Good morning, and I’m sorry I never did a real post yesterday. You see, my eye doctor still is (and will continue to be, as he is a friend and helped me research Kit’s eyes for Darkship Thieves — eliciting a delighted cackle when I realized they look like cat eyes — and is in fact a geek who can explain anything vision-related to me) in Colorado Springs, so I went in with Dan on his way to work.
Being on that side of the state reminded me there were certain things I simply haven’t found where to buy in Denver yet (mostly groceries, and yes, we’re investigating some places. But I cook like the 1920s, from scratch and there are ingredients/implements that are hard to find.) So we ended up on an extended shopping trip, and then when we got home I had to finish the spring cleaning I had started when I got sick.
Okay, the good news is that my eyes are slowly returning to normal, so it’s less thingy in the brainy and more extreme tiredness from unaccustomed vigorous cleaning. How vigorous? Well, I moved furniture, and climbed ladders to clean light fixtures. So. Like that.
Bad news? Not many. I find myself in need of guest posts, and as I said before, I think I think you guys sent me some that I lost. For perspective here, for a week or two my hotmail was eating everything sent to it and for a couple of months SELECTIVELY eating some things sent to it. Which means things I saw fleetingly then disappeared. Yes, this has been — mostly — fixed.
So, why do I want guest posts? Because I took a week off from everything but the blog, and I find that I’m still “blog tired.” Not burned out precisely, but coming up with a topic is hard (haaaaaaard) and I suspect if I don’t take a break, I am going to burn out.
Besides, we’re moving all our websites, which means I’m redesigning them all, and that will take the hour or so a day I give to the blog. So, if any of you have a desperate hankering to see your name in lights at ATH, please send me your stuff. And if you don’t hear back, poke me, as it might have never arrived. Ideally and if you guys don’t mind, I’d like to take a week where I cue the posts ahead of time, and then check back now and then but am not here full time.
Meanwhile, what I want to do is write. As in fiction. For five years I was getting increasingly more hypothyroidal, until the writing stopped completely (almost) a couple of years ago, and any writing was an insane amount of effort. Now that the thyroid is more or less balanced again, and indie is a thing, I’d like to make up for lost time.
So far I’m running at half of my goals for the year, with 1/2 the books I meant to finish finished.
I just signed the contracts for MHI Guardian (yes, Julie’s long-awaited book) in Larry’s world and co-written with Larry. That means the mornings will be devoted to Guardian for the next couple of months. Why only the mornings? Because this is a true collaboration, and its being in Larry’s word with one of his main characters I want him to be able to jump in at any time, after reading it and going “Wait, where did that come from. That doesn’t work at all. Let’s go back to chapter x and–”
This means in the afternoon I’ll be working for me. Now some of these are for Baen. I need to do Darkship Defiance, Hacking the Storm (Fuse’s book. Yes, yes, you’ll get it when you read Darkship Revenge), and Bowl of Red, the fourth in the Shifter’s series.
BUT some of it will have to be for indie, partly because indie makes more money, and there are several things I want to do to this house which will take money. Also, frankly, because though I trust Baen to survive while most other genre publishers vanish (with an earth shattering kaboom) it is very hard for me, given my personality, to put my future in someone else’s hands, their business decisions and their decisions re: my work. It gives me the same heebeejeebies as flying, because I’m not in control. (Yeah, okay, but it’s the way that I am and as grandma used to say “we don’t make ourselves.”)
The “problem” is that I have a full slate for the year, about as full as I’ve ever had for trad publishing. (My record was six books delivered.)
Of course things have changed. The year I did that, we still had both boys, under the age of 15, in the house, and I was homeschooling the genius, which … never mind. Let’s just say he ate three curricula in three months (they wee supposed to last a year) and then we designed our own which included graduate level work on William Shakespeare. And to keep an eye on him, I was learning Greek and Latin alongside him.
Right now we’re settling into semi-demi-empty nest. We have a son technically living with us, but he has his own basement apartment, so we only see him when he runs out of coffee and steals mine. Or when he wishes to talk. It’s rather different. The possibility exists, at least, that I can write as many books for indie as are due at Baen, maybe more.
To facilitate this, it would help if some of the work — coff — was already done. A conversation in one of FB’s private groups reminded me I do in fact have a lot of half written books which my then agent didn’t know “how to market.” So I spent part of the day before yesterday going over those.
The good news, despite the dismal output the last five years, is that I have actually gotten better at this writing thing. The bad news is that those books will need a good “drubbing” clean up before seeing the light of day. The better news is that I expect to get out, fairly soon: Witch’s Daughter; Rogue Magic; The Musketeer’s Confessor; Royal Blood; A Well Inlaid Death (Dyce Dare) and perhaps Lord of Shadows (Persephone’s story set in present day.)
I haven’t forgotten any of the other things, including Dragons (very much haven’t forgotten that.) or the YA way overdue at Wordfire. I’m just listing above the things half-written and therefore needing less time to get to market. Say, the next three four months.
The waiting bench for other writing is deep and includes the fictionalized biographies of all of Henry VIII’s queens, (I know, but they sell), the orphan kitten mysteries, and a sort of Agatha Christie pastiche. There is also Dead City which is a classic mystery crossed with a UF with its base in Christian mythos and theology which is rather rare for fantasy (without being in any way what could be called “Christian” as a genre. Most of the roots are in Medieval legends about purgatory and hell.) That’s way at the back, at a slow simmer but I have some notes on worldbuilding.
There is also, for my sins, a mil sf trilogy which has no series name yet, but goes Madrasta’s Children, Taking Heaven, Valhalla is for Heroes. Who knows when I’ll get to it? Barring the ability to go away for a month and slam it out, probably not for a couple of years.
So… bear with me?
If I can take a week off from the blog, I promise to return to it fully refreshed, too.
Anyway, that’s where we are right now. Somewhere in there there will be a ten day trip to Portugal. We’re going to Liberty con as usual. There will PROBABLY be other trips, though I can’t swear to those yet. Some of them might even be for fun.
Lately I’ve come to miss Oregon in fall, with its continuous rain (it reminds me of my childhood, as that’s pretty close to the climate I grew up with) but whether I can convince Dan to take a week or so up there is something else. (Probably not.) If we do, it will be a writing vacation, anyway.
So, that’s the state of the writer, for this snowy Spring Saturday. I shall now go have some more coffee and go finish an overdue (natch) short story.
The SOS for blog posts is real, but if I don’t get it, I’ll do some blasts from the past. And it’s only a week, honest, and then I’ll be back. If you guys think that will be okay. It’s been… (counts)… 8? years since I took a vacation from the blog, so it’s not like I’m doing this every week.
Okay, now I go work. I was hoping to take today off and go to the museum, but I don’t think we want to drive in this. So I’ll work, and take the day off after it thaws.
Oh, yeah. I knew I was forgetting something. This is now out:
Also, because I was born dumb and keep forgetting things: I will be sending out all the stuff I promised to people who won various raffles here. (Except I lost the posters of the dragonette, so wait until I clean my art area.)
Also, I now have copies of Darkship Revenge, I still have an audiobook of Through Fire to give away, and I have posters of the cover of Darkship Revenge. If you throw your hat in the ring, I’ll put it all in a bowl and have Greebo pick a name.