Writer: 9, Fate: 8

Per usual, I'm beating the pants off of Fate at the moment (well, not really, just barely winning), although that could change at any moment. First, before I explain why I got some points, I want to clarify a few things.
1) Yes, I am going to start up a critique group hopefully next month. It will be through CC and I think we'll have a cap of say 6 people. First priority goes to anyone who reads my blog that is interested (I.E. Andrew, etc.). Second priority is to anyone else that is interested and is SERIOUS about their writing. I don't care the age of the person, just so long as they actually take the art seriously.
2) I was tagged for a meme. I have not gotten around to do it just yet, but will this weekend. I am not ignoring the person who tagged me. Just wanted to make sure that is known. I'm just behind!

Now, for my weekend. My three points come from the following:First, I've been fortunate to get about 80% of all my college costs PAID through free government money. This means I won't have nearly as much in student loans as I had originally thought and that means I won't be in debt for too long after I get my BA and my MA.
Second, I managed to finish my submission to Swords & Sorceresses 22 and Chapter 16 by some manner of luck. And managed to submit said piece to Realms of Fantasy as it was rejected (which is part of fate's points).
Third, I finished my fourth Spanish test tonight and think I did rather well and likely will ace the class and managed to rewrite my essay for my scifi lit. class and hopefully will get an A on that.

No for Fate:
First, my story to S&S 22 was rejected and rather quickly. I'm not sure if that just means their response time is exceptionally fast, or if my story really wasn't what they were looking for (I don't think it's all that bad a story. I like it personally).
Second, I was unable to finish writing and editing my submission for Machine of Death and now need to finish it this weekend, assuming submissions remain open. Long piece, but hopefully a good one that follows the premise of the Anth.
Third, I just found out some rather annoying news. A while back I took a class called "Writing For Publication", which essentially was a class where everyone banded together to raise funds, write, etc. and publish a college sponsored Literary Journal. I submitted "A Tear For Humanity", which was a short story about a man who reminisces about the last days of his childhood before an alien invasion makes him a slave. I just found out that my story was actually cut off by about 8 pages...this means that over the last few years my story has probably befuddled people because it seems like it randomly stops. I'm rather pissed about this because I had thought it was all there. I never looked because I didn't think I had to...

More to come this weekend of course!

(Writer: 5, Fate: 5) Edit: Writer: 6, Fate: 5…screw you fate!

Edit Again...Note: I've finally figured out how to add those pesky "Read Me" things. This will take a while to get the point where ALL my posts are converted to this format, but eventually all will be. Makes things more compact and neat for everyone.

Apparently I am now tied with fate. I got two more points for the following reasons: I actually finished Chapter Thirteen B even though as I was writing it I started to think I wasn't going to be able to. I'm not entirely sure that I like the direction it went, but it seems to have worked well enough as people seem to like it. The story has gotten excessively dark and I've added more and more subplots that now I am pretty sure cannot be sufficiently closed in a single novel. Too many. I'll have a post about subplots later.The second point comes in the form of a lovely acceptance letter from UC Santa Cruz (University of California). Apparently I got in. Good news. So I have been accepted into both UCI and UCSC, both apparently good schools.
But Fate still gets one point for managing to hold me back from finishing Chapter Thirteen when I had originally intended to finish it (two weeks ago), and also for taking away any semblance of brain functionality that I had the other night. Two stories go with this:1) I got home from work Tuesday and remembered I had a short paper due for my Spanish 2 class. So I went in search for my rough draft which had teacher edits on it. Searched my car--no sign of it. Went to my bedroom, search, same. Went back to the car, nothing. Back to the room, nothing. Finally went back to the car, and there it was sitting there under another piece of paper. I felt rather stupid after that.
2) After class was over Tuesday night I headed out to my car. Sat down in the seat, turned on the car, put it in reverse, and suddenly thought I had forgotten my glasses. So I stopped the car, turned it off, and got out, locked the car. I started running and then my glasses slapped me in the face and reminded me that I hadn't forgotten them. Needless to say I wasn't feeling all too bright.
And of course fate has received a point for doing the worst thing it could possible do to me. During the last few weeks I've been bringing books into the local used book store to see what they wanted. They offer store credit when you do this. But since it is a used book store they only write it down on a paper for you, nothing more. So I have no database to go to unfortunately. Now, as you might guess, I lost that paper. I had over 30 dollars worth of used books I could have bought. But no, somehow it traveled from my wallet--inside the part where you put the money--to some unknown location. I checked every pair of pants I could find, searched my wallet four times, search my car (which I'll try once more), searched my room and couldn't find it, but in my room who knows where anything is, and have had no luck whatsoever. Fate has committed blasphemy against me. I am utterly in disarray now. I tried to sit down and write, but could only get a sentence out before I wanted to go looking around again. Damn you fate to the infinite reaches of hell! Now to happier things. It would be of interest to those that read WISB that I have decided after all to draw up a map of Traea. I am not a great artist, but I can draw an okay map. Traea is a massive continent mind you. And the map I am drawing only touched upon about 3/4ths of the actual landmass. I am considering a couple possibilities in the near future:
a) I will finish up the map all on my lonesome and some how scan it and post it for everyone to see. This option comes with the disclaimer that I am not an artist, am not necessarily good at mapmaking, likely have not drawn it entirely to scale, and might have screwed up here or there on certain things.
b) I will finish the map, but in the process find someone who is far better at fantasy cartography to do a more professional quality map. Now, I am leaning towards this one. I don't know anyone who can do really good maps, whether for free or for pay, but if I can find one I will definitely consider it.
c) I will acquire one of those map programs--such as Campaign Cartographer--and attempt to do a good looking map on my own, based entirely on the one that I have drawn.

So, we'll see where it all goes. Anyone else have something to add on the matter of making maps?

Edit: I found my store credit! Aha! Up yours fate! Apparently it was in my sister's stuff in the other room. At some point today when she left for work it slipped out of her pile and out onto the floor. Yay! I bought books with it today! Yay!

Writer: 3, Fate: 2

First things first, the really good news!
I just received news that I have been accepted into UC Irvine (University of California). I've not accepted the admission yet--waiting on UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis first--but it is good news to know that they have accepted me into their English program at Irvine as it relieves a lot of pressure of whether or not I will get into any university at all. Now, I'm in. Plain and simple. If I don't get into any of the others, well, oh well, I can transfer to Irvine--although when I think about it there aren't many reasons why I wouldn't go to Irvine in the first place. Irvine has a decent creative writing program, it's not in Sacramento (can't stand Sac...worst city in the world...), and it's in L.A. (which is a good and a bad...good because there's lots to do there, bad because L.A. is a horrible city). But anyway, on to my other stuff!Alright, I'm keeping a tally now on this whole writer/fate battle. Any time I set out to do something, whether it be hunting down a new book in local stores, or whatever, and I fail, fate gets a point. But if I succeed, well, I get a point. So right now I'm apparently winning!

So goals for this weekend? I became rather curious by an idea presented by Rebecca from Of Making Many Books. She's decided to read and review the entire ALA's Best Books For Young Adults 2007 list. And so I set out trying to find a decent list someplace of SF/F works so I could do the same thing, but at the same time I didn't want a list as long as the one she is doing (76 books). I ended up having to come up with my own list simply because there wasn't one that really fit what I was looking for out there (although I found an awesome list of recommended fantasy authors list here). As such, starting at some near point after the Philip K. Dick Award winners are announced I will begin reading in order of losers to winner all the novels nominated. I will be doing the same with the Nebula Award's and also the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy both found here. I wanted to do the Nebula and Hugo's, but the official ballot for the Hugo's won't be announced for a while. Since the awards mentioned have not been announced, here is the list as of right now in no particular order:

1. From the Files of the Time Rangers by Richard Bowes
2. The Girl in the Glass by Jeffrey Ford
3. The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
4. To Crush the Moon by Wil McCarthy
5. Farthing by Jo Walton
6. Devilish by Maureen Johnson
7. Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalesteir
8. Life As We Know It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
9. The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
10. Midnighters Book #2 by Scott Westerfeld (I will read book #1 first of course)
11. Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (he got two nominations for the same award...)
12. War Surf by M. M. Buckner (previous winner of the Philip K. Dick award).
13. Recursion by Tony Ballantyne
14. Living Next Door to the God of Love by Justina Robson
15. Mindscape by Andrea Hairston
16. Carnival by Elizabeth Bear
17. Spin Control by Chris Moriarty (I will read Spin State first of course)
18. Catalyst by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
19. Idolon by Mark Budz

That's the list! Over the next few months I'll be gathering all those books up so I can read them and present my reviews. Now if someone can just magically tell me how to acquire some advanced reading copies of books so I can feel special in reading certain author's works early that would be great. So, one point for me on making this list!

Now, obviously I've quite a bit of books to pay for. Thanks to the IRS I got my tax refund back. It's only about $350 since the IRS likes to screw me just like everyone else out of my hard earned dollars by spending it on things like blowing people up and arguing over whether or not Public Schools should include religious sermons as required classes instead of teaching the "THEORY" of Evolution (stress on THEORY, not fully proven, but scientific nonetheless...gravity is a theory too by the way...). So I've used a little to buy some of the books and some others at the local thrift store. Why do I love thrift stores? How can you go wrong with buying a bunch of books by old and new authors for 25-50 cents a pop...I mean really...so good. So this is where it gets tricky. I managed to get a good chunk of the books I wanted from the list, but at the same time over half the books weren't even in Borders! I went to the Thrift Store before making the list, so my binge there is unrelated (and I spend about 10 bucks at the Thrift Store for about 150 dollars worth of books...). So, one point for the writer in successfully scoring some deals, but a lovely point for fate for screwing me out of some of the books I needed :(. I'll post the list for another post, otherwise this one will end up beyond long, and my chapters for WISB are long enough on here and I haven't a clue how to do that little thing on Blogger so that posts have a 'read more' tab so you can have more posts on your page without dragging the scroll bar down 500 miles.

Now, for the second point that fate earned. I realize I had fate at -2 a while ago; that was simply a joke. Redchurch over at Quantum Storytelling was talking about these notebooks by a company called Moleskine on this post. Apparently he discovered them at his local Bed, Bath, & Beyond on a huge discount.
So, I decided, well those look awesome and would be great for me to lug around, and set off on my journey into Folsom (the nearest city of culture to where I live...but that's not saying much for culture...) to the BB&B there. Sure enough, no moleskine's whatsoever. Went to target, none. The huge art's store (Michael's or something like that) who should have had them if anyone did, none. Borders, none. So I went home after getting what other stuff I needed. Fate had beat me. I didn't want to have to order them online simply because I wanted them 'NOW'. Unfortunately I have lost that battle and ordered a few for myself and a few for my sister online. I even got one with graph paper rather than standard ruled paper so I can draw little maps and what not whenever I have a spare moment.

So, that was sort of what my weekend was like. All day Sunday (I'm writing this post Saturday and posting it Sunday) I will likely have wasted away hours of my life cleaning up this ramshack mansion I live in so that my grandma can sell it. This comes as lovely news for me because I'm leaving for college at the end of summer and if they manage to sell it before then, I'm screwed.

Major Score! Writer: 1 Fate: -2

K, the title really is just my odd sense of humor and it will likely make little sense. I just think it's silly.

So apparently I am one of the few winners of the Debut a Debut contest at Writing Aspirations. I've apparently won Ninja by Racy Li. It's somewhat of a dark urban fantasy/erotica from what I can tell. I'll be inserting it into my reading list now.
Additionally, I've managed to score quite a good collection of new books over the weekend, mostly from going to local thrift stores. The closest one to me tends to have a little section of scifi and fantasy, so naturally I migrate there from time to time. So here is what I got:

The Wilderness Four-1 / Across the Far Mountain by Niel Hancock
The Heaven Makers by Frank Herbert
The Abductors: Conspiracy by Jonathan Frakes (a.k.a. Riker from Star Trek Next Gen.)
Timeless Stories For Today and Tomorrow by Ray Bradbury
Sandkings by George R. R. Martin (huge score here)
Tales of the Velvet Comet #1: Eros Ascending by Mike Resnick
Orion by Ben Bova
The Best of Isaac Asimov by Isaac Asimov (duh, lol.)
Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
The Crack in the Sky by Richard A. Lupoff
Myth Adventures by Robert Lynn Asprin
The Deed of Paksenarrion (trilogy) by Elizabeth Moon
Krondor the Betrayal by Raymond E. Feist
TekWar by William Shatner (the Shat!)
Great Sky River by Gregory Benford
The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay
A Thunder on Neptune by Gordon Eklund
Redshift Rendezvous by John E. Stith
The Lost Swords: First Triad by Fred Saberhagen
The Lost Swords: Second Triad by Fred Saberhagen
The Complete Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen

And from Borders:
The Seeker by Jack McDevitt
Jupiter by Ben BovaSo I really made out rather well. Some new stuff, some dorky stuff, and a lot of old hard to find near-golden age stuff. I love Golden Age scifi. All that stuff set in times when we knew so little about physics that you could get away with almost anything. Ahh, so great.

Also, figured I would post my 'reading list'. This doesn't include the books for my scifi/fantasy lit class though, but I intend to review most of the books that I haven't read from that class.

Currently Reading: Venus by Ben Bova, Forever War by Joe Haldeman, and Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke

1. Shadow Fall by James Clemens
2. Seeker by Jack McDevitt
3. Ninja by Racy Li (e-book, won it!)
4. The Elder Gods Book One by David and Leigh Eddings
5. Cell by Stephen King
6. Two Wizards by Darren Reid (e-book)
7. Nebula Awards Showcase 2004: Edited by Vonda N. McIntyre
8. Jupiter by Ben Bova
9. Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
10. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
11. The Locus Awards: Edited by Charles N. Brown and Jonathan Strahan

So that's basically my 'to read' list for the time being. I didn't want to make it horrendously large simply because that would be crazy. I unfortunately don't have a Library Thing subscription so I can show random stuff from my book library and other such nifty features. I was under the impression that Shelfari had such things, but I can't seem the find them. Maybe there is another site that I can do the widget thing for free.

Anyone else have a 'reading list' or some such?
And have you found nifty deals in your local area such as the thrift store I mentioned? (I didn't mention the local library that has a 'fill-a-bag-for-5-bucks' sale during summer...my collection is upwards of six hundred books because of those things...)

Or, perhaps you know a neat website or some such that you found useful for finding amazing deals.