Spark Tally!

So how did your week wrap up?

More photo editing for me. Yesterday I redid the first chapter without text. Today I worked on the second chapter. Still no voice for the book, which is distressing. Maybe after I get the layout down the words will come.

I saw exciting news today that I wanted to pass on. Some of you may recall that I have a short story in the anthology A Kepler’s Dozen. The editors are doing a new collection!

If you want to read more about it, check out David Lee Summers Blog. I’m going to try to put romance aside enough to get one submission in, but it’ll be tough. I hope you guys submit too!

Here’s a clip to whet your interest:

Three years later, the number of planets has literally exploded and we find ourselves looking at a proverbial wild west. So, we want to continue exploring what Kepler’s worlds might be like by telling stories of the rugged men and women who either might explore those worlds, or might come exploring Earth from those worlds. The anthology is tentatively titled Kepler’s Cowboys and you can click here for the detailed guidelines. Submissions will open on June 15, 2016 and we’ll remain open until we’ve filled the anthology.

Tomorrow I’ll draw a name from the commentors this week to give away a $5 gift card to Amazon or Starbucks. Post your progress today for a chance to win. Whatever it is you’re working on. Like me you may not have a word count, but I’d love to hear about your project.



The Spark for Kokyangwuti

Mother’s Day a year ago, my husband took me and the children hiking through some Native American ruins up near Las Vegas, New Mexico. It sparked ideas for a story that eventually turned into my novella coming out in July or August of this year, A Sunset Finish. I spent the summer of 2012 embroiled in research. I read books about Indian Pueblo dances, ceremonies, and the Pueblo Revolt. I took my children to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and watched dances, and I was lucky enough to go to Mesa Verde with my daughters and father-in-law (Happy Birthday Bill!) and climb the ladders in the ruins. I enjoyed it and learned many things, but I admit to thinking it was a lot of work for one story that might never be published. To encourage myself, ideas for a prequel started churning and I thought maybe two stories would come of all the work.

Fast forward to the end of summer when the research was done and the novella near completion. I met David Lee Summers at Starbucks while he was in town for Bubonicon. He asked me if I ever wrote science fiction, and I said, “Well, I’ve written a couple of cyber punk stories but that’s it.” To my amazement, he proceeded to invite me to submit a story for an anthology he and a friend were putting together about planets discovered by the Kepler telescope. Of course I said yes right away. He made clear that an invitation was no guarantee of acceptance, but I was just flattered he was even going to consider a story from me.

The story wasn’t due until the beginning of December, and I fretted over it. He sent me links to articles about each planet and video clips that had been made for a few of them, but nothing was clicking into place in my brain. I wasn’t sure cyborgs was really what he was looking for, so I tried to think up ideas outside of cyborgs. I read science fiction short stories about other planets, but nothing seemed to be helping.

And then, one of the stories from the pueblo cultures popped into my head. In pueblo creation stories, humans are living in the fourth world. They traveled through water and emerged from a lake in the southwest part of America. What if it was time for everyone to go to the fifth world and this time they had to travel through space instead of water? Obviously cyborgs would be needed for this journey. Finally I had a starting point.

I feel that my husband David and Julie should be cited as coauthors for this piece because I constantly bounced ideas off of them for it. I’m not so scientifically minded, but both of them are, and they were really patient answering all of my questions when the Internet just wouldn’t suffice. So thanks to David and Julie for helping me get Kokyangwuti written, and thanks to David Lee Summers for publishing it in A Kepler’s Dozen.

Remember that all the research you do stays in your head, and you just never know what story it will later spark.

To pique your interest further, here’s the video clip of the solar system for Kokyangwuti:

Spark tally Friday!

Happy Friday!

My first science fiction story to be published is out this week! Kokyangwuti is a story that combines Hopi tales and cyborgs. It’s the last piece in the anthology A Kepler’s Dozen: Thirteen Stories About Distant Worlds That Really Exist. There’s an awesome write up about the science behind the anthology at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. You can buy a copy from Amazon or directly from the publisher Hadrosaur. My friend Karl already has his, which makes me jealous because I haven’t received mine yet! But thanks for getting it Karl! Please come back Monday to read about the inspiration for it.

In other news, I received a Starbucks gift card from my daughters’ school this week for volunteering all year, so cheers :)

Thanks to Daniel for providing another great blog. In a vain way I enjoyed hearing that most of the submissions to Colored Lens are very good, because I submitted a lot of stories there last year. It will probably be awhile before I submit again because I am so entrenched in my novels.

Thanks to everyone who has been leaving comments; this week has seemed busier than usual which makes me happy :)

And now for word counts: 9000. I estimate about 3000 of that will get cut. I decided to start changing POVs with this story and see how it goes. I haven’t heard the word from Julie yet, so we’ll see. I’m a long way from finishing this story before school is out on Wednesday, but I haven’t given up yet. I’ll let you know next Friday :)

Have a good writing week, and let me know how you’re doing. I love to hear!