Sunday, July 25, 2010

Another State of the Nation post

It's my birthday today. Last night, in between drinking boatloads of Death in the Afternoon*, I told my friends about a plan I made ten years ago. I planned to save enough money to pay myself a year's salary for a writing sabbatical. I figured that at my rate of savings I'd have enough by the time I was 35.

Here I am, 35, and that money is actually in the bank. It's not a year's salary at my current pay grade, but it would be enough to feed me and cover the vet bills.

And I've discovered that in fact I'm not going to take the sabbatical.

Why not? The pieces are in place. I've started selling stuff, I have a finished novel manuscript to shop, and I'm partway through another, with a publisher already expressing interest in that one. This would be a perfect time to break.

Why not?

Because my job wouldn't be there when I got back; and I've discovered I love it, and I'm conservative about giving away things I love. I think that's the only reason, though.

I'm a lucky, lucky person. This is the kind of choice many writers don't ever get to make. And I'm celebrating my luck today by... you guessed it.... writing. And listening to Kate Bush.

*Hemingway's concoction: absinthe and champagne. Yeah, it was a party.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In lieu of talking about Readercon yet...

...I was thinking about this story today: "Swan Song" by Joanne Merriam. I read it quite a while ago, and the fact that I'm still thinking about it is a testament to its power. So: go read it. (Except for you, Mom, because it's sad.)

I'm going to post tons about Readercon, really, I just haven't got my head around it yet. It was one of those things where each day felt like a week. At one point I laughed so hard that my face twitched uncontrollably for a half-hour afterward; at another point Andrea Hairston made me cry. I met so many people I'd only encountered in print or online before; I reconnected with some of my awesome Viable Paradise classmates and instructors; and I came away with a reading list many pages long.

Definitely going back.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Public Appearance

I'm going to Readercon. And I'm reading!

Along with 6 of my fellow Viable Paradise attendees, I will be reading at 11 a.m. on Sunday the 11th. I've chosen an excerpt from my recently-completed novel The Russian Witch (formerly Cossack's Witch, formerly the Not-a-Werewolf Book).

While this will not be my first reading, it will be my first in many years, and my first since I started selling my work again. I am petrified, of course; especially since I am not at all used to reading to an audience of sober people. I used to read a fair bit in university, and I got laughs and cheers, but those people were all hammered.

If you're going to be in Boston next weekend, please come--sober or not; see me blush, sputter and quaver my way through a bit of my work; and know that as I do, I'll be picturing you naked.