Posted in Featured, My Books, Writing

If I Had It To Do Over Again

The Setup

Jodi Cleghorn, my pesky beloved editor, on her own blog, posed a question for me to answer.

Two years ago, she and Paul Anderson, two fellow bloggers at Write Anything, asked me if I’d like to write a story for an anthology they’d dreamed up. “It’s called Chinese Whisperings. Did you ever play that game when you were a kid? In America, I think it’s called telephone. (OK, I’ll admit that’s probably not a direct quote. I probably still have the email but I didn’t want to spend the time looking for it.) Two years later that, story has been done, plus another in the series, the eBook has been out for over a year, I’ve published another story through working friendship collaboration (with two more on the way), and Chinese Whispering is about to publish it’s first two volumes in paperback.

In case you decided to skip that paragraph…it’s been a busy two years.

The First Chinese Whisperings books was written a little bit like a camp-song sung in the round. Each author had to take their main character from the cast of secondary characters in the prior story. And now that Chinese Whisperings: The Red Book is about to come out in paperback (Oct 11, 2011, in case you were wondering), my frenetic energetic friend from across the world has put this question to me: What would I do if I had a second chance at my story? Is there another character that I whose story I would have chosen to tell?

The Response

Short Answer

No. (I could make it shorter, but I liked including the period.)

Long Answer

As I was waiting my turn to write my story (sixth out of ten) I was able to read the stories before mine as they were turned in. I remember while reading Jason Coggins’ Something Mean in the Dream Scene, wanting very badly to be the next author in line, because a story came to me almost fully formed about one of the characters. But having just reread that story I can’t for the life of remember who that character was…or what the story was.

Then when I read Tina Hunter’s Innocence I drew a blank. I didn’t want to write the story of any of those characters. But Jodi reminded me that I’m always like that at the beginning of a project. And she was right. After about ten rereads the the secondary characters of that story were all already too involved in the events of the book. I needed to look at the background characters. When I finally did choose the story it came out quickly, if erratically.

But looking back at the book as a whole, I can’t think of a character I would have rather picked up on than Simon.

Although I have to admit I was a little bummed that Jasmine Gallant didn’t tell Verity’s story. But it’s hard to hold a grudge when she did such a great job with Dash.

This will all make so much more sense to you if you’ve read the book. Don’t have a copy? Never fear. It’ll be out in paperback in less than a month.

I’d originally tagged Annie Evett as the next to answer the question, but it seems she, as well as most of the other female writers are busy. So to keep things going I’ll tag Rob Diaz.

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Posted in Featured, My Books, Writing

Nothing But Flowers

“Nothing But Flowers: tales of post apocalyptic love” is the second offering from Literary Mix Tapes (a quarterly crowd-sourced short fiction anthology inspired by music)…. and I am fortunate enough to have a story included.

Inspired by the Talking Heads song of the same name, Nothing But Flowers explores the complexities and challenges of love in a post apocalyptic landscape. From plague to fundamentalist governments, comets and war, from terra firma to outer space the people on these pages face up to what it means to love and be loved when you’ve lost everything.

My own story, “There But for Fortune” is included in the anthology.

[button link=”http://emergent-publishing.com/bookstore/nothing-but-flowers/” type=”icon” icon=”notice” newwindow=”yes”] Buy the Book[/button]

Posted in Featured, My Books, Writing

The Ying & Yang Book

In the international terminal of a large European airport, Monday morning is about to get a whole lot worse. At 7.35am Pangaean Airlines, one of Europe’s major carriers, is put into receivership grounding all flights, stranding thousands of passengers and impounding tonnes of luggage. But all is not as appears on the surface and the sliding-doors moment of one woman deciding to retrieve her suitcase will ricochet through the lives around her.

The combined anthology contains 22 original stories, including the prologue and epilogue.

My own story, “Providence” is included in the anthology.

[button link=”http://emergent-publishing.com/bookstore/chinese-whisperings-yin-yang-book/” type=”icon” icon=”notice” newwindow=”yes”] Buy the Book[/button]

Posted in Featured, My Books, Writing

The Red Book

In a small North American university town ten lives are intersecting…

Miranda reaps what she has sown…
Mitchell understands there is no resisting fate…
Clint dreams of forging a violent destiny…
Elizabeth is about to make a discovery…
Robin hides a terrible secret…
Simon hasn’t slept in ten days…
Sam is pursued by nightmares…
Susie has lost everything…
David has just been found…
Jake atones for past evils…

Ten ordinary people struggling to keep their sanity in an insane world.

My own story, “Not Myself” is included in the anthology.

[button link=”http://emergent-publishing.com/bookstore/chinese-whisperings-the-red-book/” type=”icon” icon=”notice” newwindow=”yes”] Buy the Book[/button]

Posted in Anti-Resolutions, Featured, General Silliness, Writing

My 2011 Anti-Resolutions

It’s time get the new year off to a creative start—and make some resolutions you’ll actually keep in the process.

The rules are simple:

  • List ten things you resolve NOT to do in the upcoming year.
  • Be as creative as possible.

To get this thing rolling, here are…

My 2011 New Year’s Anti-Resolutions

  1. I will NOT try to get my kids to use rechargeable batteries by telling them that every time they throw away a regular battery an angel loses its wings.
  2. I will NOT try to free up spaces next to me on the bus by reading aloud from my Kindle version of The Anarchist’s Cookbook.
  3. I will NOT lobby the local school board to teach the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, even though String Theory teaches us that at the sub-atomic level we are all rather noodly.
  4. I will NOT, assuming I earn my Kilt this year, bedazzle it so as to make myself more visible.
  5. I will NOT found a new religion with a bovine deity in an attempt to deduct my over-consumption of Red Bull from my taxes.
  6. I will NOT sink my savings into an attempt to have MTV Games add Kazoo Hero to their stable of video games.
  7. I will NOT legally change my name to Inigo Montoya so that I have a unique pick-up line to use when meeting women.
  8. I will NOT pursue my loves of science and writing by completing my draft of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Nuclear Fusion in the Home.
  9. I will NOT announce myself at my friends’ doors with…Knock, knock, knock, “Penny”, knock, knock, knock, “Penny”, knock, knock, knock, “Penny.”
  10. I will NOT go an entire year without using question marks, while mocking my friends because of their use of mongrel punctuation.
Posted in Design, Featured, Writing

My Birthday Present

As my birthday present to myself I am giving myself a new blog. Those of you who may have visited lately will notice that the design is completely different (and in progress) and many posts have disappeared.

This weekend I am celebrating my birthday by moving from one apartment to another. But after that settles down, I’ll hammer out the changes to the blog. Then I’ll be concentrating much more on writing and much less and keeping the design up to date.

So for the time being, please pardon the mess.

Posted in Design, Featured, Writing

A Call for Ideas

I realize that over the last year or two I’ve essentially killed off any readership I had here at Rough Draft. There are many reasons for that—although whether they are reasons or excuses is up for debate.

However, in the past couple of months I have been writing more and more…but not on this blog. And I think I know why. I’m avoiding it. Almost everything in my life has been rewritten in the last six months. But this blog is the same. And I think it’s time to do something about it.

It’s time to redesign.

But I’m not sure what I want to do. As in the past I’m going to contract an artist to design some graphics, but what will they be.

So I’m tossing it out to anyone who’s still listening. Anyone have any bright ideas?