Published my first post on The Penguin Scientific, my science blog: “On Penguin Teeth“, which I wrote in honor of World Penguin Day, April 25.
I submitted five manuscripts today. So that part of my writing plan has been achieved for now. Next up: World domination.
I’m also wheezing a lot, and coughing up green goo. This usually means that I have some sort of infection brewing in my lungs. I’ve been coughing and wheezing since last Friday, so this is likely. I started the Prednisone last night, and if this doesn’t clear up soon, I suppose it will be time to contact my pulmonologist.
So y’all may be wondering how I’m doing with my writing goals and my semi-life-reboot. Well, I don’t mind telling you that I’m having some trouble meeting my goals. Just after my reboot post, I slid into a depressive cycle, as people with Bipolar Type 2 are wont to do, and things just kind of… stopped. For a month or so. About three weeks ago, I figured I’d had enough of that, and finally took myself to see my psychiatrist, and she upped the dosage of one of my medications. I’m seeing results of that now, so hopefully I can get back on track.
So let’s take a look at these two sets of goals.
“Death Pact” to write a short story each month. Well, if I were on track, I’d have four stories completed by now. Instead, I have… none. I have, however, made significant progress on “Flash Drive”, a story I wrote last year in four parts. I also finished the first draft of a new short story called “Mechanism”, a fantasy story with some sci-fi elements. Once I get “Flash Drive” finished and mailed out to my mailing list, I’ll start revising “Mechanism”. I also will be revising “Teh K1ng in Y3110w”, a Lovecraftian pastiche that I wrote a few years ago. And “Burying Uncle Albert” needs some love as well.
Publish paperback version of The Winds of Patwin County. No progress on this one. I haven’t even looked into what it would take. I have several friends who’ve published paperback versions of their novels, so I have plenty of resources. I just haven’t felt up to it.
Publish Tales from Patwin County. This is a collection of stories I’ve written that take place in the same county. No progress here.
Finish first draft of Padma. Or, at least, the first draft of part one. This one isn’t going to happen by the deadline I’ve set for myself, but at least I’ve made pretty significant progress in outlining it.
Write and publish some non-fiction. No progress here.
Sell more fiction. I submitted one story, and got a rejection within twelve hours. I plan on submitting more, of course.
I added a lot of “Be’s” to my life a couple of months ago, and some of them I have managed to pull off and some of them I have not. That post basically outlined what might be called my “Personal Mission Statement”, though I sort of loathe that particular phrase.
I decided the other day, though, that if I was to have a “Personal Mission Statement” of any type, I wanted to be able to express it in one Tweet: that is to say, in less than 140 characters. So here it is:
Be kind. Be curious.
And that’s it. The rest is gloss. I mean, I intend to be healthy, creative, joyful, and so on, but these are hard to maintain when I’m in a depressive spiral. Kindness and curiosity are also hard to maintain, but they’re two traits that I can make use of to get out of my own head when I’m depressed, and that’s important.
Anyway. That’s my second Accountability Post. I’ll post more as the year goes on.
In response to this post on my wife’s blog, I want it known, for the record, that I actually liked those chocolate/peanut butter brownies. They were yummy, gooey, and delicious. I was sad when we threw them away but I knew that, for the sake of health, they had to go.
I just thought you should know that there were two sides to the story.
It was the first thing that Jennifer said to me when I woke up this morning: “Ray Bradbury died today.” It was a bummer start to the day, especially since I only got about two hours of sleep last night. It was one of those things that sticks with you all day long, and even now I sort of feel like there’s been a shadow over the entire day. Bradbury was an institution: he wasn’t supposed to succumb to something as banal and menial as death. Not Bradbury. He was supposed to keep writing forever.
Honestly, I can’t think of a thing to say that hasn’t already been said, with far more eloquence, by a host of writers, including Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, and the like. Even President Obama, our first geek President, commented on his passing.
Bradbury was a masterful writer; he handled characters and themes in skillful ways that most writers can only dream of. By all accounts he was a gracious and kind-hearted man. His insights into human nature, not to mention into the process of writing, were wise and inspirational. I’ve read most of his books and stories, and I’ve tried hard (without success) to replicate that almost ethereal sense of wonder and, yes, horror, that permeated so much of his work in my own fiction.
So, again: Dammit.
Rachel Bloom unleashed this (VERY NSFW) video some time ago. The fact that Bradbury himself found it “delightful” is testament to his graciousness and good humor. Bradbury had many qualities — not just literary — that other writers could do well to emulate.
RIP, good sir. I worked hard to emulate your style and voice in my fiction, but I failed. But thanks to you, I was able to find my own.
It’s Twelfth Night, which is traditionally the day that we get off our lazy butts and take our Christmas decorations down.
Well, actually, this year all we have to take down is the Christmas tree. We got all of our decorations down from the attic earlier on in the Christmas season, but didn’t get around to putting anything up except the (artificial, pre-lit) tree itself, which we didn’t even put up until the weekend before Christmas. We just weren’t feeling all that Christmasy this year. Besides, soon after we put up our tree, we had these:
Yes! Cats! Cats with green laser beams shooting out their eyes! And since many of our ornaments are breakable, we didn’t want the laser-eyed cats shooting them down.
It’s weird. For years none of our cats even gave the Christmas tree a second glance. But then last year we got the two kittens and suddenly they’re all over it. The older cats still don’t give a damn about the tree, but Ingrid and Rupert still see it as one of their most favorite playthings ever.
Anyway. It’s Twelfth Night tonight, so we’ll be taking down the tree… and taking away the cats’ shiny sparkly plaything. How un-seasonable is that?