Woke up to the delightful news that Luebbe, a German publisher, has made an offer for both
Doppelganger and Warrior and Witch. I’ve always been tickled by the idea of a
German translation of Doppelganger — all they have to do is slap an umlaut back on the
title and it’s good to go! (The title is, anyway. The rest of the book would need some
This also highlights two interesting facts about the Life of the Writer. First, foreign
sales are your friends, because then people give you more money without you having to write
more books. It isn’t much, but by such things do writers make their livings. Second, this is
why one acquires an agent. Every so often you get new writers kvetching over the way agents
take a cut off the money their clients earn, but they absolutely deserve it; I wouldn’t have
the first clue how to start marketing translation rights to my novels. (Let alone all the
other useful things an agent does.)
So, life is pretty good.
Now back to work, I suppose.
Got a delightful e-mail from a reader today, alerting me that he has made a page on Wikipedia for Doppelganger.
It’s odd little things like this that convince me, yes, I really am a published author. (Not that I thought the boxes of books were hallucinations or anything, but ya know. It can use reinforcement.)
I had to get up early this morning to help the boy take his car to the shop, and when I got
home, I couldn’t go back to sleep. I’m sure I’ll crash out in the early afternoon to make up
for it, but in the meantime, I’m awake, and I decided I should be productive (if not on the
things I really should focus on). So there’s now the usual page for “Nine Sketches,
in Charcoal and Blood,” and more to the point, I’ve finally caught up on recommendations! (I
know I’ve been deluging you all with them over the last few days; I apologize for that.) This
time around, in honor of the time of year, it’s Sergei Lukyanenko’s Russian fantasy Night Watch. I’m
fairly certain that’s the first translated fantasy novel I’ve ever finished reading; there’s a
dearth of the stuff in our genre anyway. And that puts me back on track, finally, for the
recommendations, after months of being very, very bad about posting them. (Now all I have to
do is be vaguely disciplined for two more months, and I’ll finish out the year on
As a writer, of course, I love all my children equally, but I love some more equally than
others. One of the special ones found a home this morning: “Nine Sketches in Charcoal and
Blood,” the story that ambushed me out of nowhere a little less than two years ago, wrote half
of itself in no time at all, spent months not writing the other half of itself (and not
letting me do it, either), grew an ending, went out into the world, went to the Canadian
magazine On Spec back in March, and sold to them just now. I’m very pleased by this,
as I like it a great deal. (Which is not to say I don’t love my other children, too. The
ones I don’t love get buried in the backyard and never seen again.) It’ll be out some
time in 2007.
. . . remember to set your clocks back an hour tonight.
All hail Chronos!
Somehow the month of October slipped mostly by without me making any progress in catching up on my book recommendations. So this afternoon I bit the bullet and did two at once, meaning that for the moment I’m technically not behind at all, and if I can do another by midnight on Tuesday, I’ll be back on track. (Don’t hold your breath.) In the meantime, though, you can entertain yourself with one from way back in August — an overview of the Odyssey — and last month’s novel, Keith Roberts’ alternate history Pavane.
Ongoing endeavours with immediate deadlines on them:
- AFS paper (status: 90% complete)
- Collins course proposal (status: 80% complete)
- C.V. revision (status: 95% complete)
- midterm grading (status: 0% complete)
- novel proposal (status: ??? complete)
For the first time in a while, my academic commitments are winning their ongoing war with
my writing to eat my head. One week from today, when the first three items are done with and
the fourth is (hopefully) mostly done, I’ll be able to breathe and look at other things. In
the meantime, I need to push them all toward completion. The status percentages looked a lot
scarier at the beginning of this weekend, though; say what else you will about the last few
days, but at least I managed to be productive with them.
Now I think I need some sleep.
There’s nothing quite like curling up on a cold, grey Sunday afternoon to read Maoist tracts on guerrilla warfare for the fantasy novel proposal you’re working on.