Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sub Op

Parsec Ink has an open call for their upcoming Lost Voices antho: Theme: "We are a speculative fiction market. We accept science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories. Please do not send stories without any speculative element. We love creative interpretations of our themes, but we do require that stories fit the current theme. We will run mature content if we like the story and if the mature content is integral to the story. We will not accept fanfic, even if it’s of a fictional universe that has passed into public domain." Length: "We will consider fiction up to 6,000 words. There is no minimum word count." Payment: " We pay 2 cents per word. Authors will also receive an e-book and print version of the anthology and wholesale pricing for additional printed copies (typically 50% of cover price)." No reprints, electronic submissions only, see guidelines for more details. Submissions Open: December 1st, 2014 (do not submit before this date.) Deadline: February 28th, 2015.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

LT Secret Santa

Library Thing is holding their eighth annual SantaThing:

"What’s SantaThing? SantaThing is Secret Santa for LibraryThing members.

Done this before? SantaThing sign up is now open!

How it works: You pay into the SantaThing system (choose from $15–$50). You play Santa to a LibraryThing member we pick for you, by selecting books for them. Another Santa does the same for you, in secret. LibraryThing does the ordering, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving books!

Sign up once or thrice, for yourself or someone else. If you sign up for someone without a LibraryThing account, make sure to mention what kinds of books they like, so their Santa can choose wisely.

Even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others."

I did this last year, and had such a neat time that I've signed up again for 2014 -- so if you join in, you just might end up with me as your Secret Santa (and my Santee last year really enjoyed my picks, so I'm also a pretty decent book Santa.) Sign-ups for SantaThing will close next Sunday, November 30th, 2014 at 8pm Eastern, so if you want to join in, get to it.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The 29

This short video offers 29 simple ways to stay creative; my personal favorite is #14 (and this one has some snappy background music, for those of you at work):


Thursday, November 20, 2014

ETA Ten Days

This past week has been eventful and interesting, in the Chinese curse kind of way. I took the weekend off from NaNoWriMo to wrap up my ghost writing gig, which I turned in two weeks early (hooray!) at which point my client instantly offered me another job (gulp) that started immediately (of course). So I'm very glad I've been putting in a few hundred extra words over my NaNo daily goal, because they allowed me to take those two days off and say yes to the new job offer.

I admit, I'm a bit tired, too. Mentally bouncing betweem two projects isn't the problem -- it actually helps keep me fresh and engaged in both -- but trying to manage two separate writing sessions every day and also juggle my domestic responsibilities is the real challenge. I just discovered a couple of tiny mountaineers scaling the dirty laundry piled in the washroom hamper. Thanksgiving is in one week, and while I have a nice turkey in the freezer I haven't yet confirmed the guest list, planned the final menu or found my favorite holiday tablecloth. P.S., sometime between now and next Monday I'm having the carpets cleaned.* Don't ask me which day; I forgot to write it down on the calendar.

Still, whenever I remember to look up from whatever I'm working on, I can catch just a glimpse of that 50K waiting for me at that November 30th finish line. For some reason it doesn't look worried, either. I think it knows how much fun I'm having, and how good it's been for me to get back to a daily writing routine, and that no matter how tired I feel, even that's wonderful, because it's the good, satisfied, I-kicked-butt writer tired I haven't felt for most of this year.

So how are things going with you NaNo novelists out there? Let us know in comments.

*Guess what? They just called to confirm -- they're coming today!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sub Op

Garden Gnome Publications wants to see "novella-length manuscripts that cast old myths into new lenses or that create new myths out of thin air. Myth-makers, ignite!" (PBW notes: Cute. But please, don't set yourself or anything else on fire literally.) Here's what they want to see: "We want stories, not lists of gods. In other words, tell a story within a mythological system, one you created or one that already exists. All ideas and themes are worth exploring. Just make sure you tell a damn good story. Make it weird, make it absurd, but make it good. Prose, not poetry. Give us gods, demigods, demons, supermen, mortals, and everything in between. Make them dark and mark them powerful. Or make them light and elemental. As long as they’re true. Stories can be horrific, satirical, magical, romantic, scientific, or anywhere on the storytelling spectrum. Hell, you can mix extremes if you have the chutzpah. We like dark and we like dark satire. Of course, we like laugh out loud outlandishness too. But what we really like is weird and off-the-wall. Most of all, we just like a good story well told. Pick a myth. Any myth. Put your own spin on it. Can’t find one that suits your fancy? Make one up." Length: 20-40K; Payment: "All writers receive 50% royalties. Paid monthly." No reprints, electronic submissions only, see guidelines for more details.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Whose Brainchild are You?

Take this interesting online quiz that maps your mind, and find out which two famous people had brains similar to yours.

My results:

I love DaVinci, and he had the kind of creative life I could only dream of, so that's very cool. While I'm not a huge fan of St. Joan or my Catholic upbringing, my mother was named after her, so I'll take her, too.

Whose brainchild are you? Let us know in comments.

(Online quiz link swiped from Gerard over at The Presurfer)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Freely Ten

Ten Things You Can Have for Free

Freeware caution: always scan free downloads of anything for bugs and other threats before dumping the programs into your hard drive.

Anxiety is a "super-lightweight To-do list application for Mac OS X Leopard that synchronizes with iCal and Mail. Its aim is to provide a streamlined, easily accessible interface to add and check off your tasks, while remaining poised to melt into the background at a moments notice" (OS: Mac OS X)

Blue Griffin is a "new WYSIWYG content editor for the World Wide Web. Powered by Gecko, the rendering engine of Firefox, it's a modern and robust solution to edit Web pages in conformance to the latest Web Standards" (OS: Windows, Mac OS X and Linux)

IceCream Ebook Reader is "one of the best free EPUB readers that transforms your computer screen into a convenient top-notch ebook reader. The tool enables you read ebooks in EPUB, MOBI, FB2, PDF and other popular formats. Manage your digital library on your PC or Windows-based laptop. This program also features the ability to turn pages, use bookmarks, search your library, track reading progress and much more" (OS: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7/8)

Keyboarder "will give you an intuitive way to type everything more easily and faster. You no longer have to fiddle with the “Insert Symbol” menu and then search for what you want, and that is assuming you can access the menu in the application you are using in the first place" (OS: Windows Vista/7/8 [32-Bit/64-Bit])

Mendeley is a "free reference manager and academic social network. Make your own fully-searchable library in seconds, cite as you write, and read and annotate your PDFs on any device" (OS: Windows XP/Vista/7)

My Last Search "scans the cache and history files of your Web browser, and locate all search queries that you made with the most popular search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN) and with popular social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace). The search queries that you made are displayed in a table with the following columns: Search Text, Search Engine, Search Time, Search Type (General, Video, Images), Web Browser, and the search URL. You can select one or more search queries and then copy them to the clipboard or save them into text/html/xml file" (OS: Windows 9x/ME/NT/2K/XP/2K3/Vista/7)

Panopreter "reads any text aloud and reads files in formats of txt, rtf, doc, pdf and web pages. It also converts the text into wav and mp3 audio files, so you can listen to the audio later with a portable mp3 player device. Furthermore, Panopreter reads text copied to the Windows clipboard from any other software window. It supports various languages and voices" (OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/8.1)

PhotoSun 14 is "a professional software application that comes packed with editing capabilities for helping you optimize your photos, apply special effects, and edit metadata. It sports a clean and straightforward layout that gives users the possibility to upload images into the working environment using the built-in browse function or “drag and drop” support. PhotoSun 14 works with the following file formats: JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF, ICO, and TIFF. Plus, it lets you add the contents of an entire folder to the list. The program gives you the possibility to zoom in or out, rotate or flip the images, set the current photo as your wallpaper, resize and crop the items, as well as create slideshows in a full screen mode, with background music and themes, and a user-defined transition delay. Other notable characteristics of this utility are represented by the possibility to erase red eyes, adjust the levels of exposure, contrast, saturation, and brightness, as well as apply denoising and sharpening effects. What’s more, PhotoSun comes packed with several special effects (e.g. sepia, boost color, antique), and lets you personalize your images by embedding different types of frames, undo or redo your actions, and view a history with the recently performed actions" (OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8 [32-Bit/64-Bit])

Simple Sticky Notes is a "simple, easy-to-use, absolutely free, fast and efficient taking notes software. Simple Sticky Notes is 100% safe and ads free" (OS: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7/8)

WriteMonkey is "Zenware for full screen distraction free creative writing. No whistles and bells, just empty screen, you and your words. WriteMonkey is light, fast, and perfectly handy for those who enjoy the simplicity of a typewriter but live in modern times" (OS: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7/8)