On a visit to the small but cool Santa Monica Aquarium, I saw these wonderful, graceful and peaceful creatures, drifting and swimming. Their langorous movements and transparent bodies inspired some tranquil music and I’m glad it’s found a home.
The cover is from a photo I took at the aquarium. These are Lion’s Mane nudibranches, one of dozens (well 2300 maybe) of species. Nudibranches are molluscs that shed their shells when they move into adulthood.
Petroglyph Music have just released the new Shadows on the Snow album, Fog. An hour of relaxed ambience. Free download from the Petroglyph Music site.
Shadows on the Snow is a collaborative music project with Kendall Keener (December Nightskies) and me (Venus Vulture).
My little story “Number Man” has just come out in the March issue of the SQ Mag, an Australian Spec Fic Magazine. The story, “charts the difficulties of life after prison, especially when your family got you put in there in the first place” (from Sophie’s introduction). It’s also described as Cyberpunk, but I hadn’t thought of that when I was writing it (did someone once say a writer is the worst judge of his own writing?). Anyway, it was a fun adventure to write, I hope it’s as much fun to read. There are some other cool stories in there too, and I do like that cover.
My short story “Salazar” has just come out in Perihelion, January 2015 issue. Aura’s got a mission in the sliceworlds, to track down Gideon, but it turns out Gideon might not even be the man he seems.
AURA STEPPED FROM THE SHADOWS, feeling the shimmer off her steppingcloak glide and fade into the air behind. The brickwork wall loomed over her as she trudged through moonlight beginning her search for Gideon.
This was an unfamiliar realslice. She could sense cats, and baking. Stepping into the slices often reminded her of Middle Eastern countries. Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan. Cooking smells and shouting and animals lurking, usually blasting horns from distant traffic, but it was quieter here.
For those who are interested, this story was my first semi-finalist in the Writers of the Future contest. I’m glad it’s found a home.
2014 has been kind to me. I’ve acheived a couple of lifelong goals: having a story published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, and winning a writing competition – The Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest.
I also wrote more than ever before. In 2012 I first took on measuring my output and writing every day. That year I managed around 507,000 words. 2013, still writing everyday, I hit 519,000. Last year I also made sure I only submitted stories to paying markets (that’s a long story for another time).
This year my current count is over 566,000 words and I might even hit 590,000. As well as the two pro “sales”, I sold numerous stories to semi-pro markets (some of these publishers have been very supportive as I’ve developed my writing: I have a soft-spot for them). The second half of the year has seen a slow-down on acceptances, but I keep writing new stories.
As well as numerous short stories and collections published indie, I managed to get out The Deluge, the sequel to The Tunnel in my Hidden Dome universe. Current writing plans have the third book The Eye out next year.
Speaking of next year: more focus on novels; more focus on getting things to publication; still writing every day; still learning about craft; more learning about business; less goofing off – I might have to give up a block of time to the new Tomb Raider game due out in 2015, but writing will still happen :-).
Overall a pretty good year (actually, an astoundingly good year). It’s given me a lot of energy to push on and feel confident I’m on the right course.
No publishing news of late, but I have managd to squeeze in a little time for some music. Lately I’ve been collaborating with Kendall of December Nightskies in remixing each other’s work and creating new pieces. Mu is about the latest, a 2-track 25 minute ep under the tag “dark ambient. Kendall has loaded it up at archive.org for streaming and download. I like the mix, but I was very pleased with the cover (I took the shot from a hotel room in Vegas last year).
It’s a short piece I initially wrote thinking of a local short story contest, so it’s kind of a mix of literary and science fantasy. Or is that urban fantasy? Or something else? I sure know when I write hard sci-fi, but sometimes I don’t know exactly how to classify some of my other stories. Anyway, the editor told me the story exemplified what they were looking for, so sometimes I guess it’s a matter of finding the right match of story with publication. I think it fits well in its new home.
It’s available both in paperback and on Kindle from Amazon.