State of the Writer: February 2014

This month, you guys. I don’t even know. It’s amazing how much life can change in a short period of time.

I started working part-time. For a day and a half this was a glowing, golden experience. I was staying up writing! I was also sleeping! I felt fabulous! Everything I’d hoped would happen!

Then my car died. Well, as it turns out, it didn’t die, but it was dead for all intents and purposes in that the engine would not turn on for no apparent reason, and this put a significant crimp in my ability to manage my time effectively. Seattle does possess public transit options, but this is no Japan or New York City.

I have reconnected with a lot of old friends in the last couple of weeks. Many have asked me how part-time is working out, and my honest answer is that the lack of car limited my time to the point that I have not been able to get a handle on this at all. There’s no way for me to explain succinctly the sort of existential dread complications to the ongoing saga of my car instills in me, so instead I’ll just say that car problems derail me more than they deserve to and worse than more actually serious life problems. Happily, my car is now functional, and I am again optimistic, but it will still be several more weeks before I can begin to answer this question.

I have also met some wonderful new people. A friend pointed me in the direction of the recently established SF2W meetings. You can read more about how this got started or join the mailing list on Django Wexler’s website here. Essentially, this is for people in the Seattle area with a shared interest in speculative fiction and writing to gather once a month and just get to know each other. I am often wary of attempting to break in to new groups, but I had a great time: fascinating conversations and truly interesting and delightful people.

And even with vehicular and social distractions, I have gotten writing done. Even without actually having more hours in which to write the words, more words have been written, far more than the last couple of months (not as many words as I wanted, but still). Knowing that in theory I have more hours has eased a strain in my mind and made everything seem far more doable than actually having more hours. So now I will actually have them, and I am hopeful.

Today I stopped by FaerieConWest, and I don’t have much to say except that it was absolutely lovely. Almost everyone was in costume so I felt a mite out of place (I have never seen so many wings, elf ears, and glitter in one place), but the Goblin Market (dealers’ room) was extremely cool, and I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of all of the panels I attended. I’ve been to enough cons that have interesting-sounding programming but fail to deliver that I’ve learned not to expect much from panels (I did not realize for a long time that many cons seem to use programming as sort of a prop for guests, but really are about creating networking opportunities or focusing on performances/masquerades/craft workshops/selling art/etc.). I wish I could have been there longer, but I had a great afternoon.

Next week I’m going to Rainforest Writers Retreat, so I’m hoping to up that word count by, well, a lot. The plan is to spend the next few days focusing on outlining so that I can just crank the words out. The news about the opening in this session came suddenly, and I almost didn’t go (honestly, it is incredible how many costly opportunities landed in my lap literally the week I was no longer earning a full-time salary), but the idea of five days of writing with other writers in a rainforest is very close to my idea of heaven, so. I’m sure I’ll write about how it goes once I’ve recollected the scattered pieces of my brain. UNTIL THEN.



  1. I had no idea this retreat existed until I saw my friend Fran Wilde is there (with you)! I can’t wait to hear all about it. Happy writing!

  2. Yes, we’ve now met! Fran gave a lovely talk about deadlines that was exactly what I needed to hear. I think you’d enjoy Rainforest a lot, if you could get out here for it next year =).

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