Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


The Days Are Flashing Past So Quickly

December 13th, 2017

Recent Work
My recent workdays have mostly gone toward that short story I need to write — mentioned in my last post — and an early start on revising the novel-in-progress.

Happily, I’ve now got a solid draft of the short story. Sadly, it’s a thousand words longer than I wanted it to be. Brevity is an asset in a short story, right? I mean, it’s part of the definition. I’ll go over it another time or two, but at this point it’s unlikely I’ll manage to chop out 20% of it. Oh well.

As for the novel, I finally put together a detailed timeline for the story world. Yay, me!

What’s that? Well, yes, it would be more logical to create a timeline before writing the story, but when I’m starting something new, I find it’s usually best just to plunge right in before fear has time to freeze my forward progress.

The State of the Union
In political news, I was relieved to see Alabama reject their loathsome Republican senate candidate. It feels like a step back from the abyss. On the other hand, almost half of Alabama voters found this wretch to be worthy of representing them, so I see this as only a reprieve. No telling just yet if the tide will really turn.

Here’s a post from last year on pessimism.

Year-End Lists
Lots of publications, as well as individual reviewers, like to put together lists of their favorite books at the end of each year. My work hasn’t made any of the big lists (NYT, NPR, etc.). We can assume this is because they never read my work. 🙂 But here are a couple of lists you might enjoy.

“Featured Futures” has a list of favorite online short science fiction. Yes, my Tor.com story is included, but there are links to lots of other stories too. Check it out! I’m going to.

Reviewer Paul Weimer, who writes for both Tor.com and Barnes & Noble, among others, has put together a post on some of his favorite novels from 2017. What I really like about this (besides that he included The Last Good Man!) is the uniquely descriptive categories he’s using. Check it out here.

Progress

December 5th, 2017

Today I declared the current novel-in-progress to be a complete first draft. There will be lots of cleanup and revision to follow, but for now, Huzzah!

I’m also over 9,000 words into a no-longer-short story. This one was intended for an anthology, but it’s way past the word limit for that and it’s only going to get longer. So I’ve put it aside for now, though I hope to finish it sometime in the next couple of months.

Meanwhile, I still owe a story for that anthology, so that project will now be priority one.

After that, it will be revisions on the novel I just finished, and then on to a planned sequel. I’m making an effort to worry less and write more. So far, so good.

Science Fiction World + German Audiobooks

December 4th, 2017

Science Fiction World is the premier science fiction magazine in China. “The Martian Obelisk” is my third story to be published there in translation. I just received my contributor copies today. See the cover below, along with the illustrated start of the story. (Click the cover for a larger image).

Science Fiction World 10.2017 with The Martian Obelisk

“The Martian Obelisk” was originally published last July at Tor.com. You can read it there online — in English!

And for German speakers, the final volume of Red trilogy is coming soon in audio!

Random Post

November 29th, 2017

I feel like I should be posting here more often, but most of my time these days is going towards writing, followed by all the other daily essentials of life.

So what’s going on with the writing? Well, the end is in sight on the initial draft of a new novel. This will be a short novel compared to most of my work. I’m hoping the final will be around 75,000 words. It will also be the first of an anticipated trilogy of similarly short novels, so we’ll see how that goes. I’d like to get book 2 drafted in the next few months. How’s that for ambition?

It looks like I need to get back to promoting the books…
Before and after The Last Good Man came out, a huge percentage of my time went toward promotion — and not much toward writing. I started backing off on the promo activities in September and by October I wasn’t doing much at all. I don’t think I’ve done more than tweet about the book a few times in November — and wow, have sales fallen off over the past two or three weeks. And not just on my newest, but on the other books too. Yes, it’s a bit discouraging. Isn’t “momentum” supposed to kick in at some point? Heh.

There’s a school of thought in indie publishing that the way to grow your career is to have a new novel come out every three months. Deep down, I suspect this might be true, but that’s far, far faster than I can get a book out the door. Oh well. At least I’m having fun with the writing … which is why I don’t want to shift focus back to promotion! 😉

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23rd, 2017

It’s Thanksgiving here in America. I hope everyone celebrating today enjoys a pleasant holiday, and if you have to work today, I hope the world treats you well and that you enjoy Thanksgiving whenever you get a chance to celebrate it.

I’d like to take advantage of today to say an extra thank you to all my readers. You give me a reason to keep plugging away at this writing gig. I’m well along with the newest novel and I’ve got a lot of plans for more to come. I just need to keep my focus and my confidence and keep the work flowing!

More soon!

Xena Rose is thankful for squeaky tennis balls.

The New Writing Schedule

November 16th, 2017

At the start of the month I mentioned that I’d undertaken a new writing schedule:

Writing more fiction is my top priority and I’ve already adjusted my schedule to accommodate that. My plan is to ignore email, Twitter, and the news until at least noon. Instead, I’ll start my day by diving straight into writing…

I’ve stuck to this new schedule since then and I’m loving it. Words are still not pouring forth in a torrent, but I’m so much more focused on the writing, on the storytelling, and for me that’s the important thing. When I’m immersed in the words, progress is going to be made.

I’ve gone back to the novel I started earlier this year. Much of the past few days has been spent getting my notes in order and plotting the remaining events that take place in this volume, along with some of the main action in the next, but I’ve also been slowly extending the word count.

A side effect of this schedule, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, is that I’ve been spending a lot less time on social media, Twitter in particular. It’s better to be writing. Right?

Award Eligible Work — 2017

November 15th, 2017

For those of you who like to nominate for the annual science fiction and fantasy awards, including the Nebula and Hugo awards, here’s a roundup of my 2017 award-eligible work.

In the novel category…
The Last Good Man
A high-tech, near-future thriller

Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies. Robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence are all tools used to augment the skills of veteran warfighters-for-hire. But the tragedy of war is still measured in human casualties, and when True makes a chance discovery during a rescue mission, old wounds are ripped open. She’s left questioning what she knows of the past, and resolves to pursue the truth, whatever the cost. (June 2017)

In the short story category…
Diamond and the World Breaker” is short story in the anthology Cosmic Powers, edited by John Joseph Adams (April 2017).

The Martian Obelisk” is short story available to read online at Tor.com, editor: Ellen Datlow (July 2017).

Region Five” is a military science fiction short story set in the story world of the Red. Find it in the anthology Infinite Stars, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt (October 2017).

➛ SFWA members: an ebook edition of The Last Good Man is available for download in the SFWA Forum. Once you’re logged in, you can find it by following this link.

That’s it! Thanks for stopping by.

Writing Buddy

November 14th, 2017

Last November I posted about my new puppy, Xena Rose. It’s been a year since then and she’s all grown up.

Well, mostly grown up.

Here’s what she looks like now:

Xena’s my writing buddy — every morning lately she’s slept in my lap for an hour or two as I work. Of course she’s also my “you’ve done enough writing for now so take me out” buddy. That’s all right. It’s good to get up and walk around.

Considering Xena is only eight pounds, she’s been a handful. And what a comedian! If life gets too dull around here, she will actively seek something naughty to do — steal a remote control, pull something from the recycle bin, snatch a tissue from a pocket — just to stir things up. I still use barriers to limit how far she can wander in the house, because I never know what she’s going to get into. But she’s a lot of fun. 🙂

SpotMini

November 14th, 2017

Shared from Twitter:

Does that tagline “Coming Soon” feel like a threat to you too?

Finished a Short Story

November 5th, 2017

Doubt and discouragement have weighed on me these past few years and sapped much of the fun of writing. The direct result is that my productivity has declined. It’s been taking me longer and longer to write, and I’m not nearly as good at sticking to a project and finishing it as I used to be. For example, right now I have at least three novels/novellas in various stages of development and a long short story well begun but far from finished.

But I’m happy to report that since attending the recent workshop, I’m feeling better about this whole writing gig. I returned home with a new sense of direction, with my optimism refreshed, and with a renewed determination to write more.

I decided to jump on the task of writing more while still at the workshop. I came up with a new idea for a story and promptly set to work on it, writing the beginning at the workshop, another long section on the flight home, and finishing it over this past week thanks to my new writing schedule.

At 7,200 words this is a long short story, but no longer than it needs to be. 🙂

I’ll read it over at least one more time, but as of this morning I’m calling it done — which is an incredible relief. This is the first short story I’ve finished this year.

Next on the agenda: Back to work on the story I was laboring over before heading to the mainland. My goal is to have that done by the end of the week. Fingers crossed!