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July 2011 Main Page
Lenin Lives Longer
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Church of the
Point Of Divergence is an amateur press magazine and also a forum for discussing AH and AH-related ideas. Here is my comment section.
The big things this two months: (1) The practical joke. With Robert Alley and Jim Rittenhouse’s assistance and some help from my friend Lisa Brackman, I concocted an elaborate practical joke for Point of Divergence distro 65, sent the distro off, and then waited for a reaction. And waited. And waited.
The joke: (elaborate, and apparently
abortive for most of the targets): "The zine from another
timeline." I got together with Jim and Robert and we cooked
up a scheme to put together a zine that looked like it came from a
slightly divergent timeline--the result of a inter-dimensional post
office mix-up. The point of divergence was that Jim was able to carry
on as editor. Robert Alley stuck around, and we got a couple
of new members.
I backslid a bit from my Microsoft-free writing goal this past several months. My 15 inch Acer is just enough easier on my eyes that I tend to use it more than my Macbook Air. I still use the Mac a lot, but it’s almost interchangeable now, with the slight edge to the Acer.
I spent much of the last two months either getting
ready for, or attending a two week science fiction novel writing
workshop in Lawrence Kansas. I workshopped the still unnamed
sequel to Bear Country. Very worthwhile. I got some
real insights on the plot. I also got to chat with the
Sturgeon (science fiction short story) and Campbell (science fiction
novel) award winners. Both were very approachable and very
nice, especially the novel award winner, Ian McDonald, author of The
We had a great group at the novel
workshop. Kij Johnson taught it. She is an
excellent wordsmith. If you want to get the flavor of her
writing, check out her short story 26 Monkeys, Also
the Abyss. It’s online and free at
http://www.kijjohnson.com/26_monkeys.htm. Definitely worth a
read. Kij is a wonderful writer, though every one of her
stories is very different, which has probably kept her from building up
the kind of fan base she might have if she had followed a formulaic
‘just like the last one only different’ path. She is a very
interesting lady and well worth the read.
My suite-mate was an interesting
character. He’s a former college baseball player, who went
into airforce intelligence as a Russian linguist, then into Physical
Therapy. He sold his practice a few years ago, and decided to
take up writing. The guy is extremely social, to the extent
that by the end of the two weeks even the Dunkin Donuts guy knew his
name. That worked out well because it offset my naturally
quiet nature. The ex-athlete bit also helped because we went
down to the gym and worked out almost every day. We also had
a Brit, who was very bright and nice, a guy who actually made of living
in a theatre troupe for fifteen years, a lady who played the bagpipes
and does food reviews, a guy who worked for one of the intelligence
agencies as an interrogator, an artist who is getting into writing, and
a guy with every extant Dr Who episode on his hard drive and also plays
the bagpipes, to mention just a few. We clicked more than any
other group I’ve been a part of, and I hope we keep in touch.
Somebody showed us a video of a honey badger with a hilarious new audio track (honey badger doesn’t give a sh*t) and we unofficially became the honey badgers.
I also found a piece of a BEM story that I had written and abandoned a couple of years ago. It felt like something I should finish, so I’ve written another 8,000 words on it, though I’m still not finished with it. You may see some of it this issue.
My writing plans for the near future:
· Do some final polishing on my novel Char and seriously market it, hopefully by the end of July.
· Do one more revision of All TImelines Lead to Rome and start marketing it, hopefully by end of August.
· Finish the rough draft of my novel Snapshot, with a goal of mid-September. (I should have only about 20,000 words left on that)
· Revise the outline of the Exchange Sequel, starting in mid-September, and then write the first half of the actual story in October.
· Finish the rough draft of the Exchange sequel in November as my NaNoWrite novel, if I don't already have it done by then.
· Somewhere among all of this, find time to work on my novel Mars Looks Different, finish some short stories, and do some promotion.
Is all of that going to happen in that time-frame? I would be surprised if it does, but setting ambitious goals do help me reach at least some of them.
One of the problems I have to deal with is that as
I get better at writing I look back at what I’ve written before and am
unhappy with it. For example, I had Char
at a level I was happy with at least twice, but as my writing gets more
sophisticated I see issues I didn’t before and need to rewrite to bring
the older stuff up to my current standards. Some of the
scenes are pretty good. Others definitely need
work. The difference between having something almost right
and having it right takes far longer than writing itself.
I have a fair-sized AH scenario section this time, but as has become all too common lately, most of my efforts are focused on the novel sections and the new BEM story.
Posted on January 3, 2012.
More Stuff For POD Members Only
What you see here is a truncated on-line version of a larger zine that I contribute to POD, the alternate history APA. POD members get to look forward to more fun stuff.