Special Session 2011 Convenes…Two Weeks Before Dragon*Con. Also, My Panel Schedule.

So the Georgia Legislature, in its infinite wisdom and grace, has called a special session, convening today—two weeks before Dragon*Con. Yes, I am stressed. Yes, I am snowed under. And yes, I am already sleep deficient.


In related news, I got my guest schedule. Herein the panels I’m slated to be on:

  • “Happy Genre Fiction” with Anya Martin and Jean Rabe. Fri 2:30PM, Fairlie (Hyatt).
  • “Characters that Come to Life” with Lynn Abbey, Carole Nelson Douglas, Tracy Hickman, Nancy L. Holder, and John D. Ringo. Sat 11:30AM, Manilla/Singapore/Hong Kong (Hyatt).
  • “Writing Short Fiction” with Davey Beauchamp, David B. Coe, Mary Robinette Kowal, Lee Martindale, and Ann VanderMeer. Sat 7PM, Manilla/Singapore/Hong Kong (Hyatt).


When the Cosmos Drops Anvil-sized Hints, I Do Yoga

I’m not one to scan the skies for mystical planetary alignments or scour my daily horoscope for helpful hints or seek out signs and portents in my everyday life; however, I think the cosmos wants me to resume my long-neglected yoga practice. Yes, the bathroom scale has been mercilessly mocking me for a while now, and I’ve noted how ascending the three flights of stairs to my office always makes me out of breath these days. But I normally just put from mind such human suit issues, because that’s really not where my priorities lay.

But, due to an odd confluence of events, I’ve had yoga at the forefront of my consciousness:

  • At my dentist appointment, my dental hygienist strikes up a (mostly one-sided) conversation about his daughter starting a yoga class and wanting him to join in, with him being dubious about it being a beneficial form of exercise and not some flaky new age pastime. I felt compelled (after rinsing) to chime in my endorsement of it which dovetails into a discussion of stress, teeth grinding, and relaxation techniques. It seems I’ve begun grinding my teeth. Minor now, but not healthy, and indicative of possible underlying stress issues.
  • While I habitually gate out superfluous auditory stimuli, a radio ad espousing the virtues of exercise, particularly yoga, in combating various and sundry health issues, including stress, catches and keeps my attention during my morning commute.
  • And the clincher, as I’m musing on stress and teeth grinding—and that I’ve written less than 1,000 words since the legislative session ended—I get an email at work about a weekly yoga class for state employees starting up right here at the capitol in June. After a bit of waffling, I email a “sign me up” confirmation. I mean, it simply can’t get any more convenient than yoga at my workplace. I won’t even have to set foot outside the building to attend.

    Then, after three weeks of unproductive writerly floundering, the words, they come, as I’m galvanized to write a training scene for Dragon Queller.

Okay, I get it already. The cosmos has spoken. Yoga good. Ohhhmmmm.

Day 40: Sine Die 2011 – Stumbling-Bone-Tired-Stupid and Spastic

Made it to the final day of the 2011 legislative session. I’m stumbling-bone-tired-stupid and spastic-euphoric by turns, but I only have to make it through today. Got my bunny slippers ready and my purple editing pen in hand. Happy Sine Die.

On a related note, I have done zero prep for Jordancon, which starts tomorrow. Gah.

Haven’t been able to get much writing done this week—and nothing at all yesterday, which greatly irks me. Spent my non-legislative-editing time compiling records and figuring the numbers on my writing income for taxes. But IRS notwithstanding, it’s been a far more prolific session, writing-wise, than I would’ve dreamed.

48.1K words down on Dragon Queller, with 43.2K of those words written since session began:

48118 / 85000 words. 57% done!

Of course, I’m half-expecting my productivity to drop to nil once I have leisure and relaxation to contend with, for the cosmos does lurv its little ironies.

Biba Jibun Now Out in Apex Magazine

In one of the shortest lead times between sale and publication that I’ve ever seen, “Biba Jibun” is now out in the April issue (#23) of Apex Magazine!

Original Fiction
“Biba Jibun”
by Eugie Foster

“The Eater”
by Michael J. Deluca

“The Button Bin”
by Mike Allen (Originally published by Helix: Speculative Fiction Quarterly in 2007)

“Ghosts of New York”
by Jennifer Pelland (Originally published in the anthology Dark Faith by Apex Publications in 2010)

“Thirteen Principles of Faith”
by Rose Lemberg

“An Introductory Guide to the Nebula Awards”
by Michael A. Burstein
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Day 32: Biba Jibun Sold to Apex and Article Reprint

Day 32 and I’m still hanging in there…mostly by my fingernails. This almost-in-the-homestretch-but-not-quite part of the legislative session is when my nerves, sense of humor, and patience start getting frayed and frazzled. But the tunnel has a light, and I’m speeding toward it. Calmblueocean.

Writing Updates:
As I tweeted yesterday, I sold my short story “Biba Jibun” to Apex Magazine! Absolutely thrilled to have another story of mine published by these fine folks. Getting that “we want it” note from Jason Sizemore totally made my day.

I also had reprinted my “A Writer’s Resolution: I Will Submit” article in the March/April 2011 issue of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators New England newsletter, The NEWS.

And I managed another 1,400 words on Dragon Queller:

37704 / 85000 words. 44% done!

I’ve hit a bridge section that I’m not sure what to do with. I know what happens after it, but I’m uncertain how to get there from the scene I just completed. I’ve been writing this linearly thus far, and I’d like to try to keep doing that; I think it results in less cutting down the editing road. But I don’t want to just spin my wheels on a bridge scene either. Going to do a bit of an editing pass on a couple chapters and see if that joggles or jump-starts anything. Otherwise, we’re wrinkling the damn line.

Writers for Relief 3 and Crossover Day

The fabulous Davey Beauchamp, in the tradition of Writers for Relief 1 to Benefit the Survivors of Katrina and Writers for Relief 2 to benefit the Bay Area Food Bank, is putting together a third volume of his Writers for Relief charity anthologies, this one to benefit the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. He invited me to submit a story, and I’m delighted to say that “The Snow Woman’s Daughter” will be appearing in Writers for Relief 3.

Davey is the king of big hearts. I’m so glad he’s doing this and that I can be a part of it.

In other news, today is Day 30 of the 2011 legislative session, Crossover Day. It’s not even noon, I’ve edited a slew of rush amendments, and my brain hurts. Gonna be a loooong day.

Still plugging away on Dragon Queller. 5.5K new words in the last week. Average daily word count: 800.

Shiny progress bar:

36,296 / 85,000 words. 43% done!

Day 26: The Day Job is Totally Kicking My Ass…But I’m Still Writing

The 2011 Legislative Session is being a tricksy thing. Started out deceptively mild, but it’s shifted into full gear and is now thrashing my ass. Weekends and late nights galore.

This week looks to be pretty hellish. All the legislators are scrambling to get their bills introduced before Day 30, Crossover Day–when bills have to pass at least one chamber or be dropped–coming up next Wednesday.

Put aside the novel last week to work on another writing project, but just fired that baby off (it’s still in the glint-in-the-eye stage, so I can’t say more about it). Now getting ready to pick Dragon Queller back up. Overall, words-per-day dropping to less than 500, but the important thing is to keep chugging away. Right? Right??


Day 21: Princess and the Golden Fish: Part 3 Now Out and Writing Progress

It’s Day 21 of Georgia’s 2011 Legislative Session, and we’re now officially past the halfway mark.  The day job is utterly cleaning my clock.  Spent all of Sunday at the capitol, and I must’ve looked pretty haggard yesterday, ’cause my co-editors shooed me home as soon as the office closed…or maybe it was the number of times I careened off a wall or door jam.  (There’s a marked and dramatic correlation between how mushed my brain is and how klutzy I am; I seem to lose peripheral vision and stop being able to gauge distance-to-wall/door with any accuracy.)

However, I’m still making good progress on Dragon Queller.  Averaging between 800 and 900 words a day and have put down a whopping 25K since session began.  Rah.  Keeping on keeping on.

In other news, got my contrib. copies of the March issue of Cricket with part 3 of “The Princess and the Golden Fish.”  Shiny:
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Day 13: Calculating a Formula for Writing Productivity

So we’re one month into the 2011 legislative session, and we’re only at Day 13.  I’m a little scared of what that may portend. 

On the writing front, I’ve managed 16.4K words on Dragon Queller, 11.5K of those since session began.  Not quite at the “novella” marker but well into “novelette.” From past experience with my novel efforts, I tend to hit my “oh-my-god-this-is-too-long-must-stop-now” wall somewhere into the novella range. My short story writer’s instinct kicking in or something. But since this is my first actual, bona fide sequel, I’m thinking maybe I won’t be smacking into that particular obstacle. I hope.

Also, as Matthew observed, that’s a better month’s word count than a lot of my non-session writing months. Been suffering from more insomnia, too.  There’s a formula somewhere in there. If I can figure out the proper ratios of time crunch pressure, generalized stress, and sleep deprivation to maximize writing productivity, I’ll have the ultimate Eugie-writing-machine.

Yeah, I’ll let everyone know as soon as I figure that out…

Thumbs Up from My Agent and The Princess and the Golden Fish: Part 2 Now Out

Finished my final revisions on Demon Queller and, with heart thumping and sweating palms, shipped it off to my agent. Just heard back from him, and he really liked it! I am unable to properly express the profoundness of chuffed that I am.

And now, of course, comes the waiting.

So far, managing around 350 words a day on the sequel, Dragon Queller. Not exactly what I’d call great productivity, but considering its session, I’ll take it. Three chapters down, 6,607 words and counting. It’s a start.

Also got my contrib. copies of the February, 2011, issue of Cricket with part two of “The Princess and the Golden Fish.” Yay! Continue reading