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Quickest blog entry ever today, before I miss another week from drowning in taxes. Six more weeks of this.

Broke 60k on Harvester the book! Not without fighting myself over lack of inspiration (what the hell happens next? I’ve got the larger picture, but the smaller?) and the predictable how-on-earth-did-I-think-I-could-ever-ever-ever-pull-this-off chanting in my head nearly every morning. And the entirety of every day when I think about all the short stories I’m not writing in order to get the first draft of this book done. And the ever-present nausea, which continues to be an issue even six months into this baby-carrying thing. And I miss running so much. Onward ho!

Caitlin R. Kiernan’s The Drowning Girl came out yesterday, and I read Chapter 1 last night. I’m going to try and savor this experience as best possible.

The really big news is that John’s iPhone game is out! Carl the Spider, now on the app store.

Carl

I’m playing through the game again since its official release, as the testing phase is off my phone. I’m loving the progression from beginning to more advanced levels, as well as trying to catch all the ladybugs (although I’m dreading the ice spikes in the Winterlands, which seriously give me heart palpitations). John is working on the first update, which will let the player see the tutorial any time they want/need to; I’m lucky in that I’ve learned how to play as he’s coded the game. That damned double jump is tricky, and is absolutely key to getting through the levels. Oh, and he’s got the iPad version coming up, with the art in retina mode (I think I said that right?), and a whole new level set to build – the Firelands. I’m most excited for that.

Oh, and the youtube video, in case you need any more convincing. Go on, buy it!

We’re going to bite the bullet and see John Carter this weekend. I know, I know. Could regret it. But we’ve both agreed to enjoy it for what it is. Plus, I’m going to need some fun since I’ll likely be at work a good deal of Saturday.

Adios, for now!

And we’re back!

The quick excuse for my absence? Some seriously ugly nausea and exhaustion for the last four months has bumped this blog to a back burner, as much the rest of my life. But in nineteen more weeks John and I should have a baby girl. Everybody’s telling me the puking is worth it, and that I might even forget about it once Baby Josie’s here, so there you go. At least now I want to drink coffee again.

As if tax season and pregnancy weren’t enough, I’ve given myself nineteen weeks to get the first draft of the first Harvester book finished. I’m at 43k right now, so it’s not entirely unthinkable, although since I’ve yet to hit that momentum stride, most mornings it seems a lofty, ridiculous goal. But I am able to get up at 5 am these days, when I couldn’t a month ago, and I consider that a terrific step forward. I’m intending to use this blog as a check-in for wordcount and momentum, at least weekly, and hopefully that will help me get back in the swing of things. Plus, it’s a place to complain about the issues I’m having.

For example, blocking. That’s been on my mind a lot, given the mistakes I made with the three books before this. All were YA, so not only am I having to do a lot of revising as I actually go in order to keep this from being too Harry Potter, but there where there was previously (in the last books) a lot of waking up in the morning, getting from one place to another, going to sleep, etc…now there’s just me staring at the page, wanting to avoid that issue completely. Problem is, in a lot of places I just don’t know how, especially when Heloise’s City is every bit as much a character as her. So that might be an issue I grow with, or I let it be ugly and wrong as I write, and then go back and fix upon revisions – which is easier said than done.

In the meantime, some worthwhile links:

  • This Lev Grossman article, which vastly encouraged me. I have such strong opinions when it comes to books (and short stories, for that matter) and this was written so eloquently that I found a good deal of encouragement in it, both for the state of the market and the eternal why-do-people-like-the-shit-they-like question.

And because this is Valentine’s Day, some four-legged love.

I’m too keyed up to write much of anything. I’ve been pretty much useless at work, and useless at home, pacing about and counting out every…moment…that…ticks…by. Plus, there’s the acquisition of our first house, and all the tedious little details that must be taken care of before it’s OURS. Soon, hopefully. As soon as I come back to real life in August.

This is what my next six weeks will look like:

8:00am – 9:00am Breakfast
9:00am – 1:00pm Class (typically 3-4 stories are discussed)
1:00pm – 2:00pm Lunch
3:00pm – 5:00pm Individual Instructor/Author conferences
6:00pm  – deadline to distribute following day stories
6:00pm – 7:00pm Dinner
Evening: Reading and critiquing following day’s stories / writing / additional activities organized by Instructors or Students

Perfect.

I’ve made myself a list of topics I eventually want to write stories about, as well as happening to find this week 4k words of a post-apocalypse/alien tale that I hadn’t been expecting. We’ll see what happens with that.

In the meantime, I came across an old blogpost of Neil Gaiman’s on free speech, specifically addressing a topic that most people shrink away from. Eloquent and something worth thinking about, especially if you want to be challenged on what you think and why.

And I’m off!

Blogging has completely escaped my mind – I remembered just now that I even have a blog, and so here I am. But house shopping has taken over, and surely no one wants to hear me talk about how this location has this, although that location has that and a POOL, but while I love love love the kitchen in this one, there are no TREES in the backyard. Which makes for no happy home, in my humble opinion. Oh, and between house ditherings, I whine about why Clarion is taking so long to get here. (Ten days! And I have roommates now! Although one is suspiciously quiet…)

So instead, I’ll add my small opinion here, after reading John Scalzi’s latest blog entry, “How to have a writing career like mine,” and this writer’s response. For me, right now, it’s not so much about a writing “career” per se, but the actual act of writing itself; that I’m doing it, and that it fulfills me. That I’m writing the story I hope to read every time I pick up a magazine or anthology. One day, writing the book I want to read. And if those stories and books sell, enough to potentially get me more contracts, that’s all the better.

And now I must do some real work, although “Sarscon8″ nits are rubbing at me to be fixed. I will likely bring that story to Clarion, which will give it even more of a shot than it has already, although I’ll run the risk of my classmates thinking I’m far more freaky than I truly am.

Also, a link on gender in SFF. Some interesting thoughts.

Oh, and I meant to bring attention to K.C. Ball’s excellent story in Lightspeed last week, “Snapshots I Brought Back from the Black Hole.” She does some great things in it, and overall, a moving read.

>My brain is full of mush, but I had 2 important things to say, both Lightspeed related:

1. Maggie Clark’s “Saying the Names” our first piece of March fiction. A gorgeous piece with some father-daughter drama thrown in, alongside a very well-thought-out alien world and a culture full of sounds. I love it more and more every time I read it.

2. Donato Giancola’s featured gallery in the March artist spotlight. If you peruse his website, you’ll see a lot of really stunning art, but I found myself particularly taken with several of the pieces in the gallery, including “Shaman’s Loss,” which makes me just stop and stare and think and almost hurt, in a way. You can see the loss straight through the screen – it’s a story waiting to be written. The next one, “Vast Oceans of Truth,” I also found appealing. I wanted to know the story behind it. Or write my own, about an ocean filled with truth. The possibilities are endless.

And as a bonus, another Genevieve Valentine non-fiction article, which, like her others, is consistently witty and entertaining alongside providing a point of view you’ve likely never considered.

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