Raw material and shelf space.

Sadly, I’ve written 27,701 words this month. I say “sadly” because I was aiming for 30,000, but I did something fairly painful to my hand yesterday evening so I’m not making that goal.

I also managed to read ten magazines (eight came in, which is a pretty heavy month for me; most months it’s less), so I’m at least a lot more on top of short stories this year than I was at the start of the year. (I’m also trying to be more organized about noting down things that I might want to keep in mind for Hugo nominations for next year, which has caused me to notice that I haven’t exactly read a lot of 2017 novels yet.)

I’ve also slacked fairly badly on story submissions, and really need to catch up on that. Overall, though, I’m pretty happy with the month; I just need to spend more of May that is usual focussing on revising writing than I usually do. Here’shoping the transition goes smoothly.

Words and dust

I used to sew. And for years I’ve had a subscription to Threads, which I find to be a lovely magazine (perfect-bound, too!).

For a lot of years. My mom got a subscription when it started up, you see, and I got one when I moved out, and… Oh dear. I might actually have, give or take, two decades worth of the magazine, here.

On paper.

I’m ballparking that at about 12,000 pages, and no, there is not an extra zero in there.

I mentioned that I used to sew, right?

So I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that there is actually no-one who wants these things (no, libraries don’t usually take old magazines), and I have no use for them, and they are taking up a kind of ridiculous amount of shelf-space, and…

And I feel guilty for not having kept up with them. I feel guilty for not still liking them, as if I owe it to the person I was a decade ago to not change. I feel guilty for not being able to go through them and use them up to produce a brilliant and trenchant collage that is both a commentary on modern society and a funny and uplifting story (although with 12,000 pages, quite frankly, I am not sure where the hell such a collage could be stored and also I’m now imagining glue in all the cat fur help this is out of control).

But the magazines are meant to be something I enjoy. If they’re making me feel unhappy and vaguely anxious, they are defective and the situation needs to be corrected. I think I’ve finally managed to get through the guilt and figure this out, and that’s a good feeling.

(I’d still love it if sometime in the future magazines became edible. Then they would be easy and economical to dispose of, instead of quite this fraught.)

Managing the flood of words.

I’ve finished six books so far this month (bringing me to twenty-six for the year), and I may finish another one tonight. That said, March was the month where… hang on, counting up titles and being slightly embarrassed…

March was the month where eight e-magazines dropped into my inbox. Eight. Also two print magazines came by mail, so I’m going to call it… thirty-five stories, probably.

Most months don’t have quite so many magazines, but March was something of a perfect storm. I’m thinking it’s really time to get through some of them. It’s hard, because most of them are e-magazines and I don’t tend to actually parse that those are piling up, so they get out of hand a little more easily.

So I think that, in addition to Camp NaNoWriMo, April is going to be the month where I put down the books and focus on my magazines for a bit. It’ll feel a bit strange because those aren’t tracked in Goodreads, but by the end of April I should still be ahead of the curve (I’m only aiming to read 65 books this year) and the stack of stuff on my ereader and end table will be down a bit.