X-Mas (and a new Improbable Author post) Comes But Once A Year

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Merry Christmas, all!  As well as Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, and an excellent Ramadan, Boxing Day, Yule, Saturnalia, Festivus, Officially Sanctioned Non-Religious Winter-esque Holiday, or whatever else brings you indoors this season and causes you to get nostalgic with family and friends, drink, eat, and exchange gifts and good will.

I don’t wanna judge.  Me, I’m celebrating Christmas with me and mine.  As such, posts may well be infrequent (much drinking and writing to do), but as posts have already been infrequent, I thought it prudent to say something about why I haven’t written in three months.

I’m well.  Nobody is dying.  Family is good.  Work is looking up.  I’m in a generally up-beat mood most of the time.  But not everything is coming up roses.

Change has come to my life.  My wife and I have split up (sort of, it’s complicated).  This has somewhat adversely affected my progress upon the new novel, the sequel, my scripts, short stories, and marketing for the stuff I’ve already put out.  It’s not the only reason I haven’t written.  There is a lot of my own laziness, procrastination, writer’s block, and lack of a truly professional writer’s work ethic in there as well, but our separation and eventual divorce (as well as the associated issues with selling a house and moving) does color most of that.  I am not blaming her.  My lack of progress is upon me, but as many of you have been faithful fans, and as I have not held up my end of that bargain, I apologize.

As for the whys and what happeneds, that is a private matter between she and I.  The whole story (or a version of it) requires the purchase and pouring of multiple drinks in person.  My ex, my professional life, and most especially my kids deserve the grace of discretion.  What’s important is that we are both dedicated to our children, we get along, and we hope to one day be past this enough to be friends and take joy in each other’s futures, loves, and accomplishments.

What does this mean for you?  Pretty much nothing.  It’s just an apology and explanation.  But here is what I will give you:  an update and a gift!

Update first.  I am on the last chapter of Book One in Lancers Into The Light, the sequel to A Sword Into Darkness.  I anticipate Book Two going faster (I hope, anyway) and its a bit shorter.  I originally wanted to be done and launch around year’s end, but that’s not gonna happen.  I still would like to launch in the next quarter, and possibly do a launch party at RavenCon.  To facilitate that, I will be looking to getting feedback from Beta Readers of the first half while I’m finishing the second.  If’n you’d like to participate and give me some constructive feedback, drop me a line and some contact info here, by e-mail, Twitter, Google +, or Facebook.

I’m also working on a short for the Jim Baen Memorial Writing contest, but mum’s the word on that for now.

As for a present, last year I won the Liberty Island Holiday Writing contest with a little story about war, robots, Christmas, and French Meat Pies.  I’ll share that with all of you here later today or tomorrow, and I hope you all enjoy it.

Happy Holidays!

A-F-K

Hey, remember that fascinating blog by that fella who called himself the Improbable Author?

Yeah?  Well, turns out that today I remembered it too.

Sorry for the subscribers and the occasional visitors as well.  I’ve been what those in the MMORPG world term “AFK”, or “Away From Keyboard” (not AFU — that’s something altogether different, but possibly also applicable).  This last month has been one of sound and fury signifying nothing.  I’ve been away doing other things, work, life, family, etc.  As a consequence, I have not blogged nor written hardly a word.

That is not to say that the world of writing has sat still while I did.  In the realms of submissions, I have one bit of news and two bits of non-news.  In news, I got a rejection from Asimov’s magazine for “Bumped”, so that one is now free to re-submit to other markets.  This was a long wait, but unfortunately not unusually long for that market.  In non-news, no word yet on the simultaneous subs for “ILYAMY” and no word on ASID from Baen’s next tier in their approval chain.  The Slushmaster there had my work as the next thing on his plate, but two higher priority manuscripts bumped mine back.  Oh, to have priority . . . but I’ll take what I can get.

Therefore, there is also no new news on the independent/Stealth Books launch of A Sword Into Darkness either.

As far as Echomancer goes, that project has been waylaid by an infuriating bit of writer’s block / malaise.  I’m in a key chapter and I just can’t seem to restore my momentum.  There are . . . other things going on in my life, so I haven’t had the time nor the passion/emotion to devote to that worthy piece of work.  But, it is NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month (November for the uninitiated), and while I’ve never felt compelled to participate, it’s as good an excuse as any to get going again.

In unrelated science fiction news, I went with an outstanding group of enthusiasts for Books-to-Movies and saw the “Ender’s Game” movie.  I thought they did an excellent job translating that masterwork to the screen, though in my ideal version they would have left in a lot of excised content.  Of course, my ideal version would probably end up 2-3 times as long.  As a consequence, I’m re-reading the book and enjoying it again.  Fairly or unfairly, though, Orson Scott Card’s politics have become tied up with his story and the movie, and while my opinion of the story and the esteem I hold the work in were formed well before I ever agreed/disagreed/or was indifferent to his beliefs, I find on rereading it that I am now seeing it through the lens of his current opinions, which somewhat damps my youthful regard for the book.

This is not a political blog, however, so that’s all that I’ll say about my opinions, except for unreservedly recommending the movie to both readers and non-readers.  I don’t think you can or should always divorce the art from the artist, but in this case I think an exception should be made.  The work is that important.

More later (and SOON), I promise.  Take care, all.