(Is this thing on?)
Hey guys. So, it has been.... well, a long time since my last significant blogging here. It's been an interesting autumn and winter on a lot of fronts, and I've been getting my head sorted, and I haven't felt much like talking about most of it on the internets. Also, you know, I've been trying to do more stuff that is Not On The Internets.
But I'm feeling a little more like crawling out of my hole, so. THE STATE OF THE BEAR ADDRESS.
First item: Hey guess what, I have pneumonia! Or really bad bronchitis. I'm apparently right on the cusp between. Probably the same bug that's laid out half of science fiction. According to my wonderful nurse practitioner, there's a chest cold going around that produces really thick mucus and doesn't make you cough enough, and combined with dessication from dry winter air this means your lungs turn into Petrie dishes for any passing bacterium. Result: minor epidemic of pneumonia in fairly young, otherwise healthy people.
So if you find yourself with a chest cold that doesn't seem too bad, don't be me. Take an expectorant and use a humidifier.
This is especially frustrating because it's gorgeous out--we're so far having a lovely mild winter in Massachusetts--and I want to exercise, but I'm grounded. I haven't been able to run since last summer because of Achilles tendinitis (slowly getting better. slowly.) but I was making good progress again with rock climbing, weight lifting, and yoga. And now I'm going to have to deload again, dammit.
Second item: Yes, my website is down. I am having ISP issues, and I need to figure out a new hosting solution and do a website redesign to support the current and forthcoming frontlist, which consists of Karen Memory, the Eternal Sky world, and the White Space world. I apologize.
It may be a little while before I figure out what my solution is, because I am also in the middle of moving house and planning a wedding. Ahem. It turns out these things are time consuming.
Third item: Yes, Scott and I are buying a house and doing some other legal paperwork. Here's to the end of five years of commuter relationship. Expect kitten pictures sooner or later.
Fourth item: The Giant Ridiculous Dog says hello. He's getting on in years, but still happy and healthy and enjoying his walks.
In other news, (way to bury the lede Bear) it may also be a little while before there is another novel-length Elizabeth Bear book.
I've been talking with my agent and editors, and I'm going to be on a bit of a novel sabbatical this year. Some of this is the moving and house-buying and wedding planning (good gravy, mortgages are a lot of work). Some of it is that I have been working nonstop and flat-out for fourteen years, and, well, I'm struggling to figure out what I want to say and how to say it and to find interesting human stories I haven't already told from several angles.
The plots are not the issue, nor the worlds. The art of inventing new and interesting characters, however, has deserted me. And I have become like the centipede who has been asked how he runs: I'm in a state where I am extremely critical of and self-conscious about my own work, and it's making it really hard to produce anything on a reasonable schedule. Since I respond to deadline pressure with self-loathing and despair, the best solution I can come up with at this point is to back the pressure off a little and try to fix my brain and creativity, because pushing through is just making things worse and I don't want to actually break myself.
Also, the success of Karen and the Eternal Sky books has been awesome, and I'm thrilled that they are getting the love and attention that they are. But I am having a hard time learning to balance the additional demands on my time with the need to actually produce new work. Which is part of why I have been spending less time on the internets: I need to assess priorities and figure out what my workflow is going to be in the future.
Aaaaaand I'm also in treatment for some anxiety and the burnout issues, and that's taking up a lot of my creative focus. <<wry face>>
(It's embarrassing to talk about, but you know, nobody actually benefits when we don't talk about mental and emotional health issues, so here goes.)
I am working on a couple of shorter pieces, though--I'm hoping that if I take a little time for myself and give myself a little breathing room, I'll grown back a little bit. So I'm not making any public commitments about those.
But one might be a Karen story. Maybe. If you're good.