Saturday, June 13, 2015

Week In Review: June 7 through 12

Because there have been a lot of things going on this past week in the world of sci fi, fantasy and writing, I thought it would be a great time to do a week in review.

Sunday 7 June: Christopher Lee Dies at 93 Years

When I heard about this only a few days ago, I was both shocked and sad. Sir Christopher Lee has been one of my favourite actors since childhood. I first found out about him when I was a kid, around six or seven, on a hosted horror movie show called Creature Features. The host, the late Bob Wilkins, talked about Mr. Lee all the time, let alone featured his horror movies, and interviewed him on the show. Lee’s Dracula movies always inspired me in everything horror. He’s one of those actors right up there with Lenard Nimoy (who sadly also died back in February) who you wish were immortal. You even get kind of mad at the fact that death exists when famous actors like him die. Well at least in his movies he’ll be immortal and not just in his Dracula ones, which his high quality acting extended far beyond. May he R.I.P.

Actor Christopher Lee grins evilly, showing bloody fangs as Dracula.
Sir Christopher Lee, 27 May 1922 - 7 June 2015
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Monday 8 June: Writing a New Short Story

After several weeks without writing any new short stories, I finally wrote and finished one (first draft). Because I filed it away, as I normally do with my new stories for at least two weeks before revising them, I resumed revising two other stories. One I actually started revising only a couple days ago. But then I realised I had to slow down. When I work on too many projects at one time, especially projects of one kind (e.g. several short stories) they take forever to get done. So I’ve realised that I better take it one at a time and so since I save the weekends--especially Saturdays--for mostly working on my short fiction, I’m concentrating on one story this weekend hoping to get it done and ready for critiquing before Monday.

Friday 12 June: Jurassic World Releases

This is the latest sequel to Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (based on Michael Crichton’s novel of the same name) that came out in the early ‘90s. And to tell you the truth, as great as the original was I haven’t seen it since then. I’ll have to watch it before I go see this sequel. Maybe I can check it out at one of the libraries in the area. In fact, I haven’t even seen any of the other sequels. Maybe I’ll do a Jurassic marathon (private). Finally, after years of mostly directing historical dramas (please don’t get me wrong, I’m a big history lover) Spielberg is rolling out the sci fi films again. Hopefully he’ll continue doing so for a while.

Back to the Drawing Pad

I also finally got back to work on the concept sketches for my book cover illustration for my second short fiction collection that I plan to release by fall. So far, I plan to call the book The Hidden. I’ll try to have a photo of one of the final concept sketches by next week. Realistically speaking, I’m more of a writer than an artist and so my writing has taken up so much time to where I keep missing my allotted time to work on my book cover illustration. But, because I have a background in art, since it was what I first majored in in college before switching to English, I don’t want that training and studying in the subject to go to waste. I’m not so much talking about tuition money than talent, skills and passion. To tell you the truth, I’ve had a passion and talent for art even before I started writing, which is probably natural. We often don’t learn to write our ABCs until kindergarten (maybe some kids start in nursery school, I’m not sure). But kids will start doodling at least by the toddler stage of their lives (about 1 or 2 years old).

Throughout the Week:

I’ve been working on non-fiction/technical writing for clients, mostly relating to apps and software. As much as I like doing this type of writing, it can really be trying and wear a person out since some clients are very specific about what they want. The more specific they are, the harder it is to research the topic. There tends to be less content and resources out there for a topic that’s narrowed down so much. This is even the case when researching it on the nearly infinite Internet.

I don’t just go for any source. I want to put my best work into a client’s project and so, when I do research, I need to consider the credibility of the source. That’s because I want the client as well as the client’s audience to rely on my own credibility. But the Internet can be like the 19th century Romantic poet Samuel Coleridge’s poem, “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”:  “Water, water everywhere yet not enough to drink.” Except in my case it’s info, info everywhere, yet not a piece of it to rely on (or at least it seems). When you think how big the digital information sea is, there’s probably more unreliable amateurish sources out there than there are reliable ones. It’s a good thing I like to learn new things because if I didn’t I probably wouldn’t be writing research articles, if I would be writing at all. Even us fiction writers have to do our research if we want our stories to be taken seriously. (If you missed it, see my post on researching for world-building.)

Preview of Coming Attractions (No set dates for yet)

  • Philip K. Dick short story review (No, I haven’t forgotten.)
  • Possibly an article or two (link to) of sci fi related material. Now that the revenue seems to be picking up at Examiner, I can find it worthwhile to write more frequently for them again.
  • Sacramento Wizard Con highlights: especially look out for ones of writing and literary panels.
  • And I already mentioned the photo of a sketch for my book cover illustration.

I’ll leave you with that for now.

Until next time . . .  

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