Christmas 2020

Scrooge is not happy with this year. Who can blame him?

I occasionally delve into crafts such as crochet and knitting, and I’ve been considering embroidery even though I get tangled up and stab myself repeatedly with the needle. I spotted some wonderful felt patterns on Etsy and bought the Mr. Scrooge ornament pattern from the mmmcrafts shop. Which of course led to more shopping, since the felt I already had on hand wasn’t in the colors I wanted (even though I didn’t know what I wanted), and I needed chenille stems and embroidery floss, etc.

Sigh. Crafting and arts are like that. You know they say there are never enough art supplies, right? Yeah, you should see how many gel pens I have. I used to have a Sharpie collection, but I’m moving toward Copic markers and brush pens with ink that doesn’t bleed through my Rhodia journal.

A bout of crafting this fall has given me a scarf, a neck warmer, a pair of fingerless mitts, and now Mr. Scrooge. I’ve been involved in some difficult and long editing projects this year, so I’m ready for a holiday break. Here’s wishing you a healthy holiday season.

Fae in Revolt!

cover art for Insurgence: A Fae Rebellion

It’s been a long spring and summer, but my logjam of writing projects is slowly becoming unstuck and I’m making progress once more. This summer I published the first two editions of Writer’s Catalyst and now my short story “Carrier Waves” has been published in Corrugated Sky’s Insurgence: A Fae Rebellion.

The plot is medieval, involving a group of fairies who fled the Earth a few hundred years ago and are now looking to return — using the quickest transportation that they can find. But when I started writing this story it was pure science fiction, and as I wrote the first few paragraphs it quickly became clear to me that I had somehow channeled the 1950s or 1960s for the setting.

Writers will tell you that stories make demands on them. Well, it’s true. You start writing and the next thing you know the story has a life of its own and the characters will not always be predictable, let alone the plot. In fact, trying to make the characters behave in the way that your plot demands usually means that the characters have the last say and the plot tends to go out the window. But that’s what rewriting is for, right? 😉

On the nonfiction front, I’m working on a textbook project and I have articles on nineteenth century electricity and electromagnetism to get drafted. That’s one reason I opted not to do NaNo this year; I’m just “booked” with nonfiction that requires research, which means the writing process tends to be much slower than the 1667 words a day that NaNo requires. I’m setting 300-word daily goals and aiming for working on the nonfiction four days a week minimum.

However, I have two drafts from previous years that I might dust off soon and get back to. But not before I finish the electricity article and ponder writing up a journal article or two.

It’s nearly June!

This spring has dragged on and on and on and on. I know we’re all tired of the virus crapola, but I’m also kind of fed up with the halo-wearing TV ads that tell me about how they care rather than telling me about their products and how I should wash my hands. Really, it’s like one never-ending lecture that I know I didn’t sign up for. Ahem.

On the writing front I’ve been nonproductive for the past few months. Most of that I blame on just being busy with editing projects, both at work and outside of work, and my energy for thinking and decisionmaking has just run low. But the borderline depression from being cooped up all spring isn’t helping, either. I’m spending some time organizing projects and setting tasks and deadlines, so that at least gives me a structure to work from. This week I’ll be putting finishing touches on the Writer’s Catalyst Beach Edition and another forthcoming book from Corrugated Sky, which will be our debut historical fiction novel.

And from one Runner Five to other Runner Fives, stay safe out there!

Prompts, Prompts, and More Prompts!

I’m working on getting the first volume of Writer’s Catalyst ready for publication in May. It’s a combination writer’s journal and book of writing prompts, and the theme for the first edition is being at the beach. The book contains all new prompts, not recycled material from past blog posts.

The artwork has proven to be more time-consuming than I had planned, and I’ve scaled down the scope of the project because of that. I had initially thought to make this a coloring book as well, but I bit off more than I could chew on that idea, so it’s been jettisoned in favor of doing what I know I can get done.

I won’t dwell on the events of this spring; we all know things suck right now, and I’m trying to avoid going down that rabbit hole of frustration. I’ve been sick with strep throat and sinus issues that just do not want to clear up. I may have to move to Tahiti after all.

In honor of the upcoming new book, here’s a fresh beach-themed prompt to get you thinking about summer. Imagine you’re at the beach and you see an upturned boat on the sand. You go to investigate, worrying that someone has been hurt, but the boat is abandoned except for one cardboard box. You open the box. What’s inside it? Can you write a backstory about how the boat came to be beached? And where are the people?