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I finally finished the first draft of Sleeping Giant this morning.  What an amazing sci-fi thrill ride.  Writing battle scenes was intense.  I'm sure that it will be one of my favorite pieces for years to come.

I'm still waiting on Daily Science Fiction to release  next month's line up so I can let you know when to look for Dragons.

Speaking of whic, at lunch time I got the chance to read To Soothe Ravaged Throats by Allison Jamieson-Lucy.  It was some truly powerful writing.  Have you started subscribing to Science Fiction Daily?  If not, I recommend you check it out.  There is an amazing collection of speculative fiction that will make you laugh or cry, it will inspire you and sometimes haunt you.

That's all the time I have for now.  Keep writing my friends!
 
All right then, I suppose since everyone having so much amusement with this talk of the rapture, I will offer what tiny wisdom I have.  Let me start with two lines of scripture: Read for yourself from 1 Thessalonians 5 and  Matthew 24 at the end of this note or better yet in your copy of the bible.

The rapture may come at 6 am on May 21.  It may come at 5:59 or 6:01 or before I finish writing this note.  It might come 120 years from now.  There is only one thing that we do know with a certainty, it will come in the next 70 to 100 years for YOU and for ME. We are mortals. We may be run over by a car or taken up by a tornado or we may die from some long protracted disease.

The fact is you don't know what the number of your days is.  So if you've been waiting to make peace with God do it now.  If you've held a grudge against someone settle it today.  If you haven't told someone that you love them lately, call them right now. Live each day as if it were your last because it just might be.

1 Thessalonians 5:2-4 (New International Version)

2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.




Matthew 24:6-16 (New International Version)

6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

   9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

   15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
 
     For the past year, I’ve been using what you might call the machine gun approach.  The idea is if you fire enough rounds in a general direction, you are likely to hit something eventually.  While this path has lead to a reasonable amount of success, it is time to join the big kids now.

By researching your market, understanding what they have purchased and by objectively comparing your work with your target market guidelines, you greatly increase your chance of success.  Rather than trying to sell my existing stories and pass them off as “well basically the same thing,” I am going to spend time this year researching each of my desired markets and really trying to understand what they want.  After all, a year of acceptance and rejection has taught me one thing, if nothing else.  I am capable of solid writing when I’m pointed in the right direction.

I hope you’ll join me in this year’s challenge.  Perhaps, we can meet last year’s goal of SFWA membership and more.  My long-term goal is to learn enough about writing to earn a Hugo or a Nebula.  Even if we don’t make it there, the point is to keep moving forward, so keep writing my friends!

 
Keep an eye on Sam's Dot Publishing for an upcoming collection entitled "It Came from Her Purse.”  In the meanwhile, if you don't already subscribe to Daily Science Fiction, here are two good reasons why you should: First, it's full of great stories including my upcoming story "Dragons" and second it's free!  This long awaited good news has reminded me of something.  In the hustle and bustle of marketing and redesigning the website and social networking and creating videos from my free writings and ... well you get the point, I’ve actually spent very little time writing new material.  So as soon as I finish writing this note to my friends, I am headed back to see what I create.

I've actually been in a "weird" mood lately.  Perhaps a subterranean horror or a weird western is coming.  I do have a dozen or so stories that are almost ready and several dozen that need a great deal of work.  It is difficult to stay in the zone with only a few hours a day to write and so much else on my mind.  Keep watch and take care, my fellow hares.  A few successes are not enough to allow you to sit on your rump or worse to take a nap.  The goal is to support our writing habit WITH our writing habit.  Even best-selling authors can fade away.  Keep submitting; keep researching your markets to find the audience that will appreciate your style and substance.  Most of all, keep writing!

 
In the 2010 drama, "Rabbit Hole" a couple struggles through the aftermath of losing a child.  The film is based on the 2005 play of the same name by the David Lindsay-Abaire.

Nicole Kidman has been picking her own roles lately and you can tell.  She is the driving force of this movie as Becca Corbett.  The role brings to mind Sally Fields in Ordinary People at some points and Kate Winslet's performance in Revolutionary Road at others as Becca struggles to get past the loss of her son.  She cannot open herself to the affections of her husband Howie and resents the attempts by her mother to compare the mother's loss to her own.  The relationship between Becca and Jason, the boy responsible for her son's death sets this story apart from similar dramas.

Aaron Eckhart who recently played Two-Face in "The Dark Knight" and a self-help guru in "Love Happens" brings a credible performance as a man trying to cope with the loss of his son and the distance of his wife against the easy friendship of Gabby, a girl that he meets in group meetings.

Sandra Oh is not only one of the most popular Gray's Anatomy cast members but an established film actress.  In this film, she plays Gabby and aside from looking absolutely beautiful especially in her final scene, manages to bring a light comic but still believable element to the story.  

Dianne Wiest, like many veteran actresses just gets better with time.  As Nat, Becca's mother, she brings another element of comic relief while delivering a true-to-life role as a mother who has the wisdom of experience behind her.

Together this cast provides a thoughtful and touching story about the trying times that can tear a family apart.  "Rabbit Hole" is Rated PG-13 for language and drug use.  Watch it with your older teens and talk about the issues that arise.