Plan for today: Novel revisions

Plan for today — I’m mostly hoping to get back to novel revisions. Some more beta-reader feedback came in over the weekend, and they are loving it, which is really very encouraging.

I admit, there’s part of me that thinks I should be focusing on getting back to the more hopefully commercial epic space opera project (set in the same Jump Space universe) that I promised my agent, but I don’t think I can settle to it until I finish this novel revision.

I don’t know if he’ll be able to sell it — this is a quiet family story in a lot of ways, and it might take a quirky press to take it on? I’m not sure. But I think I love it, and I think readers will too, so if Russ decides it’s not commercial enough to try to shop around, or if he tries and no one bites, I’m pretty sure I’ll just go ahead and shop it to small presses myself, and if THAT fails, indie publish it. Because I think it’s actually quite good, dammit.

It honestly feels a little nerve-wracking saying that, but after all the travail I’ve gone through on this particular novel (I started it, gosh, almost five years ago? before the cancer diangosis), it feels important to have it finally be something I’m proud of. A long, slow road.

I didn’t write at all this weekend — lots of gaming instead, which is also good; I think I needed to decompress. Though I got a little angry with myself late Sunday night, because all I did yesterday was gardening (major peach tree pruning, finally reorganizing the back deck and making it usable after we had it painted) and board gaming (taught some friends Terraforming Mars). But then I went and did a load of laundry and cleaned off the countertop in the bathroom, which has never quite gotten unpacked properly after the Boston trip, and then I felt better and could go to sleep with a peaceful heart.

(I feel like SUCH a New Englander sometimes; I may have left CT at 18, but those Puritan work values are embedded deep. Or maybe those are merging with South Asian immigrant values? No fun. Or at least no fun unless you’ve earned it with plenty of work!)

Okay. Plan is:

– spend the next 45 minutes working on a comic project that Margaret Treanor Frey and I are playing with — we have a meeting at 11, and I’m supposed to have some work done before that, gah. I should’ve done the work last week, so she could look at it over the weekend, but time got away from me, sigh.

– I also need to talk to Kel Bachus and schedule some time to review Sigiriya dialogue, I think? (Kel, remind me that we have to talk about the names thing.)

– Revise my bio for Feast and send that to Jeremy John Parker — check if he needs anything else from me before we order ARCs, hopefully TODAY, eep.

– Check in with Pem Hessing on rescheduling of our Feast publicity meeting — one thing I should definitely do today is get her contact info for where we submit things to the big 4 review sites (Heather, can you work on that? Um, I need to remind myself what the big 4 are…Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly….gah, blanking. Some of them will have a separate path for indie-published books). We also need to start sketching out the fall local calendar more seriously; she’ll be meeting with various people this week, and hopefully we’ll lock that down soon.

– Set up Maram writing workshops and classes with Alec Nevala-Lee and Deborah Jian Lee — I think we can do that via FB messenger. I think I’m going to offer a six-week Fiction / Nonfiction Writing Workshop, 2.5 hrs / class on Saturday mornings, suitable for beginners or intermediate prose writers; I keep meeting people in the community who are asking for that class. This will focus on elements of craft that are applicable both to fiction and creative nonfiction, such as memoir. If you’re someone who wants to reserve a spot in it, let me know — I’m probably going to cap the class at 15. It’ll be in Sept / Oct, dates to be finalized very shortly, and will probably take place at the co-working space, Oak Park Works. Tuition will be $375.

Also thinking of doing two accompanying workshops, 2.5 hrs each, one on Worldbuilding (appropriate to SF/F writers, but also surprisingly applicable to historical fiction / travel writing), one on publishing, both indie and traditional. Those’ll be $75 each, and I’m hoping to do them more panel-style, and have Alec Nevala-Lee teach them with me, if I can get the schedules to mesh. If you take both the six-week workshop and the two accompanying ones, it’ll be $475, so a $50 discount. Coffee / tea / continental breakfast will be included.

Tentative goal for this week for Maram — actually schedule out fall and spring calendar? We might not know exactly which workshops will go in where, but we can pencil in dates / times at least.

– And along with all that, revise the novel. I think I can revise chapter 4 this afternoon; we’ll see. 

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