Short, Sweet, and Simple

Today, I just wanted to say that I love the Oxford Comma.
I use it. I dont’ know why I wouldn’t.

In example:

And also, perhaps more usefully:

That is all.

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

Important Question Upon Waking

I awoke this morning wondering if there were giraffes that were unusually taller than other giraffes.

Sure brain, this is an important thing to try and figure out as you’re waking up.

I kept a dream journal for a year solid.  It took dedication; sometimes I wanted to relish waking up slowly, but I knew that doing so would cause the dreams of the night to waft into the ethers.  I wrote down every dream.  I have a book full of strangeness, which I bagan copying into a nice good copy, categorizing them (“Being Chased” and “Shopping” are the two most prevalent themes).

I think last night was my first dream about giraffes.  That’s all.

Tonight, I embark upon my vacation; Aaron and I are going camping on wonderful Keats Island.  Some friends are joining us.  We muster in downtown Vancouver today, then head to Gibsons to get our gear in order.  We’ll be catching a water taxi tomorrow morning to Plumpers Cove, a wonderful spot.

Games I’m hauling over there: our newly opened Harry Potter CCG, a deck of cards, Once Upon a Time (great storytelling game), possibly Race for the Galaxy, and Citadels.  We’re all about games when we camp.

Also on the menu: a book about cracking the Northwest Passage, Sno Crash, my sketch book, and writing journal (going to return with a piece or two ready to type out and submit).

Yesterday I submitted two pieces to Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Flush Fiction: “Starship Engineers Make the Best of Friends” and “Zargnafs to Xebits”.  Both were fun to write, and I think people would enjoy them whilst using the washroom.  :}

So, I shall post again on Tuesday with news of Keats Island and Plumper Cove.

But for now, I shall go put all of my friend Ian’s belongings into a truck.  Seems everyone is moving these days…

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

Flush Fiction, Echo the bitey-scratchy

Today I mail off two flash fiction subs for Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader (Flush Fiction- hardy har har!).

I wrote two pieces for this, each under a thousand words.  Both were good fun.  One is a vignette from my space-western ‘verse, another is two alien kids documenting everything they found on a human female.

Snail mail subs only are silly; I suppose if someone prefers to only review material in a printed-on-paper format, they need to be sent a physical copy, but I think this is an unfortunate holdover from the age of print.  I much prefer e-subs, for the ease of sending and communicating, and as the more ecologically friendly choice (not just printing on paper- also mailing stuff around the continent expands my carbon footprint, which I’m trying to keep to a minimum!).

We had a poker night last night.  Nice night with nice friends.  Made delicious pasta and Szechuan green beans (found a good recipe on youtube here: Show Me The Curry!).

Echo was her usual bitey, scratchy self.

Sarah Salway at the CBC Book Club

On Thursday I had the great pleasure to attend a taping of the CBC Book Club for North by Northwest.

I’ve enjoyed listening to Sheryl MacKay host the Book Club for some time, and when my new friend Doris Ackerman on Saturna Island mentioned that her friend’s husband, the illustrious William Gibson, was going to be co-hosting a program, I decided to try and attend.

Then, a week after our trip to Saturna, Aaron shouted from the shower about something on the radio (we have a radio hooked to the lightswitch in the washroom, to provide CBC brand entreatment whenever the light is on).  I went to CBC.ca/BC/BookClub and entered to win tickets.  Days later, we were being escorted down into the thankfully air-conditioned CBC Studio One.

Admittedly, prior to her appearing on the Book Club, I was unfamiliar with Sarah Salway.  I did some reading up on her before the taping, and was delighted to see that she writes both novels and short stories.  I decided to ask her about her perspectives on writing them at the same time, and was delighted to hear both her and Mr. Gibson answer about their own writing process.

She was wonderful to hear, and I am going to get her book of short stories, Leading the Dance.  She read some excerpts, and they were funny, charming, real, and well written.  I enjoyed listening to her answer other questions from the audience as well.

I was on cloud nine for the whole night: real live authors, people who make money by writing!  Listening to both Sarah Salway and William Gibson share their insights was a treat that will stay with me, and inspire me, as I continue this journey to become an author.

Tune into North by Northwest on CBC Radio One (690 AM in Vancouver, or right here online), Saturdays, September 3rd & 10th, between 8 and 9 am both days to hear this Book Club.  You can hear her lovely readings, and me nervously asking my question!

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

Yes, Updated Tuesdays and Fridays…

A strange thing happens to me when I devote nearly the entirety of my brain to writing.

I cease to function normally.

Last week I didn’t know I worked on Friday…  Came home in the evening to several phone calls about this.  😦

Then, this Thursday, I went to work.  …I didn’t work that day.  😦

On the plus side, I saw both “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Tree of Life”.

Apes was good, hard sci-fi.  Some flaws for sure, but all in all, a good, tight film.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tree of Life, on the other hand…  I went in prepared to see a slow, methodical, sloooow film, and even with that preparation I was still bored to tears.  I will say that it was good, just not something for most people.

Also, any time a filmmaker thinks that, to tell their story effectively, they must start from the beginning of time, there’s a problem.  Don’t get me wrong; Parasaurolophus is my very favourite dinosaur, but that was just completely unneeded.  Also, that theropod that was going to eat the baby Parasaurolophus, but didn’t, was completely unbelievable.  Wouldn’t have happened.  Was this another metaphor?  Another symbol?

Anyway, Tree of Life…  gets a pass because it was beautiful, and there are not enough slow films in wide release these days.  But I don’t think I’d recommend it.

Onwards!  Writing life: this weekend I have a final pass over “Trook Hunters” to format it, in preparation for sending it to a publisher…  at their request.  I am pretty stoked about that.  This came about after a rejection of the two “Tinker” short stories.  But they liked my style and asked if I had any longer work.

Escape Publishing Collective is new; they go live in the fall.  Maybe I’m getting in on the ground floor of something awesome here, eh?  I hope so.

But for now, I send off Trook Hunters, with the hopes that it can find a home, and start building a fan base for the fantasy world of the Spell Carriers.

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

Excited for a beautiful anthology called “Fish”

Dagan is putting together a lovely looking anthology called “Fish”.

“Show us something beautiful,” they say.  Well, I loved my 7-7-7 flash-fiction format (which landed me in “Once Bitten, Never Die”) so much that I did a fish piece in that style for them.

There are seven species of Pacific Salmon, and each gets seven lines of seven words in my latest work, Seven Salmon.

I hope they like it.

Either way, this anthology seems like it will be a wonderful read!

Dagan Books’ announcement; submissions close on August 31!
I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

Let’s play “Who’s the Editor”

In submitting short stories pretty non-stop since June, I’ve discovered a strange phenomenon in the publishing world.

I don’t know who’s going to be reading my submission.

It goes something like this:

I click a duotrope listing I wish to investigate.  I read the duotrope entry, then go to the actual publisher’s webpage.  I find the specific project I’ll be submitting to.  I’ll read the submission guidelines.  Then, if I want to submit, I’ll start looking into the publisher and who I should be addressing my submission to.

In most cases, I have to dig, dig, to find out who’s name to address my submission to.  Then the possibilities look like this:

“Dear Editor” seems so lazy and impersonal, but I’ve had to use it on several occasions.

Closer than that is “Dear Guy1/Guy2” because in their “About” or “Bio” section they have two (or more) fiction editors, and I’m not sure which is handling the project I’m submitting to.  Only slightly better than “Dear Editor”.

Usually googling “who is editing anthologyXYZ” or similar phrases only brings me back to the publisher’s site, because there’s nothing about the anthology yet.   I also spend quite a bit of time on Absolute Write to try and narrow down names.

So what gives?  Why is it so hard to find out who the editor is?  Am I just supposed to know, and if I do I get sent to the front of the cue?

Many publishers do not have this problem; they have nice bio pages, with a paragraph or two about their editors, and I can take a better guess at who will want to see my submission.  Or they will state “Anthology XYZ, edited by SupercoolGal” or something similar.

My current plan is to document how many steps I have to take to find a name. I’ll post about this again when I have, say, ten submissions to use the data from.  …it’ll be maybe two months.  🙂

Anyone else run into this problem?  Am I missing something?

Good news everyone!

Hello friends!

I am very pleased to announce some very good news!

Firstly, welcome to heidilengwenat.com – I am extremely pleased to begin my blog.

Secondly: a piece of mine has been accepted into an anthology!

The book is called “Once Bitten, Never Die” and is about what happens when people are bitten by werewolves, vampires, zombies etc.  Sure to be an exciting read.  The editor actually wants to open the book with my piece, “Seven of Seven of Seven”, as it is very short (flash fiction, 343 words), and will set the tone of the book nicely.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah, as you can tell by all the exclamation marks, I am pretty stoked about this.  It will be the first time my work will appear in print.  IN PRINT, in a BOOK.

When the anthology becomes available, I will plug it mercilessly.  😀

The cover will look something like this:

And my face will look something like this:

Their table of contents is shaping up; see it here.

This is the first of many.  I look forward to similar exciting announcements in the future.  😀

Also, see below for my initial post.  I look forward to keeping this blog updated with nifty things.

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

First post!

So, I’ve finally got in on this blog business.  It will be a useful tool in promoting myself, I feel.  heidilengwenat.com.  Tell you friends.

I think it will break down like this: 33% writing related posts, 33% interesting posts (wait, you don’t find posts about writing interesting?), and 33% funny/random/cute posts.  The other 1% will be a wildcard, and when it happens it will be like being slapped in the face with a cold salmon.  I think it goes without saying that 100% of my posts will contain nerd.

Onwards.

Currently, I’m working on a short story for a Halloween anthology.  Spooky fun.

And in other news, I can’t stop being excited about Machine of Death Vol.2; I’ll really be interested to read it (especially so if my story, “.22 BULLET”, is among those chosen for publication!).

I’m also excited for a short story of mine called “C.A.R.C. RETCON LEVEL DOCUMENT” which I think has legs and can run all the way to the bank.  🙂  (Warning: this is not an emoticon-free-zone.  Use of emoticons may, at times, become excessive.)

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.