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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Apocolypse: Fact or Fiction?

Where have I been and what have I been doing for the last month? It's a blur. September began with the unrealized advance of Hurricane Earl and culminated with a very impressive and mix-it-up of wind and rain by the tail end of Hurricane Nicole. Mother Nature is tired of the insults and pretty pissed off right now.

In between, three tornadoes laid waste to three thousand trees in Queens and Brooklyn, many in my neighborhood. They knocked power out for almost five full days, and seriously tested my ability to keep up my daily word count goal, what with the clean up, dealing with two refrigerators and freezers not refrigerating and freezing, and typing on an AlphaSmart Neo by flashlight.

I netted 8500 words on my latest novel in progress. The Widow's Walk (the sequel to Unfinished Business) and should be done by the end of October.

The odd weather (well, hurricanes aren't odd but we've had three episodes of tornadic activity in New York City in the last few years) has me in a decided apocalyptic mood. In addition to stockpiling batteries, matches, ice cubes, non fat dry milk and drip coffee filters (I can live without power, but not coffee), I've begun work in earnest on an urban fantasy, Boulevard of Bad Spells and Broken Dreams, set in the near-future Bronx engaged in a epic battle between dark and light magic, which has been waged since the late 1960s. Thanks to a fantastic two day plotting intensive with Mary Buckham last weekend, I'm ready to get going by January and expect to complete the first draft sometime in the spring/early summer of 2011. Yep, writing nonfiction is too scary right now.

All that, and the back to work, back to school crazies has made for a very tight schedule, and the only way I can keep to it by staying off social networking. Of course, the frustration of trying to do all online correspondence on a tiny mobile device until the lights came back on made that much easier.

I'm back to work at the day job, and quite busy. Which brings up my equally grim mood over health care and politics which you can find on my health related blog at

Good stuff I’ve been doing on the literary end of life:

I did get to Fantastic Fiction in New York City the night before the lights went out, and to see Margaret Atwood at the 92nd Street YMCA the day after they came back on. The fact that the UN General Assembly shut midtown east down was daunting, but I couldn't miss that.

Ms. Atwood signed my first edition hardcover copy of The Handmaid's Tale, which has joined the signed first edition copies of Lavinia by Ursula K. LeGuin and World's Fair by E.L. Doctorow. And to think I missed Frank McCourt signing my copy of Teacher Man when his appearance at Symphony Space was cancelled due to the illness, which claimed his life a short while after. Being that close to some of my favorite authors of all time is such a thrill.

Reviews in progress:

Bad Ass Faeries, Volume III, for Tangent
Strange Horizons, for The Portal, a new review venue making its debut at the World Fantasy Convention in October. (I can't go, grr)


I'll be taking in a full day workshop with Margie Lawson on November 20, sponsored by the Connecticut Romance Writers Chapter of RWA in North Haven.

Fantastic Fiction October 20: doubtful, but I always give it a try.

LunaCon, Westchester, NY in March, 2011: A good bet.

Renovation (WorldCon), in August, 2011: In the planning stages, just scouting out the logistics, costs, and timing of another trip to the West Coast.

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