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Monthly Archives: May 2016
I talked to some folk about this at the Nebulas, and I finally figured I need to just go ahead and start making it happen. So starting May 30, every two weeks I’ll host a SFWA Chat Hour that will … Continue reading
I have several maxims that I have developed over the course of my writing career. One of them is, “If Kris Rusch invites you into a project, you say yes.” Because Kris is one of the people who understands independent publishing and its possibilities, and she is a savvy, savvy marketer.
When Kris came and asked about including my book Creating an Online Presence in a Storybundle, I was thrilled and also a little panicked, because I knew it had to be updated before it went in there. Too much had happened on the Internet in the two and a half years since I’d first put it up. I was also flattered that she thought the book was worth including, because I value her opinion.
And the truth is, if you’re a writer, you do need to at least think about this stuff enough to make an informed decision. If you’re being traditionally published, your publisher will probably expect you to be helping out with the marketing in the form of social media or other Internet efforts. Every book launch, for example, seems to involve a slew of guest blog posts and similar promotions.
Almost a decade ago I was part of a terrific workshop run by Walter John Williams and Connie Willis in the Taos Ski Valley. It was a talented group, and the two week session was a happy blur of lots of writing, lots of critiquing, and lots and lots of shop talk, plus assorted movies and a lot of wine.
One of the participants mentioned that he planned to start a literary fantasy online magazine. Since he happened to like the stuff I was workshopping, I figured that would be a surefire sale. So as soon as he opened up the magazine, I fired off a submission.
And he rejected it, because he didn’t feel it had the right flavor for his magazine.
Here’s what’s coming up in June and July, which is also the last round of classes for 2016. I am taking the rest of the year off from teaching (other than maybe a co-taught class or two) in order to … Continue reading
Most of the last couple of months has been focused on one of several things: finishing the beta draft of Hearts of Tabat, finishing up the second edition of Creating an Online Presence for Writers, sorting through details for the release of Altered America: Steampunk Stories, or SFWA’s Nebulas Conference, which took place midmonth in Chicago, and which I blogged about last week.
So here’s what my summer schedule looks like.
I write this amid a welter of notes, business cards, and obligations/opportunities acquired over the course of what was, for me, the best Nebula weekend I have ever attended. Part of that was the number of attendees who came up to express their appreciation of the programming, the award ceremony, the events, the overflowing book bags, the volunteers, the Nebulas issue of the Bulletin, the volunteer breakfast, and even with the way that they think SFWA has been going over the course of the last year. That is, to put it mildly, most gratifying, and is among the reasons I returned from Chicago renewed, refreshed, and re-enthused. A little under a year of my two-year presidential term lies behind me; I’m curious to see how much can be achieved in the next year.
Thank you to everyone who attended, both in person or virtually by spreading the word and retweeting. It was a weekend that was full of wonderful community and a chance to connect with new and old friends. There were so many moments that will live in my heart, including:
Having finished up the big April projects, one of the main things I want to get accomplished this month is getting the on-demand version of the Moving From Idea to Draft online writing class up along with the existing on-demand classes.
This has proven a somewhat monumental task, because the needs of the on-demand version are very different than those of the live class. In the live workshops, which are limited to eight students, everyone comes in with a two-three sentence description of their idea, and we work from there, adapting the material to what they’ve brought into class.
For the on-demand version, I started by trying to identify all the different ways there are into a story, a number that fluctuates in the realm of two dozen, depending on how finely I want to draw distinctions.
What I’ve done with each possible path is identify what it is, what it gives you as a starting point, things you will want to consider, possible pitfalls, next steps for fleshing it out, and a set of exercises (with basic and overachievers’ versions) to help explore the starting point. I finish, in what I am still worried may be an excessively egotistic move, by providing a story of mine that started in that way and some notes on its development from the starting point.