Keep Pushing Forward (Writing Update)


What a strange trip.

You scrimp and scrape and toil, and just when you think you've got everything figured out, a swarm of mutant badgers descends from the trees and chases you into a cesspool of unicorn shit and goblin vomit.

You think, "Well, this sucks, but at least I escaped those damn badgers."

Then you realize that the badgers can swim. Some of them get close enough to nibble your skin. To nip at your shirt. And it's all you can do to stay one step ahead of them. You know if they catch you, they'll rip you to pieces.  So you keep on slogging through the shit, even as they strip you of your clothes, your dignity, and eventually, your sanity.

Then one day you wake up and think, "Why am I nipple-deep in goblin vomit? Where did all these badgers come from? What the fuck happened to my life?"

In that moment, what can you do but keep pushing forward?

Writing update for July:

July was a busy month. I spent the first week polishing the sample chapters of A RAVENING FIRE. They're still not perfect, but they're getting there.

I devoted the rest of the month to researching/writing/revising a short story set in the world of GARDEN OF THE STARS for submission to an anthology. I'm fairly happy with the final product. While I think it stands reasonably well on its own, I also see it as a sort of a proof-of-concept for the eventual GARDEN OF THE STARS novel.

Writing goals for August:

This week and next, I'll be putting the finishing touches on the Project-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named. Once that's finally complete, I'll dive back into A RAVENING FIRE for the final push. My new plan is to set all other stories aside so I can finish this draft before the end of 2015.

Books read/listened to in July:

  • STELES OF THE SKY by Elizabeth Bear. A satisfying conclusion to the ETERNAL SKY trilogy. I had the immense fortune to sit down with Elizabeth at Readercon and pick her brain about worldbuilding, horse husbandry, and heterochromia. What an intelligent, wonderful person.
  • STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel. As I said on Twitter, this is the gorgeous, haunting book Stephen King tried (and failed) to produce when he wrote THE STAND. I loved every word of it.
  • A WILDER ROSE by Susan Wittig Albert (audiobook). A lovely little story about Rose Wilder Lane (the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder) and her journey to becoming her mother's ghost writer.
  • THE DEVIL'S ONLY FRIEND by Dan Wells (audiobook). Just as creepy and wonderful as the other John Cleaver books. I don't know how Dan spends so much time inside the mind of a sociopath. Maybe I don't want to know...

(A variety of circumstances conspired to keep me from reading nearly as much as I hoped to last month. I started both THE MIRROR EMPIRE and THE PERSIANS, but didn't quite finish them.)

Reading/listening list for August:

  • THE MIRROR EMPIRE by Kameron Hurley.
  • A STRANGER IN OLONDRIA by Sofia Samatar.
  • THE BONE CLOCKS by David Mitchell (audiobook).
  • THE PERSIANS by Homa Katouzian.

It looks like I'm going to have to cut back on my reading a bit. Blasphemy, I know...but I realized I've been letting it cut into my writing time. And right now, writing is absolutely my priority.

What's everyone else reading? Anything I might have missed that I should check out right away?