Monday, Monday

I have a cold, and it’s rain/snowing outside, and — well — Monday. BUT there’s writing to do and course prep and no time to feel sorry for myself.

Today is the very last day to submit to Women Destroy Fantasy! so I must get my shiny new fantasy story specially written for this call all dressed up and sent out the door. Also, I had a giant eruption of words on the final chapters of Project Awesome over the weekend, but they are crazy all-over-the-place words that need some editing. So, I guess there will be plenty of spit and polish on the writing front today.

With two weeks to go until Spring Break I also have to bring the shiny on the work front. It’s a tough time of the semester because we’re all — professors and students alike — itching for a break. Everyone drags around campus looking weary, and as a Prof. you’ve got to bring extra energy to class. So, there’s some work to be done to make sure I don’t just bring germs to class this week, but also JAZZ HANDS! Or something like that.

At least we’ve been checking boxes off on the home front. Taxes are done, thanks to a marathon session this weekend. We’ve also booked our summer extravaganza trip to Norway. Fjords! I’m excited.

So, that’s my Monday — editing, polishing, mustering enthusiasm, and fighting a cold!

How about you?

Nightmares and productivity (not related)

I’ve been having a lot of nightmares lately. Which is weird.

When I was a little girl, I used to get night terrors and I sleepwalked even into adulthood, but I haven’t had trouble with either again until lately. The dreams have been pretty vivid and run the gamut from those mundane and obviously drawn from things I’m worrying about in everyday life to the creepily fantastical and so-horrific you wake up shaking. The latter, at least, are providing good grist for the story-generating mill. Still, it’s disruptive. I’m tired today šŸ˜¦

In other news, I had a recent ‘come to Jesus’ moment on my writing. I’m a pretty busy gal. I’ve got a day job that might as well be a full time job for the amount of time it requires. I also manage our calendar, including planning all trips and social events small and large. I run our household, doing 90% of the cleaning and errands and 100% of the cooking. And I’m trying to turn my writing into a career. Now, I realize there are plenty of folks who do ALL this plus have kids or even a full time job on top of it all. So I’m not complaining. I’m just saying. There’s always something to do. Something pressing. And of late I’ve been letting all those somethings take priority over my writing. Productivity has fallen sharply.

The last few days I’ve been trying a new experiment. Since writing is the thing in my life that has no immediate deadline, it’s what’s been getting short shrift. So, I’ve decided to do the writing first thing in the morning. For example, if I have a lecture to prepare and exams to grade for the next day and I do those things first…well, by the time they’re done at 3pm I’m tired and I push off my writing or make a desultory effort at it. BUT, if I write first and then, at 3pm, turn to the schoolwork. Well, no choice but to do that, is there? It’s due the following day, after all. And, boom, it all gets done.

This has been working out pretty well so far. Hopefully I can keep it up and thus increase my writing productivity (and my overall productivity).

So. That’s my week so far. Nightmares and lessons in productivity. Not related (I hope).

Bayou bound

Heading off to sunny NOLA to spend time with the in-laws, eat fried sea creatures, go to a drag race (I know! It sounds crazy to me too!) and drink. Also hoping to squeeze some writing and grading in the mix. Should be a busy few days.

Between I-don’t-even-know-what and your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine, I haven’t done as much writing as I’d like of late. I’ve been squeezing in some crits for friends here and there (office hours, while dinner is cooking, on the subway) but I haven’t gotten much of my own tippity-tap done in several days.

Partly I’m waiting on feedback on a new short I sent out to crit partners over the weekend. Partly I’m totally sucked into reading Lonesome Dove (for about the 800th time) and weeping intermittently as awful things happen to pretty much everyone in the book. Partly I’m lame and apparently afraid to write the last few chapters of my novel.

Maybe a change of scene will help šŸ™‚

What are you up to on this lovely Friday?

From the Word Mines

I haven’t updated the blog much lately, which can usually signal one of two things:

1. I haven’t been writing as much as I’d like and am too ashamed to fess up publicly, or

2. I’ve been very busy writing and don’t have a lot of time for updatery

Happily, we can mark option two this week here on Comedy and Tragedy. I’ve got several writing projects going at once right now and, coupled with my day job, I’ve had little time for internet tomfoolery.

In addition to hammering out those final chapters of Project Awesome, I’ve also been working on a new short story. Iā€™m determined to finish the first draft by the end of the day. It’s a sort of fantastical historical fiction set in 15th century Spain with airships and elemental magic and an adventure into the unknown west. I’m having fun writing it.

Here are the opening lines: “Word went out from the Castilian court that renowned elementalist and adventurer Christoforo Colombo had vanished on his journey beyond the edge of the ocean. Any man of birth and breeding able to recover him would be rewarded with the Crown’s greatest jewel, the hand of Her Royal Highness princess Lupita Mendoza of Aragon and Castile.”

Rest assured that Lupita is not the kind of princess to sit in her high tower and wait for some stupid prince to do all the heroic rescuing and have all the fun without her.

I can’t spend all my time on this, though. I have a deadline for a critique submission this weekend and am working on edits of a story I sold to Fictionvale that will appear later this year. Those are due next week. Busy, busy.

In other news:

It’s midterms!

Not sure this is actually deserving of an exclamation point. Midterms always make me nervous. I want all my students to do well, and I hope I’ve done everything I can to teach them and prepare them, but ultimately this is the moment where it’s up to them to put in the work and sink or swim. So, that’s always a little stressful for everyone involved. Plus, I loathe grading. That probably goes without saying, but still.

Winter is starting to show signs that it might clear out soonish. Like fish and house guests, we’ve long been desiring its absence. We had some beautiful days in the 50s and even 60s earlier this week but now it’s back down to 20 with a windchill of 4. So, that’s insulting and horrific.

Well, that’s about all the news. Time to go layer on 800lbs of clothes and head out into the cold!


Midweek madness

A few things to share midweek:

First, in conjunction with the recent publication of my story The Firefly Girl in Penumbra, I’ve got a guest blog post up at the Penumbra blog about my take on what would constitute a writerly heaven – check it out!

Second, in the realm of the PSA I would like to announce that I can no longer tolerate spending time in the frozen wasteland my beloved Brooklyn has become. I will be escaping to a magical realm today and writing a new fantasy story. A notable characteristic of this fabulous place will be eternal summer. I cannot promise to return.

In seriousness, though, I’m going to take a crack at a new tale today. There’s a call for a special issue of Fantasy Magazine I want to hit later this month, and in spite of the fact that I have two midterms to write, a lecture to prepare, and the final three chapters of PROJECT AWESOME to draft, I’m going to take a break from all my worries and give this new story a go. Irresponsible and fun! Wheee!

What are you up to today?

The Firefly Girl

I’m excited to announce the publication of my latest short story, The Firefly Girl, which appears in Penumbra’s themed issue A Night at the Villa Diodati (Volume 3, Issue 6).

The Firefly Girl is set in Venice and tells the story of two lost souls. It was inspired by a dream I had of an immortal woman trapped in a tower filled with fireflies. It’s a little bit spooky and a little bit romantic. If you’re interested in reading it, you can download the whole issue (packed with good stories!) for $3.99.