I will be published again soon.

Quick happy note!

Yesterday I got an email from the San Mateo County Fair Literacy Contest. My audio story, “The Intellecta Rhapsody,” won first place in the audiobook division, and my short story, “The Lutefisk Door,” won third place in the scifi/fantasy senior division. Yay, I will be in Carry The Light again! Looks like my Trumpy villain Billington Stumpfinger will be in print soon (in “The Lutefisk Door”, he built some nasty walls to trap Super Holly Hansson).

I will be on a Literary Winners Circle Panel!

first-placeAt the San Mateo County Fair’s Literary Stage, I will on the Winners Circle panel this Saturday, June 11, from 4:30 to 5:30. There will also be a winners reading from 4 to 4:30, and 5:30-7, but I am not sure if I will be doing any readings yet. (I think it is likely.)

I am on the panel with other winners because my Audiobook script, The Malevolent Mystery Meat, won both 1st place in the category of Digital Media Online and Honorable Mention for Science Fiction/Fantasy short story.

The panel’s theme is inspiration. A lady in my critique group had a story of kids with puppy behavior. I had written my Kittygirl story, and I wanted to write more like that. My cousin has two dogs, Tucker and Wrigley, whom I have taken care of when my cousin and his family go on vacation. He also has two boys, and I have two nephews, so I have observed young brother and doggie behavior. Hence, two puppy-powered brothers.

Then Michael Moore, in his latest movie, showed how icky American school lunches can get. Hence, the malevolent mystery meat.

The story went over very well at my open mics. I used The William Tell Overture as background music. Hi-yo, Tucker, away!

More on the San Mateo County Fair’s Literary Stage:

Wednesday, June 15, from 7:30 to 9, I will participating in the open mic readings.

Thursday June 16, from 7-8:30, I will be doing a reading from my Fault Zone story, The Sinister Soul Surfer!

I’m honorably published in a paperback!

sanmateofairsigningI’m published again! In a paperback! Remember my Carry The Light post about my honorable mention novel chapter? You can now buy the Carry The Light paperback from Amazon. (Kindle is not out yet, and I could not get the Sandhill review Press link to to work.) Short stories, poems, etc. put out once a year by the San Mateo County Fair. The first pages from Chapter Zero of my novel are in it. My chapter is about 20 pages, so they printed the first four, ending on a great line of laughing dialog from the Two Dudes: “Butt web! Huh huh huh!” I will soon put in a link to the book on my published page. (I wanna read and write a little before bedtime.)

I sat at the signing table and signed my chapter in that book. Don’t I look happy? Okay, it was mostly other writers passing their Carry The Light books, signing each other’s stories. But it was fun! I felt like Holly Hansson! (Chapter Zero has her at a signing table in a comic book and coffee shop.) I took a picture at the signing table. (This is staged. The signing was over, so I had a couple of the writers pose with me.) Missy Kirtley is on one side of me, William Albert Baldwin on the other side, and in front of me is the little placard I made. Missy has a kid superhero story in Carry the Light! KEWL!

This makes three published Super Holly stories. I still have one to finish and submit to Fault Zone by June 30 (deadline was extended), and two others to put out on Kindle.

P.S. I’ve been published on paper before. I used to write the Strom’s Index column for Amazing Heroes magazine. But that was back in the days of Jack Nicholson’s Joker.

P.P.S. I found a typo in my chapter. My fault. Sigh.

I am being HONOR(able mention)ED! And published again.

I will be published again. YAY! I got an email from Beth Barany, writing coach and fantasy writer of Henrietta, a kick-ass heroine. (I think Henrietta would get along with Holly.)
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“Congratulations, you’re a Winner in the Genre Novel First Chapter contest!  In fact, you’re a Carry The Light winner, for your entry, Fanboys Shrugged. It was a close contest!”
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Carry The Light is an anthology from SF peninsula writers. You can link to previous versions here (but I am not in those). I got an honorable mention for the first chapter in my novel. Chapter Zero, Holly Hansson’s Superpowered Origin Story. I think nearly everyone who enters gets into Carry The Light, but I also think that not everyone gets a prize. I took my prize: a couple of Beth’s ebooks for authors. I am reading The Writer’s Adventure. It’s good.
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I will post a link when the 2015 edition with MY TOTALLY AWESOME NOVEL CHAPTER is published. If you are going to the San Mateo County Fair, you can likely buy a hardcopy at the fine arts stage. Also, it will likely be sold through Amazon. I’ll buy both. First time I will be in a printed book, if you don’t count technical manuals or my old Strom’s Index column.
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I will be editing my novel chapter on the advice of the pro editor. She wanted more description of the comic book shop. It is another chance to geek up my writing! The pro editor liked Kittygirl and her mom in this chapter, by the way, so I intend to send her a copy of my Kittygirl short story after my final polish. I think she’d like it.
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I also changed the name of my novel from The Comic Book Code to Fanboys Shrugged. I’d rather satirize Atlas Shrugged than The DaVinci Code in my title. But I will likely have a chapter named The Comic Book Code. And I have set a goal: finish the entire first draft by my birthday in October as a present to myself. I will be the big SIX-O.

Who’s on first? Who’s on third? The reader should be, that’s who!

As in First Person instead of Third Person. As in writing, “My head hurt,” instead of, “Holly’s head hurt.” Which one makes you feel Holly’s pain? Question: Which one puts you in the driver’s seat? Answer: It hurts more if it is your head that hurts.

I have been working on my point of view (POV) in my writing. Point of view as in you see a novel chapter, or a short story, only from that character’s point of view. And I mean WORKING on it for the past several months. Last Saturday, I was at the San Mateo County Fair’s literary stage (check them out on Author Day on June 14 Saturday). I had some lady authors—Beth Barany, Laurel Anne Hill, and Sandra Saidak—briefly review the first chapter of my novel. Sandra laughed, Beth and Laurel were more serious. They were good critics. One big comment was that I should work on POV. For example, Laurel said, “Where is the narrator?” Beth said that we need Holly’s emotional reaction to a character’s artwork. (Alfred Hitchcock’s movies, Alfred said, were about evoking an emotional response. Strong POV is emotional.)

rivet-deep-povThe book “Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point Of View” by Jill Elizabeth Nelson discusses getting into the POV character’s head, even when you are writing third person. Lots of good advice in that book. It set me on the POV path.

But there is another way to get close POV. Write in first person. It forces you to get into the POV head and STAY THERE! So I will rewrite my short stories to be first person. Yes, even the bad hair day story, which really should have been on Amazon by now! I think the novel will still be in third person (as in close third, deep POV) because it will have more than one POV character. maybe I’ll write the novel chapters in first person, and then find and replace “I” with the name of the POV character.

Anyhow. I have been very bugged with how parts of my stories drifted out of the POV head and into the omniscient narrator cloud, and clouds don’t make for great reading. (Galactus was a cloud in the second Fantastic Four flick, and clouds make boring villains!) I want the first person trick to fasten me into the POV driver seat with thick seat belts. I want my readers to see, hear, smell, taste, touch, feel, think, and get FURIOUS at what Holly does! (Or what Cal the Intellectual does, I have just started a new story with his POV.)

I am well into rewriting the bad hair day. I’ll see how it goes. (Yes, I saved the old copy!)

P.S. Tense? I use past tense. (Except for a few short sections in the novel, and that is for a very special reason.)