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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.


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,’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.

[links] Link salad sits by the hearth

The Best Steampunk Releases of 2010 — Barnes and Noble Book Clubs hands out some literary love to a number of books, including Pinion.

Jonathan Swift reviews the new Gulliver’s Travels movie — Hilarious.

Gravity Emerges from Quantum Information, Say Physicists The new role that quantum information plays in gravity sets the scene for a dramatic unification of ideas in physics.

God’s little rabbits: Religious people out-reproduce secular ones by a landslide — There’s a lot of things wrong with this piece, but it’s also pretty interesting and pretty funny. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

US Army: Atheists Unfit To Serve — Ah, yes, more modern persecution of the Christians. I can really see what the conservative pundits are complaining about here. Hmm, sorry, the sarcasm bit got stuck in the “on” setting. (Thanks to shsilver.)

Inside The GOP’s Plan To Stifle Obama’s Executive Branch Power — Mmm. I can smell the bipartisanship from all the way over here. And of course, this is no worse than the treatment Bush got at the hands of Democrats. Right? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

?otD: Who do you chat with by the fireside?

Writing time yesterday: 7.0 hours (4.0 hours of Sunspin outline development, 3.0 hours of WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (solid)
Weight: 248.4
Currently reading: Between books

[links] Link salad eyes the fall publishing schedule

A rather nice review of Pinion in Analog includes my forthcoming collection The Sky That Wraps in their list of “All the books you’ll be lusting for this fall season”

Never Wake Up: The Meaning and Secret of Inception — Some interesting analysis here. Partially dovetails with the take that calendula_witch and I are developing. (Thanks to goulo.)

Pulsar Timing: An Outer System Tool — This is some seriously weird science. And cool as all get-out.

The End of ManagementCorporate bureaucracy is becoming obsolete. Why managers should act like venture capitalists.

Why do pundits think Bush regularly attended church? — He didn’t. Neither did that conservative saint, Ronald Reagan. Obviously Reagan was a secret Muslim!

Stewart: Fox Smears Owner Alwaleed bin Talal! — Hah!

Covert OperationsThe billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama. And the Right gets its panties in a wad over George Soros… (Via danjite.)

What are the Republicans trying to hide behind the Ground Zero Mosque? — Not sure I buy this, but it’s an interesting argument, and not the least bit out of character for the party of Atwater, Ailes and Rove.

The GOP and the “Ground Zero” Mosque — The Cato Institute weighs on rank political opportunism by Republicans. See Competing Perspectives on the Mosque Controversy for more.

The GOP’s Long, Hot, Racist Summer — Ah yes, nothing like standing on your principles to make your point.

?otD: What forthcoming books are you lusting for?

Writing time yesterday: 0.75 hours (WRPA, Kalimpura outline)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.25 (interrupted)
This morning’s weigh-in: 244.2
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 4/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: Destroyer by C.J. Cherryh

[links] Link salad visits the home by the sea

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

Paul Kincaid at Strange Horizons reviews Pinion — Hmm. The story belongs to the reader…

Planet Stories covers — Mmm, pulp. (Via Erotic Mad Science.)

Monkeys hate flying squirrels, report monkey-annoyance experts — “Monkey-annoyance expert”: your job title for the future. (Via Ed Brayton’s blog.)

The terrible truth of Tetris — Hahaha. (Via David Goldman.)

Industrial Arts Occupations — More WPA art from Vintagraph.

Unsung Heroes: Vintage Garbage & Sanitation Trucks — Another feature from Dark Roasted Blend.

Computing at the Speed of LightReplacing metal wiring with fiber optics could change everything from supercomputers to laptops.

Why GOP reaction is muted as judge affirms gay marriage rightsGOP conservatives may not be itching for a culture war over a judge’s decision overturning California’s gay marriage ban. Economic issues, not cultural ones, are their focus heading into Election 2010.

?otD: Are you dreaming of the time when you were free?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (revisions, WRPA)
Body movement: beach walking later
Hours slept: 9.0 (solid)
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 3/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, emotional distress)
Currently (re)reading: Inheritor by C.J. Cherryh

[links] Link salad overhears song from the woods

A reader reviews Pinion — Not so much with the liking.

What steampunk means to me — A commentary. I agree with Callaway; as I’ve said before I see steampunk as ‘skin’ or an aesthetic, not a movement qua cyberpunk or New Weird. I wrote “The Baby Killers” in part to address this, to try to reach for steampunk themes. We shall see if I have succeeded.

Human heads found in boxes at Ark. airport — I always wanted to get ahead. (Thanks to .)

The Man In The Iron Mask — Ok, this is very strange. (Via Dark Roasted Blend.)

Protecting the Lunar Farside — Some crunchy science with SFnal implications from Centauri Dreams.

Death by toxic goose. Amazing waterfowl facts part II — Some weird stuff here.

Burn the scientists![Italian] seismologists are now being indicted and investigated for manslaughter, on account of their failure to warn the population that an earthquake was coming. WTF?

No, Really, Palin Has No Political Future — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison (a self-identified ‘paleocon’) on Sarah Palin and the politics of the 2012 presidential election.

?otD: Kitchen prose or gutter rhymes?

Writing time yesterday: n/a
Body movement: n/a
Hours slept: 8.5 (interrupted, nightmares)
This morning’s weigh-in: 232.2
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 9/10 (infusion)
Currently (re)reading: A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad is offended by Surfing Samurai Robots

On Measuring The Specific Gravity of Grief — GeekDad reviews my new single-title novella at A thoughtful, interesting review. If you’re interested, you can buy the book here from Fairwood Press.

Zombies, Steampunk, or Historical Fantasy – Help Me Pick the Next Novel to Read — This may be the funniest pre-review of one of my books I’ve ever received. Pinion is the conclusion of a trilogy that sounds fantastic to me. But I don’t want to read the first two books; their existence offends me. Huh?

Ozymandias — Art guru James Gurney with a very cool post about one of his Dinotopia paintings.

Complex Reactions on TitanCentauri Dreams on the increasingly real possibilities of life on Titan.

A Softer World on honesty, empathy and tact — Ah, the marvels of Internet discourse.

SMBC explains the Prisoner’s Dilemma

Non Sequitur is hilariously political

It Will Happen AgainBush admits torturing KSM and says he’d do it again. Gee, what a shock.

Hatch’s Partisan Military Service Bill — This just in: Republican senator caught out in mendacious hypocrisy. But I repeat myself. (Source is Rachel Maddow, in case you think she’s a liberal hack not worth watching. A well-sourced liberal hack, admittedly.)

?otD: Does the existence of any particular book offend you?

Writing time yesterday: n/a (chemo exhaustion)
Body movement: Short suburban walk later (on the pump)
Hours slept: 8.5 (badly interrupted)
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a (forgot)
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 9/10 (on the pump)
Currently (re)reading: The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad is glad than kanly isn’t real

J.A> Pitts is having a contest to celebrate the release of Black Blade Blues — Go check it out.

Only the Best Sciencet Fiction and Fantasy is giving away a copy of Pinion

Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ holds timely – and timeless – appeal — A brief history of Dune. My favorite bit: Another early version [of the Dune movie adaptation] would’ve enlisted Orson Welles, Salvador Dalí, Gloria Swanson, Hervé Villechaize and Alain Delon in a 10-hour epic. ZOMG. I so want this to be real.

Who’s More Likely to Fake It in the Bedroom? — Hmm….

An Archaeological Approach to SETICentauri Dreams with an interesting article that lies pretty close to one of the core concepts I have for Sunspin.

A Softer World nail the difference between ebooks and print book — Especially important if you’re a conservative.

Diversity Is Work — Ta-Nehisi Coates with one of the smartest commentaries on racism and diversity I’ve seen in a long time.

Having no use for religion — What he says.

GA Woman To State Judiciary Committee: DoD Implanted A Microchip Inside Me — Ah, conservatives. This story pretty much speaks for itself. If they didn’t have political power, this would be sad-but-funny.

Tea Party speaker gay-baits Lindsey Graham — The story itself is par for the course; there’s nothing surprising about the ugly undercurrents (and overcurrents) of bigtory in the Tea Party. But I’m fascinated by the term “herrenvolk democracy”, which is a surprisingly useful description of contemporary conservative politics.

The Lost State of Jefferson — Secessionism by a slightly different flavor, from Strange Maps. Confidentlal to Tea Party in America: No, secession is still not patriotic. It wasn’t in 1861, it wasn’t in 1941, and it’s not now.

Un-Christian Delusions — Daniel Larison writing about the sheer folly Christianist worldviews in foreign and military policy.

Why I’m Passing On Tea — Andrew Sullivan on the tea party. Most of the rational tea-partiers accept that the GOP has been as bad – if not worse – than the Democrats on spending, borrowing and the size and scope of government in recent years. They repressed this anger during the Bush years out of partisan loyalty. Now, they’re taking it all out on the newbie. What, all three of them? Seriously, that’s the biggest issue I have with the Tea Party’s stated goals (ignoring their cultural baggage). Where were you under Bush? Why was it okay then but not now?

?otD: Ever seen the mythical 12-hour version of Dune?

Writing time yesterday: none (family disruption)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.0 (solid)
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a (scale is out of batteries)
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 4/10 (fatigue, GI distress)
Currently (re)reading: The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett

[personal] Department of things which are good

It’s been a pretty grim week around here. It’s also been a pretty good week. The Lords of Chaos apparently have planted Their August Thumbs on the Mighty Scales of Karmic Balance. Or maybe Murphy was just an optimist.

Pinion came out Tuesday. Had a lovely reading at the Cedar Hills Powell’s last night, which was surprisingly well-attended given that I was up against the opening night of Norwescon. This was preceded by a pho dinner beforehand with my family and various elements of Portland writerdom. I also managed to summon almost 75 minutes of energy to talk about books, read, take questions, and be harassed from the audience about clockpunk, thanks to those self-same writer friends. ‘s delivery was especially piquant. Except for the profound exhaustion afterwards, it was fun. Photos later, hopefully, from various sources.

As previously mentioned, this week I’ve also sold Japanese rights to the Mainspring novella “Chain of Fools“, via . My first time into that market. and I sold a romance/sf short this week as well. That makes two joint sales in the past few weeks. And money came in the mail from various short fiction ventures, which is never a bad thing.

Also in big, good news, has gone real estate shopping. So, erm, the long distance relationship will shrink from 630 miles to about 4 miles.

A lot of good in my life this week. I have to keep telling myself that, and transfer some of that good to Mother of the Child, and most importantly, to .

[cancer|personal] Various updates

Mother of the Child is still in ICU. They’re hoping to transfer her today to a general ward. She may come home Saturday. The high-risk aspects seem to be passing, and surgery so far has not been required. came home last night and exhibited coping skills of various constructive sorts. I’ll be briefly visiting the hospital later this morning (with my own immune system issues, I can’t hang out there), and continuing to track her progress.

Stress has eaten me badly this week. Got a decent amount of sleep last night, at least. Shedding Day seems to be Shedding Week this time, but as one of my classic (pre-cancer) stress responses is significant lower GI disruption, there’s no real way to evaluate how much of the ongoing, rather spectacular lower GI distress is chemo side effect and how much of it is life stress.

Of significant irritation is my lack of writing time. Between the emotional stress and the overwhelming fatigue, I just haven’t picked up the threads yet this week. This is the first time since post-surgical recovery I’ve let it stop me cold, and that really makes me unhappy.

On the personal front, I’m receiving an immense amount of support from my family, from and , my friends, Mother of the Child’s friends, and so forth. That is gratifying. At the same time, a fair number of people are expressing their support by telling me what I should do, in some cases at length in very strong terms. I’m getting rather tired of being lectured about how I should treat myself, treat my child, eat, sleep, do or don’t visit Mother of the Child. Advice and support is very welcome, but I really am a competent adult, even now, and do understand both my strengths and my weaknesses, as well as my risks and obligations.

Still doing the Powell’s reading tonight, because, damn it, I am not giving up on my role as a writer. I may not be laying down words this week (and how it hurts to say that) but I will go stand up with my book and talk to whoever shows. Being as how we unknowingly scheduled the reading for the first day of Norwescon, I’ve already lost a lot of my natural audience, so I expect it to be thin, but I’ll be there.

[repost|books] My one and only public appearance between now and September

I will be reading and signing Pinion tonight, Thursday, April 1st, at 7 pm at Powell’s Cedar Hills Crossing. This is immediately after its March 30th release date. Thanks to chemo and its discontents, this is my sole promotional event for the book. It’s a one-stop book tour!

Except for JayCon X on July 3rd, this will also be my one and only public appearance here in the US prior to the Seattle-area convention Foolscap in the fall.

So if you’d like to get my latest novel hot off the press, listen to me read, or have anything signed, mark your calendars now for April 1st. If you just want to show up and support me in my cancer battle, that would be a delight, too. It would please me to no end to fill the place. I look forward to seeing some, all or none of you there.

[links] Link salad wakes up in April, wonders what happened

I am reading and signing Pinion at Powell’s Cedar Hills tonight

Monitoring Cancer ProgressionBy automating the tracking of tumor cells that circulate in the blood, doctors can see if a cancer treatment is working. A topic of obvious interest to me.

Lifesaving, safe vaccines — Antivaxers are murderous loons. Period. If they’re right, their profound selfishness raises protects their own children at the expense of the deaths of others. If they’re wrong, theyir profound selfishness endangers their own children as well as others. (Via Bad Astronomy.)

Area 51 vets break silence: Sorry, but no space aliens or UFOs — The coverup continues!!!

The Texas School Book Repository — Roger Ebert is eloquent on conservative lunacy and the textbook mess in Texas. Does it make me a liberal if I believe Jefferson has been more central to American history than Calvin? That Lincoln was our greatest president, and Davis not our President at all? That the Theory of Evolution towers with majesty above those who, in some cases, believe the earth may be 10,000 years old, and that men walked the earth with dinosaurs? No, it doesn’t make me a liberal. It makes me an educated, rational being. Unfortunately, in some precincts of Texas that may appear to be nearly as bad. I know my apolitical, centrist and conservative friends become frustrated with me when I dismiss conservatism as foolish idiocy, but read this article about duly elected conservative leaders carrying out a conservative agenda, and tell me where I’m wrong. Condfidential to GOP in America: It’s hard to take your politics and principles seriously when they come with this baggage.

Militia Draws Distinctions Between Groups — Right. It’s so critical to maintain the distinction between one group of heavily-armed anti-government paranoids and another. I forget sometimes.

Independence and Dependence — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison on opposition to HCR. …an example of how short Republican memories are and how stupid mainstream conservative pundits must think their audience is. (Of course, you could say that about almost any GOP political assertion these days.)

?otD: What was your best April Fool’s prank ever?

Writing time yesterday: n/a (chemo/streess)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.0 (interrupted)
This morning’s weigh-in: 231.2
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 7/10 (extreme fatigue)
Currently reading: [between books]