Wednesday, May 31

Current Mood: Bizzy Bee Buzzing

Reading: Perdido Street Station, China Mieville

Listening to: Julieta Venegas

Projects: The River's Tale (workingly untitled) Look for it when you get back from Wiscon, kids!

I have to say I'm currently a bit bummed that I am not going to Wiscon with the rest of my Clarion West Class (seriously...I'm no good with math but with only six of us not going out of a group of 18 that's pretty remarkable for one CW class, or so I've been told) The neatest part is that those going have actually organized a reading for our classmates.


Wish I could be there more than anything to be at that reading. It does seem kind of miraculous that we've stayed in such close contact since CW -- dunno if that happens for everyone but

(uh oh, I feel some advice for future Clarionites coming on...)

Having a group of people that you know well and know your writing well through an intensive workshop like this is such a huge boon to your work, even beyond the workshop itself. It really pays to be on good terms with as many people as possible and stay connected -- not only for future critiques -- but for market advice, story ideas, general encouragement and companionship on this crazy road to becoming a published author.

This group has taught me (often through example)
  • not to be afraid of rejection
  • how to submit relentlessly
  • discipline!
  • how exciting and fun it can be to finally get published (and in places like F&SF, among others!)
I might have come on these lessons on my own at some point -- or quit writing out of frustration -- but knowing you're not alone going through this can save you years of therapy.

Okay, seriously, writing is a lonely business. Anything we can do along the way to make it less so is worth the effort.

'Nuff said.


Monday, May 15


Damn. Mareskin back in remarkable turnaround from favorite editor. Cat loved parsnip coverletter, story was much improved. ALAS (can I tell you how much I hate that word at this moment?) it did not "catch" said editor. He did express the hope that it finds the right home. Which is good news. At least he didn't say, "burn this pile of trash ASAP, you suck!"

That would be bad.

There is a reason he's my favorite editor. I just can't remember why right now.

Oh yeah, cause he has one of the best fantasy mags in the genre. And I want to be in it. Back to the drawing board.

MareSkin goes out again this afternoon.

Did I mention I really, really like the title now.

Cause I do. Finally. (Thank baby jezus.)


Saturday, May 13

Reading: Snow Crash

Alright alright I suck. Officially.

People have been pushing Snowcrash at me for the last 5 years and I have been turning it down again and again. Not exactly turning it down -- I mean, I'll read pretty much anything -- just shuffling it to the bottom of the pile or loaning it out to other people. I mean, it was most recently displaced for Jared Diamond's Collapse: Why societies choose to fail or succeed. Which was fascinating...but damn near a snoozer in the excitement department. See I really like cyber (though I hesitate to add the punk now because it's become so mainstream) but here's the rub:

I'm a Gibson in William not the silly dolls...and until this moment my main line was what the hell can Stephenson do better?

Actually. A lot. No offence Mr Gibson, but damn, sometimes I have no idea where you're going till you get there. It's a good thing I love your characters (Molly Millions), plot (when it's finally revealed), writing style, worldbuilding and cinematic endings.

So this time I loaned my copy to a friend and it was destroyed during the reading. He bought me a brand new copy (mine was second hand) and I felt obligated to actually read the thing.

I have to say, having read a few shorter pieces by Stephenson and some of his commentary (which I do not entirely agree with but respect his POV) I am now triply impressed with all of the above qualities which he has in abundance, and I love being able to see out the window along the ride there. And I think Stephenson deals with race/ethnicity in the future much better than Gibson. He just handles it like he's more at home in the complexities. Not like he's trying to keep everybody happy.

Damn. Plus anybody who can get away with calling his main character Hiro Protaganist and not make me throw the book against the wall. Yeah, you are the man.

For those of you who have been living under a rock (like me) and have not read Snow Crash...DO IT. Now.

Hiro Protagonist is a half black/half Asian samurai pizza delivery guy hacker. Y.T. ("Whitey" LOL!) is a smart mouthed chick skateboarding mail courier (it's worth reading alone for a whole new definition of the word "poon") living in a corporate mesh of an almost entirely privatized US. An ancient virus has been released in the Metaverse (think Matrix meets Tron) and Hiro and Y.T may be the only ones that can stop it.

Throw in a kayaking Aleut with a hydrogen bomb attached to his head; ancient Sumerian legends; some of the best speculating on language and the human brain I've ever read; and some fucking awesome near future spec (which is actually a little bit scary considering how close it feels to what life might be like say 5-10 years from now...Maybe less) and I'm yours. I will be pushing this book on people for years to come.

Thank you, Mr Stephenson. Thank you.

That is all.


Friday, May 5

Vote on a Card!

So Eto told me, business cards are a very personal thing...but goddess knows I can't even make up my mind most days on a pair of shoes, a boy or a title for my next story. I need all the help I can get.

Here are my top three picks:

Any thoughts? Use the comments and holla back!

Wednesday, May 3

New Job, New Cards! much, so little time.

Life has begun to speed up toward the inevitable seperation from the same old same old and reach for the new. It's hard to believe I'm packing up my life again, but somehow this time it feels different and I'm finding myself excited saying good bye to non-essential stuff for the next few months of my life. My days are filled with the fun exciting stuff that comes with taking a "leave of absence" (getting a PO Box and a storage unit, making arrangements to have my apartment and carpets cleaned, etc) I'm just excited to have the chance to really focus again on writing. I feel like I'm going to CW all over again. Granted, my schedule will probably be 3-6 days on the river at a time with minimal writing (notes, outlines, scene sketches) but there will be up to a week in between trips where I'm idling and will have time to chunk in some serious writing time.

It suits my writing style - while I recognize it's important to do at least a little bit every day to develop discipline - when I'm working on a new project, I like to put down lumps all at once over a few days, rather than parse out story a few pages a day. It helps me keep the story in order and not loose track of where I'm going from session to session. It's one more reason I really love NaNo. I save the few pages a day discipline thing for editing, to keep me from getting so "into" story I forget to use the red pen.

The goal for me over the next few months will really be to focus on finishing a few projects I've started - hence revisiting last years NaNoWriMo for the CW "Write a thon" I have a horrible habit of starting things (books, stories...) and then letting them collect dust. This summer I will finish and prep for first reads. Or else. Other writing updates:
  • "Mareskin," is out to the cover letter eating editor's cat.
  • No news on "Strange" it's officially been out about 40 days according to Sonar.
  • Envelopes addressed to the next few editors are ready for both Strange and Mareskin.
  • I got a bead on the second Strange Story... working title "The Sturgeon Wife."
Eto, the business woman extraoirdinare, has put me in touch with some possible freelance work to keep gas in my car over the next few months until I start pulling down a check for this river guide gig. She's got me ordering business cards (they say "writer" how cool is that!) and figuring out how to market myself for business types that need writer types to make themselves sound like real people. I've actually heard from several people it's a good idea to have cards handy (I have ones for my job now but never hand them out except at conference) I've have been slacking on putting in an order for personal cards. Vista Prints actually gives you 250 free cards (well free plus a miniscule processing and shipping fee) so I think I'm gonna order there. The selection is a bit limited designwise, but I just need something simple with my name and contact info on it. Plus I'm already having a hard time making up my damn mind about which one to go with. Such a Gemini!

Oh, fun interactive idea: I'll post a few of the final selections and you can vote.

Once again it occurs that it's time to thank my lucky stars for the amazing people in my life who are determined to see me successful (even if they have to kick my butt every step of the way) and for the opportunities to follow my passion, and still earn some semblance of a paycheck. So here it is, one resounding "Hell yeah! Thank ya!"

Now if only gas would drop below $3.45 a gallon. (Okay I know that's going too far)