I’ve decided to do Camp NaNo this month- to get some distance on my short story projects.
My top goal is 20,000 words, not fifty thousand because, with my schedule, it is very hard to get to 50k. I have about 4 stories to work on. One of them is very English – with a manor Dragon and a little girl. One is all space opera and cats. Another is based on a fairy tale, which I used, then, just lately realized that the original tale changes lead characters halfway through… so that will have to be fixed.
UPDATE: I’m on April 9th and now about 5 thousand words in. Part of this is my really extended Dragon story. I’m just letting this story unwind as it goes. I’m enjoying it which is terrific. It’s too long already to be sent to most short story markets though, so it will have to go to a novella market or be personally published. I could do a D2D publication again, but promote this one more? I don’t know. I’d like to get some beta readers before I go too far with publication on my own. I’ve read some very bad self-published books by other Canadian authors in SF.
The photos below are from close to my daughter’s high school. It was an astounding day and I got some lovely shots. I met the very elderly woman who planted that thirty foot magnolia when it was just a little twig.
Below, I’m using a new photo from Unsplash, which is a great free photo resource.
I’ve been busy lately. The creative work got pushed to the back burner for a while. However, I completed and sent out two new stories in the last couple of months. So that’s progress. I received good news regarding a reprint of a story. Plus, an editor has asked me to rewrite a story that he liked but found some difficulty with, so I’m hoping I ultimately sell that. I’m pleased to hear from a Canadian magazine that my story is in the last selection round there. Crossing my fingers because if I get into that magazine, it’s a new one to me and very well distributed. December 9th – I had another ‘2nd round’ email which makes me very happy as this one was for a prestigious USA magazine!
This morning I received my contract for the poem “Dangerous Gods” to be published in Polar Borealis #8 this month. So I’m excited about that.
Also, it’s the holiday season and I’ll take some time off my day job to work on creative endeavors.
“Wrasse” accepted by Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine! October 2017
Really excited to be in Neo-opsis which is one of Canada’s leading SF magazines!
For subscriptions, go to Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine
I’ll be attending VCON41 in Surrey, BC again this year Sept 30 to Oct 2, 2016. So far I’m scheduled in as:
- Panel on “Upcoming television SF Television” 19:00 – 19:50
- Panel “What is it about Dragons and Other Fabulous Beasts?” 22:30-23:20
- reading from one of my stories Sunday 10 – 10:25
- Panel on Building Monsters 12 – 12:50
VCON is always a blast as well as having great resources for writers and other SF/F creators!
This year’s themes are puppetry in SF/F and the small presses. The great thing about general Cons like this is the variety – of things to do, people to meet and so forth!
GOH is Robert Sawyer.
I’ll be working on a costume for J too, based on the latest Star Wars movie! My non-writer friends can always find panels on science or art. It’s a great all-around good time.
Find info at http://www.vcon.ca
- My advice is twofold:
1. Look for a day job in film.
Anyone interested in film and TV should work in it even for a short time – in any capacity! Look for ways to get onto a film union list, starting as a PA maybe even? There are many jobs, too, not all of them on shoots. This includes the behind-the-scenes stuff or animation, distribution, etcetera. That way you really get a feel for your field & make contacts. I’m not a hugely successful TV writer, but I’ve sold over 15 scripts and all of them due to personal contacts – not the 2 agents (!).
2. Sell what scripts you have in the best way possible. I often use a real estate metaphor, because it is the same, believe it or not. As I learned the hard way, a local agent here like Integral or Characters won’t ‘sell’ your big script or new TV series idea. They’ll offer the ‘houses’ they have at their level – think Surrey. If you have a Shaughnessy mansion of a script, go to an LA agent. Many of them will look at new stuff from young writers. I will say that even a Vancouver agent would be good to start your talks with any producer though.
In this light, check out the Writers Guild of Canada. You can’t join until you have a credit, but they sometimes have open events and checking the website for good materials and references is good. WGC is the Canadian version of the WGA, in fact we have sharing $$ agreements with them.
So, for example, if you are ready to look for an agent, look at the public list on the WGC site: http://www.wgc.ca/resources/agents.html
It’s usually possible to meet with Canadian agents if you have a project. I’m currently not agented, due to the fact that I had to turn down the last 3 offers in a row (for bad reality shows that pay poorly).
All my work’s sold solely due to industry contacts but having an agent may have gotten me ‘in the door’. I have had 2 agents, both Canadian and neither earned me a cent I didn’t find myself. However, if you have a fantastic script, ready to go, for a movie, for example, you should try to get an agent to help you sell it.
I usually write TV episodes, so my work’s differently focused. If it’s a huge script – the Hollywood style ones have to be agented in the USA – our agents just don’t have the contacts to sell huge scripts. Check out the Hollywood Screenwriting Directory for ‘who to send it to’. https://www.writersstore.com/hollywood-screenwriting-directory It costs $29 US but is worth it.
TO film list – good for applying to current films. These are often updated: https://www1.toronto.ca/static_files/economic_development_and_culture/docs/currently_filming.pdf
BC file list – from the DGC site
Unions to check out:
Vancouver: ACFC is the easiest to get into. They don’t have ‘all’ the productions but they usually have something and are more willing to train. See http://www.acfcwest.com/become.html
ACFC also has a list of great links for beginners in film: http://www.acfcwest.com/industry.html They have a Production Office area and it’s good if he wants to get some local experience. Pay rates are lower than IATSE and hours sometimes longer but it’s a way in. Most ACFC members eventually join IATSE.
IATSE: This I’d recommend only if he’s going the ‘office’ route first. https://www.iatse.com/ Local 891 is Vancouver. It’s more or less a route to get into an office and see production and work from there.
DGC: This is where locations starts, also directors. But I never have seen Locations lead to writing gigs, they’re too far from the office and the writers. If directing is your interest, though, it’s good. They have offices in Vancouver and TO.
The TV and film world can look like a jungle, but I’ve had some great experiences and earned a lot out there at times!
p.s. Below is from http://thecollectortv.com/36.html and is the listing for 1 of my Collector tv series episodes. Producers: Larry Sugar, Showrunners: Jon Cooksey and Ali Marie Matheson. The Collector is a wonderful show – a dark fantasy & I thoroughly enjoyed writing two episodes for it!