I am a phoenix

BryanSorry for the slightly pompous title of this post, but it’s been so long since I last posted that I do feel somewhat like the mythical bird. I see that my last post was in April, five months ago. At the time, I felt that creating and editing the short stories that I post to the blog were taking up too much of my time, preventing me from working on long-form writing. Also, I noticed that my blog stories were getting longer, breaking the mold of flash or short-short fiction. Clearly I needed to write longer. So I decided to get back to the long-form for a bit and take a hiatus from the adrenaline rush of writing short-short stories.

There have been positives and negatives. On the plus side, I am almost finished with a SF novel that I began last year. Soon it will be edit and re-write time. Need a break before that. On the minus side, I miss the quick thrill of writing and posting short stories. They’re very addictive to create and withdrawing from the process takes a toll, as I found out.

Anyway, my birthday is coming around and I though I’d treat myself by dabbling once again. I set out to write a piece of flash fiction, maybe six hundred plus words but not more than a thousand. Alas for my good intentions, I got carried away (like I usually do) and by the time I finished, a day later, the story was twenty-three hundred plus words and no longer flash fiction. Not even a short-short story. Still, I had fun writing it. I got the idea off an obscure writing prompt and ended up with a dystopian urban science fiction tale.

It’s called AFTERWHERE,  listed on the main page and also tagged as “Short Story”. Hope you like it.

Farewell Ray Bradbury

Ray BradburySo the Fahrenheit Man is gone. Ray Bradbury, the master science fiction author of such classics as Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Illustrated Man died Tuesday at age 91.

Bradbury was one of the earliest science fiction authors I read years ago in Colombo.  where I used to browse the shelves of my friend P.A.’s father’s library. That exposure gave me a lifelong affinity for science fiction as a genre and a concept. I’ve always thought that science fiction writers were closest to philosophers in the breadth and scope of their vision and Ray Bradbury was certainly instrumental in the formation of that opinion.

The man may be no more, but his rich legacy lives on, and will continue to intrigue both the casual reader and the science fiction enthusiast for years to come. R.I.P.

The fat police are are out to get your super-sized sugar drink

So Bloomberg has hit another one out of the ballpark. Raising the bar on his absurd health related antics, he has pushed through a law banning any sweetened drink larger than 16 ounces from regular food vending sources.

Talk of Big Brother! Next, it will be what you can eat, the color of your underwear, and the days you can have sex…I mean, really! Just goes to show what a man will do when he has achieved all that he set out to do and has nothing in front of him other than endless trivial ludicrousness and the Machiavellian pleasure of messing with other people’s lives.

“All universal moral principles are idle fancies.” Marquis De Sade.

The Enterprise come to New York

Shuttle Enterprise

The space shuttle Enterprise comes to New York. A majestic sight and a feather in New York’s cap, specially since the shuttle will be visible for viewing on the Intrepid come July. However, nobody’s pointing out that the Enterprise was a prototype that never flew into space with a regular crew, unlike the other shuttles, which have all gone to more ‘favored’ locations like The Smithsonian in Washington DC and also California.

In fact, The Enterprise has been living all this while at the Smithsonian, and they got rid of it to make room for the shuttle Discovery. So, in spite of all the hoopla, we’re just getting the stuff that the Smithsonian is throwing out. Still, maybe they’ll let you climb into the cockpit when it’s on the Intrepid.

I guess I’m a NaNoWriMo Rebel this year

Looks like I’m going to be a Rebel on NaNoWriMo this year. I really want to finish the story I began last year, and continuing with this tale officially makes me a “rebel” 🙂 What the heck, I’ve already got nearly 69K words on paper and the remaining chapters outlined, so I’ll be better served trying to finish this, rather than ending up with another half-finished novel.

Stay tuned for further developments in this saga. Who knows, I might cave in and start from scratch November 1st. Still 4 days to ponder this. But rebelling is looking more and more appealing to me.

DreamSparkle Issue #2

Should have posted this two weeks ago, but anyway, the second issue of my eZine DreamSparkle is out now. New stories, new pictures and other assorted stuff. Go to DreamSparkle.org and and have a look. Hope you enjoy. If you do. please subscribe. Thanks.

DreamSparkle E-Zine

After a struggle and a bit of soul searching, I’ve managed to get the first issue of my e-zine online. DreamSparkle is obviously a work in progress, but I feel good that I was able to get it out there. One of the hardest things to accomplish was getting people to contribute. Evidently, everyone wants to ‘wait and see.’ Many thanks to those intrepid souls who took the plunge on faith. I salute you and your contributions.

Comments and commentary are welcome, as are suggestions, criticisms (gently please), advice, ranting, admonishments, blandishments, cajolery and obsequiousness. I’ll look and listen to all of them, though I can’t promise to act on any 🙂

Content is the focus.

Here’s a link to the site – D r e a m S p a r k l e

A fresh start

So December came and went, pretty much with a whimper for me. I thought that after the flush of NaNoWriMo I would be well on my way to finishing the novel I started, but lo and behold, procrastination, that eveil gremlin, took hold, and I wrote not a word for the whole month of December. But like the proverbial phoenix, here I am, dusting off the debris of the old year, determined to finish what I started (in spite of all the snickers I can hear out there 🙂
So here’s to unfinished business, death to procrastination and back to the grind. I’ve signed on to an online course in writing Science Fiction, basically to keep me focused on writing. Not that it has anything to do with the novel I’m trying to finish, but at least it keeps me writing “something.”
Onwards and upwards then. I’ve added a ticker to this site to make me feel guilty every time I look at it and shame me into doing something to move that poor snail forwards a bit. Push !!!

winner - Nanowrimo 2010December 1st, thirty days after Nanowrimo 2010, and I’m pumped about the fact that I was able to finish with time to spare. My count was 61K+ by November 30th evening. Its pretty obvious that the thing is unreadable as is, but it’s still a lot of words, and words can be massaged and edited. I’m lucky that I decided to use an outline I had been preparing for a while. I can see now that working cold from scratch could lead to major problems. I suspect that many Nanowrimo writers crash and burn because there’s nothing to fall back on to when the idea’s dry up. Funnily enough, I found that a number of scenes that I had sketched out proved to be unnecessary or redundant and many others simply telescoped into one another. Whether this is simply a function of the plot itself or my personal writing style will remain to be seen when I get to the editing stage. All in all, there’s a lot to be said for the write or die approach mandated by Nanowrimo. It definitely got me started on a project I had been toying around with for a long time but was simply too lazy (or terrified) to start. In the long run, it’s what you get down on paper (or a computer file) rather than what you carry around in your head. Definitely a positive experience for me and one I plan to repeat next year. Spend three-quarters of the year researching and fleshing out an outline. Come November start banging it out and you come out at the end of the year with a good start. I’m about a third of the way through the project I started but it was ambitious to begin with. Probably why I procrastinated for so long with it anyway. Next time, I’ll streamline the plot and hope to get further into the meat of the story.