writing

Cats sitting up with a keyboard on its lap Cats write novels too

Writing: Building from short stories to novels

The other day I was talking with a friend about some writing stuff and I mentioned I used to write short stories, long before I wrote novels. And I did it for a reason. Writing shorts is what taught me how to write novels, really. This will be full of things that look like rules or advice. They aren’t. None of this applies to anyone but me, unless it happens to resonate with you. If any of it does – take what you want, and leave the rest. But it is being written from my brain’s perspective. This is how I think, and how I work, and I do not think that means anyone else should abide by it. But also I am not going to preface every bit with this so I’m just getting it all out of the…

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My Top Ten Albums of 2021

I like music. That may be an understatement, actually. I desperately need music. I write to it. I edit to it. I just sit and play it, work out to it, everything. I also don’t stream music. Nothing against people who do, mind you. I just like to buy my music, a mix of mp3s and CDs. I don’t do vinyl because, honestly, I grew up at the end of vinyl and then rebought things on cassette and then CD and I can’t go backwards. I just can’t. That’s me. Again, however you listen to music you should enjoy it. I get albums and tend to think of music in terms of albums not singles more often than not. Which is why I am not doing the Top Ten Songs. I digress mightily! This year, for the first time, I…

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Arthurian Legend – a small thought

Arthurian Legend. I mean I am not an expert, I’ve met experts so I know I ain’t one here, but I have some familiarity from being obsessed with it as a kid and from co-creating The Once and Future Queen, you know? And I have some Arthur thoughts I need to get out today. They’ve been on my mind a while now. Because I feel like a lot of people seem to identify Arthur as a story about how what we need is a strong leader to unify under and … for me … that misses the actual point of the story. Arthurian stuff is not about A STRONG LEADER coming to save all of us. It’s about how any one of us, regardless of social class or anything else, can BECOME that leader. That we have to step up…

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Robot Rage

(this is from an old collection of humor essays of mine called I Slept With Your Imaginary Friend and I thought I’d put it back up here because it makes me laugh) Robot Rage What the shit is up with Transformers and go-Bots? I mean, aside from the usual nonsense. All right, I have three big issues just this second and they apply to both bunches of robots that are, wouldn’t you know it, in some form of shape-shifting disguise. First of all, all these fucking robots fly all the time. Just in their basic robot forms. They all fly. All the time. No propulsion visible, nothing – nope, they just damn well fly. And yet! And fucking yet, a bunch of them transform into jets or helicopters or some shit. Why? Why the hell would you be all “Hey,…

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A bit of Culture’s Skeleton

With Culture’s Skeleton (you can buy the book here) coming out, I thought I Would share about a thousand words of it, to, hopefully, help explain the city the novel takes place in: Mur. So here you go: ——————— We were, earlier, talking about Mur. Mur, the original city. Mur, the mighty and timeless. The city itself spun around space and time like a child’s toy kicked by the family dog on a bender. A word not often used to describe Mur: simple. Words often used to describe Mur: annoying, desperate, and “Where the fuck am I and where are my shoes?” That last isn’t, strictly, a word, but allow for a bit of license. If you’re going to understand Mur, you need to know that this is true. Pure truth, uncut by niceness and concern for the established structures…

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The Convention Bag Detailed

I’ve been doing conventions for a while now, selling books. Running a con table takes a lot of stuff and a bunch of thought and so I found myself needing to prepare more and more every show. Eventually I decided on gathering up a con bag. One bag that I could put everything, except stock (and now except one other thing I’ll get to), into and just grab and go. I used to use a giant diaper bag from Target for it, as it was big enough, and sturdy enough for the job but over the time the fact that it didn’t have a rigid shape started to cause problems. It was hard to load onto the hand truck, it was a pain to carry, and it sort of flopped enough to take up too much extra room under tables….

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Networking

So I feel the need to talk about networking. You know, just did ECCC and a lot of ppl go in about “Well it’s a great show to network at, I don’t know how to network, aaaa” and really there are two schools of thought to it I know of. ONLY ONE WORKS. There are some people that see “networking” to mean going back and forth between any group you think will be an advantage to you, or your career. It’s raw opportunistic hunting. It can look like it works. It 100% doesn’t, though. See, everyone knows who that person is, and that they will only be your friend for exactly as long as they think you are of value to them. No one will tell them, to their face, that we all know. But we all talk, and names…

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Publishing news

A few months ago my first novel in quite some time, THIS STARRY DEEP, was published. In the back of the book it had a small teaser for the sequel THE ENDLESS SKY, to come in 2017. Well that date might slip by a few months into 2018 but to make up for it 2017 will see the first ever ebook version of my novella CRAZY LITTLE THING. CLT is one of my all-time fave things I’ve written. So I am super excited to be able to share it with you guys again. It’s a love story. I mean a love story the way I do them, which…look it’s a love story, all right? But that’s not all! Along with those two bits of news I can officially announce that around (roughly) a year after THE ENDLESS SKY another novel…

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Everyone has a secret origin.

Everyone has a secret origin. This is mine. Both my parents were in publishing. My father sold his first short story to a magazine when he was 13. This is not bragging. This is a warning. I grew up being taught how story works. When I was around six I remember sitting at a playground with my dad and him insisting I finish the scene I was working on in in a short story before I could go play. My childhood was…strange. When I was 12 I got my first prose rejection from a major anthology. When I was 18 I realized I hadn’t been published yet, and hadn’t submitted in a few years, either, and declared myself a total and utter failure. It was the start of a bit of a breakdown that lasted a few years, not that…

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We all live here

You’re not good enough. Everyone around you hates you because you’re lagging behind where they are. Everyone is laughing in secret. You’re a talentless joke. Keep trying, you can’t catch up but it’s funny to watch you fail. I bet you think that’s well done. You fucking joke. Every day. Every night. The demons come out to play. They whisper and point and giggle and mock as they dance around the room, watching us, hoping to see us flinch, and eventually curl up in despair. We all live here. We all live in this liminal space between creator and creation. This space that is full of demons. They’re your real friends, they’re tell you. They understand you. The demons know what is truly going on, they swear. It’s not pessimistic, or negative, they’re quite sure. It’s realistic, and shouldn’t be…

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