Friday, January 31, 2014

January Wrap-Up

Coming and going of the Pony Express (1900)
by Frederick Remington
We've reached the end, the end of January that is. Winter is certainly not over. There's at least a foot of snow on the ground where I live. Time to change horses and make ready for the next leg of the journey through 2014.

So how am I doing with those goals? I finally finished rewriting my novelette "For the Love of God Cut My Head Off" and sent it off to an editor. Expect a Kindle release of this story in the near future. Received a rewrite request for my thriller novelette "A Daughter For a Daughter." Finished a segment in one of my Avenir Eclectia story arcs and sent that off. Several stories are still out on submissions. For February, I absolutely must finish "The Masque" and write one of those flintpunk stories.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Story of the Week: A Darker Faerie’s Tale

Portrait of a Fairy by Sophie Anderson (1869).
Looking for a quick excursion to the land of fairy? Look no further than A Darker Faerie’s Tale by James Crofoot at Silver Blade Magazine. But this isn't Tinkerbell's fairy land. This community of fae live peacefully in a secluded wood. Intruders don't leave, at least not for a long time. They're put to sleep for a century. The fae don't kill. Goblins, who have no qualms about killing and torturing, are a constant threat and the fae must be ever vigilant.

Taylenel and Clarrisa are young fairies in love and, as the young are wont to do, don't always pay attention to warnings when distracted by their amorous pursuits. The pair fly too close to the border and Clarrisa falls into the clutches of some Goblins. Taylenel convinces the Queen to grant him a sword and leave to pursue Clarrisa's captors outside of fairy. The Queen warns him that pursuing this quest may not be wise but his love for Clarrisa motivates him to take any risk. Taylenel pays a price for his venture, higher than he could ever have imagined.

Crofoot's tragic story celebrates love and sacrifice with a strong dose of the cautionary tale. The hero succeeds to a point, exacting a revenge that his heart demands, but Crofoot reminds us that success does not always lead to happiness and those who pursue honor and wisdom often travel a very lonely road.

To learn more about James Crofoot and his work, visit his blog at CrofootWrites.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Word of the Week: Rue

Thoughts of the Past (1859)
by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope
I drove past a sign advertising the store rue21 the other day and thought that phrase doesn't necessarily mean what they think it means. Depending on how you interpret the word rue, it could mean the exact opposite of what they're going for. According to the about page on the rue21 web site:
“rue” comes from the French word for “street” while “21” embodies the age that everyone wants to be! Inspired by the spirit and style of one of the best times in life...
Maybe. I guess for people less than 21, that age might seem rather magical. It's the point at which you can start legally soaking your little grey cells in alcohol. Perhaps that's the year that you acquire your first credit card. You probably also haven't heaped up a mountain of regrets yet, but they'll soon pile up if you take the alcohol path or start shopping with a credit card.

The primary meaning of rue in English is to feel regret or sorrow as in the common phrase "rue the day." Rue also refers to a type of evergreen shrub and lastly, is a French word for street.

The regretful rue comes from the Middle English rewe, which derives from the Old English hreowan, meaning to distress or grieve, which finds it roots in the Proto-Germanic khrewanan. Similar words, meaning to feel sorrow are found in Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Old Dutch, Old High German, and German.

The shrubby rue derives from the Old French rue or rude, which comes from the Latin ruta, which likely has its roots in the Greek rhyte whose etymology is uncertain. The rue shrub has bitter tasting leaves which have some medicinal uses. Perhaps people rued tasting the rue leaves.

The French street rue comes from the Vulgar Latin ruga, meaning a furrow, which in Medieval Latin came to signify a path or street.

I suspect many young people will someday rue the day they walked into a mall with their very own bright and shiny credit card. It pays (saves in this case) to know what words mean.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Goals for 2014

I've read some posts about goal-setting in the past week. They all say the same thing. It's important to create goals that are measurable. The goals should be time bound. They should be achievable and under your control. So, making that first professional sale or selling a thousand copies on Amazon aren't very good goals because the ultimate decision is outside my hands. The only thing I can really do is commit to writing, posting, and marketing. The inputs are in my hands while the ultimate results, not much at all.

Blogging Goals:

  1. Post Goals before the new year. Hangs head and sobs. Fail. Fail. Fail. Well, head up and soldier on.
  2. Keep the blog active with at least one post a week (52 for the year).
  3. Keep the WIP page up to date.

Writing Goals:

  1. Finish the unfinished novellas on my WIP page.
  2. Finish the colonial werewolf collaboration with Lyn Perry. It transformed into a novel after the last full moon.
  3. Make progress on the other novel projects.
  4. Write a series of flintpunk stories featuring a Daniel Boone-type character and a native American sidekick. Zombies on the frontier. This should be fun.
  5. Write a story or two in the Foreworld Sage world.
  6. Write a flintpunk novella "Johnny Has Gone for a Zombie."
That should be plenty to keep the old quill scratching over the sheep skin. You're also supposed to periodically take stock and see how you're progressing on your goals. I'll let you all know how I'm doing, especially if I accomplish something. : )

Thursday, January 2, 2014

'Tis More Blessed Winners

Thanks to Milo Fowler for organizing and hosting the event and thanks to everyone who participated.

The grand prize winner is Kristy F. Kristy will receive a copy of Plasma Frequency Magazine Issue 9.

The two second place winners are Stephen V. and Lori J.. Stephen and Lori will receive paperback copies of my short story collection Tales of Woe and Wonder.

Hope to see you all back next year for another round of 'Tis More Blessed.