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New Collection Released

I’ve released a new short story collection.  It’s full of some of my favorite stories and has beautiful cover art done by Tom Edwards.

Description: In this large collection, author Annie Bellet demonstrates her gift for the short form, offering readers twenty short stories, novelettes, and novellas that are compelling, beautifully imagined, and entertaining.

Till Human Voices Wake Us contains 20 stories ranging from hard science fiction to space opera, sword and sorcery to magical realism, some in print for the first time.

Included in this collection are:
Falls the Shadow on Broken Stone
Till Human Voices Wake Us
No Gift of Words
Pele’s Beekeeper
Crawlies
Delilah
No Spaceships Go
All-Purpose Luck
Roping the Mother
Winter’s Bite
Broken Moon
All is Violent, All is Bright
The Scent of Sunlight
Light of the Earth As Seen from Tartarus
Nevermind the Bollocks
Delivering Yaehala
Of Bone and Steel and Other Soft Materials
La Última Esperanza
A Hunter’s Memory of Winter
On Higher Ground

Find it on Amazon for Kindle, or on B&N for Nook, or on Smashwords for every format.

New Collection and Also Music for Writing

First, the business stuffs or whatever.

I have a new fantasy short story collection out.  Here are the shiny details:

A pregnant witch must decide between protecting her heritage and protecting her unborn child… A man looking for a better life learns there is a permanent price attached to change… Grieving for his lost brother, a man faces the mother of all tornadoes with a little magical assistance… When a social worker threatens to break apart her family, a single mother of two must use all her imagination and courage to escape to a better world.

This is a collection of four fantasy short stories from Annie Bellet.  Included are: River Daughter, La Última Esperanza, Roping the Mother, The Scent of Sunlight.

*Bonus Material*
The first five chapters of “A Heart in Sun and Shadow”, a fantasy novel set in a re-imagined ancient Wales.

You can buy it for Kindle here: http://www.amazon.com/River-Daughter-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B005SM8372/

And in all other formats via Smashwords here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/93998

Now, on to what I want to talk about in this post.

Music. Specifically, the music I use when writing.  I’m always curious about what other people listen to while writing (or don’t listen to) but I am not sure I’ve shared some of my favorites.

It often depends on what I’m writing, but generally, I can’t write without music.  I gotta have it.  I prefer music without English or Spanish words (or at least pretty incomprehensible lyrics if they are in a language I understand).  But instead of just waxing on forever about this band or that song or whatever, I figured I’d just post some links so you can listen to things yourself.

For writing SF, lately I’ve been totally hooked on the Halo 3: ODST soundtrack.  Listen to this and tell me it doesn’t make you want to go write something full of spaceships and brave people and guns and stuff:

I’ve also been listening to the Bastion game soundtrack a ton.  You can get the soundtrack (or listen to it) here: http://supergiantgames.bandcamp.com/

For writing fantasy, especially epic-feeling fantasy, Two Steps from Hell is pretty much the winner.  Listen to this and then go write a giant sword fight or sweeping reunion among long-lost companions: 

In general, I’ve been enamored of the Red Sparowes lately:

And for writing romances or fantasy or pretty much anything highly emotional scenes, you can’t go wrong with anime soundtracks.  I really love the work of Yoko Kanno:

So that’s the story with me and writing music.  The right song while writing a scene can help me tap into the emotional core I’m looking for or help me visualize the story I’m telling.  I don’t know how people write without music.  It works for some. Just not for me.

By the way, I’m always on the lookout for more writing music.  So if anyone has suggestions of things I might not have heard of, don’t be afraid to post some links in the comments.

Writers of the Future Q3 Results

The first Honorable Mention list for 2010 Q3 has been posted here: http://www.writersofthefuture.com/node/636

My name is on it.  Got a very nice email notifying me (first time I’ve gotten an email for just an Honorable Mention).

It would be lying to say I’m not disappointed.  I really, really like the story I submitted for Q3 and think it’s one of the strongest I’ve written.  It’s also novelette length, which means there’s a shorter market list for it.  And near-future hard sci/fi, which makes that list even shorter.  But it is back out to another market now, so here’s hoping it fares better among the magazines than it did in the contest.

Good luck to anyone who hasn’t heard yet (or got the phone call), and best wishes and e-hugs to those of us now looking ahead to Q4.

WotF 2nd Quarter Results

Well, I didn’t get a phone call.

But I’m a semi-finalist. Wee! Step in the right direction.  (Too bad I’m 90% sure my Q3 entry will be disqualified based on inclusion of a song lyric. Oh well. )

So yeah, that was sorta a shock, considering I’d heard nothing at all from Joni or anything.  But hey, getting a critique from KD is pretty awesome and way way better than the straight reject I thought I was getting.

Now, to go write something more awesome than anything ever for Q4!

Getting Over Lazy

I’ve been writing a fair amount in the last month, but when I looked at the results in terms of finishing projects, it doesn’t look so good.  I’ve finished two things in the last month. Two.  Not exactly on target with where I want to be by the end of the year.  It’s time to quit being lazy and work on the second of Heinlein’s Rules: finish what you write.

It’s easy for me to finish short stories generally.  Once I’m writing one, I tend to just get it done (usually within one or two sittings).  Novels are tougher to finish, though the endings so far of them are a lot easier than the beginnings and middles.  I’ve been tinkering between two novels lately, getting some done on each but not really making huge progress with either.  Part of this is fear.  Once I’m done, I have to send it out.  I’ve worked out a way to overcome that fear by putting together the package for each novel before I finish, so at least that part of the work will be done so I can just focus on getting the book done.

The other part of this is just sheer laziness.  I like to work in bursts, when stuff “comes” to me because I’m lazy and making my brain focus and compose is annoying if I’m not in the mood.  Yep, just lazy.  I know it is laziness because if I have deadlines (real or imagined), I have no problem dumping the “must be in the mood” and getting the work done.  I think I can combat my current lazy with some good old habit-forming.  I like to take days off writing, but for the next while, I’m not going to.  I think I need to build up a nice streak, get in the habit of not letting myself take days off (usually I justify days off because I know I *can* write 10k words in a day to catch up if I have to).  So starting today, I’m going to get in at least 3,900 words of fiction a day at least 6 days a week, with the seventh day goal being 1,250 words.  At that pace I should be able to finish everything I want to finish by the end of the year.  It really doesn’t help that I keep adding things I’d like to finish to my project list.

When I started out this year, I was thinking I’d write four novels and get to 30 or so short stories out to markets.  Then I kept having novel ideas, so it turned into five novels.  Then because of a conversation at one of the workshops, I decided I was going to aim for 80 short stories on top of that.  I’ve since revised that down to 40 or so shorts, not because I don’t think I could write 80, but because at 27 I’m already a little sick of the admin work of keeping track of them so I don’t accidentally sim-sub or something that I think 40-50 will be the max I want to track at a time (and it’ll be a level that, god forbid, if I start selling some, I can replace them).  And on top of that, the novel ideas just keep pouring in.  I’ve shunted four over to next year already.  I’m aiming at seven this year (two of which are shorter, one 50k, one 65-75k).  Frankly, I’d love to slow down, but my brain won’t let me.  See why I can’t afford to continue being fearful and lazy?  I don’t have time!  At the least I’ll be getting a lot of practice in and hopefully improving.

Current projects and current word count:

MG novel- ~12k

Suspense/Crime novel- ~8k

Sci/fi novel- ~7k

Sekrit Experiment project- ~1k

Paranormal Mystery, Horror Western, Irish Historical, and Regency Romance- no words yet

Also have one novella that stands at ~1300 words and another that had nearly 5k on it (which I haven’t touched in a year since I really need to redraft the whole beginning, grr).

So… plenty to finish.  I should get on that.

But I Get Up Again

I never realized how stuck I’d gotten after writing that story that just failed.  I’ve started and not finished three stories in the last week.  Not finished.  I usually finish shorts in one sitting.  It’s the novels I poke at (and I’m poking, I’m poking.  Gotta get the MG one done soon, seriously).  I got stuck because I’m afraid that every word is more fail.

Fuck it. Seriously.  So I failed. That story really doesn’t work at all and nothing will save it (maybe the setting, the setting might, the setting is good.)  I have to get over that.  Move past it.  It’s so easy to dwell on what doesn’t work, what feels or reads wrong.  I think my academic side lets me down here, because I’ve been trained to pick things apart.  It’s time to get back up.  The mini self-inflicted rollercoaster of “I suck!” and “I might not suck!” annoys me.  It’s stupid and it is stopping my writing.

In 11 minutes I turn 29.  I hope that someday I’ll look back at my 20s as the years it really started.  Addicts have their sobriety dates, I guess writers have their “got serious” dates.  Mine is Feb 4th 2009.  I’ve got a year left of my 20s.  I want to make it a good one, one where I did everything in my power to reach my goals.  For my birthday I wrote myself a check and dated it Feb 4th, 2020.  I won’t say the amount, but it is fairly ambitious, at least I hope.  As I enter the final year of this decade of life, I want to know that I didn’t let the little things get me down.  And that when they did, I got back up.

Now, I should go practice what I preach and finish some damn stories.  Because no one is going to buy stuff I haven’t written and submitted.

Submission Update

Space Bones got its first rejection.  It was a form letter, alas, so nothing interesting to report.

I sent it back out to another publication.  We’ll see if second time is the charm.

Currently working on finishing the Prince Called Courage novella and then on to edit Monsters.

Purpose! At Last!

I think I have something to blog about, finally.  It seems a shame to let this little corner of the vast interwebs rot away into wherever abandoned things go.

I got the 2008 Writer’s Short Story and Novel Market Guide.  In it one of the guest writers proposes that one should write a novel every year for ten years and then see where they are with the whole submission and publication thing.  This idea is offered as a way to see if one is cut out for the publishing world as well as a way to know when to let a particular written baby climb out of the nest and fly (or fall to its doom).

So I’m going to do that.  I’m going to write one novel per year for the next ten years. At the end of every year I’ll start the submission process and move on to the next novel. Considering I have at least 5 novel ideas in me already waiting, this won’t be too difficult to start.  I think I’m going to make Jan 1st the date, for the sake of simplicity.  However, this first year I have to finish editing my first novel, but I’m going to try to write and edit the second by the 1st of 2009.

So this journal will be for that process. I’m going to try to document ideas, ups, downs, and all the fun in between.  Hopefully in ten years I can read back through this and laugh because I’m a selling writer.  We’ll see.

Good luck to me.