But hopefully (crosses fingers, knocks on wood, throws salt over shoulder) that’s going to change. The first summer session of classes is over, we’re back from vacation, and things should slow down a little bit. I’m not teaching second summer, so even though I’m still supervising the labs, I should have a bit more free time. I won’t be attending Armadillocon unless something changes; I can’t justify the expense. Not with World Fantasy later this year.
I’ll be doing more blogging, although I’m not going to be accepting many review requests. I’ve got too many books I’ve dropped the ball on that I need to read and review. Most reviews will be things I’ve read because I’ve wanted to. There will be some of those within the next few days.
And speaking of reading, I’m not going to be reading much from the big publishers. I’ve got a number of titles by indie authors I want to read. There are some pulp writers and series I want to spend some time with. I’ve not read much Robert E. Howard this year; that needs to change. Then there’s the Doc Savage and The Shadow reprints I picked up at Howard Days. I need to get back to the C. L. Moore series of posts I was doing. Plus I’m going to collect some of my posts on Kull and Bran Mak Morn and put out a small ebook later this year. It’s going to contain some new material, which has yet to be written.
As far as writing goes, I’ve not gotten much fiction writing accomplished in the last couple of months. The few stories I have submitted got nice rejection letters, saying the stories didn’t quite make the cut but were good enough to be considered. Just means I need to up my game.
I’m thinking about trying to write a series of novellas/short novels, something in the vein of the Dray Prescott or Dumarest of Terra series. Alma Boykin had a great post on professionalism in writing the other day. It’s worth checking out.
And that’s where things are going to get dicey. My workload isn’t going to get lighter in the fall. One of the classes I teach is a nontraditional, inquiry-based format. There’s no distinction between lecture and lab, students just come in and pick up where they left off the previous day. The result is that I teach both the “lecture’ and the “lab” sections, giving me twice the contact hours of a regular lecture, where labs are taught by TAs. We’ve expanded our offerings of these type of courses. As of now, I have two sections in this format in the fall. Plus I’m still supervising the TAs and being the lead person for lab setup. The person who had done the setups isn’t going to be replaced for a while, if ever.
I’m going to have to carve out some dedicated time every day if I want to accomplish anything in the writing arena. I’m not saying this to complain. Most writers I know have similar commitments to juggle. Guys, (and ladies, I’m using the word “guys” in a gender-neutral, nonsexist kind of way) please hold me accountable to making progress on my fiction output. I don’t want it to slide because I chose to do something easier.
Anyway, that’s how things stand at the moment.