Let me keep the coals hot here with a quick monthly update…
- More travel. Oh god the travel. But it was fun! I ate 5 thanksgiving dinners! And now I’m back.
- Novel revisions coming along, a little behind schedule, currently hope to be done by the year’s end.
- May be shifting up my convention plans for 2017. Jumping toward the Nebulas, which may mean skipping Capricon. Still aiming for Worldcon but don’t know enough about my summer schedule.
- I wrote and submitted a nonfiction article to a major market! They accepted the concept pitch, but we’ll see about the article itself. “The Evolved Brain” is based on the second half of the talk I gave to the Viable Paradise Reunion in October.
Brief post this month, because I’m in the middle of a 2-week academic conference travel loop.
- Attended the Viable Paradise 20th reunion, and gave a neuroscience talk on how to understand the brain. For the countless among you who missed it, fear not: I’m working on adapting my talk into a nonfiction article for various publications!
- Finished up a new short story, “The Hammer’s Prayer.” It’s in the second-draft stage, will need some more thought & revision before it’ll be ready for launch.
- Sold my first reprint, of a short story that didn’t get spread far on its first sale!
- Continuing apace with second-draft revisions of the novel. May not hit my December 1 self-imposed deadline, but I won’t be too far behind it.
- Thus, instead of doing NaNoWriMo, I’m doing NaNoFiReMo. (That’s “Finish Revising.” Or “fire,” as needed.) But no promises since I have multiple end-of-November deadlines.
- Current short story status: 11 submissions circulating, 3 of them shortlisted.
September was busy! September continues to be busy! (What do you mean it’s not September anymore?) Monthly update all quicky-like:
- My short story Shiplight came out at Metaphorosis!
- The text version of Sweeter than Lead (previously audio-only) went up on Podcastle!
- First draft of new short story! So far, pretty terrible!
- Novel revision status: behind schedule, but progressing! I’ve solved all the big structural problems, now I just need to implement it all.
- I attended a Social & Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology conference. Super-amazing!
- Spent today at Archon! Had my first public reading, and I was on a bunch of fun panels. Got to play the expert for a little while, and meet a bunch of excellent people.
October will include 3 weeks of travel (2 for work, 1 to visit family). Hopefully I can get a lot of revisions done meanwhile!
How was your July? Was it amazing? Mine was!
- My story “Sweeter than Lead” came out at PodCastle. Neo-Lovecraftian dark fantasy about addiction, succession and malevolent timelines!
- My story “The Time Cookie Wars” came out at Flash Fiction Online. Black comedy about time travel and delicious cookies!
- I finished the first draft of the Conquistador Dragon novel: 106,000 words of Age of Exploration epic fantasy, now titled The Cannon and the Coin!
- I got my Worldcon panel schedule!
- I attended Mary Robinette Kowal‘s short story intensive workshop. Folks this class is fantastic. My favorite parts were the tools for expanding ideas into stories at turbo speed, and especially the methods for plot structuring. And in the process I wrote up the openings to two super exciting new stories.
I think that’s it? It sure feels like enough! This coming month will bring yet more of the joyful chaos. Two weeks until Worldcon! And after that, only one week until my wife returns from Mars!
That’s it. After 19 weeks and 106,000 words, the first draft of the Conquistador Dragon Novel is finished. Its working title is now “The Cannon and the Coin,” an epic fantasy about faith, globalization, and the Age of Exploration.
Tonight, the Untitled Conquistador Dragon Novel passed 100,000 words.
It’s long enough to be a proper novel. A big milestone, but not quite the end. It needs another 2.25 scenes, probably 5-10k more words.
Holy crap. I’ve been working on my first novel draft since mid-March, and it’s going to be finished by the middle of next week.
Heyyyy, it’s monthly update time! Everyone’s favorite time.
Maybe someone’s favorite time?
Either way, it’s been a good month! Chock-full of exclamation points:
- My story “The First Confirmed Case of Non-Corporeal Recursion: Patient Anita R.” came out in Strange Horizons! I’m super proud of this one!
- I sold two stories! “The Time Cookie Wars” to Flash Fiction Online, and “Shiplight” to Metaphorosis.
- I returned to the Fourth Street Fantasy convention. I got to speak on a panel! I learned tons of things (including 45 specific action items for my novel)! I got to talk to lots of amazing people!
- I revised 2 short stories, and drafted one new piece of flash!
- The novel is on track! Currently at 76,000 words, and I’m hoping to finish the first draft at the end of July, if it doesn’t end up running long.
Hey! It’s another month! Where did it go?
- It went into 20k more words on my novel, bringing me slightly above my 50k target. Should I be done with Act 2 (of five) by now? This may go on longer than planned, but that’s fine, it’s epic fantasy. I’m aiming for 25k next month, since I have no more business trips and am done with:
- Rewriting and finishing a new short story that I loooove. It’s currently up for judging in an anonymized contest, so I can’t say anything about it yet.
- I got a revise & resubmit on one of my old stories! Would be nice to send this out; part of it feels like “me two years ago” but some parts I still really love. Will dig into rewrites next week.
- I’ve been working my way through Dr. Who; a few months ago I’d never seen a single episode of the modern series. But my wife has seen ’em, and I need to be in on the conversation! I usually don’t watch TV-type stuff (the life of a scientist+writer), but if I watch an episode on the exercise bike, it keeps me pedaling for 40 minutes! I’m now halfway into Season 5 (the first Matt Smith season); enjoying his new take on the doctor just fine, but the writing seems a lot sloppier.
- Got some neat convention-related news that I can’t share yet! I AM A TEASE.
I’m so excited for June. St. Louis may get hot, but there’s Fourth Street Fantasy on the 17th! My ghost story coming out on the 6th! So much awesome stuff to write! And less than 3 months until my wife returns from Mars!
Today’s monthly update brought to you by the letter Coffee and the number 5:
5) Novel progress: on schedule, despite two weekends traveling! As of last night, the #cdnovel is just under 30k words.
4) Got an expected publication date for my next Strange Horizons story: June 6.
3) Loving my current short story. Can’t give you any details because it’s for an anonymized contest, but the project has me very excited (if slightly distracted from my novel).
2) I conjured a flash story from scratch to submission: a bit of black humor called The Time Cookie Wars. Because some days, snacktime destroys the multiverse.
1) This weekend I’m finally going to send something out to my mailing list. Sign up on the right if you want to hear publication announcements, exclusive content, and possible cat pictures!
So, in that March monthly update the other day, I concluded with a mention of some good news that’s not yet ready for release. Tease time is over, and I am superthrilled to announce that I have sold another story to the illustrious Strange Horizons!
“The First Confirmed Case of Non-Corporeal Recursion: Patient Anita R.” (aka the Scientist Ghost story) is a story about what it’s like to be the ghost who’s eternally repeating the moment of their death.
It’s the most challenging story I’ve ever written, and as a result of that battle, it’s one of my best for sure. I can’t wait to share it with all of you, and I’ll announce all over the place (especially twitter and mailing list) when I have a date & a release!