(Originally written 7/18)

Soooooo… That plan to post more often kinda went squiffy on me there for the last month. With scattered writing projects, moving, new Apex tasks (which I’ll get to later with an Apex News update!), things have been… well, busy, to say the least. Catastrophically insane, to over-exaggerate. I’m going to just jump into the now and move forward, since recapping would take forever.

WEEKEND UPDATE!

Hung out with the lovely Marloes  and her husband this Saturday! Did the Portland Undergound Walking tour, which is–for the vast majority–above ground, but still very interesting. It should perhaps be called the Portland-Not-Really-Underground-But-We-Talk-About-Crazy-Underhanded-Things-For-Two-Hours-Walking-Tour. It was a lot of fun, though, even if I was hoping for a little more tunnel action. I’ve got a novel idea mulling around that could have used the research-visuals of the tunnels, but I think even the little bit we did see helps me get an idea of what I’d like to do.

After said Walking Tour, we hit up Rogue Brewery (and Andy and I demonstrated our complete inability to judge distances in downtown Portland!) and had some pints and munchies. It was a whole lot of fun, and I hope someday Andy and I can get over to the Netherlands so we can all hang out again! :-D

Friday we spent vacuuming and cleaning the old apartment, getting ready for Wednesday’s official move-out date. I had no idea we had so much random, loose stuff still sitting around collecting dust. Hopefully today we’ll get over there and shove it all into trash bags or something so we can bring it back here and deal with finding it a place to go here. Which brings us to…

APARTMENT UPDATE!

So we have officially moved into the new apartment and actually have all of our stuff in–save for that loose-leaf stuff from the old place. ((Update 7/22: As of yesterday, we’re wholly moved out of the old place, and all that loose stuff is now *in* the new place. Unfortunately, that means it’s currently too messy to show you pictures of, so you’ll just have to wait!)) It’s actually starting to feel like home, and very cosy–at first it echoed a lot, because it was empty and we have hardwood floors. But now the sound is getting nicely trapped in our stuff, so no more echo! :-)

I’ve even got my own little writing nook, which is just the perfect size (and is in a closet, which is where I have traditionally resided). Again, pictures to come.

Which leads us to…

WRITING UPDATE!

So July is in full-swing, and you know what that means if you read my last, or next to last post: Magazine Short-Story Challenge! I’ve finished my massive amounts of magazine issue/anthology consumption, have my four ideas I’m going to work on, and am plowing ahead on the first.

The first? You say. Yes, the first. Another shorter-timeline project reared its head the first week of July, and I gave it a swing, but after a very frustrating failed attempt to get my creativity going on that, I just shrugged and decided to pass on it for now. If something jumps out at me for that, I may detour again and give it a shot, but for right now, I’m focusing on these new ones.

(delayed) Story 1: “A Night of Dreams in the Windswept Forest”
First story is nearly done (should have been done yesterday, but with the apartment moving thing it’s been pushed back a little), clocking in currently at ~1,600 words and counting. I’m hoping to keep it relatively short and get to the meat of it soon. Hints: includes a post-apocalypse background, generators, windmills, and a bunch of ghosts.

Story 2: “[Untitled]” or possibly, “A Last and Second Chance”
The second story is planned out and really revving to go–I can’t WAIT to get working on that one. I’m estimating a total word count of about 5k on that one. Hints: includes a coma patient, a cross-country drive on a cafe racer, a canister of hydrogen, pink/blue/purple hair, a love story, and sinister/not-sinister? tech.

Story 3: “In the Shadow of the Mons”
Planned out, but not word-counted out, so I don’t have a length estimate for this, I’m hoping it’s below 7.5k, which is my clock-out limit for this challenge. Technically it should be below 5k, but we’ll see. Hints: includes genetic engineering, weird plants, a split timeline, angry terraformists, corporate nastiness, and a (hopefully) thoughtful commentary on fate.

Story 4: Undecided
I’ve actually got about three other ideas I could work with here, and I haven’t yet decided which one I’ll do for certain. One of them is pretty planned out, but I’m not sure how much it holds my interest. Another isn’t planned out at all, but might be more interesting, depending on how it plays out. The third isn’t planned out, and the conflict is a little flimsy, but it has robots! :-D And y’all know how much I love robots.

Also plugging away bit by bit on the narrative summary draft of the novel project, tentatively/place-holder titled “Hope City” for its mother-story which should be coming out in DARK FUTURES: TALES OF DYSTOPIC SF relatively soon. Had to do a bit of a back-track and re-conceptualize when I got to a dead end and realized the main antagonist’s motivations didn’t work. But hey–I’d rather find that out now than after I’ve invested hours of careful writing into it. :-) Target due-date for the zero draft is 8/31/2010. After that, the real work begins.

APEX UPDATE!

Here are a few highlights that you should definitely check out:

+ 40% off everything at the newly designed Apex Book Store!
+ Apex blog has new content every day! Check it out!
+ My “new” Slush Lesson is up!
+ You can follow Apex on Twitter now, too! (nudge, nudge. Psst! You should do that.)
+ August is the first issue of Catherynne Valente’s Apex Magazine! – It’s not up yet, but keep your eyes peeled! I’m really excited about this one. Can’t wait to see what she’s got on the table.

And as always, you can check in on the RSS Feed on the right-hand side of this blog which should update you on the news of Apex also.

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And that’s about it for today! Need to knuckle down, get some breakfast, finish this first story so I can start on the second one, shuffle crap from the old apartment among other unpleasant things, and maybe get to watch some robot chicken!

Note that I am still failing at the “measuring the number of words I’ve written this month. I know. It’s pathetic. Perhaps I’ll just wait on that and make it a New Year’s resolution to track it… ^_^

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