Exile, Frost, and the Return of the C’Thulhu Peeps

So, the three things I’ve got planned for my weekend.


The final round of Exile proofs edits landed in my inbox this morning, confirming that I’ve more-or-less managed to patch the big ol’ story holes that were in the first submission but left in a bunch of numpty-headed mistakes that need to be fixed. I’ve got about a week to turn these around, but I suspect it’ll take less time than that ’cause of the holy-shit, this is almost done factor.

Which may make this the first deadline I’ve actually hit in the process of getting Exile together since Jenn at AI contacted me back in February of 2013, asking if I’d be interested in turning Flotsam into a novella series.

I suddenly find myself thinking of a Neil Gaiman quote from his Make Good Art commencement address:

“You get work however you get work, but keep people keep working in a freelance world (and more and more of todays world is freelance), because their work is good, because they are easy to get along with and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three! Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it is good and they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as everyone else if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.”

and thinking, huh, I wouldn’t have thought ‘good’ and ‘pleasant’ where my strengths. 

It also occurs to me that the final line edits are the point where the book is almost ready to become a book, which I’m not sure I’ve entirely processed yet. I mean, the book will come out? There’s the possibility that people will read it? This just seems like so much crazy bullshit in my subconscious, which means I’m quietly pretending that it’ll never actually happen.


I’ve had a pretty good week on the writing front. 10,000 words written since Monday. One act of the Frost mapped out, albeit in a slightly messy fashion – I originally tried starting the story at the start of the second act, then realised that it’s very hard to escalate things once you’ve blown the reveal of there’s something big and nasty out there, and it’s eating the souls of the living. So the first act is about half chapters that flow from the new beginning point, and half that need to be revamped as part of the rewriting process.

Still, that represents 1/3 of a fucking novella draft in five days, at least a goddamn month before it’s actually due to be submitted. Given my sporadic output over the last few years and the problems that plagued the Flotsam series, I feel like a rockstar looking at the word-count.

I’m tempted to go buy myself some leather pants.

With luck, by Sunday, I’ll be sneaking upon the midpoint of the story. This isn’t a given – weekends are traditionally the death of my writing productivity, on account of there being so much goddamn time. I’m great at getting up at six in the morning and spending a few hours writing before I go to work.

Ask me to do the same on a weekends, when things like pants become optional due to the lack of leaving the house, and I’ll look at you like a crazy person and sleep in until it’s time to rustle up some lunch-tacos.

Plus, there’s the added complication of this:


Two off my favourite Melbourne-folk have come up to Brisbane this weekend. There will be, at some point, a re-union of the C’thulhu Peeps on Brisbane soil, the first time that’s happened since half the group pulled up stakes and moves south back in 2012.

It’s been a while since I last hung out with them. In 2012 I was getting down to Melbourne with something approaching regularity, primarily so I could chill out and catch up with folks. In 2013 I was going to England, which meant I curtailed my travel budget unless I was going to major cons.

This year…well, shit, I’ve got myself a mortgage and I’ve cut back my hours at work, buying myself more time to write ’cause writing’s what I do. Eventually the writing income will replace the money I’m no longer making toiling away at the dayjob, but that shit takes time. About a year. Maybe two. There’s a reason I’m skipping cons this year, and may not be back again ’til 2016.

Which means, all things considered, when said peeps ask me to hang out while they’re in town, there’s pretty good odds I’ll drop everything to go hang with ’em, and all the other things are getting done around that.

So that’s my weekend in a nutshell. How about you? Anyone doing something awesome between now and Sunday?

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