Daily Thoughts 146: First Lines, Stories, and the Future

Author's selfieTomorrow I’m posting Quantum Uncertainty, a story I wrote a couple years ago. It’s a near-future science fiction detective story. I’m posting the first line for today’s post. Check back tomorrow for the story. I plan to have it up in the morning, assuming I don’t run out of time.

Free Stories

For the last couple years, I’ve posted stories for free on the website each week. I plan to continue that (hopefully with more consistency). I am, however, running out of stories to post. While I’ve been going to school full time and working full time, I haven’t written as many stories. I do plan to change that, restart my writing challenge, and get more stories written. I’d like to have a new story written each week.

After I write the story I’ll figure out what I want to do with it. Do I want to submit it to a magazine market like Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine? Or Analog? Do I just plan to put it on the website? I’ll take each story as it comes, but I’d like to keep sharing at least one story each week.

I also want to develop and build Drive-By Stories.

Aside from writing and sharing more stories, I also plan to read more stories. I want to learn and study, do some deliberate practice.

It isn’t 30 stories in 30 days, but a story each week is a good, obtainable goal. It’ll still mean at least 52 stories a year from now. Along with my drawing challenge, massive reboot, and various other projects, I think writing awesome stories is a good way to get back in the habit. I plan to have fun!


The basic concept right now is to use CC licenses for fiction released online, while also making books. Stories, for instance, I’ll collect into various collections and publish as books with some additional content. I’m not planning to do individual stories through retail channels. I’m willing to reconsider that if there’s interest. Mostly, I’ll be adding e-book formats to my shared stories as I update them with CC licenses and cover art. My goal is to make it easy for readers to find and read my work, and to support my work if they want.


New Year Plans

I’m still figuring it out. I know a few things. I’ll figure out more as time goes on.

MLIS Program

I plan to finish my MLIS program this year. The next semester picks up January 26th and runs to May 14th. I’m not taking anything in the Summer semester because I can’t do the e-portfolio until Fall 2017.  I’ll likely work on my e-portfolio before the semester starts and then wrap up the program.

Massive Reboot

I’ve talked about my massive reboot project already. I plan to focus on illustration, writing, publishing, and coding this summer. I’ve also signed up for some workshops in 2018, but the email lists, writing, and reading will start in October and November this year.


I’m continuing my whole foods, plant-based diet. I’m also continuing my exercise and fitness efforts.


I’m also planning to continue my work at the library. We have opportunities to develop and improve library service. It’ll be an interesting year!

Daily Thoughts

Author's self-portrait Busy day! Off work today. We ran errands, then went to a baby shower for my brother and sister-in-law. That was fun! Family, good vegan food, and a celebration of the new addition to our family. Plus Xander and my nieces played well together with a less of the insanity that sometimes occurs when they get together!

More Power!

The new computer works so well! Applications, pages, and the computer loads so quickly. I’d gotten so used to how slow the old computer was that I didn’t realize how much it struggled. I coped for a long time with it barely running the programs. I mentioned it yesterday, but each day I’m reminded again how different it is.

In particular, it was great to see how smoothly the drawing and illustration software runs. Programs that used to take forever to open, now load in an instant. Painting on with the tablet is smooth and natural. This will be such a help in practicing to create new illustrations. Digital painting works better when the hardware actually supports the software!


It isn’t only the painting software that works better. The coding applications also function more quickly. It’ll be interesting focusing more over the next several months on developing greater proficiency with coding. I’m going to work on a number of languages from HTML5/CSS3, XML, Python, JavaScript, PHP, and Java. I plan to work both on web development, but also mobile application development. I have a lot of plans for things that I want to do. Once the semester picks up I won’t be able to do as much until class gets out in May (other than things I need to do for class). Right now I’m mostly focusing on Python, HTML5/CSS3, and JavaScript. Plus some Scratch thrown in for fun.


Cover art for Writing Great FictionWith everything else going on, I haven’t forgotten about writing! I started listening to a Great Courses recording, Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques. I’m enjoying it! I also enjoyed the course on Science Fiction recently. Listening to the course isn’t the same thing as writing, of course, but it is encouraging me to get back into writing.

Because of that, I plan to start writing each day. I’m going to set the goal low, and I don’t know how much I’ll actually use of what I write, but I have over a month until I start back to school. It’d be good to run some streaks. I’ve already been writing these posts each day, and I plan to continue posting a daily blog. I’ll also start drawing.

I’m going to set small, easily achievable goals for my writing and drawing goals. I’ll report back in my daily posts on my progress.