I have recovered from April! Unfortunately, we’re over halfway through May, so.
The combination of “fiscal year end” and “end of term” was interesting. I really enjoyed the chance to teach, and from the (safely anonymized) student comments I didn’t do too badly? I’d like to do it again (although as a part-time professor, I won’t get the chance until winter).
I’m currently looking for stories to recommend for a slightly updated version of the course. I’m largely trying to keep it to prose, and looking to the Hugos and Nebulas as a filter, but it’s still going to be a bit of work.
I went to TCAF this weekend past! It was honestly fantastic, and I had a great time. Came back with a few more books than I was expecting, but it was a great weekend, and the trip each way gave me a lot of time to read. I’m hoping to get some reviews up.
On a personal note, I just handed in my comments on the page proofs of a story that should be coming out later this year, and I’m generally feeling pleased with that.
Barrelling on at high speed towards winter, now. Hallowe’en was nice, if quiet; we resorted to putting a jack o’lantern out on the front porch and a small sign asking people to follow the honour system, and then refilling the candy bowl regularly.
I’m working on NaNoWriMo, but rather than aiming for thousands of words, I’m aiming for hours of editing. It’s going pretty well so far; I’ve revised one story, and done the first half of my revisions on another.
(The first story I revised, I’ve also come up with an idea for another change to it that I think will make it stronger, so it’s not exactly done yet. I’m just figuring out how to make the change I want without completely altering the tone.)
If you ever find a good crit group, by the way, treasure them for they are absolute gold. Sometimes you genuinely do not see what is wrong with a story and then three people very gently tell you that you appear to have started a 21-page story on page 9.
Also, the Kickstarter for After the War kicks off on Monday, and I’ll be sharing my story “Interview with Cortesa Singh” then! Hoping you enjoy it.
First off, you may note that my avatar has changed; it is currently an illustration by Claudia Cangini in the vein of the After The War RPG, which will be debuting on KickStarter in a few weeks–on November 12–at which point I’ll be able to share the story I wrote for it.
October was a one-convention, one-conference, one-vacation month in the middle of crunch time, which means the time off was lovely but also extremely dense. Coming back to work has been a bit of a shock, but I think I’m catching up on things again.
A final note: I went to the Surrey International Writers’ Conference and would love to go again; I have not taken notes like that since university, and I feel like my brain is still digesting quite a bit. It was lovely to see people (I finally met Cat Rambo in person!), it struck me as an incredibly well-planned conference, and there was karaoke.
First, I’m very pleased to announce that the Kickstarter for After the War will be launching on November 12, and I’ll be able to share my story “Interview with Cortesa Singh” then! I’ve had a chance to read some of the other stories that will be published, as well, and I think it’s a really fantastic collection in a great setting.
Second, it’s been a bit. We’ve been getting into crunch time, and last weekend was mostly spent recovering, and this weekend I was planning to post an update but we lost power for nearly thirty hours (along with much of the city), so plans were kind of knocked for a loop.
I really do want to give a huge shout-out to the Journalling for Creativity with Fran Wilde class that Cat Rambo orchestrated; it was fantastically helpful in terms of a way to get some things organized, and I’ve managed to figure out a couple of sticking points as a result. I’d really recommend it if you get the chance (and please remember that Cat Rambo’s classes have three scholarships each).
(Finally, I’m done with my rabies vaccines. So that’s nice.)
On a weather level, it’s been a hectic summer–the multiple tornado warnings were probably my ‘favourite’ part–and despite the fact that the long weekend has reverted to the kind of weather where stepping outside feels like trying to breathe a wet towel, it seems to be starting to break. I’m looking forward to rain, some grey days, and the option to open the windows at night without being unable to sleep because of the heat.
I finished a novelette draft, and gotten some decent feedback that I want to mull over in the back of my head for a few days before I start trying to write them. I’m also trying to figure out what work I should bring to my Blue Pencil session at SIWC in October. Unfortunately, crunch time at work is starting in a week and is expected to last into October, so I’m going to be low on time for the next little while.
I should have another short piece coming out soon, set in the After the War universe–details soon! I’m very pleased to have been invited to write for the setting, and I hope you enjoy it when it comes out.
Crit group was yesterday. I am very lucky to have my crit group; they are a thoughtful, well-informed group who manage to articulate a lot about expectations and pacing and emotional weight and signalling, and even when it’s not my story getting critted it is honestly so good to be able to hear everyone else’s thoughts.
Consider that my writerly advice, rather than going on about adverbs. Find people who can give you good critique and treasure them. I find it’s too easy to be looking at your story and seeing what you meant to put in there rather than what’s actually on the page, otherwise. (Admittedly, I once wrote a story about a couple of fictional characters come to life and completely forgot to mention anywhere in the story that that was what they were. So I’m particularly prone to blind spots. Also I once wrote a story that I forgot to mention was about fictional characters coming to life, so you may want to take any advice I offer with a grain of salt.)
Also yesterday, I finished handwriting the edits to a 13,500 word story, and am now typing them up. I’m suspecting I will need to give it another editing pass, and it’s going to end up in the nearly completely unsellable length of 15-16K words, but it will be done.
I’ve also finished my travel arrangements for Scintillation and the Surrey International Writer’s Conference, so October is going to be a very full month, but at least one that’s well organized.
My story “Late Night at the Low Road Diner” is available now in issue 5 of Liminal Stories. It can be read online for free here (although if you’d like to support them, they’re on Patreon).
A small story on the care and feeding of strange things that may come into a diner at night.
I am really pleased with this one. My thanks to Shannon Peavey and Kelly Sandoval for the acceptance and the editing (much as I love “tatterdemalion”, I have to admit it just didn’t fit), and to N.G. Lancaster for the art.
ETA: and today we learn that I messed up on post scheduling, for which I am very sorry.
2079 words this week, and a story revised. This brings my total for the Write-A-Thon to 8640 words, and three stories revised.
I am so very grateful to all of you for contributing, and patiently looking at my not-very-interesting updates. I think things are slowing down now a little, and I’ve got a few more things I want to talk about; for the moment, however, I’m going to do some final tidying on stories, and continue revisions, and work out what I can do for contributor’s thank-you’s for next year.
Things have been frustratingly busy, but: 1991 words! This is really encouraging, especially given everything else that seems determined to happen this week. Thank each and every one of you so very much for contributing, or for reading this.
My work on story revision is going slowly, simply because there is just a lot to revise, but I think I should be on track to have it done at the end of next week.
(Again, if you’d like to sponsor before this years Write-A-Thon is over: my profile is here, and the webpage is pretty easy to navigate if you’d like to sponsor someone else. Other people have neat prizes!)