Monday update!

April 23, 2018

Just got back from diving in Key Largo. The weather was perfect, and it was snowing at home, which makes it all the better. Highlights: some big nurse sharks, some people-sized grouper, and a dancing lobster. So many things to see!

My review of “Downsizing” is live on Lighstpeed.

And my copies of the paperback edition of Martians Abroad arrived. They’re on sale tomorrow! Now, back to work!


100,000 words

April 16, 2018

My longest published work is Dreams of the Golden Age, at about 96,000 words.

I have a trunk novel that’s 105,000 words.

The current work in progress passed 110,000 words last week. In fact, it’s just about a rough draft. A draft zero even. It needs a lot of work, but the last line is there, it has a beginning middle and end, and now I just need to work to make it all better.

This one has felt a lot different to write. Specifically, I’d been thinking about this one scene as the Big Climactic Scene. I got to around 60,000 words, which is when pretty much all my other books have felt like they’ve entered the homestretch, wrote that scene — and realized I was just at the bottom of the second act and basically had another 60,000 words to go. An entire second book to write. That was intimidating. There’s that one Big Climactic Scene, yes, but it wasn’t THE big climactic scene. That came later on. I kind of had to shift my whole thinking forward in terms of pacing.  Treating the structure as a series of emotional beats of increasing intensity, rather than thinking of the novel as a drive to the one big thing.

I don’t run, but I imagine it might be the difference between running a 10k and a marathon?

I’m learning a lot, writing this one. One of my goals has been to write past 100,000 words over the next year or so, and it feels good to accomplish that.



Well that was unexpected.

Bannerless won the Philip K. Dick Award at Norwescon this past weekend. I didn’t write a speech, because, well. I’m really happy and grateful and excited and humbled by this. Norwescon put on a great party and I got to hang out with and get to know some of the other nominees, including Deji Bryce Olukotun, whose book After the Flare won the Special Citation. My brother Rob was there as my plus one which made it all the more special.

Lately I’ve been doing the math on my career — I sold my first pro short story in 1999, so it’ll be twenty years next year.

And I’m still going strong, it seems.

Onward and upward!


Norwescon this weekend

March 28, 2018

Just a reminder, I’ll be at Norwescon this weekend. Most of my programming, including a signing and a reading, is on Saturday and Sunday. Friday is the Philip K. Dick Awards, which Bannerless is a finalist for.

And I just got ARC’s for The Wild Dead.

And I’m heading into the homestretch on the current novel manuscript. So of course I’m going to be traveling in the middle of it. If I seem a little distracted over the next couple of weeks, that’s why.

Onward ho!


working, working

March 21, 2018

Wednesdays have become my day to Do All the Things. Last Wednesday was checking out the Linking Asia exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, a) because it’s cool and b) it’s very relevant to the novel I’m working on right now.

This Wednesday was riding.

Next Wednesday will be getting ready for Norwescon and the Philip K. Dick Awards.

And right now, the novel is about to head into the homestretch. Which means I’m about to maybe go a little bit crazy until it’s finally all finished.

Stay tuned.



March 16, 2018

Every year I think the crocus are coming up earlier, and then I check blog posts from previous years and no, they’re right on schedule. Which means we’re due for a big snow right when the tulips start blooming. I don’t think my tulips — which are sprouting all over the place — have ever actually bloomed, because the buds get caught in that late freeze.

Given that my attitude on gardening is “Let’s put some things in the dirt and see what happens!” I suppose I can’t expect too much more than what I’ve got. Which is actually quite nice if chaotic. Those crocus in spring make me so happy, every single year.

My container sage appears to have survived the winter and is re-sprouting. One of my back-burner projects is researching cocktails with herbs as garnish. I’ve seen some that use sage. Time to dig out those recipes!

Oh god it’s finally spring, I’m feeling so much better about, well, everything.

Current WiP:  crossed 80,000 words this weeks. It’s probably going to end up being the longest thing I’ve ever written.


Just a reminder, I’ve got a Google Hangouts livechat scheduled for this Friday, 7 pm MT.  I’ll be doing a quick reading and then answering questions.

You can access the chat via YouTube, here.

The Pixel Project, which works to end violence against women, has a whole schedule of author livechats for the month. For more information, check here.

See you Friday!