Thursday, August 21, 2014

Remember that last post?

About a week ago, I talked about the things I was going to do once the kids were back in school. I should have remembered what happens to the best-laid plans.

A few days ago, my daughter came down with pneumonia for the second time in four months. This was of course no fault of hers but of a combination of a cold virus, which I probably gave to her, and a respiratory ailment (asthma) that makes it difficult for her to clear her lungs. At least this time around, I took her to see the pediatrician almost immediately, and thus the infection was caught early, as it was "setting up shop." She still was miserable for a couple days, during which she stayed home from school, lay on the couch and watched movies, including "Frozen" twice. I've had various songs from the soundtrack stuck in my head ever since. Love is an open door, you know.

Another disruption, this one at the day job: The entire newsroom is moving this weekend from one floor in our huge building to another floor. The logistics of this are insanely difficult. Much of it has to happen overnight Saturday into Sunday, so those of us working both days have the equipment we need in one newsroom and then the other. The non-computer items on my desk will be easy to pack up, at least. I have drawings from my kids, a stuffed Dalek and a few other odds and ends.

The upshot is that I haven't done pretty much anything I intended to do this week. Which in the long term is fine. There's always next week, and the one after that, and so on. In one bright spot, after struggling for days to squeeze in time to write, I finished Chapter 2 of the novel this morning.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Next week

It's that time of year again that children dread: Time to go back to school. My oldest is starting his first year at CU-Denver, while my two youngest are working their way through the public school system. For me, this means two major changes to my schedule from the summer. First, I have to get up at 7:15 every morning. No more sleeping in. Second, I will have free time again that is uninterrupted by monologues about Pokemon and recountings of the adventures of stuffed animals. Some of the things I will do with this free time:
  • Take my laptop to Starbucks, get a coffee and a table, and write. I haven't done this since May, and the baristas at the local shop have probably forgotten who I am.
  • Start exercising again.
  • Get a haircut. Because my hair is about 6 inches too long.
  • See "Guardians of the Galaxy." Finally.
  • Have lunch with a fellow writer.
  • Miss my kids.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

What a month, so far

So here's how it's gone the past couple of weeks:
  • On July 29, Daily Science Fiction published "Kitty is Alive, Kitty is Dead."
  • Also on July 29, I received an acceptance for "The Good Girl" at AE.
  • After some revisions, on Aug. 7, "The Good Girl" was up on the AE website.
  • Also on Aug. 7, I received another acceptance, which I will share the details on once I've signed the contract.
That's two acceptances and two publications in 10 days. This sort of thing is probably typical for some established, professional writers, but I've never had a streak like this before. Ever. It's been fun and a little overwhelming. My stock of stories out on submission is dwindling. I need to write more. This is a good problem to have.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Publication day! At AE

My story "The Good Girl" (formerly titled, as of last week, "Mean Girl") has been published at AE, The Canadian Science Fiction Review, and you can read it right here. Here's a snippet:
Her whole life, she had wanted to feel wind on her skin and grass between her toes, to smell unfiltered air and blow on a dandelion puff, and that particular day had called to her like no other.
I'm so proud of this little story. I wrote it more than two years ago and have believed fiercely that it would find a good home, and so it has. I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sale! To AE - The Canadian Science Fiction Review

I'm happy to share that I've received an acceptance from AE for my science fiction story "Mean Girl," which is about bullying, androids and a society-collapsing virus. The acceptance came on the same day as my most recent Daily Science Fiction publication. So, yeah, that was a good day for me.

In other news:
  • I've set myself a goal of writing on chapter per week on the novel project. That's not super speed but also not snail's pace. Chapter One is written but will need to be rewritten because I can already tell it's not the best way to open the book. This week is Chapter Two.
  • Now that it's August, it's time for me and my husband to get the kids ready to return to school. This fall is different because our oldest will be a freshman at CU-Denver. The two younger ones are entering fifth grade and second grade. 
  • I soooo want to see Guardians of the Galaxy, but it probably won't happen for a week or two, when my husband and I can work out a night to go. Synching our schedules and child care isn't an easy task.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Kitty Is Alive, Kitty Is Dead" at DSF

Today is publication day for my second story with Daily Science Fiction. The last time two years ago, DSF sent stories to email subscribers a week before posting the stories to the website. Now the publication is simultaneous. Even if you're not a DSF subscriber, of which there are about 9,000 (wow), you can still pop over to the website, dailysciencefiction.com, and read "Kitty Is Alive, Kitty Is Dead" right now. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Writing update

It's been awhile since I posted anything, so here's a quick update.

Since the start of June, I've been doing pre-writing work for an urban fantasy novel. As of this morning, my Scrivener document has 22,500 words worth of world-building, character building and outlining. I've done about as much pre-writing work as I can stand, and I'm ready to start writing the story itself.

I've also re-read novels by my favorite urban fantasy writers to study how they structure their stories, and I'll likely repeat with everything I read over the next few months.

My goal is to have a first draft done by June 1, 2015, which is one year after the workshop in Lawrence. I'm excited to get going, but I won't be able to establish a regular rhythm for about another three weeks, when the kids are back in school.