HELLO and welcome to the first of what I intend to be a monthly series of posts that outline things I, as a Person Who Is Also A Writer, have accomplished in the last 30 days or so. In part this is because everyone likes a good brag, but also because I tend to fall into this hole of not-feeling-like-I-accomplish-anything, especially in the middle of long projects or after a string of rejections (or both, wheeeeee). So I feel like this is both a way to do a little self-promo and a kind of self-care.
I’m doing something else, though, and I thought about it for a while beforehand, and I’m honestly still not sure what I think about it. Essentially, I’m including anything fandom-related I’ve done, including stuff from the pan-fandom roleplaying game I’m involved with (aka Darrow, aka #tcrpg, aka RP). I’m doing this in significant part because it would be difficult to overstate how much fandom writing has influenced and continues to influence every other kind of creative writing I do. Fanfiction showed me I could write and gave me the confidence to pursue it for money (just not, y’know, a lot of it). And if you look at the acknowledgements for my recent and upcoming books, you’ll notice I mention Darrow; there’s a good reason for that.
And finally, though I feel like the stigma of fanfiction and fandom among writers – at least genre writers – is increasingly oversold, I do think it’s still regarded by some as a set of streams that shouldn’t be crossed. And while I don’t think fanfiction and “original” fiction are exactly the same kinds of writing that do the exact same thing, I do think they deserve to get equal places at the table.
So at the end of this, I’m going to talk about fanfic and RP; feel free to ignore. A final caveat, though, in line with the above: I don’t look at my fanfic/RP the same way I do my other stuff. Among other things, it’s an arena wherein I try out ideas and techniques and issues with which I don’t feel comfortable working in my short stories and books. For me, it’s a different kind of writing. It’s done for public consumption, but a particular kind of public. If you peruse it, please bear that in mind.
SO. If you read all that, you get a cookie.
On to the stuff.
- I published my essay collection (trade paperback here; ebook in all colors of the rainbow here). It was a lot of work, I did 99% of it myself, and I’ve very proud of it.
- I went to my first Readercon. Spoiler alert: It was awesome.
- I had two stories in two best-ofs. “A Heap of Broken Images” in The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Thirty-First Annual Edition (originally published in We See a Different Frontier), and “Event Horizon” in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, 2014 Edition (originally published in Strange Horizons).
- On the submission front, I only sent out two short stories, one of them a rewrite request/suggestion. I completed none. That was in part because of what’s been happening on the writing front:
- Did the highly questionable working-on-two-novels at-once thing again. The current stats are 75.7k words in Rookwar (Casting the Bones book 3) and 31.1k words in Untitled Book About How Kae d’Bideshi Met His Wife and They Had Adventures and Saved Everyone and Dealt With Relationship Stuff in an Awkward Fashion. Gonna need a snappier title at some point. Rookwar should be done very soon. I have no idea about UBAHKBMHWaTHAaSEaDWRSiaAF.
- Looking toward the distant future, I completed almost all the final edits on Labyrinthian and I have cover art, which I can show off once it gets the thumbs-up from the marketing gnomes. Expect that soon.
- Coming up in August, my story “Cold as the Moon” will be out in Strange Horizons toward the latter part of the month, and next week Ravenfall will get its release. I’ll be running a giveaway for that starting in the next two days. I made jewelry. Stay tuned.
- Fandom-wise, I sort of lost it regarding the Uncharted franchise – after feeling decidedly meh about the first game – and I wrote a crossover with The Last of Us that’s been percolating for a while. I’m proud of it, but holy God is it depressing:
He was supposed to _win._ That’s how this works, how it always works. There’s danger and the threat of death and then there’s a goddamn deus ex machina, a god literally from the fucking machine to pluck them all out of the fire and set them down on level ground. He always takes the impossible shot. He always makes the impossible leap. He always jumps from the exploding vehicle at the last possible moment. She would have been dead for sure, and then he would have saved her, or something, and everything would have ended up okay even if the rest of the world was gone to shit.
He was supposed to win. Not lose absolutely everything.
Lips on his brow. He wanted to beg her to bite him, and that was so fucked up and so stupid.
_If you love me you’ll do this for me. We promised each other. You remember. Don’t you dare back out now. Come on, you’ve done harder things._
I love you. I love you, I love you. Fingers around the grip. Just like ten thousand times before. Your heart is a bullet, Nathan. This is what it does.
And now here comes the RP (Darrow). Here’s where most of you will get off the train. The rest of you, follow me under the cut.
This was a rough-ass month. I’ve been working so damn hard on these books, I’ve been freaking out about being imminently unemployed and about my future in general, I’ve been trying to decide if I want to finish my doctorate (still not sure), I’ve been teaching a summer intro sociology course that meets every day for three fucking hours, and among other things all of that means I’ve had to put RP stuff on the backburner. But things are actually coming together for fall, so I feel a major desire to leap back into things in August. I have Plans.
Is doing well these days. He’s still nine-tenths of a serial killer, but thanks to Neil his head is on straight, he’s enjoying spending more time with his family, he’s happy at work, and is very shortly going to become a father again, even if mostly in a technical capacity. Whatever, he’ll be thrilled. For a sadistic murderer, the guy loves babies. It’s sickening. I’m always looking for new stuff to do with him. He continues to be probably my easiest dude. He’s the only one I’ll be tossing into Grand Fisher plot, because I’m still a tad swamped. Who he – and Neil – will be seeing… hoo boy.
Very settled; maybe a little too settled. I didn’t really play him at all in July, and I want to shake him up in August; there’s a plot in the works that involves Eleanor and a sudden trip to the hospital at some point that should be fun. I want to continue to explore his relationship with Lily, and his continuing work on recovering his pre-Rapture memories. I love him but he goes quiet, especially when I’m very busy. He’s no trouble, I just need to get him out there.
If I drop anyone, it will probably be him – I don’t want or expect to, but of all of mine he’s still the hardest. I just still don’t have as good a handle on him as I do the others, and I may never. He also needs to get out there, and I want him to develop some stronger connections with people. He has friends, but he still feels a bit isolated to me. He has his son, and that’s a huge part of his life, but his son can’t yet, y’know, talk.
I’m very happy with Daryl at the moment – he’s sort of settling in, but he’s also keenly aware that everything could vanish at any minute, so he’s not comfortable. Adding to his general discomfort is the fact that he’s never led a life this normal before – job, apartment, roommates, everything steady and above-board; he’s not averse to it but he’s not used to it, and that’s fun to work through. He’s also still clueless when it comes to Beth, which I’m enjoying, because it’s every bit as adorable as it is frustrating, and I love slow-moving ships. Ships that hardly move at all. Ships that are basically anchored. Not sure yet exactly what I’ll be doing with him, but I’m sure things will present themselves.
Yeah, I’m gonna do it, assuming I can get reqs out of the way early. I’ve been wanting to for a while, and I think I’m going to take the plunge. I still have to work a lot out, and that involves a s2 rewatch, but he’ll either be coming in from the hospital or from not too long after he gets out, so he’ll be in a bad place. Which will be so, so fun; I’ve worked through some dark stuff with Mike and I think Will provides opportunities for even more of that. He’d be just as much out to expose Hannibal as he was on the show, but of course he’s also be bringing all his other issues with him.
And, if I can make everything work:
I wasn’t going to. I wasn’t going to. And then… God, look at his fucking face, I HATE IT IT’S THE WORST. Not sure exactly where/when he’d be coming from; I’m leaning toward some part of Uncharted 2 but I’m not done with 3 yet, and that might determine a lot. I also need to figure out some of his angle, because I HATE HIS FACE isn’t really sufficient. And of course I’m also taking a risk at least a bit because Uncharted 4 is happening and if nothing else I’m denying myself some amazing icons, but whatever, I need him in my life.
(I was thinking about a PB for him and then I was like… why? Dude already has a face.)
He’ll also be an August app, if I can work it. Two pups in one month, what am I even doing
also I told myself I wouldn’t have a roster full of dudes, look at all the duuuuuuuuudes