Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My pumpkin pie disaster

So, I like to make pumpkin pie. My family won't
eat it unless it's made from canned pumpkin, but
I like it made with fresh pumpkin. It tends to taste
a little bit different from canned, but I don't mind

Well, this year it turned out terrible. I boiled the
pieces of "neck pumpkin" until they were soft, and
then mashed them up and made a pie. (It never
smells very nice while it's boiling. It smells rather
like squash. LOL)

Anyway. I made a pie that looked and tasted
lovely, and lacked the ingredients in normal pie
(wheat, sugar) that I can't eat. It tasted great--
but it was stringy. Sooo stringy. Gag-reflex

I had to throw it away. I wasn't even able to eat
half of it. What a waste! It actually had a good

Maybe if I'd forced the pumpkin pulp through
a strainer, I could have gotten all the strings out
and it would have turned out perfect....

Live and learn....

But till next Fall, I'll be using canned pumpkin
for pumpkin pies.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ready for Christmas.... :)

I'm ready for Christmas!  :-)  This year I sent out some cards (a first for me), and streamlined my present-buying (also a first).
In the writing department, I sent out my novel submission for _Watch Over Me_ to Muse It Up Publications.  I finally had it ready to send and didn't want to wait till after Christmas.
I also finally updated my website ( to reflect the fact that I'm having a novella published next May, and show off the lovely cover art that Delilah K. Stephans ( made for me!!
I feel accomplished.  That's nice for a change!  :)
I've made some plans for next year already, but I'll have to try not to get carried away with it.  Making too many plans can become counterproductive for me.
Oh, and in the reading department, I'm enjoying Daily Science Fiction.   (  They send emails every day with a short science fiction or fantasy story.  Some days I ignore them, other days I get pulled into reading them.  They keep them short and readable, which is nice for a quick break.  I'm impressed with the quality of the ones I've read so far. 
~A.M. Roelke~

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm interviewed!!

Hey!  I've been interviewed!! 
Check out Sameena's blog for the evidence.  (Also contains an excerpt from my story.)

Friday, November 12, 2010


I really loved SHERLOCK and cannot believe they had only three episodes
for a season. And then to make us wait so long to find out what

~Alice M. Roelke~ "The Space Station Murders"
sf / mystery novella, coming May 2011
My writing blog:
Writing credits:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm on NaNoWriMo

AliceWrites, that's me. :-)

I don't know if I'll win. I've got a lot going on this month....

SF poem: Field Trip

Field Trip,
by Alice M. Roelke

One perfect summer
sunlight-dappled farm
unexpected picnicker
with bottle of wine
in the middle
of nowhere
in a field
remembers the past
watches the little girl she
playing and running
and watching
the woman she will become
sitting in the grass
reliving her past

Friday, October 29, 2010

the length of signatures

How long is too long, for an email signature?

I keep changing it, but this is my current sig, at five
lines long:

~Alice M. Roelke~ "The Space Station Murders"
sf / mystery novella, coming May 2011
My writing blog:
Writing credits:

In my primary email address, my service provider allows
me five lines only for a signature. I've seen sigs that were
much longer, and ones much shorter. Right now, I'm
using all five lines. But is that too much? Too little?

I'd love some input, if you have any thoughts on the
subject of signature length. :)

You could tell me what you do, and how it works for


Monday, October 25, 2010

Poem: Apollo

A few years ago, I tried to write some poems, mostly sf/f related.
Unfortunately, I've never been the best at poems. For one thing,
I was always confused by forms--and which syllables had stresses.
When I write poetry, I just write what sounds good to me. Anyway,
I was never able to sell any of them. I ran across them recently, and
I still like them, though. Here's one now. -Alice :)

by Alice M. Roelke

of our hopes fears dreams
rockets raced to the moon
metaphorically red white and blue
show of strength, national pride
daydreams made real

Men stood on dry seas
watched the earth rise
On angel's wings, rocket wings
you seemed to carry all our hopes, dreams
took our hearts into space
American flag on extraterrestrial soil
Show of peace
hope for future days

For a brief decade
We painted a bull's-eye on the moon, and flew.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

query sent...!

Today I send a query to Penguin.

And picked out which story I'm going to send to this anthology:

It was a very productive writing day! :D

Also, I bought a long necked pumpkin. They are perfect for pies. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

writing & acceptance

All of my writing life, I've thought that the next success,
I'd find a feeling of confidence about my writing. If I ever
got a story accepted. If I ever got more accepted, or
"enough" accepted. Then, if I ever got a longer story

After each stage, it's never worked. Writing doesn't
bring me the feeling of acceptance or being worthy or
valuable that I want.

But, I still love it. I still write 'for me.' I write because
I can't not write. I write because it helps me stay sane.
I write because I'm a writer.

But, when I look for that feeling, of finally being
"worthy" in my writing--I'm disappointed.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Book Fair Fun

Today my mother and I went to visit the tail end
of the York book and Paper Fair:

It was lots of fun. I talked to three people and
bought a few books (although nothing expensive).

My mother offered to buy me a Sherlock Holmes-
themed book, but I resisted temptation. (I'm a big
fan, but it comes in waves, and I didn't want her
wasting money on something I might not read
for six months or more.)

I talked to author Danielle Ackley-McPhail

She was quite nice, and had a fancy hat! It looked
really cool, and I more than ever believe the advice
I once read about how authors should wear a "funny
hat." (Well, her hat wasn't 'funny,' it was actually
really cool-looking....)

And I bought a Donald Lam and Bertha Cool mystery
by A. A. Fair for three dollars from a nice bookseller
who said he wished he'd brought along more of them,
A very kind bookselling woman, whom I unfortunately
didn't catch the name of, helped me pick out some
cheap westerns.

(I've been in the mood since discovering humorous 60s
western-themed TV series, "Alias Smith and Jones," about
two ex-criminals trying to go straight, and the troubles
they manage to get into.)

I also looked at some old photographs, but didn't buy
any. It feels like such a splurge, and faintly creepy,
since I didn't know the people and they are now dead.
I still like old photographs, but haven't quite flipped the
switch and become a collector.

I also saw the York Emporium guy there, although I
didn't talk to him today.

I'm not sure what it would be like to attend such a thing
as either a bookseller, or an author, but it was quite fun as a
reader. :-)

~Alice M. Roelke~ The Space Station Murders, May 2011
My writing blog:
My publisher:
Book review blog:
Writing credits:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Update 10-14-10

* I made my writing goal last month, with 33,000 words. :-)

* I am very glad Ray Gun Revival (
has good things in store...even if they aren't sharing details so far.

* My family's dog died. :-( She was a very good dog, a beautiful
Golden Retriever. I'll miss her....

* I'm already starting to worry about Christmas. :-( It's too soon!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Cover Art

THIS IS MY COMPLETED COVER ART FOR MY NOVELLA COMING OUT IN 2011~~!!!!! :D Yes, I was's hard to talk quietly about something so exciting. *blushes*

Here's a link:

And...have I mentioned that this is really exciting??? :-D

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A City in Space

Perhaps in the future, space stations will be like cities in space….

The cosmopolitan future of life in space is one that many people have envisioned. It’s fascinating to think of regular people living regular lives in a different world—planet, spaceship, or space station. I think it’s especially fun to imagine an outer space place not controlled (or visited) only by the elite—government organizations and highly trained astronauts—but experienced by regular people like us.

If such a thing were true, it’s very likely we’d have many of the same problems that Earth cities do—crime, homelessness, poverty.

In an ideal, Star Trek space station like the one seen on Deep Space 9, we have a happy future where most people lead good lives. In a grungy future station, like “Babylon 5,” we have idealism and alien cultures mixed with grinding poverty, political refugees, clashing religions, powder keg politics, and plenty of crime.

In comparing the two, I think Babylon 5 has the more realistic view. It talks about more aspects of human reality—poverty, religion, politics, wars. But Deep Space 9’s hopeful future is a siren call for us to aim for, like a future model of the International Space Station, where ideally everyone will get along and work together for peace. (That was the purpose of Babylon 5, too—it just faced more challenges generally than did the station in the Star Trek universe.)

My latest story, “The Space Station Murders,” is set on a space station where grinding poverty and homelessness abound, where jobs are scarce and murders are going unsolved. It’s a ‘city in space’ with a veneer of respectability, without graffiti, and with beautification projects like public benches and artificial streams with bridges over them… but at night, homeless people fight over the benches and sleep under the bridges, and sometimes freeze to death when the heat gets turned down to save money.

All our fictional ideas about space stations are just models, of course. And I hope a real space station would be better than the one I imagined.

What would a real ‘city in space’ be like? One thing is for certain. We take our problems with us—even to the stars.


keeping on...

I wish there was an easy way to reply to comments on blogger, like there is on LJ! I suppose you could just comment after the first comment?? (Yes, I've been on blogger for years but still don't have it completely figured out....)

My status bar now:

10000 / 30000 words. 33% done!

(If I keep going like this, I'll surpass my goal. Yay! Now if only some of what I write turns out to be any good. :P)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I would like to write 30,000 words this month.

Here I am so far:

5000 / 30000 words. 17% done!

yo ho ho, writing's fun for me...not?

In retrospect, my blog's title is not the best.

For one thing, it makes it sound as though this writer thing is a bouncy, 'yo ho ho, let's-have-fun' journey. Of course writing is fun, at its best. But not all of the journey is fun. Some days you feel like a hack, can't bear to face the keyboard, and know you'll never have another story accepted.

Or maybe that's just me.

Right now, I'm trying to get together the promo stuff my publisher needs. I hope it doesn't all stink.

I got out an orphaned project this week and have been working on it. I'm really excited. I think I can finish it, if it doesn't have to fit the artificial rules I had for it previously--word count, market, etc. If I just follow where the story wants to go--and it's a really fun one for me--then I can almost certainly finish it. I'm really happy about that. :D

The truth is I have to force myself to share any personal information whatsoever online. But what else is a blog for? So here are three personal things I'm forcing myself to share:

I'm finally starting to feel physically better. Thank goodness.

I'm in worry mode. I hate that.

I'm trying to make decisions regarding my writing. And it's hard.

take care~

~Alice M. Roelke~ The Space Station Murders, May 2011

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Publisher

I wanted to be published for so long—not just with short stories, but with “a real book.” And now I’m going to be. Well, my “real book” is a science fiction mystery e-book that's 20,000 words long. But still.

There’s something special about knowing my story has a home, and I have a publisher who not only treats people kindly, is patient, and provides lots of marketing help, but also has made it clear that I’m welcome to send more stuff whenever I want—or not. I’ve been waiting for now—being cautious with my time and energy, making sure I don’t bite off more than I can chew. But I keep thinking of things I want to send them, or write for them.

For me, there’s a very different feeling about sending something out when you know the publisher is not going to scorn you, where even a rejection will be personal and appropriate—with editor’s notes, no less! It makes me feel like someone in the publishing industry actually…cares.

I don’t want to become overly Muse-dependent. I know some of my works might not fit there, and I need to pursue publishing elsewhere, too. But it is so comfortable to feel this way.

I have lots to learn and much to experience in the publishing process, even if my story is ‘only’ a 20,000 word novella. But I’m looking forward to it, and I hope I don’t let my publisher down.

“My publisher.” I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of saying that.

Well, if you’re a bit jealous, (and I’m really not trying to make anyone jealous, just tasting this good feeling), you can always check out my publisher, Muse It Up Publishing, and see what you think. Maybe you have (or can write) something that fits their guidelines.

Maybe soon you’ll be able to say “my publisher” too. :)

~Alice M. Roelke~ The Space Station Murders, May 2011

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Fred Warren mentioned me in his amazing interview with Marcher Lord Press.

I'm still blushing. Thanks, Fred! :D

~Alice M. Roelke~
"The Space Station Murders," coming May 2011
My publisher:
Book review blog:
Writing credits:


The newest line from my publisher is in the Muse It Young division,
meaning books for kids. It's called "Aydin," after the deceased child of
one of our members. It was a tragedy for the family, and Lea wanted to
memorialize the young life of Aydin in a line of books about special

Because my sister has Down Syndrome, that's something that strikes close to home for me…special children.

The books don't have to be about handicapped children, however. You can write a story about any child making a difference. These books should be fiction, and they're aimed towards children. (Guidelines for it and all the Muse It Young books are here:

I don't know yet if I'll be able write about someone like my sister. Sometimes the things that you're closest to are hardest to write about.

~Alice M. Roelke~
"The Space Station Murders," coming May 2011
My publisher:
Book review blog:
Writing credits:

win free ebooks from my publisher :)

If you're interested in e-books, or my new publisher, Muse It Up Publishing, here's your chance to find out more. You could join the Readers' Yahoo group for MIUP. They'll be raffling e-books every month, on the first (beginning in October).

The rules are "participate and you can win." Well, it sounds simple. Here's the link if you're interested:

There are other prizes, like a grand prize of a year's worth of ebooks. You can read more here, on the MIUP blog:

P.S. My e-book won't be released until next year, so you can't win that yet. I'm sure you were all *dying* to read it! ;)

-Alice M.

Friday, September 3, 2010

my book review blog :)

I've started updating my book review blog again. So far, it has one follower (my mother). I started it in 2008, and didn't update again until just last month.

They're just short reviews, about a variety of different kinds of books. (I thought I'd be able to stick to a theme when I started, but so far I haven't.)

Anyway, here's the link, for those who are interested:

Friday, August 27, 2010

This is a test see if I can still post by sending an email. :)

I need to get back to this blog. I've allowed it to languish for far too

Well, let's see if this works first, and then I can decide how to proceed
with getting back into blogging.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Publishing news~! :D

I'm going to have a 20,000 word e-novella published in May 2011!!

It's a science fiction story called "The Space Station Murders."

Here is my 'tag:'

An ex-cop on a space station struggles to overcome alcoholism and the death of his partner. Against his better judgement, he befriends a station newbie, and the two begin to investigate the murder of their fellow homeless space station residents.

I'm being published with Muse It Up Publishing, an upcoming epublisher. I never thought my story would be accepted.

Here is my author page.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I have not posted here in so long. Sooooo long...

Well, I have some good news, but I'm going to put that in a separate post.

I could promise I will start updating more regularly. I hope I will, but I'm not positive.

I have, however, updated my web page with my writing credits. I think it looks much nicer this way.

And in sad news, Ray Gun Revival is going to be briefly closing its doors, and then reopening at a new address, as a non-paying market. :(