July 22, 2014

To the word mines!

The word mines might look like this.

It's week five of Clarion West, which means it's week five of the Write-a-thon too. There's still time to sponsor me!

I might actually meet my writing goals for the write-a-thon this year, for the first time. Mostly this is due to setting more realistic goals, but I've also been productive in the word department. The first of the two stories I promised myself (and the world) I would write clocked in at almost 11,000 words. Which of course means it will be impossible to sell--but that comes later.

Today I start on the second one, and honestly I suspect it will be on the long side too. Hopefully not AS long. Want to cheer me on and also receive a 100-word story on a postcard? Support Clarion West by sponsoring me!

July 01, 2014

Write-a-thon again?

So apparently an update every three months is all I can manage this year. Oh well. I'll console myself by pretending that while I'm not blogging I'm doing More Important Things.

Here is one thing that's actually important: it's Clarion West season again! A new crop of 18 up-and-coming SF writers have taken residence in their "secret" location in Seattle, and are now one week closer to earning their SF decoder rings.

My corroded decoder ring.

It's an emotional time for me. It's been five years since I went to CW, and my decoder ring has lost its shine. Literally. It was made of some cheap metal and it's rusted now. It used to light up, but I guess its battery has died. Which is 100% NOT to say that CW is a cheap experience or that it doesn't hold up. One has only to look at the successes of some of my classmates (most notably J. M. Sidorova and Randy Henderson--seriously, look out for these two writers) to know that the workshop knows what it's doing.

So maybe some of us (me) haven't succeeded as much as we'd hoped to by now. And maybe some of us like to get inappropriately morose about it at public events. I won't name any names. That's really not my point. (Do I have a point? Where did that thing go?)

My point is that I am once again supporting the workshop by participating in the Write-a-thon! You should sponsor me. You'll be helping a terrific organization, and I'll send you a postcard too.

Enough of that. Let's focus on the positive:

• I have a four-week break coming up from the dayjob that has been my major excuse for not writing like I should. Hoo f-ing rah!

• In the first week of the Write-a-thon I've written about 1000 words of a new story. More importantly, I've written before work every day this week (though clearly not too productively).

• After Death WON the Bram Stoker Award it was nominated for! Congratulations, editor Eric J. Guignard, and thank you for including my story in your award-winning book. That feels nice.

• I've signed the contract and been paid and reviewed galleys, so this feels secure enough to announce: My story, "Diary of a Pod Person," will appear in the October issue of Asimov's! This is pretty huge for me. Asimov's is the sort of market that I figured I would never be "SF" enough for. And my story that's in it isn't exactly the hardest SF in the world. But it's in, and that feels like some kind of acceptance.

• A couple more stories are loose in the world; more on those later.

March 09, 2014

News and things

Hello, neglected blog!

I've been busy so far this year with my new job as Editor of a weekly newspaper. As it turns out that is a lot of work, and it's also taught me some things about being a needy writer type that are probably good for me to remember. In super brief: assume there's no problem if you don't hear from an editor! She's much more likely to find time to contact you if something's wrong than if all is well. If you'd like to check out the paper, which is a niche publication for the Norwegian American community, visit blog.norway.com.

But, in actual writing news:

• I'm involved in a project called That Ain't Right: Historical Accounts from the Miskatonic Valley. It has a kickstarter that ends in six days, and even though it's already funded (woo!) there's still time to unlock reward tiers and cool stuff.

After Death, an anthology containing my story "Final Testament of a Weapons Engineer," has been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award! This is absolutely in no part due to my story, but it's still fun to be connected to a project receiving that kind of recognition.

• I still haven't signed the contract on this last one, so no details yet, but I sold a story to one of the major SF markets. Whee!

January 02, 2014

This year in narcissism

It feels impossible not to mark each year with a roundup post. The compulsion is too strong! I cannot resist!

2013 saw the sale of four stories, two of which were solicited. That feels really nice, even if the markets soliciting my work aren't the highest paying or most prestigious. Those two haven't come out yet; I'll let you know when they do. The other sales were both to pro markets, Daily Science Fiction and Clarkesworld, and they make pro sales number two and three. This marker is semi-arbitrary but it still meant something to me to hit it. One more and I can officially give up on winning Writers of the Future.

About a year ago, thinking the intervening time would be less chaotic than it turned out to be (ha!), I applied to Taos Toolbox. So I went to that this summer, at what ended up being the worst possible time. I was unprepared and not in the right headspace to take advantage of the workshop, and my feelings on it are mixed. Other writing-related adventures included Norwescon and Rainforest Writers' Retreat. None are planned for this year yet, but I'll probably hit Norwescon again, and maybe another con. Who can say?

On the plus side: we did see a bear.

One of the unambiguous positives of Taos was going back to New Mexico. I wish I'd had more time to spend in Santa Fe, but it was a welcome reminder of the bizarre place I lived for a year. Other places visited this year include Alaska, my 42nd state, and Cuba, my 14th country. No big travel plans yet for this year, but I've got a few ideas kicking around.

Summer's chaos was caused by another big change: buying a house and moving into it. This year's project will be renovating the house, Cthulhu willing. Husband needs a garage, and we could both use a little more space.

And, the final piece of big news is that I start the new year with a new job, as the Managing Editor of the Norwegian American Weekly. Tomorrow is my first day, and I'm pretty excited about it. But instead of speculating now about what this will mean I'll just wait and see.