GrubStreet Writers


I took a writing class at GrubStreet a few weeks ago. It was on some worldbuilding techniques. I hadn’t taken classes there before, so I was happy to find this class useful, informative, and fun. I loved seeing what ten different people did with the same prompts!

Inspired by that, I decided to try to get things ready for PitchWars this year. That means polishing my first chapter further, writing a query letter, and writing a synopsis…in less than three weeks. I think I can do it? At the very least it will be good practice. The community seems to involve a lot of Twitter. I’m not much for twitter. I would prefer to talk to humans. I’d love to find a writing group. I could find one there, but…again, I like talking to people in person. Especially about craft.

Also, I just realized I need a way to avoid killing the puppy in my next book. I write for myself, but if I ever want anyone else to read it, I can’t kill off the puppy. People have trouble with that even in horror. Maybe I’ll write a draft just for my own amusement in which I am awful.

Read More

Back to writing again!

Blog Writing

I am back to revising after the contracting that got out of control. I had to set a new goal- to finish this draft by early October. Namely, before I go to Japan for vacation.¬†Due to all that kerfuffle, I’m not sure I want to go to ReaderCon. I’m almost finished with Act II. It’s the longest, and I’ve gotten faster at revision and editing. So I’m currently optimistic about meeting my self-imposed deadlines.

I want to work on a short story based in the world of a LARP that some friends run. It’s a different cyberpunk. I’m super lucky to be able to collaborate in different visions of the future with others. Writing can be a pretty solitary experience, and I’m an extravert- I need to spend time with other people.

And, to share in my luck, I’m going to give away a bunch of SFR paperback books! I’m going to lay down a bunch of GDPR-speak in them. Basically, I get your name and address and then don’t use it except to send you books. I’m looking forward to it!

Read More

Too many jobs


Due to unforeseen circumstances and some ill-timed illness, my contract work is still ongoing. I’ve delivered the first, project, have a second big one I’m still working on, and a third in the works. Several things have had to go by the wayside in the meantime. I’m not pleased about this. Once my programming contracts are done, I’m going to take a break from that for a while. I anticipate being done by the end of May, although I’m really shooting for earlier.

I did take a week of vacation in SD during which I did a bunch of editing. I think I can safely say I’m beyond most revision and mostly need line edits at this stage. I’ve a few extra scenes to write due to things I’ve figured out after some feedback from alpha readers. While I was on vacation, I thought about all the things I want to do with the time I have. I’d like to mentor women who want to learn technical skills but aren’t really in a position to go to school- so mostly older people. My grandmother figured out how to use DropBox. She’s in her nineties. With lots of places downsizing and an infinite number of cheap college grads available for hiring, how do you keep your supposedly non-technical job?

After vacation, I got sick. Suboptimal. It’s mid-April and there’s still the threat of snow in Boston. Spring will no doubt be a Thursday this year.

So that’s a brief update.

Read More

SFR Galaxy Awards coming up!


I rather foolishly took on some freelance programming work on top of my full-time job, so I have not been writing for a while. But I’m feeling this should be more of a reader’s blog with less creative navel-gazing– I save that for my diary. Original content here will have to wait until March.

I am going to return as a judge on the SFR Galaxy Awards! I always end up adding plenty of books to my TBR pile after reading the other judges’ picks. I have a little update and manifesto up for this year. Winners will be announced 31 January.

Read More

Remote control


I’ve been sick and adjusting to the way my job has changed. I love where I’ve moved- a flat in a well-trafficked area- and John has made it all homey. But I need to set boundaries. Since I have no interruptions, I can just stay in high energy consumption mode for longer periods of time than I used to. I miss office chatter. I’m exhausted by the end of the day and can barely play video games, let alone read or write.

Structure lets me maintain discipline. I need a state of “working for pay” and, well, not. Here are the rules and guidelines I’ve been trying to follow.

  • When I get up, always take meds, eat, and get dressed before starting work. It’s something of a morning routine and helps me set a psychological pattern.
  • Use a different operating system when I’m working. Macmode is workmode. Windowsmode is everything else.
  • Take a break, at least one hour, for lunch and the gym every day. Or at least get out of the house. Preferably around 2PM.

I’ve thought about taking a walk in the morning before starting work, but I’m such a sleepyhead that it might be hazardous, especially as the weather gets colder. Maybe bring a mug of coffee to sip while walking? I think that’s legal here.

How do you set boundaries for your work? How do avoid burnouts?


Read More