Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Banner Weekend

It's not precisely writing-related, but this past weekend (May 7th and 8th) was a particularly good one. First off, it was my birthday, so that's awesome right there, but even given that, some particularly great things happened, largely through the efforts of Amy, my loving, supportive and all-around awesome wife.

Besides, living as a writer also means getting out in the world and refilling one's creativity from all the cool stuff out there. So, enjoy with me!

New Ink!
Scorpion Ink

This is my first tattoo. I've been wanting one, and Amy and I have been talking about what to get me, for a few years now. This design is what I picked. By way of explanation: in some of India's lore, the scorpion is akin to the western Greek concept of Cupid and his arrows, stinging unexpectedly and to great romantic effect. The rings on the scorpion's sting are Amy's engagement-and-wedding ring set. And green is her favorite color. :-D

I'm very happy with how it looks above, fresh from the needle on Friday night. The tattoo is in the middle of its healing process right now, and thus looking pretty rough as it scabs and peels. I'll post another picture when it's healed to its final form!

New Car!
Altima the Second
I posted back in 2007 about a scary accident I had, and then about the cheapie car Amy and I bought to keep me mobile. Well, Gladys the Mercury Mystique is about aged out (especially being a rebadged late-90's Ford), and after much planning and some very good fortune, we've been blessed with Chip, the Reborn 2003 Altima! ("Blue Chip," get it?) It's a much nicer and safer car, runs much better, is several years newer, and was originally built more solidly. It should last for years to come, barring any misadventures of 2007's ilk. It was delivered Sunday night, two days ahead of schedule.

Local Winery
Amy and I found a great local winery near our house in rural Alabama, and had a delightful brunch there. It may well become a haunt!

Finally, brainstorming continues apace on the next short story. I'm thinking it'll be a 19th-century alternate history in which the Germ Theory of Disease achieves ascendancy 50 to 75 years earlier. Lots to figure out, and lots of research yet to do. More updates soon!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Darwin Colossus Submitted to Beta Readers!

Hey everyone! Been a little while since my last post, but work has continued. I sent the story out to beta readers early (so very early) the morning of May 1st, and I wait with bated breath for their comments and replies.

Magic City Writers Group
Last night the group had its third-anniversary meeting, though I've only been a member for five months or so. I received a nice hand-painted mug with a writing quote I chose, and we did some more critiquing. A chapter from the group organizer's epic fantasy work was on the block last night, and it made for an involved and interesting evening.

I'm up next week, which means...

New Project
I'm actively brainstorming ideas for my next story. I kind of liked working bustles-and-waistcoats, so I'm leaning toward a "true" alt-history steampunk, maybe having to do with Pasteur, the Germ Theory of Disease and canned foods becoming available to the populace at large. Yeah, glamorous, I know. Might crash it into a story about 19th-century temperance movements, the fact that breweries were one of the big beneficiaries of Pasteur's attentions, and/or Phylloxera's savaging of the wine industry and absinthe's resulting spike in popularity. Dunno--maybe it needs some airships; perhaps a power struggle and revenge plot. Still brainstorming.

I'll need at least a decent first draft by Friday, May 13th to give the group time to do its critique reading, so if there's just no way to get it done by then I have the beta-reader revision of Darwin Colossus I can submit, which is significantly polished from when the group last saw it.