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So is this what burnout looks like?

Image: Pixabay

Back in the dark ages, I joined the other tiny handful of fish-nutters who had made it into what was reputed to be the toughest post-grad in South Africa (we started a full month before anyone else, had no vacations – and that one year is now a three year course) with the kind of subject fanatics who thought eating on your dissection table saved time. Besides, if you couldn’t find your mouth while staring through a dissecting microscope, you deserved to starve. It was a glorious, intense year, fueled on caffeine and a peer group who basically did almost nothing else, seven days a week.  No-one left before midnight, 2 AM was common by the end of the year.  We were driven, inspired and pushing ourselves to our limits.

And one of the previous year’s graduates, engaged the bludgeoning edge of science that was to produce the first artificial abalone feed (and a lot of dead abalone) paving the way for a billion dollar aquaculture industry, said to us on of last days when we were looking to him for advice on that great future we all thought was there: “Ichthy Honours? Oh, well done. That proves to everyone you could work hard, once. You’ll be f…all good to anyone for six months, and never ever work that hard again.” Read more

Writer Life Balance: A Semi-Anchoress’ Take

On Wednesday, the question came up about how does one manage to balance out the life of a writer and everything else that we need to do. I’m probably better suited to be the horrible warning than the good example, because I am the one who once locked herself in her apartment for six weeks to study for exams, emerging three times a week to 1) get food, 2) have lunch with German speakers, and 3) attend worship services. And I was quite happy to do this. Most people would start having serious problems with the lack of social contact.

But how do you keep your family from dragging you out of the office, your employer from providing you with far more writing time than your budget wanted, and your health from deteriorating? Read more

Report: A presentation of fan history and parallels to recent events

While attending LTUE this week I had the pleasure of attending an academic presentation by Dave Doering, the founder of that excellent writing symposium. He described himself as a fan historian, and quipped that when he started LTUE at BYU, he felt like a “science fiction missionary.” As he prepared to deliver the presentation, I asked for permission to take notes with the intent of presenting it to you, gentle readers, and he gave it to me, for which I am thankful, because it was deeply interesting and I think you may enjoy it as well.

“A Not-too-Distant Mirror: Science Fiction Fan Exclusion at the 1939 WorldCon and 2016 WorldCon”  Read more

Spark It Up

Is your book dry and old?

Spark it up with some romance.

No, not the Romance Genre.

I’m thinking about how to add a romantic thread to a story in whatever other genre the book belongs in. So I’m inflicting my thoughts on you. Read more

Love and Marriage

Since this post will go live in the morning of Valentines Day, the so-called day of lovers much beloved by chocolatiers, florists, purveyors of tacky cards, and so forth, I figured it might be interesting to ramble a bit about how matters of love – and, more or less inevitably, marriage – work in SF and Fantasy.

Well, kind of. Because what shows up in fiction of any flavor including our favorite genres is sort of an idealized capsule of how the whole messy deal works. And it is exceedingly messy.

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Nine Lessons from a Tiny Publisher

Every once in a while, someone will tout the benefits of going with a small or really small press, rather than either scaling the Big 5 wall or going purely indie. So, what is it like from the small press’ end?

From Richard Charkin at Mensch Publishing:

Lesson 1. Finding the right book is by far the most important thing, but getting the small things right is vital and unbelievably hard work. . .

Lesson 3. Treat your suppliers with respect. I’ve taken a policy decision to pay cash owed into a freelancer’s account the same day I receive the invoice. My cash flow is important but respecting other people’s cash flow generates goodwill, and better relationships are vital for a small enterprise—perhaps for big enterprises too.


In unintended contrast, is the following…

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Who Moved The Tuesday

Look, i swear I thought today was Tuesday.  I got up, thought “I need to do a post for MGC” then thought “Nah, no sweat, it’s Tuesday.”  I have no explanation for this except for being weird.

Writing a post now.  In the meantime shoot me suggestion on what you’d like me to write about.