Monday, February 25, 2008

The Fourth Estate

I've been working on an article on the history of rotary printing presses, and as I was reading, I got to thinking about Codyland. They're the only truly industrial society in the Ixilon universe, and I know they have big daily newspapers, descendants of Chicago's daily papers.

And as I'm visualizing how they would adapt press and typesetting technology to their world, I began seeing how Anne (my half-arithrae detective) could become involved with it while one a case. And the next thing I knew, I was scribbling ideas down at a tremendous rate of speed. When I should've been working on my articles, too.

But now I have a fair idea for the story of what was going on as Cardinal Dautery lay dying. All I need is a chance to write it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Better than Nothing -- Followup

I heard back from Clockwork Phoenix today -- rejection. I hadn't really expected to have much chance, since I wasn't able to finish the story that I'd been writing specifically for it, and everything I had on hand was at best a very wide match. Still, it's rather annoying to lose out because of purely extraneous issues that had nothing whatsoever to do with my writing ability. I still want to have had a real opportunity with it, which would require having had the time to write the story that was specifically designed to match the anthology theme.

There is a reason that linear time is very high on my list of "things to get rid of once I become dictator of the Universe."

Monday, February 04, 2008

Returning to a Work After Time Away

Recently I became involved in a discussion about students resubmitting work that had been done for an earlier class. I noted that even if there were no formal rule against it, I couldn't imagine resubmitting an essay without a minimum of one good polishing rewrite, and possibly some significant work to re-draft it. I find that if I have been away from a piece of writing for any substantial length of time, I start seeing all kinds of places where I could improve it.

For instance, over the weekend I was at a meeting, and it wasn't really feasible for me to take any of my articles with me. So I packed a story that I hadn't touched in several months. I'd figured I'd pick it back up where I'd left off, but as I reread the last page, I ended up tossing those last several paragraphs and rewriting the beginning of that scene entirely. As a result, I actually ended up writing only a couple of sentences of new text.

Of course it would be so much easier if I just had some more writing time. But unless we see some serious financial improvements, such that I can earn a lot more money in exchange for a lot less time, it's unlikely in the extreme that I'm going to have nice big chunks of writing time again in the foreseeable future.