Late September Thoughts and Checking In

I’ve been reveling in a chance to be productive and at home after a summer so full of travel, and have been getting at least 1-2k words in on most days, plus I’ve gotten back to early morning gym runs, so hurray me and boo for the fact that it stays dark later and later every day.

It’s very much fall and drizzling rain here. The raccoons have devoured the last of the grapes from the grapevine, shelf fungi has sprouted at several points on the front porch, and we’re experiencing an invasion of Seattle’s notorious Giant House Spiders, so I feel ready for October. Recent experiences include leading a trivia team in the Clarion West Trivia Night, lots of gaming, and taking Seanan McGuire to the Washington State Fair. Also so many spiders lately. Just so many. We have a detente and when I catch them I let them go under the bookcase downstairs but I have also warned them I will destroy any egg sacs I find in the name of sanity.

With projects and books, here’s what’s going on:

Carpe Glitter comes out in November from Meerkat Press. It’s a present-day fantasy novelette featuring Nazis, hoarding, and female stage magicians. This was fun to write and is in the same story-universe as my various Wizards of West Seattle stories.

The Tor book: Still lacks a title, as you can see, but my current favorite is Spaceship, To Go, which I think is GENIUS but I am always the worst judge as to which of my many ideas actually are genius. Just turned around the first set of edits, which were fun and on the mark, and next comes the line-editing part, so I will be curious to see what that looks like, and am anticipating it. When I get those and go through them, I’ll do my own read-aloud and polish pass. I do think I have a scene to add — I’m just not sure what it is, so I’m waiting to hear what the editor thinks. The sequel’s half-written and on deck to finish the first draft in November.

Middle-grade book: I’m about to pick this up and finish fleshing it out before it goes out to beta-readers by the end of the first week in October. It’s currently 40k words and needs to grow by 15-20k more.

Exiles of Tabat: Currently a completed and incredibly messy and incoherent first draft (as always) sitting on the sidelines. Once the middle-grade book is off, this gets picked up and the plan is to have it also off to beta readers, this time by October 31.

Novella project: Got something here I’m currently outlining, and I’m not going to say anything more about that until it’s written, but it’s got me really excited and lets me pay homage to one of my favorite books.

Got one story finished up and gently cooking on the back burner with the intent of serving it up to Beneath Ceaseless Skies, in part because it should be their kind of story, in part because they’ve published Tabat stories before, and last part because Scott’s such a good editor. Another story is in similar state. It’s a short little near-future SF piece and I think it’s going to be one of the good ones if I’m willing to take some time with it. I’m taking it on a writing retreat with me next week. I’ve got a third near-future, novelette or novella length SF story that’s been itching at me and which feels like I can hit out of the park if I take my time with it and do the topic justice; it’s about a third written, I think.

In the Department of Stories-That-Are-Still-Mostly-In-My-Head: Got one bespoke story half-written, a possible anthology story, and another novella project in the offing that would involve working with someone whose writing I greatly respect, so I hope that last works out. As always, there’s a mass of story ideas in my notebook — the problem is never not enough ideas.

I will be co-hosting a monthly podcast starting in late 2019 and have been recording some episodes for that. Details to come — but that won’t be all, audio/video-wise. Plenty more on that to come.

Patreon supporters have been showered with a varied range of content, including editing sessions like this one, snippets from work in progress, photos of the giant house spiders, special access to Twitch classes, market news, a poem, and a Taco Cat caption contest. Opening up the Discord server and adding more channels has been popular, and thank you to all of you who’ve signed up this month or upped pledges to make this the most successful Patreon month I’ve seen so far!

Travelwise: I’m off to a writing retreat next week and looking forward to it, then Surrey International Writers Conference in Surrey, BC (Mom’s going with me, so that should be fun. She’s been working on a romance, and this is my birthday present to her.) and MultiverseCon in Atlanta. That’s the last of my working travel for the year, and my intent is to not travel at all

I will save most of the Rambo Academy stuff for another time, but will say a couple things!

  • Diane Morrison has put together a terrific class on making/finding time for writing called Writing in the Cracks. The live version will be hosted online October 13 and there are still some free scholarships available.
  • Writing flash fiction is a good way to build your publication list as well as provide impetus for daily writing. Want a class on it that lets you go at your own pace, repeating things when you want to, in your space? There’s now the on-demand version of Writing Flash Fiction.
  • Critclub has been a smashing success and running semi-daily writing sprints in the motivation channel there has been great for my own productivity. If you’re a F&SF writer that has been looking for a good and thoughtful critique group, I hope you’ll check out the Rambo Academy Critclub.


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About Cat Rambo

I am a science fiction and fantasy writer and editor. My three collections of short stories are THE SURGEON'S TALE AND OTHER STORIES (with Jeff VanderMeer), EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT, and NEAR + FAR (forthcoming this September).
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