I can't remember exactly when I fell into the black hole, but seem to recall it was sometime late last summer.
A victim of my own success, covering Worldcon and being away for eleven days last August, really set me back on writing activities. I had four nonfiction pieces come out between September and November, and a piece of fiction in January so my focus was on promotion and meeting deadlines for reviews and freelance assignments, not doing what I wanted to which was write some new fiction.
My job responsibilities and family demands and some bad stuff like dealing with my parents' health problems, have been a steady drain on my time and energy since last September.
It's taken me nearly a year to revise a paranormal novella and my novel Unfinished Business, and get the jump start the stalled process of selling them. I recently sent the full manuscripts for both to publishers that requested them (bites nails) and frankly, I'm very glad that I don't have to look at them for a while. The stories are solid, and I'm proud of them, but I need a change.
I've begun work on The Widow's Walk, a sequel to Unfinished Business, and since I know the characters so well, they're spilling their guts. I'm also doing some research to flesh out the plot of my urban fantasy Boulevard of Bad Spells and Broken Dreams, which I'm really excited about since it's so different than the paranormal romances.
I'm celebrating the five-year anniversary of my entrée into creative writing, and the four year anniversary of Specfictionfledglings, a Yahoo group formed by myself and several other workshop buddies. It's been such a delight to see folks who, like me, started at the beginning are now writing (and publishing) such diverse works as novels, short stories, graphic novels, and screenplays. Where else could I find people debating how and when bananas were cultivated in the Caribbean? How's that for fact checking?
And I can't be more thankful for groups like Professional Authors and its many spin-offs, all moderated by Rayne Hall, and the Anticiworkshop (born after Worldcon) where I've gotten super-solid help with all my works in progress. Special shout outs to Rayne and Barbara G. whose detailed critiques and background knowledge on a vast number of subjects helped immeasurably with both works. Oliver helped me sink the boat, and when Alice, who's a pro romance writer, says she likes something--wow, what a boost.
Right now, I'm shell shocked, wandering around the house looking for this big monkey that's been hanging on my back. It's going to take me some time to get back into the writing mode--but I'm really looking forward to it.
No reviews this month and my report on the Fantastic Fiction readings for June are at:
A review of Alice Gaines newest novel Miss Foster's Folly--just released by Carina Press. I give it a five star rating for delicious, Victorian humor. Five flame warning for the less adventurous reader.