Monday, August 01, 2016

Hiatus Extension



I promised back in June that if I needed more time unplugged I'd let you know -- and I do. So I'm going to keep PBW on hiatus and take off the month of August as well. Everything is fine; I'm just super busy with work, negotiating contracts (I do that without an agent now), and recharging the creative batteries.

As always, I appreciate your patience. See you in September.

Friday, July 01, 2016

PBW on Hiatus



I need to take a break from the internet. Mostly for work, but also to give some thought to the future, make some decisions, and get my writing life where it needs to be. My creative batteries are also much in need of recharging, too. Since summer is my favorite season it's a good time for me to get away from the computer and enjoy it a little. Also helps me avoid that "Delete Your Blog" button that sometimes looks so very tempting even after twelve years of doing this.

As for the length of my hiatus, right now I'm thinking a month will work nicely. If I decide to extend it longer than that I'll post an update in August. Please don't worry about me, and thanks in advance for understanding. See you in a few weeks.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

PBW's Book of the Month

My pick for June's book of the month is Dreadnought And Shuttle by LJ Cohen, which continues her Halcyone Space series with more edgy adventure in the far future.

There is a lot to love about this novel, including a rescue mission that had me glued to the pages, but I think this installment also showed some particularly wonderful character development. Halcyone's young crew have had to do a lot of growing up as they cope with some hefty issues, and I'm beginning to see the adults they're going to be.

Ro is (slowly) getting her prickly anti-social kneejerk impulses under control, and Barre has finally found where he fits in without having to change who he is. Jem is still having brain problems, but there's some light at the end of the tunnel now. I also really loved Micah and his storyline, as I think he's one of the most intriguing guys in the series. Robert Frost would have said Micah has far to go before he sleeps. We're also introduced to a new character named Dev, who I hope will remain part of the series because she has some mad survival skills. Seriously, we need this gal on the ship, LJ.

I've loved this universe since I read the first book two years ago, and the sequel was just as cool. This is the kind of science fiction I grew up reading, with characters you felt were like real friends, who would take you through galactic playgrounds where anything might happen. It gives me hope, too, that someday maybe the color of our skin and the shape of our eyes or who we fall in love with won't be judged by the nimrods. I know, but hey, a girl can dream -- and that's what these books are filled with, too. It's what makes them such a pleasure to read.

I highly recommend Dreadnought and Shuttle by LJ Cohen as an excellent addition to anyone's SF shelves.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Off Again



I'm taking off today to get another project finished. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

No Sabotage Ten

Ten Ways Not to Sabotage Your Writing Time

Calm: The best mood to be in when you do any work is calm and focused, so get yourself to that state before you begin work. I do this daily with morning meditations, and I also have a mental ritual I do before every writing session to dispense with distracting feelings. Think of it as clocking in to your writing job.

Check Weather: If you live in an area like I do with unruly weather, check the daily forecast. I use Weather.com to look at the radar map and see if there's any time I might have to stop writing due to thunderstorms.

Clear Out the Cobwebs: If you're thinking about something else while you're writing, you're fighting a mental war on two fronts. End the battle by clearing your mind of everything except what serves your story. I do this by journaling, so I can get all those other, non-writing thoughts out of my head before I begin work.

Comfortable Outfit: I am amazed at all these writers who say they work in three-piece suits, full make-up, etc. If that works for you okay, but personally I work better when I'm dressed comfortably. My standard writing uniform is a large T-shirt, leggings, and soft socks. I put my hair up to keep it out of my face. Occasionally I wear some of my old scrubs, too.

Electronics Off: If you can't stay off your smart phone, shut it off and put it out of reach. Same goes for the television, stereo, e-book reader, video games and any other distracting electronic device. This is your work time; use only the computer on which you're writing (exception: if listening to music helps you write better, turn on the stereo -- but try to keep it low.) Also, stay off the internet.

Goal Set: Have a clear idea of your writing goal for the day. You can go with a wordcount or number of pages. Time also works -- such as committing to writing for two hours (and take breaks!)

Healthy Snack: Working while you're hungry can be distracting and make you cranky, so have a light, healthy snack. A banana or an apple always does the trick for me.

Hydrate: One of the healthy habits I've gotten into is drinking a glass of water before I start writing. There are two reasons for this -- it keeps me from wanting to make some hot tea while I write (making it is the distraction), and it forces me to get up and take a bathroom break after about an hour.

Physical Therapy: Limbering up before you sit down at the computer can make you feel better, increase blood flow and help your overall health. I do my stretches, which are simplified yoga moves, for a few minutes before I begin writing. I also do stretches on my writing breaks. For those of you who are in better shape, here's a ten minute workout for desk workers.

Save Everything: Before you start writing, back up your previous work on a memory stick or other autonomous spot. Also make a mental note to continue to save your work at the bottom of every new page you write. It's a good habit to get into, and if anything goes wrong during your writing session, you won't lose anything.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sub Op

Fuzzy Hedgehog Press has an open call here for their upcoming Beyond the Hedge Volume 2: Chimeras and Phantasms antho: "The theme of Beyond the Hedge Volume 2 is “Chimeras and Phantasms.” What is the difference between dream and delusion, and how does reality differ from either of those? Are our flights of imagination wondrous or sinister? Show us visions of the past that rock the present. Show us visions of the future that reshape our perception of the modern world. Show us that “reality” itself is suspect. Show us your imagination’s strangest chimeras and most mesmerizing phantasms.

Specific Guidelines:

SUBMISSIONS OPEN ON JULY 1, 2016. You may submit before this date, but we will not be reading submissions until July 1. Submissions will close on November 30, 2016 or when filled.
Follow all of the general guidelines above.
Submissions must be 1,500 to 10,000 words in length.
The overarching theme of your story should fit with the theme of the anthology described above.
Use the following format for the subject line of your email: “Beyond the Hedge Submission: [Title of Work] by [Full Author Name]”.
We do accept multiple submissions, but please no more than three submissions per author.
Submissions will be read in the order they are received."

Payment according to Ralan.com is "$20 +3 copies"; no reprints, electronic submissions only, see guidelines for more details.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Off to Write



I'm unplugging today to finish up a project for one of my clients, so there will be no Just Write today. See you tomorrow.