“Luka and Iso”- Top 10% in The Nicholl Fellowship!

Hello wonderful blog readers!

I received an email from the Nicholl Fellowship today.

Every year, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences picks five writers and pay them, based on the strength of the script they submitted, to produce another feature length screenplay.

I didn’t make the cut for the Fellowship, but my script scored in the top ten percent!

7,251 entrants, and I’m in the top 10%?  Pretty awesome, but of course, disappointing not to advance.

Ah well, I’m hoping I can find someone out there as excited about the story of the first genetically engineered dragon as I am!  Perhaps this will help me along.  It will make a killer film.

Congratulations to everyone that is advancing.  I’m sure there are some amazing scripts, and how they’ll ever pick just five is completely beyond me!

In other news, I received my second ever royalty cheque!  Seems that A Quick Bite of Flesh is still selling.  Want some zombie flash fiction?  Then this book is forrr yoooouuuu!

I am waiting on an awesome agent for a new book I’d like to see in print.  Paranormal romance/urban fantasy here I come!  I’m well into the sequel already, and hitting short stories out of the park on a daily basis.

I’ll keep at it until- BWA HA HA YOU CAN’T STOP ME

Thanks for stopping by.

Oh what’s that?  This is my 100th post?

Hurrah!

Oh man, if I’ve been this into my small successes so far, when I get my first novel picked up I’m going to be happier than a kitten with a feather.  More excited than a porcupine with a banana.  You do know porcupines love bananas, right?

Anyway, thank you for stopping in and staying with me on this long, long journey to authordom.

Heidi out.

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I’m Still Here


Well, I’m still here.

I’m just keeping on keeping on.  Written another book.  Am having another go at finding an agent for “Luka and Iso”, the tale of the sentient genetically engineered dragon.  I really hope I can get that one represented; the time is right for the story, and it needs to be told.  All the fuforah about GMOs lately is wild.  There’s some great opportunity for marketing, and great potential for cross talk when stories about GMOs and advancements in genetics come up.

Glow in the dark monkeys, anyone?

Meanwhile, my new project is going over well with an army of anonymous beta readers.  It’s nice working with people I don’t know, and that don’t know me; they’re giving me good, honest feedback.  …And a lot of it is positive.  They already want the sequel!

But I’m sticking to my guns about not writing more than one book in a series until the first one gets published.

So I’m starting yet another one.  While I polish the new book, I’m outlining the next, which will be my fifth novel.  A fun sci-fi, inspired by a short story I wrote last year called “The First Gentlemen’s Galactic Scavenger Hunt”.

Short stories continue to be sent out, rejected, accepted.  The latest is in the upcoming “Zombies Gone Wild II”, for which the cover was just sent to me.  I think it’s hilarious.

So that’s me lately.  It’s been interesting trying to temper my least favourite part of the process (trying to find an agent) with my most favourite (writing); the new projects pull me along even as I drag my heels cold-emailing amazing agents who I would absolutely be ecstatic to work with.

Oh, and I’ve levelled up my procrastination skills.  Whenever I finish a major project, there’s a decompression that happens afterwards.  So far it’s been things like fill a sketch book or write a zillion short stories, and my latest: watch all of The Office.  Seriously, I’m almost done.  This has been the least productive of my come-downs, but man is it good.

Thank goodness for the Self Control app, which I use to block out every distraction, but leave the rest of the useful internet free for research.

So, onwards I go.  Book after book, I’m going to just keep ’em coming, until I find an agent that’s into one of them.  And then we’ll really see what I can do.

My book is coming true before my very eyes…

It is at once exciting and frustrating to see my sci-fi future coming to pass.  Exciting to see how things are progressing down the path I speculated they would- nice to know I can see into the future somewhat correctly sometimes.  Frustrating because, well, once all the things happen, my book isn’t going to be as topical.  I want it out in the wild soon, to stir the pot with all the questions that we’ll have to be asking once things get really serious.

And they are getting serious!  Check it: “Scientists want to bring 22 animals back from extinction.”  DE-Extinction.  I can’t wait!  I know I know, it’s going to be years, decades, before things start actually showing results.  But I’m still pretty excited.

As usual, relevant TED Talk.

And here’s the thread on Reddit about it (ignore all the “comment removed” posts; memes and jokes are simply not tolerated in the science subreddit).

So, I hope I can find someone to help me sell my book, and get it on the shelves, while its content is just starting to make it into the public awareness.  Also, it’d be pretty sweet to have current affairs to help me out in the publicity department…  🙂

Right!  Well, onwards.  I’m going to write a children’s short story tomorrow, one about dragons, for Spellbound.  And then, thinking of the next big project.  Something that’s started to just peek into my conscious thought is this desire to put my fantasy series on the big screen… and I have to resist for now.

…Because I’ve decided not to continue writing anything that could be a series until I sell it.  If I write the first book in a series, as I’ve done twice now, I will leave it be until I can actually publish it, and there’s an audience who wants more.

This is great, it’ll mean I can keep breaking new ground with new ideas and characters, and have the benefit of creating a huge body of work that I could continue at any time.  Once I “make it” I’ll have several series that I could choose to continue if there’s an audience for them.

I leave you with this picture, from another planet!  It absolutely blows my mind that we have something on another planet, and it’s sending us back pictures.

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

Kells and Reasons for Rejection

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  The Book Of Kells is free on iTunes today.  I don’t know a thing about it, but I will soon enough.  Enjoy!

And today, author Michael J. Sullivan posted some interesting insights from another author, Marion Zimmer Bradley, on Why Stories Get Rejected.  A good read, and something every new author needs to internalize.

I have it down pat by now.  Though I think this can be a problem; this insidious expectation of rejection has effected me in a way I didn’t anticipate.  I have four things that I’m really excited about right now: my novel got a full request at an agency I would love to work with, my screenplay is being considered for the Nicholl Fellowship, as well as a contest to get me into Pitchfest, and also a short story of mine has been shortlisted for an anthology I’m excited for.

This is a lot of excitement.

Usually it’s just a lot of little things, various stories out for various anthologies, and the trickle of rejections come in steady and constant.  No big deal (anymore).

So when I actually have things to be excited for, I realize how oppressed this expectation of rejection was making me.


Sometimes we need to step back to see things more clearly…

The danger of getting excited is that it makes the rejection just that much worse.  I’m finding this creeping into other aspects of my life; I’ve stopped getting excited for movies (movies that I would have gotten excited for in the past!) because of past let downs (not a rejection, but the same feelings are at play).

Last week was the most difficult I’ve found meditation.  My mind kept racing forward to the future, and I’d have to pull it back.  Sit.  Stay.  Not terrible, but it got me to realize just how much I’ve been not been letting myself get excited.

So I’m excited.  Even if none of these four amazing things happen, it feels good to have so much possibility laid out before me.  And even if a single one does happen?  Well damn.  Things are pretty swell.

 

Silly kitty.  My own is hiding under my blankets, scared of the wind.

Right!  So, hope all is well with you, dear reader.

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

Time to type every word I know: Coffee, Writing, Iron Man, Duck

As you may know, I enjoy participating in the various gift exchanges through Reddit Gifts.  It’s like doing a secret santa, only with thousands of other people, and for specific categories of things.

I was so pleased to open my Coffee Exchange parcel yesterday!  My package came from Macedonia– and contained Turkish coffee!  I tried making a cup this morning, and it was delicious (Without cream?!  Amazing.).  Very flavourful, and unusual.

In writing news, my short story “The First Gentlemen’s Galactic Scavenger Hunt” has been shortlisted for the World Weaver Press anthology, “Far Orbit- Speculative Space Adventures”.  I’d be super happy to see this one in print; I feel like it’s actually a project I’d like to expound upon a bit.  A scavenger hunt in space: what’s not to love?

I have also entered my screenplay in a contest to win tickets to PitchFest, where I would get a chance to hook a studio.  That would be totally mathematical.

Currently, I’m continuing a read-through of my Spell Carriers series, and I’m into the second book.  The first book took me three days, though it would have taken less if I weren’t making edits here and there.  It was a pretty easy read.  Trook Hunters starts off more complex, having had book one to set it up.

Anyway!  Enough ramblings.  What’s important here is seeing how they did the Arc Reactor makeup for Iron Man.

Painting on the latex.

A lot of latex.

A good sport.

Different colours for the different layers.

Airbrushed to make it look real!

They can peel the latex back and make it look like skin.

Final effect: amazing.

And, seeing as I have duck brining in the fridge, this:


:O

Well, I’ll keep you posted.  I hope one of these days to have some truly excellent news for you.  For now, I’ll keep at it.  I know that one day all this work I’m doing will pay off.  I hope it’s soon, but I’m in it for the long haul.  🙂

Cheers guys.

Heidi out.

PS: Leaked Jurassic Park 4 logo!

Checking in, Space, Baby Cakes

I have spent the morning reading over past short stories, seeing if can do any work on them, or perhaps adapt them for the screen.  Seems as though I’ve been infected with the screenwriting bug, and it’s addling my brain into wanting to write more scripts.

Good?  Bad?  I never wanted to write short stories; they were supposed to be a stepping stone for larger projects.  And now that I’ve had some success getting them published, what do?  :O

While I’m bandying that about in my head, I will see if any of my fellow writers need a second set of eyes on anything.  I’ve contacted a few of my writing-exchange peeps, and maybe I can help them out with whatever they’re working on.

Oh hey, did you ever want to know how many people are in space right now?

Heh.  Spoiler: it’s 6.  I can’t wait until we’re in the tripple digits for this.  I am ever excited to see how space exploration progresses in my short window of observation (another what, seventy years?).  🙂

And now, BABY CAKES!  Teeny, tiny cakes.  They were fun.  My friend and I made them before games day, and then the group feasted on the fruits of our labour.

Getting the components all laid out:

Cutting the mini-cupcakes to size:

Taking up the whole table:

Some of the finished products: (d20 for scale!)

So tiny!

The two-layer cakes were amazing.

Each one more adorable than the last!


Tiny LAYER cake you say?

Heh.  Sure was fun.

Bonus pic: our SUPER close game of Lords of Waterderp (this was before we scored our Lords mind you, but WOW!):

Good thing I’m back at the gym again!  Nice to be able to indulge every now and then.

Cheers guys.  Hope you’re feeling as good as I do right now.  😀

Heidi out.

Victory Hot Chocolate: The Melting of Kings

So I made those marshmallows, and they turned out great!

Making Marshmallows.

Cut them into cubes with scissors.

Melting into the hot chocolate…

One for Aaron too.  🙂

*Gloop!*

Perfect

A great way to end the week.  It was brain intensive; I didn’t anticipate that big of an edit before my Nicholl Fellowship deadline, but, well, the script is way better for it.

And now, I’m off to Bon’s to meet a friend for breakfast, and then another friend I are are continuing down the ‘tiny-food-making’ path, and decorating *tiny* cakes.  Of course, pics to follow.

If you’re looking for a short story to read, I suggest “All Quiet on the Temporal Front” by Bennett R. Coles.  His Sci-Fi fu is fantastic.  Now that I’m not in the thick of editing, I’m going back to read his “Virtues of War“, which is incredible so far.

Cheers guys.

Heidi out.