My CW Write-a-thon Goals for 2016

The other day I signed up for one of the most irresistible writing activities, summer’s CW Write-a-thon. For Ink readers who may know, this will be my third straight year participating in Clarion West’s Write-a-thon, and although my results and writing totals have been…less than stellar(?) I still think it’s important to keep going back to take another shot.

This Write-a-thon is open to the public. So, no affiliation with the Clarion West Workshops is required. If you’re interested, and have time (and even if you don’t) then I recommend signing up to see if you can further any of your personal writing goals. I will be there along with a community of newcomers and familiar faces in the science fiction and fantasy genres.

CW also aims to raise money for their organization through sponsorships of the individual writers who sign up. I’ve never raised much, personally, but it’s added incentive to keep me focused on writing, if only for the six weeks of June 19 – July 29. Unlike National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which I’ve known and loved since 2005, there will be no 50k marker hanging over your head. You always set your own goals.

Here’s a closer look at the ones I’ve set.

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A Word with Stewart C Baker

Stewart C Baker _SMP9993


Ink’s My Thing is happy to welcome spec fic author Stewart C Baker for a quick chat. He’s bound to make it fun, so let’s make him feel at home. What do you need to know about Stewart? First, he is of the most recent crop of Writers of the Future winners, also a writer of haiku, and a perennial contender in our favorite competition, WYRM’s Gauntlet.

His work has appeared in Nature, Flash Fiction Online, and is forthcoming in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. His most recent contribution to speculative letters will be in the colorfully named anthology No Sh!t There I Was edited by Rachael Acks, the Kickstarter of which can still be supported, if we act quickly. Since he’s lived in so many places (from Japan to England to the Pacific Northwest) he simply tells people he’s from the internet.

(Seems legit…)

For all of these diverse adventures Stewart is known, but I first and foremost think of him as the one guy who instantly recognized my NES Bubble Bobble avatar on social media. If you work with or around him, you’ll learn one thing for sure about Stewart. He always brings his sense of humor.

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Announcing Stewart C Baker

You know, that guy. The Bearded One. The one who was in that anthology one time? Baker. Gauntlet-contender Baker. Writers-of-the-Future-winner Baker. Yeah, that’s the one.

Well, this man will be coming to Ink’s My Thing very soon. And he will be sure to bring news, tales, and tidbits from all his travels to distant lands and foreign kingdoms. Stick around. He’ll be coming around the mountain when he comes.

It will be fun, enlightening, and who knows what else. Join me when I have a word with Stewart C Baker.

All the Best,

The Guy in the Director’s Chair

Let’s Share Writer Links

I’ve gone ahead and added three new writer links to the bottom of my Contact Me page, (where such things go) a page that is used far too infrequently, by the way. These links have helped me in a handy technical sense, the way my dictionary and thesaurus do, but also help to inspire me. Let’s talk links. You never know–you may be missing these in your collection.

  • First, I added Grammarist. I’ve probably visited this site countless times without realizing it, as it comes up often when I type a writerly query into Google. Most recently, I used it to look up the word usage rules of ‘lay’ and ‘lie’. It’s good for everything from colloquialisms to spelling tips, and the origins of phrases like the idiom ‘break a leg.’ When your 200-year-old text on English composition fails you, you’ll begin to appreciate Grammarist’s clear, concise style.
  • Next is a blog that I admit to reading way too sparingly, but which I love the spirit of. It is a Writer’s Digest blog called There Are No Rules. As with most WD material, it is aimed to better your writing and chances of success in publishing, but the emphasis is on how different and fast-paced the publishing world is nowadays. With all the numerous how-to manuals and snake oil salesmen out there, the concept of this blog serves to remind me that the only ‘real’ rule is to write a story worth telling.
  • The final update today is an essay by Maria Popova concerning Arthur Quiller-Couch. In truth, Brain Pickings itself, the blog of Popova, could just as easily be my link here, but this particular piece warrants special attention for writers. Popova highlights some of the timeless advice which made Professor Couch so noteworthy, inspiring words like these: Definitions, formulae (some would add, creeds) have their use in any society in that they restrain the ordinary unintellectual man from making himself a public nuisance with his private opinions. But they go a very little way in helping the man who has a real sense of prose or verse. In other words, they are good discipline for some thyrsus-bearers, but the initiated have little use for them.

What’s missing? Link me.

All the best,


The Rest of My Blogging Life

I’ve gone from active reader and passive-aggressive essayist to news addict currently wearing away the skin of his thumbs on the pages of Writer’s Market. The constant is genre fiction. But it isn’t right to come in and blow the dust off this thing every couple of months.

When you self-identify as ‘your own’ writer, when you belong to a group that has ‘always made up its own rules’ you don’t always know what the Hell’s going on in the rest of the world. When I wrote for independent comic people, and a not-so-independent newspaper blog, I felt more up to speed. To boot, I had so much fun getting into petty squabbles about local library funding, or the shenanigans of the Obama V McCain election.

The members of my writing group, ‘WYRMs,’ that is, are all wiser than I. They know how to focus, or retreat into the places that make them creatively great. I see them go on unimpressed or unassailed by the world outside. I’m the dim one. I’m the one fidgeting, interested in the rest of it, scratching at whatever’s beyond the glass.

When Gauntleteers come through your doors and remark, “Oh hey, that Quantum Physics Story Contest, Yo’ (direct quote) it makes you think. Actually, it makes you peer out the window again, and think, What else?

I know I hated being told I had to read a book. Now, I tell myself I have to write in this form or I may forget how. One thing to note of course is that I now love to read, and I’ve been absolutely consumed by the question of Commercial versus Talent. More recently, I’ve watched and admired those who advocate for free speech, and who write when it is flat-out dangerous to do so. See Raif Badawi.

This blog began as the obligatory ‘website presence’ every author is meant to have. But I don’t think I can stand that for much longer. I’m actually going to do what a writer is meant to, and put forth interesting content.

Or die trying, as the saying goes.

Or I could just rock a Live Journal like George R.R. Martin. You think?

#LJ Respect.

Mood: Sore
Current Music: “At the Bottom of Everything” by Bright Eyes
Currently Reading: Radical by Maajid Nawaz