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The Long Slow Hot Summer of Um
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Writing fiction's been unusually difficult for me lately. I'm having trouble concentrating, and I'm having a hard time falling into the story. When my writing is going well, I'm not even particularly aware of the physical act of moving the pen, of the mental effort of making sentences; I'm just experiencing the story. When my writing is going well, I laugh out loud, I cackle, I can't write fast enough to keep up with the sentences queueing in my brain. I wrote a couple thousand words yesterday on this Jubilee story, but it was all very self-conscious, and felt somewhat mechanical, and it was quite slow. It doesn't matter much -- I worked out some stuff about the story, so that's good, but I want to change it completely in revision anyway. It's presently told in third person, and it needs to be in first person, because it requires a more intimate voice. (Unfortunately, the switch from third person to first person requires rather more than just changing pronouns.)

I got a rejection from Realms of Fantasy the other day. Only, hmm, the third story of mine that they've rejected since 2002, when I sold them "The Witch's Bicycle" and then a bunch of other stories. One of those stories was rejected by their (now former) slush reader, and when I resubmitted it -- because, having been published in the magazine half a dozen times, I preferred to be rejected by the actual editor -- it was promptly accepted. So I've still got a pretty good hit percentage with that magazine. I haven't been sending them as much stuff lately, and they don't have anything of mine in inventory now that "Robots and Falling Hearts" has been published. That's partly a side-effect of focusing on novels (thus writing fewer stories), partly a side-effect of me trying to break into other markets (for the sake of variety and to try to reach a wider audience), and partly a consequence of writing stories with specific markets in mind (either because I've been invited to submit, or because I'm really excited about the project, as was the case with Twenty Epics.)

Dunno why I'm prattling on about this. Just thinking about career-stuff lately, and stories, and what my priorities should be, both artistically and marketing-wise. Thinking about stuff like that is good writing-avoidance behavior. I'm just too damned scatterbrained lately, having trouble focusing on anything. I already told my agent I wouldn't have a draft of the Bridge novel until sometime after the wedding. I was foolishly optimistic when I said I thought I'd have a draft by summer's end.

Oh, y'all should go buy Peeps by Scott Westerfeld, which is on sale now. Good vampiric parasitic stuff! Engaging narrative voice too. I read it about a month ago and really enjoyed it. Thoroughly engrossing.

I want a nap. I've been complaining about it being cold, but now it's all warm again, and oh, I could go for a nap.

Flytrap #4 is sold out. I think Clarkesworld is sold out, too. Last Gasp probably still has copies. (Update: Neil at Clarkesworld tells me he just bought all the copies Last Gasp had in stock, so order from him!) Can't believe it sold out already. We even did a bigger print run, since #3 sold out. Guess we should go even bigger for issue #5.

After reading several very fun books in a row (Red Thunder, Mammoth, Magic of Madness), I find myself craving more of the same. Something plotty, zippy, engaging. Suggestions? Preferably something published this year. Doesn't have to be SF/fantasy either. But no stories or collections. I'm already reading a zillion stories this year. Novels are a break from reading stories!

I think this entry, like most of my endeavors over the past few days, will just sort of trail away into inconclusiveness...



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