Personal: Out of the Hole

Writing 150The past few weeks have been incredibly busy, and it’s been all that I can do to keep up with the crush of work and things coming down the pike. In so many ways, I feel like I’ve been doing that “I Love Lucy” sketch where she’s doing whatever she can to just get rid of the chocolates. I haven’t exactly been stuffing my workload down my bra or anything, but it’s been close. Metaphorically.

I’ve had to drop a few things to make sure that I caught up on other things, and even then it was a rough ride there for a couple of weeks. Now things are calming down a bit, so I’ve got a bit of time to sit down here at the Writing Desk and type up a thing or two.

The biggest news is that my dear husband Ryan has begun the adventure of a lifetime as a Clarion student for the next six weeks. If you’re not familiar with the Clarion Workshop, it’s a great program that molds new and untested talent by giving them access to some of the brightest minds working in speculative fiction today. Ever since we’ve heard about it, Ryan’s wanted in and now he’s there. Two folks in our writing group are full-fledged Clarionauts, and I couldn’t be prouder of both of them.

That’s left me flying solo for the next little bit, and I’ve decided to fill the time by taking a strong stab at being a writer. I’ve signed up for the Clarion Write-a-Thon (my author page is here if you’d like to make a donation) and I’m aiming to write 50,000 words of material by the time the Workshop is over on August 2nd. Hopefully, the very rough drafts of those short stories will be nurtured and polished into something workable — the goal is to have a small pile of things ready to submit to magazines, anthologies and other periodicals both in print and online. I’m excited about the chance to stretch myself out a little bit, to work on things that I’ve always wanted to but kept putting off.

Right now I’m writing a story about what happens when tragedy comes to my childhood neighborhood in Baltimore City. I have stories lined up about faeries in the inner-city, what happens when a zebra who’s left the herd comes back home, and a romance featuring a giant monster just because Ryan asked for one. There will be more, of course, but the exact nature of those I’ll be holding closer to my chest for now.

I’ll be posting excerpts of what I write here, of course, and at the Clarion page. Let me know what you think of the bits, and if you like what you see please consider donating. It’s for a great cause, and helps me tremendously in my show of solidarity with my dear husband.

Other than that, I’m looking forward to settling in to better habits steadily. I’m planning to renew my meditation habit, have made a promise to myself that I shall never eat out alone in an effort to cook my own meals more, and tuck in to a reading list that features black voices in speculative fiction. I’ll probably mix in some Langston Hughes, James Baldwin and Maya Angelou because if not now, when?

I make no promises about being here regularly, speaking of — working on stories, reading stories and cooking my own meals come first. But I have a fair amount of free time for the next six weeks; I’m sure I’ll update this space fairly often.

Famous last words, I’m sure. But for now, I’m up and out of the hole. What’s new in your world?

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