November 13th, 2007


Szpaszpas Szpissmas covers the Writers' Guild strike. Scroll down to the Ask a Ninja entry for valuable advice on striking!

What I'm working on this month and into December:
  • The novel. Today I wrestle chapter five into submission and move on to chapter six.
  • Six essays on scandals for a modern scandals encyclopedia, including Dave Beck, Elijah Muhammed, Nancy Wakeman, Anne Gorsuch, Bess Myerson and Leonoa Helmsley.
  • A couple of tech columns.
  • A novelette sized collaboration for the ESCAPIST'S fiction issue.
  • Finishing up teaching the F&SF class. Tomorrow we talk about revision and rewriting. I usually prepare 1500-2000 words worth of lectures for those classes, which includes exercises. I also try to put together a handout for folks.
  • Reading for FANTASY. So far I mark one out of every eight or so manuscripts for Sean's consideration. I have read about 80-90 so far.
  • Getting stories circulating -- I have a passel of them that are just sitting them and should be doing something.
  • Promoting THE SURGEON'S TALE.

In gogor's name, for gagar's sake

Had a great stint of coffee shop writing, in which I started a story. Came home and got a 1000 words in on the novel, and then finished banging out the story, "Aquila," which is another of the recent Zalanthas based stories, along with "Her Eyes Like Sky, And Coal, And Moonlight" and "Mirabai the Twice-Lived". They're all S&S-type fantasy so I'm not sure yet where I'll send them off to -- suggestions for pro markets are welcome.

Here's a chunk from the roughest of rough drafts:

Just before sunrise, they ascended the stone stairs leading above the main gate. They nodded to the soldiers there, warming themselves over the fire that burned from dusk to dawn and went up even further, to the utmost tip of the arch. There Aquila leaned against the black stone, feeling its chilly bite against her legs and enjoying the sensation. Marius stood beside her silently; he did not touch the stone but stood straight and still, like a soldier at attention.

The darkness changed all at once, in the space of a single breath – one moment there was only blackness before them, and then red light cascaded from behind them as Suk-Krath tipped the eastern plain. The shadow of the city's walls stretched out for leagues, a vast blow across the crimson desert sands, which stretched out endlessly, full of mekillot and star dunes, countless configurations of sand and wind, variations on a single stony theme. It was a landscape that echoed through her soul, and almost brought tears to her eyes.