May 1, 2017

I've been listening to the Writing Excuses podcast lately. I'm listening to the first eleven seasons on a random shuffle.

On a side note, random shuffle sucks. I have several collections of stuff, stored on different flash drives, and I shuffle the MP3s a lot of the time. One is my theFuMP.com that has over fourteen Gigabytes of MP3s. On shuffle, I seem to hear the same songs over and over, while some tracks never seem to come up. Because new content is being added o this specific collection, I often wipe the flash drive and reburn the songs to get them in alphabetical order (Alpine kinda sucks in this resort, too). At that point, the shuffling changes, and I hear different songs, but then those tend to repeat. I'm experiencing the same thing with my Writing Excuses episode shuffle--the same episodes seem to keep coming up over and over. I'm not adding new content, so the repeats are consistent.

But I digress. The hosts, Brandon, Mary, Howard, and Dan, are fun to listen to and their wisdom comes quickly as quickly as their banter. I've already learned most of what they talk about--I've been writing for almost twenty years. However, sometimes their ramblings are quite enlightening. And then there's the "Oh, wow!" moment where my thinking completely changes and I learn something so groundbreaking, it changes the way I write or the way I think about writing.

It's these WOW moments that are invigorating my desire to write more and to write better. I guess that's one of the main reasons Writing Excuses exists--to motivate us writers and inspire us writers. I don't know if this is their stated mission, but it's working for me.

Thanks. Writing Excuses!

- Brennan Harvey

April 25, 2017

My resolution to write a short-story per month in 2017 is still on track. I've got four short stories under my belt already. And that kind of productivity is starting to cause problems.

First, my critique group is getting overloaded. When I was pumping out stories less than 5000 words (the submission limit for my group) I was submitting every other week. Last month (March 2017), my story clocked in at 6200+ words. That meant I had to break it into two parts in order to sumbit it to my group. There was no way to cut 1200 words from it. Well this month (April) my story finished in around 5200+ words. Perhaps I'll be able to trim this down, but even if I do, it will mean three straight submissions to my group in a row. If I can't trim it, that will mean submitting four times in a row. My group will get sick of seeing my stories ALL THE TIME.

Second, I'm starting to get backed up with submissions to the market. Many have very short turnarounds (3-6 days) but they have rules in place where people can only submit every 7 to 14 days. My latest submission to F&SF, got refused (not rejected.) I couldn't even submit. They have a two-week waiting period, but is still rejecting my submission, even though its error message says I submitted . . . 14 days ago. The logic on the submission site must be broken. Go figure.

Third, with all of this emphasis on getting short fiction written, I'm moving the edits on my second novel "The Nine-Finger Revolution" to the back burner. I pulled up the manuscript yesterday and discovered that I hadn't touched it in three months--back in January! I don't think this is wise. Short stories are not going to pay the bills like novels can.

These issues were never a problem before, as I'd only write a new story every quarter or so. Something for the Writers of the Future contest.

So, my question is this--dump the goal, or keep with it for another eight months? I have to admit, having five short stories out on the market at the same time feels good. How good would it feel to have twelve? Also, more stories means more submissions, which increases the odds that one of them will find a home and bring in some money. Mike Resnick, who passed on March's story, responded with a personal comment that read, "You're improving each time out." I have to believe that my increased productivity is the cause. And, I'd like to see if I could meet the goal or not. A third of the goal is done . . .

On a side note, my story up on Galaxy's Edge, Issue Twenty-Five called "My Monster Can Beat Up Your Monster" will only be on the home page for another 5 days. After that, it will only be availabe on the archive page.

- Brennan Harvey

March 8, 2017

The second video for "The Story Behind the Story" on "The Truth from a Lie of Convenience." is up on Youtube. This one chronicles my Writers of the Future winning story. Part 2 covers the first, second, and third draft of the stories, and the troubles I had making the story work well enough to become an award-winner.

If you have a question you'd like me to address, please leave a comment on the Youtube Channel and I'll get to it in a future video. I publish a new video every Wednesday. Subscribe and you'll be notified every time a new video is available.

I also have a new story up on Galaxy's Edge, Issue Twenty-Five called "My Monster Can Beat Up Your Monster." This is my second sale to Galaxy's Edge and my third qualifying sale to become a SFWA Active Member.

I'm a professional writer, now.

- Brennan Harvey

March 1, 2017

There's a new series video on my educational channel on Youtube called "The Story Behind the Story". This one chronicles my Writers of the Future winner, "The Truth from a Lie of Convenience." Part 1 covers my idea genesis, the characters, setting, and conflict.

If you have a question you'd like me to address, please leave a comment on the Youtube Channel and I'll get to it in a future video. I publish a new video every Wednesday. Subscribe and you'll be notified every time a new video is available.

I also have a new story up on Galaxy's Edge, Issue Twenty-Five called "My Monster Can Beat Up Your Monster." This is my second sale to Galaxy's Edge and my third qualifying sale to become a SFWA Active Member.

I'm a professional writer, now.

- Brennan Harvey

February 1, 2017

I've published the fourth video on my educational channel on Youtube called "The Story Behind the Story". There were nine years between the last edits to this story and the current revision. I find out how much my writing has improved. I hope you find it interesting or informative

If any of you has a question you'd like me to address, please leave a comment on the Youtube Channel and I'll get to it in a future video. I publish a new video every Wednesday. Subscribe and you'll be notified every time a new video is available.

- Brennan Harvey

January 25, 2017

I've published the third video on my educational channel on Youtube called "The Story Behind the Story", where I explain my critique group and the revisions I made based on their feedback. I hope you find it interesting or informative

If any of you has a question you'd like me to address, please leave a comment on the Youtube Channel and I'll get to it in a future video. I publish a new video every Wednesday. Subscribe and you'll be notified every time a new video is available.

- Brennan Harvey

January 18, 2017

I've published the second video on my educational channel on Youtube called "The Story Behind the Story", where I explain my first draft process. I hope you find it interesting or informative

If any of you has a question you'd like me to address, please leave a comment on the Youtube Channel and I'll get to it in a future video. I publish a new video every Wednesday. Subscribe and you'll be notified every time a new video is available.

- Brennan Harvey

January 11, 2017

I've launched my educational channel on Youtube called "The Story Behind the Story", where I explain my writing process from initial idea, through characters, plot, setting, first draft, critiques, rewrites, and publication. I'm hoping it will help answer all those questions that aspiring writers ask more experienced writers.

If any of you has a question you'd like me to address, please leave a comment on the Youtube Channel and I'll get to it in a future video. I'll publish a new video every Wednesday. Subscribe and you'll be notified every time a new video is available.

- Brennan Harvey

September 3, 2015

So, last weekend I attended the Writers of the Future Writing Workshop. I know what you're thinking... it's strange that someone who won the Writers of the Future contest, and attended the one-week long workshop, would pay to attend such an event. Well, attending it actually alligns with a couple of my writing phisosophies:

  1. The idea of supporting organizations/people who have helped me in the past.
  2. The idea of meeting new and upcoming writers.
  3. The idea that I learned what I needed to yesterday, and I will learn today what I need to learn today

So, how did this workshop meet my goals?

  1. Only Galaxy Press and Author Services can answer the first one.
  2. I met a bunch of new writers, reconnected with a few I knew from other organizations, and personally met some "friends" I'd only known via facebook or twitter. Well worth my while. And, seeing all my supporters at Galaxy Press and Author Services was enjoyable, as it always is. I think I was featured in more pictures this time than during the whole week I attended the workshop in 2011. The are a wonderful group of people.
  3. I learned/relearned tons of stuff.

On learning, imagine a week's worth of lessons compressed into two days. That's how intense this workshop was. I was not interested in self-publishing five years ago when I first attended the workshop, so the Winner Twin's talk covering that was enlightning. I re-read all of the essays, which were review sometimes, but there was a lot I missed the first time I read them.

- Brennan Harvey

December 31, 2014

Joshua Essoe (no link provided, on purpose) sicced his business partner after me with an e-mail that started off, "This is going to be a serious email." He then proceeded to tell me off, criticize my negative experience with Joshua Essoe (documented in my Joshua Essoe Editor post,) and insist, "The ethical thing is to let it die." He even called my post "libelous." Well, I have the e-mail trail with Johsua to back up my entire experience with him. It's all true, whether Johsua Essoe or his business partner likes it, believes it, accepts it or not.

Joshua Essoe is a preditor.

Everyone needs to know this, so I will repeat it. Joshua Essoe is a preditor. The fact that Joshua didn't contact me directly with his own "serious email" indicates that he's a coward as well.

Joshua did not complete the work he promised. At 60% complete, he demanded more money to complete his editing work. I assume he needed the extra money after he missed work because of "con crud." I also assume he thought he'd get that extra income from me. He didn't.

He didn't get any extra money from me.

What he did get from his action is a negative review. He needs to accept that his behavior toward me has and will continue to have negative consequences. It was a preditory move by someone who markets himself as a Professional Editor. I don't take well to that kind of abuse. How many of you here would accept the gaping hole in their checkbook, then swallow the insult and walk away. I'm guessing not many. I certainly won't.

Joshua Essoe is not a professional, does not act professional, and did not treat me professionally.

I'm surprised that Joshua's business partner blamed me, the victim of Joshua's actions. It's like blaming a woman who was raped. If she hadn't worn those clothes, went to that place, worn that lipstick, talked to that guy, etc., it never would have happened. I guess his business partner believes that if I hadn't talked to Joshua, hired Joshua, believed Joshua, trusted Joshua, etc., I wouldn't have gotten preyed upon.

Blame the victim mentality is wrong. I wonder why Johsua Essoe's business partner didn't tell Joshua, "Don't prey on unsuspecting writers." That could have been a "serious email."

As for reviews, I doubt Joshua's business partner isn't writing "serious emails" to the people who praise Joshua's editing work demanding, "The ethical thing is to let it die." My experience with Joshua Essoe was true, honest, and horrible. I'll repeat that, HORRIBLE. My non-recommendation for Joshua is just as acceptable and honest as any other person's positive review. It simply indicates that Joshua wasn't horrible to them.

I'd never send "serious emails" to those positive reviewers, simply because I didn't like what they said. Why did Joshua's business partner believe he could do that to me? What did Joshua offer him to make him attack me?

I have no problem praising people I have good experiences with. Check out my Facebook page. It's teeming with recommendations for people who do quality work. People who act professionally. People who don't send their partners to try to censor me.

Joshua Essoe didn't do quality work for me. He preyed on me. My review reflects that. The sooner Joshua realizes this, the sooner he might stop these practices. The sooner his business parnter realizes this, the sooner he will censor Joshua, instead of blaming Joshua's victims.

The sooner you learn about Joshua's techniques, the sooner YOU can make an intellegent decision to hire an editor.

- Brennan Harvey

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March 27, 2014

Unscrupulous people prey on writers. It's easy to scam us. We are optimistic, believing that our creations are unique and have merit. We're altruistic, feeling we give something to the world, and, in the process, make it just a little bit better. Unfortunately, some predators and scammers recognize this, and rather than give, they take from the easiest mark--that optimistic, altruistic writer.

As proof of writers being taken advantage of, I offer two different websites.

Think about this . . . there are two separate websites out there that warn writers of untrustworthy people who are trying to take advantage of them. You never see something like this regarding dentists or programmers or teachers. And yet, there's two of them specifically aimed at us writers!

There are other professions where hungry, desperate artists are preyed upon. I seem to remember something about scammers taking advantage of women eager to enter the modeling field. There's also the stories of movie producers seducing young actors on their casting couches. Predators are always after fresh prey, so I'm sure there are more examples out there.

I personally got bitten recently. Joshua Essoe (no link provided--on purpose) offers editing services on his webpage.

I initiated communication on his contact page, asking about editing my 100,000 word manuscript. Joshua asked for a 5-page sample so he could quote me a price. After looking at it, he agreed to edit the rest of the manuscript--it would take two weeks and quoted me a price range (a $550 price range.) Joshua Essoe didn't return his sample edit so I couldn't see how is editing style was (a big red flag, but the guy had a testimonial from David Farland.) After clarifying some details, we set up a date five months in the future and I paid him a deposit (I never got a receipt--another big red flag.) A week past my deadline, Joshua finally contacts me and starts my edits. Then he stops working on my manuscript to edit another work that came in late--bumping me for some other writer--and came back to mine afterward. I agreed to this because I didn't want to lose my deposit, so I agreed to his recommendation. After all, Joshua Essoe claimed to be professional and has a recommendation on his website from David Farland. So I don't hear from him for six weeks after my appointment date. Then he contacts me, tells me he's spent up to the low-end of his quoted price, but only completed 60% of my manuscript. He insisted that to finish my manuscript, I'd have to pay him 25% more than his original quote. I told his to stop working on my manuscript--even through two more "negotiating" sessions where he tried to get more money to finish my work. He finally agreed to "scale back on his edits" to finish content editing the manuscript.

A mutual Writer of the Future friend came to Joshua Essoe's defense, equating his initial "quote" as really an estimate similar to what a car mechanic might give you. Sure, if I go in to have my brakes fixed, a mechanic might make find something unusual and inform me that his quote would not cover that. But, he would do that BEFORE any work is done. I never got a word from Joshua, other that "I've started," "I'm on page 92" and the like until "I want more money." I feel like I asked for a brake job, Joshua quoted me $400 and I agreed, he got the job 60% done, and then stopped until I agreed to pay him $500 instead of the agreed $400.

He gave me a low-ball quote, spent all the budget, then demand more money to complete job. It's not professional at all.

Here is David Farland's testimonial:

"I had Joshua Essoe review my novel NIGHTINGALE as a final edit. His insights into audience analysis were very helpful. He caught plenty of dropped words and even a part of a dropped scene, but he went much further than that--looking for ways to enhance the story by adding scenes.

"Now, I've worked as an editor myself for some thirty years, and I've had some fifty novels edited at various firms like Bantam, Random House, Tor/St. Martins and Scholastic, but I don't recall ever having an editor who did such an in-depth and exhaustive job on editing. It wasn't over-reaching, either. It was just a darned-fine job.

"Not only do I give Josh my highest recommendation as an editor, I plan on using him again and again in the future."

I guess when your name is David Farland, Joshua Essoe will bust his butt to do a good job for you. On an eoisode on the Hide and Create Podcast (no link provided--on purposee) he explaind how he moved Heaven and Earth to make David happy.

I give Joshua Essoe my most negative recommendation. I will not use him again in the future. My hope is that you won't either.

Let the agony I went through be your omen. He isn't worth hiring.

- Brennan Harvey

ADDENDUM:

So Joshua Essoe finished the "content edit only" work on my book, at his request, for free in order to smooth things over between us. It's April 4, 2014, and I got an email from him with his finial critique and his final invoice. And, something strange--a screen shot of his time sheet for the work he did for free. Four lines in an excel spreadsheet that clearly indicate the time was "free" of charge. What was that supposed to accomplish?

I have no idea why he would offer to finish the work--for free, then attempt to guilt-trip me with an accounting of the time he spent doing what he promised.

But, then again, this project was full of promises that Joshua broke.

  • Promise to start the edit on February 3 - broken
  • Promise to finish the manuscript within two weeks - broken
  • Promise to charge between $1,850 to $2,400 - broken.
  • Promise to provide a comprehensive line and content edit - broken.

- Brennan

Read what happened after Joshua Essoe read this post!

February 28, 2013

Sold another short story (Just Another Night at the Quarterly Meeting of Terrifying Giant Monsters

This was my first attempt at comedy. Positive feedback from my critique group, The Long Beach Writers Meetup, but the proof is that it sold.

I haz a happee
I haz a happy.

- Brennan Harvey

September 8, 2012

Chicon7 is under my belt and I've caught my breath. I had a great time and am looking forward to the next convention (I'll be attending Loscon 39 during the weekend after Thanksgiving.)

So, what did I learn from my first Worldcon and how will I do things differently next time?

  1. I learned that conventions are about all facets of my writing. I attended a lot of panels, wanting to learn as much as possible. Most of the panels were on the craft of writing, but I attended a few regarding editors and agents. I was focused on increasing my skill in the craft. The business of my writing was my second priority.

    On Sunday morning, I got a chance to talk to Kay Kenyon. She mentioned I was missing an important opportunity--to build the business side of my writing.  She pointed out that I can read about and practice my craft as a mostly solitary endeavor--learn, practice, repeat. I can e-mail friends about, and do Google searches on it as well. However, it's pretty much just me.

    The business side of writing is more about contacts--other people who can help your business. Most publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. However, if I meet someone, and he/she asks for my manuscript, that is a solicitation. Even if there is a slush pile, I get out of that pile when an editor or agent asks for my manuscript. I can write and revise and get my manuscript perfect. But, others help me get it published.

  2. I'm not a partier; never have been. However, I'm aware that needs to change, somewhat.

    1. I met someone in Chicago (2,000+ miles away) that lives in Huntington Beach (3 miles away) nearby where I live. I met him at a party. I'm hoping this will turn into a real friendship.
    2.  b. I also met with an agent who asked for my manuscript--at a party.
    3. li>
    4. I caught up with my closest friends at the parties where we had a chance to chat and catch up, rather than getting to another panel.  There are no panels at night.
  3. My reputation precedes me. I met someone who recognized my name because of the posts I made on the Writers of the Future forum. That surprised me. I hadn't been on that site for over two years, yet someone read what I posted way back then and remembered me.  I hope i was helpful.

  4. I need to get in better shape before the next convention. The panels were held in multiple buildings. Running between the two buildings and six different floors to get to panels was exhausting sometimes. With the large number of attendees, the elevators were packed. We sometimes waited ten minutes for a car that could accommodate us.

There's probably a lot more that will come to me, but these seem to be the lessons that bubbled to the surface easily. That convinces me that they are the most important.

I learned a lot, had a whole bunch of fun, and cannot wait for San Antonio next year.

- Brennan Harvey

June 14, 2011

I did some interesting research today. Box Office Mojo has a feature where you can view the all-time highest grossing domestic files for a number of time periods.  I compared how the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre ranked throughout three time periods (Jan. 16, 1983, Mar. 15, 1998, and today, June 14, 2011)

On January 16, 1983, there were three clear SF/F movies in the top 10. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial at number one, Star Wars at number two, and its sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, at number five. The others included:
3. Jaws (horror)
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark (action/adventure more than SF/F)
6. The Exorcist (horror more than SF/F)
7. Gone with the Wind (musical)
8. Grease (musical)
9. The Sound of Music (musical)
10. The Sting (drama)

On March 15, 1998, things start to change. We have doubled the number of SF/F titles in the top ten. Six out of the top to highest grossing movies are now clearly SF/F. Star Wars is still at Number two, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial is now at number three, and The Empire Strikes Back, at down at number 9. In addition, we now have Jurassic Park at number four, Return of the Jedi at number seven, and Independence Day at number eight. The others included:
1. Titanic (Drama)
5. Forrest Gump (Drama)
6. The Lion King (Childrens – might be SF/F, might be musical)
10. Home Alone (Comedy)

As of June 14, 2011, it gets a little more complicated. Does Batman/Spider-Man fit into the SF/F Genre, or should it be separated into the “Comic”genre? It's getting difficult to "clearly" place some of these movies now. Anyway, here are the top 10 results:
1. Avatar (clearly SF/F)
2. Titanic (NOT SF/F)
3. The Dark Knight (maybe SF/F)
4. Star Wars (clearly SF/F)
5. Shrek 2 (clearly SF/F)
6. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (clearly SF/F)
7. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (clearly SF/F)
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (possibly SF/F)
9. Toy Story 3 (possibly SF/F)
10. Spider-Man (maybe SF/F)

So, that’s nine out of 10 movies that fall into or around the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre.  In the next 20 movies, you could clearly count another seven (and 2 more Spiderman) movies that are SF/F. Science Fiction/Fantasy, especially in the movies, seems heathier today than thirty years ago.

- Brennan Harvey

May 31, 2010

I'm almost done with the redesign of my website.

Unfortunately, I've realized that I've gotten into revision mode with most of my writing. If you look at my bibliography, You'll see that I haven't written much since 2010. I've been revising my EVE320 novel and running my Nine-finger Revolution story through my critique group. Further, my sweetie has been critiquing all of my old fiction and I've also been working on that.

Now, bo back and look at my bibliography for 2009. I completed a whole novel, two novelettes, and a story in the round. Two of these made it into print. The lesson here is obvious, even to me. Write new stuff! The more, the better.

I'm reminded of Heinlein's Rules for Writing:

  1. You must write.
  2. You must finish what you write.
  3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
  4. You must put the work on the market.
  5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

How I've gotten them all wrong lately:

  1. I have not been writing.
  2. I cannot finish what I write if I do not write.
  3. I have been rewriting, without reason.
  4. While rewriting, I have not been sending anything out.
  5. Since nothing is submitted, there is nothing on the market to sell.

- Brennan Harvey

May 15, 2010

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future

How cool is this?

This is the cover on volume 27 of L. Ron Hubbard presents Writers of the Future book! My bio and then the story, "The Truth, from a Lie of Convinience" starts on page 65 and is the longest in the book at 13,000 words. One of the judges told me that he hated my story before he even read it because of how thick it was when he picked it up. So, aspiring writers should take note of this when they submit their story to the Writers and Future Contest.

Irvin Rodriguez won the Illustrators of the Future Grand Prize for his illustration of my story. I've seen the original, and the paperback printing doesn't do it proper justice. Thanks Irvin!

Here is a link to the YOUTUBE trailer for the book L. Ron Hubbard presents Writers of the Future, Volume XXVII.

Here is the link to the 2011 Writers of the Future Awards Event Ceremony that was held May 15, 2011 in the Rosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, CA. You can see my introduction by Mike Resnick and me bumbling through my acceptance speech starting about 1 hour, 3 minutes into the almost 3-hour video.

- Brennan Harvey

November 28, 2010

This was my first LOSCON (The Los Angeles Regional Science Fantasy Convention) and I was quite impressed. Lots of good information, famous people, and intertsting things to buy. Unfortunately, I missed out on all of the parties I was invited to.

My favorite person at this conference was the Writing Guest of Honor, Emma Bull. She played the part to perfection and was dressed in her best steampunkyness all week. If shyness is normal in a writer, Emma Bull is not a normal writer. She was funny, classy, inspirational, and as nice as anyone could be. I'm glad I had the opportunity to meet her.

Special thanks go out to GLAWS (I'm a member) for their Writers Stream panels. Highly informative and fun. The lesson that resonated with me at this conference was this: Treat your Writing Like a Business.

One interesting note was that the Grand Prize winners from the Writers and Future Contest from 1990 (James C. Glass) and 2009 (Laurie Tom) were both on one of the panels together, and I was in the audience. Kismet? Wish me luck for later in the year!

All in all, I learned a lot and had a wonderful time.

- Brennan Harvey

November 19, 2010

Steven Boyett's keynote speech "Myopia" from the La Jolla Writer's Conference

- Brennan Harvey

November 7, 2010

I just got back from the La Jolla Writer's Conference--one of the best kept secrets in San Diego. This is my 4th year straight of attending the conference, and I had a wonderful time, as usual. My motivation to write is high, and I'm getting into the writing mode again.

I stayed at the Paradise Point Resort & Spa this time, which was really convenient. What bothered me about the resort is everything that is not included. Parking is not included. Internet is not included. Even the fitness room--at a "resort and spa" for Christ's sake--is not included. Last year, they didn't even provide coffee makers. I guess everyone wants to make an extra dollar.

This year, the standout faculty member (for me) was Steven Boyett. I first met Steven at LJWC last year and again when he spoke at the Southern California Writers Association. The gentleman is incredibly talented and has the same energy as a class-five tornado. Just watching him pumps up your energy two-fold.

- Brennan Harvey

July 21, 2010

Wow! It's been a rather busy month here. I'm now working two jobs, not to mention the independent web stuff I'm doing. That doesn't leave a lot of time to do writing, and the critiques for the Long Beach Writers Meetup are getting only one look through. Sorry guys. Still, it will be good to get some money coming in!

- Brennan Harvey

July 15, 2010

I might be getting hired for a teaching job. Details to follow!

- Brennan Harvey

June 25, 2010

Update on the search for an agent interested in representing me.

  • Total interested so far: zero.
  • Total that sent nice e-mail rejections back: 7
  • Total that sent nice letter rejections back: 1
  • Total left to hear back from: 4

- Brennan Harvey

June 17, 2010

Intermediate Screenwriting with Mark Sevi was moved to Tuesday nights. I can't do Tuesday nights, as that is when my critique group meets. Although, there has been quite a bit of drama in that critique group lately...

- Brennan Harvey

June 8, 2010

Update on the search for an agent interested in representing me.

  • Total interested so far: zero.
  • Total that sent nice e-mail rejections back: 5
  • Total left to hear back from: 1


Time to break out Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents 2010 again. Round two begins tomorrow!

- Brennan Harvey

June 7, 2010

I passed my Scriptwriting class with Raymond Obsfeld at Orange Coast College. I got an A in the class. Now I'm registered to study Intermediate Screenwriting with Mark Sevi starting July 15, 2010 at Irvine Valley College.

- Brennan Harvey

June 2, 2010

Maybe I should believe in clichés, because no news turned out to be fantastic news!

Joni Labaqui called me yesterday with news that made be all emotional. I finally won the the Writers and Future Contest. My novelette, "The Truth, From a Lie of Convenience," won first place for the 1st quarter, 2010.

Wow--I'm an award-winning author. I'm speechless, but here is the announcement on PR News Wire.

- Brennan Harvey

May 14, 2010

Okay, I'm not someone who believes the cliché, "no news is good news." It's been 57 days--or 8 weeks and 1 day--since I learned I was a finalist in the Writers and Future Contest. Judging has never taken this long for any other contest quarter. Even if Author Services is working on the 25th Anniversary Coffee Table Book, the actual contest judges are not. So I assume they have finished their judging. I also have to believe that Joni knows who's won and is held up from posting the list because she cannot contact one of the winners.

It's a pity. At first, I didn't think my story was that strong. Now, I'm sad that the judges didn't think it was stronger.

- Brennan Harvey

April 29, 2010

There's no word yet from the Writers and Future Contest. I'm not expecting anything too soon, as they are quite busy with their Writers of the Future 25th Anniversary Edition coffee table book. Word will come, I think it's just going to take a little longer this quarter.

On the other hand, I'm getting close to looking for agents to represent my first novel, EVE320. I've gone through a completely new ending, revised, and polished the manuscript a number of times. We'll see if anyone bites on a query letter next month.

Speaking of looking for agents, I recently bought Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents 2010. I found about 20 agents who are actively looking for Science Fiction (that only includes the ones that say they are specifically looking for Science Fiction. It doesn't include any that say they are looking for "Adult Novels" or "Genre Fiction" unless they specifically mention the words "Science Fiction.") That's my first-pass criteria for sending query letters.

On another occasion, I looked at the Writer's Digest Guide to Literary Agents. Afterward, I was glad I bought the Jeff Herman book instead. There's an index in the Wrtier's Digest book that lists genres and agents looking for that genre, but it lists only 6 agents who are looking for Science Fiction. Heck, even the Donald Maass Literary Agency wasn't even listed in the index, and his profile in that exact same book practically begged for Science Fiction! The Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents 2010 looks like a much better purchase.

My editor suggested I look at agentquery.com as well. They list 116 agents looking for Science Fiction, but many of the agencies aren't listed in Jeff Herman's guide. That kinda scares me. Also, it lists multiple agents at the same agency who are all looking for Science Fiction. I'm wondering how I would choose between them? Or, should I send multiple queries to the same agency, but to different people. That seems kinda foolish...

I'll keep you all informed on my search.

- Brennan Harvey

March 30, 2010

Well, my name is up on the Writers and Future Blog, so I guess I can post the information here. My novelette, "The Truth, From a Lie of Convenience," is a finalist in the Writers and Future Contest. This is the second story of mine that has reached the rank of Finalist.

- Brennan Harvey

March 15, 2010

The first round of honorable mention awards is up at the Writers and Future Blog. I'm not on the list, but that is nothing to worry about yet. There are always multiple rounds of announcements, and I'm usually on the third to last round. I don't know if that means anything significant or not. I think it's simply nice to be recognized.

Dr. Phil's name is the only one I recognize, and I send him my congratulations! Cudos, Dr. Phil.

- Brennan Harvey

February 26, 2010

I've got another publication credit under my belt. Kind of.

I'm a member of the Science Fiction Noveliest online critique group. Last year, the group wrote a story in the round and it was picked up by Golden Visions Magazine and published (in print) in their January, 2010 issue. I, as well as everyone else who participated, wrote two 200-word "chapters."

- Brennan Harvey

January 25, 2010

More good news on the Writers and Future front. I got a hand written note from K.D. Wentworth stating, "Very nicely written. Keep entering." It's the first piece of personal feedback I've ever gotten in six years of entering the contest.

I've been told that K.D. only hands out a handful of these written notes, and only on stories that were squeeky close to getting better than an Honorable Mention.

- Brennan Harvey

January 15, 2010

It was in the second set of Honorable Mentions when my name was listed on the WOTF blog. I've heard a rumor that the longer it takes before you see your name, the better K.D. Wentworth thought the story was. Don't know if that's true or not, but I always seen to be in the 2nd or 3rd group.

That makes six Honorable Mentions in a row, and 7 out of 8 that have passed through the rejection pile.

- Brennan Harvey

January 4, 2010

The first batch of Honorable Mentions is up at the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest. I'm not on it, which I take as good news. Further, I don't recognize any of the honorees from my old Forum days.

If your name is there, congratulations! Reaching the HM mark is a landmark event in your writing career. To those that feel perpetually stuck on the HM list (like me,) have some patience. The game is getting harder because more great writers are entering the contest. Read the annual anthology, and study what those writers did. Learn, grow, and continue writing. Your day will come!

- Brennan Harvey

January 1, 2010

It's a brand new year! What better way to start off than to complete some writing work? I finished the outline for my first screenplay. Now, I just need to polish, expand, storyboard, cut, tweak, rearrange, write, rewrite, submit, revise, and finish it.

- Brennan Harvey

December 29, 2009

I submitted my latest novellette, "The Truth, From a Lie of Convenience" to the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest. Before I sent it, I thought it was the 10th submission I had submitted, but it only turned out to be the 9th (over 6 years.) I don't hold out much for this story, as the plot could happen today, rather than hundreds of years in the future. I only put a futuristic bent on the setting to make it SF.

I guess I should pound out another one soon, but I have my hand dipped into a screenwriting class at Orange Coast College that starts Jan 30 and need to start my 3rd novel in 2010 sometime. The class is taught by Raymond Obstfeld, author of Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes which I read a couple of years ago.

- Brennan Harvey

December 8, 2009

One of the people I am friends with on Facebook wrote something particularly disturbing today. He equated the efforts of environmentalists trying to save planet Earth by limiting CO2 emissions with Hitler's attempt to save Nazi Germany by killing six million Jews. I was shocked to read this.

I'm somewhat relieved though. If people are going to ignore science (on both sides) and instead, throw out ridiculous analogies like this, then I have no desire to discuss scientific evidence with them. I find this liberating, in a way. I no longer have the burden to explain my reasoning for believing the Earth is in trouble. It wouldn't do a bit of good. I fully understand that now.

I really don't care which side of the Global Warming debate you are on, as long as you are willing to discuss it rationally. Equating it with the holocaust isn't coming from "left field," it is standing in the "parking lot" inhaling charcoal fumes.

- Brennan Harvey

November 25, 2009

I had lunch with Joy Wood today. She is the woman who founded the The Long Beach Writers Meetup Group which I took over from her after she stepped down. We've talked a lot ever since then, and speak on a regular basis. Now, she is moving to Tennessee--all the way across the country.

I'm sad, and I will miss her.

- Brennan Harvey

November 14, 2009

I finished the first draft of my new story for the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest. It'll be 1st Quarter, 2010. This makes five years straight that I have entered the contest (although I haven't entered every single quarter.)

- Brennan Harvey

October 15, 2009

I went into RITE-AID today to buy some milk and saw that they already have Christmas Decorations out. A whole row of them. When I mentioned it to the casheer, she just said, "yes" and looked at me like I was the one who didn't get it. As a matter of fact, I don't. I think this year, I will ask Santa for Christmas to start later next year.

- Brennan Harvey

October 12, 2009

In the olden days, back when gasoline was cheap, my pastime was driving. I would hop in the car early in the morning and drive. It didn't matter where, as long as I was able to get back home that evening. I've done it almost everywhere I have lived, ever since I got my first car. I find it relaxing.

I haven't done this for a couple of years now. Partially because gasoline is so expensive, and partly because my automobile is over 12 years old and I have driven the equivalent mileage as going to the moon (240,000 miles) and am on the way back.

Lately, I have not been coming up with any new ideas for my writing. I've been fleshing out the old ideas I got years ago. Yesterday, I took one of my go-nowhere trips. Just for the heck of it. Not only did I find it relaxing, I found two new ideas for stories! I think I may have found out why I was more creative way back when and not so much now.

Something happens when your mind is going through mindless, repetitive tasks. The subconscious mind has a chance to filter up where the conscious mind can gain access to it. I believe that is what happened to me yesterday.

- Brennan Harvey

Sept 30, 2009

I'm working on a short story/novelette for the WOTF contest, but it's not coming as easily as some of my other stories have. I don't know if the story is not fleshed out or if it is not really a science fiction story. Either way, the story is not gripping me. This one has been kicking my butt for about a year now. Friends have suggested dumping the story starting another, but I have done that twice now. I feel like I need to finish it.

- Brennan Harvey

Sept 3, 2009

There's a new trailer out for The Writers of the Future Volume 25.

- Brennan Harvey

August 31, 2009

I attended the 25th Anniversary awards for the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest on August 29th with a writing friend. It's the third year in a row I have attended, and this one was the best--by far.

What was really cool (this time) was that I knew two of the 1st place winners from the WOTF Forum. Jordan Lapp and Emery Huang. Emery took home the coveted Red Trophy for Writer and I couldn't be more proud of him. I'm glad one of my forum buddies won.

But, the coolest thing of all was when Don Hartsell, Managing Director of World Sky Race announced that the Grand Prize Writer and Grand Prize Illustrator would both get a trip on one of the legs of this race. WOW! I'm quite jealous.

Grats! Emery Huang (writer) and Grats! Oleksandra Barysheva (illustrator). Think of us ground-based wannabes while you are soaring over fantastic vistas!

- Brennan Harvey

August 28, 2009

Finished the first draft of my 2nd novel (still untitiled.) An alternate-history piece that is going to need a ton of research and rewriting. It will be a long time before I complete the polish on this one.

Final page count = 423 pages (x 250 words/page = 105,750 words)
WINWORD word count = 88,440 words
Elapsed time = 144 days

Meanwhile, I'm drafting another entry for the Writers of the Future Contest. I doubt it will be ready by September 30, but completion and polish by December is certain.

- Brennan Harvey

August 25, 2009

Another reject for my story In the Service of Others from Destination:Future. However, this time, they said I was in the top 10% of entries!

Thanks for sending "In the Service of Others" for Desitination: Future. It is well written, and it made it into the small batch of stories that we selected from (less than 10% of the total submissions), but it wasn't one that got selected. It was a tough decision. There were a lot of things we liked about this story. Best of luck with it.

I'm happy for the kind words, and hope to revise this story until it gets sold.

- Brennan Harvey

July 31, 2009

Current word count in my new novel - 71,600 words.

John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" was a lot darker than I remember it from high school. I remember Lennie quite well, but George wasn't as sympathetic as I remembered him from way back then. The interesting thing about Steinbeck is his introduction to sections being in third person omniscient and only after seting the mood, does he move to a close 3rd person POV. Although, he does break this as well whenever it suits the story. I doubt we novice authors could get away with that nowdays.

Within the first few pages of the story, he sets up all of the foreshadowing for events to come. In fact, foreshadowing drives this whole novella. So much, that when the story barrels into its conclusion, you already know what is going to happen and can't help but watch. It's no wonder this is story is still a masterpiece. I'm glad I reread it.

Next up, Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World." I have been wanting to read this one for quite some time now.

- Brennan Harvey

July 23, 2009

Okay, it's been a while since I have posted any information about my new novel here. I just finished 66,667 words (exactly,) so I am officially 2/3 of the way though my first draft. Actually, I am past page 300, so that would indicate that I am about 3/4 of the way through. However, I am concentrating on word count rather than page count. Thankfully, I am meeting my weekly goals and pounding out the story in my copious free time. It is only by meeting my daily goals that my weekly count adds up. I couldn't imagine trying to catch up 4000 words in a day or two.

My reading plan mentioned earlier this month was inspired with the article "My Novella Dilemma: Making the Case for a Maligned Form" in the July/August 2009 issue of Poets and Writers. Several novellas were listed in the article, and I decided to pick up as many as I could find.

I just finished reading "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson. I had seen all three movies, four if you include the "controversial ending" version of the 2007 film. The book was much better than all three movies. In my opinion, that's a shame. Three differnet screenplays, three different directors, three different actors, and none of them captured Robert Neville's lonlieness, dread, madness, hope, and final surrender quite as well as the novella.

Next up, "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck. I have not seen any movies based on this story. However, I kinda remember reading it in high school. It's one of the few books I remember from my English reading assignments, along with "Lord of the Flies." I'm looking forward to this one.

- Brennan Harvey

July 12, 2009

I realized that I am not reading as much as I should. I have been active in my critique groups, but I have not been reading for pleasure. And, that is where I get most of my inspiation and ideas. W.C. Jameson, in his lecture "The Ten Keys to Becoming a Successful Writer," said, "Read, read, read." Daniel J. Kurland wrote, "Reading and writing are complementary processes." And, of course, Stephen King: "You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot..."

- Brennan Harvey

June 22, 2009

My story, "The Grieftakers" received an Honorable Mention in the 2nd Quarter of the Writers of the Future Contest.

- Brennan Harvey

June 19, 2009

My story, "In the Service of Others" has been held for the final round of consideration for Destination: Future. Decision for those stories will be made after July or August.

- Brennan Harvey

May 6, 2009

Not much going on this month. Last month was a busy one. Literary Orange, Nebula Awards, UCLA Book Fair, and such. I'm looking forward to settling down a little bit.

My critique group is going through my novel EVE320. So far, the response is pretty positive. It seems I may have pulled off the feminine POV. Time will tell, as they have only seen 1/4 of the book.

- Brennan Harvey

April 26, 2009

Okay, I'm not usually star struck but I was certainly impressed with this weekend's Nebula Awards Weekend. It started off when this distinguished gentleman offered his hand while I was eating breakfast. His nametag read Robert Silverberg. Yeah, that Robert Silverberg--Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master! While he was speaking to others at the table, I noticed another name badge on another person that read Mike Resnick. He's a personal hero of mine. I introduced myself later that afternoon, but he excused himself rather quickly. Fans can be a bit of a bore I guess.

The highlight of the weekend was when I was introduced to Connie Willis--I couldn't gather the courage to introduce myself. I'd wander near, then chicken out at the last minute. I'm not usually star struck, but I was so flabbergasted, at first, that I could barely form the word, "Hello." After a couple of minutes, her warmth and charm helped me feel comfortable. She and her daughter were so nice, and I feel my life is a little more complete having met them in person. Thanks Connie, and thanks to your daughter, Cordelia, also.

- Brennan Harvey

April 23, 2009

I just completed my weekly goal of 4,220 words and my novel is sitting at 12,459 words. I'm probably not done for the day or the week, but I have the Nebula Weekend on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I'm sure I'm not going to get a whole lot written during that time, so I needed to get my goal done early.

- Brennan Harvey

April 9, 2009

I've started my next novel, rather than concentrate on another short story. I figure that it is better for me to have a couple of novels under my belt rather than dozens of short stories. Maybe I'm wrong. Everyone has "a novel" that they are hocking. By having a couple of novels written, maybe my chances are a little bit better than their chances. I can hope.

So far, I have 3,020 words written. That's 3% in three days. Not too shabby, I think. I can't expect to keep that same output in the future, but I have some numbers figured out. My goal is to have the first draft of the novel ready before the La Jolla Writers Conference in November. The deadline for their private read and critique is October 1, so I need to get the story "finished" in September. At 100,000 words, I need to write 16,667 words per month. That works out to 556 words per day. I figure if I get a minimum of 750 words (3 pages) per day, that gives me some days off (8 per month) to mull over character, plot, and the like.

Last year, I tried for 500 words per day (10,000 words per month) and there was only one day month that I didn't make my quota. I made it back, plus some, the next month. So, hopefully this is doable. It is a 66% increase in output, but if I don't push myself, how will I know what I am capable of?

- Brennan Harvey

March 28, 2009

So, I'm sitting in Starbucks Coffee yesterday. I was feeling quite motivated after finishing and submitting my latest story to the Writers of the Future Contest. The two women who were sitting next to me left after about an hour and another young woman came and sat next to me shortly thereafter. I didn't take notice because I was heads-down into revising my novel, EVE320.

So, coming up for air after writing for about an hour, I noticed that the woman next to me had the smallest computer I had ever seen, and she had a drawing tablet hooked up to her USB port. I said hello and asked what she was working on. She was working on a drawing and I mentioned that I was working on a manuscript. Yeah, okay. We're both artists and we both hang out at Starbucks to do our work. I got back to work, and she did the same. About an hour later, as she was leaving, I decided on to hand her my business card. She, in return, handed me a postcard.

Wow! The front of her postcard blew me away! It was one of her illustrations of a little girl, spying on a supper populated by different animals. It was gorgeous! On the back of the card were three other illustrations, each with a distinctly different feel to them.

The artist's name is Kerry Lynn Valenzuela. And, she's a member of SCBWI. I didn't know what that meant, but she explained that it was The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She illustrates children's stories! If you can use a children's illustrator check out her blog and send her an e-mail. Her work is amazing!

- Brennan Harvey

March 27, 2009

I sent out my current manuscript to the Writers of the Future Contest this morning. Unfortunately, it is an anonymous contest, so I cannot tell you the title, my name, my character's name, their dilemma, the location, the theme, or anything else about it. How is that for frustration?

     "I finished a story!"
     "What's it called?"
     "I can't tell you."
     "OK, what is it about?"
     "I can't tell you that either!"
     "But you wrote it?"
     "Oh, yeah!"
     "But you can't say anything about it?"
     "No. It's a secret."

Maybe I can say something in a few months.

I have to say that I feel pretty good about this one. That being said, you might want to keep a copy of this post. If I lose or anything, I'm probably going to change it to say, "Yeah, I didn't really think it was up to my usual quality of work." We writers are such guarded people.

Wish me luck!

- Brennan Harvey

March 24, 2009

One month ago (Feb. 24, 2009), I wrote in this blog that NASA was holding a naming contest. It seems that the contest was hijacked by Stephen Colbert. He mobilized the Colbert Nation, and they generated over 40,000 more votes than the top NASA offering, Serenity. Now, NASA says it still has the final decision to name Node 3. What a bunch of party poopers!

But wait! It seems that NASA might have a sense of humor after all. They may name a toilet after Stephen. Well done, Nation! Oh, the irony!

- Brennan Harvey

March 8, 2009

I realized something today. I'm getting deep into the writing business. Today at Borders Bookstore, I came across three books. However, these were not ordinary books. These were books by authors that I personally know. People that I communicate with regularly. And their books are out there and available for purchase.

I have writer friends, and it is only a matter of time before I am up there on the shelves with them. That's a life-changing revelation!

- Brennan Harvey

February 24, 2009

NASA is holding a contest to name the new node on the International Space Station. You can see several images of the node and vote for a name on their Help NASA Name Node 3! page. There are also rules for the contest.

- Brennan Harvey

February 19, 2009

There is something uniquely satisfying about hitting the enter key twice and centering the words, "THE END" at the end of a manuscript. I finished the first draft of my Writers of the Future Contest entry. Now comes the fun part--polishing it up, handing it over to my critique group, making it good, and sending it off to WOTF.

I would like to thank Paul Comstock over at the WOTF blog for turning me onto a wonderful web site. It's called Advanced Fiction Writing. I have not explored all of it--it seems like mostly a marketing web site. However, tucked away in some of the nooks and crannies are essays and articles that are aimed smack-dab at me and my level of writing. I recommend you head over there and see if you can find an article or two that addresses your needs.

- Brennan Harvey

February 17, 2009

I have found my writing groove again. After I started working in Marina Del Rey, I was finding it hard to write. So hard, that I didn't do any writing at all during the whole month of January.

The deal was, I used to get up at 6am, start work at 7am, work until 4pm, then head home for dinner. Then I would write in the evenings, usually 2 or 3 hours a night.

However, my new work schedule, 9am to 6pm--combined with a commute--killed my evening writing time. I still got up at 6am and left at 7am, but now I didn't get home until after 7pm and sometimes 7:30pm. I couldn't find any time to write.

So, I tried something different. I started getting up at 5am and leaving at 6am. This did one great thing for me. It knocked 1/2-hour off of my morning commute. So far, I have not had a bad commute morning yet. <looking around for wood to knock on!> Now, I have almost two hours to write in the morning. Plus, there are two Starbucks and a FedEx Kinkos nearby my work place, so I have the Internet for research. This is working fantastically! I am one day, maybe two from finishing the first draft for the next Writers of the Future Contest entry.

My advice is, find what works for you, then do it. That goes for writing, or anything else.

- Brennan Harvey

February 6, 2009

I cannot believe it has been almost three months since I last updated this site. I wish I could say it is because I have been frantically editing EVE320, writing the Great American Novel, or the like. The truth is, I've been working at a new job. Commuting almost 80 miles a day--in the Los Angeles basin--past LAX--takes a considerable amount of time out of my day. I've resorted to getting up an hour earlier, leaving the house and hour earlier, and doing my writing at Starbucks. So far, that schedule has worked out well.

I didn't do an iota of writing all of January, but I'm back to work again:

I guess the above means that everything in my life is getting back to normal. Hopefully, I won't delay another three months before updating this site again.

- Brennan Harvey

November 15, 2008

The 25-word synopsis of of my novel EVE320 caused quite a buzz at the La Jolla Writers Conference. It's exciting to see such interest in an idea that I developed. If I can just pull off the story, then I might have something.

This is my second year attending the La Jolla Writers Conference. Antoinette Kuritz and her son Jared Kuritz put on a fantastic event with big names. This year, New York Times Best selling Author James Rollins, New York Times Best selling Author Margaret Weis, and New York Times Best selling Author Christopher Reich were the keynote speakers. I attended two of James Rollins' classes and one of Christopher Reich's classes. They were all excellent.

However, I learned the most important thing from Mark Clements. He had a class called Fear Is The Key. Here is the blurb:

Regardless of the genre, all writing requires an element of fear to make the plot, characters, or theme compelling. We will examine both conventional and unconventional methods of incorporating fear as a central part of a character's development.

That was revolutionary knowledge for me. I recently got laid off from my job. The girl that I was dating seemed okay with the idea that I was looking for a new job--at first. However, two days after I returned from the conference she broke off the relationship. I realize now that it was her fear that was driving her decision. Even though she had mentioned the importance of a partner supporting her throughout life's roller coaster bumps, her own fear was overwhelming. It prevented her from providing the same support for another person.

Lesson learned? Don't only think about what your character WANTS. Also think about what your character is AFRAID might happen. It'll give you new insight into the mind your character. Excellent class, Mark!

I strongly recommend the La Jolla Writers Conference.

- Brennan Harvey

November 4, 2008

I've redesigned the web site using CSS 2.0 (the CSS validates as 2.1--yay!) Further, I'm headed to the La Jolla Writers Conference at the end of this week. I'm anxious about what Eldon Thompson and Margaret Weis (myspace) will say about my EVE320 synopsis and twelve pages.

- Brennan Harvey

Sept 8, 2008

There's a new trailer out for The Writers of the Future Volume 24. Incredible, as usual!

- Brennan Harvey

Sept 7, 2008

I have finished the first draft of my first novel, EVE320! I'm thrilled with the climax, but a little disappointed with the dénouement. I'm not going to worry about that now, as I have a lot of revisions to work on and I'm sure that working on those will help me close the book satisfactorily.

I'm just proud to have a finished piece of work that clocks in at over 95,000 words.

- Brennan Harvey

Aug 16, 2008

The 24th Annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards for the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests was not as large as last year. It was held in a meeting room at Author Services, unlike last year when it was held outside at Cal Tech. There was no air conditioning at either place, though.

I was especially impressed with the Illustrating Gold Award winner. She was completely overwhelmed and moved to tears. It's refreshing to see someone so truly humble win.

I also got to meet Stephen Stanley (from the forum) and spoke with K.D. Wentworth. She's an amazingly sweet woman and answered a couple of my dumb questions with grace. I really appreciated that, as well as everything else she does for the contest.

I also noticed that there seemed to be an unusually large amount of Australian accents in this year's speeches. Perhaps those people from Down Under are turning Science Fiction on it's head? Anyway, the Writing Gold Award winner was an Aussie. He got a blue trophy and a red trophy.

I decided last night that I want to win both of those also.

- Brennan Harvey

July 30, 2008

Uncle Orson's Writing Class was a wonderful experience. We had an earthquake back home while I was down there, but I don't regret missing it. Mr. Card was that good!

I'm sure you can find review after review praising how incredible Orson Scott Card's class is. I wholeheartedly agree. Given the opportunity, I'd give him four (plus) times the money to attend his boot camp. I haven't had a chance to try out any of the techniques he presented. Needless to say, I have a lot to change in order to follow his recommendations. For the first time in years, I feel that professional publication is close at hand. Thanks, Uncle Orson!

What amazed me about the experience is that it was held on the grounds of the old Recruit Training Command in San Diego. I drove by the USS Recruit (photo here) every day I was down there. From the hotel, I could see the bridge we used to march, break-step, while crossing (top bridge in the right-hand side of the photo.) We did this to prevent the bridge from collapsing because of the resonance of our footsteps. It's eerie how much the RTC has changed in less than twenty-eight years.

- Brennan Harvey

July 26, 2008

This trailer for Plague War by Jeff Carlson, is incredible. Check it out! It is also available as "Sci fi thriller PLAGUE WAR by Jeff Carlson" on youtube.com. Jeff is a talented SF author, and first-place winner of the Writers of the Future Contest. I've never personally met him, but I saw him at the Writers of the Future Awards Ceremony last year. Please join me in wishing him success with his series. You can find out more about him at the official Jeff Carlson web site.

- Brennan Harvey

July 24, 2008

I'm heading off to Uncle Orson's Writing Class this coming Monday and Tuesday (July 28-29). I missed the deadline for his Literary Boot Camp unfortunately. Orson Scott Card's web site is supposed to inform me when there are changes to his site, but I've never received one e-mail about it (no link because--It Doesn't Work.) I've tried to re-register, but every time I do, it says I am already on the list. Bummer. I would have gratefully given him $725.00 to attend the boot camp--If I had been informed that it was so close to me.

Anyway, I'm excited about this opportunity. I really consider it a half-opportunity because the boot camp is what I really wanted. Oh, well. Gotta take what you can get, I guess.

- Brennan Harvey

June 21, 2008

I came to a realization today. I'm different from what I was used to be. Today I signed copies of my book, Teacakes and Afternoon Tales for the first time. I was so green that I didn't have the slightest clue what to write. That was weird. Rather than waiting in line to get an autograph, I'm sitting on the opposite side of the desk, giving them away. Further, one woman insisted I sell my personal copy because she wasn't computer savvy enough to order one online.

Some stuff I wrote is part of the ages now and, because of that, people want me to put an extra bit of ink on that work. But, I'm the same person I was last week and last month and last year. It's going to take a while before I get used to this.

- Brennan Harvey

June 16, 2008

I recently got published. The book is a small, independent press number, written for a very select group, the "Gulf Coast Writers Association." The book contain stories about Mississippi, geared toward southern customers. Book signings are being held in places like Biloxi and Mobile. A very narrow audience.

I never thought the publication was a big deal. Small press, small group. Although I was very proud of the publication credit, I didn't get too excited about it. Who would notice such a book, other than the family and friends I decided to share it with?

Surely not my ex-wife from fifteen years ago.

But, two days after I pulled that little book out of the mailbox, I got an e-mail. I didn't recognize the name attached or anything. At first, I thought is was a random person, who read a random story, and wanted to thank the author. Then I thought it was some kind of scam, like the e-mail that wanted to give me a prince's fortune--if I would supply a little information. Then, I realized--she had tracked me down. I LITERALLY read the e-mail twice before it hit home.

I love irony, but not when it hits so close to home.

- Brennan Harvey

June 14, 2008

Guess what I'm holding in my hot little hands right now. Five copies of Teacakes and Afternoon Tales. My name is 3rd down on the back cover! The story is on page 55. Who knew this little exercise, written in 2002, would be a success? I'm hoping I don't get typecast as a "Southern writer" now. You know what it did to Faulkner!

None of my science fiction (to date) has gotten me published. This is probably the ONLY story that I've written that is not speculative in any way. Oh, the irony!

- Brennan Harvey

June 1, 2008

The book is available. Here is the link to Teacakes and Afternoon Tales. My name is on the 4th row, 2nd in. Yay!

- Brennan Harvey

April 6, 2008

I went to Literary Orange yesterday. The highlight was two science fiction sessions where four legendary authors shared ideas about writing. I saw Larry Niven, Gregory Benford, David Brin, and Vernor Vinge. I was so engrossed in what they were talking about, I hardly took any notes. One of them noted that they were all bearded SF authors. When I asked Larry Niven if I should start growing a beard, he suggested I wait until I was famous. I'll treasure that advice, and hope to see him, with my beard, someday.

It is becoming easier to recognize those individuals that are serious about writing. I've been to three conventions/seminars/workshops/etc. and keep running into the same people at each. These are the same people who attend the SCWA meetings on a monthly basis. They suck up information from experts in the field and apply them to their own craft. My short-term goal, now, is to become knowledgeable enough to share my advice and teach classes at these venues.

- Brennan Harvey

March 1, 2008

Way back in November, 2007, I received a call for submissions from the Gulf Coast Writers Association. They were looking for stories about Mississippi. I didn't have any, but I remembered a little story I wrote after I read "To Kill a Mockingbird." It was more of an exorcism to get rid of the southern voice in my head. It had a strong, southern voice, so, I submitted it back on November 5, 2007.

Today, I got an e-mail response from that submission. THEY WANT IT! I'm finally going to be published! I have no other information at this time, but I'm elated at the news!.

- Brennan Harvey

February 16, 2008

"The Song of Maska," my entry into the 1st quarter 2008 Writers of the Future Contest, received an honorable mention. Here is the announcement. I actually got to talk to Joni Labaqui this time, and that was a real pleasure. Unfortunately, I have been working on my novel, EVE320, and have not been able to concentrate on another story for the 2nd quarter. Maybe the 3rd..

- Brennan Harvey

January 28, 2008

I guess my complaining has changed things over at the Writers of the Future Contest. I was trying to find out where "Honorable Mentions" would be mentioned, and they decided to post them on the blog. Here is my announcement. I have to admit, I was getting a little frustrated with WOTF's treatment of non-winners, but it looks like they may have turned this around. Joni e-mailed me yesterday and asked about a replacement certificate for my finalist entry, 2nd Quarter 2004. I told her I was also eligible for a certificate for the Honorable Mention. She said she would get them both in the mail on Monday. If they got my name right on the web site, then it should be correct on the certificates, right? I'm excited about this contest again!

Unfortunately, I don't have a story for this coming quarter. I've been working on EVE320. I wonder if I could drag out "Oasis" again and tweak on that. K.D. said she skips documents that don't seem to have a SF/F element early in the story. This one doesn't. I could probably change that. Hmm. It would be awesome if EVERY SINGLE story I submitted to the contest was recognized. That's the only one that hasn't..

- Brennan Harvey

December 27, 2007

I put another story into the mail for the Writers of the Future Contest. I must be getting old. I included the SASE envelope, but forgot to put the S on the E. Duh! Anyway, I remedied that before it went out. Wish me luck.

- Brennan Harvey

December 8, 2007

I just got my rejection letter for "Bravo Tunnel" from the Writers of the Future Contest. Apparently, they are no longer calling "Quarter-finalists" by that name. Instead, you receive an "Honorable Mention." I wonder where I will be mentioned so honorably! I saw on the WOTF Forum that they did this because there was some confusion about being a finalist in the quarterly contest and being a quarter-finalist in a quarterly contest. Go figure. So, after seven quarters, one conference, and two critique groups, I have not progressed as a storyteller at all. Sad news indeed.

On the other hand, I got my finalist award from the fourth quarter, 2004. Yes, 2004. And my name is spelled wrong. Perhaps Brendon Harvey is a much better writer than I am.

- Brennan Harvey

December 1, 2007

Setzer is doing fantastic! Her BUN and Creat. levels have come way down and stabilized. They're still not in the normal range, but she is stable and eating well. She even gained 6 oz. in the last week! I could not be happier with her progress. The veterinarian said she wanted to see her in another THREE weeks (instead of one week) this time. WOOT!!

- Brennan Harvey

November 29, 2007

I just finished my first draft of another short story. I'm not sure if I am going to submit it to the Writers of the Future Contest at the end of December, or wait until March. I guess I can send it out to a few friends to see what shape it is in so far. I'm not going to mention the name or topic here, since I realized that when I Googled my last title, it showed up all over the place. I'm not sure that's what happened with this quarter but it can't help if, in an anonymous contest, your name and story title pop up on a Google search.

- Brennan Harvey

November 13, 2007

No finalist award for my novelette, "Bravo Tunnel" in the 4th Quarter WOTF contest. The link to the finalists is here. I have not received word on how I've placed yet. I can at least hope that I made it to the quarter-finalist level again. Keep watching for more information.

- Brennan Harvey

November 7, 2007

I know many of you are wanting to hear about my impression of the La Jolla Writers Conference. However, my cat, Setzer, is very ill right now. I have to focus on her for a little while. Check back for more info.

- Brennan Harvey

October 31, 2007

I sent out a revised version of "In the Service of Others" to Tales of the Unanticipated. This one included changes suggested by my SFNovelist.com and Long Beach Writers Meetup groups (see my Links page and my News page if you want more information on these fabulous groups.) I should hear something before March 31, 2008. Wish me luck!

- Brennan Harvey

October 17, 2007

I got elected as the Meeting Coordinator for my SCWA group (for more information on this wonderful group, see my Links page and News page.)

- Brennan Harvey

October 11, 2007

My story arrived and was entered in the WOTF for the 4th quarter. They say results will be available in mid-December. This one has me a little torn. If I place in this quarter, I can attend the ceremonies for the 24th Annual Awards Ceremony next year. However, the 25th Annual Awards is planned to be a grand, spectacular event. It would be incredible to be a part of that celebration. Then again, I would have to wait over a year to attend the workshop and such. Decisions, decisions. If only they would have given me a prize two years ago. All this could have been moot.

- Brennan Harvey

September 27, 2007

I just returned from the post office to drop off my novelette "Bravo Tunnel" for the Writers of the Future contest. Wish me luck.

- Brennan Harvey

September 7, 2007

I just wanted to publicly thank the members of my two critique groups, SFNovelist.com and The Long Beach Writers Meetup Group, for all of their help in critiquing my work. They caught several problems (some serious) that I was not aware of. It's ultimately up to me to integrate their comments into a better story and I hope I'm up to the challenge. If you're not in some sort of critique group, you don't know what you are missing. Put your ego in check and listen to another professional's opinion. You might be pleasantly surprised with the results.

- Brennan Harvey

August 27, 2007

The 23rd Annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards was an interesting event. It was held at the Caltech Athenaeum, right under the temporary home where Albert Einstein stayed while he was there! Anyway, it's always fun to get dressed up and play adult. I was excited for the winners, but depressed knowing that they made it and I did not. Of course, I didn't even submit for this year. Seeing icons from the world of SF/F was also a humbling experience. So, all in all, it was a mixed bag. Will I be on that stage next year? I certainly hope so. My motivation is up right now, and I'm polishing my novelette "Bravo Tunnel." I think it's good. I'll find out soon enough what they think.

- Brennan Harvey

August 15, 2007

These are excerpts from two different critiques I received for the same story. They came in less than 16 hours apart...

     1. "But I like your style, I'll read anything you want to send me. And seriously, thanks for putting something out there. It's not often lately that I find a workshop story that holds my attention all the way to the end."
     2. "Poor writing style with a weak ending left me with a story I really don't feel was worth the time i invested to read."

- Brennan Harvey

August 1, 2007

I just finished my novelette "Bravo Tunnel." This one took a while. I will submit it to WOTF at the end of September. First, I'll submit it to the critique group to see what they think of it. Hopefully, everyone will be back from summer vacation and will give me lots of suggestions for fixing it.

- Brennan Harvey

June 19, 2007

Attention Cloud Nine! You have a new visitor! I just got a review of the first 3000 words of my novel, EVE320, from Victory Crayne, a professional editor:
     "I think you have lots of promise as a writer, Brennan. I look forward to working
     with you!
     "In between the few mistakes I saw, I caught a glimpse of what I call THE TALENT. If
     you keep on learning, I predict you will succeed. Bear in mind that I say that for
     less than two percent of my clients."

- Brennan Harvey

March 28, 2007

Well, it's obvious I'm not going to finish my short story "Bravo Tunnel" before the 31st. So, my only resolution of the year is now broken. At least I have another 3 months to polish it before I submit it to WOTF at the end of the next quarter. Another 3 months might make the difference between a quarter-finalist and a finalist. You never know.

Wish me luck!

- Brennan Harvey

March 17,2007

I met Ray Bradbury! He spoke at the SCWA monthly meeting. Although he is 87 years old, he still has a lot of spark left in him. He spoke about the genesis of his two books, The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man. He didn't write them as novels, but as a series of short stories. He never realized he had a novel inside him until a publisher suggested that he weave his short stories about Mars together. He said he has always done what he loved doing, and that his success came from that. I think talent helped him a bit. It was an amazing experience meeting him.

- Brennan Harvey

January 1, 2007

Last year wasn't my most productive. Looking for a job consumed most of the year. Then the cats needed attention (you know how demanding they can be.) And all the dishes! Not to mention laundry... It seems like I just wasn't motivated to write. Maybe all the publication rejections had something to do with that. Anyway, I enrolled in some writing/critique groups and am actively writing again. I want to submit another 4 short stories to The Writers of the Future Contest. Anyway, that's pretty much the only resolution I've made this year.

- Brennan Harvey

April 11, 2006

Another Quarter-Final finish for my short story "First Song" in the Writers of the Future Contest. Maybe my writing has plateaued. Gonna take a break from short stories and work on the novel for a while.

- Brennan Harvey

March 27, 2006

I typed my name into Google today, and my web site came up as the number 1 link. Way cool!!! So, I repeated with the following...

     Yahoo - 1st
     AllTheWeb - 2nd
     AltaVista - 4th
     WebCrawler - 10th

I didn't show up on the first page of the other ones I tried... including my favorite. I guess I'll be using Google or Yahoo from now on!

- Brennan Harvey

February 1, 2006

Well, my first short story, "In the Service of Others", has now been rejected by all science fiction professional magazine markets. I am currently tightening it up and changing some of the plot. Then, I will start submitting it to the Semi-Pro markets. I hope one of them will give it a chance.

December 30, 2005

I got an e-mail stating that my short story, "Survival of the Fittest", placed in the quarter-finals of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. They said that means that my story was in the top 10 - 15% of all of this quarter's entries.

Maybe there is hope for me as a writer.

- Brennan Harvey

November 16, 2005

Media Mail is a two-edged sword. I went to the post office to find out what happened to a manuscript I mailed on September 30, 2005. They said they had no way record of it, no way to trace it, or even any method set up to monitor Media Mail. It seems to me like is is a wonderful way to "lose" stuff.

The same day, I got an e-mail from the publisher saying they finally received my manuscript. Six weeks later. It's almost funny.

- Brennan Harvey

October 23, 2005

Well this web site serves two purposes. First, I hope to be a published author sometime in the future. Second, my web design skills are a bit rusty, so I decided to break out the old Flash and GoLive stuff and play around.

Motivation to write has been noticeably absent lately. I wonder if this is a sign that I am not a real writer. I hope it is because I am looking for work and that is occupying a good majority of my time.

I have a pretty good idea (at least I think it is) that I am working on, but getting the particulars right in my head is proving difficult. Maybe when it finally comes together, I will be able to pump it out rather quickly.

- Brennan Harvey