March Onward!

Hello, new folllowers! This is both a status post and what I call a processing post, where I reflect on things that have been happening and will be happening. Please be advised that this sort of post is not a request for advice and does not require any feedback. If you’re curious to know what’s going on in my life and in my head… well, that’s what blogs are for. I am more than capable of asking for advice if I need it.

Anyway…

February was an interesting experience after the creative high of January, when I wrote over 60,000 words of fiction and got a lot of amazing things done. I figured things would basically continue on the same, but… stuff kept happening. In retrospect, the same kinds of stuff happened in January. The difference was that in January, my creative momentum let me roll with it. In February, I just crashed and burned. Even trying to edit/format fiction I’d previously written was a lot harder. I kept telling myself that if I could just get past _____, I would get my feet under me and then make up some lost ground.

It was on the very last day of February that I finally gave up and decided it was okay that this never happened. My January word count is still amazing even divided out over two months, and I’d already approached February with the idea that I’d likely write less even if I had another amazing month. So it ended up being way less. I can live with that.

Once I let go of the idea that I was going to make up for my missed fiction-writing plans in the remainder of the month, I realized that the problem all along was that I’d been suffering something like burnout. I did ALL THE WRITING in January and needed to ease off in February. Not a big deal, and something I can certainly account for going forward. As much as I’d like to believe I can take what I did in January and be a fiction-outputting machine year round, that’s just not now things work.

So from here on out, I’m going to take my January approach of throwing myself into one project at a time and add another wrinkle: after a month of hyperfocus, a month to decompress, where I don’t place any creative demands on myself. It’s not a month of, but a month off from the pressure of producing wordcount. The things I did accomplish in February that relate to the business side of writing all happened in times when I excused myself from writing because of temporary physical impediments.

So January was a creative month, February was not. March will be, April will not be (which is handy because it’s a crunch/stress month for the business side), May will be, June won’t be (which is handy because WisCon tends to wipe me out for at least a week, more if I get sick), and so on. It’s not a perfect system as, for instance, WisCon falls during one of the “on” months, but I had my out-of-state family holiday gathering in January and it didn’t break my stride.

As I type this out, it seems incredibly obvious in retrospect that “intentionally trigger hyperfocus on one creative project after another indefinitely” was not a sustainable plan.

It’s not like February was a total wash. My political commentary continued to attract attention (and a lot of new eyes), and even brought in a little money that allowed me to deal with what might otherwise have been serious crises. I’ll need to find a sustainable balance between that and fiction as we go into March, but I managed that okay in January.

Catching up.

It has been a heck of a month. I’ve mainly been talking about what’s been going on in my life (and everywhere else) on the social mediums, because I’ve mostly been on my phone instead of the computer. So, as some of you already know, the prescription ran out in my glasses. I was starting to get horrific headaches when I wore them too long, and particularly when I used them to read the computer screen… combination of brightness, focusing on tiny text, and the distance, I guess.

I’d already mostly switched to doing close-up reading with my glasses off in the past few months; that’s fine on the phone, doesn’t work for the computer, especially with my semi-recumbent setup.

I do a lot of writing on hand-held devices in an average month anyway, but I don’t like editing or publishing things without a full-sized computer screen because you can’t really get the big picture of what you’re looking at when you’re seeing just a few lines at a time. Blogging, too. My last blog post (about the Bill O’Reilly interview) was written 95% on the phone, but I got on the computer to finish it and post it.

I’ve doing well enough that I was able to get an eye appointment at a discount place, at least, which happened a couple days after that last blog post. The bad news is that discount equals not very fast; the good news is that it took a few days less than quoted. I was expecting them to come in, oh, about this Thursday. I got the call Saturday that they were ready. Even better: the back-up pairs I ordered from Zenni Optical at the same time also arrived Saturday.

With working glasses and a little bit of money, we did a lot of running around this weekend, taking care of stuff that we’ve been needing to take care of for a while. Somewhere along the way, Jack and I picked up a respiratory bug that kept me up Sunday night and knocked me out for most of yesterday. I’m still a little under the weather, so today is very much going to be playing it by ear.

For those who haven’t followed me through previous illnesses – I have a mitochondrial condition that manifests as extreme fatigue, and is exacerbated by illness. When I’m sick, I’m sick and tired, and I don’t mean a little sleepy, I mean deep-down, all-over, in-the-bone fatigue.

Now, while I haven’t been able to edit or do writing work on longer projects, I have not been idle. One reason I’m not good at the non-writing parts of the business is – I would rather be writing. Stuck off the computer but with a working phone, I’ve been messaging people, arranging some collaborations and commissioning some artwork and such, to make my upcoming fiction debuts a little slicker and more memorable than they might otherwise be.

Meanwhile – I’ve got quite a backlog of stuff to get through. I’m going to be pretty much posting at least a thing a day for the rest of the month.

I’m doing more planning than writing this week…

…but I think that might be good, long-term. My explosively amazing writing week on Secret Sisterhood was a planning session that took off creatively. Not every planning session’s going to do that. But it helped crystallize for me how much good planning and good writing go hand-in-hand. One of the reasons my projects soar like eagles at the beginning isn’t just “new relationship energy”, it’s that… historically… that’s the time I do the most actual planning out of what I’m going to write.

I don’t think of it in those terms, but I’m sketching out characters and relationships and elements of the world, and all the other things that go into what I’m going to write. Formal outlining does nothing for me, but an elaborate framework does a lot.

I just signed into the @talesofmu Twitter account to let people know that the coda chapter will go up on Monday, and the unplanned hiatus/stall will end in March. I went back and forth on that a bunch this week, but the fact that Secret Sisterhood is moving forward (located sensitivity readers and talked to some artists!) helped me make the decision, under the principle of “One Thing At A Time”.

For the next four weeks, I’m going to give one week to Making Out Like Bandits (again, did more planning than writing in the last week given to it, so I don’t have a big backlog for it), one for developing and writing a standalone story, one for Secret Sisterhood, and one for revisiting and reviving another dormant story.

Mid-Week Update: Where Tales of MU Is Right Now

Okay, so. I’m both farther behind and farther ahead than I thought I’d be with Tales of MU.

I’m farther ahead in that I now have solid ideas for *two* subsequent stories I want to tell after the current one is put to bed. I was kind of hopeful that taking off some of the pressure would make things easier, and my mind responded by racing ahead.

The “coda” chapter to wind up the current storyline is getting some re-writes to support the other future storyline. I was trying really hard to get it up during the calendar month of January in order to maximize the usefulness of the Patreon payout for it, but that felt hollow and forced.

My early experiences publishing online got me hooked on the rush of instant gratification. After spending January writing reams and reams of stuff for later publication, taking time to polish and arrange it. And the extreme pace at which the political and civic landscape of the United States has been changing has generated a lot of work for someone who can take in information and synthesize an understanding of it quickly, so the financial hit of deferring Tales of MU’s post didn’t actually hurt much.

I’m still putting together the schedule for when Tales of MU resumes. The fact that I keep jumping ahead mentally to the next-next story is making it complicated. It’s about 50/50 that the next MU story will begin updating beginning this month, or next month.

Mid-week update.

Okay, so. I cautioned this week is going to be experimental, and that it might go either way. The mid-week pre-verdict is that it hasn’t. That is, it has not yet gone either way. The state of the union is pretty distracting right now, if you haven’t noticed, so while I’ve gotten some good creative work done I’m not having the same momentum I would have hoped.

But I see a way forward, and I think I’m going to just circle around and focus next week on writing Tales of MU, too, instead of jumping to a different project. I have a feeling the next storyline will just be starting to catch fire tomorrow or Friday. I was talking some casual game design theory with my friend Erin Jeffreys Hodges, completely unrelated to the story, and it gave me a kind of unexpected burst of inspiration. So, thank you for that, Erin.

I’ll still be tying the current storyline off this week, and *very likely* starting the next one next week.

Status Report: Tales of MU

I am feeling a lot of anxiety and uncertainty about my writing this week. I’m going to digress here to say: this is not me fishing for external reassurance, nor do I want any. The odds of anyone reading this coming up with something that is helpful that I haven’t already considered are very low; the odds of saying something that aggravates the situation is considerably higher. So please respect the fact that I’m writing this out to 1) process what I’m feeling and 2) let anyone interested know where I am at, and sit on your hands until the urge to say something about it passes.

Back at the start of January—the start of the year, it now feels like it was months ago—I started a new approach to writing that balances my desire to Make All The Things at once with my need to hyperfocus on a single thing to get anything done: Make All The Things, but one at a time, about a week at a time.

My first week test case was extremely successful, and I talked about having a sort of rotating semi-regular roster of projects I would work on one week at a time, getting material to publish over the course of a month or more each time. I got three months’ worth of material out of my first week, and two months’ out of my second one.  The idea is that if, with a week of focused production I tend to produce more than a month’s worth of material, I could easily have 3 or more ongoing serial projects with room for side projects (like standalone short stories, game stuff, etc.) and interruptions in the work schedule.

I was coy at the time about what projects I was going to try the experiment with after my test, because I didn’t want to either disappoint people when their favorite long-simmering story wasn’t on the initial short list or get their hopes up by mentioning something that might not pan out. This was, after all, an experiment.

The most concrete example of this is Tales of MU, which I knew back at the start of January would either be the story I worked on during the last week of the month, or it wouldn’t be.

My feelings about Tales of MU are complicated. From the start, I thought of it as a freshman story… a story about people making a lot of mistakes and learning from some of them. At the same time, it was (unintentionally and, at first, unwittingly), my freshman story… a story where I made a lot of mistakes, and one hopes, learned from them.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of when I started writing it. It’s a weird thing to be tethered to a story from ten years ago. I was a very different person ten years ago. I thought I knew a lot of stuff that I didn’t, and I didn’t know a lot of stuff that I think I do now. I was working through some pretty heady issues at the time, and it shows in the writing which includes themes I would have avoided if I’d started it now. But, of course, if I hadn’t worked through them in my writing, I probably wouldn’t be able to say that. Certainly I would have made the campus’s human majority population less homogeneously white if I’d started writing it today, and not been as cavalier about applying stereotypical racial tropes to fantasy creatures. I really didn’t know the difference between “saying something about a thing” and “having something to say about a thing” back then.

Tales of MU grew out of my nostalgic memories of Basic D&D and 2nd Edition AD&D at a time when I wasn’t playing then-current 3rd Edition D&D, and it has a lot of original stuff I put in or changed to make things better or more interesting than the distant source material. Since I started writing it, I got really into 4th and 5th Edition D&D, which makes the nostalgia base of TOMU a lot less emotionally resonant to me.

These things might weigh on me a little less if this were a conventional book series. A long running series of books still has each book as a self-contained volume with their own beginning and end. It’s easier to see the “now” of such a series as being self-contained compared to what came before.

Tales of MU is not like that; the “books” are more divisions of convenience and one of my goals when writing it was to tell a story for people who prefer to live in the middle part of a story rather than the beginning or end.

I’ve done that, and I don’t regret doing that, but the problem is, such a story has no natural ending point.

(This is the part where people want to jump in to tell me what they think the natural ending point is. Restrain yourself. That impulse is not your friend.)

Financially, it’s also complicated. I can make more money writing Tales of MU than not writing it, but there was only a very brief window when I first broke out in the crowdfunded writing scene where it was enough to justify the work it takes to make that money. At the same time, the fact that I didn’t write or publish any Tales of MU during my “fiction drought” around the election hurt my finances more than anything else about that period. The financial benefit is not likely to increase meaningfully, as new material is tied to ten years of previously written material of widely varying tone and quality.

Ultimately, whether I want to and am able to continue writing it is not going to be a financial decision so much as a creative and personal one.

And then we get to the fanbase, which is also complicated. The thing is, I know even as I write this that I’m going to see commentary to the effect of “I knew her heart was in it.” or “It was obvious she’d given up and moved on.” I see those messages all the time. Part of the vicious cycle of trying to keep up an update schedule is that any time it slips—even by an hour, literally an hour—I start hearing “SO I GUESS YOU’VE GIVEN UP WRITING TALES OF MU MIGHT HAVE SAID SOMETHING INSTEAD OF GHOSTING” or “please Ms. Erin tell us what we did wrong”… and honestly, it’s hard for me to explain why both of those messages are so disheartening, but they are.

It’s especially hurtful to have people bruiting about their commentary on my “decision” when I’m wrestling with a story, struggling to overcome difficulties in writing. Imagine you’re buried in an avalanche and you’re trying to dig your way out, and people are standing in earshot debating about whether you’re selfish for deciding to be buried, or if your decision to be buried is valid and must be respected. Even the people defending you are calmly talking about how you decided to be trapped under tons of earth, and blithely assuming that at the very moment you decide to, you will effortlessly shift it away.

The thing is, I do better at things—at any thing—when I can document my process and process my feelings here, butI I long ago gave up writing anything about writing Tales of MU and where I am, because every process post attracts these comments. At one point I made a post saying that conditions were untenable in the home office so I was taking my laptop to a coffee shop to finish the day’s chapter and I received a tweet saying “So I guess you’re saying there’s no chapter today.” Not even exaggerating. I made a blog post about my plans to finish the chapter and someone took it as confirmation that there wasn’t going to be one.

This isn’t even getting into the people who don’t understand that writing is not mechanical labor, that it is not a simple matter of sitting in front of a keyboard and pressing the Make Story Button fifteen thousand times in a row. But that’s relevant, because the cumulative effect of the weight of expectations and entitlement and misguided/errant advice is that it makes the creative aspect of the work harder. It pulls me out of my creative brainspace.

Call me a precious special snowflake with delicate feelings (out loud, preferably, where I don’t have to hear it), but this is the quantum interference aspect of direct author/audience interaction – the act of observing an author at work has ways of affecting an author at work. This is a big part of why I’ve been increasingly distant from my fanbase and hard to reach over time. It’s not even about abusive or obviously over-entitled fans. It’s getting the same advice, having people make the same assumptions about what’s going on in my head, hearing my circumstances or outcomes dissected as decisions, over and over again. I’ve been working on toughening myself up and shifting into a mindset of “If they don’t know me, it doesn’t matter what they think.”, but the catch-22 of it is that it’s really hard to do this kind of self-improvement work while you’re still being peppered with it.

To use a metaphor: it’s a lot easier to repair the shields on the starship Enterprise when it’s not actively taking fire.

Anyway. People have assumed that Tales of MU is over or that I’m “on the bubble” for canceling it many times, often while I was trying to gear up to breathe new life into it. There have been maybe two times I have seriously considered canceling it. One of them was last summer, just before my most recent revitalization attempt.

That attempt fizzled out not just because of the election stuff, but because I got right up to the end of the current storyline and found I had no idea what to write next. Perversely, this made it impossible for me to write the last installment of the current story. I know exactly what happens. I could tell someone the nutshell version of it. It’s not very exciting or important as everything about the problem at hand was more or less wrapped up in the currently-last chapter. The last chapter of the storyline was meant to just be a coda.

It’s just that the weight of not knowing what comes next and the need to continue the story makes it hard to tie off the current one with a bow.

 

This is the third time I’ve thought seriously about ending the series. I made the decision at the start of the month that I would, in fact, and I have to tell you: it felt liberating. I don’t think I could have written a NaNo worth of a single story in under eight days if I’d had “…but I need to be writing Tales of MU” running through my head.

During my family vacation, I thought about how I would end it, if I would do a “flash forward/montage” of the characters or reveal some of the things that have been lurking in the background, stuff like that. Which got me thinking about the things about the story that do still resonate with me, and made me start to vacillate a little bit.

And so I ultimately decided that this week would be Tales of MU week in my great experiment. I’d write the coda for the current storyline and then see if I could work out What Comes Next and how it goes, writing it out in advance. I could do regular updates if I could summon a week’s worth of enthusiasm for the story every month, month and a half, or so. And recent events have given me more stories I want to tell in the world.

Now that we’re here… I’m less sure I can commit to having a week’s worth of enthusiasm for the story every 4 to 6 weeks. I’m also less sure that I could walk away from it. To tell you the honest truth, when I started writing this post I had one idea about which of the two options I was going to pick, and it switched back and forth a few times as I’m writing this.

This is what I mean by “processing”, by the way, when I talk about how I process things on my blog.

And as this post approaches what I consider the minimum length for a decent chapter, I come to a decision, or rather a realization: when you’re faced with two choices and neither one is palatable, you should ask yourself if you’re really limited to those two.

Are my choices really to commit to an ongoing writing/publishing schedule or to wash my hands and walk away? No, no they are not.

So, to get to the meat of it: I am going to spend this week working on Tales of MU, finishing the current storyline and beginning the next one. I am not going to stop writing it, officially cancel it, etc. But from here on out, I will be writing stories in the Tales of MU universe and posting them to the Tales of MU site when I have something to say, not merely to perform the rote act of filling out a quota or hitting a schedule.

How many years have I been repeating the line about creativity not being a mechanical act? I’m finally starting to believe it myself.

Anyone trying to glean hints about the frequency of updates going forward from this is going to be shooting in the dark. I don’t know. I can’t tell you. It’s possible that the act of unburdening myself from expectations will turn me into a writing machine and re-ignite the spark of passion completely. It’s possible that it will just be a side thing, an occasional dalliance, going forward. Who can say?

I’ll avoid posting more than two chapters a week, for the benefit of the folks on the Tales of MU patreon who are pledged on a per-update basis (the only fair way to proceed, since I’m not guaranteeing production in a given month), though most of them seem to have sensible caps on their patronage based on their monthly budget anyway.

But that’s a best case scenario, not a baseline.

So here is where the post ends. I’ll tack on a caveat – everything I’m doing this month is experimental. This week’s experiment is Tales of MU. If it goes very well, I will tie off the current storyline with a bow and start the next one immediately. If it goes well, I will tie off the current storyline with a bow and begin prepping the next storyline, for when the next time Tales of MU comes up in my informal, shifting rota.

If it goes terribly? Well, that might be the end. I’m making no decisions in advance here.

Either way, a big thank you to everyone for reading… both this blog post, and anything else I’ve written that you’ve read.

STATUS: Monday, January 16th

The Daily Report

I did a little more writing for Secret Sisterhood over the weekend, and with 7.5 days of working on the project, I managed to “win NaNoWriMo” out of season by writing 50,000 words of contiguous fiction in the same month. I am astonished. I have an initial sensitivity reader lined up to help me make sure I’m not doing anything egregious with the Black female characters in the story before I start publishing. Or to put it another way: that my execution is in line with my intentions.

With that taken care of for the moment, I’m going to pivot to another project. My huge success in writing so much for Sisterhood (and so much I’m proud of) comes from my new approach to juggling multiple projects, an approach I call “ONE AT A TIME!“.

I always have more ideas than I have time to work on them, and I’ve traditionally tried juggling them. My track record is: I come up with a great new project and I spend a week or two or three focused really intensely on it, get a great beginning, build up some material… and then try to slot it into part of a busy, crowded workday in a way that’s supposed to be “sustainable” but never ultimately is. Because I work best when I’m focused, no matter how many different things I have going on.

So I’m letting Secret Sisterhood “breathe” for a bit while the sensitivity reader reviews it, and I’m going to pick up work on the serial I started last summer, Making Out Like Bandits. I’ve been writing it one installment at a time each month (with the months around the election being barren because I wasn’t writing fiction successfully then), and…  well, I like what I’ve written, but it’s a little disjointed and slow. The new approach is going to be to do what I did with Secret Sisterhood: write as much as I can, all at once.

I’m also planning on taking this story public (it’s currently patrons-only), as my new writing and publishing paradigm is going to produce a lot more work of fiction in a month, and it’s going to have a new model for patron perks, too.

The State of the Me

I have had a lot of joint and muscle soreness lately, consequences of going between two very different climate zones in the dead of winter and the physical activity involved in travel. It’s limiting what I can do around the house but not really interfering in my writing.

Plans For Today

I spent the first half of the work day tying up loose threads relating to the Secret Sisterhood, and the second half will be used gearing up for Making Out Like Bandits. My goal today is more taking stock and outlining and lining things up for the next four days of writing, though if inspiration strikes me I’ll just sit down and write. This is how I wound up writing the first 12,000 words of Sisterhood, two Mondays ago.

Hello, 2017!

(Whoops. This post was supposed to go live before the previous one. Small technical error.)

For once my silence in this blog has not been because I’m having troubles, but because things are going super well. I’ve started a new project that is part of a new approach to how I’m doing things, going forward, and this change has already been very rewarding.

After literally months of barely being able to write any fiction at all, I have written some 30,000 words of fiction. 6,000 of those words were basically failed branches of the experiment, leaving 24,000 words of good, usable text. All one story.

And the week is not over.

You all know I’ve spent a lot of time over the years figuring out how creativity works for me, how productivity works, trying to figure out how to get that kind of lightning into a bottle I can uncork whenever I need it, while also being aware that it’s never going to be as easy as flipping a switch or tapping a faucet. The key is embracing what works and dumping what doesn’t.

My interests are varied. I like to have a lot of irons in the fire. The problem is, I work best when I can throw myself into something wholeheartedly, but trying to manage different projects, I wind up never gaining any steam on any one of them. Whether I’m doing different things on different days or trying to block off different parts of individual days, I just lose a lot of momentum switching directions.

On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes I get hyperfocused on one thing and ignore everything else until I burn out on that one thing, and nothing really comes of it, either.

So here’s my attempt at a balanced approach, in the shallows of 2017: taking each thing one week at a time.

This week I have been working on a new project. I have written 30,000 words total for it. The first day I wrote almost 12,000 words, 8,000 of which I’ve kept. Each subsequent day I’ve written several thousand words more, while also doing some light editing on the previous day’s work to make the emerging story more coherent.

It’s not just that I’m throwing myself into a single project at a time that’s created this level of productivity. There are a few other things I’m doing differently. I wrote a sort of character guide for this project that ended up also serving as a rough outline for how the story unfolds. It’s something I should really do more often. I think of myself as not being an outliner, but when I write character and setting guides it ends up both sparking my imagination and giving me a more solid grasp of what the story needs to do and how I can do it.

The project I’m working on for this week is workingly entitled The Secret Sisterhood of Superheroes. It is my return to superhero fiction and to the universe of the Star Harbor stories. I’m not re-using the title “Star Harbor Nights”, which kind of centers the story around a single city. The story is set a good ten years on from (a potentially slightly cosmically retconned) version of the previous tales in the universe and mostly focuses on a new group of characters. There are touchstones to the older stories, though they’re by no means required reading.

I’m not yet sure of how I’m going to publish the stories, though it will be serialized. The question is just “where” and “how often”. The “mass writing” approach I’m taking allows for better editing and a more coherent story, though it’s going to have the same sprawling quality that defines my style.  The story so far has been focused pretty strongly on a single character (J.J. Masterson, aka Labrys), but it’s an ensemble/mosaic story.

Next week is a family holiday gathering. I’m not sure what I’m going to do for the week after, but during my away time I’m going to be revisiting my other stories/projects and weighing which ones to give this treatment to in the weeks following.

I’m not going to have a solid docket of stories that I cycle between each month, because not all my projects are or will be serials and if I’m not following where the muse moves me to an extent, the whole thing is likely to break down. This is part of the point: being able to shift gears when I run out of inspiration.

Part of the approach is about focusing my energy on one thing at a time, and not regretting what I’m not doing. If I can get somewhere doing a thing with a focused week of activity, I’ll keep coming back to it periodically. If I can’t, then I will probably drop it and let it stay dropped. When it’s not the week of something, I’m not going to sweat the fact that it’s not getting done.

So, these are going to be some exciting times. I’m not likely to post any new fiction in the first half of January, but after that? Buckle up. New life might be breathed into flagging things. Long-dormant favorite stories might be coming back. Entirely new things may well be afoot.

Going to make a quick overview post about Secret Sisterhood of Superheroes immediately following this.

STATUS: Thursday, December 22nd

The Daily Report

Well, it happened. I wrote 2,000 words of fiction yesterday. Brand new update for my patron-locked serial story Making Out Like Bandits.

A couple of days ago, I made the decision to try to break my fiction logjam by getting back to basics: writing out stories in a pseudo-script format like I used to do as a teenager (this plays to my strengths, as dialogue is my strong point compared to description), doing some flash fiction, writing simple “once upon a time” stories.

I never actually wound up doing these things, though. Just thought about how I would. Threshed out opening lines in my head, sketched out scenes. And just like that, the logjam unjammed. Words started pouring forth. I still might do some of those exercises, though.

The State of the Me

Busy and complicated.

Plans For Today

We’ve got holiday stuff happening this weekend that we have to be ready for, so my attention is a little scattered, but I mean to build on yesterday’s breakthrough by writing this afternoon. Nothing in particular, just writing. Whatever wants to flow.

For Your Consideration (2016 Eligibility Post)

At the request of a few people, I’ve been trying to put together an “eligibility post”, a reminder of things I did in 2016 that might qualify for awards in 2017. I’ve had a hard time finding the wherewithal to do it in a comprehensive way, but I’ve decided that doing it piecemeal is better than not at all. Which is to say that this might be added to later.

Short Stories

  • Women Making Bees In Public” is absolutely one of my favorite short stories ever. It’s a short speculative fiction story.
  • The Numbers Game” is another strong one. It is both speculative and horror.
  • Crooked Hillary” is a horror story without true speculative elements. It is also a work of political satire.

Satire

Commentary

  • You can find a lot of different essays on various topics under the category of “Noisy Nonsense” on my blog. Again, all dated, in case you’re curious what I’ve written in 2016. I’ll only highlight a few of them of which I’m particularly proud:
  • Comedy Tomorrow, Hugos Tonight” – My meditation on the Hugo Awards, on the morning before they were awarded.
  • It’s A Major Award“- A follow-up, written after I received an Alfie.