Are You Linksperienced?

The writing proceeds apace at Chez Olson, after some bumpy days where I was not sure what the hell I wanted to write–not because I didn’t like what I was writing, but because I had several ideas that all wanted to come out at once. For a while, I thought that Entering Cadence, my ‘science fiction noir’ novella, would be what occupied my winter, until it decided it wanted to be a novel instead. I knocked out the first draft of a short horror story, “Goldilocks Zone,” then had to decide whether to return to Entering Cadence or start in on one of these other ideas.

The idea that won was to revisit a very old short story of mine, The Morpheist, and rework it into a dark fantasy novella set in a biopunkish future (once again, showing no respect for genre boundaries–tsch!). For the first time in a long time, I’ve been meeting the (admittedly modest) daily writing goals I’ve set for myself, and expect to have a first draft done by mid-April (stopping only to revisit, revise, polish, and send out “Goldilocks Zone”). After that… it’s either back to Entering Cadence, on to an as-yet-untitled biopunk SF story targeted for an anthology, or over to True Places to see if I can take the salvagable first half of that and turn it into a decent standalone book.

(As far as Starless Midnight–the projected sequel to Brutal Light–goes, that’s also a possibility, but low in priority at this point. Maybe by fall I’ll be ready for it…)

In the meantime, here are links! Yay?

I’m going to be on Blog Talk Radio’s A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book, hosted by Jennifer Walker, on February 29th from 6:30pm to 7:00pm. Jennifer will be interviewing me on Brutal Light and other writerly things, and I’ll be doing my best to keep my brain from locking up due to the stress that comes to me from trying to keep my train of thought from leaving the station before all the words are done boarding. Drop in and listen! (It’s not really ‘radio,’ it’s streaming, so if you’ve got a good internet connection, you should be able to follow along. Also, it’ll be archived, just in case you decide not to rearrange your life so as to listen live.)

Lincoln Crisler recently released a free story on Smashwords (you’ll need to log in or create an account to see it) to promote his soon-to-be-released anthology, Corrupts, Absolutely?. (And yeah, that anthology is one of the new releases I just talked about above.) Check it out!

Here’s something that’s simultaneously both cool and worrisome: Google will be selling ‘heads-up display’ glasses by year’s end. Cool because… well, come on. Worrisome because you just know people are going to be wearing these while doing other things, such as walking and driving and who knows what else, and it’s only a matter of time until we hear someone caused a multi-car pileup because they saw that a store they were passing had several funny cat videos on their YouTube channel.

Speaking of biopunk, here’s an article on some of the real-life bio-hacking that some people are already doing. This has ‘beginning of a SyFy Channel movie’ all over it…

I used to like eating hot, hot foods. In college, I would snork up jalapeno peppers straight out of the jar, and afterward, for years, I’d grow my own chili peppers. I’ve mellowed somewhat on that (my orders of Indian food never go above ‘medium,’ which is ‘hot’ to most sane people), but this article on the world’s hottest pepper tempts me to the challenge…

Here’s Five leadership mistakes of the Galactic Empire that you’ll want to avoid, especially if ‘force choke’ isn’t an option on the table for keeping your employees in line…

Finally, here’s something (originally brought to my attention by Naomi Clark) that I just loved: the opening of Mega-Shark vs. Giant Octopus, retold as a heartwarming children’s story. It is made of awesome.

Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and several previously published and forthcoming short stories. He can be found via his website, his blog A Taste of Strange, as @gwox on Twitter, and in many other far-flung places on the Internet.

Scheming into 2011 (Part Deux)

Back in January 2011, I posted this blog entry on my plans for the first half of 2011. They were, in summary:

– Submit Brutal Light to another publisher
– Submit True Places to another publisher
– Submit Onyx Fire to a publisher
– Outline my next novel (either Minions or the sequel to Brutal Light) and get started on writing it
– Write a new short story
– Rework an old short story into saleable form
– Submit my short story Fabulous Beasts to a publisher
– Worldbuild for an as-yet-unnamed dark fantasy/sf environment

Now that six months has passed, I thought I’d revisit this and see how I did. First and foremost, of course, I did submit Brutal Light to another publisher, and they accepted it for publication. This of course made my brain spin, and threw me onto a new track altogether for writing plans. (Well, that and some personal circumstances that have nothing to do with this.)

While I did manage to submit Onyx Fire to a publisher, I never got around to sending True Places anywhere. In fact, I’ve decided to shelve True Places entirely for the time being. There’s just too much I’m dissatisfied with in it, beginning with how it’s about a third longer than it needs to be. One of these days I’ll take it off the rack and retool it, but not now.

I have started outlining the sequel to Brutal Light (tentatively titled Starless Midnight), much as I said I would. I started the ‘new short story’ indicated above, but have not yet gotten far with it, and I’ve neither retooled the old short story, nor have I submitted Fabulous Beasts anywhere.

Why not? Well, aside from my personal circumstances and being thrown for a happy loop by having Brutal Light accepted for publication, I’ve been at work learning the business end of writing. I’ve expanded and polished the material on this website. I’ve taken a seminar on self-promotion for writers (the publisher does some, but other bits fall to me) and outlined some rough plans for what to do as publication day (12/1/11) approaches. I’ve expanded my contacts on the various social media platforms (and yes, I’m gonna be on Google Ploosh, very soon now). I’ve cut or modified some things I had going on that threatened to compete with what precious time I have available to write. In short, I’ve been at work re-orienting my head from being a writer hoping to get his book published the first time to a writer aiming to get published again and again.

That said, I’m ready to list some tentative goals for the second half of 2011:

– Editing Brutal Light into its final form for publication–once I have an editor assigned to my book, this will be my top priority until it’s done
– Finish outlining Starless Midnight, then write and write and write and write…
– Finish two new short stories – one the story I started back in January, the other a new one for a recently announced anthology
– Submit Onyx Fire to another publisher (should the one that has it now reject it)
– Continue networking and making publicity plans for Brutal Light, and then following through on those plans (something that will take more of my time as December approaches)

I’m looking forward to an amazing (and hectic) second half of the year!

30 Days of Writing #28: Written a Character with Disabilities?

28) Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there’s nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.

One of my characters in Brutal Light, Lia Mardalos, is physically blind. She is, however, able to get around due to her advanced precognitive abilities, which in viewing short-term possible future paths let her see what is before her (and in the long-term, where she needs to go and what she needs to do to achieve her aims). She’s entirely viewed by others during the course of the novel, so her internal thoughts and ways of relating to the world are, as of now, unrevealed. This may change with my next book, tentatively titled Starless Midnight.