Friday, January 09, 2009

Back on the Blog Chain: Four Questions

It's time once again for another Blog Chain Post. Since I picked the topic for our last normal chain, I'm at the end of this one. Abi picked the topic for this chain, so please start with her blog if you want to read through the topic in order. Michelle posted right before me.

Abi asked us four questions:

1. What writing-related things have you done in the past? I could probably write an entire post just on this. Sure, there was the play I wrote in German when I was in middle school for the Foreign Language Fair (it was very short and was never performed) and all the poetry I wrote in high school and college; some of it is still posted on my website, actually. Then there was the first novel I wrote shortly after grad school. Thankfully, any copies I have of that are no longer readable. (They were on floppies--remember those?) My Master's degree is in Technical and Scientific Communication, and I've had jobs as a technical writer and a copy editor for local newspapers.

As far as science fiction/fantasy writing goes, I've completed first drafts of four novels, two in my Season Lord trilogy (fantasy) and two science fiction novels about Paul Harrison. (I'm still revising the first Paul Harrison novel, which is currently titled Across Two Universes.) I sent out queries for Day of All Seasons, the first novel in my Season Lord trilogy; I got a couple requests for partials from agents that didn't go any farther. An editor at Tor requested the full, but he never got back to me with his suggestions and is no longer with that house. Someday I'd like to rewrite that novel and try it again. I've also written a bunch of short stories; some are trunked, some have been published on the Beatles fan fiction site Rooftop Sessions, and one of them is in the anthology Firestorm of Dragons.

I've done a fair amount of reviewing. I've reviewed 776 chapters and/or short stories on the Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Assuming 25 chapters per novel, that's over 30 complete novels! That doesn't count reviews I've given in workshops or through e-mail or snail mail, so it's probably no exaggeration to say I've done a thousand reviews. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to review much since my son was born.

I've been to several cons, including WindyCon, OddCon, ChiCon 2000 (the 58th World Science Fiction Convention), World Fantasy (twice), and WisCon (since 1998 or 1999--though I missed 2007 since it was too close to my due date). I've gone to lots of panels on writing (and been on a few) and participated in readings. I'm a founding member of BroadUniverse, an organization devoted to promoting women writing science fiction, fantasy, and horror.You can find links to some of the conventions and to BroadUniverse in the sidebar.

There's probably something else I'm forgetting, but I think I've posted more than enough on this topic. If I may make one final point, though, everything you do--working, talking to other people, even doing chores that let your mind wander--can be writing-related if you use it as an opportunity to observe.

2. What WIPs are you working on now? I'm currently revising/editing Across Two Universes -- again. Yes, I've been working on this novel for years, but it's still not ready. I think it's close, though. Then there's my NaMoWriMo novel from 2007, which needs a complete rewrite. That's more than enough to keep me busy for now.

3. Do you have anything brewing for the future? If there were interest, I could probably turn both my Season Lord and my Paul Harrison trilogies into multi-generational sagas. However, I also have ideas for an unrelated fantasy novel and a science fiction novel. I'd rather not talk too much about those ideas, as they still need a long simmer and may change before I put them down in pixels.

4. Are you setting any writing goals or resolutions for 2009? Ideally, I'd like to finish two chapters of ATU each month and get it out of the door by the end of the year. Paul Harrison is a great character, but he monopolizes my headspace and makes it difficult to work on anything else. Actors are such prima donnas! We'll see how this goes.

Please return to Abi's blog for a wrap-up of this chain. I'll be back soon, posting on a different topic!


celticqueen said...

wow, you have accomplished so much!! Your WIPs sound very interesting - good luck with your writing this year!!

ElanaJ said...

Sandra! I always feel like an infant when I find out how long other people have been writing. I mean, seriously. German? You are the queen! Great post, and very true about our characters being prima donnas. :)

Anonymous said...

Sandra, WOW! I have so enjoyed finding out more about my blog chain buddies, but you WIN! I am so impressed with all you have divulged.

Some characters can be monopolizing can't they?!

Fantastic post and awesome links...thanks! :)

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Plays, poetry, novels - is there anything you don't do? All those reviews you've done are great too. I think often when critting other people's work it helps us see similar problems in our own.

Jessica Verday said...

You wrote a play in Middle School?! In GERMAN?! *Jaw drop* I am in awe!

Anonymous said...

Good luck on the WiPs!!!!

Archetype said...

I am really enjoying learning all about everything others have done. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful things about your writing!

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