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W2P GUEST SPEAKERS

Jim Burk

Jim writes in many genres, and is a long-time friend of many well-known authors.



5/7/07 6:44:32 PM Opening "Chat Log 5-7-07"

ScarfaceHR: This thing keeps telling me my message is too long.
W2PSushi: then type shorter ones
ScarfaceHR: I guess I have to think of this as a telegram?
W2PSushi: you just have to get the hang of it
W2PSushi: many people cut-and-paste from a prepared text
W2PSushi: LOL
W2PSushi: yes
W2PSushi: of course, some of the kids in the room will say, what's a telegram?
ScarfaceHR: OK, as I was saying, the old editors loved the genre, but their companies were absorbed by the big guys.
ScarfaceHR: The big guys think of the work only as product. They turn over the business to bean-counters.
ScarfaceHR: The bean-counters bring with them a collection of feather-merchants and ribbon clerks, who never had a life outside of English class.
ScarfaceHR: The old writers lived life. Theodore Sturgeon held any number of jobs, including heavy-equipment operator.
W2PSushi: cool!
ScarfaceHR: John Dalmas had been a paratrooper in WWII, a smoke-jumper after the war, and was into ecology before most of the people had heard the term.
W2PSushi: some say they prefer authors to have a Day Job
ScarfaceHR: Not necessarily, but you can only put into your writing what you've gotten out of your life, one way or another.
ScarfaceHR: It adds a depth and dimension to the work. Too many new editors have only academic experience, I think.
W2PSushi: you mentioned the smoke jumper on the phone. never boring!
ScarfaceHR: I think I might also mention that I prefer writing fantasy to SF (this is something else we discussed on the phone.)
W2PSushi: I'm only 50 but have had a fair number of experiences
W2PSushi: my only fantasy story is my new Bubba tale
W2PSushi: usually I'm into SF more. that's just me, of course
ScarfaceHR: And those experiences can add depth to your writing.
W2PSushi: ought to be some folks popping in shortly
Rose1533: Hi, Paul.
Rose1533: Welcome, Scarface.
ScarfaceHR: One should try one's hand at any sort of writing. Right now, I'm working on a Western, which requires very different skills.
ScarfaceHR: Hi, Rose, nice to meet you.
Rose1533: Nice to meet you, too.
W2PSushi: Hi Carol
Rose1533: Met a woman out at the Mom and Me event at camp who is also trying to write
W2PSushi: great!
ScarfaceHR: Thank you. The reason I so admire fantasy is that it uses a very different vocabulary and a richness of expression that Science Fiction seldom matches.
Rose1533: Unfortunately, she's not on AOL, but I have her e-mail, anyway..
Rose1533: I'm writing an epic fantasy.
Mallie1025: Hi guys
Rose1533: Ooo! I finally got to try out my 50 lb. long bow at camp!
Rose1533: My arm is sore now.
Rose1533: LOL!
Rose1533: And my right middle finger is partly numb (always gets that way when I do archery).
Rose1533: Need a glove.
W2PSushi: Hi Micki
Mallie1025: Rose, good for you--I could pull it but not aim well with that much weight
Mallie1025: Hi Paul
ScarfaceHR: Hi there, and another voice heard from. I once had a 66 lb bow and I could hear my joints creak.
W2PSushi: wow!
Rose1533: Wow!!! 66lb????
Rose1533: Ach!
W2PSushi: Scarface is our guest speaker, Jim Burk
W2PSushi: these are people who take Fantasy writing seriously!!!
Mallie1025: Scar, I'm impressed--My aim was only accurate with a 25 pound bow
Rose1533: I was going to get a 45 lb, but they didn't have it and I was impatient. They sold me the 50 lb. for the price of the 45 lb.
ScarfaceHR: What was this about an epic fantasy? I'm here to chat, not to speechify
Rose1533: I bought the bow to help complete the persona of my character.
Mallie1025: Can you to both? lol
W2PSushi: Hi Adam
Rose1533: All right. I'm in black now. Humph!
ScarfaceHR: I was more accurate with a 45 pounder but wanted to work my way up.
Rose1533: I did get a bull's eye, but when I went back to the recurve bows the camp owns, I did, too.
Rose1533: And my accuracy was far better.
Rose1533: But wait until I get a glove!
ScarfaceHR: Hey, Rose, black is a neat color. At cons, most people recognize me simply by the mostly black attire. I did do a bit in a book about characters who wear black.
W2PSushi: never shot from a real bow, I think. someday!
W2PSushi: only went skeet shooting last summer
W2PSushi: that Remington was bigger than my wife, seemed like, but she have it a try.
Rose1533: Oh, I look great in black, but I don't prefer the color. Red is my color.
W2PSushi: Jim, any sign of your friends? If you put their screen names on your Buddy List, you can see if they are on line, and greet them if needed
Rose1533: Come visit me, Paul. I'll give you a chance to use my bow!
Mallie1025: I fired my husband's rifle and was thrown back 4 feet--never did that again
Rose1533: LOL!!!!
ScarfaceHR: I'm not much with skeet. I'm more a pistolero and rifle kinda guy. I used to be able to scare a hedgeapple at fifteen yards shooting from the hip..
Mallie1025: Well, not until I shot my exerciser with a 22 but that's another story
W2PSushi: is that story in your novel?
Rose1533: I hope the exerciser was a thing and not a person!
ScarfaceHR: Sounds like one worth hearing. And Rose, red sounds like a good color for you. Very apt.
W2PSushi: Jim, we have a long standing rule; only the guest uses color, etc., so they can stand out
Rose1533: My real name is Carol, actually.
Rose1533: Rose was my character name out at a Ren faire.
W2PSushi: helps when a bunch of people show up
Mallie1025: No Paul, happened later--I will say the exercise bike deserved it
Rose1533: and 1533 is the year they emulate.
Rose1533: LOL!
W2PSushi: I was wondering what 1533 was about
W2PSushi: a fine year indeed
ScarfaceHR: I don't recognize anyone by their style, so I guess the people who read the posts weren't interested in hearing me.
ScarfaceHR: I do enjoy the company I'm in right now, however.
Rose1533: It's the year King Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn.
W2PSushi: yeah, Tom Clancy packed the chat
ScarfaceHR: A, a match made in heaven -- for a little under a thousand days.
W2PSushi: but now he won't take our phone calls
Rose1533: Charges against her were trumped up.
W2PSushi: well, to be fair, I have not formally invited him back
W2PSushi: hi Tom
PHeeren: hi
Mallie1025: Hi Tom
ScarfaceHR: That's very rude. I always take calls, e-mails, check, cash, or money order.
W2PSushi: a fellow Wichitan. (is that how you say it?)
Rose1533: And she was so dignified, she wouldn't lower her head to be beheaded--she knelt, but remained upright.
W2PSushi:
ScarfaceHR: Hi, Tom.
W2PSushi: well Jim, you are the guest!
W2PSushi: do you have any opening remarks?
W2PSushi: ideas to toss forth, I believe you said?
ScarfaceHR: I was just bemoaning and sympathizing with new writers who are trying to break in.
Mallie1025: Now that's one area where the pc shines--helping get published
ScarfaceHR: In the old days, the editors were people who loved the genre oops, should I let that one rest and just let everybody scroll up.
Mallie1025: Other than that, I'd toss it thru a window
Rose1533: I guess you could say I'm trying to break in. But I'm totally intimidated by the query.
ScarfaceHR: Actually, the pc simply makes the slush pile deeper. Too many people think that all they need is spell checker and grammar checker.
Mallie1025: Query is easy for me as I am used to shorts, synopsis is a nightmare
Rose1533: I know better! They are a great help, but not perfect by any stretch of the imagination!
Rose1533: Helps to have grown up with a mom who has a Masters in English!
ScarfaceHR: I've seen some good work, and I've seen crap, and it never mattered whether it had been written by hand, typed, or done on a computer.
Mallie1025: My spellcheck spells worse than I do and its grammar is lousy too
Rose1533: Hi, Alex!
W2PSushi: howdy Brag!
W2PSushi: our fearless leader
Braguine: gutt iffninckzz, Room-Roomies
Mallie1025: I want to write on my yellow legal pad with an erasermate pen and hand it to someone to type
Rose1533: LOL!
Mallie1025: then sell my book and leave me alone
Rose1533: I write on yellow with a red pen!
PHeeren: I have a BA in English
ScarfaceHR: The best thing about a computer is that it lets one edit much easier. I remember when I had to retype manuscripts for minor goofs.
Rose1533: Ouch!
PHeeren: actually I concentrated on literature and English
Mallie1025: True, the early typewriters were a pain
Rose1533: No kidding!
ScarfaceHR: Yeah, once upon a time, the whole thing had to be typed, corrected, typed again, etc. And I'm a lousy typist.
PHeeren: for my senior thesis for my BA, I hired a sophomore to type my thesis
Braguine: Better than quills
Rose1533: True.
Rose1533: But not much!
PHeeren: and my English advisor gave me a B for the thesis
ScarfaceHR: I once had the services of a typist. Lovely girl. If she hadn't already been attached ...
Rose1533: LOL
PHeeren: never sleep with typists whilst in college
Mallie1025: Brag--so true, we really get spoiled--it's magic to send an entire book across country is a nanosecond
PHeeren: and writing your English theses
PHeeren: I made a joke
ScarfaceHR: The best thing about fantasy, aside from the chance to borrow from everything, is the wealth of expression.
Mallie1025: Tom, that was funny--I almost fell off my seat!!
Rose1533: Do you write fantasy, yourself?
ScarfaceHR: Out of curiosity, how many of those present are working at becoming writers, and what's the ratio?
Rose1533: <---raising hand. Me!
Rose1533: Hi, effer.
W2PSushi: me!
Braguine: me too
PHeeren: me
Mallie1025: I have been writing for newspapers for 25 years--pubbing my first book this September
Rose1533: Yeah, Mallie has a contract!
Effervescentlady: Hello Rose
Rose1533: wtg, Mallie!
ScarfaceHR: If you were asking me, yes, my first novel was a fantasy called HIGH RAGE. And welcome to the new people on.
Braguine: congratahoochies, Mallie
Mallie1025: Hi Ef
W2PSushi: Jim (scarface) is a master of many genres
W2PSushi: and of quirky novels -- hence his success with Yard Dog Press
Mallie1025: Thanks Brag--pubbing is the easy part--marketing is the hard part
ScarfaceHR: Excellent. Fantasy or science fiction, Mallie?
Mallie1025: Jim, although I writer short paranormal and horror--this book is a memoir
ScarfaceHR: I think they both come hard to me. Is one permitted a slightly dirty joke? You know what
PHeeren: sc, do u do children's books?
PHeeren: I do
PHeeren: but it's hard to write kids' books, anyway
W2PSushi: we are all grownups here, I believe
ScarfaceHR: what's long and hard on a twenty-year old Bubba? Third grade.
Rose1533: LOL!
ScarfaceHR: Yes, I did write a children's book. My grandkids loved it. The title was PHILL THE HAPPY HARE.
Mallie1025: Good for you!! If I ever write another book, it will be children's
PHeeren: sc, was it nationally published or published for your grandkids?
Mallie1025: I just can't handle so many pager.
Rose1533: I was wondering the same thing.
Rose1533: Good question, Tom.
Mallie1025: pages
ScarfaceHR: This sort of thing is interesting because you never know who's talking to who.
Rose1533: You get the knack of it, after awhile.
ScarfaceHR: The book hasn't been published yet. It's as hard to break into as any other form of writing.
ScarfaceHR: Incidentally, my newest novel on the market, HOME IS THE HUNTER, is half of a double-dog.
Rose1533: Is High Rage your only Fantasy book?
Mallie1025: Jim, it's an wide open market--my grandkids have to read a new book a month and the supply doesn't meet the demand
ScarfaceHR: The other half was a really fine piece of work by Lazette Gifford, FARSTEP STATION.
Rose1533: And what is a double-dog?
ScarfaceHR: The trick isn't finding the readers, it's finding the publishers.
Mallie1025: true, but try the ones schools buy from -like Scholastic
Mallie1025: and what is a double-dog?
ScarfaceHR: A double-dog is the Yard Dog Press version of the old Ace double novel, where two short novels were published back to back, each with its own cover.
ScarfaceHR: Sorry, I don't type as fast as I wish I could.
Rose1533: None of us do.
Mallie1025: You're in good company
Rose1533: But this double-dog had two authors? Is that normal?
ScarfaceHR: You actually read one book, turn it over, and start on the second book.
Rose1533: Oh, I see!
Rose1533: I have a pictorial directory like that. One church with two sites, two sided book.
Effervescentlady: Romances do that a lot, two in one.
W2PSushi: I've yet to crack the double dog market
W2PSushi: but my novels are way too long, anyhow
ScarfaceHR: Yes, all the double dogs have two authors. And Selina, the editor, is alternating between science fiction and fantasy. So far, I've very much enjoyed all the double dogs.
Rose1533: Never actually seen that in a novel.
ScarfaceHR: Nothing wrong with long novels, as long as they do the job,
Rose1533: Epic Fantasies tend to be long. Mine is 130k (closer to 150k if you average 250 words per page.)
ScarfaceHR: As I said, they're actually two short novels, back-to-back, each with its own author each with its own cover.
Rose1533: No back cover.
Rose1533: Both are front covers.
Rose1533: Right?
ScarfaceHR: Right. As for fantasy, I'm not sure what I'm doing is epic, but I try to keep it to the point.
Rose1533: my story hasn't ended yet, either. Book two is in Chapter 10 right now.
Rose1533: Got a long way to go!
ScarfaceHR: I tend to use a law of parsimony -- if it doesn't move the plot or illustrate character to move the plot, I cut it.
Rose1533: You'd probably cut my novel to shreds if you saw it!
ScarfaceHR: It's not my decision to make. That's the great thing about being a writer. You make your own choices.
W2PSushi: Jim, you shared some advice from famous authors you've known (on the phone recently)
Rose1533: But you're right. That's the way all novelists should be.
Rose1533: No fluff.
W2PSushi: perhaps folks would enjoy this
Rose1533: You'd probably advise that I cut several scenes.
Rose1533: That's what I meant.
W2PSushi: stories of their writing and their successes
ScarfaceHR: About the only one thing I can remember offhand about a writer was Heinlein's five rules of writing.
W2PSushi: that'll work
ScarfaceHR: 1) You must write.
ScarfaceHR: 2) You must finish what you write.
ScarfaceHR: 3) You must submit the work for publication.
Effervescentlady: that one always stumps me
Rose1533: me too
ScarfaceHR: 4) You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.
W2PSushi: that's four!
W2PSushi: the other, well, that's gonna cost 'ya
ScarfaceHR: Never re-write except to editorial direction. That's sort of dated, because most editors now are just purchasers, and almost never actually edit.
W2PSushi: Selina Rosen does (at Yard Dog)
W2PSushi: but, in my experience, with a light touch. Ditto with Ahmed Khan at Whortleberry Press
Mallie1025: I saw double dog books years ago--are they making a comeback or did I just not see them in a while?
Rose1533: Also, it's not a bad thing to rewrite after being critiqued! My original draft is NOTHING like the novel is now!
ScarfaceHR: Well, Selina is a real editor, not just a purchaser.
ScarfaceHR: I agree with you. A good critique can hugely help a piece of writing.
PHeeren: is it ideal to read different genres at nights and on weekends??
Rose1533: I've only been rewriting now for 13 years!
W2PSushi: I suppose Heinlein didn't participate in a critique group, such as they're constituted these days
Mallie1025: Rose, not because you made grammar changes but your story line stayed the same
PHeeren: not on days, when we work, okay, right?
Rose1533: Oh, it changed slightly.
ScarfaceHR: Ted Sturgeon was someone who did it all, from dishwasher to heavy equipment operator. And he was always in love with life.
Rose1533: But the main story, no, it didn't change.
PHeeren: who's Ted Sturgeon, btw?
ScarfaceHR: John Dalmas didn't have his first novel published until he was forty-five or so and went ten years or more before his second.
W2PSushi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Sturgeon
Mallie1025: I think that's what Jim means--hope so anyway
Rose1533: Well, I'm 45.
Rose1533: I guess I need to get going on a query!
ScarfaceHR: Theodore Sturgeon was actually one of the great giants of the field. He was one of the first writers to grab my sense of wonder by the short hairs and really shake it up.
ScarfaceHR: Only a few writers have done that: Sturgeon, Zelazny, Arthur Byron Cover, John Crowley, and Antoine de St-Exupery.
ScarfaceHR: Roger Zelazny had been published early and was at or near the top of his form at twenty-five.
W2PSushi: and he can pronounce St.-Exupery, too!
Rose1533: Oh my gosh! Zelazny wrote the screen plays for two Star Trek episodes! Cool!
ScarfaceHR: Edgar Pangborn probably wasn't published until he was in his sixties.
Mallie1025: Imagine being that good at 25
Rose1533: I may have to check out some of his books!
Mallie1025: Tom I read all genres at night and on weekends--expands the mind
ScarfaceHR: I read whatever genre interests me. The worse thing a writer can do is confine his reading to only one field.
W2PSushi: yes indeed
Rose1533: I'm trying to read some of the classics. Recently read Moby Dick.
PHeeren: I am reading a 1924 biography on President Woodrow Wilson at night.
W2PSushi: heck, the ladies here put me on a diet of Romance novels
ScarfaceHR: It requires a look at almost everything. From Icelandic sagas to history to historical fiction.
W2PSushi: now I am reading some science fiction from the 1800s. Some folks say there was no such thing, but I found a whole anthology
Rose1533: worth it--once. But never again! I slogged through it.
Mallie1025: Not me Paul. lol
PHeeren: I love historical fiction-my favorite genre
ScarfaceHR: I recently spent the longest six months of my life reading Lovecraft over a couple of weekends.
PHeeren: and young readers. Harry Potter
Mallie1025: In fact I made myself write in each genre, except screen writing--which I may try next
Rose1533: Paul, here as in where you live or here as in this chat room?
Rose1533: I certainly wouldn't force you to read romance. I don't.
W2PSushi: well, present company excepted
ScarfaceHR: Are you familiar with Graham Shelby, PHeeren?
PHeeren: not really
W2PSushi: that was Lyric and Gabby and Katrina
Rose1533: Ah. I miss the group. ::::sigh:::: particularly Lyric.
W2PSushi: Dale very kindly sent her a Get Well card, just recently
Rose1533: I read a lot of YA because my daughter is reading them.
ScarfaceHR: He's done some wonderful work on the Angevin kings. Kinda reminds one how they moved from France to England, thereby improving both countries.
W2PSushi: <-- am not familiar with Graham Shelby
Rose1533: I need to get one for her, too, Paul. One of these days....
W2PSushi: Angevin? Anything like the Normans?
ScarfaceHR: His book on Richard I was THE DEVIL IS LOOSE (the message sent to John when Richard was released from prison.
Rose1533: Interesting.
ScarfaceHR: His book on John was titled THE WOLF AT THE DOOR. John really was a lousy excuse for a human being.
Rose1533: I wouldn't be surprised if my parents have that book. They are members of the Richard the Third Society.
ScarfaceHR: And he presents a very different view of Louis of France than is commonly seen. Shows that he was actually a pretty good king.
Mallie1025: I liked the story of that time period--even in Robin Hood
PHeeren: I am printing Graham Selby's books
PHeeren: off Wikipedia
PHeeren: so I will wheel to the Rockwell branch
ScarfaceHR: I think you'll enjoy them.
PHeeren: ty
ScarfaceHR: And if I might suggest a title to someone who really wants to stretch their reading muscles, I recommend LITTLE, BIG by John Crowley. I think it's his best book.
PHeeren: so I'd better go to bed in a few minutes.
PHeeren: night guys, tc
ScarfaceHR: Although I have a friend who prefers Crowley's ENGINE SUMMER, which has two major wows in it.
Braguine: night PH
ScarfaceHR: Nighty night, and have happy dreams.
PHeeren: ty
W2PSushi: more for the To Read list
PHeeren: night Paul
W2PSushi: G'nite Tom
PHeeren: night Adam
Effervescentlady: Night PH
W2PSushi: my goodness the hour has flown
W2PSushi: Tom will skip a turn, so I will send out my submission this evening
ScarfaceHR: I want to thank you all for the opportunity to meet you, at least on-line.
W2PSushi: any further questions for Mr. Burk?
Braguine: Thanks you Scar --good chat,
Braguine: Thank you Paul for organizing
Rose1533: Is it too much to ask where you are?
Rose1533: State, anyway?
Effervescentlady: Thank you, Scar
ScarfaceHR: OMG, Mr. Burk? My father has been dead for ages.
Rose1533: LOL!
W2PSushi: Jim 'ol Buddy, then
ScarfaceHR: I live in Wichita, Kansas, and if anyone asks, I'll leave my address with Paul.
Rose1533: OK.
W2PSushi: he knows right where Tom lives
Mallie1025: very nice chat---nice meeting you. Jim
Rose1533: Just wondering if it was possible I'd see you around at a conference close by.
Rose1533: Still might, but....
W2PSushi: thanks Mr. B-
W2PSushi: I mean, Jim
Rose1533: Thanks.
ScarfaceHR: Where are you? I can usually only afford to go to Midwest Cons.
Rose1533: Dallas/Fort Worth
Mallie1025: night guys--stay well
W2PSushi: you folks may well encounter one another at some F&SF type conference
W2PSushi: I miss so many of them!
W2PSushi: will be at BayCon, which is very close to my home this year
W2PSushi: waited too long, must pay top price, but it's not much anyhow
ScarfaceHR: I keep wanting to catch ConDFW. I will be at Conestoga in Tulsa, Lord willing and the creeks don't rise.
W2PSushi: sell tons of copies of "Houston!"
Rose1533: Haven't been to one in about 12 years.
ScarfaceHR: I'm not in that one, but I'll still be trying to sell them like crazy. The contents looked fantastic.
Rose1533: There was one in the Tarrant County Convention Center in 1995. (now called the Fort Worth Convention Center.)
Rose1533: Got to go. Goodnight, all.
ScarfaceHR: Good night all, and to all happy dreams.
W2PSushi: you are in the other Bubba books, yes?
W2PSushi: Hi Marge
MargeeBee: Hi
W2PSushi: we are just wrapping things up
MargeeBee: Howdy?
MargeeBee: I just got off my chat; tried to make it
ScarfaceHR: I'm in The Four Bubbas of the Apocalypse and The International House of Bubbas.
W2PSushi: I have "Four Bubbas." do not have "International"
W2PSushi: will check it again
W2PSushi: Marge, sorry I did not send the invite sooner
MargeeBee: will do W2 and thanks
ScarfaceHR: Hi, Thanks, I'm James K. Burk, when I'm in contents.
W2PSushi: will devote some of the filthy lucre that rolls in, to buying the other two in the series
BrownDvs: A good session, Paul.
ScarfaceHR: Had a lot of fun with that one. Wrote a Bubba vampire story about a vampire with just one fang.
BrownDvs: lol HR
W2PSushi: quirky books, Adam
W2PSushi: Selina dubbed mine the Weirdest of All
W2PSushi: which is saying a LOT
W2PSushi: I was very surprised
ScarfaceHR: It was a lot of fun, especially when he was busy brushing and flossing, trying to preserve them.
ScarfaceHR: And griping about what a bitch it was to do it without a mirror.
W2PSushi: LOL
ScarfaceHR: I look forward to seeing your story in Houston.
W2PSushi: right about the mirror thing
W2PSushi: well I'd better run
BrownDvs: Me too
W2PSushi: dinner then send out my submission
BrownDvs: It was great meeting you, HR.
W2PSushi: chapter 14 of Roshanna
W2PSushi: the rest of that chapter
ScarfaceHR: Guess I'll have to check out, too. I'm using a friend's computer and its their bedtime.
W2PSushi: thanks, Mr. B
BrownDvs: Then it's goodnight, fellas.

5/7/07 8:12:30 PM Closing "Chat Log 5-7-07"


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