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My drug of choice is writing--writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Friday, May 27, 2016

How To Be A Writer By Kaitlyn S. C. Hatch

Image Description: Writer's at work on a computer
with a mountain, wolf, and moon coming out of his head. 
How To Be A Writer 

(By Kaitlyn S. C. Hatch)


I’m sitting next to my dad on one of those standard conference chairs — metal framed with cushioned seat and back, but not at all comfortable, especially for my boney twelve-year-old self. I wiggle around, pulling my legs up, folding them underneath my butt, rising above the heads of everyone in front of me so I can get a glimpse of the Authors.

There they are, a row of five sitting behind a table on a raised platform at the front. I’ve forgotten now, or possibly never knew, who the Authors were, except for Spider Robinson. I’d met him earlier, in the lobby. My dad introduced himself, introduced me, told him he loves Callahan’s and all the quirky characters that go along with it.

I didn’t say anything during this exchange, just smiled and held my dad’s hand. I’ve not read Spider Robinson’s books but I know about him. My dad has told me his story, how he started out. “He was a security guard and he used all the downtime on his shifts to write his books.”
This is a story I am familiar with. Writers write, regardless of what they do to earn an income. There’s the job that puts food on your plate and a roof over your head, but also provides time for the job that defines you, the one that feeds your soul.

There is a critical distinction in my twelve-year-old mind, between a writer and an Author. When a writer becomes an Author their writing is no longer their own but something shared with the world, bound in paper and sold in bookstores, checked out of libraries, held in the hands of The Public. I know I am a writer, have always known it, but to be an Author is entirely different. If you asked me, as a child, what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d give you the answer without hesitation…

So I strain to see these Authors, these celebrities that hold far more clout with me than anyone on television or the big screen. I’ve been raised without a television, you see. In fact, at twelve, a TV is a sudden new addition to the household. My entire childhood has been decorated with books — a long shelf in the living room, dominating the wall most people would fill with a screen. Not to mention weekly trips to the library where I eagerly consume everything on offer. I read voraciously, have since I was five or six. I find an author I like and commit to reading every single thing they’ve written.

This is what I tell the panel of Authors before me, when my hand stretched to the ceiling is noticed and I’m invited to speak. “I read all the time,” I say. “And I’ve been writing since I can remember. But how,” I implore, I query, I ask with longing and desire, “do I get myself published?”

There is chuckling. Like I’ve said something sweet, amusing, naive.

“Keep writing,” they say, or one of them says, and the rest nod in agreement.

“Keep reading.”

“Yes, that. You’re doing everything right.”

I am satiated and I sit down, this time letting my legs dangle over the too high seat, my question supposedly answered.

A few years later I’m in a bookstore with my parents. It’s late, the store is closed to the public but lit and full of people. We are there for a book launch of a neighbour and friend. There is mingling, glasses of Champagne, the book on display for all to see — non-fiction, historical, about the Canadian Pacific Railway.

I do not read non-fiction and historical things bore me because I am a teenager and victim of an education system that presents ‘history’ as dates and names with little narrative and therefore not much to hold my interest. But still, I am jealous. I have a pang of envy to see this person I know, this fellow writer, step away from that title and assume the shinier, more interesting role of Author.

My completed manuscripts (two or three at this point) are all Young Adult fiction, inspired by the gaps I find in the YA section at the library. I want to tell the stories of teenagers honestly, without the ‘after-school special’ message I so often encounter. I’m a volunteer at the library now, reviewing publisher’s proofs and feeding back to the head librarian of the Children & YA section as to which books should be bought and which are so dreadful I’m appalled they were published at all.

These books give me hope, of course. I am not terribly confident in my writing but I know that it’s better than a lot of what I read for this volunteer role. And I know I’m writing to fill gaps. I write about the outcasts, the freaks and weirdos and non-conformists.

There are speeches at the book launch. People who worked with the Author on the book — an editor, someone from the publishing house, the Author himself.

Later I approach one of these people of import, perhaps it was the publisher, my memory fails me now. I tell them about my work and that I’m interested in getting published. “How would one go about that?”

“Do you write every day?”

“I do,” I say.

“Keep writing.”

I am now an adult. I have been a youth worker, an administrator, project manager, fundraiser and most recently begun to do design and social media consulting.

I’m doing a consulting job for a small company, a start-up but not a techie one. The hours are minimal and I’m being paid in trade. One day the owner asks me if, before I go, we can have a chat. I tell them that’s fine but that I have to leave by 4:00pm, at the latest, no matter what. We agree to chat at 3:00pm.

3:00pm comes and goes, though, and they are still on the phone, popping in and out of the office, exuding busy-ness.

I catch their eye as they pass my desk, phone to their ear. They hold up a finger to indicate one minute, as if they won’t continue their usual pattern. I’ve been doing this consulting with them for long enough to know that the person on the phone always takes precedence and I’m going to be forgotten.

It’s four o’clock and I start packing up to go. They’re chatting on the phone and give me a look, surprised. “Hold on one moment,” they say to their caller, and then to me, “You’re leaving? I thought we were going to talk.”

“Me too, but I did say I have to go at 4:00pm today, it’s already three minutes past. I really can’t stay any longer.”

“Really? Not even for the greatest job offer of your life?”

I smile, a small smile, a tight, bemused smile, “Sorry. I just can’t.”

They shrug, eye brow raise, smug, as if to say, ‘your loss’, but I find it unaffecting. I grab my bag and walk out, thinking to myself, “Best job offer of my life? What would that be?”

The answer is obvious. It’s always been obvious. If someone were to tell me I could have a salary and any job I wanted for it, could be comfortably earning an income to feed and clothe and house me and what I did was entirely up to me, there is only one thing I would choose…

I am thirty, a grown woman, confident and more assured than I’ve ever been. I look back on my younger self with fondness. I was naive, silly sometimes, often arrogant or full of false confidence.

Now I am forever cultivating awareness of what I don’t know. Embracing and admitting to my arrogance as a way to practice humility. I no longer consider sixty to be ‘old’. I think dreams are great but goals are better. I am fiercely independent but learning, always learning every single day, that it’s okay to accept help and okay to ask for it. I can differentiate between a contract full of expectations and a genuine offering of support. I have come to realise success is not how other people see you but how you see yourself.

I was always asking how to become an Author. How to get paid for my art, my creativity, my words written down, composed to inspire and lift and delight and intrigue and entertain. But something has shifted.

It’s not that I don’t want to earn a living this way, not at all. If anything my focus on this is stronger than it’s ever been because right now, for the first time in my life, I’m actually doing something about it.

But it hadn’t occurred to me that I was so focused on what it meant to be an Author that I hadn’t considered what it meant to be a Writer. I figured I’d always known how to do that. And I did, in a way.

But it’s only been recently that I’ve truly recognised it. Because I’ve suddenly seen that while I was working all those other jobs, filling my 9:00 to 5:00(or 8:00 to 4:00) doing stuff for other people, I filled my 5:00 to 8:00 or my Saturday or Sunday with writing.

This distinction is key because I have spoken to so many people who mention their idea for a book or character or plot but never get beyond that. They have an outline, maybe, or some notes in a journal, but they have not written their book(s) down.

Here is where all that advice, which didn’t tell me one thing about getting published, came in handy. They were saying, regardless of what you do to pay the bills, regardless of how long it takes, regardless of anything else: You must write.

Agents can’t sell ideas. Publishers don’t want character sketches. The public won’t pay for a plot outline.

So if you ask me today, what my ideal dream job is, if you ask what I want to be when I grow up or simply what I ‘do’, I’ll answer you proudly, confidently, with ease:

I’m a Writer.

Since you’ve read this far I DO want to offer a little something on how to go about getting published, for those of you with finished manuscripts:

  • Get an agent. Send your manuscripts to agents regularly, with tailored letters and genuine interest in working with the agents you approach.
  • Publish online in blog form to gain a following. If it’s well-written people will want to read it and it could get picked up for publication and may even eventually become a film.
  • Approach a publisher directly, but only if they accept work without an agent and if they’re a good fit for what you’ve written.
  • Self publish. If you’ve got the money to do so and are willing to put in the work to edit, market and promote the thing so it might actually generate an income for you, this is easily done through sites like Lulu.com and blurb.com.
  • Crowdfund your book to build a following, possibly get a publisher interested and to fund the cost of editing, marketing and promotions.


And in all these things, whatever approach you decide to take, be willing to do the work. There’s a big difference between doing what you love and getting paid for it.

For those of you who still have a book inside you? I can only say one thing:

Write. Write now. Write often. Write terribly. Write beautifully. Write regularly.
But write.

Always, always write.


Kaitlyn Hatch is a Canadian-Brit Creative Polymath and Buddhist. She’s currently running a campaign to get her first fiction book (Friends We Haven’t Met) published. 

For a full bio and her crowdfunding page, visit: https://publishizer.com/friends-we-havent-met/


If you would like to guest blog for Writing About Writing we would love to have an excuse to take a day off a wonderful diaspora of voices. Take a look at our guest post guidelines, and drop me a line at chris.brecheen@gmail.com.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Philosophy of Writing Posts

[Yesterday ended up being about ten hours of kid wrangling and housekeeping (which doesn't include my session of writing in the morning), so I'm still working on that Star Wars: The Force Awakens post I promised you. But since there's no teaching this week, and the weekend looks to be somewhat relaxing, I'll just mix up the schedule a bit and dribble into the weekend.

Here's the first of those menus I promised to start posting.]  

These are manifestos, rants, edicts, warnings, fundamental precepts and more. I claim no authority of fiat (in fact, sometimes that's what I'm most objecting to), but they are as close to the core nuggets of my personal philosophy of writing as anything is likely to get.  Some are several articles surrounding a core idea like Dorothea Brande or politics.  Some are very (very) long, some are obviously papers I wrote for college, and many are more than a little self indulgent.  But all are fundamental to what I understand of writing.

Earning Your "Er."
No Apologies: A Defense of Why Speculative Fiction Should Need No Defense.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Writing- It's much more than just the writing part.
A Fish, a Rat, and a Prescriptivist Walk Into a Bar Why most linguistic prescriptivism bothers me.
Ten thousand hours It takes a lot of work.  A LOT of work.
NaNoWriMo: The Good, The Bad, and the Really Really Ugly
The A to Zen of a Writer's Life
The Modern Artist's Survival Guide
An Open Letter to Lynn Shepherd
The 17 Rules of Writing
A Passive Aggressive Memo to Other Artists
On Sister Act 2 and How to Know If You Should Be a Writer
Ten Reasons to Write Daily (Accentuate the Positive)
Don't Make It So Damned Hard

Series Articles

The Lessons of Brande Dorothea Brande's book Becoming A Writer has shaped how I fundamentally approach writing. 1 The book and what it's about.  2 Cultivating internal dualism.  3 Morning writing.  4 The Floating Half Hour of Writing

Writers and Politics Be careful when dealing with politicsThe truth is a casualty of political writing.  Avoiding politics entirely isn't the answer.  But there are reasons to be cautious.

It's Really Okay NOT to Write. Really  Intro & Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Best Surreptitious Non-Male Writer (Don't Forget to Vote)

Image description: Charlotte Brontë
Who is the best woman (or NB) writer who wrote under a name that disguised that fact?  

Less than a week remains in May, so get your vote on if you haven't yet! Or get your vote on again.


The poll itself is down on the left hand side at the bottom.

Please don't forget that our poll program will only track your IP address for one week, so since I can't stop shenanigans, I'm asking for as much of it as possible. Vote early. Vote often.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Writing About Writing About Writing by Kit Powers

Image description: God Bomb (with the O as a grenade)
By Kit Power
Writing About Writing About Writing
by Kit Powers  

So I was going to write about procrastination, but I got distracted, and when I came back, I wasn’t sure if that was the right line to take or not.

Then I figured maybe I’d pivot instead to writing advice, and specifically about how writing advice is bad because you should totally find your own way of working and don’t let ‘experts’ or TEH MAN tell you how to write, man. And then I remembered this is a guest post for a blog that contains a lot of actually very good writing advice, and that as someone with exactly one novel out, whose primary source of income in not, in point of fact, writing, and further as someone who is only a writer at all because of a book of writing advice (King’s ‘On Writing’, which our host has written about rather brilliantly), that was clearly a terrible idea on just about every level. I mean sure, you could make it an elaborate joke about why writing advice is actually good, but that’d just be cheap mirror of an article that, again, our host has already done better. Full disclosure - ‘this is a terrible idea on every level’ hasn’t always stopped me attempting to write something. But a burning desire not to fall flat on my face and bust my nose open and bleed pathetically all over what is effectively my Writing On Writing audition guest post meant that taking such an approach felt, well, a little self-sabotaging.

Even for me.

So that led to an interrogation - why had I thought that was a good idea, even fleetingly? What about the notion of saying ‘writing advice is bad’ on a blog full of good writing advice seemed funny/clever/appropriate?

Hang on. Back Up. ‘Self sabotaging’?

Ah.

Interesting.

I don’t know what the hell I’m doing (chorus of ‘no kidding!’). I mean, of course nobody does - it’s turtles all the way down. But I really don’t. As of this moment, I have six non-fiction pieces, either book reviews or blog articles, that I should be writing, two author interviews in progress, two left wing/progressive Doctor Who podcasts guest appearances I need to prep for (!), along with the small matter of producing a third draft of the framing device text for my short story/essay collection before my editor dies of boredom, and, oh yeah, getting back to the 17K start I’ve made on my second novel. So of course, the logical thing to do would be to talk my way into writing a guest post for a writer whose blogging and political writing I have a massive amount of respect for, and then put myself under an insane deadline to get something produced.

So, okay, self sabotage.

Then again…

This is where the juice is, for me. I write a monthly column for UK horror review site The Gingernuts Of Horror. It’s called ‘My Life In Horror’, and every month I write about some seminal childhood novel, film, album or event that had a permanent effect on me, and that I consider horror.

And I write it fast. As fast as I can. I slam on the headphones, crank up some guitars loud enough to drown out the world, and I pound the letters. Most months, it’s the best time I have at a keyboard. Most months, it’s also the best writing I do.

Not belabour the point here, but by far the most popular one I’ve so far written - a love letter to watching the movie Gremlins at aged 11 or so - was written in 90 minutes. The site was interviewing Joe Dante, and I’d offered to do the piece, then completely forgotten about it. The interview was going up that day. I was at the work that actually pays the rent. So on my lunch break, I cracked knuckles and went to work. One hour to write, 30 minutes to polish, subbed, posted, and  a couple of weeks later, thanks to the official Gremlins FB page, boom, viral.

Lessons?

This is where it gets dangerous. Leaving aside my staggering lack of any kind of qualification to be talking advice in the first place, what can we usefully learn from all this? I mean, set near-impossible deadlines? Write so fast you don’t have time to think? Write from a place of passion and love or burning rage? Write like your fingers and mind are on fire?

Hmm. Actually, that doesn’t sound too bad.

On the other hand…

On the other hand, there’s that Difficult Second Novel, mouldering on my hard drive while I write guest posts laying bare my own insecurities and inadequacies and banging on about being all ‘on fire’ and that. Glaring at me accusingly. And it is difficult. It’s hard. Normal nights, with a passing wind, I can hit 1k an hour. This story, I’m dragging out 500 in the same length of time, and it’s painful.

Maybe that’s a sign that it’s bad. It’s a theory. So, okay, send the manuscript so far out to a kind but critical friend. Explain the quandary. Ask for a no BS assessment - is this worth my time? This is someone who has turned down stories from me in his professional editor capacity, by the way. So I know my ass will remain blown-smoke free, and I know he’s capable of saying ‘ditch it’.

And he loves it. He tells me I HAVE to finish it. He offers to help.

Well, shit.

So now we’re back to King, right? King on Carrie, to be precise. Giving up because it’s hard is bad. Sometimes you’ve got to plough on, even if you just feel like you’re shoveling shit from a sitting position.

Ah, but the fire calls out, doesn’t it? Instant gratification. Bang out a review, a blog post, that retrospective on the classic album you love so much. Share it. Instant hit, instant feedback, instant love. The words just flow. It’s easy. The book is hard.

 But the reviews won’t pay the rent (so far, nor do the books, but they could, maybe, someday). They’re not worthless - far from it. They really do matter, that’s the hell of it. They force you to think critically about WHY a book works, or why it doesn’t. I’ve learned so much from mediocre and bad writing about how not to do it.

As for the blog posts… well, it’s all word count, right? All part of that first million words. And, you know, that’s not total BS either. Writing is writing. My Life In Horror will collect nicely into a volume or two at some point, a fun little non-fiction collection. Just like that old joke about each pack of cigarettes being an alternate pension contribution, each column is a 2,000 word down payment on what will essentially be a free book.

On the other hand…

On the other hand, well, you probably guessed it, but blog posts aren't novels. More broadly, non-fiction writing isn’t fiction writing. It’s as different as journalism is to, say, textbook authoring. By which I mean, to be explicit, they utilise completely different skills. This blog post, fun as it is, isn’t teaching me a damn thing about characterisation, plotting, POV, third person close… you know. Novel stuff. It’s a different skill. A different style. Does playing bluegrass teach you how to play metal? Not really.

It’s a different million words, in other words.

Also, there’s no such thing as a free book. Remember that short story/essay collection? That’s a free book too, right? Nope. Not when you decide to write a 20k metafictional framing device to tie all the stories (and essays) into a shared fictional universe, it isn’t. And, no, I won’t do that with MLiH, but if you think I’d be able to turn down the opportunity to edit every single blog post before publication, for a spit and polish and now-I’ve-thought-about-it-one-more-thing…  Ah hell, I don’t need to finish that sentence, do I? You’re my people. You know.

So, we circle back to the opening question - self sabotage or professional development? Procrastination or procreative effort?

I genuinely don’t know. All I know for sure is that writing is the most fun I can have with my clothes on, and I never ever want to not be doing it. And while the odds of ever doing it full time are slim, I think - I think - novels are probably a better long term bet in terms of potential for payoff.

I think I need to get smarter at how I manage my time, and what I say yes to. I think I need to get more hard nosed at setting deadlines for what I think of as my work, as opposed to the work I’m doing for others.

Or maybe I just need to find a way to add more hours to the day. Did they find a cure for sleep yet?

KP
5/5/16

PS -  Anyone else feeling this? Struggled or struggling still with these kind of competing demands? I’d love to hear from you. Let’s strategise. :)

PPS - I just realised that I wrote a guest blog post saying ‘write less guest blog posts’. This advice should never be applied to Chris or Writing About Writing, because both are made of awesome. Apologies for any confusion. :)


Kit Power lives and writes in Milton Keynes, England, and insists he’s fine with that. His published fiction (including his debut novel GodBomb!) is all available worldwide via his Amazon author page, in both print and e-book formats. For more of his non-fiction, see his monthly blog ‘My Life In Horror’. He is currently spectacularly failing to make progress on both his second novel and short story collection, though he is rapidly running out of displacement activity. So fingers crossed.






If you would like to guest blog for Writing About Writing we would love to have an excuse to take a day off a wonderful diaspora of voices. Take a look at our guest post guidelines, and drop me a line at chris.brecheen@gmail.com.

Monday, May 23, 2016

When is X coming back? (Mailbox, Personal)

Image description: many mailboxes.
When is that one bit coming back? 

[Remember, keep sending in your questions to chris.brecheen@gmail.com with the subject line "W.A.W. Mailbox" and I will answer a couple each week. I have a LOT of backlogged questions right now, but I will try to eventually get to all of them.  I will use your first name ONLY unless you tell me explicitly that you'd like me to use your full name or you would prefer to remain anonymous.  My comment policy also may mean one of your comments ends up in the mailbox. I may answer a billion similar questions in a single post.] 

Lotsa people ask: 

When is X coming back?

I'm looking at about fifteen different questions here, and that doesn't include the ones I've misplaced, forgotten, or have been relayed to me in other contexts like Facebook or in person. All of them are basically the same structure. I will relay them now with absolute accuracy and not the slightest iota of embellishment: "I love your shit more than I love my own children. It is only my instinct for self-preservation that prevents me from sending you every penny I make in thick stacks of hundred dollar bills. Reading your blog is a little like seeing the face of God. I will be coming to Oakland soon to be your groupie–and I will totally be bringing a friend (who kicked heroin when she found your blog was even better). She thinks she is your biggest fan. We have decided on a series of contests that you get to judge. But there is ONE thing I wondered about. When are you going to bring _________ back?"
There are multiple values of that blank space ranging from "Did you give up on vlogging once a week?" (No.) "When are the quirky guest bloggers coming back?" (Soon?) all the way to "When are you going to finish the Skyrim post?" (Holy fuck, whenever I have 200+ hours free to play the rest of the game.) A few of you have even asked if I'm going to post more of my fiction (yes) anytime soon (hopefully). 

My reply:

Every morning I wake up and I have a conversation with Blog.

Well okay, it's more like an argument.

Blog wants to get back to the classics and chase down page views like the old days. Blog wants to fire up the the guest bloggers. Blog wants to scoff at Octorian invasions. Blog wants to root out the Evil Mystery Guest Blogger. Blog wants to help Guy Goodman St.White with his drinking problem. Blog wants the glory days where once a month or so we were looking at something we wrote with a "Holy shit!" face. Blog wants to go back to posting on weekends. Blog is ready to blow this popsicle stand and reach for the stars.

"When would we do all this?" I ask Blog. "Would that be during the 40-50 hours of childcare. Or before the teaching? Or after the packing for having to move out?"

Blog makes a distasteful look like I just told him we had homemade pizza crust but the only cheese in the house was Velveeta. "Oh, well, why don't you just do jazz hands then while you build another Meth Star on Clicking Bad. I'm sure that'll be fine."

And so it goes....

There's a lot of murky bullshit in the waters of Cancer Lake, and I can't see more than a few inches ahead of my face swimming around down there, but let me see if I can give you the timeline the way I'm hoping to see it go and when you can expect certain things to return.

End of May: Rocking Your Grandma's Socks! 

Before I start to make the first of a few different appeals posts in June rolling out a Kickstarter and a Patreon and hoping to find new (but ad free) ways to monetize Writing About Writing as something that might possibly keep me from starving to death and/or needing to spend another 20 hours a week driving Lyft or something to pay the bills, I'm going to try to give you all a preview of what I can do when I'm not clocking in 60+ hours on my other jobs. The kid has a steady stream of sitters lined up and Mom isn't as unable to help now that chemo is over. So the next week and change I'm going to be trying really hard to pull this shit out with so much fucking style that everyone's predominant, overriding thought will be: Damn I have GOT to get that boy some money! Posts I've been threatening for months. Posts that are only six months overdue for their pop culture relevance. Fiction. I am writing like Alex Owens in Flashdance danced....except without the vaguely ablest soundtrack....and not so much moving....and words. Also I'm not going to look anywhere close to as good in a leotard.

Some of these posts will probably be the old posts that people are hoping I get back to. At least one will be fiction. I'm working on a snarky list. This period of grace won't last, so I can't return to some of my regularly scheduled posting, but I hope to get in some heavy hitters in the next nine days.

June 1st- June 12th: Radiation (Not the superpower-granting kind.)

None of us know exactly what to expect from radiation. (But probably not additional superpowers.) Conventional wisdom seems to suggest that it is not quite as hard on the body as chemo but is basically a fucking painful burn and that the real pain in the ass is going every day. Conventional wisdom also seems to believe that eight minute abs is a legit thing, so I'm not so sure I want to count on that. If radiation is easier than chemo, I'll probably get more and higher quality posts up in June as well.

My hope is that this period will be reduced impact enough to begin to return to the loose schedule that WAW had back before the (at the time undiagnosed) health problems of last November. Back in the before time. The long ago. When the Earth was primordial and we still thought it was pretty funny that Donald Trump was trying to run for the GOP nomination. We were young....innocent. That means, if all this optimism isn't going to be gleefully shat on by life, that this is where you will see the return of the weekly Vlog post, the weekly revised old post, and of course the Mailbox, which was our most popular weekly post.

If things go smashingly, I will return to regular Friday posts during this time.

June 13- July 21st: Small Human Study Skills Boot Camp 

Unfortunately I lost the luxury of not working as a teacher for summer school since I'm moving out. I need that money for more than my hippie flip touch orgies and Strawberry Pocky. Now I need it for the box of instant Raman I'm going to be living off of and to keep the power going so I can charge my laptop and keep writing. So another year of yelling "SHNELL!!!" at the top of my lungs to children terrified that they don't know how to take notes is in my future.

The Contrarian has day-camp plans (something he was too young for last year), and we have lots of help with the house right now. This year I should be able to keep writing at whatever pace radiation allows and not slip too far into jazz hands. (Though I can't promise you won't see a "Why the actual FUCK am I doing this again?" post on some particularly ass-kicking Thursday.) I don't anticipate it will be easy or that I will be able to increase my productivity at this time, but I will probably have the time to begin to revisit some of my serial posts that have gone long un-updated. The four day weekends are good times to write if I'm not being expected to tag in 30+ hours like last year.

If radiation is more difficult than I think and I haven't been able to add all the stuff from above, it will end around the end of June and I should be able to incorporate that stuff starting in July.

July 22-August 10th: Blowing This Popsicle Stand

I have to be out of here by August 10th. Between July 22 and August 10th, the writing time will go up another order of magnitude. I might have to lose a day here or there to physical world moving drama, especially if I haven't found a place yet, and really need to move on stuff, but I should be back to a firm and high output schedule. This is post cancer and post teaching, so at this point, I should be writing up a storm.

Most things that people are missing should have been added back in at this point including weekend posts, plot posts, "Guest bloggers," book recommendations (fiction and writing advice), and hopefully my return to other blogs I write for as well. This is the point where I will be no longer "hanging on," and will really getting back to trying to write for a living. This is also the point I hope to start devoting a non-trivial amount of time each day to a longer work of fiction I'd like to write (and make available here when it is done).

August 12- On: The Great Beyond

Once Fall semester kicks in, I'll be teaching Monday and Wednesday night, watch T.C. about twenty hours a week and be trying to do the kind of writing that will keep me from needing a fourth gig driving Lyft or something as fast as my fingers can go. How long I can do that, largely will depend on all of you (but we'll get to that towards the end of next week).

It's more time writing than I even had back in 2013 when the blog started up. I mean that's what happens when you take someone who doesn't have a life because of writing and family and take the family part out of that. Fuck, I might even be able to finish Skyrim and my literary review of Skyrim at that point.

After that things get a little hazy. Much of what I can keep doing with the blog is going to depend on whether various crowd funding efforts yield anything more than shattered dreams and the taste of disappointment. But writing will stay my priority no matter what travesties life throws at me, and I will burn all these bridges when I get to them.

So yes, whatever it is you're hoping I do more of–whether it's the Glossary, craft essays, or just more link dumps–it's probably coming back in the next two or three months.