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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Peripheral Matters

It would be lovely to think that a full-time writer gets to spend full (work/creative) time writing. But just this week, the variety of other endeavors involved in a writing career struck me especially hard. So what's going on?

Preparing for the World Science Fiction Convention

First, logistics: I don't fly this time, but I've got two airport runs to make, one for a good friend traveling in from Vancouver on Tuesday to be my roommate, and the second for two more good friends flying in from Baltimore to attend the con. Then I've got to schedule a dinner with my agent, a critique group meeting on Wednesday night to arrange as our remote member will be in town for the con, a lunch with readers from my online group, and decide matters like "do I take the car and pay the exorbitant nightly parking at the hotel or have the ES (Exemplary Spouse) drop us off?"

Second, prepare for my program items. Some are fun - like choosing what to read at my reading - Breath and Bone or teaser bits from Unholy Alliance. This can take time, and usually involves tough decision making. Some are easy, like preparing for the Torture panel and the Joining the Convention Community panel - that's just making a few notes. But the "SF as modern mythology" panel which I am to moderate is a bit more obtuse. What does that topic mean? Who are the other panelists? Do I know enough about this topic to ask intelligent questions to keep the discussion on track. I've been peeking at Joseph Campbell sites and exchanging emails to the panelists to get their take on where the discussion should go.

Preparing workshops for two upcoming writers' conferences

If there weren't handouts due to volunteers by Sept 1, I wouldn't even be thinking about workshops right now. But one of my workshops for the Colorado Gold conference is brand new. "What is This Thing Called Voice?" It's a topic I've got several pages of notes on, but I need to choose a focus [hearing voice vs. writing voice] and formulate a coherent script before I can pass on a handout. This can take two or three days to do. And then I'll need to do some run-throughs before the conference. In October I'm doing the Surrey Writers Conference, and I've got one workshop that I need to expand from a two hour to a three-hour class, mostly choosing some good exercises, and one workshop that I need to review as I haven't done it for about four years. That's at least a day and a half prep, plus run-throughs as the con gets closer.

WD (Wretchedly Delayed) Postcard/Bookmark Development

Aarrgh. Here it is WorldCon and I've still not done new postcards/bookmarks for the Lighthouse books. Part of this is my dallying because using tools like Corel or Publisher or whatever is something I do rarely enough that I have to relearn them each time. And my version of Corel is very old and it is the one thing that just won't run right on Vista. C _ _ P! Part of the problem is that I have to DECIDE things like postcard vs. bookmark, and then figure out what is needed - CYMK , 300dpi bookcover, trimmed to the right size, and then the back - which quotes? same blurb as on the F&S cards, new one for the "series" card, which fonts...etc. I can't afford to just dump all this in the lap of a professional. Wish I could. Now it is very late and I don't think I'll be able to get them done in time for the con. Phooey. But I needed to do them anyway.

Travel arrangements

The only thing I have to book is my trip to World Fantasy in Calgary for early November. I've been trying to watch fares. See if there is any wiggle room. No doubt it will be more expensive than if I'd booked it three months ago. I'm going to be in Vancouver the previous weekend. It would make sense to stay over a couple of days with my friend in Vcr and travel straight to Calgary, but I think the fact that the writers conference is booking the Vancouver trip and I'm booking the Calgary trip is going to make the whole thing too complicated. I'll just fly home and turn around and leave again two days later.

Critique prep

Can't forget to read my partners' work. They give me such useful feedback, this has to be a priority. And, as many, many writers will tell you, doing critique is at lest as valuable as receiving it. It just takes more time.

Well, here I am. The days seem to race past, and I really do like to THINK before I write. Don't want to waste either my time or yours, dear reader.

These tasks don't even cover email, reading blogs/posts/whatever, or even just reading. I'm reading two manuscripts for blurbs right now. Just finished one. Now to write the blurb...it was good. Then to finish the other one.

Such is a writers' life. Each thing fun in itself, but the scheduling, ow...


Sarah said...

Ops! I didn’t imagine there was so much of ‘other’ work involved in a writer’s job. It sounds like something both funny and extremely tiring!

Well, don’t know whether I may offer this, but if you want, I think I can help you with the card/bookmark stuff. I’m no professional, eh! I just do it for fun, for friends and for my Tolkien group, but if you want, I can try to put down some little ideas for you. Just if you want. If you don’t mind.
You can see here(http://www.rohirrim.it/menu/menu_locandine.htm) some things I did for my Tolkien group, so you can make up your mind whether you may like what I do or not. It’s just an idea. I’d be happy to help :-)

As for the rest, such a pity I’m in Europe. I’d love to attend your conferences :-)

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I hope to catch you at WorldCon. It's been awhile since we've seen each other!


carolwriter said...

Yes, hope to see you at WorldCon, Betsy, and anyone else out there who happens to be in Denver this week!

And thanks so much, Sarah. I think I've got this postcard on the run - but in a year or so, I may be hunting again. I've had a great friend who's done gorgeous bookmarks for the earlier books. But for the lighthouse books I'm doing full cover art, thus the postcard size. Someday, I'll do a bookmark for these books, too.

Sarah said...