Getting Down to the Business of Writing

Since my last post I’ve taken advantage of the lull between Five Rivers’ publishing projects to work on my own writing. It’s amazing what you can achieve with a little will power and discipline. In about 10 days I’ve:

  • Finished the first revision of my novella, Caliban. This is a speculative fiction dealing with the concepts of reality and beauty, through the voice of an alien creature known as Tine. It has been challenging writing from an alien perspective about another alien, which has required a willingness on my part to set aside all human prejudices and become these other creatures, to imagine what life would be like confined to their realities. When I played let’s pretend as a little girl, I had no idea that play would lead to a necessary skill as a spec-fic writer. So, first revision is done, but just when I thought the novella was ready to fire off to an editor, I realized I’d forgotten to weave in some key technical elements, and so will now go back over the story with a view to tightening up not only the technology, but the environment I’ve created. If you’re going to build it, you have to make it real enough your reader will step through the looking glass with you.
  • Spent some time researching markets and found a potential home for one of my speculative short stories, At Union. I particularly like this story. Think it’s a new twist on an old theme, given to me in part through a nightmare of my daughter’s, and deal with trains, resurrection and a father’s love.
  • In that research I found an anthology open for submission, with a theme that perfectly fits another short story, A Perfect Spell, I’d originally written for, and didn’t submit to Tesseracts15. Hoping the story will find a home with this new anthology. I think it’s a happy match, but I’m all too aware that my idea of perfection is often familiar.
  • During all of that I managed to complete a new short story, Occupational Hazards, this one a bit of a departure for me because no one dies, no one cries, no meets tragedy and despair. In fact, I think it’s quite humourous, written from the viewpoint of an unreliable narrator. I’ve now sent it to Robert Runte for comment, as he’s brutally honest and often sees things I don’t. It’s really awful of me to ask him to do this, as he’s so ridiculously busy himself. Still, I’m hoping he’ll find enough merit in the story that I can set to a small revision and then fire it off to the anthology for which I’ve targeted it.
  • And today, while this lull lasts, I’ll work on completing yet another short story, Haki’s Song, which is a speculative fiction dealing with L’Anse aux Meadows, based partly on people from The Greenland Saga, and partly on the clash between slave and master, cultures and belief systems.

Am I still working on The Rose Guardian? Yes. But as I’ve written before, that novel is a challenge for me, requiring more of my skill as a writer than ever before. Consequently I’ve been spending a great deal of time preoccupied with it, letting it percolate in my subconscious where I’m working out voice, plot details, pacing. I still feel it will be the best thing I’ve written to date. It’s just going to take me awhile to get there.

Of course late next week I’ll have to put back on my publisher’s hat and set to work on the next projects for Five Rivers. But while this sun shines, I’ll make some hay of my own.

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