Writers of the Future, Part II

Writers of the Future, Part II

Well, I just hit the submit button on my first writing competition.  This is a big first step toward establishing a writing career.  Have to say it would be nice to win, but the fact that I committed myself to writing the story and submitting it is already a major triumph.  Doesn’t mean I won’t be keeping my fingers crossed though.

I’ve heard some writers theorize you don’t really hit your stride and start gaining polish and momentum as a writer until you’ve written at least 1 million words.  Chalk up another 17K toward that checkpoint!  Wish me luck.

Writers of the Future

Writers of the FutureWriters of the Future

I’ve had my laptop to the grindstone this week.  I previously started a short story/novella to submit to Writers of the Future for their first quarter competition this year.  I had the entire story outlined and approximately 2,500 words written.  Since the deadline is fast approaching I decided it was time to switch gears and finish it.  It’s been a productive week writing to say the least.  I completed the first draft last night;  it clocked in just over the 17,000 word limit.  I’ll let you do the math since my brain’s tired.  I did a first spellcheck/grammar pass last night and will complete several revision passes over the weekend so I can email it for submission next week.  It’s time to start submitting!

Writing Resources

Writing Resources

Writing Science Fiction & FantasyA very good friend gave me a wonderful book recently:  Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction by Orson Scott Card, Philip Athans, Jay Lake and the Editors of Writer’s Digest. Not the kind of book to read straight through for pleasure necessarily, but I’m finding it to be a great resource for my writing.

Orson Scott Card’s advice on writing is always top-notch.  No surprise there.  This learned tome presents quite a bit more high quality information on such topics as Steampunk, Fantasy Cultures, World Cultures, Magic, etc..

Some of the most useful things in this book are general lists of terms and definitions for Dress and Costume, and Arms, Armor, and Armies.  I never knew there was a woolen cloth, often ribbed, worn by the wealthy known as “lersey.”  I also did not know “cambric” is a fine white linen.  And, I definitely had never heard of a “blunderbuss woman”.  A blunderbuss, yes, but a blunderbuss woman, no. FYI, that’s a member of an elite female corps under the command of the king of Dahomey, Africa used not just as bodyguards, but on the battlefield as well.  Very useful stuff to know writing fantasy.

Highly recommend this book.

Ohio Mock Trial 2015-PHS Quarterfinalists

Ohio Mock Trial 2015-PHS Quarterfinalists

PHS Team Blue Mock Trial 2015I am very proud to have worked with these incredible young women.  325 teams started the Ohio Mock Trial Competition this year, and Portsmouth High School Team Blue went on to become one of the Top 8 in the State.  I couldn’t have asked for more from them and it was an honor to serve as one of their legal advisors alongside Maggie Apel-Miller, and George L. Davis, IV this year.  Teacher advisors Amy Keating and Tracy Campbell make their success possible and it was a great several months working with all of them this year.


Go Trojans!PHS Mock Trial Top 8 in the State 2015

Ohio Mock Trial 2015

Ohio Mock Trial 2015 State Competition

I’m exceedingly proud of the Portsmouth High School Mock Trial Teams I have the pleasure of coaching as a Legal Advisor.  One of our two teams will be competing in the State Competition tomorrow in Columbus, Ohio.  Our team is one of 32 teams competing in the State March 12th and 13th, 2015.  Our other team didn’t advance past the District competition, but did a phenomenal job and I have to credit both teams for the overall success.

Courtesy PhotoTeam Blue, which will advance to State.

2015 Portsmouth Mock Trial Team Blue

Having competed in the Ohio Mock Trial program myself a REALLY long time ago, I can say it provides invaluable lessons and skills to high schoolers whether they seek a law school education or otherwise.  I marvel at how advanced these kids can take their arguments their skills.

2015 Portsmouth Mock Trial Team Red (Plaintiff)

2015 Portsmouth Mock Trial Plaintiff Side Team Red

I’m proud to be part of the established tradition at Portsmouth High School with our Mock Trial Program.  This year marks our 3rd appearance at the State level in the last 4 years.  One of my fellow legal advisors was once one of my students many years ago, and my daughter competed for the first time on our second team this year.  It’s amazing to me that this program has impacted at least 3 generations now in my life.

Good luck to the Portsmouth Mock Trial team.  I know you’re going to make us proud.



Snow Day

Snow Day-3/5/15

Not used to snow storms in March, but this was one hell of a storm.  We had 16 inches of snow in our front yard, and 20 inches in the back.  Took us 2 1/2 hours to shovel out the cars and driveway.  Otherwise, a most enjoyable day.

I spent a good bit of the day writing and managed to add a chapter in my rewrite/revision on Dream of the Sphere, over 2,500 words.  Also watched Divergent with the kids.  Pleasantly surprised.  Good movie.  I’m adding the book to my list of To Reads.

Snow Day