Monday, August 23, 2010

Writer's Journal-What I've Been Working (and Not Working) On

Spent most of the last week, along with many of my fellow Clarionites (-oids?  -istas?) working on a 150-word micro-flash piece for Jeff and Ann VanderMeers' upcoming The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, a follow-up to the award-winning Thackery T. Lambstead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases.

A description of the project, and my entry, can be found here (also look for entries from fellow Clarionites Leah Thomas, Gregory Norman Bossert, and Tom Underberg; entries by Kali Wallace, Nick Farrar, Jessica Hilt, and Dustin J. Monk are currently in the works).  We've been reading each other's entries all week, and it's been great fun, and great reading, too:  that's a talented bunch of people I got to learn with this summer, and I don't doubt that many of them will be chosen for inclusion in the Cabinet, as well as accepted for publication at the many and sundry markets to which we are all submitting these days.

Speaking of which, I also spent a bit of time this past week revising a flash piece I wrote while at Clarion, which I have tentatively entitled 'Emergence.'  It's a 700-word story about a hive-mind on a space station that's lost contact with the rest of humanity.  I'm pretty happy with it, I think.  I put it up on the google group today for my fellows to read through, so we'll see what they have to say.  I'm going to send it to Clarkesworld first, though it's kind of a longshot, since they only take 12 unsolicited submissions per year.  But they are a pro market, and they turn around their slush pile pretty quickly.  Jeff and Ann, who read and critiqued the original version, suggested I start there when I was ready to try and publish it, which seems like an even better reason than those stated above, since they are, if not as gods, then still pretty freakin' awesome.

That said, I have not done a great deal of writing or revising since I got back home.  It's getting better, but my hindbrain feels as if it's in the middle of reconstructing itself after being broken down into its constituent parts at the workshop, and the thought of trying to write anything (even this) makes my head go all fuzzy.  I'm told it's relatively normal, and it was suggested to me by at least half my instructors (two of whom were in the Clarion class of 1992) that I take a few weeks off after all was said and done to rest up and internalize the lessons I learned while I was there, but I do wish I felt more like being productive (both as a writer and in general).  It felt good to write that micro-flash piece (about the stake used to 'kill' a 'vampire' in 18th century Serbia), and to do a bit of work on 'Emergence,' but I've got at least three more stories from Clarion that I think I can make something out of that I'd like to be able to work on.  And there's getting back to work on my novel, which I may or may not put on the back-burner for a little while while I work on other projects (for one thing, at least one of the stories I wrote at Clarion strikes me as eminently novelizable, and much easier to write than the one I've been working on for the last several years).

Ah, the life of a working writer...

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