Ooooh! Aaaaah! Pretty spiff-looking, no?
So yeah, I disappear for a month at a time and then I just waltz back into your life, no “hi, how ya doin’” no “I love you and missed you,” not even an explanation for where I’ve been, just shillin’ my filthy wares all across the internet. That appears to be how I roll. But okay, a brief where-I’ve-been: China for awhile, which was awesome. More on that to come. Then back here, to the law mines, desperately trying to catch up on mountains of work before I returned to feed the LJ monster. I grant that took a little more time than I expected, but I am back in full force now. I doubt I’ll be able to catch up on all the great LJ I’ve missed, though, so if you have big news that I missed, please tell me in a comment or message!
Okay, so back to the antho. For those who missed earlier discussion, Satirica is an anthology that looks to examine social problems and realities in our society through a satirical lens (but in the original sense of satire, i.e, social critique, not in the “humorous” sense. My story, especially, is not very funny). It’s full of a lot of great up-and-coming authors, and a few more established names, as well.
My own work aside, I’ve really enjoyed all the stories in this and am ecstatic to be a part of it. Roy Dudgeon has done a great job putting it together, and I am forever in his debt. Each story is interesting, unique, and will hopefully go a long way toward making you think about society in general, the human condition, and the world around us. Also, it’s big: 24 stories = more bang for your buck. And who doesn’t like bang?
So there, with a bang (aforementioned good thing), I am back and promise to be a good little community-member from here on out! Coming soon-- the terror of vacation summary!
That I am a good writer.
It has come to my attention that some people I swear-to-god I friended were not, for reasons unexplained, added to my friends list. And here I thought you were just being very quiet of late. This situation has hopefully been rectified. If you are among those people, know that I and Zoidberg Jesus still love you.
That is all.
So I am now in a ponder period and it is looking increasingly unlikely that I will make my goal of completing the first draft before I go to China next month, which I am now glad that I did not blog about planning on doing. Well, I was really rolling for a little while there, everything seemed like it was going to keep moving all the way through the end of the book, when I decided that one huge plot complication I was going to throw in should instead be another, which I think vastly strengthens the plot but simultaneously was totally unexpected and brought everything to a crashing halt.
I’ve got a lot of the elements of the ending in my mind, but I’m having difficulty tying them together, so I’ve decided to resort to (just for the end, mind you) my old nemesis, outlining. I’m not sure if this is another method of procrastinating or is legitimately helpful, but so far, the outlining seems to be going well, and I’m hoping for a breakthrough soon.
Since I’m normally not an outliner, I’m curious-- you outliners, how do you do it? How much detail do you go into? Do you change your outline as you write? I don’t know if I’ll ever totally give up being a pantser, but I’d love to hear how the other half writes.
Also, a word meter:
55,939 / 70,000
So I guess maybe this is time to do a brief post on work/writing balance. Maybe this should be a solicitation… I could use the advice myself. I guess my first thought for others would be that if you really want to write professionally (i.e., building a career and making money), choose a day job that doesn’t require you to devote 150% of your time and energy. Don’t get me wrong, I love lots of my job, but it is really like working a job and a half-- you’re there most of the time, you have to be working, as in no breaks, full-mental-energy-devoted working, the entire time you’re there, and even when you aren’t there, it’s hard to not think about it. And that’s really about all I’ll say about Day Job here, btw. Hopefully that secrecy will make you think I am a spy.
My other thought is that you need to take the time you need to get things done right. And that means that sometimes writing needs to win out, and that means sometimes the Day Job or other things need to win out. The trick is to keep one from pushing other off the face of the map, particularly writing. Too many people let the stress of life be an excuse not to write, myself included. Conversely, though, you shouldn't let the drive to write add more stress to an already stressful period. I have slowly come to the realization that when I need to take time off from writing, be that because I have to focus on Day Job or just because I have to take time to actually relax every now and then, I have to allow myself to not write ahead of time and then take advantage of that off-time without feeling guilty about it. And you know what? I think doing that lets me get back to writing more easily when the time period I've given myself expires.
So I guess the question is, how do you deal with it? How do you balance the pressures of a full-time job with the pressures of getting your writing done? I hear a lot of people saying “you have to write, no matter what,” and I think that’s completely true-- that’s why I normally get up way early. But I also think it’s true that when you have a stressful job, you need to take what little time you can to relax. So where do you draw the line? How do you prioritize? I could use the advice!
I normally am not one for the memes, but when I saw the 100-book meme going around, I had to check and see where I was anyway, so I figured I might as well post it here. So like ta here we go!
The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed.
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you started but did not finish.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them
And I am adding a fourth category, as per the wise
5) List in blue the ones you've started, but not finished.
I should also add a category for books you think you might have read but have forgotten, but I'll spare you.
The very talented Aliette de Bodard had some nice things to say about my story Spamdemonium over at The Fix. She reviews the entire issue, so take a look and see what other good things are going on in there, too. The current issue of Baen's with Spamdemonium in it is still available on-line, a mere six bucks for heck of a lot of content.
I also have some great news about the anthology I mentioned earlier, but I'll save that for its own post a little later.
Finally, after some furious stops and spurts, a word count update:
36,332 / 70,000
Woo-hoo, over half-way done! Had some set backs on the way, but still pretty amazing to me, given that I had never previously written anything over 8,000 words.
- Current Location:the attic
- Current Mood: scared
- Current Music:Richard Cheese- The Sickness