Tuesday, November 18, 2014

In which I briefly return from the wilderness, only to disappear once more...

Well, hey there folks. I'm actually still on my two week excursion with students, but I am back in the land of the interwebs for the final few days and currently have a moment to say hello (and am distracting myself from attempting to come up with a back cover blurb for Blade's Edge).

I just spent a week teaching students to climb in Cochise Stronghold and am now in Patagonia, AZ at a leadership/experiential education center with the same students. We're here until Friday and then as of Saturday the students will officially be on vacation and I'll officially be back to work. This has been a lovely and much needed two weeks of "vacation."

It's been wonderful and strange to be thrown back into VVS life for two weeks. In many ways it feels like I never left. It seems like I was just late returning this year and somehow missed the first trimester, but everyone was surprisingly ok with that. There are a number of new faces at VVS this year, but a high enough concentration of old ones that it feels like home still. Being on campus just before field trips started, when faculty were madly grading and prepping for field trips made me feel strangely guilty. I'm used to being part of that crazy mad scramble to get everything done in time to leave. This year all I had to do was prepare for a field trip. For two days I had this horrible feeling that I was forgetting to do something, that I had to be somewhere, or that I was shirking some obligation. I wasn't. I told myself I wasn't. That didn't keep the guilty feeling at bay. Oh behavioral training...

Now that we're on this trip instead of kicking around VVS campus the guilty feeling has dissolved and instead I feel at home in a role that I've played often over the past few years. It's fun to be back with students, some of whom I've known a long time and some of whom I'd never met until this trip. In addition, my co-leader is hilarious, laid back, and very easy to work with. So all is well on that front.

On the noveling front, I've been working on the edits for Blade's Edge when I have time, and also sneaking in bits and pieces of a new novel for NaNoWriMo. Blade's Edge edits definitely take priority right now, but November is always the month when I make the biggest chunk of progress on my newest work. This is important to me because a. as this is my eighth year participating it feels like an important tradition, but also b. because I feel that it's important to have a new work to focus some of my creativity on in order to have a place to put to use everything I've learned from my last project.

I have a large backlog of novels that need to be taken all the way through revision, especially Gwendamned, which is the novel that I tried to finish revising before I took Blade's Edge through revision. I still have 25% of that novel left to revise once I get Blade's Edge out the door and then, once I'm done with that, I have a stack of first drafts that need to go through revision as well.

My hope is that the next twelve months will be a chance to take a number of full length works all the way through to publication. Of course, that depends on a lot of factors, including whether or not I will choose to submit any of those books to the traditional publication process. That's probably it's own blog post of the future, but I'm no longer sure that traditional publication holds much allure for me. Of course, I shall reserve true judgement on that front until I've actually gone all the way through the independent publication process. I'm definitely not there yet, though it feels desperately close. We'll see what I have to say in January after the official launch. (And even then there will be parts of the process remaining that I won't have experienced yet.)

I do have the final artwork for the cover as well, but right now I'm only sharing it with my kickstarter backers. I'm thinking about waiting to share it here until it has its cover design. I will say that I think it's awesome.

Here are two pictures to keep you entertained in the meantime:

Demonstrating the warm climate that I'm currently enjoying, I present a lizard hanging out in the middle of November. Thank you, southern Arizona.

And to demonstrate the winter that I will be returning to at the end of my US adventures, here is the new (to me) parka that I bought in Winnipeg just before I started my trip south. I have apparently already missed the first snow of the year. :-(

That's all I've got for now. Time to get back to editing and writing. Hope this finds everyone well. Happy onset of winter! 

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