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Bad ways to start the New Year: finally falling prey to a sickness that'd been creeping up on me, I suspect, since the end of the semester; not being able to help my dad move furniture yesterday.

Good ways to start the New Year: having ended up at my mother's house with few books and slow internet, I wrote a draft of a short story, "The War of the Mages", in one day. (Well, one day and a couple of months of thinking about it.) It's in the same world as A Returning Power, so I wanted to get the story written before I started sending the novel out; and, as a bonus, the Dell Award contest deadline is today and I had no stories that weren't currently at markets. So: story written, story sent off to Dell Award contest, in the space of a day. When they announce the winners, I can go back, revise, and then send it to markets. Basically, I win!

Today I came back to my dad's house and re-shelved the contents of 11 (out of 14) boxes of books. My bookcases now loom properly over my bed, so it has started to look something like home.
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I got into that play! I don't know much about my part yet--I will know more after the first rehearsal tomorrow, when we receive our scripts--but from what I know, it should be a really fun part (and a really fun show).

And I will know about the Dell Award next week, they say, so then I can revise that story again and maybe send it out somewhere else.

Meanwhile, I made A Returning Power have chapters. They are fuzzy--their edges sort of blur into each other--but they are there, and will gain definition later. One of my tasks for the weekend is printing out the first couple of them so I can go through with a fine-toothed comb.

First I should probably work on this essay, though.
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"The Day the God Died", still coming in at 2500 words, just went out to the Dell Award contest. It is not the best story I have ever written, but it is definitely the best story I have ever written in two days. (Counting my experiment with National Novel Writing Day.)

About 30 hours, all in all, from "oh no Dell Award deadline!" to "well, there isn't all that much I can do to it at this point". A couple of hours ago I realized that the conference to which they invite you if you win a) is during the end of my spring break and b) features Connie Willis as a guest of honor. At which point I went all goggle-eyed and flabbergasted and wished I had more time or more ways to make it better or or or. But in the end, you get to "there isn't all that much more I can do to it", and you click submit.

Time to update my submissions spreadsheet, cross my fingers, eat a candy cane, and watch a bit more of the TV show they made of Archer's Goon back in the 80's. Then maybe I will read something.

Took a break this afternoon to read:
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, McBride: Silly, quick read. I enjoyed it, and it distracted me entirely, which was probably a feat and a half, today.
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And we have second draft! I have sent it to a few people for another read-through, intersecting with but not the same as the people who very kindly read it for me last night.

Second draft is, I think, much improved.

Now it is time for me to go off and eat lunch and do Something Else for a few hours. Too bad the jigsaw puzzle's all done, because that is always a nice way to distract a brain.

Gratuitous mention here of awesome friends who have been encouraging me with extended dinosaur and coal mine metaphors as well as music, and who gave me many excellent apocalypse suggestions last night. They rock.

(I kind of knew it had to be a singularity, but I didn't want it to be a singularity. And when I got up today I realized the singularity was incidental to the actual story as a whole. But the apocalypse suggestions were still helpful.)
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...some... number of hours later, I have a first draft of a short story! It is 2500 words long. Its current title is "The Day the God Died". It may be terrible, but it is finished and it is mine.

I have sent it to a number (four?) of people who have said they will give me feedback by tomorrow morning; I will then attempt a rewrite of the thing, and send it to a few more people tomorrow afternoon, who will get it back to me, I'll polish it, and then I will send it to the Dell Award...

...exhausting afternoon/evening, but very worth it. I had forgotten how much fun it was to have a deadline.

(If anyone wants to be in the tomorrow-afternoon readers group, let me know--I'm off to bed nowish, so probably too late for the one tonight.)

aamcnamara: (Default)
In my grand tradition, I forgot that the Dell Award existed until just now. Deadline is on Tuesday. Do I have a short story to send in? Of course I do not! I am informed, however, that I may as well try to write one.

So--here we go. Why not? That's, what, two days?

Opening up all my "idea" files and compiling a document of whatever strikes my fancy in three, two, one...

ETA, threeish hours later: Concept, playlist, outline; more music provided by [livejournal.com profile] epicrauko; 1200 words. Dinner soon, I hope. Currently on upswing--it may actually come together!

August 2015

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