Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Podcast - Everyday Madness

Ladies and Gentleman! I now present to you... a podcast!

Everyday Madness is a flash fiction and poetry podcast run by the lovely writers at gaiaonline. Part of the gaiaonline forums already? You can find the thread explaining how to participate here. If you just want to take a listen, click on the first link in this block-o-text.

The format and organization of this podcast was inspired by dribblecast, which you should also check out.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Flash #2: A Different Lover

"A Different Lover"

I wouldn't say that my wife and I have grown apart, but I would say that I don't know her anymore.

We met at church when we were both 16. At 17 she noticed that she could no longer read in the car without feeling nauseous. We laughed about getting old.

Now we're both 42 and I've got arthritis and bifocals. My wife has the same contacts prescription as she did five years ago and her hair still hasn't gone grey. At first I thought she must be lucky. Good genes. Active life style.

Today she's been reading in the car. For two hours. Three more hours until we reach Washington DC. It had been her turn to choose our vacation spot and now I wonder...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flash Friday #1

For your #flashfriday pleasure:

"Before the Birds"
by Michelle Ristuccia

Before the birds, a multitude of butterflies covered the red planet like a mass of ions swarming a copper electrode. Trying to track the path of any one butterfly would have been as impossible as violating the uncertainty principle, yet their collective effects were easily quantified. It was they who brought the first seeds through the near-perfect vacuum of space. It was they who excavated, buried, and hydrated, for there was no other complex organic life present to accomplish the task. No other creatures competed with them or preyed upon them, and so they terraformed efficiently. Their reward was the vibrant, verdant forest of blossoms that was shelter, sustenance, and recreation.

Eventually, the blooms released spores which were carried into the uppermost atmosphere by the fluttering wings of the mating season. There, gravity lost it's hold on the spores and this left a broad spectrum message for the birds. That's how they always find their prey.

Now, the birds feast.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave a comment, positive or negative.

This piece is upcoming at the Pendragon Variety podcast. Visit pendragonvariety.com for this and other pieces by me.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Editing round 1... Go!

I had to stop working on the novel I was writing in order to move house. I also went out of state twice in the span of two months. Therefore... I've lost the momentum to work on that novel at the moment, but that's ok because I have other projects I can work on that don't necessarily require a daily word count.

For instance, editing (and then submitting). I went through my stories on google docs and made a kind of line up for what I want to edit next. I have two short stories that should be nearing their final drafts, so those are first. I also counted at least 4 novellas/novels 30-50k each and one or two flash pieces that I'm still not happy with. I was a little surprised to see how many longer works there are proportionately speaking (long by my standards). There might be a couple more that got left behind when I transitioned to google docs over six months ago, but maybe they're in my email somewhere...

I also received a rejection for a novella I submitted many months ago, so that one can go back out into the world as soon as I find an appropriate publication. It's a kind of mythos fantasy set in a world closely resembling ours. I'll be searching good old duotrope.com for a good publication.

Lastly, I attended a writer's group meeting put together by some friends. I promised to edit one of the short stories by the next meeting in two weeks, which really means I should have in ready in a week to a week and a half. Nothing wrong with a little extra motivation, and a deadline!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Prose Summer Update

It's been a slow summer for prose, but slow doesn't mean completely unproductive! I've written about 8k in my WIP, Kindred Spirits (a rewrite of Adopted). Add to that these drabbles:

"It's my Job to Bark"
Charlie isn’t Charlie any more. It’s my job to warn Pack Leader. I bark and bark, but he commands me to sit and be quiet and I obey. He is very disappointed in me.

New Charlie offers me a treat, but the treat is tainted with her different smell. I growl and won’t eat it. When no one is looking she growls back. I bare my teeth. I think I’m a brave dog. Then her jaw unhinges, wider, wider! Her pupils turn to cat-slits and she hisses!

My tail tucks under me and I slink away. I don’t bark again.

"Quarantine Fever"
The quarantine means that I’m stuck with you.

Remember how I held your hand when we heard the news? I had spent all that week packing and working out how to tell you that I don’t love you any more, but then I chickened out.

At first it was your pig-squeal laugh. How I hated your laugh and the way you pick your toes and how you roll your eyes at me and so many other petty things.

Now it’s your cough. The stuffy nose. The puffy eyes.

There are sleeping pills in the medicine cabinet and I’m still packed.

“For Safety’s Sake”
The minuscule, pliant mammal did not squeal as most beasts its size did when caged between Milipine’s scaly claws. “What are you doing in my nest?” Milipine growled, filaments of smoke not coincidentally escaping from her nostrils.

“Divining,” came the reply in a soft, light timbre.

“I didn’t know your kind could divine,” she sneered suspiciously. Then Milipine noticed the hallmark eyes, dead-white.

“Your first born son will cause your early demise.”

There was a faint cracking noise and Milipine’s slitted eyes slid down to the mauve egg at her toe. The mammal also slid, out and down and away.
By the time the faces appeared, Henry had had enough of their whispered taunts. “Here comes our slave, now,” one especially aggravating pansy snickered.

Henry leaned over the windowsill pot, contorting his brow as ominously as he was able. “I can hear you, you know.”

The pansy stretched up until its grin was obscured by Henry’s nose. “Yeah! We know!”

Henry clenched his teeth and raised the watering can, meaning to smash his tormentors into pulp. Instead, he found himself tipping the can forward until a caressing trickle escaped the spout. The pansies tilted their heads back as they cackled.
The Makers hid the Apocalypse inside a statistical improbability. In order for that particular universe to reach the point of Critical Coincidence, two beings on two separate planets had to have the exact same thought and say it out loud at the exact same time.

It must have been a psychic link -- no one had time to analyze the details.

One night, Elizabeth Crowning, mourning the repercussions of her bad grades, glared up at the stars and screamed, "I hate this place!" Meanwhile, off in the Andromeda Galaxy, Yctct Roctl prodded yet another piece of trash down the killt's gullet...

"Barking Mad"
"He's not a dog," Melinda laughed when her husband gave the baby a squeaky bone.

"He's not a dog," she chided when he set a bowl of water out on the floor.

"He's not a dog!" she cried out when she caught the two playing fetch. Someone was going crazy, and Melinda wasn't so sure that it wasn't her.

Michael tented his fingers together as the baby panted at his feet. "I've been pondering this problem," he rumbled authoritatively, "and I believe that he is not a dog. He is a poorly informed extraterrestrial mimic."

"Bark, bark!" the baby said.

Podcast Summer Update

Pendragon Variety has been going strong, and I've done readings for it and some of my prose has appeared on there. I enjoy participating in the discussions and working the technical side of getting the episodes released.

I've been listening to Escape Pod and the Drabblecast regularly -- and I've even appeared in two episodes of the Drabblecast! (1,2) I love frequenting their forum, too.

Unfortunately Dear Editor has been on hold all summer, but we hope to start it up with a new format next month!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Now with More Podcasting

Some of my prose now appears in Pendragon Variety Podcast, an audio literary magazine and round table discussion that you can find at pendragonvariety.com You can also find Pendragon Variety as a group on Facebook, if you'd like to chat with us there and see when we post new episodes.

Speaking of podcasting! I've just entered the Merciless Storytellers podcasting contest: http://mercilessstorytellers.blogspot.com/ Can't wait to hear the other entries! Go and read about it so you can enter and/or vote on the entries once they're up.

Still related to podcasting! I finally got around to listening to the DrabbleCast, and it's awesome. My favorite episode so far is "Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs." Come on. Doesn't that just sound fantastic? I've joined their forum and have had some fun writing Drabbles, which are 100 word stories. Here's an example of one I wrote and posted on the forums:

Columbus thought the Arawak so friendly, so defenseless. When he tried to take a few of us as souvenirs, we shot our light-guns and called our protectors down from the sky. Now the Pinta sits in a museum back on Earth, a small footnote in the tourist attraction that is Guanahani island. At first we were a little put out to lose our ancestral homeland, but the fifteen-percent cut goes a long ways when all of humanity wants to visit the site of The Great Reveal. We may not speak our own language any more, but who on Earth does?

On a final podcasting note, I missed a Dear Editor last week. Aw. But other than that, we've totally kept up with it! There have been a lot of mini episodes, which are written, recorded, etc. by myself, because it's the end of the semester for Vicki and that sort of thing. Check it out if you haven't already!

More updates on the non-podcast-y part of my writing when I have something that's a completed draft, completely edited and/or accepted to publish somewhere.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chapbook with Folded Word

I've had a couple of things published with Folded Word/PicFic before (see sidebar), and I've always enjoyed communicating with their staff, and, of course, reading their publications. That's why I'm super excited to announce that they are publishing a chapbook of my flash fiction called "Peace Across the Universe," so named after one of the stories in the collection. I'm also excited because these pieces are stronger together than they were apart, exactly like a bundle of sticks, and especially if you can imagine it being said in a deep, movie-announcer-type voice.

It's not there yet. You can bet I'll let you know when it is. For now, though, you can see the other chapbooks that they offer.

Clicky clicky:
Folded Word's Chapbooks

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wow, What a Hiatus

So, when I said the holidays were going to be crazy, I had *no* idea. I thought I'd be back to writing in early January, but then it turned out I had other projects to work on (examples: http://hope4lifeministries.org and http://lonelymountainleather.com) and now it's February. In the mean time, the audio production for Worlds Apart came out. If you haven't heard it already, tsk tsk! You should have subscribed to Dead Robots Society when I mentioned the podcast last time, because it's just plain awesome! And, naturally, they did an awesome job producing the story in audio.

Vicki and I had planned to record for Dear Editor over the break, but right when we were going to record, she got sick! Arg! But since then we've managed to record any way, and yesterday I edited a review and an episode, and still have more to edit. Yay!

In the past week or so I had a short story idea that finally grabbed me enough to entice me back into writing. Finished the first draft already, and soon it will be up to beta readers. >:D OMG I wrote steam punk! Or tried to, any way.