WordPress compiles my blog’s 2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 55 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 221 posts. There were 107 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 37mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was January 6th with 282 views. The most popular post that day was Knowing: People Stuck in a Plot (a movie review).

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, urbanyukon.com, en.wordpress.com, voyagerangel.com, and google.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for new star trek series, star trek, startrek, star trek new series, and realms of fantasy submissions.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Knowing: People Stuck in a Plot (a movie review) March 2009
10 comments

2

Palin Eyes Role in New Star Trek Series January 2010
16 comments

3

Dream Jobs and Just Doing It: Star Trek Series August 2008
2 comments

4

Writing Advice from J.K. Rowling February 2009
2 comments

5

Realms of Fantasy re-opened and ready for your submissions October 2009

TRON: Legacy needs a CLU, gets a “journey without a goal”

I wanted to like this movie.  I have such fond memories of the original TRON.  It was ahead of its time in many ways back then, and probably a little cheesy too…  It was wrapped up in religion a bit, which wasn’t bad— it gave programs a “culture,” a “faith.”  TRON: Legacy has kept up with the digital explosion in movies and taken it to grand heights, but it abandoned good writing and good characters along the way.  I found it hard not to roll my eyes, and even with such great visuals, found myself bored during the last quarter of the film.  How did they fumble such a beautiful opportunity?  I don’t know, but I have some ideas.  I offer these up for consideration.  I’m no Roger Ebert (but I’m a huge fan, Roger) but I think most critics have already agreed that the plot lacks something. The original TRON received 69% on the tomatometer from Rotten Tomatoes, the new Tron 49%.  Though, oddly the audience seems to like the second one more.  Critics agreed the light show and “glitter” are fun, and who can beat that soundtrack?  I loved the light show, the competitions, the music, but the plot is an epic fail.

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How to Get Published by James D. Macdonald–good advice

Well, I keep track of Making Light, the blog by Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden and all their friends and guests, and Jim Macdonald has a great post today:  How to Get Published.  You might have heard the advice a thousand times, but Macdonald gives it some fresh spin.

To be a writer, you must write.

Thinking about writing is not writing. Talking about writing is not writing. Pre-writing exercises are not writing. Only writing is writing.

Write every day. If you only write a page a day, at the end of a year you’ll have a novel. Read every day. If you want to be a writer, you must be a reader. If you are not a reader, perhaps being a writer is not in your future.

Write straight through to THE END.

The urge to give up, particularly in the dread Mid-Book, will be strong. The desire to go back and fix the beginning will be strong. Resist the urge. You won’t know what the beginning is until you reach the finish, and perhaps not even then.

Every synapse in your brain will be screaming “This Is Crud!” Perhaps it is. That’s okay. You can’t make a pot without clay. We’ll fix it all in the second draft. If you need permission to write badly, I grant it to you.

Note that while you will think that your writing is crud, and it may objectively be crud, you should still write to the very best of your ability.

Besides, if you give up in the middle, when and how will you learn to write endings?

The rest of this article, if you’re serious about writing, is worth your time to look over.

When the Pilgrims Met the Borg: Faith, Perfection and the Assimilated Pilgrim

As written by William Bradford, 1620, original pilgrim on the Mayflower, original settler of Plymouth Plantation, after the strange ordeals on the Atlantic Ocean on the way to the New World.  This account is accurate to the best of the ability of the author, William Bradford, and notes the first instance of the Borg in Sector 001.  Though William Bradford is aboard the ship, the reader should note that his record is of the Pilgrims, and notes their struggles, their accomplishments, in a third person, collective account.  

There be no assurances in the ways and means of the Almighty God.  That He is there to keep and to guide, we may be comforted, but that His methods and ways be strange, there be only the righteous account and evidence of the men and the women of the Mayflower on her journey to the New World.

When they left yon Dutch colonies, they were bound in one ship, leaving the leaky Speedwell back in port, combining the crews of the Separatists, God’s chosen, and the non-separatists, also God’s chosen, to help in the design and building and maintaining of the new colony.  There be fifty men and women of God, and fifty merchant adventurers.  It was crowded on the ship, and the seas rose and fell with the mercy of God.  But to the blessings of God they account that none of the hundred pilgrims, for that is what they called themselves, were in pain, or in hunger, or in distress.  All worshipped the Almighty, even as they tumbled and plunged on yon sea.

On the 43rd day of their voyage, the scout above in the mast spotted a floating island, shining in the sun, and this island he claimed was land, and their ship sailed towards it.  The closer they came, the more curious the island became.  It was not land as they knew it, but shined in the sun like gold, and the merchant adventurers were vastly curious of what created composition the Lord had made it.  Others believed, however, that it was a bad sign, a false hope, a distraction from the simple quest of the new colonists, a task given to them in purity and hope and vision.

They did not know that the island was actually another ship, one perhaps capsized by the sea, whose inhabitants the good Lord had proclaimed should drown, for He saves whom He desires to save, and does not save those that are unworthy.  And yet, they sailed closer.  The ship, for now they knew it must be a ship, was twice as large as the Mayflower, capsized in the sea.  Some of the adventurers said it had been forged of strange metal, for the base of the ship, that above the water, was curved like a perfect sphere, and the rods and cross-hatches of the metal formed a metal bowl, with the doors and the windows, and other shadowy recesses.

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Ten Ways To (Seriously) Improve Your Writing (via Broadside)

An awesome post for writers who are at any stage in the game–but especially those who want to take it seriously. Her advice for dealing with rejection, listening to feedback, and doing things to improve yourself, really ring true to me. Maybe they will for you too.

Ten Ways To (Seriously) Improve Your Writing It’s commonly said, (among writers who do it for their living), that blood to a surgeon is like rejection to a writer — a necessary part of every day’s work. Whether a surgeon likes blood is irrelevant. Do professional writers — and ambitious amateurs — enjoy rejection? Irrelevant. It’s not a game for d … Read More

via Broadside

Tesseracts 15: Young Adult Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror

 

 

Tesseracts 15 is open for submissions with a call for young adult science fiction, fantasy and horror.  NOVEMBER 30 is the deadline.  Below is the call.  

NOW OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS

(Calgary, Alberta) EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing is delighted to announce that Tesseracts Fifteen: A Case of Quite Curious Tales, is now open for submissions.

Submissions open September 1, 2010 thru November 30, 2010.

This edition of the award winning series of original Canadian Speculative Fiction comes with a twist and touch of whimsy.

“We’ve decided to do something different with Tesseracts Fifteen.” said Brian Hades, owner of the EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing imprint. “This volume will focus on Young Adult Speculative Fiction – which can include science fiction, fantasy, and horror. However submissions must appeal to the YA audience and be PG-14 in content. As usual, Tesseracts Fifteen is open to both short fiction and poetry submissions.”

Each Tesseracts anthology since volume one (1985) has featured editors hand picked for each particular volume. For this volume,Julie Czerneda and Susan MacGregor have agreed to co-edit.

“We seek wonder and astonishment.” said the editors. “Stories that engage the imagination, inspire dreams, and leave hope in their wake.” Both Czerneda and MacGregor want all Canadian speculative fiction writers to “write what will become the classics for a new generation of readers, to be remembered, fondly, for years to come.”

 

SUBMISSION DETAILS:

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“Adopting My Mother” radio series is up

Hi Folks, if you look under Radio Series, you’ll see I finally put up the 5 parts of “Adopting my Mother.”  It was my first radio series.  Be kind.  I had a lot of fun with it, but it was my first foray into radio series.  It tells the story of when my birthmother found me, when I was 30.  What follows is me getting used to having another mother, or trying to figure out how to fit in a person into my life who had a very important role in creating me.  It’s not easy adopting a new person into your life–when you have a mom, a happy life, and you think you really don’t have to know where you came from or your own history….

But it’s interesting how much that beckons when you’ve never really known where you came from….. or why….

And suddenly here’s someone who can tell you everything…  and they’re only an email away.

Come listen to “Adopting My Mother” on the Radio Series page.

Inhuman anthology includes Whitehorse writer, Dave Strachan

You might recognize Dave Strachan as the guy who helps you with your Arctic Cat snowmobile needs at Listers Motorsports (that is not him on the cover of the book there).  I know Dave more as a science fiction writer and friend.  I’m THRILLED to say that Dave made it into the Inhuman anthology put out by Absolute XPress, a Direct-to-Reader press owned by Hades Publications, which specializes in scifi, fantasy, horror e-books and paper-books.  

The anthology is made up of flash fiction–stories under 1000 words–part of the Flash Fiction #4 Challenge that Absolute XPress issued earlier this year.  The stories discuss what it means to be human from an inhuman POV.  Some stories are all from that POV, and some have characters that are inhuman chatting about humanity.  I was the guest editor who helped choose the stories, but I’m proud to say that the judging was blind and that his story was chosen by all three judges.  I had no idea if we were going to end up with Dave’s story in the bunch.  There were a lot of great entries and we couldn’t put everyone in–but collectively we ended up choosing great stories.   

Thank you, everyone who submitted.  I’m proud of the stories included in the anthology.  You can order the anthology on their website, or through Amazon.com.   

And, Dave…. way to go.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Class for Young Writers: FH COLLINS, WEDNESDAYS

Our very popular science fiction and fantasy writing class–aimed for 11-18 year old writers–is happening again at FH COLLINS, on Wednesdays.  This year we’re concentrating on helping everyone get something finished by Christmas.  Many of them are doing their own novels, but want to explore shorter fiction.  We have writers who enjoy historical fantasy, dark fantasy and comedy, hard science fiction, comedic horror, urban fantasy, and just plain I-don’t-know-what-it-is-but-I’m-sure-it’s-probably-fantasy….  

These are some of the coolest kids I know; very smart, well-read, and ready to explore some of the more mundane aspects of fantasy writing this year: making the fantasy more real.  So we’re gonna have a lot of time spent on developing characters, description, scenes where there’s no “action” going on, and other stuff.  

We meet afterschool–around 3:30 in the FH COLLINS LIBRARY till 5:00.  We’re being sponsored by the City of Whitehorse.  If you’re interested, contact me here–at jstueart@yahoo.com and I’ll get you set up with the City.  Cost is $85 for 13 weeks of instruction, which include, of course, SNACKS.  (We know that proper fantasy and science fiction can only be written with food….and we try to make it healthy–fruits, crackers, cheese, nutri-grain bars, etc.  Bring your own drink)

We’ve done a lot together in our three years here—and the students are always looking to find new people to bring into the group.  Come join us and be a part of a strong writing group that can read and enjoy your science fiction or fantasy.  

The class is taught by me: I have a PhD in English with a specialty in Creative Writing, and am a veteran of the bootcamp for science fiction and fantasy writers, Clarion Writers Workshop, makers of many good writers.  I enjoy the enthusiasm of these young writers.  (This is not a class for adults, but we do have a group for adults, as well, that will be meeting Tuesday nights. )