The Wisdom of Crowds: Writing Life Update

By nature, I am an introvert.  I’ve never been comfortable in crowds.  Usually, I feel drained emotionally and physically when I am completely surrounded with people.  It isn’t so much a phobia merely a preference.  It took a long time for me to develop proper social skills.  I think the Camarilla really helped me develop those skills.  It taught me how to manage crowds and exist within a group of people.  I have friends such as Mario Medina that feed from crowds like vampires.  I am not so lucky, but I’m starting to manage.

When I returned to Fresno for my cousin’s funeral, a number of relatives commented how comfortable and articulate they found me and was surprised that I could be charming and talking to them.  I can only imagine the mess I was when I first left California.

This weekend is Norwestcon.  This is a huge science fiction and fantasy convention.  It also means a good thousand plus people in the same hotel.  I managed to run an 800 person game at Grand Masquerade 2011, but this makes me a little nervous.

Writing has always been a private thing and only in the last year did I even fully come out of the closet and discuss it with friends openly.  I have remind myself that networking is part of the business.  I wish I had Jason Carl’s natural skills.  Someday that man will be the secret master of the world.

I have two meetings this weekend.  Fingers are crossed.  I have a number of friends and acquaintances visiting.  I plan to hit a number of the panels.

Work with Secret Project #1 has been paused until I get a contract and the budget is approved.  I am very excited on this one.

Secret Project #2 seems a bit dubious at this point.  The team I would be working with is sheer awesome.  However, the discussion over the contract has been running six months now and I’m starting to feel less confident than I once was.  I am very disappointed by this, but it wasn’t entirely unexpected.  This is a property I really love and so I still have a bit of hope.

The bright side of the fence is that there is now a Secret Project #3 involving a dark fantasy erotica novella for this year.   This is looking very good at the moment.

My novel The Highway West is a Quarter Finalist at the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.  I am fairly proud of making it to this round, but there is still a long, long way to go.  You can see the excerpt here:

Writing on the sequel A Wicked Messenger is proceeding at a good pace.  I expect to be done by the end of May or beginning of June for the first draft.  I know it seems weird to write a sequel to a novel that hasn’t been published or accepted yet, but I feel this story in my bones.

I have a couple of short stories I need to complete in the next month or two.  Two of them were invitation only anthologies.  Those can be intimidating because you really want to do well for the editor that remembered you.  I did a good deal of research and brainstorming last night for the one due at the end of May.  I am going to start this story after Norwestcon.

Thus far these are the stories of mine that will be published this year:   “The Application of Discipline” and “Omega” will be appearing in a forthcoming Wildside Press megapack e-anthology as reprints.

“Lessons Learned From My 5th Attempt to Conquer the World” will be appearing in Stupefying Stories.

“Lay Down Your Hair” will appear in the anthology Queer Fish 2 from Pink Narcissus Press.

“The Sky God’s Daughter” will appear in the anthology Daughters of Icarus from Pink Narcissus Press.

“Recovery” will appear in the anthology In SITU from Dagan Books.

“The Honey Offering” will appear in the anthology The Extinction Files anthology by Alter Press.

“A Test of Will” shall appear in the Anthology of Ichor IV by Unearthed Press.

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