state of the desk
September 8, 2014
Usually I come back from long trips with a huge list of things to do. Sometimes I’ll even spend the return plane ride making that list. I didn’t do that this time. Sure, I had some things I needed to get done, a couple of deadlines. But no driving urgency to actually do them like I usually do. I still managed to have a pretty productive first week home, but I gotta tell you, it felt a little like swimming in molasses.
Yesterday I cleaned my desk a bit and discovered not just a to-do list, but an entire pile of to-do lists. Somehow, I had just been making lists of things and setting them aside. So I consolidated, and threw away a lot of little scraps of paper, which is very satisfying. And I now have an up-to-date to-do list that feels reasonable. I’m actually kind of excited. So yeah, I guess I can’t use “But I’m recovering from my trip” as an excuse anymore.
Things I’m doing: I’m running the workshop at FenCon in a couple of weeks and the stack of manuscripts I’m critiquing have arrived. I’m revising Now and Then, the graphic novel script I’m writing for Wild Cards. It’s challenging, mostly because I’m learning a lot about writing comic scripts. It’s kind of a steep learning curve and it’s using up a lot of brain power. But I think it’s going well. I’m also going over all the other projects I’ve got in progress and what needs my attention first.
I’m also making a secret cosplay outfit. I have a deadline for this, so I need to get moving on it. *rubs hands together gleefully*
I also wrote a short story last week. When I travel solo, I meet people, and one of the things that always happens is the “So, what do you do?” conversation. It’s an ice-breaker, and people usually like to talk about their jobs: nurse, teacher, engineer, banker, pastor, whatever. Then I say “writer” and people get really interested and fascinated. And someone always asks, “So have you been published? Do you actually make a living at that?” Which drives me a little batty because I’m thinking, I would not have told you this was my job if I was not making a living at it. This is one of the reasons I always carry business cards so I can pass them out and they can see the covers with “New York Times Bestseller” on it. Anyway. On the Northern Ireland tour people kept asking me, “Are you going to write about this? Are you going to put this in a story?” At the time I didn’t know. But I kept thinking about neolithic Ireland and the people who built the passage tombs and standing stones and what they must have been like, and what drove them. And so I wrote a story about them.
I am pleased with my story. I hope you’ll get to read it soon.