Archive | August 2010

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Discoveries: Fun & Semicolons Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Hyde has taken the computer hostage today.  She’s also been demanding chocolate and sugar. At this point, I’ve done about as much productive work as I can, and I’m just trying to stay out of her way. This is a fun (yes) and funny tutorial she found over at The Oatmeal about how to use […]

Half of My Face Is Numb

Half of my face is numb. Wouldn’t that be a great opening sentence for a story? Well, some story besides the real one. The real one is rather mundane and involves me, a dentist’s chair and about an hour’s worth of dental work. But what if that wasn’t the tale? Okay. Why, yes, yes I […]

Weekend Assignment: I Was Drunk the Day E.T. Left Alpha Centauri

Over at Strange Horizons the editors have compiled a list of spec fic stories they’ve seen one time too many. As I was reading through them, I was reminded  of the David Allen Coe song You Never Even Called Me by My Name. In particular, I’d call your attention to the spoken part of the […]

The Mad Scientist’s Method for Writing a Fully Developed Magazine Query

When I first started writing, way back in the dark ages, I devoured a lot of articles about query writing. I was on a quest for the magic formula that would convert lead (queries) into gold (assignments). It was less alchemy and more mad science than I’d care to admit. Eventually, the test tubes stopped […]

Submit, Submit, Submit (ep. 4)

It’s that time again. Time for a few more links to contributor’s guidelines that I’ve amassed in my recent marketing quest. Posting them here serves two purposes.  One, I know where they are if I need them again.  And two, it lets me share them with you. Maybe you’ll find something useful. If this batch […]

Seven Reasons You Need Writing Homies

Weekend Assignment: Six Sentences

Words, words, words. This weekend’s assignment falls into the fun & games category and is guaranteed to make you think about your word choices. The challenge: write a paragraph of instructions using six sentences.  Sounds easy, right?  Not so fast. No words in your composition can be repeated. Contractions and their spelled out counterparts (frex: […]

Voices from Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams is one of my favorite movies. I’ve seen it so many times I can quote most of it from memory. I can also quote One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish on command. I’m great fun at parties. In the movie, the main character is plagued by a whispery voice making […]

Feast or Famine

I often tell people that being a freelancer means always looking for a job, but never actually holding one. You snag one assignment, meet the deadline, collect the paycheck and, if you are smart, sometime during the process start hunting the next gig. I typically have too many projects at once, or am in such […]

Weekend Assignment: Magic Eye

A long time ago, my brother (Hi, Tony!) introduced me to a fad called Magic Eye Pictures. They were fascinating 3D pictures printed in a 2D format. The trick was learning to focus your eyes in such a way that the three dimensional image hidden in the pattern emerged for you to see. The same […]