The promo is by Free Range Oyster, the resident ambulatory mollusc. The musings are mine. And since this is my blog and I muse if I want to: musings first.
My main musing is on the subject of work. Yesterday on Facebook someone told me I do two daily blogs and all the rest. This is, of course, not true. I barely do this blog daily, if I can con one or two of you into doing guest posts a week. (Actually I’ve found the ideal number of weekly posts is three. After that it starts eating into the fiction brain. Yes, I could cut down to posting on designated days, or I can let some of my friends talk too. I like the second better. Now that younger son is taking (only) a couple/three summer classes — needed when you’re taking two and three half degrees in six years — he has also promised me a weekly post. After all, he’s a Hoyt and this is According to Hoyt. Of course you guys will accuse me of making him up, because of the three guys, he’s the one who sounds most like me. Okay, without the occasional naughty snark. He’s an embryonic engineer. Someone left the naughty out of him.)
However, this musing is on the subject of work, backbreaking work and joy.
I’m not going to say writing isn’t work, or hasn’t been work more times than I can say. For instance, as I’m editing a collection to put up (usually editing it at night, when I’m almost asleep, but never mind. Oh, yeah, remind me I need to make an eyeglass appointment on Monday, because right now I can see clearly up to the tip of my nose, and the rest is an educated guess. Which gets tiring when editing. It’s not all absent mindedness, I was waiting for the hormones to settle after surgery. When you’re astigmatic, hormonal confusion affects your eyesight) and one of the stories I put in which I remembered as being pretty decent is Oh, My Lord. As in, you can feel me pushing every word into place with a crow bar. Which is exactly what it felt like at the time. It felt like I was locked in a walled-in, silent room and could only pass words out, one at a time, through a crack only big enough to admit a fortune-cookie sized paper.
More importantly, I couldn’t “feel” the worlds I was writing (okay, okay, see them and hear them, at least mentally. Before you call the men in white coats, I suggest you remember that if they cure me you get no more books. Yeah, that’s right, put down that phone.) This meant that every development in plotting, every new character had to be thought out carefully.
This is, btw, why the serialized novels came to a halt, because otherwise I’d have had to spend the whole week working on a chapter (I suddenly feel empathy for those of my colleagues who write very slowly) and I have other work. Yes, they will resume, just let me figure out the mash I made of those plots. My goal right now is to finish them at the end of Summer, and bring them out around September.
It’s been like that, but increasingly worse for the last three years, or if you want to get technical, it’s been like that for 20 years slowly worsening, until it reached critical mass 8 years or so ago (the Nebulas in Arizona) and since then it’s been a race to shut down my brain and it’s weird that it no longer is. I talked to friends back then and they diagnosed burnout. It seemed right. I read books on burnout, but the prescriptions were either impossible or didn’t help.
Well, it wasn’t burnout, though it behaved like it. It was the multiple complications of a relatively simple but messy internal problem. So.
So, what now? Where do I — and more importantly for you guys — my writing go from here. D*mned if I know.
Let’s take it as written that when I broke in 15 years ago the effects of the cr*p going on in my organs were minor. I was writing four novels a year (one sold. Eh. I was learning) reading six books a week and writing a short story every weekend. Then again I was also thirty and change, not fifty two.
Let’s take it as written too that I am not fully up to strength yet. H*ll the doctor hasn’t given me the all-clear yet. Appointment on Wednesday. Keep your fingers crossed, because I think she’ll have a nervous breakdown if I’m not healed. She was halfway there last time.
Also, brain-curious (he’s been reading articles on brain science since he was 10. What the heck would you call him?) #1 son-san tells me that the brain recovers from the bottom up. I mean, whatever my body was doing (beyond trying to die) shut my brain down from the top down, meaning that story (not, thank heavens for a Baen anthology) that offended me was written with the brain stem, which sounds about right. It is recovering from the bottom up, which means my dinkum thinkum (eh) feels perfectly normal now, and all back, but I doubt it is. (OTOH I can read books I haven’t read before without forgetting what I read ten minutes ago. On the third hand, I’m only reading two a week. Oh, and if you were waiting for me to mail you something and it’s late (derp) that’s not the brain, it’s my notorious aversion to the post office, which usually has a three hour line. I swear to you next time I take the clip board and edit in line. Or take the eee and write. For maximum spookiness, I should take the recorder and dictate a chapter.)
So, right now, on the hopper and of concern to you: I’m editing a collection of the short stories published since 07, a couple of them published in very limited venues. It will be near 90k words of collection, and I’ll be
putting out [pardon the Freudian slip. Only if the doctor gives me the all clear. CORRECTION:] putting it out at the end of the week. I’m going to put it up for 2.99 introductory price for a week, shall we say starting memorial day weekend, so people have a chance to buy something to read during their time off. It will be called Here There Be Dragons.
Also nearing completion (it was sort of written, only a dog’s breakfast, because I wasn’t functioning) is the Yaish (shut up, totally a designation) novel coming between Witchfinder and Rogue Magic. It’s getting fixed up between breakfast and whatever time we haul *ss to go to the other house and paint. (Family are not early risers, and I’m usually up at six.) It changed names, because The Haunted Air never fit, and it’s now Witch’s Daughter for the kid that Michael Ainsling, youngest son of the *sort of* late Duke of Darkwater falls for. Kid is a manner of speaking, as she’s 16 and he’s 17, but you know… He shows his family’s propensity to fall for the most innapropriate
woman person critter available.
In the afternoon, after painting the other house and before I deal with dinner, I’m trying to finish Darkship Revenge. Which would be way easier if Bowl of Red weren’t trying to come out at the same time. I’ve informed Bowl of Red it’s not under contract and it can wait. It’s not listening.
Thing is, and this is the weird part, this is not a weird brag about how hard I work. Because, listen to this, work is not supposed to be this much fun. So “hard worker” is relative. This is why I took so much time/effort to make sure the boys really want to do what they say they want to do. It is important to do the sort of work where you’re having fun, to the point you go “A trip to the amusement park? But I was writing!”
Mind you, I still love trips to the zoo and the natural history museum with my kids (and Dan) but those tend to turn into plotting trips anyway.
So, those are the good news. At least I hope they’re good, though I’m starting to have a sneaky suspicion I’m going to be very hard for my guys to live with.
Maybe. They’re not all there, either.
Oh, yeah, and before I give the floor to the mollusc (1500 words, really? I’m just blathering!) Ill Met By Moonlight, the first novel I sold, which came out Oct. 2001, (yeah, I have ALL the luck! Not. Well, more than the poor people who died, so…) is up for sale at 2.99 till Monday some time. (Will get changed Monday morning, but it takes a little while to take effect.) So if you, your friend or your distant cousin needs an e-copy this is a good time.
Next up on sale is either No Will But His or Death of a Musketeer, and I take votes.
Remember the book promo
Friday Saturday is the books you send us to promote, and not personal endorsements. Download the sample and read it and if it interests you buy the book! Oh, and send oyster your upcoming masterpieces. Void or limited where prohibited by law. No coupon, no excuse. You’re responsible for all the taxes including mine (what? No? Sigh. The IRS done looted our bank account again this year and I was hoping.)
Have a fun Saturday. I have stuff to write.
And now, without further ado, Here’s Oyster or at least Oyster’s promo post! Put your hands together for the hun that’s got none, and give him a warm ATH welcome, butter optional.
Amanda S. Green
Sword of Arelion
Sword of the Gods Book 1
War is coming. The peace and security of the Ardean Imperium is threatened from within and without. The members of the Order of Arelion are sworn to protect the Imperium and enforce the Codes. But the enemy operates in the shadows, corrupting where it can and killing when that fails.
Fallon Mevarel, knight of the Order of Arelion, carried information vital to prevent civil war from breaking out. Cait was nothing, or so she had been told. She was property, to be used and abused until her owner tired of her. What neither Cait nor Fallon knew was that the gods had plans for her, plans that required Fallon to delay his mission.
Plans within plans, plots put in motion long ago, all converge on Cait. She may be destined for greatness, but only if she can stay alive long enough.
John Van Stry
Of Temples and Trials
Portals of Infinity: Book Three
With the first of what he suspects will be many favors completed, William finds himself busy with important tasks back at his home on Saladin. Queen Rachel has several jobs she needs him to do, and Feliogustus has similar tasks in mind for him as well. All in all, it seems easy enough to Will, it’s not like he’ll be fighting in any wars, or traveling across the infinite on a strange quest after all.
But things aren’t always as easy as they might seem, and both politics, as well as the other gods, aren’t going to ignore Will, or the tasks he’s been set to complete. And is if dealing with that isn’t problem enough, when the time comes to do some serious diplomacy between Hiland and a neighboring Kingdom, a deadly problem comes from a most unexpected quarter, forcing Will to take immediate action to payback both his, and his God’s foes.
James L. Cambias
Corsair: A Science Fiction Novel
In the early 2020s, two young, genius computer hackers, Elizabeth Santiago and David Schwartz, meet at MIT, where Schwartz is sneaking into classes, and have a brief affair. David is amoral and out for himself, and soon disappears. Elizabeth dreams of technology and space travel and takes a military job after graduating. Nearly ten years later, David is setting himself to become a billionaire by working in the shadows under a multiplicity of names for international thieves, and Elizabeth works in intelligence preventing international space piracy. With robotic mining in space becoming a lucrative part of Earth’s economy, shipments from space are dropped down the gravity well into the oceans. David and Elizabeth fight for dominance of the computer systems controlling ore drop placement in international waters. If David can nudge a shipment 500 miles off its target, his employers can get there first and claim it legally in the open sea. Each one intuits that the other is their real competition but can’t prove it. And when Elizabeth loses a major shipment, she leaves government employ to work for a private space company to find a better way to protect shipments. But international piracy has very high stakes and some very evil players. And both Elizabeth and David end up in a world of trouble.