Writing and Other Afflictions

"If it was easy, everyone would do it." –Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own"

Tag Archives: novel

Clarion Write-A-Thon

It’s that time of year again, and I’m signing up to write fifty thousand words over the next six weeks. If you want to encourage me, or just help out some deserving aspiring writers, please check out my page and pledge or donate. I’ll be working on “Black Angel,” the novel I just workshopped at the Center for the Study of Science Fiction’s novel workshop earlier this month.

One of my good friends, the very talented Ryan Campbell, is attending Clarion this year and it makes me glad to think that money I raised in previous years has helped him and his classmates have a great experience this summer.

Challenges this year: somewhat less than last year, when I attended three conventions and was away from home for about half of the six weeks and still hit my word count goal. I’ll be attending AnthroCon again over July 4 weekend in Pittsburgh, then home for a bit, then down to Comic-Con. I don’t leave home again until after the Write-A-Thon is over, when I’ll be flying to England for LonCon (I’m on two panels there; more about that as it approaches). I should be able to knock out fifty thousand words over the rest of the time, with some help from plane flights and so on.

And I know I have slacked off on the James Bond shorts. I will get to them, I promise!



Well, I failed to get to number one in the Bond songs, pretty spectacularly at that. I’m now in Kansas at the James Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, with seven other workshoppers and Kij Johnson and Barbara Webb at Kij’s novel workshop. It’s been very instructive after only one day, and today we jump into actually workshopping people’s novels. I go Thursday and am already rethinking my novel outline, although I haven’t yet gotten to the point of rewriting it.

Kansas is beautiful, also hot and humid. The people here are lovely and I am having a blast talking about writing.

More Bond flash fics when I get back in a couple weeks.

Goal Reached!

After five weeks and one day, I reached my Clarion Write-A-Thon goal of 60,000 words. This included a 25-day road trip during which we visited two branches of our family, attended three conventions (one of which, Comic-Con, lasted an entire week), visited five cities, and stayed in six different hotels. Below, in case it is of interest, is my word count reached per day. Note that my Write-A-Thon page claims I only wrote 17 days, but I just forgot to log in some times. There were days I only got a couple hundred words in, but over 29 days of writing I averaged just over two thousand words a day. The most I got in a day was 4,121, and that was the day we flew from Boston to San Diego, so most of that was on an airplane. The fewest I wrote in a day when I wrote something was 144. You’ll notice the gap between 7/17 and 7/22; that was Comic-Con. (Also, I’m not sure what’s up with the word count on the 4th; I may have just written nothing that day but recorded it anyway.)

So yeah. NaNoWriMo, eat your heart out.

6/23: 2061

6/24: 4615

6/25: 7170

6/26: 10011

6/27: 12571

6/28: 15127

6/29: 15674

6/30: 17732

7/1: 18097

7/2: 20819

7/3: 23420

7/4: 23582 (morning), 24726

7/5: 24726

7/6: 24870

7/8: 25374

7/9: 26782

7/10: 28482

7/11: 31551

7/12: 34121

7/14: 34722

7/15: 38843

7/16: 41137

7/17: 42620

7/22: 44107

7/23: 46677

7/24: 49229

7/25: 51839

7/26: 55100

7/27: 57622

7/28: 60204

Reading, Reading, Reading

I have been writing a few short stories (and will get back on the submission train this month), but for the last month, mostly what I have been doing with spare time is reading novel submissions to Sofawolf (and one to the writing group). I admit that in between I read Iain M. Banks’ “Excession,” which was quite delightful. Do you think we could get him to write a furry book? Sorry. Anyway, the novels were generally fun. All of them were interesting, and only one do I need to write up a lot of critique about. One of them you’ll see from Sofawolf later this year (it was past being a submission, technically speaking; this was an editing pass for an already-planned release): Michael Payne’s followup to “The Blood Jaguar.” It’s a lot of fun, and while it bears some stylistic similarity to the first novel, it’s also written differently. It expands on the world and the religion from “The Blood Jaguar” and introduces some new, delightful characters.

The others I can’t really talk about yet, but I think you will see at least one of them from Sofawolf in the next few years.It’s rare that I read a fullĀ  manuscript for Sofawolf. We get 20-30 submissions a year, and of those, about 75% can be rejected based on the query/synopsis/sample (here is a hint: if your query letter/synopsis contains spelling or grammar errors, you will have a hard time getting past that stage). Of the rest, probably about 80% don’t survive the reading of the first three chapters. But it is cool, when I get a submission that does grab me, to imagine it in a Sofawolf edition. So this round was pretty exciting in that I was reading at least two books I felt pretty confident we would end up publishing. In Michael Payne’s sequel, I got to imagine the art as I went through it. I am out of novel submissions for the moment–that is not a hint to send yours in, though. :) I have “A Short History of Myth” to read, courtesy of a friend, and a bunch of Hugo candidates for the nominating.
(If you are nominating for Hugo awards, btw, my story Erzulie Dantor is eligible. Just sayin’.)