my writing in 2017

One of the things that is sort of perpetually on my list and never makes the top of my list is having my website redone. It would be nice to have my bibliography searchable by various factors–genre, subgenre, story series, etc. At the moment, I put stories on it by when I sell them, I put the links in when they go live, et voila.

Not optimally convenient for anyone, including me. I know. And at some point I will Fix This, or more likely pay a professional to Have It Fixed. Today is not that day. So today I am sorting through, and I am reminded that some things take time to see the light of day, or some things get reprinted later. Which is cool.

So here’s the new fiction I had out in 2017:

“Drifting Like Leaves, Falling Like Acorns,” Analog, Jan/Feb 2017.
The Psittaculturist’s Lesson, Daily SF, January 2017.
Out of the Woods, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, February 2017.
The Hand of Loki, New Myths, March 2017.
Running Safety Tips for Humans, Nature, April 2017.
Vervain, Grasshopper, Sun, Daily SF, April 2017.
“Vulture’s Nest,” Analog, May/June 2017.
“An Unearned Death,” F&SF, July/August 2017.
Across Pack Ice, a Fire, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, August 2017.
Planet of the Five Rings, Nature, September 2017.
The Influence of the Iron Range, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, October 2017.
I Won at NaSuHeMo!, Daily SF, November 2017.
“The Shale Giants,” Reckoning 2, December 2017.

Blue Ribbon was reprinted in Lightspeed in September, which was great, because its previous publications were both print and therefore harder to get to. Yay reprint.

I also wrote an essay for the People With Disabilities Destroy SF project, Malfunctioning Space Stations. That’ll appear in the final version as well, but it was part of the Kickstarter.

My essay How Far Are We From Minneapolis? wasn’t reprinted per se, but the way Reckoning works, its initial printing is in ebook form at the end of one year, and the online form goes up in the next year. So you may not have had a chance to see it until this year; there it is.

I’m seeing ten short story sales for the year (although hey, if anyone wants to add to that…). Ten new stories written (again, that number may go up in the next week, although I am weak and exhausted in the aftermath of a cold, so I’m not pushing it hard) and a lot of revision and a large chunk of novel. I think one of the things that becomes clear the longer I go is that raw word count, sheer numbers, are not the best measure of what kind of year it’s been.

A few weeks ago I took inventory of what I had half-done, and I discovered that I had a huge pile of short stories mostly finished. Like, when I listed them longhand in beautiful ink, most of a page. That was satisfying in a sensory way, and it helped me get organized–I finished three in two weeks. But it also pointed out how choppy this year has been for me. How it has been structured to break up flow almost as well as if it had been designed that way. Which gives me some ideas about a way forward, because–I like those stories. I don’t want them to languish half-finished, three-quarters finished. I think it’s important to my process and to my anxious-trending brain not to get into a mode where I’m writing down a to-do list where I have to finish every last story I start the minute I start it, where every life event that might interrupt something requires an immediate return to exactly what I was doing before regardless of what has inspired me since. But it’s worth noticing, it’s worth trying to work around.

So…chaotic year. Rough seas this year. And yet quite a lot out of the turmoil. Quite a lot indeed, and more to come. There are a lot of cliches about creative energy coming from turmoil, but that takes a seriously non-trivial energy input. How much I’ve been able to do that this year has varied a lot. I keep fighting for it. I will keep fighting for it.

I’ll have more to say about other people’s fiction I’ve enjoyed in 2017 closer to the actual end of the year, because I spend the end of the year traveling and there’s a lot of reading I still want to get through. So stay tuned. But this is more or less the year I’ve had, and I’m good with it, under the various circumstances.

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