In which the author pokes her head out

Punxsutawney Phil

Yes, I’m even late posting about this guy. From groundhog.org, official home of Punxsutawney Phil.

This is one of those posts that has little to say, but I’ve noticed that I haven’t posted for a long time. I’ve had a few ideas, including this article about the problems artists have with the current art market (and ways it correlates to writing), and a somewhat more challenging discussion of how to balance the daydreaming/brainstorming that’s necessary for getting stories started with actually living your life (actually much the same as this post I wrote back in 2013). But I haven’t had the chance to write any of them.

Life has this habit of getting in the way, which itself is an odd thing to say. What else is going to happen? Why do we think our plans are so important that everything else on the planet must give them precedence? Why yes, I have been feeling philosophical lately.

I also had the flu, which turned into bronchitis, and I caught a cold on top of that. The prevailing attitude seems to be you should keep on working despite these things. I didn’t. I’ve spent a lot of the last several weeks resting. (Not that I have much to show for it – here in the Land of a Thousand Degrees, everything that blooms has decided it’s spring, and therefore allergy season. My greatest ambition is now to stop coughing; this probably won’t happen until June.)

I did manage to get a few things in order, writing-wise. I have determined that the agent hunt has resulted in no agent. (Harder to determine than you might think, as many agents and publishers have adopted a policy of not responding to submissions that they’ve rejected. If you’re lucky, you can find guidelines on their websites stating how long to wait before you can assume the answer is no.) So I had to regroup and come up with a new plan. I’m prepping one of my older, homeless manuscripts for self-publishing, largely to generate funds for a new project that I’ll also self-publish (pending the results of one final submission), but I want to invest a lot more in this new project: better editing, better cover, wider distribution. Meanwhile I’ve got some short stories out on submission. At some point I’ll sit down and actually write again.

If there’s a lesson to any of this, it’s that you can’t fight life. Plans fail. Viruses attack you. Recover, regroup, try again. Take a break. Have a cup of tea. Wait for June.

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