I’ve been absent of late . . .

I think Warren Ellis puts it well in “How to Build a Blog Without Social Media“: “[My website] has always been subject to pauses and hiatuses, chiefly because my job is writing and in busy periods there hasn’t always been enough writing left in me on a given day to sustain this site.”  This is what I’ve been meaning to post here for some time but, precisely for the above reason, haven’t had the mind or occasion to do so.

Lately, I’ve been working on long fiction projects, writing steadily but not visibly or publicly.  I know a growing number of people read my blog and newsletter; though, I don’t often pay attention to the site statistics.  And I’m grateful for any interest and attention paid to my writing—grateful enough, in fact, that I want to thank you for sticking with me during my less visible periods when I have to do the stereotypical fiction writer thing and disappear into the back room for some months.

I am still here, wherever “here” is in a non-local, asynchronous digital medium.  And I’ve been thinking about what’s next.  Here’s an overview of what’s going on and coming up:

  • The Covid lockdown novel had to change as my perception of that time changed.  I’m rewriting the first 190 pages (which is to say, most of it so far).  I thought it was a dead project.  But I couldn’t get it out of my head—more the characters than the setting, but I don’t think it’s possible to separate the two. Hence, the rewrite.  It’s unpleasant and fascinating in equal proportion, not unlike digging myself out of the basement after the house collapsed.
  • The short science-fiction novel about a night-blooming flower (no, the flower is not overtly a character) is going pretty well right now.  It’s about halfway written.  If I can keep writing the way I have been, I don’t think I’ll need too many subsequent drafts.  We shall see.
  • My third book of literary stories, Living the Dream, (delayed two years by the pandemic and the publisher changing countries) is finally coming out.  They tell me it should be available in late April.  This is a good thing, since I already have most of a fourth story collection manuscript put together.
  • I intend to return to my tried and true magazine submission praxis very soon.  So there should be articles and columns appearing here once again.  I can’t predict exactly when or where my work will be appearing, but I guess that’s part of the fun.
  • I’m also still interested in doing an audio-only podcast via my newsletter, where I read poems and passages from books and talk about writers I like.
  • And, of course, there’s the magazine that my friend Kurt and I have been talking about for two decades.  We finally have a talented, serious group, the possibility of legitimate funding, and the will to make it happen.  It’s a big undertaking, but it’s picking up speed and we’re all experienced enough with magazine and small press publishing to know what we love and want to avoid.

So that’s the state of things at the moment.  Watch this space and thanks for sticking with me.  We’ll see where these pathways lead . . .