Jay Lake: Writer

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[personal|writing] My 2010 Year in Review

2010 has been a very difficult year for me, but it’s also been a very accomplished year. The ironies of this are not lost upon me. And frankly, the leading indicators for 2011 are not much improved. We shall see.

Books

Pinion from Tor Books
The Specific Gravity of Grief from Fairwood Press
The Baby Killers from PS Publishing
The Sky That Wraps from Subterranean Press

Short Fiction

In short fiction, I had about twenty-five appearances, one jointly authored with Ken Scholes, several more with Shannon Page.

Other Activities

I was nominated for an Airship Award for the Mainspring cycle, sold French and German rights to various of my books, and edited METAtropolis: Cascadia, Audible.com’s followup to the highly successful METAtropolis audiobook.

I attended Rainforest Writers’ Village, Cascade Writers, New Zealand’s National Convention, Worldcon in Australia, Orycon and Steamcon.

Submissions and Sales

43 new fiction submissions in total
    22 sales, several with Shannon Page
    12 rejections

19 reprint submissions in total
    11 reprint sales
    18 reprint rejections

Writing Statistics

226,200 words of first draft (Kalimpura, twelve short stories, outlines to Kalimpura and Sunspin, several nonfiction items)

Revisions to Endurance

Approximately 1,000 blog posts

Personal Life

All of this while recovering from lung surgery, undergoing six months of chemotherapy, experiencing and recovering from liver surgery, holding down a full-time job, parenting, and spending the last three months of the year watching my primary relationship erode and vanish. So while the writing held up remarkably well (I accomplished more in 2010 than in 2009), the rest of the year sucked rocks and is totally fired.

Also, don’t ever talk to me about not finding the time to write.

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[links] Link salad knows it all from Diogenes to the Foucault

Don’t forget the new caption contest [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]

Sharp-Pointed Tendrils and the Span of Control: A Conversation with Jay Lake — In which I am interviewed at Clarkesworld by Jeremy L.C. Jones.

Kit O’Connell at SF Site reviews my novella The Baby Killers — He liked it a lot.

How ink is made — Eight minutes of chromatic industrial pr0n via art guru James Gurney.

Aerial Bridge: 1908 — It tooks me a minute or two to even interpret this image from Shorpy. It’s a style of bridge I’ve never seen before, sort of the inverse of a drawbridge where the default is permitting water traffic rather than road traffic. Interesting engineering solution.

Desktop 3-D printers are cool. But some people are scaling the technology up. — Also check out the first comment below the article.

Enceladus on full afterburner — Cool image, cool interpretation.

Much more on Gliese 581g — For them as wants. Fascinating read from Centauri Dreams.

Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? — The latest version of the “kids today” rant. Hey, you! Get off my lawn!

GOP pledge reduces deficit less than Obama’s budget — Not that the GOP or the Tea Party will ever notice. So much easier to hate than to think.

Assistant AG in Michigan Acts Like 9 Year Old — More classiness from another conservative in public office.

Assassination — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison with some strong, stark reasoning on the concept and labeling of assassination as a tool of statecraft.

?otD: How many purple clothes do you own?


10/2/2010
Writing time yesterday: 60 minutes (OUR LADY, various WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 9.25 hours
This morning’s weigh-in: 237.0
Yesterday’s chemo/post-op stress index: 3/10 (post-op pain, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: The Exile Kiss by George Alec Effinger

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[contests] Steampunk caption contest

The Baby Killers by Jay Lake

I just received my author copies of The Baby Killers, my new steampunk single-title novella from PS Publishing. In order to celebrate, we’re going to have a caption contest. I’ve chosen one of the more steampunkish photos from my Flickr files, so take that as a theme if you like.

First prize will be a signed copy of the book, additional prizes to be awarded at my discretion. Usual rules apply. I’ll collect captions in comments here (at both jlake.com and jaylake.livejournal.com) until I get bored with it, then build a voting poll. Please try to limit the length of your entries or they may become truncated in the poll code.

The photo in question:

101_0005_1.JPG

Pipe, Lime, OR. © 2002, 2010, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[personal] Obligatory year in review post for 2009

Writing and Publishing

(All figures subject to some revision, due to the vagaries of both record-keeping and publishing.)

I wrote twenty pieces of first draft short fiction, totalling 92,100 words. (Some of these were collaborative.) Due to a combination of circumstances, largely involving cancer, I only wrote one complete first draft novel this year, Endurance at 114,500 words — an unusual burst of brevity for me. Extensive revisions or rewrites to Pinion, Heart of the Beast (unfinished collaborative novel with Jeff VanderMeer), The Rockefeller Plot (unfinished collaborative novel with my dad) and Our Lady of the Islands (complete-but-in-revision collaborative novel with .) Also a number of articles, interviews and the usual avalanche of blog postings. Without getting too precise, I probably wrote about 500,000 words this year, which is a very small year from me.

I sold seventeen original short stories. Five of them were written collaboratively with , two more collaboratively with . I also have two forthcoming year’s best appearances for 2009 material, both for “On the Human Plan“, which originally appeared in Lone Star Stories in February of 2009. Those seventeen short fiction acceptances were balanced by twenty-three short fiction rejections. Also had ten reprint sales, including the YB inclusions, most of the rest of audio or foreign rights.

Approximately fifteen short stories of mine were published this year, including a number of the collaborations. I saw exactly three novels published this year: Green (Tor Books; June, 2009), Madness of Flowers (Night Shade Books; October, 2009) and Death of a Starship (MonkeyBrain Books; December, 2009). Contracted two more novels with Tor, Endurance and Kalimpura, which will extend the Green story. Those are my ninth and tenth novel sales. The anthology Other Earths, edited by Nick Gevers and me, also appeared this year, to strong critical reception, as well as the anthology Footprints, edited by Eric Reynolds and me.

Delivered Pinion to Tor (the third Mainspring book), The Sky That Wraps to Subterranean Press and The Specific Gravity of Grief to Fairwood Press. Drafted Endurance (the second Green book) for delivery next spring.

In 2010, I expect to see Pinion published by Tor Books, as well as my collection The Sky That Wraps from Subterranean Press, and single-title novellas The Specific Gravity of Grief (a cancer tale, from Fairwood Press) and The Baby Killers (high concept steampunk, from PS Publishing).

Attended a number of conventions, the highlights being my Toastmaster gig at World Fantasy in San Jose, and the lovely time we had at WorldCon in Montreal. We do plan to attend WorldCon in Melbourne this coming year, along with the New Zealand national SF convention the weekend prior. Those will be part of my “I survived chemo” celebration.

Personal

My relationship with has continued to solidify and blossom. That is a balm to my heart and delight to my life. Many other friendships and relationships have prospered as well, including the discovery (by me) of the delightful , and the ongoing evolution of my long-term friendship with .

Unfortunately, my relationship with cancer has also continued to solidify and blossom. 2008’s colon cancer came back with a lung metastasis, this after significant scares regarding liver and lymph metastates. In November I had a partial thoracectomy to remove a single grape-sized tumor from my left lung, along with a patch of lung tissue the size and shape of a Dorito. In December I had a port implanted in my right chest to facilitate chemotherapy. This coming January, I start a series of twelve infusions of a FOLFOX-Avastin cocktail, a chemotherapy combination with a range of potential side effects that would give anyone pause.

Chemo means my writing life will be pared down through next summer, though by what degree is not obvious. I have only retained two contracted commitments, one a major editing project, the other to revise and deliver Endurance. I’d also like to finish revising Our Lady of the Islands, my collaborate novel project with , so we can go to market with it, as well as make further progress on The Rockefeller Plot, the diplomatic thriller I am writing with my father. Beyond that… With luck, the second half of the year will see me restored to normal production, as I need to draft Kalimpura and I’d like to take a crack at Sunspin.

Hope your year was as happy and productive as mine, and considerably healthier. All the better for the New Year to you and yours.

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