Warning: this is the kind of “Writing I did today” sort of post that some people have no interest in. If you’re one of those people, skip it.
Today was an incredibly productive day for me. I got big chunks of several big projects done:
- completed preliminary revisions on The Spike (formerly “The Broken Path”, a ~9800-word Write-a-thon story, and posted the story to my crit group
- finished about half of the work on a last-minute academic editing project
- completed about 85% of the edits on “Realer,” a ~6500-word story I’ve been working for — wait for it — eight years. And I suspect it shows, but in a good way. I hope so, anyhow. The catch is that I need to write that last 15% — about 4 pages of material — and I am not quite sure what to do with it. I have some ideas, but it’s still quite vague. It’s too bad the previous couple of iterations were so hackneyed in some ways, because the endings were so fascinating. I think I know how I can use some of those old endings in this very different incarnation of the same story, though. But I need to think a little first.
I’m going to try to get 75% of the editing project done for tonight, and see if I can’t bang out a preliminary draft of those last four pages on “Realer,” but first I think I need to go for a walk. I also need to get a handout ready for my Monday afternoon poetry class, because, and to do a little planning for my classes this week. (I have mornings off every day, but I prefer going to bed Sunday night havign some idea of what’s ahead of me.) But I do want to get as much work done as possible today, because now that the semester has begun, all kinds of editing and grading and prep work is going to start taking up chunks of my week, and I have so many writing projects I want to get done.
The happy news is that I have four manuscripts I can simply edit from hard-copy proof/edits, proofread again, and mail out. I have a lot more work to go if I’m to meet the deadlines I’m hoping to meet — this one from Fantasistent and this one from Tesseracts Twelve loom large as fun opportunities in my mind — but I’m enjoying it as much as ever, and unlike last year and the last Tesseracts deadline, I’m not going to rush to meet it if it means sending something sub-par out the door.
As for upcoming projects, oh, they’re too numerous to name. I’ll be doing piles of short fiction stuff for the next six months, anyway — editing and revising things that have sat here too long, especially. “A Killing in Burma” is only a couple of scenes from the end, I think — I think, but I’m not sure! — and “And the Blind, Given Sight” is something I’ve not started to draft, but it is rather insistently demanding I start sometime soon. (“Research first!” I implore, and I hear the story harrumph at me from the back of my head).
(There’s also a neat short-story collaboration in the works, though as always, collaborations are a wait-and-see thing: I’ll say more about that once it’s in the can.)
All of that aside, I have so much to revise these days: “Lester Young…”, “Jjangguk…”, “Cai and Her Ten Thousand Husbands,” “McWar,” and “Solvjaynghi’s Christmas Wish,” are very close to ready — just some edits, a little careful tweaking, and out they go. More involved revisions and or rewriting await for “Winter Wheat…”, “Jing the Quae…”, “Why Korean Eat Dog,” “Rupt,” “The Truth About Mughals,” “Bodhisattva,” “Asshole Island” (previously “Instead of Pinochets”), and of course, the combination of Dead Abroad (a novel draft from a few years ago) and some tweaks to “Comfort,” the Clarion West story that I think should be the first chapter of Dead Abroad when I do get around to rewriting it.
And rewriting Dead Abroad is what I intend to do once I’ve got most of the revisions I’ve mentioned in the can, and sent out in search of a home. After that, we’ll see whether I feel like writing 1940s alt-history (more Space Frogs! More Boom! More Jazz! And circus jugglers, too!) or a Sinospheric-hegemonious alt-future/alt-history tale of post-Imperial-collapse white slavery in China, based on a short story that was included my grad thesis back in 2001 under the title: “Poppy; or, The Singular, Interesting, And True History of Philip Pirrip, or, ‘Poppy Pip,’ The English Slave, Relating The Details of How He Came Into Slavery Under the Celestial Kingdom and Touching Upon The Effects of Enslavement Upon The Spirit of Man.”
Heh, that was fun. Though neither my advisor nor the thesis committee seemed to get the story, or, more specifically, what the hell the point of the thing was.
One more thing: I’m writing consistently enough now that I don’t feel much point in tracking it anymore. Mostly I just neglect it and have to catch up on it again. I think instead I’ll start using the tracker for time spent exercising, since that’s a different habit I’m trying to reinforce at the moment. Speaking of which, it’s time for my constitutional. (You know, my walk.) Off to it, then!