Kage Baker always said that the writing business was a perfect example of feast or famine. Sometimes there is nothing to do, nothing to sell, and no one buying if there were anything to sell. The next week, there’s $6,000 on the dining room table, 3 manuscripts on the desk and the Muse is fidgeting like a man with a ferret down his trousers …
I finished the November NaNoWriMo contest and won! Though you are not competing with anything but your own laziness, getting 50,000 words down in 30 days is quite a task. And I did it. And those words happened to complete the first draft of a novel, so now I am on to the next phase of that project. I’m putting together a file for some beta readers, and the patient ladies (like Kimberly and Neassa) who check my always aberrant spelling.
I’m also collecting some of Kage’s stories, fitting them together in interesting ways depending on word count, subject matter and publication history, and testing them out on a very nice publisher who would like to reprint some of them. A project of which I approve whole-heartedly, but it does mean I have to play jigsaw puzzle with a dozen stories and Kage’s notes on them … and it’s rather as Budu says: One can write lies.
Or at least mistakes. Kage apparently didn’t always record where anything sold; except the first sale. This makes it interesting, trying to find where else any given story may have wandered over the years.
Aaaand … there are always the ongoing works, the fresh, new, accurate work I am trying to coax out of Kage’s outlines and cryptic messages on cocktail napkins. Publishers are willing to look at new stuff if I can get it completed – nay, they are eager! And I need 6 more arms.
Plus, my CPU is still in the computer hospital (I am tapping away on the teeny little Buke Kage so loved – how did she use this thing?) and keep finding files I didn’t transfer to a thumb drive or a disk. Or rather, not finding them, which is the hair-tearing point. Some story files are still in Office 12, which is one of the most horrible and irritating word processing programs EVER, and I have to translate them to the Open Office format I prefer before I can do anything to them – and I can’t find the right buttons to do even that!
My sister and brother-in-law are fighting off some sort of gastrointestinal malaise, the nephew is going through finals week in a state of concentrated hysteria, and I just discovered Harry the Parrot has chewed holes in my Hammler Schumaker catalog.
Man, I can hardly wait to bail out and run for Dickens Fair this Friday. Oh, Road of Weirdness, take me away!
But not before I find two more stories for Tachyon Books ….
I use the Open Office spin-off Libreoffice myself, but if you are trying to recover really old Word files, you might try Abiword. It if can read very old Office documents (no idea) you might at least be able to convert the file types to something less antique. http://www.abisource.com/
Thank you, Mr. Kelly! Every resource is welcome.
You probably know this already, but just in case: the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/index.cgi) is a great tool for finding out where stories have been published. Here’s the page with Kage’s works: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/index.cgi – may be helpful in tracking down where some of those wandering stories appeared later on…