And that back burner novel idea I babbled about in my last post way back in February? It has been officially moved to the front burner since then. As in I am about 20,000 words into the novel now. After doing some research and preliminary worldbuilding, I decided to try out the Snowflake Method, which I’d read/heard a lot about but had never given it a whirl. Now I am why-wasn’t-I-doing-this-before levels of in love with it. It was fun! And I have an outline! There’s a plot! And I didn’t break my brain developing it!
I wrote only a small handful of short stories. More on that in a sec.
I sold some short stories, and I had some short stories published. Yay!
I finally finished the steampunk fantasy novel I began back in . . .
*falls out of chair again*
*decides to just stay here on the floor*
2015, huh? Well, there’s a reason it took so long, and that reason is short stories. They are fun and shiny and I kept getting distracted by them. But probably around the same time I fell off the blogging map, I decided to give the novel my full focus so I could actually finish the darn thing. The result: I actually finished the darn thing. Go figure.
Short stories did happen, but as a breather between novel drafts. And more are happening now that I’ve moved on to the oh-so-fun agent querying part of the novel process.
That brings us to the present. November 2020. Which is, um . . .
Yeah, I’m just going to leave it at writerly things for now or else I might lose my desire to resurrect this blog. Please scream inside your hearts.
* In a few weeks I’ll be heading off once again to TNEO, a week-long workshop for alumni of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. As a result, I’ve been knee-deep in critique mode the last several weeks, but those are pretty much done now. I rewarded myself with new shoes.
And now I must sleep and prepare for Monday, which is soon to assault me with its Mondayishness.
*finally resurfaces from the Sea Of Too Much Else To Do*
I finished with my second semester of grad school about a week and a half ago (and totally rocked it, by the way), which means I get to be a writer again! And read things that aren’t for class! Wheeeee! And now that I’ve caught up on some other pesky real life things, it looks like I should actually have time for that whole blogging thing again too.
So, the state of writerly me: Before the semester started, I was pretty darn productive on the writing front–one novelette revised and sent out the door, one flash story written and sent out the door, and three flash/short story drafts written. Then the schoolwork tsunami struck, along with a new routine to get used to in February when I started a part-time fellowship in an orchestra library (which has been awesome), so there was a while there where I didn’t feel like much of a writer (an assessment my writerly success ratio seems to agree with lately). But now that I don’t have any grad school-related work to worry about until the fall, I get to reacquaint myself with the world of reading and writing fiction–something I look forward to with huge heaps of geekish joy.
Wow, it’s been a while, huh? I guess it’s time I stop with the “I’ll blog more, I promise” stuff and accept the fact that a regular blogging routine is probably not going to happen for the duration of my time in grad school. When it comes to establishing priorities, there are just too many things that win out over blogging at present–fiction writing, classwork, day job, musical endeavors, exercise, and sparing some moments to remind myself that I have friends and family.
Oh, and sleep. Precious, precious sleep.
That said, I can at least promise two upcoming posts: some story pimpage later this week, and later this month, a guest post by writerly compadre Lindsey Duncan, whose contemporary fantasy novel Flow has just been released by Double Dragon Publishing.
I know I keep threatening to return to a regular blogging routine, but life seems intent on not letting that happen. Nevertheless, here’s the state of me:
* School is keeping me busy, but I’m enjoying it a lot more than I ever did grant writing. This whole getting my MLIS thing? Good damn decision, I think.
* Speaking of life keeping me busy, there will be a distinct lack of con attendance on my part for the rest of the year. I had been hoping to attend Sirens and Capclave this month, but there’s just too much else going on for me to swing either one. And I’d normally do Philcon in November since it’s practically right in my backyard, but I’ll be off in Austin that weekend.
* Writing progress! Well, at least there was progress until a damn cold sidelined me yesterday (it’s hard to focus or stare at a computer screen for too long when it feels like you have a head full of gauze-wrapped bricks). But before then, I got my short story “The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen” revised and sent out the door, and now I’m working on revisions for “Demon Dreams.” And when that’s done, I think I’ll dive back into the never-ending My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel revisions.
* And last but certainly not least: I can haz zombie art? The awesome-looking title spread (with art by Dave Senecal) for my story in issue 25 of Black Static, which should be coming out this month:
Holy crap, has it really been that long since I’ve posted something? Sorry not to have been keeping up lately, but life has continued to dance on the insane side of the fence. Hopefully come fall I’ll be able to settle back into a blog reading and writing routine. Until then, I’ll probably remain my current scattershot, occasionally resurfacing self.
In the meantime, here’s the bullet points of what I’ve been up to in the writing department:
* My zombie apocalypse story “The Holy Spear” has been accepted by Black Static. This will be my second appearance in their pages, which I’m thrilled about.
* Speaking of Black Static, reviewer Peter Tennant wrote a nice post about my story “The Wounded House” from issue 20 on his blog.
* Received my shiny contributor copy of Aoife’s Kiss (10th anniversary issue) this morning. Pretty.
* Gearing up for this summer’s TNEO workshop for Odyssey alum. As of last night, all the critiques I had to do are officially done! I’ve still got a ton of other things to do, but it’s nice to put a big fat check mark next to that beast of an item.
* Unfortunately, progress on the writing front has been mostly non-existent. I got in a good afternoon of revision work on My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel a couple weeks ago, but otherwise, that’s been kind of it. But now that TNEO critiques are out of the way, I can hopefully get back in gear. I’ve got some revisions to do on a short story, several flash pieces I should probably polish up and send out somewhere (anyone have suggestions on where to send an unabashedly liberal-leaning gay superhero flash story?), and then back to the novel grind.
A month and a half after I started the damn thing, and the de-crapified second draft of my novel-prequel-ish short story (now titled Demon Dreams) is finally done. The wee beastie beefed up to 6,700 words in the second draft. That’s what a hearty diet of more detail and description will do for one’s fictional figure. Now I just need to give the beastie a final go over, and then it’s into the critiquing pile while I start something else.
I’ll be doing The Never-Ending Odyssey (aka TNEO) again this summer, so it’s that weird time of year where I have to wait several months after finishing a story to get critiques on it. (Well, I’ll probably throw the story at my lovely local group, the Awesome Ladies of Awesomeness, for our next meeting, but I’ll wait until I have the TNEO crits as well before making any major revisions.) Being forced to wait is probably a good thing for me. Even though I take forever to write stories sometimes (or maybe because I take forever to write them), I tend toward impatience, wanting to get them out the door in speedy fashion as soon as they’re done. So it’s probably healthy for me to have to sit on a few of them for a spell and see how they age.
And speaking of TNEO, I get to take on the roll of moderator this year, which I’m sure will keep me super busy on top of all the critiquing and writing to be done for it. But I’m looking forward to it.
Turns out I was incorrect in stating that the first draft of my current short story was 6,800. There were about 400 words worth of notes I had forgotten to remove from the file, so it was actually 6,400–still about where I predicted it would be, though.
Getting rid of that pesky Procrastination Fairy didn’t go as smoothly as I thought it would, but eventually the little bugger was dispensed with. I’m sure she’ll zombify and pull her antics again, but in the meantime, the second draft has been progressing nicely. I think I might have even come up with a non-sucktastic title.
I kind of love second drafts. The second draft is when I get to go back and discover that my first draft wasn’t nearly as crappy as I thought it was. I have a tendency to want things to be the perfect the first time, which is something I have to let go of with first drafts. Otherwise they’d either never get finished, or I’d suffocate all the spontaneity and discovery that makes writing so fun in the first place. Yet recently, I’ve found myself getting antsy in first drafts because I wasn’t including enough setting or sensory detail. Working on the second draft of this story reminded me of two things I had forgotten (probably because I haven’t been cranking out short stories as much as I used to): 1) it’s easier for me to include the appropriate setting and detail when there’s a plot there to hang it on, and 2) I have far more fun doing it that way, I think because I have a better idea of what will be relevant, what can help reveal story and character, and what will work within the pacing. In some ways it’s like fitting the proper pieces into a puzzle to make a picture. And I love puzzles.
Urgh. I did so well cranking out the first draft of this short story, but then the Procrastination Fairy came along and waved her wand at me before I could get started on the second draft. I’ve taken a hit out on the stupid fairy so I can get some second draftage done this weekend.
I fear for my lack of a title on this story. My experience with titles has generally been this: if a title doesn’t pop into my head while writing the first draft, I end up having a hell of a time coming up with one that doesn’t suck big hairy balls of suck.
On the positive side of writing-related things, I did an hour writing exercise a few hours ago and cranked out a 1K draft of a flash piece. I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll polish up for submission, though, as I’m not sure where I’d send it. Is there an appropriate publication for an unabashedly liberal-leaning flash piece about a gay Jewish superhero who saves the day only to be accused of being an illegal alien because he’s from another planet?