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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Doomology Available Now!!!

Hear ye, hear ye!  Doomology:  The Dawning of Disasters, the anthology that holds Night Terrors, my first published short, is now available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble!
Doomology, as you can probably guess, contains stories about disasters and apocalyptic events; both small scale and massive, man-made and natural, and everything in between.

I'm anxiously awaiting my copy and am very excited to read the rest of the stories, and to see myself in print.  I hope you'll check it out!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Return of the Sensory Bin

Well, our sensory bin never really went away, but it's had pinto beans in it since July.  So much for my original intention of changing it out every month.  He was still playing with it occassionally, but not with much frequency.  However, a friend of mine recently posted about her new one and linked to this blog, which is full of lots of wonderful sensory bin ideas.  I got inspired, and decided to change it up again.
I've been collecting pom poms for a while, buying them when I go to a craft store and have a coupon handy.  I also made a few myself (found the tutorial on Counting Coconuts above.)  They're very soft, and so far he's loving them.  I even commented the first day we brought it out that if the baby were here already, I'd remove the hard toys and lay the baby in the bin amongst the pom poms so we could all play.  Perhaps I'll put the pom poms back in June or July.
I've been getting a lot of ideas for themes for future months, so perhaps this time I will change the contents regularly.  But for now, my son likes having something new.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Writing Feverishly

Since finishing my first novel just under a month ago, I've finished the first drafts of four new short stories:  a piece of flash, 4,500 words, 3,700 words, and 6,700 words.  I'm not quite sure where this feverish pitch is coming from, though I have a few theories.

For one, it wasn't until writing the novel that I got into the habit of writing daily.  I've never done this with stories before--usually I would take a day off after finishing one before starting another, but I badly don't want to see that ticker get reset to zero, so I'm making a point to do something every day, no matter what.

Secondly, I think this has to do with the fact that I've been monofocused for so long.  I got a handful of story ideas while writing the novel and I couldn't pursue them--so now I guess I'm catching up.

However, I really am catching up and there aren't any fresh story ideas trying to get out at the moment.  I have an extensive list of older ideas, but I'm always most enthused when they're newer.  I guess it's going to be time to start revising some older stories next.  Which means it really is time to restart Critters so I can get some critiques in the near future.

In other news, I'm beginning to think that after finishing this round of stories, I might jump into the next novel even though it will get interrupted by the new baby.  Life's always going to interrupt me, after all, and I can't put it off because of that or I'll never sit down and write another.  And if I'm going to have any chance of making a living in this industry, it will be from novels, not short stories--so all the more reason to get a few of them under my belt.  At least, that's what I'm thinking right now.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Some pics from our festivies of yesterday and today:

My son keeps trying to run off with my hippo, even though he's the one who "gave" it to me.  Everybody got candy and cards, of both the homemade and storebought variety.

I even still managed to get a little writing done today.  Not much, but some.

I hope you all had a good day full of all kinds of love!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Deadly Typos

I've noticed recently that, when I'm typing fast, I have a tendency to hit d's when I meant to his s's and vice versa.  Spell check, of course, finds most of these for me and I can correct them before I've even started the next paragraph, but there are some obvious times when spell check does nothing for me.  Do you see it?  The problem is verbs.

If I'm trying to type "hatches" and I type "hatched," both are properly-spelled words.  Spell check won't notice it, and neither will I unless I see it right away or I happen to go back and read the sentence.  And even then, if I'm auto-correcting in my mind, I might not notice the change in tense.

Now, I normally give myself considerable time before going back for final edits, so that ought to distance me enough to find this sort of verb tense error.  And I think it's an important one to correct.  I don't want editors to think I don't know how to handle the simple difference between past and present tense, after all.

I never noticed myself making this typo before I began writing the novel, and I'll be curious to see how many verb tense disparities I made within 109,000 words.

Monday, February 7, 2011

January Kiddie Crafts

Here's the monthly (for now, anyway) update on the crafts I've been doing with my son.

We got a slow start to January.  We pulled out some paints early on, but then took a few weeks off, mostly because I still didn't know what sort of crafts I wanted to do.  We focused instead on piecing together elaborate train tracks and making a snow Vulcan (or perhaps he was Yoda.)


Here's my son with his January wall:
You'll notice we've got some letters in there.  I've decided to base a lot of our crafts around the alphabet (though not in order.)  Why?  Well, my son had already picked up half-a-dozen letters on his own--his own first initial, M for Mama, D for Dada, B for boy and baby, P for Poppa (my dad), and G for Grammy (hubby's mom)--so I figured we might as well continue to encourage this.

I've been looking around online for clip art that begins with the target letter, and then I print up a page or two of, for example, "C" words.  I'll pull out his letter magnets and puzzle pieces, introduce the letter, have him color the pictures, and then I'll cut them out and he'll paste them on a big piece of paper around the letter.  I'm already having to come up with creative ways to decide where the pictures go, though, because he's getting bored with just gluing them down.  Last time, his front-loader vehicle dropped them and I pasted them in place.

For a few days after introducing a letter, we'll do crafts based on that letter.  Here are the trains we made for "T."  He enjoyed putting them in a line--I had expected them to be all over the paper and at first they were, but then he seemed to realize that trains connect and he wanted to rearrange them--and then adding the wheels.  On the first one, I let
him put the wheels wherever.  Then I realized he seems to recognize his numbers--at least 1, 2, and 3--so I wrote numbers on each car for the second and tried to see if he could put the correct number of wheels on each.  It happened, though I did a lot of coaching.  I'm not sure he would have done it on his own.

For C, we glued whiskers on cats.  The first idea, with string, turned out to be harder (even for me) than I'd anticipated, so I had to help him a lot.  All the more reason to try again, I suppose, so he can refine those motor skills.  For the second cat we did paper whiskers, which was easier for him to handle.  I was amused by the fact that, when I told him we were going to put whiskers on a cat, he said "Poppa!"--my dad has a beard, but this shows he knows what whiskers are.

We also did "C is for cookie."  I had him color a bunch of printed cookies and put them on a printed plate.  He didn't want to glue them down, though, so the finished product only has four cookies on the plate.  Here, he's pretending to eat them.

We did "F" next, partly in prep for the big game.  We're not huge football fans, but we like to have friends over for a party every year.  We used our son's artwork for decorations.  First he laced a football, and then we drew a football field.  He really enjoyed the second because he's always trying to color with the white crayon but it never shows up on white
paper.  He was really excited that it would write on the green paper of the field.  He also surprised me, yet again, when it came to drawing lines with a ruler.  I helped him on some of them, but he managed many by himself, with me just holding the ruler in place.

Lastly (this was actually early Feb) we did one more football craft.  I made a field goal on paper and had him color a bunch of paper footballs.  Then I taped the paper to the table and placed the cut-out footballs in front of him, one by one.  I then had him blow on the footballs to try to make a field goal.  I glued them down where they landed.

Okay, there's the "see how talented my kid is" post for February.  In March, you'll get to see all the Valentine's Stuff we're doing.  Fun, fun!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January Stat Check

During the month of January, I wrote on all 31 days! I'm at 148 days!
I wrote about 11,000 words to finish my novel and then spent another 2 weeks making early revisions and necessary changes and additions.
After that I wrote the first drafts of two short stories:  one flash and one about 4,500 words
I've read 2 juvenile lit books for research for my Christmas story
I made 3 submissions
I received 4 rejections
I received an honorable mention from Writers of the Future
I took between 6 and 13 days to get a story back out after a rejection
I have 6 stories currently in slush pile circulation
I made 8 blog posts
I took no days off

I need to get stories back out into the world faster after getting them back, but other than that I'm doing pretty well.  I only started working on stories again a little over a week ago, and after so many months of the novel, it's amazing how fast it goes.  I think that my current streak of writing every day, plus the higher daily word count I started getting used to with the novel is helping me write stories faster than ever before.  I also think that I put stories on hold for so long, and I got so many ideas while working on the novel, that they just can't wait to come pouring out.  Pretty soon I'm going to really need to get back on track with Critters, because I'm going to have a lot of work to critique soon.

I've been doing a lot more crafts with my son lately too (that will be the subject of a different post) and between prepping for them, a lot of house projects that need doing, and my own masochistic tendencies, I've been depriving myself of sleep again.  So I'd like to (as usual) get bedtime under control.  Other than that, I'm looking forward to another productive month with a handful of stories and more progress on where to go next with my Christmas story.

Happy February, and wherever you are, I hope you're warmer than Colorado (today's high was -1.)

Oh yeah, and Happy Blogiversary to me!  One year ago today, I started this whole rigamarole.  I think it has helped me grow as a writer.  At least it keeps me accountable.  Go me.