I’m a part of this week’s Mind Meld at SF Signal–read about which genre author I think deserves more recognition. And about which authors Jamie Todd Rubin, Jonathan Laden, Mike Resnick, R. Leigh Hennig, Nick Mamatas, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Deborah Walker, Eric James Stone, Anna Yeatts, Alex Shvartsman, Lynne M. Thomas, and Marguerite Kenner deemed worthy of more appreciation.

Read all about it at:
http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2014/08/mind-meld-underappreciated-genre-authors/. And while you’re at it, check out SF Signal. It’s full of fun!

The DarkoverCon memorial book, honoring our late con chair Jaelle of Armida aka Judy Gerjuoy, is now available on amazon.

cover of jaelle her book

A number of Jaelle’s friends wrote remembrances of her and/or stories. It contains my short (flash) story “Come Now to War.” Copies will be available at the convention, and all proceeds go to support DarkoverCon.

Last night I had an epiphany. I was working on (struggling really) with my work-in-progress, which is late in one direction and pushing deadline in another, and suddenly words starting flowing. This was a strongly outlined story–which suddenly went off in different directions as the characters just started, well, doing things on their own. Other writers talk about their characters taking on a life of their own, but its never happened to me before.

Now I routinely write movie reviews over at buzzymag, and I can crank out 400 words on just about any film with no problem (although I do take notes in the theater). My first fiction story was published in May 2011, and I’ve written book reviews and cat articles for various magazines over the years.

Yesterday I had a 2000+ word day. I didn’t want to stop to go to sleep.

I feel like a writer now. For real.

Galactic Creatures, the new anthology I edited for Sparkito Press, is now available at Barnes & Noble online.

There is a very nice review of In an Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk over at SF Reader.

They take the time to say something nice about each and every story, and they really “got” what we were trying to do with the anthology.

I’ve been working under deadline to finish up a project (which has now gone to press), so I have a lot of news to share. Watch the skies!

Last night was the first meeting of this year’s iteration of Jonathan Maberry’s Novel in 9 Months class. Looks like this one is going to be a blast! Definitely a diverse group of people, and the instructors have got this down to a science. Learned some things, reinforced some things, unlearned some things . . .

Came home after class to find the order for my new laptop (the current one now sounds like a jet taking off) had been cancelled due to a screw-up by AmEx.

So, this morning–fixed the laptop order. Worked out for the first time since my foot/toe surgery (yah!), now that I can wear shoes again.

On the schedule for the rest of the day: daily writing quota, copyediting, laundry(!), homework. Then later, I think we (dh and I) are going out to dinner with west coast Mark, followed by a flick. So, sitz fleisch.

But first, I better go take a shower . . . .

The year 2012 actually started the way a new year is supposed to–with champagne, and music, and friends. Of course, it was a bit of a slow start–I’m still limping from the toe surgery I had on the 28th, and I don’t get my stitches out until the 3rd. I’ve been sitting down a lot.

2011 saw a lot more editing work come my way, as well as my first published story. Of course, more editing work means that I’m writing less to keep up with the editing. I need to find a better balance. The year also saw a shift in the balance between the sci-fi/fantasy and cat show worlds. BlueBlaze produced two litters of maine coon kittens (now all sold), and is now showing a havana queen, but on the whole I spent more of my available [weekend] time at conventions or book-related events rather than cat-oriented events. This shift has made me a happier person, and I plan to continue it. I have some [cat show] judging assignments coming up in the next year, and I look forward to them [particularly spending Valentine’s week in Malta], but I am severely curtailing my exhibition-only weekends in favor of sci-fi conventions, book fairs, and steampunk events.

Thanks to my GP sending me back to Physical Therapy, I finally started exercising, and I was doing close to an hour of cardio at a stretch prior to having my toe sliced open. I’m still trying to figure out how to do something, but I fear I need to wait until the stitches come out before either the exercise bike or the treadmill is an option.

In 2012, I want to:
Write more. And get better about putting aside time for it. To help achieve this, I’ve signed up for Jonathan Maberry’s Novel in Nine Months class, starting in mid-January. It’s about an hour-and-a-half drive each way, but only meets physically once a month, and I’ve heard very good things about it. Hopefully that will be the push I need.

Edit more. And perhaps more effectively. I’ve decided it’s time for a refresher–I’m planning on the EFA Advanced Copyediting class, which I haven’t taken yet. In the past I’ve found the online EFA classes to be extremely worthwhile and well worth the cost. The class runs six weeks and starts in late February–I’ll assess at the beginning of the month if I can manage it while taking Jonathan’s class.

Get more organized. I’ve started this, but I need to keep up with it, and refine it. I’m freelancing in enough different directions I need to be certain nothing falls through the cracks. I’m starting to think I need a virtual corkboard–or maybe a real one.

Get back into shape. This is somewhat contingent on the healing of the toe, but I had a pretty good start on it before the surgery slowed me down.

Lose the last blasted fifty pounds. Related to the above getting in shape. I’m tired of being overweight. It’s a bit tricky trying to diet when traveling, but I’ve done it before. I just need to wrap my head around it again. Exercising will help, I think.

De-clutter. Especially the extraneous paperwork. Some of this is part of various ongoing projects to scan and dump old stuff, and some of it is just dumping old stuff that we’ll never look at again anyway. There’s a lot of paperwork that we have no room for, and I’m tired of having it in the way.

Read my way through some of the backlog. And sift through some of the books and donate them. I could read from now until doomsday, and I’d never get through them all . . . it’s time to be merciless and cull the backlog again.

Clean out and organize the craft stuff/sewing stuff/needlework stuff in the guest room so guests will fit in there. ’nuff said

I think that will keep me busy until next year.

The first Saturday in December is Christmas in Odessa. This year, as part of the celebration, I’ll be at the Corbit-Calloway Memorial Library (115 High Street, Odessa, DE) starting at 12:30pm, talking about steampunk and signing copies of In An Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk. I’ll be there in my Christmas-y Steampunk finest.

If you’re in the neighborhood, stop in and say “hi.”

In An Iron Cage cover There’s a nice review of In An Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk over at Book Spot Central.

Kudos to Bernie Mojzes, Jim Chambers, Jeff Young, David Sherman and Danielle Ackley-McPhail, whose stories got called out for special praise.

It’s day three of NaNo and I’m already behind. Of course. I’m trying to keep up with all the editing I’m committed to as well (income is a good thing), and November is always busy around here. Keestone Katz! Philcon! Darkovercon! But I’m doing it anyway.

But things are looking up. I had the first of a series of weekly write-ins at my local library yesterday, and I was joined by a fellow quester, Deb. Everything is better with company!

And last night my laptop (my main computer system), returned to me after its visit back to its homeland, good as new. Apparently the cable to the display was bad. Fixed now. I am very much a creature of habit.

So, see you on the other side of November, hopefully 50,000 words later.

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