Tag Archives: Writing

Wrong in all the right ways

Drinking margaritas made with the $200 bottle of tequila I gave Kay for her birthday last year. DAMN they’re good. So while slightly tipsy I thought I’d blog a bit. Unfortunately the best suggestions twitter could offer was a request for “blogging about drunken giraffes fornicating“. And since John Green of the Vlog Brothers already covered that way better than I could:

…you get a hodgepodge post instead.

Today at my job (I work at a law firm) was “Diversity Day”. I have no idea if it was intentionally held on Cinco de Mayo, but it was. Everyone in the firm was invited to bring in a dish from their cultural backgrounds for a pot luck. The food was surprisingly good and diverse, from Scottish meat pies to Chinese dumplings to knishes and homentashen.

They invited Jarrett Barrios, the president of GLAAD, to speak. Barrios used to be an attorney at the firm, and our firm has given a lot of support to GLAAD in terms of office space (across the country) and financial support.

Barrios’ speech was great; funny, touching and insightful. I won’t relate the stories he told because they were personal and I’m not sure I should share, but he clearly learned a lot about public speaking while a MA state senator! He talked a lot about the significance of diversity and specifically about opening up channels of communication and how important that is. It is after all what GLAAD does, brings dialogue to situations and uses the court of public opinion to give a face to LGBTQ people.

He did say one thing that I didn’t entirely agree with. He talked about how there are ‘good men’ and ‘bad men’ when it comes to discrimination – that is, people who really try to do good but just mess up, and people who don’t care if they’re discriminatory, or do it on purpose. That’s clearly true. And he said that there was no reason to jump down the throat of a ‘good man’ because it makes them want to shut down and never say anything.

This is all true, but it kind of glosses over the fact that we are responsible for how we approach the situation too – we can choose to engage the ‘good man’ without jumping down their throat, but instead in a firm but non-antagonistic way. This is too important to dismiss – the ‘good man’ will be a real ally but can only change if they’re made aware of what they’re doing. These situations must be addressed – it just doesn’t have to be in a confrontational manner.

All in all, I was pleased with Barrios’ speech and thanked him for it after. He’s a nice guy, very approachable. I can see why he was chosen to be GLAAD president.

Just started reading NK Jemisin‘s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Haven’t gotten far enough to really get a big impression yet, but 3 things:

1. It’s in 1st person.
2. The first scene is essentially a short infodump.
3. Despite the first 2 things, I’m enjoying it.

Jemisin’s voice is clean and engaging without getting flowery. And she’s laid out a scenario that’s rife with possibilities in just the first couple chapters. So far, so good.

Speaking of reading, I’ve noticed a significant shift in my reading preferences.

My first real interest in SFF was in science fiction – I devoured everything Bradbury wrote. Of course I liked some of each, but initially I think I enjoyed SF more. Then I shifted, started reading more fantasy. I read Diana Wynne Jones, Mercedes Lackey, etc. That actually lasted a long time, and up until maybe 2 years ago or so, I think 90% of my own writing was fantasy too.

However, recently I’ve noticed a distinct preference for SF. I’m sure this is largely Kay’s fault, and the influence of Science in My Fiction, but it’s not a bad thing. I still enjoy both, and good writing trumps the distinction between the two anyway. But I’m searching novel submission to Crossed Genres for the next novel we’ll publish, which I’m to edit, and I found myself looking for the SF submissions… which for some reason are relatively few. We’re getting about two fantasy subs for every one science fiction sub. Odd.

I don’t know if there’s a correlation between this and the F/SF breakdown, but we’re also seeing about 5 subs from men for every 1 sub from women. What’s up with that?! CGP usually gets a fairly even split between men and women, though that’s the short story subs. And the 2 novels we’ve published/will publish, A Festival of Skeletons and Broken Slate, are both by women. I hope to see more novels submitted from women!

Back on Friday, Kay and I went to see the play Breaking the Code at Central Square Theater. This was a birthday gift from my mom – back in December she gave me a program for their season and said she’d buy us 2 tickets to whichever show we wanted to see. Sweet!

Breaking the Code is about the life of Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician who cracked the Enigma code during World War II, but who was later ostracized and prosecuted for being gay.

The play was very good: the acting was very solid, the actor who played Turing (Allyn Burrows) standing out. The staging was simple but never felt like anything was missing. Kay and I agreed after that the director, Adam Zahler, deserved a lot of credit for drawing good performances and wonderful staging in a round theater setting. The play only runs through the 8th (this Sunday) but if anyone in the Cambridge/Boston area has time to see it I’d strongly recommend it. I learned things about Turing I didn’t know, and now want to find out how much of it was real and how much was creative license.

On Sunday, on Twitter, the Hiyao Miyazaki tweetup group will be getting together (probably at 4pm US EST) to watch Castle in the Sky. One of Miyazaki’s more action-packed films, it’s still very charming and a lot of fun. Anyone who has/can get the film is welcome to join us! We all just start the film at the same time and then tweet our comments/observations, with a #CastleintheSky hashtag. Join us! You know you want to!

Post title from “Raise Your Glass” by Pink:

Taking blood and making art


So you may have heard about the recent flap surrounding the GOP being really really scared of women’s bodies. Short version: Last week, in response to the Florida House of Representatives passing an anti-union bill, Democratic Rep Scott Randolph make a crack about how maybe his wife should “incorporate her uterus” to stop Republicans from pushing measures that would restrict abortions. The GOP leadership, rather than responding to the obvious political criticism, told Randolph not to use “language that would be considered inappropriate for children and other guests” – in other words, the word “uterus”.

This of course has triggered a shitstorm of laughter, mockery and criticism, while effectively highlighting what the current attack on Planned Parenthood is really about.

Yesterday, in reaction to all the absurdity, Kay commented on Twitter: “So many bad politicians are afraid of my #uterus that having one is starting to feel like having a superpower. #fierce”

The comment was met with much amusement and a lively discussion about the supernatural abilities of girl-junk, or those granted abilities for having girl-junk. And the end result was Kay’s coming home yesterday evening, and making this:

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s SuperUterus!

At the request of a lot of people, Kay put this brilliant image on merch: t-shirts, mugs, you name it. And All profits from the sale of SuperUterus gear will be donated to Planned Parenthood! What, you need a better reason to buy? I didn’t think so. Go! Now!

BTW, in case you were wondering, this is what Planned Parenthood actually does. Note the remarkably slim numbers for abortions. (Also, The Hyde Amendment prevents federal funding from being used for abortions already.)

Kay and I have been having some long, intense discussions about Crossed Genres Publications – present and future (near and distant). A lot of prioritizing, rearranging, waving sad goodbyes to some ideas that we loved but just wouldn’t pan out, while shaking hands with exciting new things we can’t wait to get started on.

Part of those talks and decisions led to us re-opening CGP to novel submissions: Yay! New guidelines, and hopefully some great new work to publish over the next few years! Queries have started to trickle in already. I’m really excited about it!

Also in the CGP world, I’ve been busting my ass the past few days to figure out various ebook distributors that we haven’t used before, and get our books on them. Soon we’ll have our publications available in a lot more places. Hopefully that’ll help us dig out of our financial hole… Sales have been a mite thin* lately.

I managed to get a story finished! It was one of my longer ones, about 8100 words after all the edits, but still well within the asked-for wordcount range. This was for an anthology I was invited to submit to, so crossing my fingers – it’s a project I’d really like to be part of. Unfortunately due to a ton of work that’s been dumped on me and Kay I’ve had to ditch my plans to submit to another antho. It’s open until the end of May, but there’s just no way I’ll have time to get something written by then. I haven’t even been struck with any inspiration for it yet. Knowing me, I’ll probably think of some brilliant idea 5 days before the deadline, and freak out trying to find time to get it written.

And Sekrit Projekt is coming along! New, good developments! That I can’t talk about! Argh! But it’s good!

Also, since it just happened a few hours ago I’ll throw in one quick comment: About damn time, Red Sox! I’m not generally one to give in to the annual “Well, maybe next year” crap, but 0-6 to start the year? Way to dig yourselves a hole! At least they won the home opener, against the Yankees, no less. Now just 99 more of those…

Post title from “Message From Your Heart” by Kina Grannis:

* “mite thin” = Nonexistent

We’re half the same, half distinct: writing, crazy schedule, and less stress

On Sunday, I had the chance to write! It was the first time I’d had to write since late August. More than six months? That’s no good. That will be fixed.

It’s already been partially fixed, obviously, since I had time. My aforementioned plan to divest myself of some of my responsibilities has been somewhat successful: As of now Rise Reviews is in the hands of 2 capable new Managing Editors; Kay’s taken over fiction editing for Science in My Fiction (SiMF is really her baby anyhow); we’ve finished with Boskone; and I sorted out a ton of small fiddly stuff. Though I still have plenty of stuff, I’ve narrowed the number of things. Much easier to track, and more importantly, much easier to schedule! 😉

One of the things I have on my list is writing stories for two anthologies. When I realized that I had Sunday free to write, I got to work on the one that’s due first.

I was worried that I’d be all rusty after so long without writing. Oh, how silly I was.

Most of Sunday spent writing produced 5500 words and a completed first draft. WOOT! I figured that it would take me through the first week of March to complete the draft – I am so far ahead of where I was expecting to be! I’m already working on the first edits, a week early. YAY!

I haven’t felt this gung-ho about writing in… a couple years, probably. I want to start on the 2nd story! But alas, must edit the first one first.

My schedule is still pretty crazy, especially over the next several months. But I should have time to finish both stories, and still poke at my writing until things settle out a little more, probably through the end of July. “Poking at my writing” in that time will probably mean developing one of my many novel ideas, so around the beginning of August I can get to work writing it. Yayz!

Tho Kay and I lost $ at Boskone, we still had a great time, and didn’t lose as much as we’d thought we would. We’ve decided to try and get a table at ReaderCon, too. It’s harder to get a table at, from what I’ve heard, but I like the con and the guests so we’re going to apply. and cross our fingers. If we do get a table, we’ll see some of you July 14-17!

Kay and I have been getting some early work in on projects that are coming up later this year – just working ahead like we prefer to. We got some terrific news on one of the projects a few days ago… can’t say what it was but we’re very excited!

And speaking of things I can’t talk about, my Sekrit Projekt is much further along! In fact, I’m just waiting for one more piece to fall into place, which should happen around the middle of this month. We’ll see how that goes, but so far, things are going well. The Projekt is a bit behind my initial schedule, but that’s really because of the overload of work I had recently. It’s moving along fine now.

Also, I’m very proud of us. Kay and I were presented with a chance to start a very neat projects, but we’ve postponed even thinking about it for the foreseeable future. It was a chance to work with someone (again) whom we really like/admire too, but we were realistic in assessing the time it would take up and restrained ourselves. I’m relieved, too, because my writing muse was poised over my head with a big blue rubber mallet just in case I got any funny ideas.

And yesterday, when I commented on Twitter about my writing binge, Harry Markov said “I’m glad to see that the stress is down and you are actually writing.” And I realized – I do feel less stressed. I’m still busy, but part of that busy is writing. I finally have the chance to do stuff for me again, not just for the CGP empire. Kay does, too, she’s making progress on her novel. It’s amazing how accomplishing writing can get the stress level down. Hurrah for Escapism-As-Therapy!

Post title from “Another Day” by Pomplamoose

And when it arrives, I’ll smash it with a hammer [Thinning the workload]

On January 20 (last Thursday) I started a blog post about how much work I had, and how much of it was extremely time-sensitive, and how stressed I was feeling over said work. Then I didn’t have time to finish the post. Ah, irony.

Today (Tuesday 1/25) I got a migraine. I had one relatively recently – like, within the past couple months, whereas usually they’re maybe once every 1 to 1 1/2 years. This is the first time in a very long time that I’ve had 2 as close together as these ones. My migraines are pretty debilitating – they impair my vision, make light extremely painful, cause nausea and tend to last at least a full day. I’m fairly useless when I get one… really the best thing to do is go lie down in a dark room, and if possible sleep. (That’s what I did for this one – I went right home from work, got into bed and slept for about 1 1/2 hours, which did help somewhat.)

I’m sure that this migraine was at least in part caused by the sharp cold the Boston area has been experiencing – getting warm, drinking tea and having a hot shower all helped temporarily alleviate the pain. But I’m now 100% convinced that my migraines are primarily triggered by stress.

The amount of work I’ve had that needed to be completed over the past week has been absurd. And even before the migraine I had commented to Kay how unusually stressed I’ve been feeling, how overworked and how much I regret taking on so many things at once. It’s not that any one project sucks, or I don’t like it, but I simply have too much to deal with. The result of the overwork is more stress, and apparently, more migraines. Ironically, a migraine in response to overwork just sets me back further because I can’t work when I have one. (Not to mention that I lose time at the day job and have to use my already-scant PTO.)

Starting immediately, I’m going to be aggressively divesting myself of as many responsibilities as possible. It’s simply not worth it to stress myself out to this level. I still will be doing plenty – I have numerous things that I just have to do, most of which I really want to do, so I’ll still be busy. But more overwork of the kind I’ve had recently has to stop.

I’d also like it if maybe I could actually, you know… write again. That was a goal of mine recently, but it got shunted aside – again – because of other responsibilities. That will be the secondary goal of thinning my responsibilities.

So. I may be talking to some of you about things we do together, or things you’re not involved with but might want to be. Just FYI. I’ve said before that I wanted to lessen my workload. This time I think it’s actually necessary.

Post title from the film The Emperor’s New Groove

A Picasso or a Garfunkel

Hodgepodge post time!

I’ve been editing like crazy for the past few days. It’s for a Sekrit Projekt! Progress has been great – in fact I’m hoping *KNOCK WOOD* to have the editing done by the end of Sunday. That’s just one of numerous steps in the project of course, but it’ll be nice to have completed. (Also it was supposed to be done by mid-December, but Rise Reviews forced me to push it back a bit.)

It is awards season, which means everyone is pushing their stories! I have but one story to pimp: Issue #19 of M-Brane SF had my story “Flip the Switch” in it! The story was later re-released in M-Brane SF Quarterly #1. The story is “a terrific reimagining of humanity’s first step off this world”. It deserves a Hugo! 😉

I had one other sale from last year, but it doesn’t apply to the 2010 awards. “Her Eyes On”, which I co-wrote with Kay, was sold to the anthology BEAUTY HAS HER WAY, edited by Jennifer Brozek and to be published by Dark Quest Books. It was originally scheduled for a September 2010 release, but it’s been pushed back and is now expected late this month! So that will apply to 2011 awards. It’s an amazing story and the antho looks incredible! Buy it when it comes out!

Speaking of awards in 2011, I’ve made a decision: Come hell or high water, I will sell at least 5 short stories in 2011. That means making time to write stories (more than 5, realistically), submit them, resubmit when rejected, etc. Basically, it’s a goal that 1) will force me to make time to write (yay!) and 2) gives me more things to pimp in this post next year! ;-P

Baz got kicked in the jaw yesterday. We’re 90% sure it was an accident, baz and the other kid were laying down on their mats for nap. Baz’s jaw is fine but he bit his tongue, so he was bleeding a fair bit last night. It wasn’t really bothering him but a dad doesn’t want to walk into his son’s preschool and have the first thing he sees is his smiling son with blood in the corner of his mouth. =(

…oh yeah, Christmas happened, didn’t it? It was all right this year. 90% of my gifts were games – computer games, board games, etc. But that’s okay, I like games! Kay got me Civilization V, which I’ve been playing a ton of… damn thing is hard to quit! My main gift to Kay was a small, hand-made teapot (The “Kikko Glaze Green” 22 oz) and some nice loose tea from Mighty Leaf. She made 3 cups of tea the first day, so I think she liked it. 😉 Baz, as usual, mostly shunned his bigger gifts for the little stuff, like the $5 plastic trick-flying airplane. I did pass him my Nintendo DS that I never used, though, and he has been playing the hell out of the Lego Harry Potter game. 😉 He’s also been enjoying Slamwich and Rory’s Story Cubes a lot. The story cubes are a blast, I love playing that with him – he makes up the funniest stories! =)

It’s time for lunch, but I have no food. It better not be snowing out there.

Post title from “If I Had a Million Dollars” by Barenaked Ladies

Opening up new doors and doing new things

I considered writing one of those “Year in review” posts, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Not because 2010 sucked. There was a lot of great stuff. There was a lot of bad stuff too. A lot of shit that I wish I hadn’t had to deal with, and a lot of things that I’ll be grateful for for the rest of my life.

Ultimately, though, I’m not writing the post because it doesn’t fit into my schedule. There would be far too much to cover and frankly I don’t have the time to spend rehashing last year. Not when this year’s here. ALREADY.

How the fuck is it already 2011?!

Tonight Kay and I sat down and talked about the coming year and all we have planned. I’m not going to even try to list everything (we do have many spreadsheets), but my share includes, in PART, A Festival of Skeletons, Broken Slate, Rise Reviews, Boskone, Crossed Genres, Science in My Fiction (Editing fiction, occasional contributor & the 2nd annual SiMF contest), and at least 3 fairly large-sized Sekrit Projects.

The above, of course, doesn’t even mention my own writing, which is once again in hibernation until I can strike one or two things from the above list. The degree to which this pisses me off actually stuns me.

Overall I have very mixed feelings about the coming year. At this time last year, our projects consisted of the CG magazine, the accompanying anthology, the start of A Festival of Skeletons, and our own writing. Though next year, on paper at least, does appear to taper off gradually (*KNOCK WOOD*), it’s still far more busy than I expected even 2010 to be (and of course, I was completely wrong about that). There are a few other things that I won’t relate publicly that have me ready to tear some heads off, and I can’t see a way to eliminate them from my life. I’m irritated and frustrated that my own writing is once again looking like it’ll be an afterthought, barring my just abandoning a project or two… and I don’t abandon projects that other people have commitments to as well. I won’t leave others hanging. As much as I’d like to sometimes.

On the other hand: after a lot of thought over the past several months I’ve accepted that I enjoy editing about as much as I enjoy writing. This may be partially because writing has been clouded with frustration recently, but editing IS frustration, so it’s fair to compare them. I get to do a lot of the editorial side of things now, and that makes me happy. So much so that one or two of my Sekrit Projects are VERY editorial in nature, and I’m enjoying the hell out of them so far. I do want to write – NEED to write, but I’m also gradually accepting that just because writing is getting pushed aside, that doesn’t mean I have to resent it, or the things preventing me from doing it, especially if I enjoy them. That’s been making it easier to deal with the annoyance of no writing time. I can actually see being very happy if at some point down the road I could split my time evenly between editing and writing.

Next year is also going to have a lot of exciting things. Boskone will be mine and Kay’s first convention where we have CG et al as dealers, with a table in the Hucksters room and everything. We’re expecting the 2nd SiMF contest to be even bigger and more exciting than last year. In September, Baz will start kindergarten (LALALALAICAN’THEARYOU!). And there are a few secret things that I’m giddy with anticipation for.

So yeah. 2010 was a mixed bag, though overall I’d say it averaged out firmly on the positive side. 2011… feels more uncertain than I can remember feeling at the start of a year. Even when Kay and I packed up and drove from AZ to MA five years ago, I felt like I had a better grasp of what to expect than I do now. I hate feeling like that, and it’s what’s making me ambivalent about 2011. I’m hoping that over the next few weeks some things will get sorted out and at the very least I’ll have a better idea of what to expect, or at least plan for. In the meantime, freaking out will continue until morale improves.

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
– Walt Disney

Don’t plan the plan if you can’t follow through

First: Vote! If you’re in the U.S., go out and cast your vote. Every single one matters – especially yours!

The past month has been insanely busy, though there have been odd moments of calm. The last few days of October (the 27th through the 30th), most of my time was spent reading submissions (more on what submissions below), because I actually couldn’t do anything with other projects – they were either done, or I was waiting for some info or something. I had a few mild panic attacks during those few days when I realized I’d done nothing but read for a while and thought “OMGIshouldbedoing… oh no. Wait.”

Most projects are progressing nicely, though. The Kickstarter for A Festival of Skeletons ended with $538 (the goal was $300). One $38 pledge failed, but that’s still 167% of the goal, so not bad. I admit I was a bit disappointed by the number of preorders, but we worked hard to push them – there’s only so much we can do. We’ll see if we can create a nice release day (12/1). Crossed Genres Year Two is set, and yesterday we got in copies of it for review; I’m currently contacting reviewers about it. Yesterday we also got in 100 postcards of the cover of Festival, which look pretty nice! (Postcards were a reward for various levels of the Kickstarter.) We’ve never ordered postcards before so we didn’t know what to expect in terms of quality. But we’re pretty happy.

As you may have read about on the CG blog, there are some big changes coming to CG, the way it’s structured and such. Most of that is being spearheaded by Jaym & Natania, who are taking our encouragement to “Make CG your own” very seriously! 😉 But Kay and I have discussed all the changes with them ahead of time and we agree that it’s all good stuff. Some of it’s even things that we’ve considered in the past but never had time or impetus to implement.

It is REALLY weird that right now, I’m not frantically reading through CG submissions so that Kay and I can argue over decide which stories to choose. I’ve got plenty to work on, but this point of every month for the past two years has ALWAYS included tons of short story reading, usually in a rush to get through them all. It feels very strange, and I want to panic that itwon’tgetdoneARGH! except that I just talked to Natania a second ago and they’re totally on top of it.

Fortunately I have other short stories to read, for another project I’m working on! I’m not going to talk about it too much ATM, though I’ve mentioned it here before. But I will say: holy DAMN did I hit the jackpot. These were invitation-only submissions, and I invited people who I already know are talented writers. The result is probably the best overall quality from a pool of submissions that I’ve ever seen. Not to dis our previous submitters (a lot of the people I invited are people we’ve previously published, in fact), but with open submissions you get everything from great, can’t-put-it-down stories to stuff so bad you don’t get through the first page. And that’s every month. But when inviting people whose work you’re already familiar with, you don’t get those terrible dud stories. I’m about 3/4 of the way through my first reads, and I haven’t seen a real dud yet. Some appeal to me more than others, but that’s just because of my preferences. Overall the quality is truly exceptional. It’ll probably be harder than ever before to narrow down my selections. (Note: Editors do not consider this a bad problem to have.)

It’s November, which means: It’s NaNoWriMo time!!! I haven’t invested much in NaNo for a while – after Kay and I each won in 2006 & 2007, we didn’t finish in 2008 and didn’t even sign up in 2009 – we had other priorities, what with CG growing and Baz getting bigger and such. But this year, we’re sort of half-attempting it. We’re not putting a lot of pressure on ourselves, so odds are we won’t come close to the 50,000 word goal. But really, all we’re looking for is to feed off the collective motivations of all them NaNo-ers. Last night I wrote about 670 words in the 45 minutes before bed – not too bad, considering I didn’t even know what I was going to write on when I sat down to start! we’ll just see how that all goes. I will say that it felt really good to be writing! And what I wrote was very different from the sort of thing I usually write. That was interesting.

You know the best way to NOT get used to wearing contacts? Forget to wear them for days at a time. Last night as I was getting ready for bed I realized I’d forgotten for the 3rd day in a row. *headdesk* I set an alarm on my phone to remind me, so hopefully I’ll do better from now on.

The most interesting thing about my schedule now, looking into the near future, is that while it’s still quite full, it’s not so… deadline-y. There aren’t a lot of things that require my IMMEDIATE ATTENTION!!!1! Usually I spend the first half of each month working feverishly on the new CG issue. Now? Not my problem responsibility. Most things on my list now won’t be aversely affected if I bump them back a day or two. This will take some serious getting used to. Maybe I should add a 1-month project to give myself a close deadline…

Oh, yeah – Vote!

post title from “A Man’s Gotta Do” from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

A long short weekend

My weekend was short, because there never seems to be enough time to do everything that I want to. It was long because I was irritable and unmotivated, and that makes time pass more slowly.

Short version is, I’m burned out. It’s been over two years since Kay and I started Crossed Genres, and the workload has gradually gotten heavier, not lighter. That’s mostly our own faults for adding new projects and expanding, but it doesn’t make it easier to deal with.

It’s sort of all come to a head in October. This month I have:

Issue 24: Print, ebook and online editions
Issue 24: Write editor’s letter (it’s mine and Kay’s last issue as editors)
Issue 24: Release (technically November 1)
A Festival of Skeletons: Kickstarter
AFoS: Design Kickstarter reward postcards and order them
AFoS: Finalizing various editions
Crossed Genres Year Two: finish Advance Reader Copies, order copies
Crossed Genres Year Two: arrange reviews & send out copies (runs into November)
Subversion anthology: read and select stories (runs into November)
Subversion anthology: prep “pitch” for publishers
Subversion anthology: Select/contact cover artist and discuss terms
Science in My Fiction: Edit short story to be published on 10/25
Broken Slate: post new chapters (2x in Oct.)
CG Turnover: Work with Jaym and Natania on arranging the turnover of the magazine

This is in addition to publicity/promotion and all the fiddly little things that I don’t think about until I have to do them.

So this weekend involved just massive amounts of reading, as much prep as I can do on various things without completed content, etc. etc. Meanwhile Kay is sick, Baz has it a little (here’s hoping he fights it off)… it was a very frustrating weekend. Meanwhile, the success of Rigor Amortis (GO Jaym & Erika! WOO! And Kay has 2 stories in there too!) pretty much killed any potential attention that the A Festival of Skeletons Kickstarter might have gotten, so we’re currently early on the 4th day and haven’t gotten a single solitary pledge, not even $1.

Basically, I need a break. I need a (hopefully extended) period of time in which my CG responsibilities are minimized as much as possible.

Fortunately, starting in November/December there are a number of things that drop away and I’ve got a lot fewer things on my plate. Looking forward to 2011 there are a number of projects but not anything like 2010. And I intend to keep it that way.

I’m going to use that freed up time for myself. Mostly writing. I’ve said recently that I wanted to get back to writing more, and this is a good time/way to do it. Kay has similar desires, so we’re going to do NaNoWriMo next month. We’re NOT going to be crazy-obsessed with hitting the 50,000-word goal… this is more of a getting-back-into-writing exercise using NaNo as a handy excuse. We’re not going to kill ourselves to hit 1,667 words per day – we’re just going to have fun with it and see how far we get. (I have absolutely no idea what I’ll be writing, but I’ll figure something out.) I’m hoping it will give me momentum that will carry into December, when I have even less on my plate and could really take advantage of it.

So… yeah. Sorry if I was a bit short with you over the weekend. I need some free time. And I’m going to make damn sure I get it.

We are the magic makers. And we are the dreamers of dreams.

(I watched the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Baz today. He enjoyed it. I still appreciate the genius of Gene Wilder. Still don’t like the “You stole Fizzy Lifting Drink” crap, though.)

During the past week Kay and i have had some good conversations with Jaym and Natania about their taking over the Crossed Genres magazine. I’ve been feeling paranoid from the beginning, mainly because CG is our 2nd baby and it’s led to a world of friendships, colleagues, respect, passion and motivation I never expected. But I’m gradually getting more at ease with the idea, in no small part thanks to seeing that we’re putting it into competent and enthusiastic hands.

This has caused me to start thinking about what my schedule will look like once CG is removed from it. Of course I’ll still have fiction editing for SiMF (and the occasional post); my share of publishing A Festival of Skeletons, Crossed Genres Year Two and Broken Slate; editing the Subversion anthology I’m in the process of putting together, and finding a publisher for it; and various other recurring projects next year. But there will be time that I wasn’t expecting to have, probably starting around December/January, and I intend to use it for writing.

I have so many ideas that have been put on hold in various stages of development. I’ve really enjoyed discovering my talent for (and love of) being an editor/publisher, but I’m really starting to miss writing, a lot. I’m only about 5-6 years removed from when I was writing 250,000-300,000 words per year, and while I don’t expect to reach that level again (consistently, anyway), I enjoy writing and want to get back to it.

Of course, first I have to survive October/November, which may end up being, quite literally, the busiest time in my life. It’s going to be very exciting – We’ve got the preorder/Kickstarter drive for Festival, and then the official release (okay that’s technically December 1); the building and release of our oversized Characters of Color issue of CG; the first couple months of SiMF fiction; ; finalizing CGY2 and getting ARCs to reviewers; hunting a cover artist and selecting stories for my Subversion antho (and then start editing it); and transitioning things into Jaym & Natania’s hands. Amongst other things. But my days are going to be absolutely PACKED.

Part of me just wants to run for the hills. But then I wouldn’t be around to see all those amazing things come to fruition, so fuck that noise. Besides, for all the insanely hard work and constant state of low-grade panic (sometimes not so low-grade), I’m having so much damn fun with it all.

And that spare time that I’m anticipating for writing? Kay’s been talking about a project of hers that’s even got me excited for her. And I have a lot more ideas of how to fill up that time for myself.

Someone stop me before I over-commit again!

No, it’s not street legal but it gets me where I wanna go

First, yay me! My short story “Flip the Switch” was published in issue #19 of M-Brane SF! You can download the issue as a PDF for free here.

On Saturday Baz was invited to a friend’s birthday party. We got in the car to go to the party and discovered that we had a flat tire. So we put on the spare and went to the party. I tried to get the tire dealt with yesterday, but a lot of places were closed and the one I got to that was open wanted $95 plus tax for one tire. Maybe I’m just out of the tire-pricing loop, but that seems really high. Anyway I’m going to try again today after work.

The party was pretty fun. Baz’s friend Luke’s parents rented this place Together in Motion for it. There’s a big room with padding all over the floor, and padded climbing blocks, balls, etc. There were about 6-9 kids there, all just climbing over the blocks, throwing balls, having fun. Then in another area there was pizza, cake, etc. Baz had a blast, and was exhausted by the end of it.

Lots of fun CG-related developments over the weekend:

  • Got the final cover art in for the eventual release of A Festival of Skeletons. It’s brilliant! I crack up every time I see it. It perfectly captures the feel of the story.
  • Speaking of Festival, Kay and the author finished the final edits! I’m now working on formatting, proofing, etc. It should be ready for reviewers within a few weeks!
  • We’re reading submissions to the Bildungsroman issue now. Hard to believe, but starting next month we’ll be accepting submissions to our big double-sized issue 24: Characters of Color. The end of our second year of issues is in sight! *passes out*

Oh, and Kay’s vampiric butterflies article has surpassed 45,000 readers. Despite coming out a week ago, it’s still gotten a couple thousand new readers so far today. Unreal.


Post title from “My Chariot” from the tv show “Phineas & Ferb”