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Writing Ruminations

Writing is such an internal process. Why not make those private ruminations public? This is how stories take shape and grow.

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Location: Happy Valley, Oregon, United States

I've been supporting myself as a writer for many years and am watching the changes in the publishing world with fascination. For me, sharing the craft, teaching, is as creatively satisfying as the writing process itself.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blood Child Revisited

I recently recommended that one of my students read 'Blood Child' by Octavia Butler. It came out in the June 84 issue of 'Asimovs' and it was one of the stories that directly culminated in my becoming a SF writer. I can still remember that moment when I was gripped by that wrenching 'I want to write this' epiphany.

It did occur to me that I should probably reread this. It had been a long time. Now I tend to approach old favorites from my 'pre-writer' years with trepidation. I was a much less critical reader then and I've ruined more than one pleasant memory for myself. But you know what? 'Blood Child' had, if anything, an even stronger effect on me this time. Her grasp of power/gender/sex issues is really profound. Sigh. One of my real regrets is that I never actually met her in person.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Family Fun

Well, needless to say, the writing has been going well and global warming has me out in the garden much earlier than usual this year. Okay, it's not climate that's got my first planting of greens and peas up in early February, it's weather. Just as it's weather burying Oswego NY under ten or twelve feet of snow. But I just got email from my son, Nate, at Madison that he passed his Quals, so he has passed milestone one toward that PhD (Computer Science). And being my son, he celebrated in a typical fashion of course. He went polar dipping in the lake. I think it was above zero that day. Maybe.

Ah, genetics. :-)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Story on Tap!

I am so thrilled. Months and months ago, the editor of Aberrant Dreams contacted me about participating in their 'Writers Challenge'. They posted several illustrations on the website and a list of participating pro authors. The entrants were to write a synopsis of a story to suit one of the illustrations-- just the outline -- and could even request a character name. They were also to pick the pro that they wanted to write the actual story. A winning synopsis was chosen for each illustration and the named pro will write the story. Apparently I am one of the pros named. I am really looking forward to this! It's something fun and new, and Ernie Saylor, the editor of Aberrant Dreams tells me that I will be surprised at the synopsis my winning entrant came up with. Do I hear a chuckle in his 'voice'? This will be fun!

Do check out the ezine -- I put the link in above. They've updated the website and the page is a LOT of fun. :-)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Water Rites Ships

I am thrilled. My copies of Water Rites arrived in the mail yesterday and I'm just so pleased with this book. I first started the story that became The Drylands as three novelettes that were published in Asimov's magazine. These stories involved three of the four main characters in what became the novel, and began the large story arc that concluded at the end of The Drylands. But the novel itself only covered the final 2/3 of that story arc. While I worked in allusions to the missing portion as backstory, I felt that the story wasn't quite complete without that earlier segment.

Well, now it's complete. :-) That early part of the story expands and deepens the complete story considerably. And of course, the entire story is better. I am a much stronger writer now, and I had a much deeper comprehension of where we're going right now, in terms of our climate future.

It has been a long time coming, but I am thrilled to see all the parts collected together in one book. Thank you, Patrick Swenson, for a marvelous opportunity. The whole here is certainly greater than the sum of its parts. You can buy it from Fairwood Press http://www.fairwoodpress.com/ Just click on the 'catalogue' link and then 'novels'.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Coming Up For Air

Well, as you have probably guessed from my recent silence, I have not been doing any avoidance behavior and NPR hasn't had any news items about global warming that have made me go ballistic recently. (They're doing their pledge drive and they're too busy to annoy me). Mostly I'm here -- blinking vaguely and wondering what month we're in right now -- because someone has had trouble posting here. I'm just making sure I can still post. But while I'm up for air; Hi, all! I'm currently in the final three chapters of the new novel, rising to the climax scene and utterly obsessed. Be glad you don't live with me. Even my dogs are pouting. But I'm really pleased with this book and these final chapters have me by the throat. Uh oh....I'm slipping....sliding back into the story..... bye....all.....later....