Though I’m keeping a low profile and all, I am participating in Clarion West’s Write-a-Thon this year. I signed up a little late, because I wasn’t sure whether I could really get much done during the write-a-thon itself: the timing, as always, is a little tough for me. (The first week of the workshop is always final exams week for most universities here in Korea, and in my current job, that’s followed by a four week long summer intensive course. On top of all that, our kid’s going to be in hospital next week at the end of the month, and then recuperating at home for the rest of the summer, it looks like. Er…)

Still, I do have some writing goals for this summer, and even for the next few weeks, so I figured I’d join up and just not pressure myself to do the impossible. 

The good news is, I’ve actually delivered on one of my goals: a rewrite of an RPG adventure module I’ve been working on as a freelance job. I recently playtested it—that was technically on the first day of the write-a-thon—and then put in some solid work on Sunday nightand the first few days of last week, and sent it in around Wednesday or Thursday. Then I jumped into the first of the other projects I’ll discuss below:

That leaves two more stated goals, and one more unstated one: 

  1. To finish expanding my novelette “Asshole Island” into a short novel. This is the short-term goal. If I can finish that goal out—which would take a couple of thousand words a day for the next week, I think—I’ll be pretty happy, even if the thing will be misshapen and first-drafty. 
  2. To rework the first draft of that novel (the Gin Craze-era Singularity novel) that I finished redrafting last November. It’s a 200,000 word behemoth, but it looks like with some radical surgery on one of the storylines, that would much more easily be split into two volumes, of who-knows-how-many in total. 
  3. There’s this outline I need to write up for a book project I’ve been asked to pitch. If I can get it done by the end of the Write-a-Thon, I’ll have earned myself some apple pie. (That might not sound like much, but decent apple pie isn’t so common in Korea, and justifying the expense of buying one—let alone the trip to Costco to get it—takes something special.  

Of course, I’ve got a couple of other writing projects on the side: one short story I’m revising into shape, a couple of RPG projects that are on standby and need to get finished. But those are destined to be autumn projects: if I have any more time than what’s needed to get this done, it’ll go to a freelance editing project I’m working on, and hitting the swimming pool and gym for some exercise, because I really, really need some. 

I’m still thinking about incentives to sponsor me. I’m actually thinking about maybe giving sponsors a copy of “The Machines,” which is a riff on Jason Morningstar’s cool story-game “The Skeletons,” where instead of playing adventurers looting a tomb, you play the skeletal guardians enchanted and left to stand watch over the tomb. In my reenvisioning of it, you’d play artificial intelligences left to guard something: it could be a crashed ship, or perhaps it’s an automated facility, or a seedbank, or… who knows. I think it’d be a fun cross-genre revamp on Morningstar’s very cool game.  

If you feel like sponsoring me, you can go here. There’s lots of great people participating, too, so have a look and see if anyone there appeals. Clarion West is good people, it’s a great workshop, and helped propel me toward… well, whatever it is I’m doing now.   

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