Thursday, October 25, 2007

Published, again and other good news

My story "Rescued By a Mountain Man" appears in the Winter issue of True Experience.

In another bit of good news, I returned home today to find a message on my answering machine from a woman I had interviewed. She was calling to say good things about the article I had written. My ego puffed up an appropriate amount.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Why it pays to watch Mel Brooks movies

After Marcel Marceau died, Entertainment Weekly (Monitor, October 5, 2007) stated that the famous mime "entertained audiences around the world for over 60 years without ever uttering a word." As a fan of Mel Brooks movies, I knew this was incorrect, and I dashed off an e-mail to the EW editors.

I don't know how many other readers spotted the error, but the October 26 EW carries the following "clarification":

"While Marcel Marceau never uttered a word during his 60-year stage career, the mime famously said the word 'non' in Mel Brooks' 'Silent Movie' (Monitor)."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Published, again

My article "From Small Ideas, Big Projects Grow: Victoria Educational Gardens" appears in the November/December issue of Texas Gardener, which should hit newsstands soon.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

"Snowbird" opening on-line

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine has posted the opening of "Snowbird," the private eye story I co-authored with Tom Sweeney, on their Web site:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I received my 36th acceptance of the year today, a confession with the sure-to-be-changed title of "Sugar Tits."

Private eye story published

"Snowbird," a private eye story I co-authored with Tom Sweeney, appears in the December issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

Monday, October 08, 2007


I recently received a photocopy of part of the March, 2007, Byline. Rhonda Peters quoted me in her article "I Confess: My True Romance Was Not A True Story," an article about writing confessions.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Published, again

My story "Thanksgiving? No, Thanks!" appears in the November True Story.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Finding balance

When I started freelancing full-time, one of my goals was to write more short stories and to earn a significant portion of my freelance income from writing fiction. Initially, that's what happened.

That hasn't been the case for much of this year, though. I've written less fiction, yet seen my income slowly creep upward. I expect to earn more this year than last, but it appears that fiction will generate both a smaller percentage of my total revenue as well as fewer total dollars than last year.

I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately. What I've realized is that sitting at a computer has come to dominate my waking hours. Because 99%, or more, of my gross income is derived from things I do while sitting at a computer, and 50% or more of my "social" interaction comes from participation in Yahoo groups and e-mail, I find myself seeking opportunities to get away from the keyboard. So, what suffers? The time I would spend writing short stories.

The vast majority of the fiction I've produced has been written on speculation, while nearly everything else is produced on assignment or to-order. Fiction generates income many months--sometimes years--after creation. The other work generates income a few days to a few weeks after completion.

Right now I'm trying to find balance in my life. I'm trying to find balance between generating income to support myself and producing the kind of material that made me want to be a writer in the first place. I'm also trying to find balance between "alone time" and "social time."

I don't think I have the balance perfect, yet. But I'm getting closer.

Most importantly, I'm pleased with my life. I like what I do, I like my clients, and I like the future as far ahead as I can see it.

So tweaking the balance a little bit is nothing to worry about.

I've met all of this week's deadlines, so maybe tomorrow I'll spend a little more time writing fiction. Today, though, I think I'll turn the computer off and go outside.

Today's mail

Today's mail included payments for three short stories.