Thursday, February 25, 2016

Previews of Coming Attractions

Rish here. I don't have a lot of time right now, but I just got out of the shower, and I dunno about you, but showering tends to be one of those times when I do a lot of thinking and/or story pondering.  Today I thought to myself, I ought to do a blogpost where I write down the projects I have upcoming, as a sort of advertisement, but also as a sort of promise.  That way, if a month or two (or five) goes by, and I don't put them out, then maybe one of my blog-readers will hold me to it, remind me, threaten me.

So, here are six of my projects set to come out soon.

1.  Rish Outcast episodes for "The Ugly Table," Zara's Death, Writer's Conference, "Rest Stop," Deus Ex Mary Sue, and Abram ghost story.  As well as the Stephen King episode (which I ought to make available right now), and one PTDNSIN.

2.  Audiobook for Abigail Hilton's "The Scarlet Albatross."  Shared duties with L. Scribe Harris.  Good, good stuff.

3.  Novella "Lost and Found," both text version and audio.
(this should be soon, hold me to it)

4.  Audiobook of Kevin David Anderson's "Night of the Zombees."  Don't have a timetable on this one, but shouldn't be much longer.

5.  An audio collection, pretty much ready to go, which I'm calling "The Calling: The Audio Fiction of Rish Outfield."  Yeah, sorry.

6.  My first novel, "Into the Furnace," which I started the audio recording of this week.

I have other stuff in the works, including another Dumarest of Terra audiobook (which I've only got five chapters done on), and another story reading for an enemy podcast, but these six are what I'm posting today.  Hopefully, I won't drop the ball.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Podcast That Dares Not Speak Its Name 14: Quiddler's Menagerie

Rish tries his hand at entering a contest and shares the short story he wrote for it.  Um, there should be more to this, but I can't think of what it might be.  Sorry.

If you care download the file, please consider Right-Clicking on THIS LINK.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I Write, Therefore I . . . Am I?

Are you there, Bossk?  It's me, Outfield.

So, my weekend was mostly spent at a writers' conference (the same one I got so much out of last year, where I said to myself, "Self, this is the year I'm going to drive a novel and write a Corvette!").   This year was much less inspiring, but I still tried to go to as many panels as I could, take notes, and take what was said to heart.

Heck, I even got up at 8:20am on the last day, so I could be at a nine o'clock panel!  That's something of an accomplishment for a guy who would rather go to a work meeting at ten pm than ten am.

The thing I guess I most came out of this particular conference with was that "real" writers (ie, those on panels rather than me) have a tremendous output.  They see writing as a job, rather than a pastime or hobby or something they want to do in some nebulous future.  One writer talked about having over a hundred books published since 1980, one woman wrote fifteen Romance novels in 2015, one guy talked about challenging himself to write thirty stories in thirty days and sending all of them out to contests and magazines (only eleven of them sold, the poor dude), and one author boasted about her tremendous success, how attractive she now is, and getting flown to England and treated like royalty there while her husband and kids had to stay home).

I know I need to change my attitude and write more often, and so, I've written every day this week (and every day the week of the conference, so they might not be related).  But the attitude still won't budge.

Most of the time--unless it was a movie or superhero panel--I sat in the audience and thought, "I could never be up there.  I'm not a real writer."*  But I nonetheless wrote an entire story in my program, and have already recorded a podcast for it (which should come out around August or September, at this rate).

Like last year, I found there were several panels that I would have liked to go to, all scheduled at the same time.  For example, on the last day, at five, there were the following panels: All the Best Lines (about fascinating villains), Gathering Your Tribe (surrounding yourself with people who will lift you up instead of tearing you down), Short Stories Vs. Novellas, Giving and Accepting Critique, Portrayals of Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Image Manipulation (Photoshop), Making a Living as an Artist, The Culture of Immortality, and Writing Natural Dialogue.  All at the same time!  I would've been happy to go to any of those, even the Image Manipulation one, but I decided I'd go to Gathering Your Tribe.  It was full.  So I went next door to the Artist one, sat down, only to find out that it was the drawing kind of artist, an illustrator-type.  So I had the option between Natural Dialogue at the other end of the building, or Critique right there, and already started.  I went into that one, and had to sit on the floor because it was so full (I wish they had scheduled some of these panels on the first two days, when I could always sit on either the first or second rows).

But unlike last year, I somehow persuaded my pals Jeff and Big to come along, and I hope both of them got something out of the panels.  So, it was cool to be able to have friends at this thing, but I never had the benefit of one person going to one panel and me going to the other, then swapping notes about them afterward.

Not all of the panels were enjoyable.  There was one on Pixar that told me nothing I didn't already know (except that several people think CARS 2 is worse than THE GOOD DINOSAUR, which I would disagree with), but it's always cool to learn new things.  I haven't been in school for a while, but sometimes I think about how nice it would be to be in a class where I just go and sit and find things out I didn't know before, and maybe use them in life, maybe just take a test on them.  Weird.

I'd say the most horrific panel I attended was called "Write A Novel In Three Days" with a woman who does it all the time.  She detailed how it can be done, and I took notes and listened, but at the end of the presentation, when she said, "By a show of hands, how many of you think you will try this?" I did not raise my hand.

I do think I could write three short stories in three days, based on her plan, and maybe I'll attempt that in the spring or summer (depending on my work schedule).  But I also feel I might have benefited more from the presentation in the next room, where Doctor Frank N. Furter explained that In Just Seven Days, I Can Make You A Man.

Something that was stated more than once is that a writer should set attainable goals.  I've put that in bold.  Little things that are accomplishable right now, that might be stepping stones to bigger goals like selling my story to a magazine, writing a pair of successful novels, make enough money from my writing to quit my job, or grow a tremendous wang.  

Oh, there was one more little thing I got out of there that I made a note of.  Mary Robinette Kowal, who I know more for podcasting than writing, said that she often suffered from Impostor Syndrome, and others on the panel agreed with her.  I made a note of it, and was certain that that's what I am afflicted with.  Yay, all my questions have been answered!

But then I looked it up, and found that it affects people who are successful.  Whoops.

Oh, Bossk got back to me.  I guess he's not really there.  He's imaginary.


*Oh, there was a panel on the first day called Producing Your Own Audiobook, where a woman talked about Audible's self-publishing wing and that whole process.  I could've/should've been on that one.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Rish Outcast 35: Schlontz . . . And Other Unforgivable Sins

Rish gets a bee in his bonnet about pseudoprofanity in a book he read, and speculates about deal-breakers in audio work and writing.

Warning: there's gonna be some real cursing in this episode.  It would be f**king shameful if there wasn't.  Oh, and Fake Sean Connery presents the only song he's ever given up halfway through.

Calamity, just download the episode by Right-Clicking HERE.  Sparks!

By the way, the actual word in the book was "slontz."  And that's SO very different.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

The Story From The Brown Depths

So, a couple of weeks ago (sadly, it’s going on three now), I got this idea for a story about the Brown Depths Monster, an urban legend from somewhere in America—the South? the East Coast?—and a movie that got made about it.*  I was pretty excited about it and begun writing it the next day, but made the mistake of telling one of the bosses at work the tale, and found him to be less than impressed.  That took some air out of my sails (though it really shouldn’t have, it’s not like I wrote it for him, right?).

But now I’ve started writing the story in earnest, and I’ve gotta tell you, this is SO much fun.  In 2015, I wrote “Beggar’s Canyon,” which was a total pleasure, and this is like that.  I sit and type, the words flow (I'm now at about 8,000 words), and every time I start to write on it, I feel what you humans call “happiness.”  A foreign emotion.

Now, I'm fully aware that this is probably not going to be a great story (not that you'll ever read it, right?), maybe not even a good one.  But wow, it has been such a pleasure to write that, well, I don't care.

And that's probably a problem.  I get emails all the time from companies offering to read my screenplay and give me notes on it (for a fee), or the chance to have award-winning producers or writers give me script coverage (if I'm the winner of their contest . . . for a fee).  And I'm never even remotely interested in that.  I don't want feedback, I only want encouragement.  I must think my stories are good enough that I never need to hear criticism or suggestions about them, or I must think I'm a fantastic writer who can't possibly use any advice or outside help.

And that's probably pretty damning.  

What is an artist, if he is unwilling to change and grow and evolve** . . . to consider his shortcomings, to try to reach beyond the limits he has thusfar achieved?  And what is a writer, if he doesn't know if "thusfar" is one or two words?

But as the years have gone on, and I'm starting to see the people around me not only becoming parents, but becoming GRANDPARENTS (yikes), I've become more and more like my father, set in my ways, and closed-minded enough to think that if I think the Nikki Minaj song "Your A Stupid Ho" is worthless, roach-covered garbage, well then, I'm right and everybody else is wrong.

Honestly, as much as I harp on the man, I'd rather go through life like he does--stubbornly, almost-angrily confident and obdurate--than the way I have: shrinking, stammering, crippled by self-doubt and insecurity.  Neither are probably the perfect way to go, but I am happier today knowing that I have become like my father than I ever have been before.  

I'm writing a story that has been a pleasant experience, and if I finish it, then it's a success.  If I finish it, am proud of it, and put it out there for people to read or listen to, then (even if nobody actually buys a copy), I'M A SUCCESS.

Right or not, that's my mindset.

And eff you.

Rish Outfield, Short Story Writer

*I believe I talked about it the day I got the idea in the Outcast episode "The Terran Chronicles."

**Though in my defense, I am attempting to do something unique among my stories, in that I'm going to try to put in a scene or three from the movie-within-the-story, using that to fill the backstory rather than text or dialogue.  It may work, it may not, but I like the idea, and I'm gonna
try it.

P.S. The story was published in early 2017.  Feel free to buy it HERE.  Or better yet, right HERE.