Saturday, October 29, 2016

Happy Halloween

          Happy Halloween, boys and ghouls!  It's the witching hour, 12:18 AM, the actual moment I was born those many years ago, and I'm here to pass some information along, both frivolous and serious.  I know, this isn't Halloween, but it's the last chance I'll have to post before that date, so I'm taking advantage of the situation.  October is the start of "birthday season" around Chez Ty, beginning with mine on the 7th.  The schedule goes birthday, birthdays (mother and son), Halloween, birthdays (twins), Thanksgiving, this year a quinceañera, birthday, birthday, birthday, anniversary, and Christmas, then we get a break in January before we have two more in February.  It ends with my daughter's in March.  These two months always feel like we're running downhill, never quite ready for the next party, which always takes place here; we wouldn't have it any other way!  Tomorrow we have our daughter-in-law and her first-born, who share the same birthday.  How cool is that?  Two days later is Halloween, and it doesn't let up until New Year's.  Great times, and anyone who wonders why I never get involved in NaNoWriMo need look no further.

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          And speaking of writing, here's a quick update of events on the literary front:  I'm still doing the line-by-line punctuation check of Beyond the Rails III.  Some computer-savvy people have told me how to eliminate that particular activity, but I have come to realize that, as agonizing as it is, it is a great help to me, as during the process, I tease out typos, and polish the not-quite-right words in the first draft.  I should have that wrapped up by, well, Halloween, and can begin the second edit, which involves evaluating all the suggestions provided by my wonderful alpha-readers to see which of them are going to be used and which aren't.  Another round of rewrites comes after that, and I doubt the book will be ready by Christmas.
          My next project, Stingaree, has suddenly taken off.  I started writing the notes for that months ago with no clear vision.  I just took a notion to write a steampunk story about my home town, and found that it wouldn't "go" in any particular direction.  I had interesting characters with complex conflicts, but no engine to power a plot.  Well, a few days ago, I woke up from an afternoon nap (have I mentioned that retirement is great?) with the Initiating Event clear in my mind.  I dumped the old notes and began again, and the thing is eager to run, champing at the bit in impatience.  My only problem now is discipline.  Must...  Finish...  Beyond the Rails.  It will be done.

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          Now the real purpose of this visit. Back on May 19th, I set up the Punk Fiction Writers' Guild and invited all my writing friends to join.  There was an initial flurry of activity as a group of fellow authors signed up, but then it just petered out.  The Weebly blogging service didn't help, as they announced last month that ScribD (whatever that is) has taken them over, or was always their parent company, whatever, and that beginning on October 15th, ScribD would claim the right to "exploit," their word, any content on their servers.  Several stories were immediately taken down by their copyright owners, and I don't blame them.  I moved from Weebly over here to Blogger because when a corporation tells me they're going to lay claim to my work for the privilege of having it on their servers, I take them at their word.
          The point is that Punk Fiction is dying.  As I write this, it has been 21 days since anyone has visited, and I believe from the data provided by the counter that that was one of the members checking to see if anyone had been there.  I'm disappointed this didn't take off, but Weebly certainly didn't help us with their policy change.  Anyway, 21 days from now, if something drastic doesn't change, I will be closing that site down.  People weren't very interested before the policy change, and I don't see things improving in its wake.  But I could be wrong.  If things take off between now and November 19th, it will stay up.  Otherwise...  Well, you know.

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          That's all I've got this time.  I'll check in next week sometime after this round of festivities dies down, and with any luck at all, I'll have something marginally more entertaining.  Until then, be safe and have fun, and if you figure out how to make that work, I want to know about it!  I gotta go rest up for a day of partying.  Hope you all enjoy your weekend half as much as I will!

~ "Blimprider"

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