Tag Archives: orycon

The Light at Tunnel’s End

Ahaha! I’m DONE!

Yes, after a week of furious copyediting, I finally have in my hands the final version of Fugitives from Earth. It’s definitely not my best work, not anymore, but I’m not embarrassed to sell it to other people, and I’m oh so very relieved that I don’t have to think about the story anymore.

And the layout’s done, too. Let me tell you: Word is horrible at making print-ready documents that aren’t term papers. It took a fair bit of wrangling the page settings, margins, text wrapping, alignments, and who knows what else to make it look good, but at least it was mindless work, so I got to watch movies while doing it. Didn’t get to do that while I was writing the damn thing.

So, now I’m eagerly awaiting the proof copy from Createspace. I have my hopes that’ll be a quick green light, and I can order my print copies for OryCon, and not a minute too soon. Never again will I let myself get this close to the wire.

Finally, this blog is about to come full circle. I realize that I haven’t been posting as often as I did in my heyday, but I’ve got plans for this year’s NaNoWriMo. Yeah, it snuck up on me too, but whatever–I’m starting a brand new novel, and along with it, I’m starting a brand new posting schedule for The Tenth Word. You can also expect some layout changes to accompany the book’s release, just two and a half weeks away!


The Tension’s Mounting

I realize these countdown-style blog posts are probably getting a little familiar. The truth is, they’re getting a little too familiar to me as well. This is probably typical, but I’m starting to feel more and more that Fugitives from Earth is like an anchor around my neck. I want to move on and create something new, but I just can’t seem to get away from it. And now that things are getting so close to the wire, I have that extra bit of stress that it’s all going to be for naught.

Lovely. It hasn’t been a great day all around, so I apologize if that shows.

So without giving in to despair or frustration, here’s the situation:

  • I need to finish my final “creative” revision. As I indicated before, this mostly just means that I need to search for all the words that end in “ly” and replace them with something that scans better. That’ll be finished by Friday or I’ll set myself on fire.
  • The cover needs to be done. Not done done necessarily, but I need to have a rough version for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association trade show on October 14th. Actually, it needs to be done a week before that, so it can be integrated with the rest of the NIWA books on a post, bookmark, and other such things.
  • The copyediting needs to be finished. My wife just got a promotion and her fall term just started, so I’m going to have to help out here. I really wish that I could afford a professional copyeditor, but unfortunately my wife didn’t get a promotion quite that good.
  • I need to do the layout. I’m hoping this won’t take too long, since I can follow directions, but I also have a strong feeling it’ll surprise me. The advantage of being in a group like NIWA is that many of them have done this before and I can leech off of all their hard work. After all, what are friends for?
  • Finally, I have to submit the whole bundle to CreateSpace and get my review copy. Once I have that in hand, I’ll look through it, find a bunch of errors, fix them, and resubmit.
  • Then, I buy a dozen or two dozen copies, have them sent to myself, and sell them at OryCon! I’ll also upload the ebook version to Smashwords.
Not too much for the next four to five weeks, right? Sure, no problem.

A Stiff Shot in the Arm

Jay Lake made me late for work this morning.

This might not be entirely fair. It’s not like he was in my apartment keeping me from showering or eating breakfast. He didn’t call me at a bad time, or send me a Twitter DM, or anything like that. On the other hand, it was entirely his fault that he wrote a fascinating piece of advice for new writers that hit me right where I live. I couldn’t not finish reading. Check it out here, at Shimmer magazine.

Seriously, if you’re into creative activities at all, I’d highly recommend you read it before continuing.

Done? Okay. I’ve been thinking lately about goals. I pretty much have just one right now, which is to finish Fugitives from Earth before OryCon, and then to start on the next novel. That’s all very sustainable, but it’s slow. Very, very slow. And right now, I need to do something, even something emotionally risky, to show myself that I’m making progress on my career.

So I’m going to throw caution to the wind and submit a damned story. I’ve written a full dozen shorts in the last year of varying quality, and a few of them are even what I might call “finished.” But I’ve got too much emotional attachment to those; we’ll just call those practice. What I’m going to do instead is take this weekend as a break from FfE, finish a half-written story that I feel is really workable, and submit it somewhere, anywhere that’ll pay.

It’ll probably get rejected, but that’s the point as much as anything. I feel like there’s a glass ceiling of possible rejection that forcing me to stay close to the ground. Rather than being afraid of the possibility of rejection, I want to feel its certainty and know that it can’t kill me. And like Mr. Lake says, with every rejection, the next one gets easier to take. I want to have that trunkful of rejection slips he mentions, because that means that I’m making progress. I’m still writing, and if I’m challenging myself, I’m probably getting better. And hopefully before that trunk fills up, somebody will decide that one of my pieces is worth buying.

I know that writing probably won’t ever make me much money, but sitting around waiting for the “perfect moment” doesn’t pay much at all. So, time to throw caution to the wind, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!


On a slightly more prosaic note, one reason I feel comfortable doing this is that I’ve been making excellent progress with Fugitives from Earth. I’m probably 15% done at this point, I’d say. I have about 5,000 words to write before Part I is complete, and I expect that Part II will go somewhat more quickly. The last half of the book will be the real sticking point, so I want to build up as much momentum as possible before charging into it. Still, things are going well.

So, 5,000 words to finish my story by this weekend, with the final email going out to some market by Monday night. Wish me luck.