Thursday, December 23, 2010

You spend your nights in the city, sleep away the afternoons

I'm jumping the gun on this a bit, but... my year in writing correspondence:

Number of stories published: 1 (vs 1 in '09)
Number of stories subbed: 4 (vs 5 in '09)
Rejections: 7 (vs 8 in '09)
Sales to pro markets: 1 (vs 2 in '09)
Fastest response: 2 days (rejection from Clarkesworld)
Slowest response: Tor.com (still pending, subbed in July)
Most rejected story: 3 and counting
Most accepted story: bought on third shot (one of last year's sales was bought on the first shot)

Since I do still have 2 stories on sub right now, and the number of data points in my stats is very small, this year's percentages could still change fairly dramatically in terms of stories sold vs unsold.

The important thing for myself to note, though, is that I am still horribly fucking unproductive.

I am like those smokers who tell everyone on earth that they're quitting, in the hopes that they'll embarrass themselves into actually doing it. You! Bear witness! I am going to be less unproductive in 2011.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Just another pair of boat shoes walking away from the harbour

I have lost my speaking voice, and this may be some of the reason I've written so many words this week.

I am endeavouring to bring it back with a finger of Bowmore, since spoons of honey have not worked, and I am out of lemons. (Yum! Scotch for medicinal purposes!)

I continue to be utterly seduced by Bane-Day, leaving poor Compass to swing, for the moment. The task at hand is never the most attractive, for some reason; it's the sidelines, the long shots, that draw me.

And I engage in every kind of magical thinking. If I listen to this song. If I perform these exercises. If I am a good enough girl. If I am a bad enough woman. If I guess at all of the strictures of the hidden universe, she, and he, and you, will buy my work.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This kind of thunder breaks walls and windowpanes

I think--only hindsight will prove me right or wrong--I think I am in the middle of one of my good times.

It's a bit hard to see from ground level, but I seem to be hammering out an awful lot of words lately, and feeling rather good about them. And by "rather good" I mean "ten feet tall and covered in gold dust", to quote Elizabeth Bear, who knows much better than I what it is to be a talented writer at the peak of her powers with an extra booster-shot of brain chemistry.

Recent progress:

Sold "Bleaker Collegiate Presents an All-Female Production of Waiting for Godot"

Completed "In the Scent Garden of the Rochester Conservatory" (which may be renamed with a quote from "Faustine")

Rewrote "A Sovereign Cure for Pneumonia"
Rewrote and subbed "Weathermakers"

Still on sub from a while ago: "Haunts of the School for Duellists"

Tinkered with Hour of the Hag opening chapters (this book needs another 10,000 words and it will be ready to query)

Reached chapter 5 of Compass of Chicago (this book needs about 20 more chapters, but since I've only been working on it since October-ish, I am on track to finish it in one year as planned)

Replotted Bane-Day and rewrote the first chapter (this book has way too many words already, and needs to be winnowed, threshed, and whatever other chaff-removing words you might know)

To be maximally productive, I think I ought to screw down the focus and hold off on Bane-Day until Hour of the Hag is actually in the post to agents. But it's so damned interesting. It is also an excellent sandbox for the thing I'm trying to do on the fly with Compass of Chicago: the alchemical combination of structure and character. Bane-Day was all character-driven, and the characters were blind, drunk and way too numerous, which left me with no idea what would happen at any given time. I felt my way through the dark rooms with them. Compass is character-driven also, but it was born with a plot, which needs to be revealed at appropriate times. I believe that in stripping Bane-Day to its skeleton, I'm going to understand how to build Compass from the ground up, with fewer false starts.

That, or I'm bullshitting myself so that I can justify spending time with that world again.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A new thing

It has no name yet, but it is itself, and it is good. And I have been up all night making it and now I am tired.

First line: "If you ever read this, you'll tell me what grew over the arbor was ivy, not wisteria."

Pretty things: a scent garden, a sundial, a guest book, a pocket square.

Horrible things: a gold cross, a froth of sputum, chicken fried rice.

Ongoing themes in my current work: queer girls in high school, and the forgetting of enormous things.

Every other living thing in my house has gone to bed. My neighbours, on the other side of the plaster and lath, have turned down their music, but they are still laughing, and this is the sound that will lull me to sleep.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pillow book of awesome

One spends the morning dancing in the kitchen, singing along with Aimee Mann and Wolf Parade. One fries an egg, and lays it on toast with kimchee.

One's colleagues laugh at one's jokes.

One tastes a beer so perfectly brewed that it causes hop vines to bloom in one's mouth.

One attends a rock show.

One sells a story.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

new Ideomancer, and some musings

First: Ideomancer's December issue is up, and it includes, as always, wonderful stories, poems, and reviews (including my review of Sarah Court, a book which I think you should read, unless you are my mother, in which case it is much too dark for you.)

Second: I am actually writing right now, but my husband and cat are watching Pingu, which is distracting. (Watching the cat watch the show is even more distracting than the show itself. He would eat Pingu if he could.)

Third: awesome word counts this month. Revised "A Sovereign Cure for Pneumonia," and am almost finished "Gardens for the Blind" (which is about to have a new title, since I discovered Janet Frame wrote a story by that name). Also about to finish Chapter 4 of Compass of Chicago. It helps that the weather's gone dark, colder than I like for running, and I'm not travelling again until after Christmas, and I have all these pent-up words.