Works in Progress

January is almost over, and while I have gotten to a point where I loath writing for the blog, the last entry was the one where I noted that my cat died. It’s probably time for us all to move on past that, especially since New Cat has already adopted a movement pattern in the house that presages me heading for the writing couch. He always gets there first and is flopped RIGHT where I’m going to sit. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I did my third Clarion West One-Day Workshop for a gaggle of attentive folks. They listened, they asked questions, and I didn’t spend too long making them watch the opening to John Boorman’s Point Blank. I’ll be back for another workshop in May. This time around, Greg Bear will be co-teaching with me. It’s called “Equine and Canine Paradoxes:...

Eulogy for Enkidu

The trouble with giving your pet a name that has significant symbolic and mythological relevance is that you get everything that comes with the name—good and bad. And while you can be clever and ha ha ha! laugh some of it off for awhile, eventually, everything comes full circle. Let’s start at the end, and work our way back around. Last night, Enkidu—Ghost Cat, Ole Squinty, Hook Fang, or any of the dozen other names I’ve saddled him with over the years—wandered out into the yard, flopped down on the wet grass, and spent his last hour breathing the night air and listening to the river and the wind. The cat years had caught up with him in the last month or two, and the recent move disrupted him more than either of us thought it would. Over the last few days, he...

The Sunday Morning Post

My pal Adam Rakunas has just moved, bought a house, laments the lack of time to write, and still manages to kick out an entertaining and educational newsletter. I am not jealous of my friends’ ability to get shit done, but if I were, Adam would be at the top of the list right now. And no, I’m not writing this because I’m feeling guilty on this even more lazy than normal rainy first of November post-Daylight Savings Time time change Sunday morning. Not at all. But you can thank Adam, regardless. And go buy a copy of his first novel Windswept, which I said nice things about but they weren’t nice enough to make it on the Amazon product page and which I can’t be bothered to go track down and cut-and-paste here. Remember when I said “more lazy than normal yada yada...

June Metrics

June Metrics

Let’s get right to the numbers for June. Total words: 41,250 Average per day: 1,331 Completed: one short story, one non-fiction book “All for One,” one of the stories I wrote last month, has officially sold. It’ll be in Ragnarok Publishing’s MECH anthology later this year. They’ll be Kickstarting it in the fall, and I’m delighted to be part of one of their anthologies. They make massive tomes with lots of extra goodies. The short story I finished this month is out as well. I just squeaked it in by the deadline. I doubt I’ll hear anything for several months. You write them, and then forget them: that’s the way it is with short fiction. The big project for June was writing Jumpstart Your Novel, the non-fiction...

May Metrics

May Metrics

I spent Memorial Day weekend in Missoula, MT, attending MisCon, one of my favorite writer-friendly conventions. I did the Jumpstart Your Novel presentation again, and was harangued by the audience about the fact that I hadn’t turned that presentation into an actual self-help book yet. And so, I’ll be working on that this week, among other things. Now that Resurrection House has gotten itself good and launched, I can spend more time working on my own writing again. The fingers are a bit stiff still, and the brain is a little dusty, but things are starting to sort themselves out in that regard. I’ve got some goals set, and am cranking away at them. Here are some metrics for those who are interested in those sorts of things. May total words: 62,000 Average/day:...

Miscon, Out in Big Sky Country

Miscon, Out in Big Sky Country

One of the presentations I did at the Creative Ink Festival was a new iteration on the Jumpstart Your Novel dog and pony show that I’ve been doing off and on for a few years now. Since CIF, I’ve done it a handful more times for a number of 8th grade classrooms. In each instance, I’ve had about an hour to pitch this new method of approaching story, and have had a chance to refine it down to a near-science. Or at least an entertaining hour discussion. I’ll be doing it again at Miscon this year, out in Missoula next week. Though, we’ll be returning to the two-hour format where audience members are actually going to be plotting and outlining their new novels in the room with me. It’ll be fun. Really. Miscon is turning 29 this year, and it’s my second time attending....

Creative Ink Festival 2015

Creative Ink Festival 2015

Over the weekend, I had the privilege of being the Guest of Honor at Sandra Wickham’s inaugural Creative Ink Festival. Held up in Burnaby, BC, the Festival was a day-long event, packed with panels and presentations for writers, artists, and readers. I like doing panels at conventions and usually tell programming folks that I don’t mind being heavily scheduled. Most of the time, convention programming doesn’t think I mean it, but Sandra? Oh, yes, Sandra definitely took me at my word. The day started with an hour long presentation on “Jumpstarting Your Novel.” I usually do this as a two hour interactive presentation (and have done it as a full-day workshop as well), and so I was a little concerned that compressing this to an hour would turn it into sixty minutes of...