Taking stock

I may need to add another line to my side-tracker; I’ve got two pieces where someone’s indicated that they’re interested in publishing them, but it feels premature to mark them as acceptances since I haven’t gotten a contract yet. At the same time, they’re not really out in the “out and seeking responses” way that pieces that haven’t gotten a response are (and let’s be honest, that is the state a story spends most time in when it is out in the world).

I’ll probably leave it as is for now. Just a note for something to keep in mind going forward, I guess.

Another boatload of library holds for the Hugos came in, so I suspect that’s going to be a lot of my free time month, and I’m going to start entering my votes on the ballet. I’m hoping to organize my free time better this month, and actually get to a slightly weird writing project as well as the more typical ones I’m planning.

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Writing is easy. Rewriting…

Rewriting is being a bit more difficult.

In addition to the trouble I’ve been having with editing the novel, my rewrites of the novelette that my handwritten draft turned into have been really hard to get into. It’s been a little better this long weekend, but it’s still taking longer than I thought. I’m not entirely sure that the way I’ve rearranged the story is a good one, but I know I’ll be able to better figure that out once it’s actually complete.

On the plus side, I actually did finish the edits for a short story and send them back, so I’m pleased about that. I did spend what might be a ridiculously long time trying to find a substitute for one particular word, and I’m still not sure I made the right decision, but at least the edits are done.

In a perfect, world, with unlimited time (and possibly without the need for sleep) I would spend another few hours on it at least, but unfortunately I only have so much time, and I need to figure out where I get the best returns on spending it.

Pen and ink.

Over the last week or so, I’ve been handwriting a story draft. I began because it was convenient to handwrite it at the time – I am very fond of my pens and notebooks, so one of each is generally to hand, and I wasn’t in the same room as a computer – and I continued because… well, I still had the pen and notebook handy, and I was curious.

First, it’s much easier to not get distracted while handwriting. I usually still have my phone with me, but when there isn’t an open browser window or a notification sitting in the corner of my eye, it does get easier to concentrate.

Second, it’s much slower – I can type easily twice as fast as I write, probably more. On the plus side, this means that I’m much less likely to feel like I’m adrift as I sit and stare at a blank page, because I am still writing out the words that I’ve composed in my head after I’ve composed them. On the downside, once I warm up, I cannot quite keep up with writing down everything I am coming up with, and that’s frustrating. I’m seriously considering looking into learning shorthand.

Also, I suspect this is a possible side-effect of it being slower: I’m coming up with more ideas of how to expand the story as I’m writing it, possibly just because I am spending more time thinking about any one particular moment in the story, and that gives me space to muse on what it could branch out into being.

It’s interesting. There’s a climactic scene and the dénouement left, and then I’ll have my first fully handwritten draft in years complete.

(Tangentially: this is also an incredibly effective way to use up fountain pen ink, even if you aren’t prone to fiddling with your pen and accidentally blotting yourself as I am. I’m not sure my 2ml sample of Astorquiza Rot will last until the end of the story.)