Always busy, never bored…

I’m in the final week of my semester and just past a fairly significant writing stretch, and that means I’ve got a window of a couple of days to get caught up on everything else I haven’t been able to do over the past few weeks–most notably, update my blog!  It’s been from lack of time, not interest, because I do have some things to report on the writing front:

1.  The World Fantasy Convention in Toronto turned out to be a great time, even though a week before it started I was worried I wouldn’t even be able to attend.  As most of you know, those of us in the northeastern U.S. had a bit of a squall to deal with (by which I mean one of the most significant storms in history, and about which I’ll say more in a bit) during the last week of October, and by the time Sandy had blown through, the aftermath was as serious as the storm itself.  But I was extremely fortunate, and I ended up only having to leave a day late to drive up to Canada.  Still, that put me at the convention late Friday evening, and by the time I woke up and got over to the convention hotel it was already late Saturday morning…so I felt kind of out of sorts for much of that day, although there were some interesting panels to check out.  Fortunately I got the chance to attend my friend Brad Beaulieu‘s (also of Speculate! fame) reading that afternoon, and there ran into a bunch of friends–Rob Ziegler, Brenda Cooper, Holly McDowell, E.C. Myers, and others (in fact the whole thing felt a bit like a Wellspring reunion, if you want to know the truth).  From that point on, WFC was awesome–a fun night in Toronto waiting for “the greatest Thai food in Canada” (you’d have to ask Holly’s friend for more details), followed by a ton of conversations and impromptu meetings with artists, authors and editors in the convention hotel bar.  A lot of potentially great things came out of those conversations, and I hope to be able to talk about them in more detail soon.

The following morning I had a great breakfast with Holly, Eugene and Ted Chiang (the last of whom I’ve never met before, so I was glad I could put a face to the name where all those Hugos and Nebulas have been piling up!) before heading over to watch Rob’s reading and then participate in my panel, “Reality Made Fantastic, or Fantastic Made Real.” This panel, moderated by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (with whom I’ve been on a panel before), was really interesting…perhaps even more interesting than I had originally expected it would be, both because of the diversity of perspectives from fantasy authors, science fiction authors, and even an agent and the setting.  The room was jammed (had to be over a hundred people), and the energy was excellent–throw in some thoughtful questions from the audience and you’ve got one of the more enjoyable panels I did all year.  Before I left I even got to hang out a bit with Gabrielle Harbowy and Ed Greenwood, editors for the anthology When The Villain Comes Home in which my story “The Presuil’s Call” recently appeared.  Overall, it was really a great convention–not sure anything can beat Gen Con, but this was definitely up there.

2.  Speaking of conventions, I’ll be going to Origins again next year, now under the able stewardship of Kelly Swails, and one of our responsibilities is to provide a short story for the convention-only anthology–which was a big success this year, and which we expect to be even bigger next time.  At the same time I got a request from R.T. Kaelin to contribute to a new anthology called Triumph Over Tragedy, all the proceeds of which will go to relief efforts of those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  The antho has a great author list, and besides this is kind of personal.  As I said earlier, my immediate family was very fortunate–we only lost power for two days and had essentially no property damage.  But other relatives were hit harder, and I have a number of students who have had their lives badly disrupted…and none of that even touches what people who lost homes and lives are now dealing with.  But Sandy has disrupted other things, including teaching schedules (we lost an entire week of class), and so my time was pretty limited.  Fortunately both Kelly and R.T. had no problem letting one story serve for both anthos, and so I just submitted my story “The Caretaker of Mire”; I’m pretty happy with how it came out, and I’m really looking forward to seeing it in print in both places.  It should be coming out just in time for the holidays, and you still have time to order it for yourself and others!  Head over here for more details.

3.  I’m continuing to query agents and publishers on Icarus and Grayshade, and I’m also working on my fourth novel, tentatively entitled Sunrise and Empire.  I even have another writing project in the wings, but I’ve got to keep that more under wraps until I’ve got the proposal together…but I’m very excited about the possibilities.  More details on all of these things as I get them.

4.  Last but not least, Speculate! is continuing to go at a great clip.  In the last few weeks we’ve done a triptych of shows on the magazine Beneath Ceaseless Skies, interviewed urban fantasy authors Amber Benson and Anton Strout and done a Pyr roundtable with Brenda Cooper, E.C. Myers, Gabrielle Harbowy and Lou Anders, and we’re finishing up the year with a triptych of shows on Joe Abercrombie‘s Red Country.  Download numbers are great and continuing to climb, and in general the show is doing better and reaching more people than either Brad or I anticipated.  We’re going to keep riding the wave with a great new set of shows to come…why not head over to the site and listen to a few shows yourself?

I’ve also done a bit of freelance writing work in addition to all of the above stuff, so in general, things have been going very well professionally despite how busy I’ve been.  Final grading, a bit of r and r and then some writing awaits, but I’m looking forward to what’s coming next.  I’ll try to update again before the end of the year, but until then, thanks for stopping by, please get/stay in contact with me, and stay well!