February 27, 2017
February. Short, so the end of the month really sneaks up on me. Only two days left! Winter starts being a real drag, spring is still a little ways off, though teasing with new sprouting bulbs and cheerful birds. I’m cold all the time, and yet gazing longingly at my T-shirts.
At least my fog from the last few weeks is starting to clear. I can tell, because once again my brain is full, my project list has exploded, and I’m excited about it again instead of exhausted. I’ve got an essay about knitting I want to work on, y’all. That’s where I’m at.
Must attack the to-do list. Must finish this current batch of projects to make way for MORE PROJECTS.
Boredom has never been one of my problems.
February 20, 2017
Saturday’s event at the Park Hill Branch Library was great! Thanks to all who came by!
So I spent all last week writing a bunch of emails hoping to get responses today but then it turns out today is a holiday and one of the things about working from home is sometimes you just don’t notice when everyone else isn’t working. At least I don’t need to go to the bank or post office today.
I finished my last book (Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock) without picking my next book, and this has left me floundering a bit. I try to pick the next one before finishing the previous so I can jump right in. When I don’t, I look at all the books on the to-be-read pile and freeze up. So, that’s something I need to do today. JUST PICK SOMETHING, GAH.
I submitted two lists for the Great Backyard Bird Count. Given how busy I was this weekend, I think that’s pretty good. The highlights were out at Walden Ponds, where I set up the spotting scope and got a bunch of neat ducks, and a hooded merganser showing off for the ladies. But I was also able to get the scope on a magnificent golden eagle, who perched on an electric line pylon nearby and stayed for a good long time.
The Bannerless sequel is about at the 50% mark. I had to stop and outline the messy middle, but I think I’m back on track, at least for the next little bit.
And that’s a Monday.
February 15, 2017
It is literally the middle of winter. My social media feeds are full of people feeling down, stuck in ruts, and I am the same. It doesn’t matter that Colorado is in the middle of one of its amazing winter warm streaks, I’m still sitting here in my giant woolly sweater, unable to get warm. I’ve hit the wall. I’ve had enough of winter and I’m ready for spring. I’m cold and tired.
The trouble with the winter blues and feeling blah is that when you’re in the middle of it, getting out seems impossible. I know this is temporary. I know I ought to go do things like exercise and be active. But all I really want to do is sleep.
It’ll pass. It’ll be okay. Eventually.
In fact, this weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count and I think I’ll get out and see if I can spot something awesome.
February 3, 2017
I got really overwhelmed this past week, with book release stuff and also trying to keep up with the news. I’ll actually be really happy when this president takes his first vacation — maybe we’ll get an outrage break. Just a couple of days. Please.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed and despairing in this environment. As someone who’s never really done activism before, I’ve been trying to figure out: How do I manage? How do I keep on without feeling constantly overwhelmed and helpless?
I’ve decided: It’s like writing a novel.
People tell me all the time: I want to write a novel, I would love to write a novel, but I don’t know how, where do I even start? A whole novel, it’s too big. That’s a huge goal, overwhelming if you try to think of it all at once. That’s why so many people never even start. They see a big chunk of pages with tens of thousands of words and it’s too much. When you’ve been writing emails and making phone calls and then one of your senators declares that he doesn’t have to listen to you because he thinks you’re a paid protestor — it’s easy to curl up in a corner and scream, right?
Here’s what I tell people about writing novels: Don’t write a novel. Write a page. A single page. Do that every day for a year. That’s 365 pages — a novel. Write a scene. Write a sentence. Then another. Nobody ever writes a novel — people write bits and pieces of a novel, over a long stretch of time. Eventually, all that work becomes a novel. You have to put in the work, every day.
I’m trying to start looking at political activism the same way. “Stop Trump” is too big. Changing the political course that man is setting the country on? Too much to fix all at once. Can’t be done.
But I can march. I can write letters. I can call. I can vote. (New action list item: Get Cory Gardner out of office. He’s up for re-election in 2020, and holy cow we can do this thing.) Little things. Baby steps. Manageable steps. I can do that.
Let’s see what happens in a year.
February 1, 2017
I had a really fun time in Santa Fe at the Jean Cocteau event. George and I were on stage arguing about which is better, New Mars or Old Mars. George is an ardent defender of Old Mars, the Mars we wrote about before we knew anything about what Mars is actually like. I’m a big fan of New Mars, the only planet known to be entirely inhabited by robots.
Between the trip to NM and visiting my parents, who puppysat Lily for me, this turned into a long weekend of travel and socializing, and I’m exhausted. I need to curl up on the sofa with the electric blanket and a hot toddy. Fortunately, season 2 of The Expanse starts tonight, so I think I’ll get my chance to just…chill…out…
Let’s see if I can get some writing done before I go hibernate. New Novel is at 26,000 words. Onward!
January 25, 2017
Over the last two months I’ve written two short stories and 20k words of novel. Seeing as how the six months before that was mostly post-production on Bannerless and Martians Abroad and a couple of side projects, that seems like a huge accomplishment. Feels good to be writing new words again.
Reminder: This Sunday 1 pm I’ll be at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe. It’s a ticketed event, check the website for more info.
I’ve got another piece up on Tor.com, this one about Five Books That Make Living and Working in Space Seem Ordinary. Definitely where I get some of my inspiration.
And just a week left in the first month of the year. It already seems like so much has happened. Gotta keep going. Onward and upward.
January 18, 2017
I have a new book out! But you probably knew that. I’ve been trying to make an effort to talk up my stuff online a little more. Is it working?
It’s a really busy week! I don’t just have a new book out, I have a new short story on Nightmare Magazine! “Redcap” is about how all those books about fairies talk about the murderous solitary Redcap who dips his hat in fresh blood, and then have pictures of a cute little gnome with a bright cherry-red hat. A hat dipped in blood would not be bright cherry red. It would be really gross. Read it and find out how gross.
The first of a couple of blog posts I have coming up on Tor.com is live: I talk about Iain M. Banks’ Use of Weapons and sense of wonder.