It seemed time to do a quick update on the writing. My wife’s broken leg back in early March threw us all for a loop, and with two young children in the house on top of things, it certainly made for a hectic and exhausting time. The writing took a backseat for a while, but I seem to be back up to nearly full speed now. I’m still not quite at the all-cylinders-firing level of productivity I’d like to be at, but that’s something I’m continuing to work on, and I’m getting there. There’s just no doubt in my mind any more that my own productivity will determine the speed at which I achieve the goals I’ve laid out for myself (goals that are so ambitious and lofty that I refrain in mentioning them, for fear of sounding arrogant to the extreme). This may seem pretty obvious (write more = do better), but it takes a while to develop confidence in your abilities and your potential so that you can fully embrace the idea that there’s really nothing holding you back but your own dedication and discipline. This isn’t to sound egotistical. I’ve got bucket loads still to learn, and always will; it’s just that I’ve come far enough, and achieved enough modest success, to know that any real obstacles to success are within me. It’s refreshing, and sometimes frustrating, when you realize this. It’s refreshing because you’re not shadowboxing with invisible villains any more. It can be frustrating when you’re not doing what you know you need to do.
Simply put, it means this: I know what I have to do to get where I want to go. Now it’s just a matter of doing it. As far as actual writing goes, I’m making good progress on the novel, but it’s a long road. If a short story is a sprint, a novel is a marathon, and I’m still getting used to the difference.
- “Father Hagerman’s Dog” appeared in the June 2007 issue of Analog. A college student’s attempt to sell a robotic dog to a defrocked priest. A bit light-hearted, this one, and fun to write. (If you can’t locate an actual copy of the magazine, you can buy it electronically through Fictionwise at http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook45191.htm?cached)
- “Road Game,” a suspense story involving road rage and the power of addiction, appeared in the June 2007 issue of Ellery Queen. (If you can’t locate an actual copy of the magazine, you can buy it electronically through Fictionwise at http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook45192.htm?cached)
- “The Dinosaur Diaries,” a coming-of-age novelette that begins when a young man finds Tyrannosaurus rex tracks on his family farm in modern Iowa, will soon appear in Realms of Fantasy. It’s one of the longest and most ambitious stories I’ve sold so far. I was told the August 2007 issue, but who knows if this is true. More news when I have it.