Habits come and go

I do seem to run hot and cold when it comes to updating this blog. Just like the last time I took a long break from posting here, the explanation is “been busy writing lots of stories.”

I’ve been working hard to shape up a new-ish space exploration novelette, vaguely space-opera-ish, to enter in this quarter’s Writers of the Future contest. I made a large number of changes, additions and deletions based on a very useful long discussion I had with my wife Lena during one of our mega-hikes, this time up at Trillium Lake, on Mt. Hood. That story’s just about done, but I had to set that aside.

In a recent post, I mentioned a Writers Weekend I’ll be attending in July, up in Moclips, Washington. For the workshop that weekend, I could have submitted one of my earlier, finished stories but I wanted to write something new. I decided to push through to completion the recently-begun story I mentioned in a few of my most recent blog posts, trying new methods & tools for writing… remember? This is the one I started out writing longhand, and finished drafting in Scrivener, where I’ve completed all the revisions. It ended up needing very substantial changes, including at least 6-7 drafts so far, and a completely new framing intro and beginning added in the past week. Managed to chop it down from 8,000 words to about 4,500 despite adding a whole new beginning and end, and it’s much leaner and meaner now.

Sometimes all a story needs is sifting with an increasingly fine screen until it’s done, but this one needed a radical re-think, a bunch of new stuff added, and really quite a different emphasis from where it started. It’s called “The Long Tightrope,” and normally I’d send this one out at this stage, but I’m ready to hand it over to other readers in this group and take their suggestions. It’ll be a good learning experience.

Just coincidentally this new story is in the same “universe” as the novelette mentioned earlier. I don’t usually do that, work on a whole string of related stories one after the other, in fact I started several other stories between the novelette and the new one.

Things have been especially busy — extra efforts required at the day job, various weekend outings including a family beach trip, and the usual real life — but I’ve been writing steadily, lots of new words, many newly-planned stories, and keeping the finished stories in submission.

Some upcoming blog plans:

1. A mini-review of Metatropolis, an interesting audiobook project (now out in good old fashioned printed paper format) by five authors working in a connected world.

2. Another discussion of the idea of rejection (from a writer’s point of view), specifically the idea of different kinds or degrees of rejection… even “good” rejection.

3. More about this upcoming Writers Weekend

4. More book & audiobook reviews, mini and otherwise

That’s all for now. I hope to be back soon, and more regularly this next month or two.

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