I’ve spent seriously WEEKS fussing over how to kick off 2017 with blog posts. There’s lots of ideas I want to share, points to comment on. Nothing seemed to quite fit, however. And then I realized that, ultimately, the most apropos post could only be a big “Thank you” to social media. Which is, I admit, a bit weird. Let me explain.
I love tabletop role-playing games. I tend to play all sorts of cinematics, over-the-top, character driven games. I’m frequently the DM, and that’s fun because it scratches some of the same itches that writing does – laying out a story, taking my players on a journey, and building suspense until you can execute a climactic scene that’s TOTALLY AWESOME. But I don’t want to talk about any of those things right now, I wanted to start with what I’d like to call a simple golden rule for gaming – it is an absolute must for any tabletop game to succeed.
Man interwebs, the past few weeks have been so very hard. I am trying to keep so many different things in the air.
Hold on, let me back up and provide some context. I’ve seen quite a few posts floating around lately that basically say, in many words, give your whole-self to what you are perusing. Chase your dreams all the time and never give up. Basically, give 110% all the time toward the one thing you want and you will be successful.
My First World Con
From August 17th to the 21st in my stomping ground of Kansas City, the 74th Worldcon was in town (aka Mid-Americon II, aka the Hugo Awards). My wife and I went to it excited but also uncertain – we’ve been to a local SFF con, but it didn’t have anything on the scale of this. From Tuesday the 16th until the end on August 21st, we basically were running all the time. And then afterwards I stepped right back into a whirlwind at work and have been trying to catch ever since. And I’ve also spent my little bits of down-time trying to think about what, precisely, that con meant to me. Figuring that out has taken some time.
Aliette de Bodard is a Paris-based speculative fiction writer. Her list of accolades is impressive: she’s won a Locus award, three awards from the British Science Fiction Association, and the Writers of the Future contest. Oh, and two Nebula Awards. She kindly agreed to chat with me about her novel, The House of Shattered Wings, being released in paperback this week. It is stunning: fantasy set in a power-magical-war Paris, populated with Fallen Angels, Immortals, and Alchemists vying for power amongst the Great Houses. It’s a dazzling mash-up of mythology, mystery, and intrigue. The interview is below.
This past week I’ve really been getting into gear on my Iron Stars novella. Science fiction, giant robots. It’s my first new project of length in over a year. I actually began it because I’d been reading so many craft articles, I wanted to try some of the techniques I’d been reading about and didn’t want to outline an entire novel. It became small enough to plan relatively quickly (a couple of weeks), but it’s large enough you have to make some of the same structural decisions with a novel. And it is growing – right now we’re about 39k words, but we’re at least more than halfway there
I’ve been working on getting my momentum back on the writing, and I am starting to get back into a groove. It’s been very nice, not going to lie. I’ve missed it. Incidentally, I’ve also made a discovery: my novella Iron Stars keeps growing. Right now it’s coming in at about 26k words and it’s a little under halfway. I anticipate that it will end up about 55k words. That puts it in a weird limbo where it is a really big for a novella but far too short for a novel.
Dear internet: I have a confession to make. I have found myself for the past months stuck in an annoying place. I have been trapped in the Circle of Shame. You know the cycle. You promise that you are going to do something (go to the gym, write every day, blog every week). You start out strong, things are rolling great, and then you have a stumble. You miss one week. Things get a little bit busier. And then you feel self-conscious and feel bad so you duck your head to avoid it and don’t think about it because when you do you feel really bad because now it has been months and oh man oh man. Yeah. That’s the cycle I’ve been in.
It’s finally done. Draft 2 of the current WIP is finally finished as of 3:20pm on 4/10/16. Honestly I’m kind of in shock and still processing because it never seemed like I would reach this point.
Deep. Breath. WHEW.
So if you haven’t been able to tell by my various postings on social media, or the relative quiet on my blog front (Seriously, I missed a pi-day post? My grad school thesis was on pi and transcendental numbers in general), HOLY CRAP THIS MONTH IS BUSY. See, I set a goal for myself: Finish draft 2 of Deveroux and Fitch by the end of this month.