Writing Prompts and All That

I’m working on a book of writing prompts that will combine a writing journal, prompts, and illustrations to color. My idea is to have a workbook that has a reasonable amount of prompts and enough ruled pages so that there is space to write out the exercises. It won’t be a giant book of a zillion prompts, and partly that’s because I want the journal to be saddle-stitched so it’s easier to use, and that limits the size the book can be. Sometimes perfect-bound books (think of a regular paperback novel with a spine) won’t open flat and they’re difficult to write in.

The art will be line illustrations for coloring. Sometimes the writing process isn’t always linear, and having something on the page that you can play with could be enough to jump-start your creativity, or it could just be fun. I’m aiming to get the first book out this summer, with the theme of “beach edition,” and I hope to make the project into a series, which I’m calling Writer’s Catalyst.

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It’s June

This year has been disappearing fast, and I wish I could say that the piles of work in my inbox were disappearing just as quickly, but everything I’m working on seems to be moving in slow motion. I have made progress on some of my writing projects, but I’ve stalled out on a couple of things.

Behind the scenes at Corrugated Sky, we’re putting together our fourth anthology, which should be available in the fall. It’s the first one that we’ve opened to outside submissions, so we’ll be finalizing the selections this week and sending out emails to authors. I’m working on my own entry, which involves fireflies and fairies.

What’s more fun is that we’re going to be doing the Shore Leave event in Baltimore this year, and we’ll have at least eight titles on display at our table. If you’re in the area, come on by and say hello. I’ll post more information about the event as it gets near (the date is in the events box on the right of the page).

Not Doing All the Things

Maybe I’ve just lost momentum, but I seem to have forgotten how to get things done. The new normal for me is to have so many projects going that I spin in circles looking for a place to start. When I was in graduate school I worked full time and managed to knock out school work, work work, and house work without melting down. These days I can’t see over my work inbox and it seems to take forever to read a book or get any writing done.

I need to get back on the bike, so to speak, although this cute red scooter looks like a sweet ride. (And yes, I do use a cart at the liquor store.) I love the way scooters look, but I wonder if I would have the courage to ride one. I’m fine with something I have to pedal, but I’m not too sure about something that’s powered. I don’t want to think about my one and only time on a moped, when I nearly rode out into traffic because I was afraid to turn it too sharply and fall over. Still, maybe a sunny Italian countryside, a picnic basket, and I could be tempted.

Currently I’m working on a biography of Nikola Tesla for a textbook, and I feel like I’ve been dragging my mental heels on everything writing-related this past year. Still, I am writing, it’s just not completed writing — that’s a big difference to me and one that affects my mindset. I need to work on The One Thing and ignore the other 20 projects I’ve signed up for — and avoid signing up for any others until some of the backlog is taken care of. But that’s not how I roll. The more the merrier … sigh.

And now maybe it’s time to learn a new craft — I’m getting back into calligraphy and fountain pens and nib pens, and I’m thinking of trying some bookbinding. I made one book (not writing, actual construction of a physical book) back in the late 70s but I had a hard time finding and affording the materials. These days, it’s easier to find stuff, and my pockets are a little deeper than when I was a teenager.

 

Zombies!

My latest story has been published in Corrugated Sky‘s anthology Cold as Death, a collection of four not-too-gruesome zombie stories. We got the editing and formatting of the book done and had our printed copies in hand just in time for RavenCon 14, where we had a vendor table. Our exhibits are starting to look pretty impressive: we had seven titles for sale, which included three anthologies and four novels.

The stories in Cold as Death have a wide range of locations: mine takes place on the asteroid Thisbe, where the zombies work as miners. The other stories are situated in Cape Cod, Casablanca, and Los Angeles. None of the stories is a gore-fest and all of them are suitable for adults and young adults. We’re also moving our books to Ingram, which means they’ll be available for purchase from more vendors, as well as showing up in bookstores nationwide.

And now that the zombies have been dispensed with (!), we’re busy working on our fourth anthology. The theme for this upcoming volume is urban magic, and it’s the first anthology that we’ve opened for submissions. In the next few weeks we’ll be reading through our submissions and getting the accepted ones ready for the editing process, as well as putting the finishing touches on our own entries.