Doug Redux

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FinderDoug
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Re: Doug Redux

Postby FinderDoug » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:48 pm

Interim Report:

Early last week, my lady love put in an offer on one of the places we'd looked at during my visit. She sat and met with the owner, talked through some specifics, asked questions, discussed elements of interest in a potential deal. This week, said house was put under contract. So if all goes according to the Plans of the Jade Monkey, the 43rd season of The Life and Times of Finder Doug will be a marked departure from the ones that preceded it, both thematically and in some of the supporting cast (though we're back to the locales from Seasons 24 and 25). I am very excited, though there's a touch of melancholy in coming change - I do love the DC area, I've got good friends here, I've had the same roommates for the last eight years (my cousin Melanie and her silky terrier Samantha); but I'm crazy happy in my relationship, and ready for the next step. I also know that much of the happiness I have where I am is an extension of who I am, and it will only increase in a home with someone I can grow with. Change and I fight, but change also gives opportunity for growth, and I forget that sometimes.

And I know I now need many, many boxes...

Meanwhile, as the Fall section of the Seasons In The Abyss anthology was reopened for submissions, I proffered another piece of flash fiction to the editor, about 800 words or so of moody entertainment titled "To The Devil, A Goat". I already have pieces in Spring and Summer, but the hat-trick would be a nice feather. Revised draft of "The Shaman In Relief" is done and cooling; next up is a revision pass on another story with a roadside America theme, and a first draft of another tale that needs to be finished off. All this while the novel continues to percolate.

And off to Ashland and the Shakespeare Festival on Friday! Nothing says scribbling like a five hour flight!

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Re: Doug Redux

Postby Douglas Harrison » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:36 pm

Doug, you and Peggy together makes me, and I'm sure many others, feel better about the vicissitudes of life. To be axiomatic for a moment: Love provides the strongest solidarity.

Best of chance with the writing.

D.

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Re: Doug Redux

Postby FinderDoug » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:37 pm

In brief, Peggy closed on the house late Thursday; boxing of things has begun, moving plans are underway, I need to take three days (grrrr) to go to Louisiana and do a dog and pony show for work that no one else was available to do, so I lose part of tomorrow's move packing time to presentation prep and packing for my 8:25 am flight Monday morning; I'm waiting for disposition on a piece of flash fiction that should be known tomorrow; and I wrote 1500 words of new fiction this evening; what's unusual is that it's probably going to wind up short novel length - around 50k - and I have much of the first half outlined already - which I love.

And now, sleep!

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Re: Doug Redux

Postby diane bartels » Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:00 pm

Doug, good for you and the lovely lady Peg. I'm trying to outline a novel me own self and get a final draft for a story so i can send it to Northwestern. i found Allan steele, Gene Wolfe, et al a huge help and an inspiration. did you?

Good luck with the move, Peg and Doug. Diane

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Re: Doug Redux

Postby Lori Koonce » Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:10 pm

Doug

You and Peggy give me hope that at even this late stage in the game there is hope that I can find a little happiness with someone.... THANKS!

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Re: Doug Redux

Postby FinderDoug » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:49 pm

:)

So there's an Up and a Down writing-wise today:

- Blood Bound Books accepted a third flash fiction piece from me for the Seasons In The Abyss anthology.

- a Canadian magazine took a pass on my short, "Coffin Dance"

I'm not complaining - I have five stories in the publication queue over the next six months or so. Little steps.

That's a big, smiley sentence to read, now that I've written it.

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Re: Doug Redux

Postby Kafkahead » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:36 am

Doug

Tell me. If I managed to sell three short stories (the accepted minimum) to magazines in the U.S in a professional sale, could I then try to apply to the SFWA? After all, I've read somewhere only American writers (as in, born in the U.S) can join up.

K.

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Re: Doug Redux

Postby Moderator » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:25 am

DOUG - Brilliant news, of course. With that many stories in queue you're definitely in the upper stratum. Between you, Adam-Troy and Sandra we can corner the market on short fiction. And tomorrow, the world!!!


Kafka - Not sure. You'll have to check their website for details. http://www.sfwa.org
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: Doug Redux

Postby FinderDoug » Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:34 am

Lori - There's someone for everyone, lady. Some people stumble into each other when they're eight. Some when they're eighty. It's not the when, but the 'wow'. :)

Steve - Thankee. I'm looking forward to a post-move world where I can get back to stringing words on a regular basis. As I've been packing, I keep rediscovering great story starts that have been set aside, ideas jotted on post-its and lost in stacks, and partial drafts that I get caught up reading, and can't really stop to flog in the midst of my current Bedlam and Box kingdom. Seriously. The idea ledger is stupidly long (though some bits - like "Mongoose Vs. Snake in Some Western New York Hell-Hole" - are just titles and inklings at the moment.)

Kafka - SFWA membership qualification boils down to this:

To be considered an Active Member you must have:
    + three story publications in their Qualifying Short Story venues list (on their website; and yeah, it's pretty much American markets) Note there's a $50 minimum sale requirement for each piece; OR
    + one novel sale to their Qualifying Novel Venues list; OR
    + one professionally produced full-length dramatic script

To be an Associate Member: one short story sale to the Qualifying list.

And that's the long and short of it. It's a laudable goal, and an achievable one (though I'm nowhere near the ballpark, hewing closer to fantasy/horror), but the caveat I'd include is this: write what interests you, write your best work, and keep reading (there's much to learn in how other writers apply their techniques). Editorial acceptance will follow - maybe not next week. Or next year. But if you're good at what you do, they will ultimately be unable to refuse you.

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Re: Doug Redux

Postby FinderDoug » Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:56 am

Oh, and Kafka - here's a link to Vonda McIntyre's PDF on manuscript format, which is one of the better all-in-one guides I've found. It's to-the-point and illustrates by being in the format it describes. Of course, some editors in the digital age may require alterations, but as default goes, this is a great position from which to start.

I keep a copy on my desk when I need a refresher. Offered in case you didn't already have it linked like a zealot does his bible.

http://www.vondanmcintyre.com/mssprep.pdf

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David Loftus
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Re: Doug Redux

Postby David Loftus » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:55 pm

Three cheers for Peg and Finder!

Personally, I think she's crazy to live in Texas and you're crazy to move there to be with her, but heck, what do I know about love? (Other than I scored pretty lucky in the sweepstakes, myself, going on 17-plus years now.)
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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FinderDoug
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Re: Doug Redux

Postby FinderDoug » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:34 am

David - We just my be crazy in general. :)

We'd both much rather have the DC side of the present living equation - when you get past the politics and the beltway bandits, there's an embarrassing wealth of arts, culture, food and general to-do in this town - but she's got a long, strong career going, and I couldn't (and wouldn't) have asked her to start over here. I've restarted careers thrice. I've lived in Houston before. I have the Type-O universal donor degree (English), which lends me a certain white-collar adaptability. And my company is going to retain me as a full-time remote employee, so I don't need to look for a job (yet; I do extend myself out on the bubble by being tethered versus cubicled, but for now things appear stable). Am I going to miss DC? Absolutely. But Houston makes the most sense for all of the variables.

And Texas is an interim locale - my gal's job has taken her some very interesting places, and she continues to keep one eye open for new opportunities in her space - you never know where the road's going to lead. But for right now - her movers come this weekend; and mine load up next Thursday; and starting next Sunday, we get to start figuring out the puzzle box of living together and integrating our lives on an ongoing basis, finding our routine amidst unpacking, settling in, and making plans for her Dad's visit for Thanksgiving coupled with my need to return to the Employer Mothership in Virginia periodically for work (especially important given yesterday's revelation that I will have a new VP in the next couple of months). And I find all I can keep thinking is...

Are those ceilings high enough for my bookcases?

Seriously, I lose four shelves if I have to ditch the extenders...

* * *

This weekend, though, is Boxi Interruptus, as I break from packing for a quick junket to New York City - part city visit, part family visit across the Hudson in Suffern (ma, two sisters, a brother in law and three nieces are all driving from the Albany area down to Suffern to visit my 91 year old aunt, so I'm making a special guest appearance). Busing from DC to NYC on Friday, then a combo of subways, NJ Transit trains and foot power as I visit, tour and tear it up with my camera, culminating in a 3 am Amtrak back to DC on Sunday morning. Hopefully not with John Law in pursuit.

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Re: Doug Redux

Postby FinderDoug » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:58 am

I'm currently on a Jersey transit train bound for Suffern, NY. An interesting, though low-key trip so far. Family time this morning, then back into the city with the long layover until my train back to DC. I have, however, found a way to spend at least ninety minutes of it: Jane Monheit has a late gig (11pm) at Birdland tonight. Since I've never seen her in concert, AND I've never been to Birdland, it seems like a good "'til we meet again" for New York and me.

And I hacked out a piece of flash fiction on the bus yesterday, "Physician's Ball", using nothing but this iPhone. For the record: not a perfect platform, but my thumbs are getting VERY nimble. I might be able to return to competitive twiddling.

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Re: Doug Redux

Postby Moderator » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:40 am

Doug -
Enjoy the night at Birdland -- cool venue and Jane is terrific in concert. Perfect New York evening.

And if you get around to dinner, late night, let me recommend Arturo's at 6 W Houston (corner of Thompson I believe). Great coal-oven pizza, and there's usually a very cool jazz jam session under way.

Enjoy!!!
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: Doug Redux

Postby FinderDoug » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:35 pm

Movers here at 9 am. 99.9 percent packed for them; a couple last minute bits for the car for Friday. I'm looking at places with my cousin in her condo search tomorrow at 3:30.

I was about to say the whole moving out thing was very reminiscent to me this time of college - and then a-ha popped up on iTunes with "Take On Me" which was one of our merry band's theme songs back in college, and I think the writers of my life are now just effing with me.

Time to wrap this episode. Three more to go until the season finale, "The Eagle Has Landed Once More, With Feeling".


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