The State of the Rabbit

It’s been a little while since I’ve done these, so I thought I would write a quick entry for today about where I am on various projects. I didn’t sign up for National Novel Writing Month this year (and I haven’t any other year, either), but there’s got to be something that occupies my time, right?

I’ve made the conscious decision to not do anything too “heavy” until the end of the year. I still have all the same projects that I would like to tackle — Sleepwalkers, Bird, serialized short stories and everything — but I think it might be more useful for me to back off on any ambitious projects right now. The holidays are coming up, and it’ll be all I can do to keep my exercise regiment up enough so that I don’t hit 200 pounds by New Year’s. Just typing that is a pretty frightening thought. I’m sitting at 194 pounds right now. There are only 6 tiny pounds to go. I could clear that with a Thanksgiving turkey and half of a pumpkin pie.

Anyway, I’m writing, but I’m focusing on little bits of fiction that help me to wrap my brain around a certain aspect of my craft. You might have noticed the initial results of this experimentation posted on the blog, and I hope to be putting up more bits of short fiction here in the coming few weeks. I have a number of settings that I’d like to play around with, and a number of characters whose heads I’d like to get into. If any of you out there have suggestions, I’d be glad to take them!

I’ve also stepped up my reading a bit — I just finished two apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic short story collections (The Mammoth Book of Apocalyptic SF, The End of the World: Stories of the Apocalypse), and now I’m into Mad Ship by Robin Hobb. The Robin Hobb novel has gotten into “I can’t put this down” territory, and I’m on a pretty good pace to have it finished by the end of the month. I’m also reading The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster(finally) and I’ve just started getting into Ringworld by Larry Niven.

There are also a number of furry projects I’ve been trying to catch up on. I’m a “slushpile editor” for a furry zine, and I’ve fallen way behind on making sure that’s all organized and sorted. There are a host of short stories and bits of novel given to me by friends that I really should work my way through, and I’ve been wanting to dip my toe into the wider world of furry publishing to see what else is out there — what’s connecting with audiences right now, or what’s really gripping authors and inspiring them to write? It’d be good to know the market, such as it is.

So the short answer is that I’ll be trying to sharpen the tools in my writer’s toolbox for the rest of the year. I’ll be writing bits of short fiction with the aim of better understanding my worlds, my characters, and honing aspects of my writing that I’m noticing problems with. On the flip-side, I’m ashamed to say that the voracious reader of my youth is all but gone, and I’m working on bringing him back.

So that’s the plan for me until 2013, at least. I’ll keep you posted through the holidays.

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