So, yesterday I mostly spent holed up in my hotel room writing, which was actually just fine. My cold appreciated all the time spent barely moving. I spent the morning on the final copyedits for Tremontaine, episode 3, and that episode is hopefully now completely done. The afternoon was initial line edits (which happen a few stages before copyedits) for Tremontaine, episode 6, which went fairly smoothly, so those are off now too.
In between, I took a break and met my Tremontaine co-writer Tessa Gratton and her wife Natalie Parker for lunch at the Flying Saucer pub, which was great fun. Tessa has been an absolute joy to write with — smart and fast and funny and inventive; I would recommend her for any co-writing project ever. (Natalie is also smart and funny, but I haven’t written with her yet!)
Tessa and Natalie are both novelists in their own right, so at some point, I will have to go pick up their books (and add them to the vast and lumbering heap…). Beware the Wild (Parker) is Southern Gothic; Natalie is also working on an anthology of YA love-triangle stories, which I think she mostly started because she was irritated by people bemoaning the prevalence of love triangles in YA fiction. Tessa’s first book is The Lost Sun, Norse-mythology-infused YA. She’s got three books in that series, and an adult fiction book coming out soon.
After Tremontaine was done, I started revising my Wild Cards story for forthcoming volume, Low Chicago, but I didn’t get very far into it before time ran out for the day. That was all right — I’d been writing from about 8 – 5 (with a two-hour lunch break), and my brain and back and fingers were getting pretty sore. I did take a fifteen minute break somewhere in there and did a low-key Youtube yoga video which was actually quite helpful. Should do more of this sort of thing, yoga, I mean, possibly daily.
At 5, went off to meet my college roommate Ingrid, and we had a nice two-hour conversation, catching up. Lots of talk about Hollywood (she works as a script reader for HBO) and how we make time for our own writing. Ingrid is hella smart, incredibly well-read, and I would really really LOVE to see the tv show she would write, so we spent a while trying to figure out how to make more time for writing in her packed life.
I ended up recommending Minal Hajratwala‘s services — Minal does writing coaching, and while I don’t think that’s a service every writer needs, I think it could actually be very helpful to some. I suspect it’s like hiring a personal trainer, which I did for three months, back in 2002 when I was first starting to exercise after many years not exercising. Meeting with this woman (a cute ex-Navy lesbian whose name I forget, but who was unfailingly cheery and encouraging) weekly was just the external structure I needed to start making exercise a comfortable and habitual part of my life. Three months with her reset my habits, and I’ve been actually a pretty different person re: exercise ever since. (And about thirty pounds lighter, for whatever that’s worth. And notably stronger!) So a good writing coach, for those who can budget for it, I suspect can provide a similar helpful service, helping you get over the hump of whatever’s in the way of you getting your writing done.
At 7:30, I headed off for the Wild Cards dinner, sponsored by Tor (thanks, Tor!), collecting my friend Dominick D’Aunno on the way. He’s a NASA doctor-to-astronauts, and is writing a medical SF novel, which I’m eager to read. I’m honestly sort of surprised that there haven’t been more space medicine books or tv shows. Given the massive success of Grey’s Anatomy, E.R., and all the kazillion other medical shows on tv, it feels like an underdeveloped area, medical space drama.
Of course, that’s part of why my own SF novel features a young doctor; she’s just out of med school in my book, and not even in a hospital setting, but I’m hoping if the book happens, and turns into a series, to have her in a hospital eventually. A SPACE HOSPITAL. (See also, James White and his Sector General novels.) If any TV producers are reading this, just consider the glorious possibilities. Grey’s Anatomy meets Star Trek. Call me. We’ll talk.
I did try to go hang out in the Marriott bar afterwards, but quickly failed, as my sore throat meant I could barely speak above a whisper, and the noise levels were just too high to accommodate that. So I eventually toddled off to bed like a good girl, where I coughed and coughed and coughed and coughed, but finally did fall asleep. And slept a long time, and wrote this blog entry, and now I am going to go work on my Wild Cards revision some more, as I really would like to get it down this weekend.
2 p.m. – Trends in Magazine Publishing panel
4 p.m. – The Joy of Cookbooks panel
5 p.m. – Clarkesworld Magazine group reading
6 – 8 p.m. – launch party and mass signing for Wild Cards (note: ticketed event)
9 p.m. – look for me at the Tor party, probably; I’ll stay awake as long as I can!
Pictured below: Me and Fred the astronaut, the inestimable Liza Groen Trombi, publisher of Locus Mag, me with Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam and Mur Lafferty (Mur really reminds me of me, in some weird entrepreneurial way), adorable Natalie Parker and Tessa Gratton, and my Wild Cards co-writer Marko Kloos with Liz Gorinsky, now senior editor at Tor Books. (Congrats again on that promotion, Liz!)