A Quick Update on My Writing

Today, just a quick update before I dive back into my writing. I just want to check in and let you  guys know what I’m working on. Cafe Writers

So, this is what’s up:

Jamming on horror comedy novella
The main thing I’m working on right now is FINISHING my comedy horror novella, “AFTA.” Everything is taking a back seat to this. I’ve been pushing off some juicy, tempting short story ideas just to finish editing this and get it off to the proofer. Once I get it back from her, I will do a post announcing it….FINALLLY.

Work shopping my SciFi short story
I was able to workshop a SciFi short I’m working on. The result? They liked it, but the world building could be richer and more consistent. To me, that’s a great response. It means the mechanics (plot, characters, etc.) are solid, but that the story needs some work. Soon as the novella is in the can, I’ll do just that.

Waiting for acceptance of horror short story
Still haven’t heard back from 2 mags on my story, “The Ghul of Yazd.” I reread it the other day and I feel it’s still a solid, well-written story. I’m not giving up on this one. I have a plan B if it gets rejected  by these last two. Essentially, it’s this: Shorten and resubmit it. Again, I’ll keep you posted.


That’s all for now. I leave you with this article from the Atlantic which claims there is a scientific basis for the benefit of writing in cafes. I can’t say much to the science of it, all I know is that it works for me. As I’ve said before, I do all my fiction writing in cafes.

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Writing, writing, writing

Busy life, busy writing. My ‘real’ job was CRAZY this week and I’m doing some writer’s group stuff for friends this weekend. So, no time to blog. I will get back to it when I get chance. As of right now, I don’t see having time for the next couple of weeks. But if I do have time to come up for air, I will put up a longer post.

The good news? I’m jamming to finish my latest manuscript (AFTA, my comedy horror novella) and will get back to the blog as soon as I can.

For up-to-date progress, check out my Twitter feed. I always post there when I reach a new milestone.

All for now


100th Post

This, incidentally, was also my 100th post on my blog. Wow.

It all started back in July 2012 with a post announcing the launch of my (then) new book, The Library of Lost Books.

Anyway, I plan to keep writing fiction and keep writing this blog. I’m getting close to finishing a number of new projects and can’t wait to get them done and in your hands.

Keep coming back. The 101st post is just around the corner.

DJ

Back to the Writing

Sit tight, everybody. I finally escaped Vegas and after two weeks  off (the other weekend was for RavenCon), I’m back to writing today. That means, I’m not able to blog right now.

It sucks, I know. But, it’s for a good cause: wrapping up editing on my comedy-horror novella. I’m going to keep going until I crush this one. Then, see if I can find a home for it.

Wish me luck. Look for a new post next  week.


Couldn’t leave you guys totally empty handed. This performance blew me away. What kind of genius can take someone else’s song, improve it and make it all seem so natural? Jimi Hendrix, that’s who. 

Hendrix reinterprets Dylan. Monterey Pop Festival, 1967.

The Craft: Write What You Love

[This is part of a continuing series on the art of writing fiction.]

Why do you write?

Every writer has his reasons. I write because I have to. I have a void within me that can only be filled by writing. (And for those of you who are wondering, yes, I stole that vaguely sexual idea from a misattributed Pascal quote.) I 4th_Bn_Royal_Fusiliers_22_August_1914tried to deny it for years, pretend it didn’t exist, but it never went away. And now that I’m back writing fiction again, everything is just fine.

I’ve talked a lot about technical reasons for writing. About how to approach fiction writing with your mind. But what about your heart? Meeting so many people that are inspired to write last week at RavenCon, my brothers- and sisters-in-arms all, has really fired me up. It also got me thinking about the passion behind what we do.

While mulling this stuff, I’ve been not celebrating, but let’s say marking the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I (OK, I’m  a few months early) by reading The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman. It’s a gripping read, despite the fact that you know how it will end. She focuses on the first month of the four-year war, despite her editors urging her to focus on just the battle of Mons. She pulls out the frame just enough to capture the major battles and intrigues of that first month, but no more. Why did she do it that way?

Because for her, that was the most interesting part. And since it was the most interesting part, she would naturally write it more forcefully and vividly. It shows in the writing, too. You can feel  her enthusiasm for her subject. In his foreword to my edition, Robert K Massie, himself a great historian, explains.

People wondered how she did it. In a numbers of speeches and essays…she told them. The first, indispensable quality she declared was ‘being in love with your subject.’ She described on of her professors at Harvard, a man passionately in love with the Magna Carta, remembering ‘how his blue eyes blazed as he discussed it and how I sat on the edge of my seat then too.’ She admitted how depressed  she was years later by meeting an unhappy graduate student forced to write a thesis, not on a subject about which he was enthusiastic, but one which had been suggested by his department as needful of original research. How can it interest others, she wondered, if it doesn’t interest you?

Indeed. Believe me, that passage is underlined in my copy. So what does it mean for me, the fiction writer? It means letting the pen follow where the heart leads. It means writing great fiction and not caring if someone wants to label it “science fiction” or “horror” or “literary fiction.” Let the marketers decide that. It means focusing on the time periods, in the past and future, that most interest me. It means developing ideas that I can’t stop thinking about even if other people don’t seem to realize how intriguing they are…yet. In the end that ‘love’ comes through in the writing.

To a great extent, I already do this, but reading Massie’s foreword just solidified my underlying beliefs. Now, it’s up to me to pick up the pen, keep writing, keep submitting stories and keep getting my stuff out to readers.

I can’t wait to keep that going.


A SHORT NOTE FROM REAL LIFE: After a short break at RavenCon last week, I’m taking some vacation this weekend. When that’s over, it’s time to get back to writing and editing fiction. And to write a blog post about my first Con experience. Stay tuned.