Day 1 of Writing Retreat

I’m counting this as Day 1 of the writing retreat — I started it at dinnertime yesterday, technically, but that was really more pre-writing; trying to wind down a little bit from my everyday life, which is full of to-do list items.

I didn’t try to write yesterday; I finished reading SB Divya’s terrific novel _Machinehood_ (and now am full of questions I want to ask her about how we live together ethically with emergent AIs when I can’t even get myself to be vegetarian…), and started Benjamin Rosenbaum’s _The Unraveling_.

I *might* not recommend starting Ben’s novel simultaneously with a glass of wine, as the opening is really quite complex (the main character has three bodies, and you shift perspective between them), but maybe you have a steadier head than me, and you’d be fine. 🙂

I couldn’t get too much more done last night, because it turned out I’d forgotten the power cords that I’d carefully laid out on the counter to pack, so I only had internet on my phone. That was okay — I was really thoroughly exhausted, and I think I fell asleep watching a murder mystery at 9 p.m.

This morning, started fresh. Walked home, grabbed the power cords (and some fruit), walked over to Starbucks and got myself their yummy new kale & mushroom egg bites and a latte, said hi to a passing bunny (look closely at pic), and now I’m getting ready to settle in to work, although I had to stop and talk to y’all first.

It is a weirdly long process for me, starting a writing retreat. It’s amazing how many things I end up doing before I get to the actual writing. For example, I exerted much willpower and did *not* stop at home long enough to:

– water the plants
– start a new set of seedlings going
– sew masks to include in the Interstellar Patreon boxes
– pack up the redbud marshmallows
– pruning the roses
– packing up books and curry powder for shipping
– making more curry powder

– dividing the creeping phlox and brunnera

…although I really wanted to do all of the above. It is convenient, doing a writing retreat so close to home, but also a little dangerous. 🙂 Maybe I will reward myself for a few hours of writing with a walk home to do one or two of those things.

On my walk around the neighborhood, I listened to episode 3 of our podcast, an interview I did with Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and I recommend it to you — it’s a lovely 30-minutes of conversation where we talk about the Mexican and Canadian science fiction scenes (such as they are), and then transition to her own fascinating work.

I particularly liked the bit where Silvia’s talking about structuring her work through folk tale motifs, and also when she talks about how reluctant the literary folk seem to be to embrace a childlike joy and sense of wonder in reading pleasure. You can listen to the episode here, or wherever you get your podcasts: https://speculativeliterature.org/episodes/

Once I finish _The Unraveling_, I think her _Mexican Gothic_ novel is next on my list!

Oh, a request! If you have a moment to rate _Mohanraj and Rosenbaum Are Humans_ in the iTunes, etc. store, I’d really appreciate it. (Darius Vinesar, do you know all the places where people can rate our podcast? If so, can you drop them in the comments?)

And I hate to say it, because normally I’m all about the honest reviews, but for ratings, the algorithms really do seem to favor making high-ratings more visible, so if you’re comfortable giving it 5 stars, that’d be a big help. Right now, we’re trying to figure out how we get people to actually *see* our podcast and know it exists — discoverability is a big problem is this current age of publishing. Any help you can give there, we will cover you with virtual showers of roses and gratitude.

Okay, I’ve now inched closer to actually writing fiction. Maybe I will forbid myself from posting here again until I commit some fiction? That seems harsh, though. We’ll see.

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