxation an impossibility. Possibly. In any case, on my first day back home I didn't manage to do anything more than lump.

Got a bit more news about stuff. Fantasy Magazine will not be publishing "Heroes To Believe In", for one thing. Sadness. On the other hand, I got good news from Borderlands Press, regarding my submission of "The Impact of Snowflakes"; I will be attending their "boot camp." Interestingly, one of the instructors who'll be there that weekend was in fact on the judges panel at the Flash Fiction contest: F. Paul Wilson. I am, shamefully, unfamiliar with his writing, which is why I didn't think to mention him in my big "Squeeee!" post, but I aim to rectify that matter shortly.

So I have plane tickets to buy, and I need to submit the story I actually want workshopped. I'll be sending them "Putting Down Roots" after digging up my husband's thoughtful comments on it for a brief rewrite. I haven't looked at that story in almost 4 years now; I need to make sure it isn't embarrassing. (Embarrassing from a craft point of view, OK, it's already embarrassing from the "OMG there's sex in it!" point of view, and I just need to get over that.) I also need to bring it down to under 5,000 words for the purposes of the workshop guidelines. If I can't, well, I guess they'll be critiquing "Heroes" instead.

And that's all I know for now. Lots of work to do over the weekend. Look for revisions to the stories mentioned above, further work on The Golden Bridle so that the next two chapters can be ready for review after the first two get crittered, and the completion and presentation of Tree's Graduation Socks. Busy busy busy! No lumping allowed! Busy-busy!

On Kicking Other Manuscripts Off The Couch, The Lazy Bums
Thu 2006-04-13 23:05:43 (single post)
  • 5,000 words (if poetry, lines) long

Aaaaaand another one goes back out into the world.

Have I ever linked to The Black Hole? Black Hole good. It's a database of paying F/SH/H markets and their minimum/maximum/average submission response times. It also contains relatively up-to-date guideline and masthead information. It's toothsome, low-fat, and high in fiber. Go nibble on it yourself.

Now. Now I have so badly got to write a synopsis for Drowning Boy. More later. Probably after sunrise.

Tue 2005-03-15 21:10:41 (single post)
  • 5,000 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 52,853 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 18.50 hrs. revised

(If I keep this up, I'll have blogs with titles taken from the entire songlist off My Favorite Headache.)

Didn't get anything done on the novel yesterday, and only an hour today. But! I managed to finish and submit that short story I've been working on. It will reach the slush pile for which it is destined with a postmark of today or tomorrow, putting it well under the March 21st deadline.

Note to self: March deadlines are hell on NaNoEdMo goals.

So, today being the 15th, I ought to be halfway through my 50 hours. To wit, 25. /me glances up at current hour count--hey, that reminds me, there's supposed to be an IRC channel for NaNoEdMo participants... Anyway, I need to start clocking some 3-hour days until I'm back on track.

I'm trying to figure out why I didn't get more done today. Chalk it up to the seduction of accomplishment, I guess. I handed my precisely postaged envelope to the mail carrier (who was kind enough to get my building's mailbox cluster, which was jammed, unstuck), and went back inside feeling mighty fine. "I've done it!" I said. "I sent my story out to meet the world! I have done what a writer should! ...I get to slack off now!"

Well, yes, true, but for the rest of the damn day? That was noon, and I didn't touch my novel until 8:15 PM.

Some people manage to do this for a good 6-8 hours a day. Hell, I used to go to work and sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day. Why can't I seem to do that with writing? Is it just the lack of a supervisor to reinforce my ALT-TAB instincts? I know it's not, as certain cynics would answer, that I'm not cut out to be a writer. When having completed an ambitious story that, upon rereading it, makes me say, "Damn, that's good," I get a euphoria like little else in the world. That's the universe, via my bones, telling me, "Yeah, that's what you're here for. You're right. That's what I want you to do with yourself." I only wish I didn't seem to have this hate/fear/reluctance reaction to the process.

Tomorrow I'll probably do my usual Wednesday thing: head down to Joe's Espresso (nee The Painted Bean) when the cafe opens at 6, clock a good 2 hours, and then goof off until it's time to go to my part-time job, where I will bang my head against the brick wall that is Microsoft Access until by sheer brute force I create the find-listeners-by-radio-serial-number search function that we need so badly. Then I'll come home and hopefully clock another 2 hours, rather than slack off with guilt breathing down my neck all evening. See, I don't really believe that guilt-ridden slacking off is somehow more enjoyable than guilt-free slacking off. Self-loathing is overrated.

I hereby give myself permission, once I have clocked a total of 4 hours on this novel tomorrow, to slack off with a squeaky clean conscience.

Ta-da! Magic!

Let the Mocking Emails Commence!
Mon 2005-03-07 06:24:44 (single post)
  • 45,008 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 48.25 hrs. revised
  • 5,000 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 52,888 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 7.50 hrs. revised

Wow, nothing like a deadline shouted out to the four corners of the Internet to make me completely come to a standstill.

Well, either that, or it was attempting to get by on five hours of sleep a night. Wednesday morning I felt great; Thursday morning I felt great but I needed a nap in the afternoorn; and Friday morning I woke up with a sore throat. The problem with sick is, it may keep you home, but it keeps you from doing all the things you'd like to stay home from work to do. Dammit.

So I'm just wrapping up Chapter 6 Mk II, which contains nowhere near as much original NaNoDraft material as I thought it would, but whose almost-but-not-quite sex scene is a whole lot less clumsy than it was first time around. Plus there's more assholey Russ goodness. You may send me mocking emails if you wish, but I'll have you know that Russ can mock your lights out. (I have this secret but unlikely hope that the real-life person upon whom Russ is modeled will someday read this book, recognize himself, and send me nasty letters about it. But then I have lots of little vengeance fantasies running around in my sick little head. Oh yes. Locked up in my head where it's safe.)

There shall be more over the course of the morning, and then in the afternoon I'll have to hit the other projects for a few hours. I took all weekend off from the official manuscript of NaNoEdMo 2005, the better to work on this puppy right here (for all the good that did me), which means I'm no longer ahead of schedule. And then there's this short story I want to put in the mail by the tenth. Excuses, excuses. Yes indeed.

Still not dead.
Wed 2005-02-09 17:26:20 (single post)
  • 5,000 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 47,962 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 30.25 hrs. revised

To all two or three of you who actually read this and might be wondering: No, I'm not dead, and the novel's not dead.

As to the blog, I'm trying to do a bit of rebuilding on it such that it accomodates other writing subjects besides those novels I've drafted as part of NaNoWriMo. I've been doing a bunch of work on short fiction these last few months, and I've also been hanging out in the AbsoluteWrite forums where the demise or the cleaning-up of PublishAmerica is being ardently hoped for. So many writing subjects to talk about! So many ways to organize blog entries! Plus I wanna try writing my own RSS feed, too.

And as to the novel, I confess to dragging my heels. But! I've written a Whole New Short Story! To submit here! Go me.

So. More later, as available. Kisses.