What does everybody who was previously a good blogger do when they return to their blog? Well, first they apologize about being busy, and then they point out how addictive Twitter apparently is, and then they promise to blog regularly from now on.
Sorry for not being around, it’s been super-busy. I’ve been writing a lot — or trying to, I’m not so good at motivations and getting moving, sadly — and Zach could keep anyone frantic. Plus, Twitter’s really addictive! Actually, it’s not that it’s addictive, it’s just much easier to type 140 characters through the App on my phone than it is to type out a blog post. I could actually do both from my phone pretty easily. I promise to blog more regularly from now on.
There we go.
Let’s see. I have a new story appearing, in October, in Reflection’s Edge magazine. That makes me happy for a couple of reasons. First, because the story they’ve bought is one that nobody particularly liked and wish I had become unhappy with, over the years (I think it’s only been sent out once before). And second, because Reflection’s Edge, as a magazine, really blew me away. They publish some amazing fiction and non-fiction. And I realize that probably sounds a bit dodgy coming from me, since I’ve got a story forthcoming…but I was saying that happily to people even before the editor, Sharon Dodge, bought anything at all from me.
Some markets, I sell to because I want the paycheck. Some markets, I sell to for the sheer pleasure of the market. Dunesteef Audio Magazine is one of those, and so is Reflection’s Edge.
Well, I’m writing a novel with a wonderful old friend of mine (that means she’s a long-time friend of mine, not that she’s an elderly person with whom I am friends). Sarah Berling. Wonderful writer. It’s been very interesting, working out the novel we’re doing together. It is, in parts, an old idea of mine. Mostly, it’s all new stuff we’ve come up with.
What’s been interesting is, so much of the useful stuff we’ve been doing to flesh out the novel is all stuff that I used to do before working on a longer piece, but have forgotten. The past three years or so, it’s felt like I’ve forgotten everything and have been physically piecing together my ability to write again. Like being a marathon runner and then one day, you wake up and can’t remember how to make those long dangling things walk, let alone run. And you have to learn everything all over. The fleshing out of characters and discussion of plots and themes and emotions and ideas and things we want to do and all of that…I used to do all of that, more or less constantly, in notebooks. So it’s very interesting to do that with Sarah and remember doing it myself. I’ll definitely have to try it with my next novel that I write all-by-myself, see if it helps.
In “Save Us,” the novel I’m writing now, I’m into Chapter 3. It’s still moving apace. That one has taught me something interesting too. I sat down, ages back, and I outlined every chapter and what happens in them, on index cards. Mostly, as an exercise. I really don’t like outlining or plotting, as a rule, but it’s been amazingly useful. For one thing, it means that I don’t have to worry about the plot, which means I can spend my time having fun with the characters and the world, making up things to put on their coffee mugs, and all that. The plot is dealt with. I really like that aspect of it.
Whether or not I do it with the next novel, who knows. As Gene Wolfe once said, “You don’t learn to write The Novel, you just learn to write the novel you’re on.”
What else, Pete? What else?
I am drinking a Pur-Erh tea right now. It’s delicious.
Zach is learning lots of words, and is afraid of the dark, when he remembers.
Baily, who has been losing weight and who we’ve sort of been fighting to keep alive this year (we had this same problem last year, early summer. It’s baffling) is eating again. He hasn’t gained weight, but his fur looks better and his jaundice is going away. Still worrying. This is a cat who was a sleek, healthy 15 pounds (they’re all large cats). 15 pounds of all muscle. He’s a fairly gaunt 7.5 pounds now. That’s troubling. But it seems to be inching up, not down, so I have hope.
I need to do a post on books I’m reading. I want to start reviewing some books here. I review books for SFSignal.com , as you probably know, but a lot of what I read just isn’t science fiction or fantasy, so I could be reviewing them here easily enough. I think I shall.
Since, as seen above, I have promised to blog more. And you trust me, dontcha? Dontcha? Well?
Oh ye of little faith.