04 Apr

Progress Report: What day? I don’t know.

I’ve lost track of how many days in today’s year have passed. But, I do know this is the 64th day of working on the novel PS-1 (I started it February 1st). After getting 17,000 words of outlining done, the go-ahead to write on 3/11, I’ve been working my way forward. 13,500 words that I like are now written. Despite coming back from a week-long sprint of writing in Phoenix, I had to take care of some stuff that was waiting. Slowed me down.

My spreadsheet tells me I’m still on track to hit my deadline, though. And I’ll get another burst of words later this month on another writing retreat. But I’ll start feeling better once I hit the halfway point, that’s for sure.

Next weekend I’m going to be in L.A. If you’ve been paying attention to the ‘Appearances’ tag, I’m going to be speaking to writers who have won a quarter of the Writers of the Future contest. This was one of the things that sparked my trying to become a writer, so it’ll be quite a nostalgia trip for me.

I’ve always said I started submitting short stories when I was 15. But when I looked back at the list of anthologies WOTF put out, I found the cover of the book that I first cut the entry details out of the back of when I made my first submission:

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This was volume 8, from back in 1992. Which meant I was actually 13 when I started submitting to the WOTF contest.

Damn, kid.

Seven years later, in 1999, I won a quarter with my story ‘In Orbite Mediavali’ which I’d written a first draft of while at Clarion earlier in the year. And I went to the 2000 awards ceremony. A 20 year old me hadn’t flown around much of the US, how could I not?

Yeah, this is me at 20 in a tux:

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Anyway, it’ll be fun to meet the new winners and I gather I’ll be on hand to chat with them about… writing stuff.

Side note: one of the stories in the 1992 WOTF anthology was Bringing Sissy Home, by Astrid Julian. The story stood out to me at the time. In 2000, right before winning a quarter, I joined a Cleveland writing workshop where one of my fellow workshoppers turned out to be… Astrid Julian.