Friday, October 09, 2015

Next Gen Yarn Bombing

We can 3-D print anything these days, even computer-generated knitted garments -- as you'll see in this promotional video for an inexpensive computer-controlled knitting machine (with background music, for those of you at work):

Made In the Neighbourhood (ft. a clothing printer, OpenKnit) from Gerard Rubio on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

No Name Required Sub Op

Just a note for anyone who did not stop by last week -- PBW's weekly Just Write feature has moved to Sundays and will be staying there indefinitely.

Here's an open call I spotted over at's Paying Markets forum from a new SF e-zine startup launching January 1st; the interesting part is that they want blind submissions, and don't want your name unless they accept:

"Metaphorosis is a new online semi-pro magazine of speculative fiction. What we want:

style – We want writers who use language beautifully – so that words aren’t just the carrier for your story, they’re part of the scenery. We want the poetry of Roger Zelazny, the finesse and ingenuity of Jack Vance.
mood – We want stories with atmosphere, where mood is an important element. Think Patricia McKillip.
character – We want stories with characters – real people with real emotions, whether those people are aliens or trolls or both. Think Arthur C. Clarke.
intellect and emotion – We want writing that makes us think and feel. We want the intellect of A. A. Attanasio, the social awareness of Ursula Le Guin, the impact of George R. R. Martin.

See our submission guidelines for details.


We are now open for submissions! We launch on 1 January 2016

What we pay:

We pay a semi-pro rate of $.01/word. We'd love to raise this, and will do so as soon as funding allows. See our Patreon page for information about where new funding would go.

What we're buying:

The guidelines have details, but we're buying first English rights and non-exclusive anthology rights (monthly for Patreon supporters, and a best-of annual). Sample contracts are posted on the submissions page.

What else:

Submissions are blind. We ask that you not include your name in the submission itself, and we generally won't see your name until/unless we accept a piece.

We pay via PayPal, immediately on acceptance.

Reprints: no, Multiple: yes, Simultaneous: yes

We also buy cover art at $50/piece (nonexclusive, reprints okay)

We'll aim to give brief personal feedback, including telling you by which page we decided a story wasn't for us. Depending on the level of submissions, we may have to curtail this, but we'll try.


We'd appreciate your spreading the word to other writers and artists. And, of course, come read the magazine on 1 January!"

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


Got these SF story titles from's book title name generator:

Veteran Of Life
Girl Of Darkness
Foreigners Of The Moon
Agents Of The Sun
Officers And Recruits
Traitors And Men
End Of The New Order
Border Of The Stars
Mother Of The End
Perfection Of Time Travellers

Not everything you'll get is usable, but there will be a couple that are interesting (A Perfection of Time Travellers would make an awesome short story title.) If you hover over the categories at the top of the page, you'll see links to the other five million or so free naming generators at the site, like the tavern name generator, which gave me this list:

The Secret Bat Pub
The Open Shoe Bar
The Huge Rabbit
The Gullible Sugar
The Spotless Unicorn Bar
The Dusty Cashew
The Modern Curry Inn
Ye Olde Bass Inn
The Warm Hawk Bar
The Victorious Stream

Ye Olde Bass. Even I'd have a drink in a tavern named that . . . .

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Poetry Sub Op

Here's an open call I spotted over at Ralan. com from The Pedestal Magazine for poetry for their December 2015 issue:

As editors of The Pedestal Magazine, we intend to support both established and burgeoning writers. We are committed to promoting diversity and celebrating the voice of the individual.

The Pedestal Magazine does not accept previously published work, unless specifically requested; however, we will accept simultaneous submissions, if so noted. Please inform us immediately if your submission is accepted elsewhere. Also, we do not accept submissions by regular mail. Neither do we accept email submissions. We now accept all work through Please do not submit more than once per reading cycle.

Current and Upcoming Guidelines:

The editors will be receiving submissions of poetry for the December 2015 issue of Pedestal. No restrictions on genre, length, theme, or style. Send up to five (5) poems in a single file. Open for submissions November 2 - 29.

Payment: $40 per poem.

The Pedestal Magazine publishes reviews of full-length poetry collections (we are no longer able to review chapbooks), short-story collections, novels, and various works of non-fiction. Most of our reviews are handled in-house by staff reviewers. If you are interested in submitting a title for possible review, or would like to review a specific title, please query at

As mentioned above, The Pedestal Magazine does not accept previously published material, unless specifically requested. It asks for first rights to any piece its editors select. At the time of publication, all rights revert back to the author/artist; however, The Pedestal Magazine retains the right to publish the piece(s) in any subsequent issue or anthology, whether in print or online, without additional payment. Should you decide to republish the piece elsewhere, we ask that you cite The Pedestal Magazine as a place of previous publication and provide The Pedestal Magazine's web address.

We do our best to respond to submissions in 4-8 weeks. Please do not query regarding status of a submission until at least eight weeks have passed. All questions pertaining to submissions should be addressed to the editor at

Thank you for your interest in The Pedestal Magazine."

Monday, October 05, 2015

NaNoPrep Ten

With NaNoWriMo less than a month away, it's a good time to begin the prep for writing your November novel. To help you with that, here are:

Ten Things You Can Do to Prepare for National Novel Writing Month

Decide: Committing to take part in NaNo is a huge thing, and everyone should think it over carefully before signing up. Doing that now instead of on October 31st 11:59 pm gives you more time to weigh all the pros and cons and be sure you can swing it. But if you can do all that in sixty seconds or less, by all means, wait.

Declutter: Clean up your writing space. Leave only the things you absolute need to write a novel in thirty days and get rid of the rest of the ephemera. If you'd rather leave the creative nest intact, set up a new one just for your NaNo novel.

Dig for Supplies: If you want to use a notebook, notepad or other office supplies, and they're buried in some closet or drawer, go excavate and create a NaNo-ready pile. Or, if you don't have the supplies you need, buy them now.

Discuss: You need to write your ass off in November, and you don't need people railroading you with helpful input while you're trying to do that. So: if you must discuss your story idea with a crit partner, writing pal or other source of sympathy and feedback, do it this month. Or make NaNoWriMo like Fight Club and don't talk about it with anyone whatsoever.

Dive into Research: If you need to read up on a certain topic to prep your knowledge base for your November novel, now would be the time. Make it a weekend thing and take notes so that when you are writing next month they're right there and ready to be used.

Do the Outline: This will help you decide if your idea will stretch for at least 50K words. Even if you don't follow it, outlining can help you sort out the story in your head. Organic writers, you can skip this step if outlining kills a story for you.

Dole Out Responsibilities: Talk to your spouse, significant other, kids, parents, friends and anyone else who can mess with you in November and let them know you're trying to write a novel in thirty days. Ask them to help you by pitching in with housework, cooking, laundry, etc.

Dropkick the Doubt: November is National Novel Writing Month. Note the word doubt appears nowhere in the previous sentence. If you must torture yourself, October is the unofficial month of I Don't Know if I Can Do This. My advice? Spend the next couple weeks dropkicking the doubt out of your head. Do November for you, for fun. Screw the doubt.

Dump the Distractions: Weed out all the unnecessary writing-related tasks from your writing life. Put your blog on vacation. Shutdown Facebook, Instagram, and any other time-sucking online vortex. Twit your Tweeter pals and explain you're going to Antarctica for the winter if you have to, but take a break from everything that keeps you from writing.

Dwell on Your Ideas: Now that you've done most or all of the above, spend some time thinking about your story idea. Let it run in your head like a movie only you can see. Enjoy fleshing out your characters. Pick songs or color palettes for them. Assemble your novel notebook. Have fun building your world, laying out your settings, and otherwise visiting and polishing and refining your story playground. Because next month, when it's time to actually play in it? You won't have time.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Just Write Sunday Edition

Welcome to the new Sunday edition of Just Write! Today I'm off to write something new and post it online before midnight. Everyone inclined to do the same is invited to join me.

My link: More on Ghost Writer, with new material beginning on page 130.

For more details on Just Write, click here to go to the original post.

Image credit: My kid. :)

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Writing Contest

If you're looking for a writing warm-up for NaNoWriMo, or just a way to give your muse a kick in the mojo, here's a no-fee two-week writing challenge competition that takes place in four rounds:

"WYRM’s Gauntlet features a new writing or reviewing challenge every round. All are invited to enter the first round (until the deadline hits, or we are filled), 8 will move on to the second, 5 to the third, and just 3 to the final round. As you advance through the Gauntlet, fewer and fewer challengers will remain, so judging must become shrewder. Challenges are not announced in advance, but as a new round opens. So pay attention. Some of the challenges Gauntleteers have had to face in the past include: Write a short story from a unique prompt, write a freestyle story of any length, review a published story, review an unpublished story. (All entries are private, and go through our submission form.)

We know that’s pushing your creativity to the brink, but pressure can make all the difference, and we’ll add the following promise. Just as we ask you to meet our mean deadlines, WYRM will judge your stuff promptly to keep these rounds moving. We invented the Gauntlet Timeline, and we always adhere to it.

As for elimination, we cull the herd as the Gauntlet moves ahead. It can be rough, and it can lead to all-nighter judging sessions, but WYRMs are up to the reading workload. Once the Gauntlet has a solid number of entrants (to be known from now on as Gauntleteers) we’ll determine how many can advance to each round. The bottom line is, the air gets thinner the higher you go, and you better be at your best.

The only real rule is to let it all hang out. That means, give us your best shot and don’t worry what the neighbors think. That, of course, and please respect your fellow Gauntleteers and internet citizens in this forum. Trash talking doesn’t bother us, but if you give us a real reason–like hate speech or plagiarism–we won’t hesitate to give you the boot."

According to there is no word limit, and the prizes are: "1st=$150; 2nd=$75; 3rd=$50, +in-depth critique for all 3." No reprints, electronic submissions only, see guidelines for more details. Round 1 opens on October 12th, 2015 (do not submit before that date); Deadline: October 26th, 2015.