Back on the Wagon…

galleySo I spent a month this year detoxing from Social Media. It was painful but I thought I’d learned some lessons, about how I would work with it going forward.

Yeah. I was fooling myself. The election… and since the election…

Yeah. I fell back in.

I wrote an article for the SFWA journal after the social media fast, and I stand by what I wrote. Now I just have to live up to my own standards.

I’ve written more words this year than any year in my life; most on a failed trilogy… but let that go… I’ve placed three shorts for next year, and had my longest work, “What We Hold Onto” appear in Asimov’s, had my first story go live this month in Galaxy’s Edge, and broken into Analog, with two of those three shorts. I’ve included a thumbnail of the galley, too small to read the text, just because, OMG, I’m gonna be in Analog! Not sure what issue! I’ll ask!

But the reality is, I’m here, now, twitching and jonesing, wanting to immerse myself in news, which only makes me miserable and toxic, which causes me to spew rants which I give away to fund Mark Zuckerberg’s little facebook project..

because he needs me working for him. For free.

So. I’m committing to doing a morning a week with like-minded people engaged in political activity aimed at preserving our core values.

And I’m committing the rest of my life, to the also political act, of trying to make my art, make my fiction, find the future in myself and make it sing. And if possible, dance.

Late in the day, today, to be saying this, as I lug my portable office out to a cafe to write, but better late than never. late in life, too. But life is full of second acts; third acts, the story not over until that fat lady sings.

Do your work. Be true to yourself. Fight for what you believe in. Figure out the order for yourself. It’s what we’re here to do.

Posted in Making a Writing Life, Social Media Suicide

Maybe he likes your work. Maybe he just wants to sleep with you.

Trigger warning: This post is about sexual abuse. Very mild sexual abuse, of a young man, me, so, honestly, who cares, but it’s my story and I’m telling it because it pertains to some stuff happening in SF now (and for the last forty years.)

Set the wayback machine to the mid-eighties. I’m twenty one or twenty two, in art-school, and I’m emerging from what we used to call a nervous breakdown. A combination of over the counter and recreational drugs and a poorly managed class work load knocks me out for a few months, and then, a few years, after that.

During this time, after high-school, in those first terrifying years of quasi adulthood, a friend of ours, a movie-star handsome young man named Gabriel, falls in with a wealthy philanthropist who lives in a mansion on the outskirts of town; the mansion has a name.

Let’s call it Ravencrest.

Gabriel was an enigma; he crashed our suburban high-school the way you might crash a wedding party. Our school was top notch, attended by the suburban refugee sons and daughters of my decaying city’s professional class; the inner-city school dictated for Gabriel by his actual zip code was not good.

So he snuck into ours; I don’t know how, but he did. He lived near the elementary school my family had fled from when I was in forth grade.

There were stories about Gabriel; that he had a business card—a joke business card?—that identified himself as a male prostitute. He was absurdly handsome, witty, urbane, and likable.

And now, he’d been adopted by an eccentric millionaire, a man who owned a newspaper and had professionally played the concert piano.

As I struggled with myself, who I was, what I would be, unsure of my art, of myself as an artist, I was invited, as were all of Gabriel’s friends, to hang out in the mansion.

To spend the night there, too.

Rumors of sexual contact swirled around the man and his relationships with young men, but nobody was on record as having made any criminal accusations, and he assured us that his many enemies had started these rumors to bring him down. They had accused him of being a vampire, because he suffered from Cutaneous porphyrias and couldn’t tolerate sunlight, for example, and indeed outdoors he always wore huge black wraparound sunglasses.

He was celibate, he said.

One evening as he was saying good night to us he gave me an unwanted sort of longish kiss on the lips and looked me in the eye. He saw, I think, astonishment. He smiled. I guess my reaction wasn’t as bad it might have been. I think he filed me as a ‘maybe.’

He’d told me I was a genius; that I would be a great artist, but of course, most people didn’t understand that, the way he did, and I would have be careful, about who I listened to about my creative future.

Shortly thereafter it came out, one of the boys visiting, while going to the bathroom, saw one of the young men (legal age) creeping into the great man’s bedroom late at night.

He heard sex noises. The cat was out of the bag.

My people stopped visiting Ravencrest. Gabriel escaped into the Marines, and then, escaped from the marines, and then, vanished from all our lives. Time marched on.

Looking back at the photos of us all back then, it strikes me, how handsome we were. How attractive. I’m a repelling wreck now, but back then? I had something, some odd rare burning quality that I can see, was, oh, there’s no way to say it that doesn’t sound vain, but hot. I was sort of hot.

I may or may not have been any kind of artist. The millionaire, in any case, would have been very happy to sleep with me. He was grooming us. Flattering us. Pushing us. Seeing how far he could go. How we would react. Looking for someone who would trade, sex for approval. Sex for a chance at the big time.

I know. Barely any abuse at all. Yet, as the ambivalence of the world to my vast talents struck home in the years to come… yeah. It hurt.

So I get, in my small way, what it is like, to feel that sadness, when you find out that someone you thought was a supporter was just trying to get you into bed. I imagine this happening to me over and over and over again…

And I get how furious people get, at the men who do this. Even when this is all that they do.

On the face of it, not much happened that you could talk about in a court of law. An icky hug and kiss. Some compliments that turned out to be bullshit. In the world we live in, the opportunities for me to experience this abuse proved few and far between. I can only imagine the horror, of this happening again and again. But twenty five years later, the memory is still vivid, disturbing, and embarrassing.

At age 53, bald and heavy, I am now immune from such things ever happening to me again. A small thing to be thankful for. When someone likes my work I know what it is they like. My work.

So I ask all those who hold power over others in creative pursuits—do not try to trade your compliments and support for love or sex or even mild feigned romantic interest. You know it’s wrong.

Don’t do it. If you do, and people compare notes, you’re gonna be completely fucked. And not in the way you were hoping.

And you’ll deserve it.

That is all.

 

 

Posted in SF culture and Sex Abuse

Piecing Ourselves Back Together

If you’re like me, and why wouldn’t you be, your consciousness has changed over the last few decades.

You remember a time, when news was a newspaper, or perhaps, a 24 hour cable TV station. CNN to be precise. There was exactly one of these stations. Cable TV exposed you to other news shows and stations, but you probably never watched them. PBS and National public radio may or may not have been part of your info diet. Maybe you are one of the ten people that watched CSPAN.

If you were an internet pioneer, you might have done IRC (look it up; it’s real time chat) or usenet (topic based forums).

You who remember a life before cell phones. You who remember pagers.

How did we think back then?

In a word, differently.

There’s a part of the human mind delighted by novelty, by chance, by gambling, also known as the periodic reinforcement schedule, which is a fancy way of saying you do something a bunch of times and sometimes but not all times you get the result you want. I recall a joke, about a drunk plunging quarters into a candy bar vending machine at a casino, yelling at someone interrupting, “don’t stop me, can’t you see I’m on a roll?” The drunk is so drunk he doesn’t get that he isn’t winning; he’s just buying something.

So, our social media, our email applications, our messaging applications, the 24 hour news cycle, all plug into this.

Our consciousness is fragmented. We aren’t winning.

You’ve probably seen the headline, if you haven’t read the story, and that’s a problem, too, that click bait fake news consumption surpassed the consumption of real news from real news sources in the days before Trump’s apparent electoral college win. The clickbait journalism model represents the ground floor of the race to the bottom of the forth estate.

So the most wealthy and powerful nation on Earth will now be ruled by a climate denier. His first appointment is a vicious criminal anti-semite being roundly praised by the KKK and the Neo-nazis that we have been told not to worry too much about by the many Trump voters who seemed to enjoy his melody, while paying little or no attention to the words in the songs he sang.

If you’re like me, at some point, the news became an addiction, an obsession, something you checked constantly, because with smart phones, you could. Perhaps like me you often read actual journalism, so you knew things. You knew that Iraq didn’t attack us on 911, before the war, and you knew there would be no WMD, because you’d read the reports by the UN arms inspectors. So many things you knew, and know.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t know those things and act on that knowledge. But I think the reality our information technology is now at odds with fundamental mental hygiene.

I would like to sit behind a firewall that batched my information in ways that made sense for a sane and productive life. Short of tornado warnings, local shooting events, and amber alerts, there is no need to become aware of every outrage on the planet the minute it occurs. I’m reminded of pioneers of the atomic age poisoning themselves with radioactive materials, because, they were presumed to be safe. We are the pioneers of the singularity, of the age of pure information, and a very large minority of voters have just accidentally selected a man who thinks global warming is a Chinese hoax as president.

Somehow, we have poisoned ourselves.

Not sure what to do about this, but here’s my short term plan:

  1. Maintain my subscription to the NYT.
  2. Only read news at the end of my work day.
  3. Only consult social media while standing up my workstation. Avoid it entirely as much as possible. Set distribution to friends only. Puzzle out what to do about an author platform later.
  4. Read books. Library books. Paper books I buy. E-books. Listen to books. Walk. Listen to music. Think.
  5. Donate  money to groups to protect targeted populations. Planned Parenthood. ACLU. Southern Poverty Law Center.
  6. Attend non-violent protests. Periodically call my representatives. Vote in all elections.
  7. Wear an array of identifiers that mark me as a safe place. So far, I have a Black Lives Matter pin and the safety pin. I’ll be adding more icons in the days and weeks ahead. These markers do not make me feel better. My demographic has allowed a horrific thing to happen. I don’t get to feel like a decent person for at least four years. Perhaps longer.
  8. Do my work.
  9. Abstain, to the degree I am able, from the self-congratulatory liberal echo chamber.
  10. Attempt to rewire my brain to be more like the brain I had in my twenties, which didn’t ache to check a series of glowing buttons on my pocket computer / tracking device every five minutes.

I’ve done this once before, but gradually got sick again, like an alcoholic who starts up again, only drinking one glass of wine with dinner. Then two. Then a bottle. Then two.

I’m gonna live a life with more individual conversations. Less holding forth to small audiences of like minding people generating micro-payments to a giant corporation.

Feel free to chime in below, on how you plan to change your life, in this new world we find ourselves in.

I want to know!

 

Posted in Climate Change, Making a Writing Life

Read my story Upsold! live at Galaxy’s Edge

cover001-1So I really really love this story, and I’m really really glad that it can be read on-line. Most of my stuff has been in Asimov’s, F&SF, and Interzone, which are all all paper. I love paper. I love those magazines.

But it’s great to be able to share a link. Like this.

http://www.galaxysedge.com/n7.htm

This magazine combines stories by newer writers with reprints from giants in the field, (and original stuff by giants, too). It’s edited by Mike Resnick, the most award winningest editor in the history of genre editing. I’m happy to be in here!

I tweeted something like “The Singularity! Sex! Fundamentalism!” because those things swirl around this story; it’s a profoundly weird little tale which came to life as I wrote it in a chilling way, the characters speaking very clearly in my head. I was barely able to steer this thing.

Read it now, for free, and let me know what you think! Seriously!

I dig the other stories in this issue as well, by friends of mine, and I’ll collect those reviews and put them up in a post tomorrow.

But I wanted to say this here, because I hadn’t yet.

Check it out

 

 

Posted in My Publications, Reinventing Science Fiction

Imposter’s Syndrome

imposter

Nineties Jay says to today’s Jay, “Wow. So. You’re a writer now… right?” Today’s Jay winces. “Um,” he says.

I have been struggling with imposter’s syndrome.

Found this in a business centric site, as a list of things to do to combat IS.

  • Don’t stay silent. Find a way to speak about your fears with a trusted friend, a coach, a mentor, your partner, a therapist, or in a journal.
  • Become familiar with your impostor. What are you trying to prove? To whom?And why?
  • Exercise your sense of humor. Try to keep a sense of perspective and to laugh as often as possible—especially at yourself.

So. Here’s the journal. And I guess you’re my trusted friend, whoever is reading this.

I remember a time when if you’d told me I would publish in Asimov’s, Analog and F&SF, multiple stories in all three places, that I would have said, “Cool! Thank God! I’ll know then that my work has value and I can put a ton of time and effort into projects without feeling like a self-indulgent dick.”

Back in the 90s, I saw these three magazines as the launch path to a career as a novelist, and when I didn’t hit these marks in the first five years of effort I quit for eighteen years.

So. Now, I’ve done it, made my 90s checklist. Time to strap in and launch that career!

But…

Now I’m haunted by the experiences of so many friends over the years who can’t sell novel one, two, three, four, five… by people whose first big-six novels don’t earn out, by people stranded in multi-book contracts… by the experiences of indies who pour years of effort into books only to sell a handful of copies…
I do sometimes, shamelessly, call myself a writer. There’s almost always that sense from people, when you say that, that they think you’re basically unemployed and make no money and are some sort of pathetic parasite.

Um. Yeah.

I say the three names now… Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF … I can add Fantastic Stories, Interzone, and Galaxy’s Edge, too, because I’ve placed work there as well… I don’t have to tell people how much money I make writing. I do anyway, in a kind of ugly self-flagellation that makes everyone within earshot wince.

The time has come now to commit, to longer term projects, to figuring out what my voice is for. To network more effectively, and not to shudder at the word ‘network.’ To somehow make use of social media without oversharing, venting like a mad man, or being in other ways unattractive.

A successful writer / businessman friend of mine recently told me he had never seen a more self-sabotaging media presence… a friend from the 90s flamed me on twitter for how I’ve discussed my recent successes there, and only the successes. The phrase ‘head up my ass’ came up so often I eventually realized that this guy was no longer a friend. (After he’d blocked and unfollowed me, that sank in. I’m not always quick on the uptake.)

So. I have a lot of work to do.

I thought I might find a cover of each magazine and make a graphic for this post… I searched the web, before realizing, duh, just take a picture of the magazines, and in so doing I found a bunch of reviews of my work I’d never seen before.

All positive reviews.

Don’t read reviews, is one bit of advice writers give. Never respond to reviews, either, everyone says.  Today, though, I think the reviews helped.

In a discussion as to whether an Asimov’s story of mine, Strangers with Candy, was ‘really SF’ or not, the reviewer said, he didn’t care really, the story was effective. The story knew exactly what it was doing, were the words he used.

So. Maybe my stories know what they’re doing. Even when I don’t.

Time to go make some words.

Thanks for listening.

Posted in Making a Writing Life

Twenty Six Years Later

26-years-later

Random assortment of covers of Analog, once Astounding, Science Fiction Magazine. A tradition. An institution. Yeah. I’m gonna be in it.

So, twenty six years ago I was living in Jamaica Plain with my girlfriend who would become my wife and I decided that rather than just talking about writing fiction I would actually sit down and write some.

My early efforts… on typewriters… had been pathetic. Typing on a typewriter felt like work. I didn’t like it. The idea of producing stacks of manuscript on a typewriter gave me nightmares. I was shitty at spelling; not exactly dyslexic, nothing worthy of a name, just hopelessly shitty. I recall dumbing down my vocabulary, when writing school papers, because I couldn’t spell a fraction of the words I knew.

But in 1990, I had a goddamn Macintosh personal computer. Spell check, yo.

So, I banged out a novella. The plot was vaguely Phillip Jose Farmer meets Roger Zelazny as written by someone who couldn’t write very well and six weeks after I dopped the manuscript in the mail to Analog magazine, I got back my SASE with the unsigned rejection slip.

The slip was a page of snarky reasons they rejected stories, pre-printed. It was humiliating.

I’d grown up on the myth of John W. Campbell writing letters of critique back to Asimov and Clarke that were longer than the stories themselves. I knew Campbell was long gone. I knew I wasn’t Asimov, or Clarke.

But oh.

So this is the thing; this is common; this is cliche. We all know that this is what happens when you start out trying to do something. But, until you have done this thing and had this happen, really, you don’t know shit about how this feels.

Until you have been the man in the arena.

You don’t know what it feels like. It feels bad. Depending on what kind of person you are, it can be enough to stop you cold.

How many dreams die in that moment, in that first flash of the cold light of day? The short, sharp shock of your own ineffable crappyness?

Lots.

Intrepid hero that I am, or was, at age 27, I collapsed like a house of cards and didn’t write or submit anything for a year.

And then…

A friend of mine sold his first story to a magazine for fifty bucks. (He thought he did anyway, the magazine folded before it published the thing or paid him, but who cares. It happened. A friend. Of mine. SOLD A STORY.) And I realized, I wanted to write. I met a man in a used bookstore in Harvard Square who became my lifelong friend and wrote with him and a few people he was writing with, and when that group disbanded I found another group, which I stuck with for years.

Until I lead it.

I went to Clarion West, the six week writing workshop that makes or breaks people, and….It broke me. I quit for eighteen years. Again, heroic me, folding like some kind of cheap, easily foldable thing. (What do things fold like? Write much, writer boy?)

And then I started up again in 2012, with a new workshop, new friends. I sold nine pieces to Asimovs, two to F&SF, and to Interzone and Galaxies Edge and Fantastic Stories, and this afternoon, twenty six years later, two stories were accepted at Analog.

Depending on where you are in life, I am either an inspirational story (if you’re older and hoping for a second act) or a cautionary tale (If you’re younger and you have a tendency to quit like a little sniveling bitch.)

Know this; the sensation of success is fleeting, behind every success in writing there are a series of disappointments. (No award nominations? No anthology interest?) You better love doing the thing itself, because mostly the thing itself is it’s own reward.

But, that moment of success, that instant, that feeling, reaching a goal, it’s good.

Very good.

You carry it with you forever.

Posted in Making a Writing Life

I Give You Permission to Write

So here’s the thing. Nancy Kress, in her writing book, calls this the Tolstoy problem; when you figure out you’re not Tolstoy, you’re not your writing  hero, your story isn’t like theirs, In the bluntest terms, you’re not as good as Tolstoy. You’re never going to be as good. What do you do?

If you’re like most people, you:

  1. Live in denial. See your work work through a hazy mist I call The Naive Glow of Creation which makes you incapable of seeing its weakness. This means you’ll stop getting any better or get better very slowly.
  2. Collapse like a house of cards and never write again. Cultivate Writer’s block, or pretend you were never serious to start out with.
  3. Alternate between collapse and denial.

The third path, or I guess, fourth, since I’ve included alternating, is to see what you do as clearly as you can, keep writing, and try to improve. Trust in the process. What process? The one you build, your practice.

In simple terms your practice looks like this:

  1. Writing and reading and researching.
  2. Revising and editing.
  3. Sharing and submitting.
  4. Processing Feedback.
  5. Rewriting. (Optional!)
  6. Repeating this process with new work; at new lengths; in new genres; submitted to new markets.

There are a million different ways to be a writer and a million different ways to write; one of the great things about writers is that so many of them are happy to write about the craft and the process, and with social media it literally possible to see exactly how your writers, the people you read, write. They’ll post their word counts, talk about editing and research, galleys and rewrites and copyedits and plot holes and deadlines and everything.

The process has never been less mysterious, as explicated, as explicable.

If you are an Amazon user and you want to pay ten bucks a month for Kindle Unlimited, there are about 100 pretty decent writing books you can read for the all you can eat fee.

Manuscript preparation has never been easier. Research has never been easier. Markets have never been this well indexed. Email document submissions are fast, efficient, and cheap. Barriers to entry are lower than they have ever been.

Which means of course, that competition has never been greater, for publication, for eyeballs.

But seriously. You want to do this thing? I give you permission.

I give you permission to write.

I give you permission to suck at first.

I give you permission to not even know you suck for a good long time.

I give you permission to embarrass yourself.

I give you permission to discover that you suck and have a short sad.

I suggest gently you Get Over The Sad Faster Than Me. (I once quit for eighteen years.)

I give you permission to start over; start again; write in a new way; write with new people; write with workshops; write without them; write and never show it to other people; write and show it to everyone; write and give it away free; write and treat it as if it were made of fucking diamonds and gold and shit and can only be looked at by agents and Important People and to Throw It Away if it doesn’t sell to The New Yorker.

I give you permission to ‘sell’ your work to magazines that pay in smiley faces.

I am a novice writer, I’ve only written ten or twenty thousand pages, I’ve sold thirty stories, which have been distributed to a few hundred thousand people. I’ve made ten thousand dollars in 25 years. I am a failure. I am a success. I am still trying. I’m not dead yet.

I am a writer. Write with me.

I can think of nothing more worth doing.

Write now. Write.

You can do it.

If I can, anyone can.

 

Posted in Making a Writing Life, Uncategorized

Back from Europe, as the World Shudders…

barmp1

In loving memory of the years spent on other worlds…

Back from Southern Italy. We did day trips to ancient cities and had a live-in cook, a wonderful friend of the family named Peter, and cut loose from all responsibility I rediscovered the ability to read short stories for pleasure. I turned off the over-active Workshop Module that picks at every word and shuts off the narrative dream.

So I got to most of the stories I’d missed in my published magazine issues (Asimov’s and F&SF) for the last few years and send off some nice notes to the authors in my tables of contents. I have more notes to write. I love writing them. I love writing to an author and talking about why their story is awesome for me.

What I haven’t done is force myself to read stuff when I wasn’t feeling it. And something about being in short story writing mode seriously impairs my ability to look at short fiction as fun

But a week with almost no internet, with almost no writing, hitting me unexpectedly, changed some setting in my mind (We assumed we’d have connectivity because MJs brother who was getting married is a big CISCO guy and we thought he’d have a hovering robot node floating above the Trulis or something.)

We’ll see how hard it is to start writing again today. Hopefully not horrible. Because I’d like to do this, a few times a year, I think, stop writing enough, and hacking out the net, so that reading becomes natural again.

I’ve wanted to be sixteen again, lying in bed reading entire books, lost in other worlds, for decades. I get there so infrequently, and only for a few hours. I wanna lose whole days again to the dream.

Like when I was seventeen and I read all of Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom novels lying in a hammock on vacation in the temperate mountains of North Carolina, book after book, the warrior king of that mighty falling planet. The rope hammock like some crash couch from an SF book, perfectly supporting me, the breezes blowing, my brandmother interupting me periodically with wonderful food; grits and sausage and eggs and deep fried jalapeno cornbread and red beans and rice, with smoked ham and Tabasco. My parents and grandparents playing bridge and drinking scotch and roaring with pleasure and outrage at every hand. the breeze through the tall trees.

Barsoom spread out at my feet, those dead sea bottoms filled with rust and ochre lichen. Every book, I’d make a new warrior friend, and start a new revolution, and lead another oppressed martian race to freedom, under the glorious banner of Helium, and yes, I was politically young enough not to be too bothered by any of this. ERBs books are all about race. From the POV of a white southerner. The people from whom I am descended.

Some books can only be read at some times in your life.

Now it is time to be in this time, this moment, to completely and totally absorb this zeitgeist and find it within me, to write for this moment and whatever moments ahead that the world might allow, but never mind the future, there’s only now; SF is like cheese, not marble or canvas; some kinds are good for a few years. Most is best served very fresh.

There is no dishonor in being a cheesemaker; if your cheese is delicious.

As for the world, who knows what comes next. Whether my career will be interrupted by events; whether I will be forced by events to take some stand which interrupts fiction, which changes me back into a half-assed activist and columnist; I can only write fiction under the american center, as represented by the likes of Clinton and Obama; when the far vampire-right takes power I just scream bloody murder 24/7.

I don’t enjoy it. Dear God I hope I can keep writing fiction.

Fascism may interrupt that.

Posted in Making a Writing Life

Out of Darkness

So to everyone who feels like their creative work is futile, pointless because few will see it, and it won’t make enough money to put food on the table, for everyone saddened by the stories that won’t sell and the novels that you can’t even pitch, and the ones that nobody wants to see the whole manuscript and the ones where they pass on the whole manuscript, and the ones that are self-published and do nothing, that sell two copies, to all of you, know that I’m one of you.

I feel this keenly most of the time. I try to be as positive as I can in this space. But I struggle to find positivity.

I always wanted to make a living as a ‘creative.’ This term we invented in the last tech bubble, when I got to be one, for a time, and got paid like a grown-up and everything. I wore a suit and they flew me around the country and it ended in a choking cloud of dust and death on 911. I felt like a fraud the whole time, because hey, I was one. So it’s OK that’s over.

My life has been defined by this sense of failure, this sense of not living up to my potential. It hangs over me, it runs through me, sometimes I think it is me.

The horrible thing I have learned how to do, which I don’t recommend, is to just push through it and do the work anyway. It’s my only positive character trait.

What I recommend is what Michael Swanwick called ‘protecting your head.’ Don’t let the voices in, don’t let them own you, don’t let them define you, don’t be that person.

But if they do get in, and you are that person, somehow detach from yourself, the story of yourself and your failure and work on a different story. 

Walking away from it all doesn’t help. Because as Buckaroo Bonzai taught us, “No matter where you go…. there you are.”

So write your stories. They’re yours. Nobody can take them away from you.

I have a big project to finish now that no one will ever see but me, and I suppose the ghost of J.D Salinger. I imagine him now in the shed in the back yard building that towering pile of manuscript none of us will ever read. Like PKDs graphomania, the Exegesis.

Maybe there are better things one could do with ones life. But there are far, far worse things too.

Consider Donald Trump.

Go write.

 

 

Posted in Making a Writing Life

The Story that Broke Through Eighteen Years of Writer’s Block…

TL: DR, join my Mail Chimp list and get a free short story by me!

I’m getting some fan mail on my new novella in the June 2016 Asimov’s, which is awesome. The 38,000 word piece, “What We Hold Onto” is reaching a lot of people and giving them feels…

I’m trying to do my part, for Asimov’s and Sheila Williams and her team at Penny Press, to get the word out, and to urge people to leave reviews at Good Reads and Amazon and on their blogs and stuff if they want to keep reading issues with me on the cover.

Somehow though, the people who like the issue aren’t finding their way to Goodreads, so, if you’re there, please give the story a quick review. A few words and some stars would be nice.
Thanks!
Oh, the mailing list and the free story—

My Mailing List, Fictional Futures will be the occasional note about my new publications, deals on my ebooks and reprints, some indy original titles I’ll be publishing and well as reprints, and pointers to interviews and podcasts and stuff I’m doing that could be interesting.

You can always unsub if I’m too chatty. I promise not to be. I only do this stuff when I make my almost impossible to achieve word count goals.

But mostly, please join. I miss my time on FB, which I’ve cut back to a few minutes a day, and even though I’m enjoying the freed-up time writing, I need a sense of community to keep going.

Best wishes to all of you in your pursuits and endeavors. Thanks for listening to me talk about mine.

Posted in Making a Writing Life, My Publications, Social Media Suicide

Follow me on Twitter

Good Reads