Saturday, June 26, 2010

Late Nights, Last Looks and Long Shots

Insane deadline pressure has pretty much wiped out June for me. A collection of what would normally be minor problems cascaded into three weeks of 14-hour days at the office, leaving the majority of people stressed and burned out. It hasn't helped, of course, that I've been rolling home at ten or so and getting caught up watching World Cup games ... My eyes, they are bleary.

It's hit home, meanwhile, that I've been devoting far too little time to fiction as a result of all this, so I've just invested in a little laptop I can run off and hide with on my lunch breaks. An hour of peace and quiet each day should help to get my writing back on track. That's not to say I've not been working on things in my own little way. I'm now halfway through the final readthrough of Scenes From the Second Storey, prior to its being sent back to the authors for their last looks. All being well we'll be on schedule for a launch at WorldCon in September. At this stage I'm hoping to be there in Melbourne for at least a couple of days of the convention, funding permitting, and it'll be the first time I'll have met many of the authors, not to mention my co-editor Amanda. Fingers crossed for a financial result then.

All the same my writing's been a little limited, mostly bits and pieces at the office. I've also been banging my head against a wall trying to think of a title for a piece that's already been accepted, but the name of which failed to impress the editor. I can't seem to think of anything that doesn't give away the ending ...

Elsewhere on the Interweb, the first review is up for Close Encounters of the Urban Kind. The reviewer is Josh Palmatier, one of the other writers in the anthology, and he gives his thoughts on all the stories, including his own. I'm quite pleased to say he liked Dead Letter Drop, saying it was "Very well written and I loved how it wasn’t what you were expecting in the end". Hurrah! The full review is here - watch out for them thar spoilers.

But the biggest warm-glow moment came today, when I found out that respected Australian scribe Shane Jiraiya Cummings has named me as one of his recommendations for Best New Talent at this year's Ditmar Awards. That was out of nowhere. No idea how the nominations for the awards are actually made, or whether anything will come of Shane's generous inclusion, but it's great to be on the list all the same. If I hear anything else I'll let you know.