Writer’s Workspace: 5/21

Welcome to this writer’s workspace. Here’s what’s happening liiiiiiiiiiive at Miranda’s desk.

What I’m working on: whew – what aren’t I working on these days? There’s still grading (there ALWAYS seems to be grading), but now that classes are over I have a lot more time. I’ve finished editing the (hopefully last) major revision of ABSENT and sent it along to readers. So, now I’m polishing a few short stories and getting my two other novel projects rolling again. The first of these is, of course, PROJECT AWESOME. I workshopped this at Paradise Lost III last month and got some good feedback from the pro instructors that’s put a fire in my belly to see the project to completion sooner rather than later. I’m also gearing up a new novel project, currently untitled, that I’ll be doing a plot break for at an upcoming writer’s retreat in Colorado. It’s sort of a near-future Earth, post-apocalyptic, Firefly meets Tomb Raider sort of thing. It’s early days on this, so we shall see.

For now, here’s the opening lines from a short I’m working on (about a body-snatching rock star and the necromancer hunting her):

Snippet from the screen: “There’s an electric L.A. sunset smearing the sky like a toxic leak. I watch it through the double-tint of Aviators and smoked glass as my limo slides down the boulevard. On the corner, I spot the Four Horsemen smoking weed and drinking Jim Beam. No one else can see them, not yet. Not quite.”

On the iTunes: I’ve been enamored with the soundtrack to Liberal Arts lately, but you can’t listen to classical music all the time. So, right now, I’ve got Florence and the Machine’s Shake it Out on.

In my mug: my current favorite tea is Harney and Sons Royal English Breakfast. It comes in a big red tin. Get some. It is awesomesauce to the tenth power.

Out the window: the ongoing saga of the Refusal of Spring continues. I can’t speak on this subject, as it is too heartbreaking.

A little procrastination never hurt anyone: I’ve got a couple things to share this morning. Probably you’ve seen some of them, as they are currently making the rounds on FB and such. But they’re too good to pass up.

First, there’s this YouTube video of the “Sad Cat Diaries” – I haven’t laughed this hard in some time. Also, you might enjoy reading this piece on the representation of women in popular culture called “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the “Women, Cattle, and Slaves” Narrative”. It’s funny and true and worth a read.

Then, after you’ve laughed and thought some deep thoughts about the state of the world, pop down to the comments and let me know what’s happening liiiiiiiiive at your desk.

Then go write.

June gone too soon

Another month, another monthly run-down.

1. I’m happy to say that June saw me bring the thunder on my rough draft of ABSENT.  I hammered out nearly 25,000 words this month.  Most of those words were of the craptastic variety, but as Chuck Wendig has rightly said: the draft is for writing the words, the revision is for making the words not suck.  I’m almost done with the novel, but finishing it will have to wait until I return from the field in mid-July.  As will the aforementioned ‘making it not suck’.

2. I started a new short story this month–a steampunk/horror mashup set during the Second Seminole War that focuses on skull collectors and the nefarious uses they put to their macabre prizes.  It’s threatening, though, to turn into a novel on me.

3. I’ve got 5 other shorts, plus BLOOD RED SUN, out to markets and agents.  Lots of waiting on that front.  World-building and outlining on my urban fantasy novel has stalled; set aside in favor of trying to finish ABSENT.  I hope to return to that in July.

4.I did a bundle o’beta reading this month: one novel for my crit partner, Eric, which I finished, and another that I’m halfway through.  In addition, I did three short story crits this month.  All told, I read and critted well over 180,000 words in June.

5. Even with all that beta reading to do, I managed to squeeze in a fair amount of pleasure reading, making my way through Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (a re-read), The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie, Hexed by Kevin Hearne, The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

6.  School’s out, so no day job to weigh me down.  Ah, lazy, lovely summer.

7. In the travel department, I journeyed to Miami to visit a friend and am off tomorrow to Honduras to work on my archaeological field project.

So, June was busy, as every month seems to be, but it will pale in comparison to what’s coming down the pike in July.  I’ve got the aforementioned archaeological expedition for the first half of the month, then a trip up to Boston to attend Readercon, and then the hubby and I are moving into the apartment we’ve just bought.  So, deep breath….here we go!

How was your month?