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Another Story Completed December 27, 2011

Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions.
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I have finished editing my latest story and submitted it to the Writers of the Future contest.  I thank all of the people who have read this story and given me some great feedback.   Each of the readers have helped me to find room for improvement and hopefully this will be my strongest entry to date.  I’d love to start talking about the story online now, but of course, that will have to wait until March 2012 or beyond when the results of the judging are released.  Until then, I wait.


Merry Christmas! December 25, 2011

Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions.
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Merry Christmas, and in case I get too wrapped up in finishing my next story, Happy New Year!



A Little Welcomed Feedback December 20, 2011

Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions, Submissions.

I know it’s a tired old rant, but rejections are the rule and acceptances are the exception in the speculative fiction market.  So when I finally get a little feedback from a prospective publisher it is more appreciated than they may realize.  That’s why I like the kind reply I had recently:

Dear Tom,
Thanks for allowing us to consider “Dream Vacation”.
I found the idea of being able to experience another person’s memories via VR intriguing, and I’d be interested to see it explored in another story. Unfortunately, this particular work seemed a little too passive, and I felt it was missing a really driving conflict or a clear, urgent plot to keep the reader turning the page.
“Dream Vacation” is not quite right for us, but we hope you find a good home for it soon.
Good luck with your writing!
Best wishes, Earthbound Fiction http://www.earthboundfiction.com

I could be thinned skinned and take calling my story “too passive” the wrong way, except that story is a bit passive by design.  It is meant to be a softer story and I accept that it was not right for them.  As a piece of flash fiction, it may not find a home, but I’ll try a bit more and then post it here if no one else accepts it the way it is.

Where Did My 1970’s Fears Go? November 30, 2011

Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions.
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Meet NASA's New Mars Rover

NASA’s next Mars exploration vehicle, Curiosity looks to be about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle and it will drive itself around the planet with a laser meant to dissolve layers of rock.  WTF?!! Didn’t the Six Million Dollar man have to fight the Russian version of a Venus Probe like this in the 1970’s?

As a kid who consumed a lot of bad television in the 1970’s, this news from NASA has me wondering what happened to some of those things I was told I should fear from the programming back then.

35 years ago, back when we referred to “rain forests” as the jungle, the number one thing to fear there wasn’t men with chainsaws, we were taught to fear quicksand.  Every show from the Six Million Dollar Man to Gilligan’s Island covered someone getting stuck in the stuff.  When was the last time you saw that (Besides Indiana Jones 4, which was purposely written to be cheesy). If I’m walking through the jungle these days, I’m going to be looking out for the spiders and snakes and pumas I know are there, but quicksand just isn’t in my fear sphere anymore.

Not leaving the jungle yet, the Mythbusters have put another Amazonian fear aside for me, Piranhas.  Those suckers certainly look wicked and they could hurt you bad, but it seems that despite all of the movies to the contrary, no one has actually been killed since the 1970s and before by these ferocious fish.  That doesn’t mean I’d go swimming in the Amazon.  I mean, alligators, snakes and gut eating parasites still live there.

Another creature that has lost its bite with me are tarantulas.  Even the Sean Connery version of James Bond sweated out his encounter with the oversized arachnid. They still creep out my left brain, but my right brain knows better now.  It’s the little ones like the Brown Recluse I really need to worry about.

Then there were the shows like Emergency, Marcus Welby, and Quincy ME that had me deathly afraid that I would someday be in a hospital getting an innocent IV when an air bubble would make its way down the tube and go straight for my heart or brain.  Even shots were scary things to endure.  As an adult, I have had more than my share of shots and IV treatments and I have never heard a single doctor or nurse say boo about bubbles and despite my fears, I’ve pulled through the treatments without harm.

I’m also pretty sure I can travel to remote South Pacific Islands without encountering crazy Imperial Army soldiers who don’t realize that Japan surrendered.

Of course there are still some things I did learn to fear in the 1970’s that I still hold a healthy respect for such as sharks and zombies and I’m going to be watching the developments of NASA’s Curiosity just to be sure it doesn’t double back and land in a Hollywood suburb.  I mean, Lee Majors isn’t as spry as he once was.

3 Times An Honorable Mention November 16, 2011

Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions.

“Dear Entrant,

Your story has now been judged and is an Honorable Mention for the 4th quarter. Congratulations!!!

Best regards,

Joni Labaqui (Writers of the Future Contest Coordinator)”

This is my third Honorable Mention with one Silver Honorable Mention in the past four entries over the year.  This shows that I am consistently submitting stories that the editor is reading through and feels is publishable.  I still need to write the story that she considers for publishing with the contest however.  That’s O.K., I have a new story I’m working on that is the one, I’m sure.

The Future From My Childhood Is Mostly Here November 13, 2011

Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions.
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My family and I have traveled to Morro Bay, California this weekend.  We traveled in a car with a movie playing for the kids in the back while my wife and I enjoyed  the hundreds of songs off a thumb drive.  There was a virtual map displayed showing us where we were at, where we were going, and where the gas stations are.  My gas gauge was getting low and so my wife checked the GPS which told us 45 miles to our destination and our car told us we could go another 90 miles without filling up, so we passed up the expensive freeway gas and pressed on.  All the while I could check my e-mail to see if there was a notice for my Writer’s of the Future entry. I called my parents on the go from the middle of nowhere crossing the San Andreas fault.

It  dawned on me that most of the cool stuff I read about in science fiction is here.  I arrived at my destination and I could take photos and video on the beach and send them to anyone on the planet instantly.  There are still a few things we don’t have that are commonplace in the undefined “future” are flying cars, teleports, and interplanetary spaceships.  But most of the rest has arrived, often times having been shaped by the dreams of the pioneering imaginations of Jules Vern, H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov and most recently, Gene Roddenberry.

I still want to fly out to a Martian colony on holiday, but it is cool that there are things from the future available now.

No news is still good news, right? November 4, 2011

Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions.

With a couple of stories out to editors for consideration and one story that hasn’t been rejected yet from this quarter of the Writer’s of the Future contest, I suppose no news should be considered good news.  But somehow that doesn’t make things easier.  I’d like to know if one of these stories been read and put on the “consider for later” pile. Or are they in a rejection pile that someone hasn’t waded through to send out notifications on?  Or are they all still sitting in someone’s in box waiting to be read?

It’s a pitfall for this business.  Editors need stories to do their jobs, so we are an important part of the supply chain.  The problem is writers, especially the new ones, are almost like the of the midway.  We’re all trying to catch someones attention to come read our stories.  We have our flashing lights and big stuffed animals that we are sure anyone would love to have a go at winning, but everyone else on the midway has prizes that look the same and it’s so hard to get the wandering public to stop long enough to see if you’re offering the better game.

It’s hard to wait on these things. Especially when the odds are, you will have waited for ever, and as the time passes, you tell yourself that your story has been out there long enough to have risen off the straight reject pile, but in the end, you know that chances are against that.  So I wait.  Will my stories currently out there get somewhere with the editors?  Who knows, but if they do get rejected, there are always more editors walking down the midway.  Hopefully one will like the way my lights flash and the look of my stuffed animals more over the ring toss game next to me.

Maybe no news is still good news.

As a follow on note, one story was passed by the editor it was under consideration with. Oh, well, I spied another coming up the Midway so back out went the story. Maybe this one will stop long enough to try his luck at my game.

My Day Job November 1, 2011

Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions.
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My Day Job

This has been around a while, but that’s because it’s still relevant

Mother Is Up For Sale September 27, 2011

Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions, Publications, Tom's Posts.
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My novella, Mother, is now up for sale at amazon.com.  Publishing is a fast changing and fractured business these days.  Novellas are hard sales to publishers.  They seem to be too long for traditional anthologies who want long-established writers for this story length, and they are too short to shop as a novel.  So, I wanted to try self publishing this story to see if it gains even a little traction.

For someone reading this post, you are either a returning guest, or you have come here either from another website or from picking Mother to read from the Kindle bookstore.  If you have come here from another website, welcome, and please give Mother a read if you can.

Available at Amazon.com by following the link

If you have come to my blog after purchasing Mother at Amazon, I want to hear from you.  I have questions I’d love to have answers to such as:

  1. Was the story enjoyable?
  2. How did the narrative and dialog flow for you?
  3. Did you come to Wellswriting.com from a link in the kindle?
  4. Did you see that there was a link in the story that opened up my page explaining the technology of signal accelerating buoys?
  5. Has this story peaked your interest in the larger concept of an Encyclopedia of the Future?

For anyone who has read my story and liked it, please go back to Amazon , and rate it if you haven’t done so already.

Also, because you may be here after reading Mother, you will hopefully be happy to learn that Fall of the Faithful is another story you can read here on wellswriting.com.  Together, Fall of the Faithful and Mother make up the first two chapters of a novel I have written called, The Way of the Leaving.  If you read both stories separately, you may be left wondering how those two stories tie together.  If enough people show interest, you will soon be able to find out how.

Turning To The Back Page Of A Series September 24, 2011

Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions.
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Why would I want readers to turn to the back pages of my series I call the Encyclopedia of the Future?  Well, it’s because sometimes, knowing what is to come can peak a person’s interest.  My series starts hundreds of years from the ultimate outcome of the anthology, and the early connection is not obvious from the early stories.  I hope this in itself is an intriguing premise.  You can turn now to this peek into the Encyclopedia of the Future.