Thursday, September 6, 2018

Getting Back To It

Now Playing: A JOURNEY IN THE DARK by Howard Shore
Just Read: CITY OF THIEVES by David Benioff--Loved this book! Absolutely fantastic writing throughout; really on the best written books I've read in a long time. Really enjoyed the language and characterization of the supporting cast.
Reading Now: THE RUNAWAY JURY by John Grisham

Just wrote my first new words since finishing graduate school. It was a good feeling, but it wasn't much--a few hundred words that came to me (at the risk of sounding cliche) in the shower. I was thinking about how John Grisham always writes about law adventures because he's a lawyer--maybe I should write about anesthetics. So I did.

Getting back to it after a long absence is hard. I've done it before, always because of time constraints of one type or another. Each time requires a bit of a transitional period to get the metaphorical dust off. I usually start with some editing and lots of thinking, which I did today.

I was thinking about where to send stories I've already written but haven't had the time to shop around. My mom wanted me to clean out my old desk back home, and in it I found a Writers of the Future Honorable Mention certificate--that makes seven for me, which I consider to be good, but what I really want is a win. A few of those stories that earned Honorable Mentions haven't been to other magazines; today I was brainstorming where would be best, and doing some mild editing to that end.

In short, it's back to work. It is work, and I have to remember that and not sit around and wait for the fabled muse to bless me. I'm going to set a writing goal tomorrow, and see if I can meet it. Wish me luck. Or better yet--tell me to get to it.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Onward!

Now Playing: SKYRIM by Jeremy Soule
Just Read: A WALK ACROSS THE SUN by Corban Addison--I wish some of these characters were a little more active (things kept happening TO them), but overall I enjoyed this book.
Reading Now: CITY OF THIEVES by David Benioff

Well, it's been a long road, but grad school is over and I've successfully passed boards! I'm going to be a nurse anesthetist! The final six months of school flew by, and the last few weeks especially have been a whirlwind. But I'm finally on this side of it, and it feels so good.

At the beginning of school we had a talk about time-energy commitment. The idea is that some things require a lot of time to accomplish, while others take a lot of energy. An undertaking like anesthesia school takes both. And you only have a finite amount to give to the things you want to accomplish.

I was happy to agree to this commitment, but it came with certain sacrifices. Writing fiction was mine--I used to write one story per week. The glory days! That was in the Write1Sub1 era, maybe like 2012. I dropped down and pretty consistently wrote one story per month until school started, but my productivity kept decreasing as school went on and became more and more all-consuming.

But now it's done! And one thing that never stopped the whole time was the influx of ideas. I have a notes app on my phone with almost 400 new story ideas. That's a lot of writing ahead of me. Now that I've got some time, I'm hoping to tackle a few of them, maybe even in a rush over the next month. An explosion of pent-up fiction! Let's get started.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

New Places, New Ideas

Now Playing: TOLD YOU SO by Drowning Pool
Just Read: VORTEX by Robert Charles Wilson--Very entertaining read, but different from the other two books in the series. Spin was the best, Axis the worst, Vortex perhaps the most fun.
Reading Now: THE CUCKOO'S CALLING by Robert Galbraith

Grad school is coming to a head--six months left until graduation! In many ways this is awesome, but the workload only increases until the final day. I've got a large final project and paper, a summer of studying before boards, and classes with their own tests along the way until then.

I'm trying to find time to write, but the chances are few and far between. I had a talk with my cousin, who's a musician, about this kind of thing, and he encouraged me to not put too much pressure on myself. He said these kinds of life-centered road blocks happen, and that it's okay because they won't be around forever. He learned, in his case, to play a few chords here and there to stay in love with the craft, then to get back to it whenever life calmed down.

This week I flew out to Arizona for a nurse anesthesia conference, and while here I decided I wanted to get the next book by Beth Cato. She was a member of Write1Sub1 back in the day, and since then she's published a few novels, and I'm a big fan, and not just because we were both in the same online community of writers, which gives me hope that I could publish too, before long. She's really good!

I got to a local bookstore called The Poisoned Pen, and it turns out they were having a book signing by a science fiction writer named Tom Sweterlitsch. So I stayed, listened, talked with him, loved the premise of his book "The Gone World," and bought it. Of course I got it signed. He was great to listen to, and I'm looking forward to reading his book.

Then I got home and opened Beth Cato's book and found out that IT was signed as well! Woohoo!

Being in a strange place around new science fiction writers is inspiring to me. It energizes me and makes me want to think about new stories, and to write them. I have one in mind now that mixes space travel, villainy, and virtual reality. We'll see if I can get it on paper and edited before the March WotF deadline. That's the hope! Here's to trying.