Category Archives: Nonfiction

Another changing tide? (#SFWApro)

But changing in a good way, happily. As King Cnut demonstrated (image borrowed from Medievalists, don’t know artist, all rights reside with current holder) we cannot hold those tides back. Before I get to tidal matters, here’s a quick overview of the week:

•I wrote and submitted my newest Screen Rant, as I mentioned this morning.

•I submitted more articles on the current Leaf project.

•I sent in my first sales tax payment on sales of Philosophy and Fairytales. It was less than a buck so the charge for paying online was actually more than the tax. On the other hand, it is kind of cool that I need to pay sales tax.

•I continue to struggle with fixing up Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast. I think I have the problems fixed but I’m ordering a test copy (about $6) just to make sure.

•The best part of the week is that I got back to work on Southern Discomfort. I just promised myself that no matter what, I’d get a thousand words done every day, and I did. I’d like to do more, but it feels wonderful to be moving forward with it.

And that’s the tide part — after swinging so heavily to nonfiction, they’re moving me back to fiction. Okay, technically I moved myself back by conscious effort. So much for the metaphor. But then again, the nonfiction does seem to be slowing down a little. This latest Leaf project will wrap up by the end of next week at the latest. One of those nonfiction projects I talked about at the link just isn’t happening (not the first time I’ve gone through Welcome Aboard! followed by Crickets!). I have another one that may start next week — we’ll see what happens. So that could mean less money (boo!) but more fiction time (yay!). And I have a few potential nonfiction projects, both articles and long-term gigs, to look into next week.

On a non-writing note, I had a frustrating experience making calzones this week. The dough just didn’t work, which I assume is my fault though the recipe did seem off (very little time for the dough to rise). However I made the filling without the calzones and its delicious.  I shall make it again soon.


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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast, Southern Discomfort, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Writing

New Screen Rant: Sixteen Things You Didn’t Know About Brainiac (#SFWApro)

Brainiac started his career as a bald alien criminal capturing cities in bottles. Then he became a computer, a different computer, a human with delusions, a flesh-and-blood alien, a Kryptonian … Learn his history here.

Al Plastino art first image, Gil Kane second. All rights remain with current holder.

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My screen rant column on Green Lantern is out (#SFWApro)

greenlantern59As I mentioned yesterday, it covers the secrets of Hal Jordan’s (and others’) ring. Why Green Lanterns can’t kill the renegade Green Lantern Sinestro. Why the ring doesn’t work on yellow. The appalling lack of any sort of failsafes built into it. And more fun facts. Cover by Gil Kane, all rights remain with current holder.

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A productive week, but …. (#SFWApro)

But almost no work on fiction, as I noted this morning. I’m much more focused working on nonfiction than I used to be, so that’s good, but in April I will have to squeeze in extra fiction time somehow.

So what did I get accomplished?

•Several articles for Legal Beagle, one of Leaf’s (the renamed Demand Media) customers. The pay was good, the work fairly easy — it’s the same style as before so I’m very familiar with it.

•My next Screen Rant column (which will probably come out right after this post goes live darn it) about the amazing quirks of Green Lantern’s ring: the prison world inside it, the reason it doesn’t work on yellow, the time Hal Jordan turned himself into an envelope and the convoluted retcon that led to the end of the Green Lantern Corps. Image by Gil Kane, all rights to current holder.

•I did the paperwork for another web-writing informational article gig, and it was quite a lot of paperwork. So that took up some time.

•And I finally resolved my access problems to CreateSpace. I put a lot of work in getting Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast ready for hard copy; hopefully by next week it’ll pay off and I can announce the book is live (of course it’s already live as an ebook). Contrary to this morning’s post, that’s an extra goal I completed for March, pushing my success rate (along with a couple of minor goals I finished today) to 62 percent, woot!

•I got maybe a chapter done on Southern Discomfort. Total for the month, maybe 15,000 words. Not enough. Next month I will have to improve. I’m tired of taking so long to finish it. I know I can’t pull a nanonano (I’ll still have some nonfiction to get out) but I’ll have to make it work somehow. ‘Nuff said.

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Filed under Comics, Nonfiction, Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast, Southern Discomfort, Time management and goals, Writing

March in review (#SFWApro)

Given the chaos, the unexpected extra assignments and everything else, I’m pleasantly surprised I got 58 percent of my goals done (I’m writing this Thursday night, but I don’t see the figure changing today). Unfortunately most of them weren’t writing goals. They were things like practicing meditation, wrapping up the taxes, using sunscreen, meeting my quota of exercise, etc. All important, but more personal than professional.

Part of that is that I overestimated how much I could get done after having Lily stay over and visiting Florida. Part of it is that Screen Rant and all the other unplanned nonfiction I did steered work away from my plans for fiction. I’m particularly disappointed that I couldn’t pull off the 25,000 words I wanted on Southern Discomfort. And got bupkiss done on short stories.

But that’s basic to the writing game. If something new comes along — a paying gig, an invitation to write for an anthology — then you adjust your plans accordingly. I shall spend this weekend setting goals for April and figuring out how to balance everything. I hope.

For bonus amusement, here’s a cover (don’t know photographer, all rights remain with current holder) of a 1970 decorating book, courtesy of Awful Library Books. That woman appears to be seriously stoned, or she’s just had some really great sex.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Southern Discomfort, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Writing

New Screen Rant column: Heroes who hung up their capes (#SFWApro)

Unlike the previous column about heroes who retired, this is heroes who quit temporarily (as Spidey does above — image by John Romita, all rights to current holder) rather than forever. Where the previous column was a real challenge to find material (“White Tiger’s perfect …. oh, came back into action.”) I could easily have added another dozen temporary quitters (Barry Allen, Wally West, Guy Gardner, Vision, the entire Teen Titans, the entire Legion of Super-Heroes [counting the team as one entry], Johnny Blaze …)

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There is a tide in the affairs of men, but it isn’t as predictable as real tides (#SFWApro)

So last Friday I mentioned that I had another possible paying gig. It’s a legal news service, providing freelance content to various legal papers around the country, and they liked my first story, so I’m in.

And then Wednesday of this week, my former clients at Demand Media (now Leaf) emailed me with an offer to work on one of their special projects.

And Thursday, someone for another website calls to ask me about doing some articles.

Which is very cool. I like people calling to ask me to do work . But why on Earth now, in particular? It’s something I’ve thought in the past when I suddenly sell two or three short stories in a relatively brief stretch of time: why didn’t it happen say, a year earlier? Or ten? Am I suddenly that much better? Is it all blind chance? Or what?

First world enigmas, I guess.

Of course it’s not like even if all these clients plus Screen Rant provide tons of work (I’ve had clients in the past who liked my stuff but didn’t generate much work) it would let TYG quit her job and live a life of ease. But it still feels good to have money coming in. How will all this work with the fiction I like doing best? Well, we’ll see.

As to actual accomplishments this week, my new Screen Rant column is out: 15 Heroes Who Quit and Never Came Back. This was surprisingly tough to write, as I kept finding characters (the Bronze Age White Tiger, the Patriot, the Earth-2 Batman) who quit for years — oops they got back into harness! Back to searching for someone new. Hellboy is top of the list.

And I got probably ten thousand words done on Southern Discomfort, though I’m unsettled by how much of it was new material (new scenes, radically rewritten old scenes). That means more polishing down the road, which takes more time, which could delay completion even more.

I had hoped to wrap up turning Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast into a hard copy via Createspace, but I ran into some log-in problems. Hopefully I can get it done next week, and then work on that book will be over.

Wish me luck.

(All rights to Hellboy cover remain with current holder)>


Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast, Southern Discomfort, Time management and goals, Writing