Thursday, June 30, 2011

What? An actual update? Get. Out!

Just hitting some quick bullet points to summarize my month.

  • I was bummed when Vistag Media’s Kickstarter project didn’t hit its target for funding the SECRETS, LIKE DRAGONS novella project. I was looking forward to writing a novella (or novelette) and eventually seeing it in a book alongside Ed Greenwood’s name, a fella whose work I’ve admired and whose campaign setting (Forgotten Realms) gave me countless hours of enjoyment back in my gaming days. But, I’m still happy to know that Steven E. Schend hasn’t given up the fight and is continuing to explore avenues for his publishing company and the Kharndam fantasy setting.
  • I took on some editorial duties for Jason Waltz’s Rogue Blades Entertainment (RBE) on a heroic fantasy anthology called CHALLENGE! DISCOVERY, and I gotta say, based on the stories and authors I edited, this is going to be a great antho worth every penny. I thoroughly enjoyed this project. Plus, I had a little bit of a fanboy moment when I found out Keith J. Taylor was one of the entrants. I read his BARD series way-back-when and abso-smurfly loved it.
  • Another anthology project came to my notice this month: Pill Hill Press’s DARK HEROES. They’re calling for stories where the main character is a monster of some sort acting in heroic fashion. When I read those guidelines and saw the July 2nd deadline, I just knew I had to give it a shot. So, I steepled my fingers. I massaged my brow. I cracked my knuckles. And then I let those fingers fly! I wrote a 6,400 word short story in about a week, then fired off drafts to my test readers—thank you Kenny, Tracy, and Bill for the suggestions—incorporated some of their thoughts and feedback, and sent the final draft off just a few hours ago. If you watched the teaser for”Brave” I posted a couple days ago, that bear in the trailer is almost exactly what I pictured in my mind when writing my story for DARK HEROES (in my story there’s a really bad-ass were-bear).

So, that’s my June as far as writing and editing. It’s weird. Seeing it summarized like that I’m trying hard not to chide myself for not being more productive. I think I should have written another short story or put more time in on my novel…man, a true writer’s never satisfied, I guess.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pixar teaser for next film: Brave

Pixar + fantasy? Yes! Pixar + fantasy + Billy Connolly + Craig Ferguson + Emma Thompson + Kevin McKidd? YES PLEASE! Check out the following trailer (1:06) for an advance peek at Pixar’s latest animated film project.

Here’s the official synopsis:

The film [Brave] features Kelly Macdonald as the voice of Merida, a skilled archer and the daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Wise Woman (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.

Brave, which will be released in the U.S. on June 22, 2012, has the voice cast of Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, and Julie Walters.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Are you LinkedIn?

I updated my LinkedIn Summary and thought, "’What the heck, I’ll put it on yonder blogspot, too. Fancy that.’ So, here we goes…



Late '80s: This skinny, pimply, mulleted youth, straight out of high school, fell into the publishing biz as an illustrator, designer, writer, and editor. Didn't finish college, to his parents' chagrin. Music of choice: U2, Guns N' Roses, R.E.M., Depeche Mode, INXS, Journey, Queen.

The '90s: Got my ears pierced, got glasses, gained some muscle, lost the mullet, and created and/or headed up many successful projects, primarily in toys, games, and magazines. I wrote comic books and had a lot of fun. Music of choice: Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, The Crystal Method, Loreena McKennitt.

The '00s: I lost the earrings and most of the muscle, gained some flubber, continued to edit (magazines mostly), and wrote stories on the side, getting paid for a few of them. Got married and started a family. Started college (finally). Music of choice: Radiohead, The White Stripes, Audioslave, Tenacious D, System of a Down, Flogging Molly, The Zutons.

The '10s: Finished college, acquiring a degree as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. Still write. Still edit. The rest remains to be seen. Music of choice: The Decemberists, Muse, Apocalyptica, Arctic Monkeys, Ray LaMontagne, Jack Johnson, Soundtrack and Score Music.

Okay, so now the plan (this decade) is to diversify financial support for my growing family by working in both the health care and publishing settings (as much as I can take it), while also continuing to indulge my need to write stories and have them published, an unyielding infatuation that simply refuses to go away. Maybe lose a little weight, too.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Conan the Jazzerciser? An article by Bill Ward

"...for [Poul] Anderson Conan was an adventurer, for [Robert E.] Howard he was the truth."

Go to the Rogue Blades Entertainment site and read an insightful article by genre writer, editor, and blogger, Bill Ward: When Realism Isn’t Real — Conan the Jazzerciser.