Antonio Banderas Kat

Dancing Along

Sheesh, it's been a while since I've posted an update.

First of all, I took a trip to Old Town in search of chocolate. It was a success, I'm happy to say. And on the way, I came across this man dancing:

Unfortunately, once the song was over, it was time for his break.

I am working my way out of a writing slump. I managed to churn out one short story last week, but I'm not too crazy about it. I'm working on a post-apocalyptic tale right now and having fun with it. I also figured out a solution to a third story's problem. Sadly, it involves hacking off the first 6 pages. Happily, it's shaping up to be a much better story.

Now that TNEO is a week away, I'm really excited! I'm in a flurry trying to get things squared away at work for the week I'm gone in addition to gearing up for the trip itself. And somehow, with all this extra work, I'm being more productive. Go figure.
Antonio Banderas Kat

Been a While... Time for an Update

I blame Facebook. It has sucked me in and made me nearly forget about LJ. Curse you, FB!

On the writing front, I completed my TNEO assignment in the nick of time. I had to leave a few loose ends dangling, but it was that or turn in something incomplete. A couple days ago I wrote the teensiest story I've ever written. It's a whopping 119 words! It's already polished and out the door. I feel so productive. Now to tackle the two short stories sitting on my desk.

I've discovered what works and what doesn't in the garden. The broccoli is growing like crazy. The root vegetables are doing well. The lettuce has become bird food. I'll have to put up some sort of netting so the little terrors leave it alone. Oh, and I have strawberries! Luscious, red strawberries.

I've made myself hungry. Time for lunch!
Antonio Banderas Kat

A Post Chock Full of Awesomeness

I made my first sale! Woo hoo! My fantasy story "The Secret Ingredient" will be published in the October issue of the anthology Shelter of Daylight. I'm so excited! It still doesn't feel quite real, and I suspect it won't until I'm holding the issue in my grubby little hands.

In other news, our century plant, or agave, is putting out a bloom. The neighbors' agave started about a week or two ago, and I suppose our agave figured it was a good idea and started its bloom also. The cool thing is that the stalk grows at an amazing rate... several inches per day! And the stalk can grow as high as 20 feet. I doubt ours will get anywhere near that tall, though. The sad thing is that once it blooms, the plant dies. I just wish I had a time-lapse camera set up. Anyhow, here's what it looked like yesterday afternoon:

The garden is slowly taking shape. So far I've got romaine lettuce, red onions, leeks, chives, celery, and cilantro growing. I'm waiting on the other lettuce, carrots, and broccoli to start. I talk to the garden. I encourage the plants to grow. Like the neighbors needed another reason to think I'm weird....

And for the big finale... last night I had dinner with Sonny and Cher and Stevie Nicks. We were serenaded by Elvis Presley. And next door some transvestites were having a party. Yep, just a typical Saturday night.
Antonio Banderas Kat

How 'Bout An Update?

I'm still rewriting the novel I'm turning in for TNEO and am at about 58K with the idea that it'll be about 80K when it's all said and done. That deadline is looming larger every day. I will not jinx myself and say how it's going.

I've got one new short story written and critiques in hand. That one will be out the door in the next few weeks, time permitting for revision. And I've started plotting the next story.

I've done five critiques so far. I'm glad I signed up for the extended novel group. Reading large chunks of other peoples' novels has been quite enjoyable. The only downside is I want to keep reading them. Curse those people for writing interesting stories!

In non-writing news, I planted a square foot garden this year. Here it is, all cute and snuggly in its cedar box:

And, er, obviously I just planted it since there's nothing green in it yet. I hope that changes soon. And I've already caught the dog sniffing at it with way too much interest.
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Antonio Banderas Kat

Head Down, Plugging Away

I feel like I've been hibernating and am only now poking my head up to see what's going on in the world.

Speaking of hibernating and such, it snowed here yesterday. I woke up this morning to a mountain covered with the stuff (at least, at 7,000 feet and higher). Where the heck is spring?!? I've actually got plans to start a vegetable garden this year. That's right, I'm going to try my hand at growing my own food. Watch out, stomach.

I've fallen into a rhythm with the day job. I get little writing done those evenings, but I usually get something down on paper, and that makes me happy. Then I make up for it on my days off.

While editing the novel for TNEO, I hit a part that made me go "blech." So I started rewriting from about the middle on. Which means I'm frantically trying to reach the end of this thing by the deadline. And now the first round of critiques is sitting on my desk. Already they're eyeballing me and whispering. You should be reading us. Stop procrastinating. Stop looking at me like that! Aargh, the voices!

I'm okay, really. I've got plenty of chocolate to see me through this.
Antonio Banderas Kat

Silliness and Whimsy

The Whimsy....

There's an eccentric millionaire who lives in Amarillo, Texas who also happens to dig unusual art. Not buying it, making it. Stanley Marsh has created a multitude of street signs that can be found in people's yards or just willy-nilly along the roadside. They say things like "Innocent lazy frightened and mortal again" or "Undead end." Check it out.

The Silly....

I just came across a bit of dialogue I overheard at the airport in Houston recently. I had jotted it down, and thank goodness, because I had forgotten all about it. This guy was talking on the phone. Apparently he had business in Mexico. I think he was talking to his wife, but I can't be sure. Anyway, he starts talking about kidnapped Americans and says, "If I get kidnapped, don't pay them the full ransom they ask for. Bargain." You really want somebody to haggle over the cost of your life?!?! Sure, the kidnappers will take the asking price down from 50K to 45K. But they'll send you home with one less hand. Or eye. Or testicle. And besides, kidnappings aren't a problem in Mexico. Being caught in the crossfire as drug dealers shoot at one another is.
Antonio Banderas Kat

A New Record and New Shows

Today I officially have 8 short stories in circulation. That is the most I've had out at any one time. I also decided to count my rejections after my pity party the other day and discovered the grand total is 73. The triple digits, they are approaching! Don't worry, the pity party is long over.

I've been editing the novel, and yesterday was tough. I had a hard time making myself sit and go through it. I couldn't figure out why, because it hadn't been that hard before. Then I realized I had gotten to the part where I slogged through during the original writing and sometimes wrote crap just so I could keep forward momentum. Much rewriting is about to ensue, and my inner slug is borrowing tips from babarnett's slug.

I've been watching a couple of new shows--new to me anyway--and really enjoying them. One is Life on Mars, the American version. The dialogue is witty, and New York in the 70's is fascinating. I love the contrast between Sam's way of being a cop (from 2008) and the 70's way of being a cop. I've also just started watching Breaking Bad, a show set in Albuquerque (and consequently filmed here). I started watching it for that reason, but it's got some hilarious moments. A chemistry teacher who's a washed-up Los Alamos scientist is diagnosed with lung cancer and decides to start cooking meth to make some extra money for the family he'll soon be leaving behind. So yeah, it's got some dark moments too.
Antonio Banderas Kat


In counting the rejections I've received since the beginning of this year, I realized I'm averaging a little more than one per week. At this rate, I will have more rejections this year than ever before. Of course, there's always the hopeful idea that some stories will actually be bought.... Anyhow, I have one little guy holding on at a market right now. Will he make it? Won't he? Stay tuned, folks.

I'm still searching for that elusive first sale. It's starting to seem like a unicorn. I'd like to believe in it, it sure would be nice if it existed, but deep down I have the sneaky suspicion I'll never spot one. *sigh* Just ignore me, I'm throwing myself a pity party today. That's what I get for actually sitting down and counting rejections.

Two weeks into the day job and I feel like I'm starting to settle in. Steady work + paycheck = happy me. I come home mentally exhausted, and on those days I get very little writing done. A sentence satisfies me. So I spend those evenings mostly reading.

Private investigation class continues to be amazing. This past week we had three guests: a P.I. specializing in surveillance, one specializing in litigation (he basically does the legwork for lawyers), and a crime scene investigator. Something I never considered about surveillance work before is how boring it is most of the time. There are brief periods of action, and there's a lot of decision making involved during those moments, but mostly it's sitting around and waiting. And occasionally convincing the police that you're not a stalker.
Antonio Banderas Kat

Gumshoes and Psychics

So I've been taking a weekly class on private investigation. Tonight we had a guest lecturer. She was a... drumroll, please... psychic detective. Er, ah, first I guess I should mention why I'm taking this class. The protagonist in my next novel is going to be a P.I. All right, back to the psychic. She would interrupt her talk with readings. I kept thinking, Please don't read me, what if I'm giving off freaky vibes and she reads me and screams as she points to me and calls me evil spawn and people start screaming and they all run out the room! Well, she got to me eventually. But apparently life is on the upswing. And I'm not evil spawn. Thank God. Next week we'll have more guest lecturers: a forensics specialist, and three P.I.'s all with different backgrounds and specialties. Is it too much to hope one of them is from Hawaii, drives a red Ferrari, and wears short shorts? *sigh* Probably.

Revisions have been moving along slowly on the novel. I've been trying to revise some short stories and get them circulating. In fact, one went out the door today. I've also been trying to write new short stories.