October 10, 2015

Not a blogger

Hi there.

I guess it's pretty obvious that I'm not much of a blogger. I accept that.

So welcome to my author page. I am still that, more or less. I utterly failed to promote a publication I had this spring, "No Alphabet Can Spell It," which you can still find over at Buzzy Mag. I really like this story. It's a bit wacky.

I've also got a story coming out in this month's Ghost in the Cogs anthology, which is available for preorder and will be out by Halloween. This is my first attempt at steampunk, and I may have taken the title a bit too literally. I wrote it right after returning from a winter-time trip to Iceland, so that is where my story is set. Steam there is a life-saver, though not probably in the way I've used it in "Frænka Askja's Silly Old Story."

Steam in Iceland, inspiration for the story. Also, Nils Anders
Wik, mascot of the Norwegian American Weekly.

I'm back to fiction a bit, writing lately about sharks and invisible teenagers.

When I'm not writing fiction it's usually because my life as Editor of the Norwegian American Weekly has consumed my life. For example, I've just returned from my first business trip (ever, maybe), to glorious Minot, ND, to sell newspapers at Norsk Høstfest. It was moderately successful. If you're interested in Norway (and who isn't, to some degree?), check us out. NAW is also a market for fiction, so some of you should send Norway-related any-genre English-language fiction of 1500 words or fewer to fiction@na-weekly.com.

That's all for now! I will try to pop in from time to time to update things like publications, but no promises. Know that I love you, dear website visitors, even while I'm away.

April 05, 2015

What is work/life balance?

Can I tell you a story, hypothetical blog readers? This is the story of my year so far.

January was shaping up all right. My traveling companions and I had planned a trip to Iceland, and that was truly a wonderful week. I owe you many postcards, which you may or may not get to see. Iceland in January turns out to be a marvelous land of fire and ice, with daylight made entirely of sunrise/set glow and steaming hot baths to warm up in everywhere. We even saw a volcano!

Amazing, right?
One of the amazing things about the trip was that I managed to do it at all. You see, the previous year had been largely about learning how to work a full time dayjob, as the Editor-in-chief of the Norwegian American Weekly. This was my first time taking a whole week off, and it went beautifully! I essentially did four weeks of work in three, leaving just a little for my more-than-capable assistant to finish in my absence. The Monday after our trip was press day, and it was one of the easiest ones ever. It was like I finally had this newspaper editor thing under control.

That Monday I had a very welcome, mild jetlag that woke me early feeling terrific. It felt like New Year's Day--without the hangover. I started writing again. I set goals. I got shit done. Life was going to be good.

That Wednesday, in what I thought was going to be a routine staff meeting, my work life collapsed. The publisher of the newspaper told me that the issue I was already working on would be our last.

A few days later he changed his mind and had us put out more issues, which was a relief in the sense that I was maybe not losing my job--oh, and that 125 years of publishing history wasn't being flushed down the toilet--but it was also a lot of work. I wasn't writing in the mornings anymore; I was weeping ugly stress tears.

Two months later, it now looks like we'll be okay. I feel like I'm starting to crawl out of the hole that chaos dropped me into. Somehow I've managed to write one story. I was kind of a bad writer and sent it virtually un-edited to the anthology I wrote it for, because I just couldn't manage to write it in time to get feedback. Other writers take note: never do this. I will be shocked if they accept the story (but at least it's drafted, right? sometimes even a missed deadline is useful).

We are running an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for the newspaper.
If you'd like to donate, please visit
www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-the-norwegian-american-weekly.