State of the Swan

I don’t have to report for jury duty today — yay! So here’s an update on where I stand work-wise, in the wake of the India trip and A Star Shall Fall.

1) I do, of course, have to deal with copy-edits and page proofs for Star. Not sure yet when those will show up, though, so for the time being that work is in limbo.

2) Next after that one is the Victorian book. Due to the vagaries of my last few years, this, the fourth Onyx Court novel, will be the first one where I’ve had more than a month or two of lead time in which to do my research before I put words on the page. You have no idea how wonderful that feels. In order to give myself more time for the actual drafting, I plan to start that at the beginning of April, but that still leaves me five months for a leisurely, low-pressure campaign of prep reading. Look for various “help me o internets” posts as I figure out what I want to pick up first.

3) Writing full-time means I need to hold myself to a higher standard of productivity than I did while teaching or taking classes. Ergo, I’m also starting work on a pure spec project. For those not familiar with the term, writing “on spec,” i.e. “on speculation,” means you’re doing it on your own time, without a contract promising money when you’re done. This project, code-named TLT, is a just-for-me novel; if I don’t finish it, or if I do finish it and then decide it isn’t really for publication, then that’s okay. I’m doing it because I want to, because I think it’ll be fun. And “having fun” is an important part of this job, for the preservation of sanity. Anyway, the plan for this is to aim for 5K a week, with weekends off, and if I don’t make my goal then I won’t beat myself up over it.

4) I also have another sekrit projekt on the back burner, code-named FY. No wordcount goals for this one; I just want to play around with it and see what happens.

5) Short stories. I’m beginning to accept that short stories aren’t likely to happen while I’m drafting Onyx Court books, but the result is that my pipeline of stories has gotten fairly empty at every stage — very few upcoming publications, because very few sales, because very few submissions, because very few stories prepared, because very few stories awaiting revision. Between now and April, I’d like to make some progress in fixing that. The tentative goal is to finish both Edward’s untitled story and “Serpent, Wolf, and Half-Dead Thing” before the end of the month; we’ll see if I can manage it or not.

Now I head up to the city for errands and the Borderlands signing tonight. India pictures later — hopefully tonight or tomorrow.

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