It’s been pretty quiet on here, huh. Probably because it’s been pretty quiet outside of here, too. I’ve been kind of drifting for a bit, occasionally dipping my toes back in to see how the water feels, if this is where I want to jump in and dive deep and see just how long I can hold my breath this time.
Writing has been a bit like swimming in the vast and unfathomable ocean lately, and no matter how well I can hold my breath, I’ve still gotta come back up for air. And there were a lot of deep dives that I think I’m only just recovering from.
But just because I’ve been drifting doesn’t mean that there haven’t been churning in the background. Now is as good a time as any to round up some of that churning – and prove I haven’t wholly been shirking.
In November, I celebrated the release of my first and yet somehow second book. I also turned in copy edits on The Unconquered City and kept working on the start of another story that had surprised and bitten me in August.
We also!! Celebrated the funding and completion of the queer women anthology, Silk and Steel!! Which, uuuh, meant I actually had to get cracking on the short story I’d been planning.
December saw the arrival and subsequent completion of page proofs for TUC, and the giddy realization that this book is going to be real just like the other two. I also got to participate in the LGBTQ Reads Better Know an Author feature, where I talked about favorite queer books, fanfic, and the importance of fantasy in imagining a better future for us all.
January brought a surprise round of page proofs for The Perfect Assassin.
But isn’t that book out already? you ask. I thought you were done with them.
I thought so, too! But TPA is coming out as a mass market paperback in April and that’s enough of a format shift to need to check it again. In was strange going back through a book I thought I was forever done with, but I’m glad I did. And soon it’s going to be pocket-sized, just like most of the fantasy I read and bought growing up! You can even pre-order that version, if that’s your preferred format. Honestly, I’m stoked to get to see it on the paperback carousel, chilling with all the Cool Books.
After page proofs round two (electric boogaloo), I finally got around to drafting and writing and revising my short story for the anthology. Which! I turned in! On time, even!
Between all that, I also went to my third ConFusion, which is my home con, and had a great time meeting new friends and old, as well as being on a handful of panels.
And then in February, which is just concluding, I did another interview – this time at Breaking the Glass Slipper, this time about the importance of shouting about queer books, tropes, and how far genre still has to go to actually be diverse – and then I took a break.
I didn’t stop writing altogether, but my wrists had begun to hurt even with just the few hours of active typing I do a day and I realized I needed to make a change before I was staring down the toothy maws of a deadline and forced to decide between potentially breaking my wrists or a deadline.
Since I knew I wouldn’t have anything due for a while, I decided to switch my keyboard layout from the standard qwerty I’d been using for over 25 years to the non-standard but supposedly much more ergonomical dvorak.
Fun fact: suddenly being unable to type more than 10 wpm when you’re used to 80+wpm is super frustrating!! Who knew!!
After 3 weeks, my wrists have stopped hurting and I’m up to a less-frustrating 35ish wpm and finally confident with these new keys to begin properly revising the novella that will be going up here in April. The one that, if you’ve read The Impossible Contract, takes place during a particularly stressful time in all of our friendly, neighborhood cousins’ lives.
So that’s where we’re at, here at the end of February and the fading beginning of a new decade. Things have been quiet, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been still. Churning, churning, churning, but soon – soon – taking a deep breath and diving again.