Inhuman Swill : Writing


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Since John Klima will want me touting my chapbook at every opportunity—

Okay, no, I can't shuffle my toe in the dirt and put this off on John. I have in hand an introduction from Cory Doctorow that will appear in my chapbook An Alternate History of the 21st Century, to be published by Spilt Milk Press this summer.

The intro made me beam. It made my wife get misty-eyed. We are stoked. Thanks, Cory!

ShunnCast #36

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Epidode #36 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill, rather than beating a hasty and prudent retreat, takes more bad advice from the same wrong people and runs afoul of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Will the Mounties get their man? Snarkily recorded in stunning Rhinoviraphonic sound!

See also [info]shunncast.

I don't often post about my writing progress here, because usually it inches along with such dismal slowness. I have been unusually disciplined working on projects over the past few months, though, and am feeling good about it all this morning.

My normal writing routine, even most weekends, is to get up at 5:00 a.m., fire up the laptop, pour the coffee that is automatically brewing for me, and try to write for as long as I possibly can before the needs of the day force me to stop. I have for years paid lip service to this schedule. The times I've managed to stick to it have been the overall (though not overwhelming) exceptions.

Part of it is that, though I usually do my best work if I can get started first thing in the day, it's always hard for me to get up at that hour. I have a lifetime's practice at ignoring my alarm clock, and Laura gets justifiably annoyed at the expectation that she will kick my ass out of bed at five. Thank goodness for the BlackBerry my in-laws gave me for my birthday in August. For some reason, its alarm gets me up almost without fail.

For the past three weeks or so, I've been working on a fresh draft of this ghost story Derryl Murphy and I have been tossing back and forth like a cold potato for probably three years now, "Cast a Cold Eye." He may be terrified to learn that it has just this morning edged into novella territory. I regret that a bit myself, but I am thrilled to report that since five this morning I've done about 2,400 new words. This, for me, means I'm well into the stretch and racing toward the tape. I should wrap up this draft tomorrow or thereabouts and toss it back to Derryl.

I'm excited not just to be closing in on what is, to me, a satisfying finish to what has been a troublesome piece of story, but I'm raring to get back into Inclination and put that fucker to bed.

The only thing I resent much at the moment is that I have to pretty much stop for the day and get my ass to work. How bad does that suck?

Rollick this

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If I never again hear the word "rollicking" employed to describe a novel, it will be too soon.

ShunnCast #35

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Epidode #35 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill, against his better judgment, accompanies a runaway Elder Finn to the airport, where he experiments with phrases you must never use whilst frequenting such establishments. In other words, this is the episode you've been waiting for!

See also [info]shunncast.

What is wrong with the following sentence (from a New York Times article by Manohla Dargis)?

Still, it proved that a studio division could make money, win awards, attract talent and excite the audience, which is why Miramax and all it helped wrought is one of the best things to happen to Hollywood since the end of the old studio system.
Or am I, like Jennifer Garner trying to tell Conan O'Brien that snuck is not a word, stumbling over some once-bad English that quietly gained acceptance while grammarians' heads were turned?

Didn't he ramble!

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Part Two of Amy Brozio-Andrews's interview with yours truly is now available at Absolute Write! This time around we discuss genre, conventions, and technology.

Part One of the interview, which focuses more on writing, revision, and inspiration, is still available as well.

Absolute Write says they don't usually break their interviews into two parts, but apparently I rambled unstoppably way past their word limit!

Free SF stories!

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The good folks at Asimov's have released their 2006 preliminary Nebula Award ballot entries online for free.

This means you can now read my novella "Inclination" at their site for free, in its entirety.

But that's not all! Read Paul Melko's excellent novella "The Walls of the Universe" as well, not to mention Daryl Gregory's moving novelette "Second Person, Present Tense." I highly recommend them both.

ShunnCast #34

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Epidode #34 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill finds his privacy violated by a heinous and despicable criminal act on the part of his mission president, only to head out on split-offs with Elder Finn and discover even darker and more shocking revelations. Plus, they shot Joseph Smith?!

See also [info]shunncast.

The 2006 preliminary Nebula Award ballot has just been announced by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). My novella "Inclination" is up there in the novella category.

The preliminary ballot is essentially the Nebula longlist. SFWA members will now vote to narrow the ballot down to five nominees in each category. The resulting final ballot (a/k/a shortlist) will then be voted on in March, with the awards ceremony to be held the weekend of May 11-13 in New York City.

What? What's that you say? There are only four works on the preliminary ballot in the novella category? Well, don't that beat all? I guess that means those stories all advance automatically to the final ballot. Which would make me...

Holy shit! I'm a Nebula nominee again! (Er, somewhat unofficially.) <frantic work-inappropriate happy dance>

Congrats also to our own [info]paulmelko, whose deserving novella "The Walls of the Universe" enjoys the same fate as "Inclination"—all the cooler because our two pieces bookended the April/May issue of Asimov's. Paul, we will tear up Gotham come May.

Big congrats also to [info]bobhowe, whose excellent novelette "Do Neaderthals Know?" makes the prelim, and to [info]planetalyx for "A Key to the Illuminated Heretic"! And to [info]14theditch for his terrific novel The Girl in the Glass. What other LJers am I missing?

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