Archive for the ‘Catch as Catch Can’ Category

Greetings readers,

I am taking a couple of days off this week, starting now.  We have friends visiting and shortly we are going to load up in the van and head west to San Angelo, Texas.  That is out on the edge of the Chihuahua desert.  We are going to see the red-headed stranger live and in person, second row.  For those who don’t know who that is, let me give you a hint.

That’s right, Willie Nelson!

Some of you smile and nod and too many of you probably make a face like you smelled bad milk.

Yes, yes, now you know my dark secret, I like country music.  More specifically, I like good singer/songwriters.  Willie is a very gifted songwriter and is an all around interesting person.

So while Whiskey river is taking my mind, you crazy cats be good out there.  I will be back online this weekend and hopefully inspired to pen a new short story about cowboys hunting down a chupacabra or the like.

Sending you pointy-toed, worm-skin boots,


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9 queries enter:

Less than 24 hours later one rejection and one request for a partial.

I am going to call that a win. Yes, indeed.

7 more responses to go.

This writing stuff is not for sissies.

Ranch dressing soaked pantaloons,


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Just a drive by post.

I often see fellow writers asking or posting about what kind of music motivates creativity. Here are three genres and five albums which turn me on in no particular order.

Science Fiction:

  1. ELO: Time
  2. Bad Religion: Stranger than fiction
  3. Dune: Sound track
  4. Blade Runner: Sound track
  5. Jeff Wayne: War of the Worlds
Paranormal (This could be a long list)
  1. The Damned: Phantasmagoria
  2. Concrete Blonde: Bloodletting
  3. Danny Elfman/Oingo Boingo (Music for a Darkened Theater/Dead Man’s Party)
  4. Batman: Sound Track
  5. Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine


  1. Willow: Sound track
  2. Carl Orff: Carmina Burana
  3. Leonard Cohen: (Really anything but the Best of or the Essential are both nice)
  4. Led Zeppelin: Zoso
  5. Basil Poledouris: Conan the Barbarian
This is music that gets me thinking and starts the little tag ends of what if in my head turning on the loom of my curiosity.
QOTD?  What music moves you?

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Don't knock my hobbies

And Lo’ it was Sunday.

(Greetings feels overdone)

I sit here surfing the deep and abiding pleasure of ham inside my mighty stomach listening to the gurgle and roar of (American) football from the living room.  A nice blend of content and tired.  I could take a nap.

This is NOT acceptable

I will have you know I have gotten almost no writing done in several weeks.  This is annoying me.  I have a new novel in the works, I have short stories unfinished, I have submissions I should be sending, but I am not because I am so fricking tired.

You may or may not recall (I make no assumptions as to your powers of comprehension) that I started a new day job over the summer.  It is for a very cool company, but it is a small company and everyone works very hard.  Honestly, harder than I am used to working.  I have lived in the 45 – 50 hours a week of work as my norm for years.  Now I am essentially back in the start-up world where people who work less than 60 hour weeks are viewed as slackers.

Let me offer you some life math

Work + wife + children + domestic responsibilities + social obligations + kids activities + hobbies + WRITING = Eleventy bagillion hours a week

You will notice there has been no inclusion of eating, sleeping or bathing in this schedule. *sniff sniff*  Yeah…

I am hitting a wall in terms of my ability to keep up and honestly, this feels unacceptable.  I have miles to go before I sleep.

So I am endeavoring to reestablish my caffeine addiction.  After years of not drinking daily coffee, I working to cultivate that behavior to help increase my productivity.

I just took delivery of one of these bad boy:

The Cuisinart SS700 Kuerig coffee maker

Of course, the damn water reservoir is cracked so I have an open ticket with the Cuisinart people to make this fully functional. (Cuisinart, PASS THIS BILL…)

Lets see if adding stimulants to the mix will help me fold space and time to get this new novel going.

Next up, Meth!

QOTD?  What is your favorite K-Cup product?

-Seamus the ever yawning

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Okay writing brain,  I want you to look at something

So cute, some of the audience is actually exploding into unicorns and glitter

So cute you can’t stand it right?

Okay, now take a long hard look at this.

I think you see where I am going here.

That is right.  Either you finish up the last thousand words on this short story for the nice Mr. Anthologist or I am going to club this baby seal.

I mean it.  Do not screw with me here.  This story needs an ending.  Go stick it like an olympic gymnast or fluffybutt is going to eat lumber.



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What have I been doing you ask?  Well let me tell you, one of the things you can guess quiet easily.  I have been a very naughty blogger, in that I simply have not been doing it.  But before I get off on a rant, lets stick with the format at hand.

What has passed since last we spoke:

1.  I continue the onerous process of revising, editing and fiddling with The Gears of the Earth.  It has been painful and educational in the extreme.  It has also been disheartening because the book is rather large and feels like an endless hole into which I pour hours of time trying to make it shine.  The realization that I am trying to turn a natural gift for story telling into something special using a mediocre skill at the written word is a tough lesson for my ego.  That being said there is a story in there that people will love, that I love and I want to see it shine through the pressed pages of pulp wood into your mind.

2.  Hunting.  Many of you know by now I am a hunter.  Well it turns out hunting seems to fulfill and also renew certain aspects of my creativity, but it also basically unplugs my creative process.  I have noticed this two years running now that I simply am a pitiful writer in November and December.

3.  The holidays.  I have two young children, a boy and a girl who are 7 years of age.  Yes, twins.  It seems common enough, both Ken Scholes and Saladin Ahmed have them as well as I recall.  Maybe it comes from sitting and writing so long or something?  Regardless, the holidays have come and passed.  It starts with late October and runs through New Years at my house and it is a hectic time full of sound and fury, signifying consumer whoring of horrifying magnitudes.

4.  Day Jobbery.  Yea and onto life came work: and it was tedious at times. It is also sometimes challenging and fun, and LO it continued to pay for bacon and eggs and mortgages and holidays and so we did not beat out swords into plowshares.   You may or may not know but I am a middle manager in a technology company working in business development.  This is the bastard child born when Sales and Marketing drink too much Chardonay while listening to Lush Life and smoking up the mailroom guys weed.  Mine got incredibly busy and continues to be busy, but I am reaching the point where I am creating the new normal around that.

5.  Short Stories.  I have started a bundle of the suckers but they seem to be more writing exercise than actual story telling because once I have found I proved a point I wanted to make to myself about writing in a certain style I lose intest.  This is in general all together no good bad behavior.  No finished short stories means nothing to share with writer friends and nothing to submit.  Which brings me to the point of self flagellation about getting back on the damn band wagon with submitting.  Say it with me chill’uns, “TILL HEll WONT HAVE IT!”  We should just start a small press company called THWHI and be done with it I tell you.

Seamus you say, “This is some pretty pedestrian wanker shit, what IS shaking down at the  gin joint?”

Well I am glad you asked that, ecstatic really.  Here is what has me jazzed.

With the aid of a fellow Viable Paradise grad, Stephanie Leary,  We have announced a hybrid writing retreat and seminar we like to call Paradise Lost.

We have been thinking for some time that it would be awesome to support continued education for neo-pro level grads who are not over the line yet into the super sekret world of published writers with all their meetings, rites and handshakes and such.  Don’t bother asking Overlord Scalzitron, he won’t budge.

We were lucky enough that Jay Lake was feeling gracious and agreed to attend as our writer in residence, which is awesome.

We announced at the end of January and it promptly filled up with only a few spots left.  Color me surprised, I guess there was pent up demand for Texas events?  Either way I am really excited and looking forward to it.

What else is going on?  Aren’t you a struggling writer or some other overly emo, self imposed title?

Well I continue to pound on “Gears” like a tent stake in hard ground, though not nightly at this point.  I am also aware that of a very irreverent paranormal novella lurking under the baseboards of my psyche.  It is not in an outline yet, but it is getting damn close.  In the mean time I am going to start making hay with the stories I have unfinished and get a few done and out for submission.  I have promised myself I will not get to go to Reno this year if I don’t have SOMETHING sold.  I have also been told that my poetry does not stink and I should consider putting it out for submission.  If anyone has any thoughts on good venues who are looking for submissions for poetry I am ALL ears…

In the mean time, here is wishing you good luck out there,


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Dear Reader know this, the shower is a princely invention for which I think too little praise is heaped. I sit here now with you, shaven, shorn, cleaned and thoroughly scrubbed.  This is a very good way to end a day spent in the pursuit of domestic dominance of ones suburban jungle. But enough of my water closet peccadilloes.

Last night I decided that I was quite sick of looking at one of my short stories and sent it off to Clarkesworld to see if they would have it. This is important to me because it marks my first submission.  My submission virginity is now a tattered ruin, and none too soon.  This of course also means I start the life long process of waiting on submissions and the ubiquitous REJECTION that comes with submission.  Bring it on. I am going to send out my stories until, (say it with me if you know the words) HELL WON’T HAVE IT.

So there you have it, another day of domestic class war.  Now I sit myself down and decide, do I edit my current manuscript, “The Gears of the Earth” or do I write a new short story.  Decisions, decisions.

I will write the next installment of the year of writing on Monday.
Next week is a busy one with work and home.  We have new hard wood floors being installed in half the house.  Good bye dust holding allergen laden carpet.


– Seamus

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