Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


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As you may have noticed the blog has been moved to my website and PauletteJaxton.com has gotten a face lift. I hope you all like the new face, please feel free to let me know what you think. There are more changes in the works, such as an uber-feed that will let you get episodes from all my podcast from one place, and I’ll be announcing those here as they become available.

In other exciting news EmpressSword.com has also undergone a face lift and is almost ready for the podcast start date on January 15th, 2010. Please go over and have a look. I’ll be primping and preening the site with all sorts of fun things between now and the launch, so come back often to see what I’ve been up to.

And speaking of The Empress Sword launch date, I’ve just arranged to do a reading from the book at Zü Coffee in Annapolis, Maryland on the night of the launch. I’ll be joined by Brand Gamblin who will read from his podiobook Tumbler. It all starts at 6:30 PM on January 15th, 2010 and I wouldn’t be surprised if a pub-crawl somehow followed.

Now, what was I saying about not taking so long between posts? Oh yes, that I was making no promises. Sorry it’s been another month and a half, but there really hasn’t been much to report on. Like everyone else, it seems, I’ve been having my share of the sniffles and day jobs demands. Enough so that not much has been happening on the writing or podcasting fronts. I’m still gearing up for The Empress Sword Podcast to drop in January.
 
The website is up and I’m getting it ready bit by bit. I’m still getting audio from the actors and they are doing some wonderful work. I’m sure you will all be as excited as I am to hear the podcast version of the story. The podiobook version is edited and will drop at the same time in it’s entirety.
 
I’m still working on moving this blog over to PauletteJaxton.com and launch a revamped website there. You can probably look for that sometime in January as well.
 
Responses from the agents I queried have been filtering back. Only one agent, so far, has asked to look at more of the book. Ultimately she decided not to make an offer, but she did give me some useful criticism that I appreciate very much. This is a long drawn out process and it’s not over yet. After all, This is only the first round!
 
Hopefully I’ll be posting again soon, but just in case I don’t get something else up before the end of the year please have a wonderful holiday season. Be safe, be well and be happy!

Hopefully you already know about my short story podcast, Form Letter Rejection Theatre. It was short lived, but I managed to make a little impact with it before my day job, the worsening economy and other obligations forced me to focus on different things. Just how much impact became clear this week when I was informed I’d been nominated for a Parsec Award in the Best Speculative Fiction (Short Form) category!
 
For those who aren’t familiar with the Parsec, it’s an award presented every year at Dragon*Con to the previous year’s best science fiction and fantasy podcasts in one of sixteen categories. Founded in 2006 by Mur Lafferty, Tracy Hickman and Michael R. Mennenga, the Parsec has quickly become the premier award for genre podcasters. Being nominated is really quite something, especially because the nominations were made by the public, that’s you guys!
 
I was asked to submit a ten minute sample of the program which I did using the story Thanks for the Memories. That has now gone to the Parsec Awards Steering Committee. They will judge the submissions and select the finalists. The winners will then be announced at this year’s Dragon*Con on September 5th.
 
I know it sometimes sounds trite when an artist says they are honored just to be nominated for an award, but now that I’m in that position I can tell you truthfully that I am deeply honored. I know some of the other stories that have been nominated in my category and they’re all quite awesome. Win or lose, I’m in humbling company.
 
Thank you all for making Form Letter Rejection Theatre what it was and for those who voted to nominate it for the Parsec Award, you rawk!
 
UPDATE: (July 24th) The finalists for the Parsec Awards were posted today and FLRT did not make the final cut. While I’m disappointed, I remain excited for those nominees who did make the list of finalists. Please go have a look and then visit the nominated podcasts. They’re the best of the best this year!

And speaking of Balticon 43 which happened Memorial Day weekend, I had a blast! I was kept super busy with all the panels I was on, helping out with recording other panels and author readings, and babysitting for friends whose little ones are still a little too young to sit quietly while mommy and daddy are being awesome.
 
Balticon is the annual convention of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for inviting me to the con. I really hope I make the list for next year as well. I think I might, people whose opinions I really trust tell me I did okay for a first timer. Thomas “Cmdln” Gideon went so far as to mention me in his blog. Check it out at The Command Line and yes, I’m embarrassed, but also very thankful for such high praise.
 
I’m looking forward to attending more local conventions as a guest. Hopefully by the time I have The Empress Sword ready for podcasting, I’ll also have a few appearances lined up. I’ll be sure to let you all know when and where those may be.
 
Rewrites on the book are going well. I’ve finished a complete line edit of the first draft (boy where there a lot of little mistakes) and I’ve started rewriting a few chapters that I think can be better. I should be sending the final draft out to Beta Readers soon and then start the agent hunt. I’ll be recording the podiobook version as soon as the pollen count gives me back my voice.
 
That’s it for the updates. Hope you all have a wonderful summer!

Nina Kimberly book cover I started listening to the podcast version of Nina Kimberly the Merciless just before Memorial Day back in 2007. Coincidentally I met the author, Christiana Ellis, at Balticon 41 for the first time that same weekend. This is how I came to discover one of the most creative and funny people I know all in the span of a single week.

Nina Kimberly the Merciless is a comedic fantasy novel telling the coming of age story of a most unlikely heroine, the teenage daughter of the once feared barbarian horde leader Marcus the Merciless. Like most young girls all Nina wants is to find love and adventure in the world, if she has to lop off a few heads along the way so be it.

Christiana is one of the pioneers of podcast noveling and has since gone on to do a hilarious audio drama called Space Casey and a very funny stream of consciousness daily cast called Christiana’s Shallow Thoughts that just wrapped up after a year of awesomeness.
 
The podcast version of this novel was a delight to listen to and I’ve been anxiously awaiting the print version for two years. The book is now being published by Dragon Moon Press and goes on sale May 15th, 2009. It’s available from Amazon and you can help out Christiana by purchasing your copy on that date. I can’t recommend this book too highly, it’s a hoot and you will enjoy every funny twist and turn.

It’s kind of like coming of age for a new writer/podcaster to be asked to present at Balticon 43. I’ve never been a panelist at a convention before and being a guest at Balticon is a very great honor indeed.
 
Balticon is the annual convention of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society held each Memorial Day weekend at Marriott’s Hunt Valley Inn near Baltimore, Maryland. This year that will be May 22nd-25th.
 
I’m scheduled to be on six panels over the course of the four day convention. (All dates and times are subject to change.)

  • Fri. 19:00 – Podcasting 101
  • Sat. 12:00 – Podcast Hosting
  • Sat. 19:00 – Audio Craft Corner
  • Sat. 22:00 – Social Media for Writers
  • Sun. 19:00 – Podcasting 102
  • Mon. 10:00 – Herding Cats

I’m actually chairing that last one, “Herding Cats; Organization and Editing of Large Voice Casts”. Where I and a couple of veteran podcasters will share what we have learned about giving voices to our writing. And what you’ll have in store for you if you choose to go that route.
 
I hope you can join me at Balticon 43. If you do, please drop in on one of my panels and say hello.

I started writing my next project this morning. I was going to wait until I had done some more world building before beginning to write Priestess of the Flame, but I just missed writing every day too much and I couldn’t help myself. It is a novel based on my short story Divine Fire and will follow the life of Celeste D’Anjou from her childhood discovery that she can control and manipulate fire, through her years of training to become a priestess of the Divine Flame, then the downfall of that religion and the subsequent persecution of all who believe in the magic of fire. The writing of it will be a long journey (The Empress Sword took me two long years to write), but I’ll be sure to let you all know how it’s going.
 
In other news I received the mapping software from ProFantasy and it is amazing. It will take me a long time to figure out everything I can do with it, but for now I have a basic map of The Empress Sword’s kingdom of Caledon that I can use for rewrites and I’m working on city maps for the three main towns in the story. Priestess of the Flame will be set in a fantasy variation of France, so I’m also trying to figure out how to import real-world maps into the program.
 
I’m still waiting on some feedback from the alpha readers, but I’m chomping at the bit to begin rewrites on The Empress Sword. They’ve already given me some wonderful ideas for making the book even more exciting and I’m looking forward to letting you all hear the podcast version hopefully this fall. Stay tuned as I learn just how hard rewrites really are! ;)

The first draft of The Empress Sword is finished! I completed the second of two supplemental chapters I wanted to add this morning. That brings the final word count to 80,541 words, just a little over my target of eighty thousands words. I expect this will go up during the rewrite, as I have been getting some supportive feedback from my alpha readers telling me they want more.
 
My plan is to put the draft aside for a month to give me a little distance from it, then begin my rewrites at the end of April. In the mean time I’m going to be doing some much needed reverse world building for The Empress Sword as well as begin the process for my next book project Priestess of the Flame.
 
I promised myself that when I completed the first draft I would give myself a reward. I wanted something that would help me in the next phase and also be fun for a tech geek like myself to play with. So I purchased a set of mapping programs from ProFantasy Software. The programs are designed for use by the role play gaming industry, but can also be used for the sort of world building I need for epic fantasy writing.
 
A side benefit of using these programs will be that I’ll have some wonderful maps and city plans to supplement the novel when it’s released. My worlds will have a beautiful visual component to go along with — what I hope are — the stunning narrative descriptions.

With the end of FLRT on the horizon and my novel writing seemingly back on track, I thought it about time to set out some goals for the year to come.
 
First and foremost is finishing the first draft of The Empress Sword. Recently I joined a Twitter tag group that’s writing 1K Per Day (#1kday). It was only supposed to be through the end of February, but several of the writers are going to carry it on through March as well. So far I’ve been doing very well keeping up with them. If I manage to keep up this pace I should actually have the first draft completed by the end of the month. (Holy cow, that sounds amazing and scary all at the same time!)
 
Once the first draft is complete I’m going to step away from Empress Sword for about a month to give the Alpha readers a chance to finish giving me their feedback. During that month I want to do some world building and to that end, as a reward for finishing the first draft, I’m going to buy myself a nice map drawing program. I’ll use it to build a much needed map for Empress Sword as well as begin the world building for my next novel Priestess of the Flame, based on my short story Divine Fire.
 
That brings me up to about the beginning of May when I will start the rewrite of Empress Sword. I’ve never tackled a rewrite this large before, so I’m allowing myself a couple of months to get that done. Then I’ll open up the wiki to some Beta readers. I guess at that point I’ll be ready to send it out to some agents as well.
 
I know an agent hunt can be a very long process and that ultimately it probably won’t lead to anything, so starting sometime in this fall I plan to submit Empress Sword to podiobooks.com as a complete finished reading. Then I want to podcast the novel complete with guest voices, music and plenty of author chat. You’ll be able to get the whole podiobook right away or listen to the biweekly podcast if you want the whole experience.
 
Once I get the podcast started up and finish the world-building on Priestess of the Flame, I’ll start writing again. I’ll be sure to let you know how it’s going, right here in the blog. So that is my plan for 2009. Wish me luck, I’m probably going to need it!

It is with mixed emotions that I announce the end of my first podcast Form Letter Rejection Theatre. I have been giving it a lot of thought lately and I just can’t see myself being able to return to this project any time soon. If I can’t put out regular episodes, there really is no reason to to keep saying that I will. So in two weeks I will post one last episode in which I will bare my writer’s soul, explain what happened, thank all those people who helped me make the four episodes of FLRT so wonderful and say goodbye for now.
 
If you would like to be a part of the final episode, you can still leave voicemail at 718-425-0602 or send your comments to feedback@flrtpodcast.com.
 
The feed for FLRT will remain open and the the stories there will remain available. There simply won’t be additional short stories produced for it. I have decided that many of my listeners and readers are right, I’m not really a short story writer. I plan to put all of my efforts into completing my first novel, The Empress Sword and other novel length projects I have in the planning stages.
 
I’m not done with podcasting either. I am still associated with Chris Lester’s Metamor City: Making the Cut podcast novel and plan to be producing my own podiobooks in the future. So hang in there friends and keep looking here for the latest news.