Balance (Writing Update)

Since these updates are mostly for me, I like to start them off with something the casual reader might enjoy.

This month's interesting Internet morsel?

Cat music.

Apparently, cat music is now a thing. And it sounds…decent? I'm not sure I have the proper auditory anatomy to appraise this type of art. I guess I'll just have to let my cats tell me whether or not it's any good.

Writing update for February:

Work on the beta reader draft of A RAVENING FIRE is chugging along. As anticipated, the first chapter needed a TON of work (I basically rewrote the entire thing).

My whole revision process still feels pretty nebulous, though. I haven't yet found the right balance between pace and precision. I was able to bang out twenty pages a day while revising THE DISTANT LIGHT OF DAWN, but that was just a rough draft. I knew I was going to trunk it for a few months when I finished, so I didn't feel like it had to be perfect.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think speed is the be-all, end-all. Some authors spend years between books (a couple of big names in fantasy spring to mind).

I guess I just need to keep reminding myself that it takes the time it takes.

Writing goals for March:

  • Continue writing/revising the beta reader draft of A RAVENING FIRE.
  • Revise A SMUDGED AND CROOKED LINE and THE MARK OF YATAGARASU for submission. (I didn't get to either of these last month like I'd hoped. I always feel a little unproductive when I have NOTHING out for submission.)

Books read/listened to in February:

  • RANGE OF GHOSTS by Elizabeth Bear. An enjoyable read. The world was incredibly well-realized, even if the learning curve was a tad steep for my taste. I'm curious to see where this series goes.
  • YOU ARE NOT SO SMART by David McRaney. This was a fascinating look at various logical fallacies and the many ways our brains deceive us. More of an overview than a deep dive, but an enjoyable read nonetheless. From now on, I'm going to make a point of reading at least one non-fiction book per month.
  • INFORMATION DOESN'T WANT TO BE FREE by Cory Doctorow (audiobook). First off, Wil Wheaton is a fantastic narrator. I've listened to him read at least half a dozen books (mostly by John Scalzi), and he does a stellar job every time. Though this is a fairly short book, Cory is able to pack a surprising amount of information into it as he breaks down the systemic effect of copyright on creators and their audiences.

Reading/listening goals for March:

  • Finish reading THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM by Liu Cixin (translated by Ken Liu). I had the pleasure of meeting Ken Liu at Readercon last year. For such a down-to-earth guy, he's frighteningly intelligent. I've enjoyed his short fiction, and I'm eagerly anticipating his debut novel, THE GRACE OF KINGS.
  • Finish reading SALT, SUGAR, FAT by Michael Moss.
  • Start reading THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by Katherine Addison.
  • Start reading THE PANDA'S THUMB by Stephen Jay Gould.
  • Continue listening to PROMISE OF BLOOD by Brian McClellan.

[I decided to hold off reading SHATTERED PILLARS by Elizabeth Bear. I'll finish the Eternal Sky trilogy soon, but awards season is upon us and I still haven't read THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM or THE GOBLIN EMPEROR.]

So that's my month.

I'm still trying to find someone who'll pay me good money to sit on my ass all day and read. No luck yet, but hopes are high.