Friday, March 28, 2014

I Won!

This is going to be a short blog, but . . . I won!

A few months ago I mentioned Patrick Rothfuss was doing his annual Worldbuilder's Fundraiser—in which he raises money for Heifer International by selling "lottery tickets," with which you can win signed books and games.

I won some games! This is the first time in three years of donating to the fundraiser that I've won something, and I'm pumped! Also, I used to work at a board game store, so even though signed books sound cool, I thought it was fitting that I won some games.

So far I've only punched out and put together the dice from Diceland Ogre. It seems like an interesting game. You toss large octahedron dice onto a table. Depending on how they land you maneuver your army.


In other news, I heard back from Shimmer, and they didn't take my short story I mentioned in my last blog post, but they did give some valuable feedback!

Happy writing!

(I feel like I used a few too many exclamation points in this blog post.)


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Short Story Tracker

I'm feeling that satisfied sense of accomplishment right now.

From having a story published, you ask?

Ha! No—from submitting a story to be published.

I just submitted a flash fiction story to Shimmer. Hopefully I'll get some good news. They're a premium short story destination, and I'd be tickled purple to see an acceptance email. But even if I don't get one, I've come to enjoy submitting to them because they tend to give valuable feedback with each story of mine they reject.

That doesn't happen very often when I submit stories. Most of the time, the rejection letters are succinct and simply inform me that the story is not going to be published. Since I mainly submit stories to premium sites, I don't expect much—they do receive a crap ton of stories. But still, it's nice when you hear why they didn't like your story.

Anywho, here's a small section of my short story tracker I use to remind myself of where I've submitted my stories. I know there are online tools that do this, but for some reason I enjoy making spreadsheets with excel.

I've been trying to get The Migraine Prophecies published the longest, as you can probably tell. The first story on the list, Winter's Sirens, was actually accepted for publication (an awesome feeling it was, getting that email), but the publisher went defunct before the story hit the presses. I was bummed by that, but when I initially found out the story had been picked up, I was inspired to pump out the rest of my novel (which I'm still working on, don't worry). So that's a plus.

Well, that's all I've got for now. Here's yet another random photo.

(Me preparing a snow trench during a recent winter backpacking trip)

Here's another one!

(No tent necessary!)

Happy writing!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Some Writing Help From Sanderson

I've been meaning to start The Way of Kings for a while, the first of the scheduled 10 part epic fantasy by Brandon Sanderson. Recently I picked up a paperback copy that's about as thick as a Gutenburg Bible (though not as expensive). While I haven't started the book yet, I did check out Sanderson's website, and I found some useful writing resources. 

If you go to this link, you can find other links to lectures that he's given at BYU university. Each episode is about an hour and ten minutes long. I've watched them all and I thoroughly enjoyed them. 

I don't know Sanderson on a first name basis or anything, but from the videos, I'd have to say he seems like a great guy who is genuinely excited about seeing success in us authors who are clawing for daylight! 

My favorite videos are the ones where he discusses his plotting method—an interesting thing to know considering he is a ridiculously prolific writer. I also appreciate how he never says, "You have to do it this way, or suck!" I kinda got that feeling from On Writing, by Stephen King (although I loved that book, too), and it's just nice to see someone who unbiasedly goes through the pros and cons of discovery vs. plotting writing. 

This was probably my favorite video of the six that are available so far...

Like I said, the videos are his lectures from a class he teaches at BYU, so some of the videos (especially the first one), have a decent amount of info for students that won't apply to the lay watcher. 

But, aside from that, the videos are quite helpful!  Let's all say it together...Thanks Brandon Sanderson!

Finally, here's a picture I took of a piece of ice on Lake Superior that looks like George Washington. 

Happy writing,


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Squirrel Assassin

During the month of February I wrote my wife a story. Her birthday is March 3rd, and I was glad to have finished her gift on time. 

My wife and I have been married for just under five years. We started dating in high school. While in high school, I made her a strange movie in which I tracked down and killed a squirrel that had stolen her birthday. I gave it to her when she turned 18, and she still liked me, so I knew she would be able to handle my zaniness. 

Flash forward to 2014—I wanted to give her something unique and creative, and so I wrote a short story that is a sequel to the movie. And then, for fun, I published the book on CreateSpace. And so I gave her a legit book for her bday! This also means the book is available for anyone to purchase. It's a pretty funny story, so give it a gander! Click here for a link.

Here's the cover. Click it to big it. And if you're confused, this is the layout shot, so the left half is the back cover, and the right half is the front cover. 

That's all I've got for now. Currently I'm just working on some stories as well as submitting old ones for publication!

Happy writing,