Music Monday: “Let The Day Begin” By Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is not a new band to me, but a song that suddenly jumped out at me from the their most recent album is new to me. I was a little late getting to Specter at the Feast, but it’s a great album. It turns out “Let the Day Begin” is actually a cover, the original is by The Call. But hey, I love a good cover.

In the last week I was barreling through a round of edits on Too Far Gone. I’m not sure why this particular song jumped to the top of my playlist so repeatedly, it’s not even on the Too Far Gone soundtrack but it is on the soundtrack to a WiP now…it’s a blast to write, walk, and drive to.

So…

Let the day begin…

Here’s to the babies in a brand new world
Here’s to the beauty of the stars
Here’s to the travellers on the open road
Here’s to the dreamers in the bars

Write on!

July Goals And My Half-year Check-in

How the hell is the year half over?

I don’t know about your year, but mine’s been flying by. Back in January, I made some goals for my year.

  • Finish Too Far Gone.
  • Attend at least one SF&F convention in a city that I’ve never been to.
  • Revise at least one of the three four (after NaNoWriMo) drafted novel manuscripts I’ve been letting lie fallow until it is in submission shape and then send it out.
  • Be more diligent about keeping my short fiction on submission.
  • Get those old stories polished and out the door (which I think will also help the goal above from getting lost in the shuffle)
  • Write and submit at least two new short stories.
  • Write a script for a secret comic project with Samantha Beiko.
  • Say no to more “author” stuff and yes to more “writing” stuff.
  • Keep better track of my daily word count output.

Only one of the items is “done”. but I’m not too worried. Too Far Gone has been turned in to my publisher and is in editorial, so I’m confident that I’ll be crossing that line off, but hey, as Ted Callan says, “Shit happens” right? I’ll cross it off when I have the book in my hand, because that’s when my job is finished, and the readers’ begins. I have my membership and my hotel booked for World Fantasy in Saratoga Springs, NY. I’m in the home stretch of finally getting NaNo novel 2011 revised and in shape to submit. I’ve written and submitted one new short story (and it sold, to Tesseracts Nineteen: Superhero Universe!), and have polished a couple of older stories to add them to my short story submission rotation, which, while not clockwork, is at least operational again. I’m still tracking my daily word output, and have managed to say no to a couple of things in order to protect writing time. We’ll see how those two goals hold up for the remainder of the year.

How’d June go?

  • Work in Progress, keep at it. Lock down four more chapters, which will take me to the last 50 pages of the previous draft, and make a plan for the revisions of those pages.

June didn’t really go at all. At least, not according to my posted goals. I didn’t lock down those four chapters. I made it through an edit pass or two on each chapter, but I’m not ready to call them done yet. This is largely because edits for Too Far Gone dropped on my plate, so that ate up a lot of my critical brain. I did write a comic script to pitch to an artist though, so while it wasn’t on my list, the month wasn’t a total wash creatively.

And on deck for July?

There’s almost certainly another round of edits inbound for Too Far Gone. So I don’t want to make too huge of a project list, so I’m going to recycle June’s goal. There’s a few things I want accomplished by When Words Collide in August, but sekkrit projects are sekkrit for the moment.

  • Work in Progress, keep at it. Lock down four more chapters, which will take me to the last 50 pages of the previous draft, and make a plan for the revisions of those pages.
  • Finish revising and submit one of my fallow short stories.
  • Get all of my unsold short stories back out on submission.

Write on!

Music Monday: “She Dances In Graveyards” By Ol’ Time Moonshine

Metal. So metal.

After an awesome, but exhausting last several days of late nights due to hosting an event, having a house guest, a wedding and a comic expo to attend, and dinosaur movies to watch, who couldn’t use a little heavy metal to wake up on a dreary, rainy Winnipeg Monday?

Lately some of my favourite metal is coming out of Toronto. Ol’ Time Moonshine’s debut EP is chock full of tracks that I listen to when I’m writing. One day, I will see these guys perform live.

In the meantime, turn it up to eleven…

Eleven

and throw the horns!

Throw the Horns

Write On.

Music Monday: “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” By The Decemberists

Happy Monday! I do love a song that tells a story, and with “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” The Decemberists delivered one of my favourite stories in a song. The weekend got away from me, so while I was definitely humming along to this song, I don’t have much else to say other than:

Enjoy!

One night I overheard
The prior exchanging words
With a penitent whaler from the sea
The captain of his ship
Who matched you toe to tip
Was known for wanton cruelty
The following day
I shipped to sea
With a privateer
And in the whistle
Of the wind
I could almost hear
(oh, oh)

“Find him, Bind him
Tie him to a pole and break
His fingers to splinters
Drag him to a hole until he
Wakes up naked
Clawing at the ceiling
Of his grave

Write on!

Music Monday: “Head On” By The Pixies

I can’t believe it took me this long to post about a Pixies song. I’m also surprised it was one of their covers that got the nod. I was head down for most of my weekend on revisions, but there was something in the beat of “Head On” that kept me on topic.

I probably owe interest in the Pixies to Dungeons and Dragons, and Pump up the Volume. D&D because, hey, a band named after a monster, their records might be worth XP, and because Wave of Mutilation (U.K. Surf) was on the Pump up the Volume soundtrack (TALK HARD). Of course, when I tried to hunt down a Pixies album, Radio Shack (there was no other place to buy CDs in my home then, and I was too young to drive elsewhere) said there was no such band.

Thanks for that.

I had this bad boy on repeat my entire way to work.

Yeah, the world could die in pain
And I wouldn’t feel no shame
And there’s nothing holding me to blame
Makes you wanna feel
Makes you wanna try
Makes you wanna blow the stars from the sky
And I’m taking myself to a dirty part of town
Where all my troubles can’t be found

Think I’ll give it another spin.

Write on!

June Goals

Another month of 2015 down. How’d I do?

  • Keycon is on the horizon (10 more days!), so I want to sort out what I’ll be reading during my reading slot. Chances are I will preview some of Too Far Gone, but I have an hour to fill, and will probably read at least one short story in completion (so let me know if there is anything you’ve a hankering to hear) in addition to a TFG teaser.
  • Polish up and practice my presentation for The Writers’ Union of Canada.
  • Keep plugging away at that WiP.

Everything got done, but I did kind of give myself a pass with a softball month after a couple of tougher months full of illness. I’m okay with that.

Even though the goals were light in May, it was my best writing month since January in terms of word count. I also topped 100,000 words for the year on the last day of the month, so I think tracking my word count more closely is paying off.

Keycon went relatively well for me. I had a good turnout at my reading. I read most of my story from Beast Within 4: Gears & Growls, “A Taste of the Other Side,” and an excerpt from Chapter Two of Too Far Gone, titled Burning Inside. Folks seemed to respond to the Too Far Gone piece, I think it will be a good one for future readings. And as has often been the case, my steampunk werewolf story went over very well with the crowd too. “A Taste of the Other Side” is a fun one to read, and always seems to make me adopt a bit of a cowboy drawl. The panel on Setting that I shared with David Annandale and Gerald Brandt was fun. Different approaches to the same discipline make for interesting conversation.

There was a post-Keycon writeoff hosted by Gerald, and a bunch of us invaded his home to sit in the same room and ignore each other. I did a lot of the final polishing for my presentation to The Writers’ Union of Canada while there, and made some headway on my WiP.

I felt good about my presentation for TWUC’s OnWords conference before the panel happened, although I feel I peaked with my rehearsal performance the night before, but there were some kind words after the fact, so I’ll take it. The panel “Time and Money” was hosted by Dennis E. Bolen, and I was speaking alongside Doreeen Pendgracs, and Katherena Vermette. I talked about using social media to be productive and creative, Doreen on crowdfunding, and Katherena gave her time management Top 10 list.

While there wasn’t as much forward momentum on the WiP novel in May as there was in April, I’ve always had trouble switching from non-fiction writing to stories, so I was kind of expecting that. I sweat the non-fiction a bit more, I suppose. Between Keycon, OnWords, and the Winnipeg launch of The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir with Keith Cadieux and Corey Redekop I also had three separate events to rehearse and prepare. Despite all that, I still locked another two chapters, and have got another three almost in shape, so baring surprises, I should have a good June with the WiP.

Speaking of June, what do I want to get done:

  • Work in Progress, keep at it. Lock down four more chapters, which will take me to the last 50 pages of the previous draft, and make a plan for the revisions of those pages.

I’m going to take it a bit easy on the goals this month too. There’s a bunch of stuff that I need to get done around the house that’s not writing related (even if my office could use another scouring), as well as a wedding to attend, a surprise bonus ChiSeries to plan for, and some tennis to play to counteract some advancing “writer’s pudge”.

Write on.