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Coming Up for Air

February 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

Ugh.  It's been almost 4 weeks since my last post.  I don't understand how that's possible.  Well, okay, that's not true.  I do understand how it's possible:  I've been writing in a white-hot blaze for about the past 6 weeks.

But I hate it when I let the blog lie fallow for so long.  Sometimes it's just inevitable, though.  Especially when I'm working like mad.  And I have, lately -- working like a possessed thing.  And I'm pretty damn pleased… even if it means that certain important things, like news and website updates, have fallen by the wayside.

2011 wasn't a terrible year for writing new material, but it also wasn't a great year.  As I've mentioned plenty of times already, it was a bit of a rollercoaster.  At this time last year I was deeply concerned about the future of my written-but-unpublished novels.  But by late March things had taken a dramatic turn for the better, and they've been going better than I'd ever hoped since then. 

I think 2012 is going to be even better.  I already have a backlog of news, but I'm superstitious and reticent about saying anything until I know every 'i' is dotted and every 't' crossed. And meanwhile, I turned the corner on a new project recently, and found myself writing faster and with more enthusiasm than I've done in years.  I'm having fun with writing again, working on things that feel more like play than work in ways the Milkweed books never really did.  I doubt I'll ever find it easy to write a novel, but gosh, what do you know?  It can be fun.

So the writing is going well and the news is piling up.  And as if that wasn't enough to make me happy, The Coldest War is on a ballistic trajectory for its hardcover and ebook debut on July 17, 2012.  There are Advanced Review Copies!  I have several!  And I have several copies of the finished cover—the whole thing, not just the cover art.  And holy moley does it look snazzy.  I'm delighted with it.

I'm much more excited about attending conventions this year.  It was getting a little old, trying to promote a book that wasn't going to see the light of day for quite a while.  But now that's all in the past, and there's so much to look foward to in coming months.  I'm pretty jazzed, if you can't tell.

Who knows?  2012 might even be the year I finally join the 20th century and take a serious stab at this newfangled social networking thing.  (No guarantees, though.  Just witness how crappy I am when it comes to keeping my own blog up to date.)


ChiaLynn February 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm
Did I just see you on the schedule for Boskone? I will come say hi. And then probably stand around awkwardly because I'm not good at meeting new people, even when I'm looking forward to doing so.
Ian February 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm
Yes, you did! In fact I'll probably post my Boskone schedule here today or tomorrow. Please do stop by and say hello! It would be great to meet you in person. I'm generally pretty socially awkward, so we have that in common. Boskone is a really nice convention. Is this the first Boskone since you moved to the area?
Steve Halter February 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm
Always remember to breathe--it's good for you. Speaking of breathing, I've listened to half of the audiobook for the Coldest War so far. Very nice. I'm finding that the audiobook format is very different than say listening to music. I can't just put it on in the background. So it's taking a while to find uninterrupted stretches of time to sit and stare blankly (and just breathe) while the lovely words unfold.
Ian February 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm
Not only is breathing good for you, but it can make you feel good, too. I know that I always feel better when I'm breathing, compared to times when I'm not breathing. Anecdotal evidence, I know, but I really believe that constant, regular breathing is a prerequisite for a joyful life! I find audiobooks challenging for the same reason. I don't have the gift of absorbing a story while I'm doing other tasks like I can with music or even podcasts. It's strange, but for some reason I find it very difficult. Even though I used to listen to a lot of podcasts while cooking, doing laundry, paying bills, etc. But my brain isn't wired right for listening to narratives the same way. Anyway, thanks! I hope you're enjoying it.
Steve Halter February 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm
That's exactly the experience I am having. I can listen to music or TV or the radio (podcast) in the background, but the audio story requires attention. As you say there must be some interesting neural wiring involved.
Ian February 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm
I'm glad to know I'm not the only person this happens to. I wonder why other people can multitask when listening to a story when folks like us can't. What's wrong with our brains?!?
Steve Halter February 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm
Well, you know, there are these wires and those missing batteries of a very particular sort... By the way, yes I am enjoying it.
Alex Brown February 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm
I can't do audiobooks for the same reason. I find myself zoning into the story and forgetting to do things like washing dishes or paying attention to the road while I'm driving. And if I'm going to sit down and just listen to the audiobook I'd rather just read it. Glad to hear the writing frenzy has been good. I'm on a bit of a roll myself all of a sudden. Fun isn't the word I'd pick to describe it, but it certainly isn't boring. :)
Corry L. Lee February 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm
Great to hear that the writing is flowing again! And I can't wait to hear your exciting news :) Have fun at Boskone! I was just thinking that it's time I attend that con again... but I suspect that would have required me to get my act together this year. Alas.
Ian February 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm
Alex, I've always been a little leery of trying to listen to audiobooks while driving for exactly the same reason. I really envy people who can do it (which seems to be most folks), but I worry that I'd get caught up in the story and not notice that was driving off a bridge. Great to hear the writing is going well in your neck of the woods, too! Corry-- Rats! I was hoping you'd make it out to Boskone this year. Oh, well. Though it is a cross-country trip for you, so I understand why it might not be a huge priorty.
ChiaLynn February 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm
It's not just the first Boskone since I moved out here, it's my first Boston con, since I missed ReaderCon and Arisia. Actually, it'll be my first Con that isn't Comic Con, so I'm perhaps unreasonably excited.
Ian February 13, 2012 at 9:33 pm
Cool! Boskone is a great convention (if a few orders of magnitude smaller than Comic Con). I'm excited for you! I hope you have a great time.
Tengland February 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm
Ha! I knew you were off doing something important (like writing stuff) and not being carried off by some ticked-off elder gods for baring their secrets. 'Course, the other two books haven't seen print yet ... Good to see you back & enthusiastic & mellow & busy. Just stay away from dark places.
Ian February 15, 2012 at 10:26 am
Thanks, Terry. Good to hear from you, too. Glad to know you're keepin' on keepin' on, as the saying doesn't go.
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