Good evening all, and Merry Christmas! 😀
That’s the important message to take away from this post! But if you want a status update, click here: Continue reading
I’m seeing more and more and more writers (they guest-post on Mr. Wendig’s blog at terribleminds.com, which I read) wondering how they can write “while the world burns”. And I’m glad they’re noticing, I really am, you have no idea.
But damn did it take you guys a long time and it being on your doorstep to notice.
I’m sure it’s nice to express your frustration and nice to feel like someone else feels that way and maybe get a bit of backslapping for your “oh god everything is shit” moment.
But too much of this and it’ll just be a circle-jerk. Nobody will do anything, they’ll all be too busy talking about how they have to do something.
If the world is burning then get a fire extinguisher.
If there’s genocide in Rwanda or torture in Russia then write a lot of politely worded very pointed letters to every diplomat you and Amnesty International can think of. (I was six. I was six and the world wasn’t as nice as it should have been, so I repeatedly told it to get better. It might even have helped.)
But waiting until there’s something less bad than genocide on your doorstep and then realising that maybe the world isn’t all sunshine and roses and then wanting to know how to go on alongside that?
You guys always were going on alongside it. You were (probably) there for the genocide. (I don’t know how old you are, but not being would make you pretty young.) But because you didn’t have a front row seat, it didn’t exist. You were there for the clusterfuck that was the invasion of Iraq. You were there for all the other atrocities that happened throughout my life, and that are still happening. People died every day, and still do, but the world wasn’t “burning” because you, personally, thought you were safe.
So I guess it just strikes me as a little self-centred. Which people are, and to an extent have to be, or we’d all forget to eat because we were doing more important things, and would starve. *Insert clip from Look Around You here.*
In fact, that’s about the right phrase. Look Around You. It’s always been this way.
It just wasn’t on your doorstep before.
So please, clear up your doorstep, and then whatever you do do not close your eyes and go back to thinking everything is okay. It’s not okay, it’s never been okay, things only get better if we work at it, if we stay aware of where the bad things are and then do something about them.
And yes, write books too. That’s important. Very important. Other minds and other viewpoints — if people don’t see those, the seeds are sown already.
Writers (of any stripe – book, film, comic, serial, you name it) share thoughts and ideas and strange new perspectives with the world. They make other people laugh and cry and think. Think things they never would have thought otherwise.
Now, as always, we need those ideas.
But don’t go complaining about how the world is worse and suddenly you can’t. It’s not worse, you just weren’t looking before. The rock is lifted. There’s a maggoty badger corpse down there, grinning at you with its half-decayed flesh hanging off the skull. But it was still there before, so… clear up the corpse, or write anyway, or clear it up and write anyway. (That’s what I do.)
Just don’t you dare claim it never existed before.
(But I am very, very glad that you’ve finally noticed it. Now pass me that shovel, because I think the tail’s fallen off.)
Or slightly after midday, really.
I went and picked up my thesis from the binders’! It’s still rather hard to believe it’s real, or that I wrote that! When did that happen? (Oh yeah, those seven years of increasingly cantankerous studentship. It’s funny, when you’re eyeball-deep in it you start to forget the beauty and glory of your work, and then every now and again something just occurs to you and it’s bright shining splendid all over again — at least until you sit back down in front of yet another line of Fortran that isn’t doing what it ought to.)
So, thesis! And I hand it in tomorrow!
In other news, last night was a desperate race to midnight, and I squeaked in just under the wire… mainly by going off on a tangent and wittering on about space, because I can do that for days on end. This, therefore, isn’t so much Plot as it’s me letting myself get distracted and witter on in order to make word count in the <10 minutes I had remaining! But I kind of like it, and what’s NaNo for if not to share?
Anywhere from the mining colonies of the asteroids to the orbital stations of Venus, to Mars her home or the radiation-bathed moons of Jupiter, the spectacular views of Saturn orbit… or maybe the NEO miners, those nearby stations that industriously harvested and broke down any space debris passing close to Earth.
Earth. Old mother, birthplace of the human race, but no longer their only home. Still stained with pollution, still scarred with mining and deforestation, but cared for yet, still blue and brown and green from space, streaked with her ever-changing swirls of white as clouds danced across the surface of the world. Still capped at the poles with ice, though less than there had once been; mountain ranges tipped with snow. In the night, the vast cities shone and sparkled like living jewels, diamond dust scattered in random handfuls onto cobwebs in the darkness. And all around, stations orbited, shuttles flew back and forth between Earth and Moon, Earth and station, station and Moon. Attended by this graceful, miniature ballet, the stately planet sailed on in her endless journey around the sun, as she would for countless years to come, heedless of the delicate life birthed from her ancient surface and reaching out towards the stars.
IT’S DONE!!! THE THESIS IS DONE!!!
AND NOW EVERYTHING IS IN CAPITAL LETTERS!
The month-long ebook sale has ended, and I sold 37 e-copies of Before the Sun Fades in it! I don’t think that’s bad going at all!
In addition, there’s just one major thing left to go before I can finally return to writing properly! And boy, am I looking forward to it. Right now, Reclamation (in the Path of the Gods series) and AIN are the top two projects in my mind, but that may change. The first few chapters of Reclamation already hit second draft status a while ago, and will probably now benefit from more eyes; any volunteers to read and comment on part of a book sometime in the next couple of months will be greatly appreciated! Meanwhile, the other end of it had to go on hold some time ago while I wrote a large chunk of Ascension — the two books are dependent on one another — and now needs both completing and, in the process, working out where to transition into the third book.
As for AIN, it’s rather more choppy: many of the key turning point scenes exist, and the beginning and the end are there, but it’s all rough first draft and many areas are lightly sketched in or altogether missing. So that will take a whole lot of building.
I pretty much fell off the radar over the past few weeks, and for doing it without an explanation, I apologise. My grandfather died recently, and dealing with that hasn’t left me with much impetus to write books, stories, or blog posts. I am, however, now back, and will be updating on my more usual slightly sporadic schedule from now on!
P.S. Before the Sun Fades is still on sale! ^_~ Go to checkout from the Smashwords page and use the code UL78V to get it for just £1!
Long-awaited, or possibly long-dreaded, or maybe more accurately completely-forgotten, but here it is at last: my return (again, again) to the world of actually posting about writing. And possibly other things, but probably writing, on the basis that nobody needs as much incoherent rambling as you can get out of me on other topics, and I did promise when I started this blog that I’d at least try and stay focused.
So here we are! I have submitted my thesis, I have completed another NaNo (anyone want a discount on Scrivener? First come, first served!), I have defended my thesis, and I have only corrections to make before I become Dr. Metalwings! (For those readers less familiar with thesis-world, (a) Everything in PhD Comics is probably true bar some country-specific idiosyncrasies, and (b) There are always corrections.) I also have a job, which exists and is beginning to generate income, and, of course, I once again have time to write!
That’s right, my weekly serial is back! So stay tuned for some soon-to-be-appearing further adventures of the Fused… and in the meantime, join me in celebrating!
So here I am to inform you that you won’t be seeing much of me for a while. Another two months, in fact, due to assorted real-life things that I currently need to get done very urgently. Once that’s over, I’ll be back here… just in time for November and thus for NaNo! (It’s a coincidence, but a really good one!)
Before the Sun Fades has now been published for a full month! During that time I have thus far made almost equal digital sales and physical sales that I know about, which is doing pretty darn well, I reckon! I’ve had pageviews every day, I’ve had only three days in which at least one person didn’t download the 20% sample, and I was until recently #7 on the Smashwords Fantasy Bestsellers list even with adult content turned on! (I think I made it to #4 or #5 without it, so not quite into the top three, but very close!) I’m now sliding slowly down as other people’s recent sales take over, but that was quite something!
To check out the 20% sample, go to the Smashwords buy page – there’s a sample button for most formats, so it should have what you need! You can also read a review of the book. Or, if you want a full copy (electronic or physical) and want to choose your favourite shop, I’ve listed everywhere I currently know you can get it under the “Buy Books!” tab at the top of the page.
If you’re on the fence about buying and have questions, why not leave me a comment? Or, check out the various posts with the Before the Sun Fades tag — there’s a bunch of miscellaneous worldbuilding information if you don’t mind a few spoilers. And finally, if you know somewhere that’s stocking my book that I haven’t got listed, please let me know and I’ll update the page accordingly!