Makes ya wanna think.

State of the Droog: December 2010

This month’s progress report to my patrons Jeff Roberts, Casey Muratori, and Chris Hecker:

Still no agent for Channel Zilch. I’ve queried almost every agent who reps sci-fi (not ALL, because some work at big agencies and sending multiple simultaneous queries to the same agency is a no-no.) Current query stats: 70 sent, 29 query rejections, 2 partial manuscript rejections, 39 queries unanswered so far. Some agents take many months to answer queries so I am letting 2 more months pass before starting phase 2 of Operation CZ Agent.

If I have no agent on March 1, I plan to ask Nicola Griffith, who runs Sterling Editing, to work with me on Channel Zilch. Brook and I are budgeting for her services – manuscript assessment and writer career coaching. I am a huge fan of Nicola’s writing – she won a Nebula Award for her early sci-fi work and is now writing an excellent series of crime novels. I’ve talked with Nicola a few times – she was scheduled to be one of the instructors at my 2002 session of Clarion West but discovered she had MS and had to withdraw.

I adopted Scrivener as my writing app, which lets me write and collect my research in a single writer-friendly program.

I made a solid start on my 2 projects for 2011: Palin/Cheney 2012 and Castle Rising.

PC2012 is born from the ashes of a 2008 project called Operation American Freedom. I wrote about 25k words of OAF and a lot of those words work for PC2012. I moved the old Word manuscript into Scrivener, selecting the keeper prose (15k-words) and setting up the outline of the novel. I project the book to be 75k so will try to write 10 kwords  per month to hit my 7/1/2011 goal. I can do that.

I plan to write Castle Rising after PC2012 so I set up a Scrivener project to collect research. I raided the Wisconsin library system for all its books on the Great Zimbabwe, Angkor Wat, and Anasazi cultures and am having a blast learning about the 12th century.

Looking back on 2010 I feel good about finishing Channel Zilch and waging my query campaign. I’ll never get used to being slow, but considering my cognitive limitations I put in a solid year. I am confident in PC2012 and am certain that if I write the scurrilous book I visualize I can sell it.

The new crawlspace insulation means I may get through the winter without buying propane – the woodstove keeps me toasty. We’re having a deep snow winter here in Comstock – great for writing. The lakes are finally solid so the dogs and I can hike to the local beaver lodges.

My 2011 New Year’s Resolution: Keep on Writing.



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