Five Things: Updates Edition

  1. Seasonal depression is a real bear. I haven’t been able to make myself write posts, beyond the monthly booklogs. Fortunately, I have been able to keep writing and working on various projects.
  2. This has included several short stories, both new ones and revising older ones for submission somewhere new. No sales recently, but the writing has been chugging along, which is good.
  3. I’m especially proud of the progress I’ve made on the mystery novel draft. In fact, I was able to prepare a sample from the draft, as well as associated documents, for Carina Press’s open call for unfinished manuscripts. I submitted the first 10k of the currently-38k draft. I’ve received helpful feedback from first readers on the draft and hope to complete the full draft manuscript by the end of the year.
  4. I also have notes and some tentative first pages on a post-modernday-civilization novel that’s sort of fantasy, sort of not. Writing something weird and difficult to classify feels comfortable right now.
  5. So much reading, so many wonderful books, and I always want more.

So my brain is still open, still working, still writing, even if for some reason blog posts aren’t what it wants to do. I’ll take it; better this way than vice versa.

I have a few more short-story submissions planned for the next month, and some rough plans for next year’s writing goals. More on those soon. But I’m pretty pleased with my 2018 overall.

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October Reading Log

  • Heart Berries (Teresa Marie Mailhot)
  • Mucho Mojo (Joe R. Lansdale)
  • Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life (Kim Addonizio)
  • Unfathoms (Kirsten Kaschock)
  • A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes (Adam Rutherford)
  • The Two-Bear Mambo (Joe R. Lansdale)
  • Bad Chili (Joe R. Lansdale)
  • If You Leave Me (Crystal Hana Kim)
  • Impossible Owls: Essays (Brian Phillips)

A mixture this month. Three more Hap & Leonard books (the Lansdales), two memoirs (Mailhot and Addonizio), one poetry collection (Kaschock), a family saga novel (Kim), an essay collection (Phillips), and a general-interest nonfiction (Rutherford).

There were no real duds, though both memoirs felt weak to me, and the Hap & Leonard books are so deeply rooted in the politics of the era they were written in (the 90s) that they can be a bit hard to put into perspective now. Lansdale is still writing the series, and I’m very curious to see how that changes as they catch up to the present.

Impossible Owls is the clearest rec for this month; a strong and interesting collection, not a false note in it. As ever, I’m jealous.


Currently reading:

  • Flights (Olga Tokarczuk)

This is a deeply weird book. It’s not short stories; it’s not a novel. I don’t know what it is. It’s Polish, in translation! More when I finish it.