Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Young Adult Writer Turns Forty!

In her book Writing & Selling the YA Novel, K. L. Going lays the terminology out: "Psychologist Erik Erikson, known for his research into the development of identity, defined a young adult as a person who is between the ages of nineteen and forty  (Childhood and Society, 1950), but in literature we use this term to define books written for those between the ages of twelve and eighteen."

Ouch - I turn forty tomorrow!

I've been reading many books on writing as this benchmark approaches but this is the first to point out the cusp that I'm on. I've heard life begins at forty. Obviously it's because one is a mature adult at this point.

A total lunar eclipse, the winter solstice and the New Year are all localized around my 40th and all represent astronomical events - perhaps renewal or even rebirth. Thus I've decide to focus on a YA novel as I enter this new phase of life.  In this way, at least, I will stay a YA writer.

Yea - I turn forty tomorrow!

I was told a few days ago that forty is a novelty; forty-one is rough. The reality sets in. I resolve today, before my birthday and before the New Year, to be a published fiction writer by my 41st birthday. The publishing world is slow so it won't be my novel, but I'm submitting my short fiction.

I've laid down the gauntlet. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Writers: You've Got To Start Somewhere... Research Your Market, Enjoy Your Craft, Submit Your Work

It's hard to start isn't it? I'm writing this as much for myself as for any writer out there. Writing is solitary, therefore you should write for yourself.  Do some research, not just on your subject matter, which you already love, but your market. Market research is fun too! Find out what's getting published, then write something you can enjoy spending time with - that you think an agent can sell.

Merging commercial, with artistic goals should be your goal, because writing is hard: it's hard to start and it's really hard to finish.  It's hard to finish something you don't feel passionate about, especially with no deadline. Many people call themselves writers because they started writing - I say that I can call myself a writer because:
  1. I'm obsessed.
  2. I've finished several short stories.
  3. I've submitted those stories I've finished.
If starting is hard, I'd have to say finishing is brutal.  We're perfectionists, yes?  That's good, but you ultimately need to finish.  Orson Scott Card says it best in The Writer's Digest Guide to Science Fiction & Fantasy: get a 'wise reader' to review your work, then revise it. Then submit it! Rejection is incentive to get better. Constantly revising is incentive to never submit.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

History of The Future: Space X Leads in the Commercialization of Space

We live in interesting times! Today marks the first time in history a commercial company has placed a capsule in orbit and safely returned it to Earth. This has been accomplished by only five world governments. 

Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Program:

Instead of flying payloads to the International Space Station on government operated vehicles, NASA is spending hundreds of millions (less than the cost of a single Space Shuttle flight) to finance the demonstration of orbital transportation services from commercial providers. Unlike any previous NASA project, the proposed spacecraft are intended to be owned and financed primarily by the companies themselves and will be designed to serve both U.S. government agencies and commercial customers. 

At present NASA will contract foreign governments (primarily Russia) for missions.