Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Table of Contents!

The Table of Contents has been posted for my next anthology!  It's been up for nearly two weeks, somehow I missed it, but at least I've got it now.

A Glitch in the Continuum:

Intervention – Patrick D’Orazio

Again the 10n – George Page

Experiments with Time - Jeremy Essex

The Third Law – Trent Roman

Tempus Fugit – Eric Steele

You Gotta Believe – William Thobaben

A Few Moments in Time – Mike Stevens

The Monster at the End of the World - Lee Zumpe

Pandora’s Time – Eileen Rhoadarmer

A Break in the Balance – Jason Thurston

The Healing Time – Kevin P. Kilburn

In The Beginning… - David R. Roberts

Congratulations to everyone on the list!

Monday, December 27, 2010


I wrapped up a major subplot today, so tomorrow there's nothing between me and tackling the major conflict/climax I've been building this 93,000 word monstrosity towards for months.  I don't know if I'm ready for this!  It's scary!  This, as they say, is IT!  AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

I still don't know whether I'll finish this month, but if it goes into January it won't go far--unless I chicken out and start stalling.  But I WON'T!  I will finish a novel!

Okay, just had to share because this is rather nerve-wracking.  Time to go spend time with my kid and get on to the other elements of my evening.  Tomorrow is another day--and an important one!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Star Trek Christmas Carols

I have one friend with whom I bonded through Star Trek:  The Next Generation while growing up.  Not only did we enjoy watching it, we were convinced that we would write for the series one day--TNG considered unsolicited scripts for acceptance, after all.  Of course, in typical adolescent-fantasy fashion, we created characters for ourselves which took the starring roles in most of the "episodes" we outlined.  We even once wrote a letter to the script coordinator trying to convince her that we had enough ideas to keep the series running for a few more seasons and please don't cancel it.  She graciously sent us the submission and format guidelines in response.

Our large notebook of episode ideas is carefully hidden away, as befits any item revealing embarrassing adolescent fantasies that one likes to look through every few years for a good laugh.  However, I'll share one thing with you.  One year, we decided to rewrite Christmas Carols for Star Trek.  Most of them were horrible, having only some semblance of rhyme or coherence, but this particular one was fun, and withstands the test of time.  In honor of it being Christmas, I present:

"Jingle Borg"

Dashing through the galaxy, in a cubicle regenerative sleigh
O'er the solar systems we go, Assimilating all the way
We'll tell you you're irrelevant, Resistance is futile
We'll stick some black things in your head and you will never smile

Jingle Borg, Jingle Borg, Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride in a cubicle regenerative sleigh
Oh, Jingle Borg, Jingle Borg, Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride in a cubicle regenerative sleigh

Now you can join the game, we'll take away your name
Burst planets into flame, and never feel the shame
Resistance is useless, you can never hide
We'll stick some black things in your head and you'll be Borg-i-fied!



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Science Fiction Christmas Stories

I read Connie Willis's anthology "Miracle and Other Christmas Stories" every December to get me in the holiday mood.
My favorites are "Newsletter," which is a humorous story about a woman trying to fend off an alien invasion at Christmas time, and "Inn," in which a woman helps out a homeless couple on Christmas Eve only to discover that there is a lot more to them than meets the eye.  It's fun to read science fiction Christmas stories as it is my genre, and Connie is one of my favorite authors.

I just discovered that I have an Amazon gift card left over from last Christmas that I ought to spend, so it's time for a little holiday gift exchange.  Who are your favorite authors?  If you know of anyone else who writes scifi Christmas stories, great, but it doesn't have to be Christmas.  I haven't branched out much in my reading lately, and I'd like some ideas for some new authors to discover.  Please let me know who you like to read to give me some ideas on what to spend my gift certificate on!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Wolf 359 Massacre...

...Made out of gingerbread.
Some friends of ours have a Gingerbread Party every year, and my husband and I enjoy making more and more elaborate creations.  Some of our past constructions have included a castle, King Kong on the Empire State Building, a cruise ship, a baby carriage, and the Starship Enterprise.  I thought you all might enjoy this one.
It was amusing how some of the other people at the party needed to have this explained to them (for those who don't know, it was a big Federation battle from Star Trek:  The Next Generation, where the Borg wiped out a large number of Starfleet ships), and others saw the big Borg cube and the little ships and said immediately "Oh!  Wolf 359!"
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

103 Days of Solid Writing

It would've made more sense to post this milestone on day 100, I suppose, but I've been so busy with getting ready for Christmas--and staying up to even later record times to complete my writing--that I didn't think about it until now.  But it is a milestone.  100 days!

I still don't know whether I'm on track to finish by the end of the month.  Several plot points that I've tackled this month, which I had thought would equal a chapter each, stretched much longer--meaning it took me longer to write them.  I did, however, rearrange some plot points to combine them, so I may not be all that behind.  It will depend on how many words are required to reach the next few points.  And, considering that a lot is happening here at the end, each point may take more time than before.

But I'm still plugging away.  I've written 16,000 words so far this month, averaging 888 per day, which is better than I've ever done before.  Even though I've had a lot to do and have been putting my writing off until last before bed, I haven't fallen into the trap of only doing 200-300 each night before succumbing to exhaustion.  I think it may have to do with all the exciting things happening in the book here at the end, so I'm excited about writing it even when I'm tired.

It will be done soon, though, even if it isn't before 2011.  It will be strange to move on to something else, since I've devoted so much of my life to this.  Let's see if I can keep this streak going for the next 100 days!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting Nervous About a Big Finish

My novel is now nearly 80,000 words and is 137 pages single spaced on my computer.  I don't know whether I'm on track to finish by the end of the month or not, mostly because I don't know if some of the remaining "chapters" will lengthen into two or three to convey everything that is going to happen.  But I'm definitely close, even if it runs a little into January.  And I'm getting a little nervous about the prospect of being finished with something so big.

Now again, I'm not done yet.  I still have a major climax to write myself through, but simply having the ending in sight, knowing I've been working on this for more than five months, knowing I still have a few major decisions about the ending to make and that the time when I'll have to make them is rapidly approaching, are all contributing to making me feel a bit odd.  I'll be happy to move on to other things, but I'll also be sad to say good-bye for a while.  After all, I've been getting to know these characters for a long time now--much longer than I've ever worked with other characters before, at least all at once.

It almost feels like a relationship.  If you date someone for a few weeks and it fizzles out, there isn't usually too much remorse.  It just wasn't meant to be.  But when you devote several months to somebody, leaving is much harder (or easier I suppose, if things really went south--but if the novel had gone south it's a safe bet that I probably wouldn't have taken it this far.)  On the other hand, I won't be leaving the novel for good.  I'll be taking some space and then coming back for round two at some later time.  So it isn't a breakup after all, just a separation while I explore other venues, and then I'll come back and pick up where I left off.  And I'll be able to look at it with more distanced eyes and see whether it was all it was cracked up to be, or not all that good.

Okay, this post really took a tangent.  It's really more like graduating or leaving a job than a relationship, but oh well.  Basically, I'm saying I'm nervous about coming to the end.  But I said that in the title, didn't I?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Santa Claus versus the Mythbusters!

My husband made this spoof a few years ago for the You Spoof Discovery contest, where the Mythbusters take on their most challenging myth yet:  Santa Claus!

This is one of my favorites of all his sketches.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Haven't Had Much to Say

Looking back through my blog for the last few weeks, I realize I haven't done much with it.  I think this is partly due to the fact that I'm writing more (=less time for blogging,) I've been exhausted lately (=no energy for blogging,) and I'm still working on the novel.

I'm enjoying the novel, don't get me wrong, but it keeps me focused on the same topics all the time, so I'm having less spur-of-the-moment thoughts I feel are relevant to share.  Stories take me to more places in a shorter period of time, so they spark more conversation.  As to the other things going on in my life, they're mostly not relevant to writing, scifi, or parenting.  Or, at least they don't seem noteworthy.  So there ya go.  I'll try to keep up a little more frequently, as relevance permits.

In other news, we took our son to see Santa today.  It was the shortest line we've waited in these last 3 years, so we had a lot more time to play than we expected.

Fake snow=much fun and much mess.  We're still brushing it off.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November Stat Check

During the month of November, I wrote on all 30 days!  I'm at 86 days and counting.
I wrote 25,327 words (9 and a half chapters) for my novel
I made 0 submissions (which is bad, since two of my stories have been sitting with me since the end of October)
I received 0 rejections
I MADE ONE SALE!!!!!!!!!
I have 6 stories currently in slush pile circulation (well, four if you don't count the ones I've failed to get back out)
I made 7 blog posts
I took no days off

NaNoWriMo was a bust, but I learned a lot about myself.  See my post from a few days ago for more thoughts on that.  I did reach the halfway point though.  A few days ago I realized that was doable as long as I hit just over 1,000 words every day for the last few, and decided it was a noble enough goal to work towards it.  Here's a picture of my word count chart:
(There are a few days that don't register me as having written anything, but that's just due to site discrepancies or me not realizing I had to change my own time zone after daylight savings ended.)  As you can see, my biggest trouble was that I hit a major 13-day plateau in the middle of the month.  I probably wouldn't have made it anyway, but the plateau really set me back.  I looked through my word counts and discovered that during my plateau I wrote an average of 333 words per day.  On all the other days, I wrote an average of 1,234 wpd, and my monthly average came to 844 wpd.  If that plateau had been shorter, or hadn't happened at all, I would probably have been closer to 40,000 words.

But, alas, these things happen.  Life gets in the way.  In this case, I received an offer to get a ton of free photos from one of the online photofinishers, and I spend much time and energy figuring out a year's worth of photos that I wanted prints of.  BUT, that isn't all that slowed me down.  I discovered that I was more than willing to get distracted because I was working on a chapter that really wasn't flowing for me.  In retrospect, I suppose I could have skipped it and come back later, but I didn't think about why I was willing to be distracted until the plateau was nearly over.

My novel, in total, is at nearly 69,000 words now, and I believe I have 11-13 more chapters to go.  My new goal, and it is a bit more ambitious than I've accomplished in the last two months, is to finish it before 2011.  I've done about 9 chapters in each of the last two months and I'll be contending with Christmas BUT I'm getting to the climax now, so things are more exciting and happening faster.  If I don't hit another major plateau, I think I can do this.

I would definitely like a break.  I've been working on this one-and-only project since late July, and I'm not used to focusing on one piece of work for so long.  I miss short stories, to be perfectly honest, and there are at least 7 that I'd like to work on:  2 that only need a little polishing before I submit them, 3 that need serious rewriting and critiquing, and at least 2 new ones I want to write first drafts of.  Now that I'm in the habit of writing daily I can probably do those quicker than I used to, but that's still probably a few months worth of work.

Anyway... I'm getting ahead of myself.  I believe I just mentioned a goal for December and perhaps through February.  Back to analysis.

I put submissions on hold for NaNoWriMo, so I really need to get my two rejected stories back out.  They don't make sales when no one's considering them, after all.  I also wasn't very present on the web this month, neither in posting nor keeping up with other people's blogs, but I guess something had to give.  I wasn't terribly behind schedule.

The bedtime goal I set myself for November didn't happen either.  I'm looking forward to getting out of the first trimester soon though, and I hope to see a return in energy then.

The one thing I'm over the moon about from this month is the fact that A Glitch in the Continuum accepted Pandora's Time for inclusion in the anthology!  I'm very excited to have made a second sale, and I'm hoping that more will follow, and perhaps closer together this time.

My goals for December are to finish my novel, get all currently-ready stories back out to markets, make about 10 blog posts, and get to bed on time.  At least three of these ought to be attainable.