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bear by san

March 2017



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rengeek player king

I've come to some conclusions about my professional habits, and how they need to change....

...and I've realized that the single biggest thing kicking my ass is trying to write stories for themed anthologies. I find it incredibly hard to do, and it exhausts me creatively for long periods afterwards.

Of course, the fix is easy. Which is (after the current round of work is done) to cowboy up and stop accepting the invitations unless I already have an appropriate story in inventory. Yes, I'm a Yankee. Yes, I find it physically painful to turn down work. But it often takes me somewhere on the order of years to build a good short story in my head (I just work ona lot of them in parallel), and trying to write a specific short story to a tighter deadline is not something my brain is particularly good at.

In fact, I think in general I will no longer be writing short fiction (short stories and novellas) except on spec, which is to say, I will write the stories when I have them, and when I do not yet have them, I will not sign contracts to write them. Because an inordinate amount of the stress in my life these past two years has been short fiction deadlines, and that's just got to stop. I can get enough stress out of novel deadlines, and that without even really trying.

(caveat 1: I do reserve the right to waive this policy in certain cases, mind you. But I find myself in a situation right now where I am promised to write several short stories by year's end and I have no idea how any of them go.)

(caveat 2: This rule does not apply to Shadow Unit. I have no plans to leave that project. Ever. *g*)

And having decided that, I feel obscurely better, despite the little voice in my head telling me I am a lazy slacker and surely I will starve, and also I'm letting down my friends.

2009 will be the first year of the new regime, in which we here at Ebear Central attempt to remember that we are no longer scrambling to break into print and establish a presence in the marketplace, and instead rest on our laurels concentrate on fulfilling our obligations, satisfying our readers, finding new readers, and doing it all with some modicum of professionalism, reliability, and attention to quality of craftsmanship and artistry of detail.

And also, not making ourselves stark raving bonkers in the process.

Which brings us to

for 2008

Finish Bone and Jewel Creatures
Finish "The Tricks of London" (started)
Finish "Mongoose" with truepenny (started)
Finish Chill
Write S2 Shadow Unit episodes: "Lucky Day" (with coffeeem); "Wind-Up Boogeyman"; finish "Smoke & Mirrors" (started)

for 2009

Rewrite The Sea thy Mistress
Shadow Unit S3
Write Grail

When they get done:

Write "Smile" (Bone Garden) (started)
Write "Snow Dragons"
Write "The Horrid Glory of its Wings"

And now I am going to eat some breakfast, drink some tea, do some math, and open up Bone & Jewel Creatures and poke at it until it asks me to stop poking--or until it is time to go climb, one of the two.


I find myself to be quite the opposite - without the small external idea around which to focus and germinate, I tend to wander around picking up wildflowers and shiny stones and small animal skulls, and never come up with anything coherent (boxmaker analogies in Gibson's work do not apply for me).

Which reminds me, I need to get cracking on the Halloween/Election thing that Jay posted the link to the other day. I hope they like a lot of humor with their horror....
(caveat 2: This rule does not apply to Shadow Unit. I have no plans to leave that project. Ever. *g*)

My morning is full of suck and the anticipation of many more hours of suck trying to ramble through the red tape to FIX the suck, when instead I should be THROUGH OHIO by now on the way to SC.

That sentence, though, made me smile and do a little bounce in my chair.
That's comforting at least.

Sorry about the suck.
I misread 'write S2 episodes' as 'write 52 episodes' and was going to rant at you until I realized my mistake.

Yeah, well. Me either, but they lock us up if they catch on to what the eyerolling really means...
Hah! People don't leave Danny Brady.
The Artist's challenges are very good for me, because they give me weird things to play with that lead to inspiration. Which is sort of the opposite of what I get from themed anthologies.

Also, trying to write a short story on deadline is just nightmaring.
I'm jsut the opposite on short fiction. The only way I can come up with an idea is when I get invited to a themed anthology. Then I can write a story in a week, let it sit, edit it, send it to a beta reader and submit, all within 6 weeks.

Every other time I've tried to write on spec, the story sits on my hard drive for up to 10 years. No one wants it. Shows promise for a BEGINNING writer (me with 18 books in print) Then an anthology comes along and voils it fits.

I write novels unless invited to an anthology. Then I divert for a bit. But I'll never win awards for it.
I find it almost impossible to turn down invitations to submit - I find it flattering and I panic that if I don't say yes, they'll stop asking.
Yeah. I totally get that too. Neurotic poodle much, me?
That makes total sense.

Just don't stop writing short stories altogether. Sitting in the ballroom at Fourth Street hearing you read "Orm the Beautiful" -- and other new stories, hopefully! -- is an experience I think other people should have. :)
What is "The Tricks of London"? A short story, obviously, but any other clues? :)
It's a chapbook for Subpress.
You know, it's one thing to say "Why yes, I do have a jar of quince preserves here in the pantry and you may certainly have it," and it's another thing to try and make quince preserves from scratch when it's not quince season.

While I'm glad to see you getting the preserving kettle out, I think the singing noises that come out of the kitchen when the fruit's just right are an important part of the process.
This is a beautiful analogy.
Finish Chill

Yes, plz!
Seconded! Dust is on my list of books to give many, many people at the end of this year.
(caveat 2: This rule does not apply to Shadow Unit. I have no plans to leave that project. Ever. *g*)

Allow me to echo pnkrokhockeymom and coffeeem, and say THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!

Knowing this greatly reduces the general suckitude of this day.
What a great piece of mental housekeeping. Yea you.
But it often takes me somewhere on the order of years to build a good short story in my head (I just work ona lot of them in parallel)

That's probably one of the most useful things I've ever read about writing short stories. I guess I'm not doing it wrong. Thanks!

And take good care of yourself.
thank you.

And no. for some of us, they take a long time cooking.