Knave Progress Update: Friday’s Desk

I’m into the hard-copy polish phase of THE KNAVE OF SOULS.

That means I print a chapter, I read it for flow and economy of writing, mark it, type in corrections, and DONE!

Target Release Date: Thanksgiving!


Caris POV Scene

The great thing about hard copy work — i can work in the sun! 😀
Today I worked through crit group feedback on a Caris POV scene I recently wrote to backfill Chapter 4. 

Once I worked through my pre-thinking on paper, I moved to computer. Cafe Fiorre again. Rode the bike there and back. Total of seven hours today, working it up to eight tonight. 😀. Progress!  

Word Study: Assload vs. Buttload

…from an august academic contributor who prefers anonymity.

Measurment & Conversion

First, I like to think that assload is an SI (metric) unit whereas buttload is imperial. That would make me happy.

Calculating Assload

So 1 assload = 1 liter-newton. Specifically, the volume of water multiplied by the force exerted by the sphincter that is necessary to retain it.

Small Ass vs. Large

Same amount of water retained in a smaller ass requires more sphincter force, so the assload value is higher.

Double the water in a 2x larger ass requiring about the same force also has a 2x higher assload value.

Double the water in the same ass means more sphincter force and more volume, so the assload value is doubly higher.

This, my friends, is science.


SF Mind Meld: Favorite SciFi Futures

Sean Williams and four us 2016 Writers of the Future writers explain our very different picks in this special valedictory SF Mind Meld.
In Memoriam

(If you havent heard, our beloved SF Signal, which used to host SF Mind Meld, recently went defunct. Happily, James Aquilone re-functed it on his website, and invited me to be part of its last glorious funct.)

Special Midnight Free Book Offer!

Buy a copy of this year’s Writers of the Future before Midnight tonight and I’ll joyfully ship you a first-edition paper, hardback,* eBook or audiobook of The Jack of Souls!


*First come first served on the paper and hardbacks (I think I have a dozen of each). No limit (except midnight) on The Jack of Souls eBooks and audio.
How Does This Work? 
Simple! Just send me a receipt/photo of you and your WOTF to, along with your preference of paper, hard, ebook or audio, plus your address, and I’ll put it in the mail.  Thank you!
Buy at a local book store or online. Here are the links:
Amazon US (paperback | Kindle)         < $11.52 paperback, $6.99 Kindle
Barnes & Noble (paperback | Nook)    < $ 11.63 paperback, $6.49 Nook


This is the week to get WRITERS OF THE FUTURE for Summer Reading!

THIS IS THE BEST WEEK TO BUY Writers of the Future!

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If you’ve been waiting to get yours, this is the week that helps us most — our Bestseller Week.” 
(Little-known fact: Bestseller lists measure velocity of sales over one week, Sun-Sat. So this is our week to urge sales that fund next year’s contest and maybe give it Bestseller status.)
So, please buy before Sunday! At any book store or online:
Thanks again for your support!

Win a free eBook of THE JACK OF SOULS!

eBook-Slot-Machine GIVEAWAY!

Click the image for a chance to win an ebook copy of The Jack of Souls on Amazon!

eBook Slot Machine blue

Give it a whirl, and share this link with friends! Good luck!


Days 2 & 3 – Writers of the Future Workshop

off the grid for 24 hours

When last I posted, we’d all been assigned the task of writing a short story in 24 hours. I was given a random object (a 38 Special shell casing) and told to go interview someone on the street, and then use these things to inspire and craft a story.

And that’s what we did for the last day. I didn’t come up for air for basically fourteen hours (in two 7 hour chunks), which is why I didn’t post the schedule for yesterday

A first

But I did it! I wrote a 5K story in a day, and it has all the bones of a decent story. It’s a rough draft, sure, but it has all the bones. There were valuable lessons in that for me. Perhaps the most valuable lesson of this exercise was to see that I could in fact do this from scratch, with random inspirations; the other was that I could do that in a 24-hour window. That makes me feel good.

So here’s what we’ve been doing: 


You’ll notice the right-hand column is the schedule of the Illustrator’s track.

the illustrators arrived today

The Illustrators got here yesterday, and we just met them today and saw for the first time the illustrations they did for the stories that will appear in the anthology. I’ll get a close-up of the illustration for my story. The artist (as you can see in the picture) is a young woman; her name is Maricella, and she is from Mexico.


Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s Awesome Analog Story Catcher

Powered by dice!

100 Pages of Hand-Made Story Elements

The way this works is that she has created 100 lists of 10 possible story elements. First she rolls the percentile dice to select the page, then she rolls one for the list of ten.

Closeup Story Catcher

I told her she should make it an app…then i realized how charming the little book was

When I tried it out, I rolled up: Student, Hotel, Time Travel. Pretty good bones for a story, no?

Story Catcher Ryan Stuart Nina

Nina sharing withtwo of this year’s winners: Ryan & Stewart

2016 Writers of the Future Workshop – Fri & Sat Schedule

3 Days left! Larry niven, Mike resnick, nancy kress…

Fri & Sat

NANCY KRESS: “Develop writing rituals to train the ‘Little Man in the Basement.'”

LARRY NIVEN: “If Lucifer’s Hammer gets humanity to do something about this threat, I’ll feel my life was justified.” 🙂

MIKE RESNICK: “You sell your first 3 books on promise. You sell your 4th on record.”