Soap-Making Today

I’ve sold quite a few at local events, and need to replenish my supply before Saturday’s event and WisCon (where you can find my soaps in the art show and the dealer’s room). These are mango-vanilla peacocks. Cute!

I really would like to learn how to make cold-press soaps at some point, rather than just continuing to do melt-and-pour. I have a lot of fun molds, and the soaps I make are adorable (if any local friends want to borrow molds, just let me know!), but there are techniques for swirling and such that are really only possible with cold-press process, and I’m kind of itching to learn it now. Well, maybe later in the summer — the next few weeks are a bit of a production rush, as I have:

– What’s Bloomin’ on Harrison festival (May 21)

– WisCon (will be leaving for that next Wed, so May 27 is my production deadline)

– the spring Patreon boxes, which I’m hoping to ship by June 10

Any soaps that are left over all that, we’ll put in the Serendib shop online.

After that, I don’t think I have any events or production scheduled ’til the fall, so it should be quieter! I’m hoping to go to the east coast and take my kids to visit the family in the second half of June (tentatively, fly into D.C., then train to New York, then train to CT, then fly home?) — Kevin’s teaching over the summer, so it’ll just be the three of us.

And then July, I think we’re all just here, and I hope to sink deep into both gardening and a book project.

I had workshop last night, and they looked at this 53,000 word SF book project of mine (tentative title Indenture). I was feeling very waffly about whether it should be expanded to, say, 80,000 words to make a full novel, or whether this is actually the hinge point, and I should just keep going on the next section, which might mean an end book of about 100,000 words.

And then one of my workshoppers suggested trimming the 53,000 down to 40K, and trying to sell it as a novella to Tor.com, which I could attempt, and might be good, and I could still then take it and expand it into a novel afterwards. Am waffling! Will ponder a bit more. Maybe I’ll write to my editor at Tor.com (the one who published “Hush” this spring) and see what she thinks.

I also want to write a lot more short pieces this summer. First I have to finish the cancer log memoir (hoping to do that before end of May), then review some old stories that were never released online and put them out as ebooks through Serendib Press. But after that, SF short stories and food essays. I’ve been working so much on long, big projects, I’ve had very little short work going out the door, which is bad both for cash flow and for visibility.

But I *did* get a very nice reprint request yesterday out of the blue, so one of my Jump Space stories will be appearing in Lightspeed, which is lovely. Gives me a little boost of energy to get back to short fiction again too. 🙂

Oh, the microwave just went ding, so time to go check on the soaps. One nice thing about soap-making is that it actually meshes reasonably well with reading / writing / blogging / gardening — there are long stretches when you’re just waiting for the soap to either melt or set.

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