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Catching Up

Thursday, February 21st, 2008 | Posted by Managing Editor Howard Andrew Jones

A friend e-mailed today wondering why I’ve been laying so low on live journal. I’d been contemplating an entry on that very subject for days. That sound you don’t hear is me working, or trying to work, on way too many things.

Black Gate 12 is being readied for the printer, but not by me — layout remains John’s job. Here I’m trying to round up the final reviews and hurriedly finish reading up some last minute additions for our book reviews section. The gaming articles have been in and completed and edited for weeks now thanks to a big push right after Christmas. I’m also making some editorial suggestions to the long-delayed Todd McCaulty reprise. We still get fan letters for Todd’s earlier stories from people wanting more, and they’re finally going to get it.

In other news I’ve been grading papers for the day job, trying to find the time to teach my children piano, or just be a good dad and husband, struggling to fit in time to get to the karate studio to work out, and, because I’m also a writer, wrestling in time for fiction. Some weeks I just run from fire to fire. The things getting the shortest shrift are karate and piano teaching, although I’m doing better with the latter. I actually had a dream last night that I was all dressed up in my karate gear for sparring and couldn’t find the room where the karate class was being held. I manage to attend a few times a month, but it’s been a long time since I’ve learned enough to advance, and the goal of second degree black belt isn’t getting any closer.

Writing has been progressing steadily but not well. I reached chapter 4, or about 16,000 words, of my mist novel sequel and I’ve been trying to tackle it for most of the month. I’d write a thousand words, scrap them, then write again, and scrap those. Sometimes I’d make it as far as two thousand words into the chapter before tossing those and starting over. The odd thing is that my rough outline never changed much — even now, today, when I finally got through the chapter and got the thing roughly presentable, the events within match the outline. I’m trying to figure out what I’ve learned from this rough draft experience, and I think it may be that when I’m too scattered it’s hard to focus and be in touch with what I’m writing. And that’s bad news, because I’m likely to continue to be scattered for, well, a really long time.

Anyway, that’s what’s happening here. I hope soon to talk about what you’ll actually see in Black Gate 12, and I’d intended to discuss rejections — both the giving of them and the receiving of them, because I’ve been on both ends of the equation lately, but I’ll save those for another post, which I’ll try to get loaded sooner rather than later.

Best,
Howard

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