Category Archives: REBOOT

Want to Critique My Synopsis?

I’ve been working to wrap up my submission for the 2010 MWA Novel and Short Works Contests. The novel is done (middle still needs polishing), which leaves the one-page synopsis.

What’s it About?
Sent to rebuild America’s nuclear pulse-damaged infrastructure, a recovering alcoholic must defy orders to save an isolated Midwest town from a local militia’s sinister agenda.

What Can You Do?
I am looking for volunteers to give my synopsis a read-thru and let me know where I can improve it. It must not exceed one page, double-spaced, so I need to make sure that every word counts.

Thank you to everyone who offered comments and suggestions for making my synopsis better. I submitted this one-page synopsis for the 2010 MWA Novel contest.


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Filed under Fiction, REBOOT, Writer

Cold and Flu Season

Last Friday,  I found myself a victim of the seasonal bug going around and most likely brought home by my daughter from her school.  Fortunately it was only a cold and not one of the serious strains of influenza currently spreading like wildfire.

I ended up spending the expanded weekend curled up in my recliner instead of doing the list of things that normally take up my non-work time, including a Friday post or a few more scenes in my novel.  I tried a couple of times to rally my mental troops but they were barely able to wave their tiny flags in support before the hordes of pro-blanket and chicken soup mauraders overran the camps. 

During a moment of lucid thought, I wondered why none of my characters caught a cold or something?  I mean, they were in the Midwestern plains during the winter!  I did include a devastating flu epidemic that wiped out a lot of people, but that was primarily to explain why there weren’t so many people around anymore.  Six years later, they should still be dealing with the ravages of Mother Nature like everyone else.

I grew up in that part of the world and can tell you from experience that the winters are not kind to man or beast.  It was expected in some fashion that you would miss a few days of school due to a bad cold or possibly the flu.  I remember being swaddled in a big quilt and lying on the couch, with the smell of Vicks Vapo-rub heavy in the air.  Meals were either chicken noodle soup with crackers or, if your stomach was up for it, tomato soup (made with water, not milk) and a grilled cheese sandwich.  Mom would be constantly yelling at me to “keep that thermometer in my mouth” and I would struggle to balance the glass rod so it stayed under my tongue without using my hands.

Now that I am on the mend, it is time to return to my writing.  Be forewarned, my fictional town.  Doc Grady will be busier than first expected as the coming winter sends a seasonal wave of sickness to fill his hospital beds.  Probably won’t be a major epidemic, but just enough coughing and runny noses to keep things hopping.

I guess getting a cold was good for me and my writing after all.


Filed under REBOOT, Writer

List of things I should learn before the Pulse occurs.

I’m not ready to give up my electronic toys just yet, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t plan ahead.

Where would you begin?

I’m heading to Balticon tonight and will ask my fellow attendees for their list of things to learn. As a place to start, I’ve come up with a few things try:

– how to identify if old cans of food have gone bad;
– how to make (and play) a cigar-box guitar;
– how to weave a fishing net from twine;
– how to make a candle and lantern;
– how to cook with that cardboard solar oven making the news recently;

I’ll be doing the research, giving each one a try, and reporting back on my progress, so let me know if there’s something you think I missed.

Keep it clean, folks. This info may one day save your life.

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Filed under REBOOT, Research