Monthly Archives: August 2013

Thoughts on a Tuesday

I think it’s completely normal for writers to have an inferiority complex about their writing. An artist is his own worst critic and most writers, especially early writers, don’t know if what they’ve done is any good. Their friends like it but what if it’s just because they like the writer and don’t want to let them down?

Surely there has to be someone who says “Yes, this is good enough. Congratulations, you’re a professional.”

There isn’t, though. There’s no certificate, no plaque, nothing that says you are no longer an amateur except to sell the things that you’ve written. The line from professional to amateur is when you start making money, and that applies to most professions.

Even though I know that, I occasionally want to apologize for not having sold more of my writing; for daring to put myself out there and saying “My work is worth paying for” and charging for it. The little voice in the back of my head keeps saying “if you were really a writer, you would have been published when you were sixteen, you would have worked harder to sell those stories you wrote. Anything you do now is just faking it.”

And it’s all true, except it’s not. I could tell you exactly why I stopped writing for pleasure for years and didn’t dare submit anything anywhere. It had very little to do with the amount of skill I had and everything to do with a very bruised ego. It took me years to realize that and more years to realize that I had to write. It took me even longer to take the first tentative steps to submit stories to publishers.

Yes, I do actually send short stories out for consideration when I feel I have something that would fit the market. However, I also tend to write things that don’t really fit the traditional markets. And that’s ok. Ten years ago, I would have acted like I felt like a rebel but secretly cried myself to sleep because I’d been rejected by the popular kids. Now, I just shrug and put it up on Amazon. There is a market for what I write and I can tell because I’ll get sales out of the blue when I spend 90% of my time not marketing.

I’m in this for the long haul but sometimes it feels like I’m rushing to catch up to my potential and I get so scattered by trying to do to many things at once. I have to remember that I have at least another 30 years, barring a major disaster, and hopefully another 30 beyond that. There’s time for me to finish everything and it’s definitely time for me to start acting like a professional.

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Music Monday: Diamonds (Cover by Steam Powered Giraffe)

Sometimes, you just have to get back to your roots when you need to get back into the swing of things. Life has been crazy and hard recently and it’s taken everything I had to get through the last couple weeks, much less put words on paper. Steam Powered Giraffe was the group that sparked my creative imagination to write Steampunk stories. This week, I decided to catch up on some of the videos I had missed and I’m so glad I did. This one reminded me why I started writing in the first place and where I wanted Copper Visions to go. And, really, why it made so much sense to name my robot David.

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Music Monday: Cello Wars

This was the first video I’d ever seen of the Piano Guys and I was absolutely blown away by the fact that there were electric cellos. Yeah, yeah, the special effects were cool and Darth Vader was funny but electric cellos? I was in music geek heaven.

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August 19, 2013 · 6:00 am

Blog updates

There will be no blog updates that haven’t been previously scheduled for the foreseeable future. Thank you for your patience.

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Music Monday: Automatonic Electronic Harmonic

Sometimes there’s a song that just hits your imagination. It was this song that convinced me to write Copper Visions. The group is Steam Powered Giraffe and they’re out of San Diego, California. They are so creative and something about their offbeat sense of humor and the passion with which they perform makes me want to go write something. So I do.

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Steampunk Sunday: Steampunk Chicken

Steampunk Chicken in Annapolis, MD

I came across this chicken on imgur and I thought it was so cool but there was no information on it! I would love to share more about this very cool statue so if anybody has any information, please, let me know in the comments and I will be happy to share/link whoever made it!

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Flash Fiction Friday: Unfit for the Throne

The cats were at their usual position next to the throne; Tom was to the right, Puss to the left and Kit was lounging on the floor in front. All three were the head of their parts of the castle cats, wearing the jeweled collars of their positions and very little else. The visiting dignitaries were uncomfortable looking at the animals shaped like people. The countess sat on the throne, waiting for them to approach and state their business.

The young man in the group was the first to step forward and bowed to the woman in the throne.

“We thank you for seeing us on such short notice and allowing me to petition for the position I have been raised for all my life.”

The countess looked at him and dropped a hand to the right of the throne to stroke Tom’s hair. “You’re a bit young, aren’t you, to be bringing this kind of petition? I wasn’t aware you had reached your majority, yet.”

The young man cleared his throat and looked back at the older man who had accompanied him. The older man stepped forward and bowed to the countess as well.

“You are correct, Regent, that he has not yet reached his majority, either by your laws or by ours. However, he has proven to be a very apt pupil and I would see him claim what was his and learn the rest of what he needs to know under your tutelage. There is no kingdom on this continent that is better run than [magic kingdom] and he would benefit greatly from your rule.”

The countess frowned at the men in front of her, feeling deceit in their every word, but they’d done nothing yet to provoke her. “Yes, this is a well run kingdom, and I would thank the boys maternal grandfather for that. However, you should know that he is not the only claimant for the throne.”

“Yes, but surely the countess can see the wisdom of installing a young man who is a grandson of the late king on the throne to settle the matter of the succession before it comes to war between all the claimants.”

“I do not see that as wisdom,” the countess said. “And neither did his grandfather. The terms of the succession have been set and followed to the letter thus far. Now, please explain to my why it would be wise to allow the terms of succession to be broken in order to prematurely crown an unproven boy?”

The young man blushed and stepped forward only to be stopped by the older man. “Unproven perhaps, but he is not a boy, and should not be treated as such. We have come to you in good faith, to ask you a favor that would relieve you of this heavy duty you have been forced to bear. If we are premature, then I apologize.”

The throne began to glow under the countesses arms and her voice took on an echoing quality. “You would seek to relieve me of this burden, would you? This young man is your nephew through your sister and you would see him sit on this throne, a puppet to your desires, this kingdom subjected to your kingdoms needs.”

The floor of the throne room began to move, wrapping around the visiting men’s legs, forcing their guards to stay back and the men directly to the front of the throne began to bend over in pain. The countess stood and walked towards them, Tom and Puss pacing her, staring at the men in front of them. The necklace around the countesses neck began to glow and the same fire appeared in her eyes.

She grabbed the young mans chin and pulled his face up so she could meet his eyes. “Yes, you are young, and you dislike this kingdom. Your uncle has promised you an alliance and another kingdom to live in while he rules this one. I see cowardice in you and a lack of wisdom. But your uncle is right in one thing; you do belong to this kingdom and you would learn wisdom under my tutelage.” The floor released his ankles. Tom was behind him, wrenching both his arms back and looked to his mistress.

“Yes,” the countess said. “Take him to the guards. We will begin his training there.” She moved to the older man and pulled his face up to look at hers.

“I see your greed, old man, and how you see these young people in your care. You would use them as your puppets, your play things. I see your neice in your mind, soon to be an addition to your other mistresses.”

“You can’t stop me, and you won’t live forever,” he spat at her. “No matter what magic your dead lover did to you.”

“You are correct, I will not live forever, but before I die, I will see you brought lower than any slave in your kingdom.”

“You can’t keep me here,” he said, more desperate than certain.

“No, it would not be wise, but before you go I will make you my plaything,” the countess said. The floor released him into the arms of Puss, who held him the same way Tom had held the would-be prince.

“To the trainers, Puss, the ones for naughty kitties.”

The glow slowly receded from her eyes as the countess walked back to her throne. She sat back down and addressed the guards. “You are my guests until your masters have learned their lessons. If you don’t wish to stay, you may be escorted to the border.” Everybody filed out of the room, dismissed by a hand wave, except Kit. She crawled to the countess and put her head in her lap, purring as she was petted, soothing her mistress the only way she could.

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