Lots going on, yet not much to report
 It's the nature of writing for a living that you're working daily and working on multiple projects in a week, and yet there's almost nothing to actually report. Once a work is submitted you have to wait between two and six months to hear back.

So, what do I have happening now?

- Waiting to hear about I, Demon from the publisher. They've been at a trade show for the last week, so it'll be a bit longer before I have some word.

- Submitting The Hidden Directive, a 3000 word short where an Artificial Sentient tries desperately to force an evolution in an Aritifical Intelligence to save a colony.

- Finishing up Court-Martial of the War God. This one will top out around 7000 I believe. It's about an accidental first contact mission where a marine ends up killing close to thirty xenos in their first meeting. This one needs a little bit of a re-work, but should be ready for submission this week.

- Working on Murder on the Galactic Express (silly working title). Besides needing a much better title, this one is about a string of deadly 'accidents' amongst the command crew of a colony ship while the colonists remain in stasis.

- Submitted my entry for the Viable Paradise writing workshop. The instructors at this are swinging some pretty serious literary pipe. It costs a fair amount of cash, but I think that plus the submission/acceptance process insures that everyone you meet is really quite serious about this kind of career.

So, as you can see, lots going on, not a lot actually happening. Yet!

/facepalm: Palin
The article in question refers to remarks made by David Letterman about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her daughters.

It is ancient wisdom that criticism is fed by attention. The Palins would have been far better served by not commenting on Mr. Letterman's quips, or, if they must comment, to say they didn't find it very humorous. If pressed, it's best to be honest and say that everyone has dirty laundry, and no one gets it aired more than a public figure. They don't have to like it, but they do have to deal with it.

Counterattacking a comedian, especially one with such a high profile, is like dancing on the crumbling precipice of the Grand Canyon. You impress only your friends, and then, only if they're stupid. Everyone else watches while munching popcorn. Being unable to ignore your critics means you're overly-sensitive at best and unnecessarily contentious at worst. Like everyone else, a comedian should be held accountable for their words, and you hurt them most by not paying attention.

The only reason I'm commenting on this affair has to do with the counter-statement to Mr. Letterman's offer to appear on his show. To quote the article: ""The Palins have no intention of providing a ratings boost for David Letterman by appearing on his show," said Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton. "Plus, it would be wise to keep Willow away from David Letterman.""

They do not realize that the 'boost' would simply be to see the trainwreck that is the fledgling Palin '12 candidate cross swords with a professional comedian. Picking your battles is the mark of a good leader. We have seen that maxim demonstrated perfectly here.

To the Publishers
I, Demon, Issue 1, Draft 1 got sent to the publishers yesterday, yet I dare not claim victory.

The whole thing will have to be examined and revised once or twice while the search for an artist goes on.  There is also the off-chance for rejection, but I believe that to be remote.

In truth this isn't really draft one. I wrote three drafts in total. The one I sent was fairly polished. I have no doubts the editors and publishers will also wish to leave their mark. I look forward to seeing the changes they propose.

However, that all takes some time. For now, it's on to Issue 2 for me. Issue 2 will remain in skeletal format until I see the sorts of alterations they wish for Issue 1. It could end up changing Issue 2, possibly in significant ways, and I always hate re-doing work. Ideally, we'd complete Issue 1 before Issue 2 received much of any work, but that's unrealistic.

Revision and Resubmission are the devilish details of writing.

Watson: The Needle.

Fair's fair. Holmes was a degenerate. Holmes was a jiujitsu master. Holmes was the most observant and analytical mind of his (fictional) day.

Yet, something about this makes me believe that I may very well require the needle to enjoy this film. I've been wrong before. I've also been right before.

Time will tell!

For the Prize!
The Heavy Words rewrite and editing is finally completed, thanks in no small part to John Bonnot and his horrifying attention to detail. It's like looking at a ball bearing and then looking at one under an electron microscope. What appears to be a flawless sphere is actually made up of huge peaks and deep valleys, far sharper than those on Earth (proportionally).

Now, the hunt for an agent begins. The previous sales to Reaper will help in no small part, as does the honorable mention from Blizzard. Here's hoping I'm persuasive enough to get a little attention. And here's hoping this MS is one that catches their eye.

 I'm very pleased to get a mention:


I knew I'd be up against some worthy opponents, so the mention is certainly gratifying.

Blizzard will eventually post the text of all the winning stories (at least), so watch here for the link. (Or, ya know, just watch Blizz. They *might* get more traffic than me ;-)

Again with the Demons
I had a notion for a time there to alter I, Demon's story to be similar to the point-of-view changes they do in Hero. After wrestling with it for 2 days, I concluded that some stories are best left as they were originally written. My publisher agreed.

Since then, 20 pages sailed by in less than 8 hours of work.

Using the concept from the film is an excellent idea. Just not for this particular tale.

Star Trek (2009)

Yes, everyone has a review of Star Trek. I'm not an exception.

It felt like Star Trek. I was quite entertained. The characters seemed to be genuine reflections of their original portrayals. The time travel element was consistent throughout the film (note that Star Trek rarely does time travel 'right'). They now have a relatively clean slate to go forward with for new Trek stories. It would be really nice if Hollywood chose to explore some new ideas and universes, but when you invest 170 million in a move, you really want it to succeed. Very few producers have the brass to gamble a sum like that on something new.

Apologies for the digression. As I say, I liked the movie, but I think the writing could have used a serious revision. I know that movies end up getting edited for flow and occasionally plot suffers as a result. In this case, I think that they excerpted anything that slowed down the plot or may have been considered 'above' the average audience goer. In the case of the former, okay, sure, I can see that. It would be nice to get a writer in there, though, and let them work their magic to maintain tempo without compromising the plot. In the case of the latter, I think dumbing anything down is a mistake.

When writing science fiction that is supposed to appeal to the masses, I feel it's even more important to get the science right, or at least into a zone of plausibility. Sure, no one wants a dissertation on stellar phenomena, or endless discussion of intergalactic politics. Well, I like those things, but I know that most people don't. As usual though, Star Trek doesn't seem to take the trouble to even look up a few easily verifiable facts. A supernova simply cannot destroy the galaxy. Not even the giant black hole at the center of the galaxy (which incidentally 
is destroying the galaxy) can destroy the galaxy. About the best you get from a black hole is evaporation. The notion of prematurely imploding an expanding supernova into a black hole is intriguing, but when you're looking for destruction on a galactic scale, a supernova isn't what you want.

Why did the galaxy have to be threatened? Ambassador Spock would have certainly risked his life for Romulus just as readily as the rest of the galaxy. He'd have risked his life for just about any other. That's who Spock is. I suggest that rather than put the galaxy at stake, you put Romulus at stake from a rogue black hole. Use your Red Matter in an attempt to 'prematurely evaporate' your black hole. It goes horribly awry and results in something that could very well obliterate Romulus anyway. You can leave the time travel event as another side effect of evaporating a black hole before its time. Then we've established that Red Matter evaporates real matter without the chaos and death of antimatter. Cool. Seems more than sufficient to destroy Vulcan. We've got all the plot elements intact, and we haven't deviated too far from modern scientific theory. You could also have had Ambassador Spock marooned on a Vulcan moon to witness the evaporation of his planet. The moon would have been doomed to lose its orbit thereby destroying the ecosystem, but that would have taken some time. Plenty of time for Young Kirk to meet the Ambassador.

Now, on to that point, other than an excuse to allow Ambassador Spock to save Young Kirk, was it really necessary to yank so hard on the Plot Contrivance Switch? An alternate: Nero eject Spock into orbit around the doomed Vulcan in an escape pod. Spock, being Spock, rigs it up for minimal maneuvering capabilities and lands as close as he can to a Starfleet outpost on the nearby moon. He and Kirk run into each other on their way to the outpost. Done. If you 
really feel the monster chase scene is necessary, you can still do it.

Now, don't mistake these complaints for a dislike of the film. I was quite entertained. Had a few of these elements been thought out more carefully, I think that I would have been even more entertained. My old complaint about Hollywood's inability to conceive of anything new in the realms of SciFi and Fantasy is a function of Big Money's influence over the Big Projects it buys. Some fresh material would be quite welcome.


Well then
Once again, at the urging of others, I find myself here, posting things that I ordinarily would not. The prime reason I would not is that I really don't find what I have to say interesting.  Of course I have 24x7 access to myself, so, sure, I can ask anything and get an almost immediate answer. Almost.

Anyway, I have, in fact, sold a Graphic Novel.  I'm happy for me, obviously. My steady employment vanished about 3 months back and, after some desperate pleading, I found a buyer for something I've written.

The story is called 'I, Demon'.  It's about (SHOCK!) a demon, and his horrible revelations about his own place in the universe.

This story was originally written as a novel. Needless to say, adapting a novel (even as short a one as I, Demon) to comic format is somewhat difficult.

So, what do I find difficult? Well, the demon's character is really quite charming. To establish the charm, I need dialog and exposition. Well, in a comic format, you really don't have time for either. I mean, do you want to sit through 3 pages of a guy explaining the inner workings of Hell's politics? 

I don't either.

In a novel, this isn't so bad. What's a page there is ten pages in the graphic novel format. Hence my difficulty.

I do believe I have a handle on it, and it'll take me a day or three to get things straight. At the end, I think we'll have something worth drawing.

I hope so, because I've committed to delivering this.

To me, that's important.


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