Blog Archives

Book Launch!

Airborne anthology by Third Person Press

A while ago I mentioned in the My Work section of the site that one of my short stories, “The Wild Helicopters of the Australian Outback,” is being published in an anthology soon. Well, “soon” has been given an official date: October 6th, 2010.

The anthology is the second one in a series that started with Undercurrents in December of 2008. (I was in that one too). That one had a water theme, this one has an air theme, the next one’s going to be earth themed and I assume there’ll be a fourth “fire” one after that. All the stories are speculative fiction (i.e. sci-fi, horror, or fantasy), which is wierd for Cape Breton. Most of the books that come out here are about fishing, mining, Celtic culture, or fishing miners who love Celtic culture. The series is put out by Third Person Press, a local independent publishing company.

The launch party is at the McConnell Library in Sydney, Nova Scotia from 6:30 to 8:30 in the evening. So for those three or so readers who are actually from my hometown, come down and see me! There’ll be readings and food and stuff and you can get your book signed. None of us are really very famous yet. A couple people have books published, some work for newspapers or whatever, but someday one of us will make it big (ME!), like J.K. Rowling big, and then your copy of Airborne will be a rare, signed book that will fetch many dollars on eBay for your kid’s college fund.

My story, “The Wild Helicopters of the Australian Outback,” is about a recently graduated aeronautical engineer who comes home to her family’s floating wind farm to help fight off the pesky artificially intelligent helicopters who keep hanging around leeching their power, only to find herself making friends with one instead. It’s a cool story (if I may say so myself). It combines five of the top entries in my ‘Coolest Things Ever’ list (Australia, wind turbines, blimps, helicopters and wilderness adventures) and it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever written (so far, anyway).

Here’s a list of the other people who contributed to the book, just in case you’ve actually heard of them before:

Chris Benjamin
Jill Campbell-Miller
Ken Chisholm
Donna D’Amour
Kerry Anne Fudge
Meg Horne
Theresa MacKay
Bruce V. Miller
Krista C. Miller
Sue MacKay Miller
Sherry D. Ramsay
Julie A. Serroul
Peter Andrew Smith
D.C. Troicuk
Nancy S.M. Waldman

You can buy a copy of Airborne at the launch (the last book cost about $20 so this one will probably be the same) or you can get it online after it comes out. There’s probably going to be an e-book version for about $5. There was of the last one. I’ll post links when I find out for sure.

Anyway for now check out the awesome cover! (look to the right… up a bit… yup, that cover) Nancy Waldman, one of the editor/writers, did the artwork. Totally cool, right? Those things in the cloud are little pictures representing the different stories. If you look on the left you can see a helicopter. That’s me!

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Becoming Famous: A Reality Check

A disturbing number of people out there believe that if they possess a modicum of talent and are brave enough to move to a big city, they will eventually, some way, some how, be “discovered” and become a famous icon of the artistic profession of their choice. The reality is that the percentage of hopefuls who achieve this dream is depressingly small.

So why do we all believe, deep in our hearts, that it’s possible, and that it will happen to us? Because all we ever hear are the success stories. An attractive young man is out walking his dog and gets discovered and becomes famous (David Boreanaz of Buffy The Vampire Slayer ). A frumpy older woman sings a song in a contest and ends up becoming famous (Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent).

We can recognize, logically, that there must be some failures, but we never have to hear about them, so it’s easy to pretend that won’t be us, especially when we read celebrity bios and find lots of commonalities between their early lives and ours. “Oh, he used to pretend to be people he admired when he was in school! I used to do that!” (Josh Lucas) or “Oh, she used to write poetry as a teenager! I used to do that!” (Danielle Steele).

I could say: NEWS FLASH! Everyone messes around with creative stuff in school and 99.995% of them never go anywhere. Just because you wrote angsty “no one understands me” poems that sounded suspiciously like the lyrics off a Three Doors Down album when you were 15 does not mean you are destined to be a modern day Lord Byron. Having a career in a creative profession isn’t about the famous part, it’s about the creative part. The tiny minority of uber-famous, uber-rich creatives has blinded people to the existence of the massive number of creatives who toil in relative obscurity for no reward other than their own satisfaction. (Translation: you are much more likely to become ME than to become Stephen King).

But people generally don’t respond well to random pessimism. They need proof. They need stories. They need biographies! So I present to you the story of Elsie Mae Plimpkin.

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Instant Drama

Say you’re a television writer and you’ve got writer’s block, but you’ve got to (somehow) keep the drama rolling if you want the paycheck that’s going to put food in your kids’ mouths.

You’re doing 24 episodes a year, writing flat out. Your house looks like a bomb went off in it. Your kids are whining that they a) never see you and b) are hungry. Your boss keeps thrusting the ratings in your face.

Your show is supposedly grounded in reality, so you can’t bring in aliens or magical fairies to poof you out of the corner you’ve written yourself into. What do you do?

You turn to the writer’s ammunition pouch and pull out the surefire guaranteed instant drama pills, which miraculously expand into storylines when fired at a blank piece of paper like those caplets that give birth to little foam animals when you put them in hot water.

If you’re new to the scene, let me fill your ammo clip for you by giving you examples of instant drama pill storylines from the one hour drama series SATURDAY NIGHT TRAILER FEVER.

If you’re not familiar with this fabulous yet relatively unknown show, here’s the premise:

Mulleted idiot Joe Bob opens a discotheque with his brother John Bob in their trailer park after they discover they both love to imitate headless seizuring chickens to the beat of porno themes sung by men with voices only dogs can hear.


those are mullets, not squirrels sleeping on their heads

Don’t let the fact that these magic pills are known as cliches in critical circles stop you. Remember: your kids need bread.

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Battlestar: The Occupation/Precipice Diaries

Pages from the diaries of:

EX-COLONEL SAUL TIGHE

Dear Diary,

Ouch. Ow. Ow. Ow. How long have I been in here? What? Really? That long? Ellen’s doing what?! Well really, the only solution is to blow ourselves up. And by ourselves I mean yourselves. I’ve only got one eye now so I get to sit out.

CAPTAIN KARL “HELO” AGATHON

Dear Diary,

Yup. I’m still here. And I’m still married to a Cylon. And you know what? I’m kinda enjoying it right now. So go away.

EX. LIEUTENANT FELIX GAETA

Dear Diary,

I’m in a pickle. Baltar keeps signing his name to things. Whatever they put in front of him. Granted, a lot of them are cheese acquisition forms. Those cylons love their cheese. But sometimes they’ll slip in an execution order…or 200…and then it gets less cool. Because no one knows it’s me flipping that dog’s bowl over. And when this is all over I don’t want to end up on a meat hook. Yes, a pickle indeed.

EX. LIEUTENANT TUCKER “DUCK” CLELLAN

Dear Diary,

You might want to step back a bit. No. Further than that.

SAMUEL ANDERS

Dear Diary,

Caught sight of myself in the mirror today. Yowza. Still got it.

EX-PRESIDENT LAURA ROSLIN

Dear Diary,

I told you so! I did! I so did! I told you so I told you so!!! Okay, I just had to get that out of my system. Oh well. I’m a teacher. Let’s make this a learning experience. The moral of the story: no matter how shitty things get, they can always get shitter. Oh, hang on, the truck to take me out to the mass grave is here. Gotta go get shot. Later!

COMMANDER LEE ADAMA

Dear Diary,

Stupid Kara. Stupid stupid going to the planet with stupid Anders Kara. Stupid dead Kara. I’m so not going back for you. Nope. So not. Cause I’m married now. To…uhhhh…umm…one second I know this one…oh yeah, Dee! And she’s…there. Yeah anyway Kara I don’t need you anymore. I need noodles. Lots of noodles. And to yell at my dad…..and just maybe….directions to the gym. NOT that that means I want to go back or anything. It’s just…certain people…certain Kara people…can’t see me fat. And it’s hard to hold a pen in my fat sausage fingers.

EX-CAPTAIN KARA “STARBUCK” THRACE

Dear Diary,

Killed Leoben today. He’ll be back in a couple hours though. Wow this is repetitive. He just cannot get it through his thick head that I am NOT destined to fall in love with him. But you know what does get through his thick head? Chopsticks. I’m not allowed to have those anymore. In fact, I’m not allowed to have knives or forks or chair legs or window panes or shoelaces or stairs or rugs or paper or….oooh! Here comes Leoben! I just found something better to do with this pen. Later!

Buy Battlestar Galactica Stuff

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Page 2 of 2«12

SUBSCRIBE TO ZE EMAILS

Subscribe to Ze Feeds

Archives

Links by Google