mmerriam: (Default)

Originally published at Michael Merriam. Please leave any comments there.

Despite everything, I still managed to make a little art in 2016. Here is the round-up for posterity, if posterity was to really care.

Theatre Performance:
“Unsafe at Any Speed.” Five performances of my one-man show as part of Minnesota Fringe Festival.

Spoken-Word / Storytelling Performance:
“Ghost on Hennepin” as part of the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers – Word Brew Event.

“The Way of the Cane.” One performance as part of Patrick’s Cabaret CaberABLE.

“Now Arriving on Track 12” as part of The Not So-Silent Planet.

Excerpt from “Unsafe at Any Speed” as part of American Underground.

Stage Plays Produced:
“At the Edge of Flight.” Three performances as a part of Gadfly Theatre Company’s Final Frontier Festival: Heroes and Villains.

Literary Readings:
“At The Edge of Twilight, Melissa Remembers Flight,” “Ghosts of the Places You Live” and “The Fifth Nazgul” as part of MarsCon.

Podcasts:
The Not-So Silent Planet Episodes 4 & 5.

Presentations:
“Impostor Syndrome” with the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers.

I think my one disappointment is that, for the first time in a decade, I had no new fiction or poetry published. That stings a little. I do have things out there on submission (1 novella and 3 short stories) and looking up at the list, it seems obvious my career is moving more and more toward the stage, but as an artist, I still identify primarily as a fiction writer. To have zero new publication this year…like I said, it stings.

mmerriam: (Default)

Originally published at Michael Merriam. Please leave any comments there.

Here is the video of my performance at the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers Word Brew event at Acadia Cafe on November 20th, 2016. Enjoy!

 

mmerriam: (Default)

Originally published at Michael Merriam. Please leave any comments there.

This is the time of day when I typically try to write. I’ve finished my medical billing work for the day, I have the place to myself, and I’ve finished as much housework as I can stand. I’m mostly ready for tomorrow’s business meeting. Once I have finished dinner, I usually settle in and do a little artist work.
 
Not tonight. Tonight I just don’t have it in me. Probably not tomorrow night either or anytime this weekend.
 
But maybe by Monday. At some point next week for sure. Because creating art is what I do and right now, I think we will need art. To amuse. To entertain. To distract.
 
In the end, that’s why I do this. I do it for the people who read my stories, or see my shows, or listen to my tales. That’s my job. To entertain. To provide amusement or distraction at the end of a tough day.
 
Stories helped me when I was younger, got me through some dark times. Saved my life. If I do the same for just one other person – give them a little brightness, entertain them, help them get through this life in any way, then I’ve succeeded as an artist.
mmerriam: (Type)
Here we are in February and this is my first post of the year on my poor neglected blog.

I opted to skip the annual year in review post. 2014 was mixed bag.

Here we are in February and this is my first post on my poor neglected blog of the year.

I opted to skip the annual year in review post. 2014 was mixed bag.

I had a reasonably okay year as a stage storyteller with good shows at Minnesota Fringe and as a quest of the Rockstar Storytellers.

As a fiction writer it was a tough year. There were disappointments and rough patches, enough that I realized I need to change the way I do certain things, which I am changing. The only reason I don’t count the year as a complete disaster is that I managed to finish the first draft of novel that challenged me as a writer.

I started dipping my toes into play and script writing, which has been an interesting experience and one I intended to pursue. My spares dialogue driven writing style lends itself to script writing quite well.

So yeah, kind of a downer post for kind of a downer year.

And yet, I move into 2015 enthusiastic and hopeful that I can turn that bad year around with effort and focus.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Oney)
Oh, how long it has been since I posted a blog update. I've been pretty active over on my Facebook page, but my poor neglected blog…I can only blame it on the dark and cold winter that has roared in and settled on Minnesota.

Oh, how long it has been since I posted a blog update. I've been pretty active over on my Facebook page, but my poor neglected blog…I can only blame it on the dark and cold winter that has roared in and settled on Minnesota.

Things have been going on. I ran the merchandise table for the latest Minnspec Showcase reading, spent a lovely weekend in Duluth with Beloved Spouse, and have unfortunately fallen ill, missing a full week at my day job.

The one positive to being stuck home is that I've managed to jumps start working on Ghosts of the Places You Live. Lots of writing managed this week and I've pretty much got the third and final section outlined, so hopefully even with heading back to work and heading into the winter holidays, I will be able to keep some momentum going. I would also like to take this moment to give a shout out the "You Know You're From Oney When…" community on Facebook. I have gotten all kinds of valuable information from the kind folks there.

Tomorrow night, I will guest storyteller with the Rockstar Storytellers at the new Phoenix Theater. I am planning to tell a story about one of the nameless Nazgul. I am pretty pleased with it and I might try to record and upload the story after the performance. I've been thinking that I need to get a good microphone and learn to use audio software so I can make recordings of readings and stories.

Word Meter Ahoy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ghosts Of the Places We Live

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Type)
I'm lining up my next project. It's been awhile since I've written a novel (I've been focused on novellas, plays, and spoken-word pieces) and I'm looking for a project that has the potential to get me back into a major publisher. I haven't written a novel since the late-lamented monster-hunting barista project (which never seemed to jell) and I think I've been a little reticent to tackle a novel again. I also had the problem of not having a novel project that really thrilled me. I kept poking at the Spear of Destiny novel, but I can't work up the level of enthusiasm for it I need for a longer project.

What I really wanted to work on was the rural fantasy novella. You know, the one about a haunted abandoned school, small town secrets going back two or three generations, a class reunion, interfering ghosts, and lost loves. That one.

But I really felt I needed to get back to writing novels and this was shaping up to be a longish novella. I put it aside and started poking at my ideas folder and at completed but unpolished drafts of other pieces. A couple of the ideas and bits of free writing revealed themselves to be part of the rural fantasy story. I added them to the folder and closed it again.

So you guys remember that contemporary non-HEA romance coming-of-age novella I wrote a little while back? The one I had no idea what to do with and what the hell am I doing writing a mainstream novella anyway project? I finished it and had a couple of different endings, but was never satisfied with any of the endings I'd written. There was a lot of good stuff in the pieces, but not much of a payoff.

I reread it this week and realized it was part of that rural fantasy. The damned thing is two or three interwoven novellas of various lengths that make a novel length narrative. I've already written about 30K of the novel.

I'm outlining and brainstorming and thinking hard about what I want for this story. Once I've got some good stuff, I plan go back and rework the weird west novella so I can get it to market and then jump on this rural fantasy story.

Sadly, I've already had one set back in that a fairly rare and low-print run reference/history book about the Oney, Oklahoma community from 1901 to 1980 that I wanted to buy was already sold by the dealer who had listed a copy. I've found other copies, but for about twice as much (or more) as I am willing and able to pay. I could try to borrow the book through inter-library loan (it would have to come from either the Southwestern Oklahoma State Library or the Great Plains system in western Oklahoma), but I really wanted the book at my side during the whole process.

Alas, we all know what the Rolling Stones said.

Still, I shall carry on. Because this is a project I'm excited about.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Default)
Local author Rob Callahan says nice things about me, Dana M Baird, Joseph Scrimshaw, Tales of the Unanticipated Magazine, and Maggie Koerth-Baker (who I've never met or read, but who sounds awesome!) over at l'étoile Magazine. Go read about some great local Twin Cities talent!

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Default)
Local author Rob Callahan says nice things about me, Dana M Baird, Joseph Scrimshaw, Tales of the Unanticipated Magazine, and Maggie Koerth-Baker (who I've never met or read, but who sounds awesome!) over at l'étoile Magazine. Go read about some great local Twin Cities talent!

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Charge)
I have a new story hammering around in my head demanding to be written!

I can see the entire shape of the story and even went so far as to (gasp!) write an outline. This makes me happy.

I have all the scenes sorted out except the opening, so I have no idea how to actually start the story!

I guess I'll just have to fling myself into it and hope for the best.
mmerriam: (Type)
Back in 2009 I started a story about a troll that lives in the Lowery Tunnel in Minneapolis. I've poked at it since then with minimal movement.

Today, nearly three years later, I finished the first scene and figured out the shape and thrust of the story. I still need it to solidify in my mind a little more, but I know where it is going now. It's a love story.

Sadly, it's shaping up to not be a happy or uplifting sort of things at all. Quite the opposite in fact. No "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" with this one. Still, we write the thing we have at the moment.

Onward.
mmerriam: (Belyn)
Temp-to-Perm office kitten approves of today's package from Carina Press.

mmerriam: (Belyn)
Temp-to-Perm office kitten approves of today's package from Carina Press.

mmerriam: (Coffee)
After not working on anything for the last two weeks because of the conventions and other things, I’m back on track.

Dead Brew II: Vampires and Werewolves


I need to get the first Dead Brew novel out on submission. Not only an I a third of the way through its sequel, but I have the third book partly outlined and a rough concept for the fourth.

Also, finished working on my steampunk/spy thriller novella from reader’s notes and will be sending it out tomorrow.
mmerriam: (Coffee)
After not working on anything for the last two weeks because of the conventions and other things, I’m back on track.

Dead Brew II: Vampires and Werewolves


I need to get the first Dead Brew novel out on submission. Not only an I a third of the way through its sequel, but I have the third book partly outlined and a rough concept for the fourth.

Also, finished working on my steampunk/spy thriller novella from reader’s notes and will be sending it out tomorrow.

New Words

Jan. 6th, 2011 03:50 pm
mmerriam: (Default)
I wrote my first new words of the year yesterday, about 580 on a new short story that will be about the ghosts of abandoned buildings. I spent a large portion of my writing day figuring out the story, outlining, making decisions. I have become more of a plotter than pantser these days.

[livejournal.com profile] careswen and I ran a few errands yesterday, including scoring a Brita tank for the refrigerator at Goodwill. She spent a little of her Christmas money this week as well. I have a couple of things picked out for myself, just need to get to the store.

I am relearning how to cook with good stainless steel pots and pans. I've grown tired of Teflon flaking and tearing despite my best efforts, so went back to stainless. I had forgotten how quickly it heats up and how well it holds heat. I got a good set, so plan on using it for the rest of my life. I still need to pick up a couple of pieces I am missing to make a full set.

Alas, it is time to give the Reverend her sub-q fluids. Wish me luck.

New Words

Jan. 6th, 2011 03:50 pm
mmerriam: (Default)
I wrote my first new words of the year yesterday, about 580 on a new short story that will be about the ghosts of abandoned buildings. I spent a large portion of my writing day figuring out the story, outlining, making decisions. I have become more of a plotter than pantser these days.

[livejournal.com profile] careswen and I ran a few errands yesterday, including scoring a Brita tank for the refrigerator at Goodwill. She spent a little of her Christmas money this week as well. I have a couple of things picked out for myself, just need to get to the store.

I am relearning how to cook with good stainless steel pots and pans. I've grown tired of Teflon flaking and tearing despite my best efforts, so went back to stainless. I had forgotten how quickly it heats up and how well it holds heat. I got a good set, so plan on using it for the rest of my life. I still need to pick up a couple of pieces I am missing to make a full set.

Alas, it is time to give the Reverend her sub-q fluids. Wish me luck.
mmerriam: (Default)
Year before I posted an entry here on Live Journal. I suspect, nay, I know, that it is the holiday crush. We have been busy: family visit, visiting friends, New Year's Eve, having a belated birthday get together. Much fun has been had, as well as food consumed and alcohol imbibed, all good things to help push back against the darkness of winter.

The Christmas decorations are taken down and put back into storage. Tomorrow, I shall start to reset the house back to normal, or at least what passes for normal around here. [livejournal.com profile] careswen starts her final class of graduate school this week. We are working on financial things, trying to get ready for her to finish school and make the jump into her career. Things are moving forward all around me.

I'll make a post about what cons and such I will be at this year later this week. I will say that it looks to be a busy year. I have a cool sounding MinnSpec meeting coming up on two weeks, one of our members giving a presentation about a seminar focused on story construction he attended last autumn. I am taking part in a self-editing seminar being run on a forum by the Editor-in-Chief of Carina Press for Carina Press authors for the next three weeks. This can only help me as a writer, moving forward.

I saw the ophthalmologist last week. Still blind. No surprise, really.

The Reverend Selena is very fuzzy still.
mmerriam: (Default)
Year before I posted an entry here on Live Journal. I suspect, nay, I know, that it is the holiday crush. We have been busy: family visit, visiting friends, New Year's Eve, having a belated birthday get together. Much fun has been had, as well as food consumed and alcohol imbibed, all good things to help push back against the darkness of winter.

The Christmas decorations are taken down and put back into storage. Tomorrow, I shall start to reset the house back to normal, or at least what passes for normal around here. [livejournal.com profile] careswen starts her final class of graduate school this week. We are working on financial things, trying to get ready for her to finish school and make the jump into her career. Things are moving forward all around me.

I'll make a post about what cons and such I will be at this year later this week. I will say that it looks to be a busy year. I have a cool sounding MinnSpec meeting coming up on two weeks, one of our members giving a presentation about a seminar focused on story construction he attended last autumn. I am taking part in a self-editing seminar being run on a forum by the Editor-in-Chief of Carina Press for Carina Press authors for the next three weeks. This can only help me as a writer, moving forward.

I saw the ophthalmologist last week. Still blind. No surprise, really.

The Reverend Selena is very fuzzy still.

RWA?

Oct. 15th, 2010 09:20 pm
mmerriam: (Default)
With both a novella and novel acquired by Carina Press, I wonder if it is time to join RWA?

RWA?

Oct. 15th, 2010 09:20 pm
mmerriam: (Default)
With both a novella and novel acquired by Carina Press, I wonder if it is time to join RWA?

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