May 2023 Update

May 3, 2023

Reminder that this is cross posted from my Patreon site!

My Kickstarter project, WATER FIRE FAE, is less than a week from the finish line, and I’m really happy with how it’s going! We’re almost 300% funded and reached the second stretch goal, which means the collection will now include notes about the background of each story! You only have a few more days to get on board!

This month’s Lesson: The first of what will probably be a couple of posts on voice, which is one of those evergreen topics. It’s a thing that I think separates aspiring writers from published writers, and good writers from great. So I like to spend time on it.

Work right now involves prepping to fulfill the Kickstarter rewards (that’s my summer sorted, I guess!), and also – more short stories. Three more in the last couple of weeks – that makes eight since December, which is a lot for me. (In the past, 6-7 a year has been my average.) (Stats: three of those eight have sold, two more are on submission, and the newest three still need revised before they go out.) I feel like I hit the ground running after New Zealand. Something in my brain really did get unstuck.

Reading: I’m re-reading C.J. Cherryh’s Downbelow Station, a true space-opera classic. I also read Raw Spirit, Iain Banks’ nonfiction book about whisky and Scotland, part memoir and part travelogue. He’s such a great writer. His science fiction is mind-blowing – try Use of Weapons.

Movies & TV: I’m slowly getting back into regular movie outings. (The last movie I saw in the theater before lockdown was Emma with Anya Taylor-Joy. The next movie I saw, a year and a half later, was The Green Knight. Both are fabulous.)

Dungeons and Dragons was delightful. Lots of personality, very well put together. While it has lots of easter eggs for long-time D&D players (the one for me was when a character finally cast Fireball, which was always a prominent feature of the games I played in), but I think someone who’s never played the game will enjoy the film as well. It’s just that charming.

Chevalier, a biopic about Joseph Bologne, a Black composer in the court of Marie-Antoinette just before the French Revolution. It’s a standard biopic, in that the beats are familiar and you just know it’s picking and choosing what to show of Bologne’s life, and you want to run to Wikipedia immediately after to be sure. It’s very beautiful, though, especially the music. My friends and I all agreed there was not enough swordfighting. They put a sword on the mantle in Act 1 and it did not go off in Act 3, as it were.

Schmigadoon is making me want to watch Galavant again.

Birding: It’s spring migration time! This week I’m seeing warblers, swallows, wrens, and killdeer for the first time this year. May 13 is the Global Big Day, when birders all over the world head out to see how many bird species they can see in one day.  I’ve participated every year since 2016 and I kind of love it. It’s actually incentive to get up early to try to catch the birds when they wake up!

Now, how to balance work with getting outside and enjoying all this warm weather…


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