Hey, I still have a blog! And yes, I am still alive and kicking. I know it's been a couple of months. I've been busy.
Here's the short version: extensive travels throughout most of September (badly needed; brain needed to recharge), moved, threatening and preparing lawsuit against former landlord, settling out of court, getting appliances and furniture for new place, frantically searching for real jobs because writing doesn't pay crap. Yet, anyway.
So things have been a little wild. When I've found some spare time, I've been doing promotional work on the self-published book, and that seems to be very slowly picking up in sales. A few reader reviews have trickled in, all of them positive, I am happy to say. So maybe in a few months I'll start to see some pocket change from that.
In the meantime, I am forcing myself at knifepoint to get back into my more serious writing. It's been so, so hard to find the motivation to work on my book (methinks I am currently struggling with depression a wee bit), but I did do a solid two hours' worth of revision/refreshing-the-mind work on Baptism for the Dead yesterday. That's the most work I've put into this book for MONTHS, I am embarrassed to say, but it was useful work, and by the time I'm done running back through the first 30K or so I ought to be ready to tackle writing new material for it. The book should only be around 70K when done, so I'm close to halfway. Just need to keep up some motivation.
I've also pulled out and dusted off some short fiction, polished it up, and sent it off into Submissionland. My old John Muir/robot lady tale from last year -- the one I wrote and then couldn't do squat with because I was in an agency with a contract that didn't allow me to sell anything on my own -- is now off to Clarkesworld for consideration, and we'll see what happens there. I made a list of pro-rate paying markets, and if they all reject it I'll move down to the semipros.
I'm trying to keep my chin up while I look for work. It's looking more and more like I'll have to take yet another temporary holiday retail job, the low-paying and exhausting kind, the kind where they always make big promises about how you'll be first in line if something opens up permanently, because you are just the best temp ever, but then they never follow through on that promise and they always give the job to the loser friend of some loser who already works there.
It's been the same song and dance for almost four years now, and the prospect of going through this yet again is so exhausting and humiliating and infuriating, I can't even tell you. I'm 31, for fuck's sake. I'll be 32 in a few months. I know the economy really sucks awful bad and all, but I still feel like I shouldn't be such a loser. I expected to be published by now, to have at least a small side income from writing so I could deal better with the stresses of having to be a temp-job loser without a predictable, reliable paycheck, without any health insurance. I'm just incredibly tired of not having a respectable career. And the depression of this mess is making it hard for me to feel confident in my writing, and not feeling confident in it makes me not want to do it.
Maybe if I can sell this story, I'll start to feel like my writing is worthwhile again. I hope so. I don't like feeling this way, but lately I can't seem to help it.