Friday, May 29, 2009

"Lisa with Child"

The Writers and Illustrators of the Future contest

Yikes, I'm published! Or will be next year at any rate.

Wow!

Apparently my short story "Lisa with Child" placed second in the first quarter of this year's Writers of the Future--the science fiction publishing industry's largest writing contest for newcomers. Not bad for my second try, and it's certainly not too shabby for someone who has never published anything. Essentially it gets my story published in next years WOTF anthology, my first literary paycheck, and a slot at an all-expenses-paid writers workshop, next year in LA. It also means that I beat out nearly a thousand other entrants to win before a board of famous science fiction authors. The reality of all this is still sinking in...

So, I need to pop in over at Baen's Bar and thank all of my fellow aspirants who were so very generous with their time and feedback.

Many, many thanks!

Also, congratulations to the other winners of this quarter - Tom Crosshill and K.C. Ball who placed first and third in the writing competition, as well as the illustrators Kelsey Wroten, Casssandra Shaffer, and Seth Rowanwood.

Cheers!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The View From My New Apartment

The new studio and apartment tower are the epitome of 1940s elegance. This is by far the most beautiful place I have lived. And it has a rooftop patio, 12 stories up.





Mt. Saint Helens and Northwest district



Hood



Mt. Adams, peeking over the skyline



Towards sunset





Cities really do breath. All that biomass and machinery suspiring--exchanging oxygen for carbon or vice versa.



Fireworks as the Rose Festival kicks off on Friday night.



Neighboring towers, next day





The West Hills truly are a 3-dimensional labyrinth. Very beautiful to wander in, but if the West Hills fault should ever turn out to be an earthquake producer, this would be an extremely bad place to be in the event of a 6.8 (the fault's theoretical maximum).

Of course my place, about a block off the fault line might, not be much better off, depending on where the rupture took place on this 38-mile boundary. Then there is the eventuality of a 9.5 quake when North America next slides out further over the San Juan Fuca oceanic plate. While the shaking would be greatly reduced this far inland, it could go on for as long as five minutes and produce long-period seismic waves, which might have an adverse effect on the tall towers that normally do so well during earthquakes.

But that's life on the West Coast: Beauty in exchange for risk.



The summer view from my window--a Japanese maple