Kage Baker was known for being a California writer. She took that as a great compliment, being very proud of her native species status here.
As she said, she wrote a California product – boom or bust, feast or famine. It’s how the California economy has always regulated itself: just barely, and by the use of punctuated disequilibrium. Demands for Kage’s work came and went the same way, and so did her ideas. She’d work for 6 months on a book, unsure if there would be a market for it and hammering away in obsessive solitude. Then half a dozen editors would call wanting stories, and she’d find herself promising them all in the same 2-week period.
It wasn’t so peculiar that she got herself into these frantic situations. The true strangeness is that she delivered on all of it. She once wrote a novel in 6 weeks. Her record for a story under 10,000 words was one weekend; several shorter stories were written overnight. Presumably while sitting on the lap of her Muse.
I’ve been desultorily pecking away at the first half of a story for Tachyon, as all you Dear Readers know. Last week, I got it to a logical stopping place – about halfway through OR complete, depending on your viewpoint – and sent it off for approval or rejection. In the week since then, I have occupied myself gnawing off my fingernails and losing the fight to a huge cold. I’ve been drippy, congested and paranoid.
Plus, it’s spring break, and my entire education-oriented household is off school/classes. Much sleeping in and watching movies has been enjoyed. Many books have been read so far. No writing has been accomplished at all.
And, I must admit, I have been playing with my new phone. (Thanks, Maggie – the Sky Map app is fantastic!)
But today, my publisher (the poor man has been down with death flu) and his lovely assistant, Jill, confirmed that “Pareidolia” is good. And they would actually like the second half as well. Victory dance with the parrot! Chips and beans for everyone!
But now I have a fortnight to complete it. I can do it – a thousand words a day, phhht! – as long as my brain works and my Muse behaves himself. The Goddess of Intermittent Bounty has smiled on my endeavours, just as She used to smile on Kage’s, and the frantic race is back on!
And since nothing inspires me like having something else I should actually be doing, blogs will resume with more frequency.
And now I must go compose a riot at a See’s Store …
An editor who responds in a week? Truly you are blessed…
Indeed I am, Mark. I cannot praise Jacob and his crew at Tachyon enough. They are genuinely nice people, and a great publishing house.
The early pages you allowed me to read drew me in. Glad to know things are in gear for publication.
Speaking of stories: “On Land…” was a pleasure to read. Yet another confirmation that your talent as a story teller has depth, heart, humour and muscle. Yep. You’ve got a fine touch with words.
Ah, Marc, thank you so much! It was vitally important to me not to disappoint Kage’s fans with *Nell Gwynne II* – not just because, well, everyone likes to succeed, but because Kage was firm in her belief that the contract with the Reader should never be violated. Her decision that I would take up her stories was, I think, her way of making sure she could continue to fulfill her part!
And I do not exaggerate one tiny bit when I tell ALL of you that I would never have made it this far without you. I tossed this blog out in my desperate flailing about after Kage’s death, and you all sprang up like Jason’s dragon teeth warriors: but much, much nicer.
I happily await Pareidolia…..
You slew a dragon with this blog. The business with the teeth was merely a side benefit.
Hot damn, your editor likes ‘Pareidolia’! To say we look forward to it . . . is much too weak a statement.
I am so damn happy for you!
Hurrah for Pareidolia! I’ve been wondering how it was going.
Crikeys! That’s good news. Now, back to work. Just kidding. About the slave driving comment. I am very excited about reading this story. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!!
There is nothing, absolutely nothing like the elation of editorial acceptance, except actually seeing it in print with your very own name on it, which is even better. Huzzah for Pareidolia! (And I knew you’d like the Star Map! You’re so welcome. 🙂
And did you know I’ll be copy editing the entire collection? (I’m warming up my red pens as I type this! Seriously, I’m just kidding….)
Marty – no, I didn’t know that! But I’m delighted to hear it.