From the Land of Sky Blue Polar Vortices

I don’t know how it’s been for you, but this winter has been particularly brutal in Wisconsin (and I’m speaking as a native Midwesterner, not a semi-recent transplant from the South).  Good weather for staying inside and getting your exercise the old-fashioned way: using an exercise game on your preferred gaming console.

So I promised a story update a while back, and I’m finally thawed enough to deliver.  My latest publication, “Wind Reaper,” is now available in the April 2014 issue of Analog Science Fiction & Fact:

The inspiration for this story came from our proximal experience of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita while we were living in Louisiana.  I started thinking a lot about the energy in a hurricane, maybe as a source to be harvested in some sort of desperate collapsed world.  I also started think about a fictional coastal community where the inhabitants might actually want a storm to hit them (for the same energy-harvesting purposes).

I tried writing this story as more of a medium-length short story and it just wasn’t working.  Finally, a few years later, I tried it as a flash fiction piece.  I submitted the flash version and got editorial comments back on a rejection that suggested the story was a little rushed.  I tackled it again, expanding it slightly, and turned it into the version that Analog accepted.  I hope you enjoy it.

For this week’s teaser, I have another fiction-related idea brewing in my head, but I will defer to my future self to reveal the details, if applicable.

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Riding the Storm Out

Okay, so the journey back into the Land of Day Job has been a little rough on my writing life.  More so than I expected.  I went into a bit of a funk in the first two weeks, and didn’t do much writing besides my private journal writing (no, I’m not going to show it to you; it’s private).  It’s sort of been like setting out on an ocean journey in the middle of a hurricane, without sufficient equipment.  Or training.

That being said, as the ocean has settled, I’ve made the pleasant discovery that the last year-plus of stay-at-home dadding/writing was apparently sufficient to flush a lot of information from my last several jobs out of my brain, the sort of stuff that I was trying to remember on the off chance that it would be of use to some sort of anonymous and vaguely threatening auditing body that wanted to know what the hell I was doing during those years.  This is allowing my brain to soak up a lot of new information about my new job very quickly, which is profoundly flattening the learning curve.

I’m also starting to get back on the horse with regards to story writing.  Little by little, I’m patching together writing sessions from the early morning, my lunch breaks, the evenings, and the weekends.  I’m sure I’ll be fully adjusted in another week or two.

I do have that new publication news that I mentioned recently, and I actually do have more details now, but I’m going to hold off for another week or two.  This is obviously a big tease, which is meant to draw you back to my website again and again, parched for the water of information, while I sit back and laugh the laugh of an evil mad scientist (as opposed to a mad evil scientist; totally different), and punch kittens while I watch you squirm (not really).  Anyways, more on that soon.

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Return of the Day Job

So we were looking at our finances after the first year of me being a stay-at-home father/writer and we said, “Well… it’s okay, but we’re not where we want to be…”  As a result, I have gone back to work.  In fact, we made the decision on August 5th, and I actually started work at my new day job on September 24th.

I know.  I am completely thankful that everything worked out so quickly.  I’ve done numerous job searches over the last five years, and I know that this is not the norm.  I’m absolutely thankful.

I wouldn’t trade the year at home with Ricky for anything.  We had a blast.  At the same time, I do feel like daycare is going to be good for him, at this point (he started on 9/24).  He needs the socialization (and the antibody-building).  We built a schedule where he can still see my parents several times a week also, and he seems to be doing well with the whole package.

The last year has also been very valuable for me with respect to my writing.  I’ve been way more productive than ever before, and I’ve started to build a confidence in what I’m doing that I had previously been lacking.

So I’m entering this new era with no apprehension.  I’m going to keep writing, whenever I can, in between day jobs, and hanging out with my son and my wife, and houshold stuff, and whatever else.  Should be fun.

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New Publication

I’ve been falling down on the whole self-promotion thing over the last week and a half.

Defenestration was nice enough to publish my fake non-fiction piece, “The Dedications of the Works of Murphy Rufus Doyle, In Chronological Order”.  Go check it out, and while you’re there, check out the other stuff on their site too.

I should have more publication news in the near-ish future, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, rest assured that I am hard at work on various projects.

You know, if that helps you.

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High of Sixty Degrees in Late July

That’s what we had this past weekend, and it was like a piece of heaven broke off and fell on my head.  This is the kind of cool front you just don’t get in Florida or Louisiana during the Summer.

I have a new publication coming up toward the end of August, so stay tuned for further announcements.

2013 has been a very productive year for me so far, and I’m hoping to make even more progress in what’s left of the second half.

Hmm.  Thought I had more to say in today’s post, but I guess the various cars of my train of thought have become somewhat detached.

Maybe I’ll go on a rant about other people’s driving tomorrow…

I know, I know.  One can only hope…

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