Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Step One: Stop Believing.

We have this hallway at work, lined with corkboard message boards on one side where Leadership pins up notes and cards they've received from various ministries thanking us or telling about some story or event or...you know. Whatever. The wind from my passage knocked one of these cards to the ground, so I went back to re-pin it. It was from a ministry called "France for Christ".

Today is Bastille Day.

Ladies and Gentleman, I take this as a clear sign that the time has come to overthrow the Church. I'll set up a meeting in Exchange, maybe line up some action items. We'll get an agenda together. We have to advance it.

That grumpy old man

So, I feel like I should say something about the death of Charles Brown. He's someone I've been around, and someone whose writing and editing has had a large impact on my second (and most loved) career. I didn't know him personally. When I found out about it, though, I was pretty wiped. I didn't expect that.

Here's how I got back into writing. I turned 30. I had been talking about being a writer for years, but I hadn't actually been writing. Key component to the process. So I turned 30, and I decided maybe it was time to stop fucking around and get with the writing. And like most newly determined sf/f writers, the first thing I did was go out and buy all the sf/f magazines I could find. Get a feel for the competition. And that's when I found Locus.

I didn't buy it, because I didn't really understand what it was. It wasn't until a couple months later that I realized that publishing wasn't simply a cold mechanism of quality and content, but a network of people and friendships and...well. It was a social circle. So I started reading Locus, and then I subscribed. I sift through it, every month, gleaning knowledge and scrying the signs. What's getting advertised, who's getting reviewed, who just sold a book, to whom, via whom. In every con report I scan the faces for people I recognize, then learn names. Like flashcards, I guess. Being able to walk into a party, look a stranger in a face and know their name...it's important. Not having to do that eye-flick down to their badge is nice, and it's kind of a sign of respect. I don't know. Anyway.

I'm sure Locus will go on, much as it has. Still. We'll all miss Charles Brown. He was Locus, and Locus is the most important publication in the industry. He built a good team, and that team will carry it forward. It just seems like we've lost someone important.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Draft Zero, new job, blah blah

Sorry for the delay, folks. Work is a verah srs environment, and I'm in a cubicle, and they block a lot of sites. Not twitter, surprisingly, and not blogger or livejournal. But I've been busy enough that I haven't really explored the tolerances of the filter. Anyway. I'll try to update this thing more frequently.

Some thoughts about the new job. First of all, I'm glad I'm here. I'm glad I made the move. I went from an environment where I pretty much knew everything and had no interest in expanding my responsibilities, to an environment where I know a lot about a tiny aspect of the job, and there's a lot of room for improvement and involvement. And I'm finally using SQL, though sparingly. My responsibilities in that area will evolve, and I'll learn as I go because I'll *have* to learn just to stay afloat. It's a nice change.

Also, people here care about their jobs. That's new.

And writing is progressing. I've been asked to provide character descriptions and sample chapters for the cover artist. I won't tell you who it is, because I'm not sure how final it is and I'd like the final product to be something of a surprise, but I'm happy. I'm about halfway through chapter four. I think I finally found the voice for the book last night. Not to say that the bits written are bad, but they're a little unfocused. This is why I handwrite draft zero. The creative process works better for me with pen and ink, and we're still very much in the creative part of this project. But last night I wrote a dialogue between Eva and the Elder Alexander, and it just...it was right. It's still funny to me that I so often find the groove for a work in dialogue, when what drew me to writing was descriptive prose. We develop, my friends. We grow. I'll probably finish out chapter four, write the prologue (or probably the opening to chapter one) that I've been kicking around since I envisioned the character but didnt' want to write until I really had a handle on her, the Cult of the Warrior, and the world. And I have that handle now. Anyway. It's going well.