A touch of delicacy

Actually getting the drawing up the same day I did it! Today’s prompt was “flowing,” and the October garden prompt was “jasmine,” so I put the two together and drew a portion of a jasmine plant from the picture on Wikipedia (original photo by i_am_jim • CC BY-SA 4.0)

Yes, I’m doing Inktober again

Sorry I haven’t posted these yet. I’ve been doing the work after I left the computer for the day, and then not thinking about it when I got back to the computer in the morning.

I initially had high ambitions; I gathered several lists of prompts, and each day’s drawing was going to be a picture with setting, characters, and a hint of story, with all 31 together making a cohesive whole. That didn’t even last to the first day, although some of them are closer to that than others. In the captions, I mention which tag (like “botanicalwitches” or “octobergarden”) I pulled from on Twitter to get the prompts.

ink drawing of aconite flowers

October 1 — official prompt “poisonous,” plus octobergarden prompt “aconite”

drawing of woman with sprig of blooming rosemary

October 2 — official prompt “tranquil” + botanicalwitches prompt “rosemary witch”

woman's portrait plus a table with a roast

October 3 — official prompt “roasted” + Aussie botanicalwitches “blue quandong witch” + simplycuteinktober “sunflower”

portrait of woman with a scroll

October 4 — official prompt “spell” + botanicalwitches “henna witch”

drawing of a barred chicken

October 5 — official prompt “chicken”

Lessons from a reading

Erin M. Hartshorn reading at WorldCon

Photo courtesy of Margaret McGaffey Fisk

Last month, I attended WorldCon in San Jose. I had an amazing time, primarily because of the wonderful people I talked to, both those whom I already knew and those whom I just met. (I wrote all about it in my newsletter last month — consider subscribing if you missed it!) The last thing I did officially at the con was to give a reading on Monday afternoon of a couple scenes from Troll Tunnels.

Lesson 1: All conventions are not created equal. When I did a reading from Ghost Garages last year at Boskone, two people came to listen. This year, the room was crowded, with easily a couple of dozen people. Maybe more? I tried to take a picture but failed to do the panorama properly. But … a crowded room, most of whom had never heard of me or read my writing, seeking to be entertained and decide whether to check out my work.

The reading itself went well, with a couple of people coming up to me afterward to compliment me on my reading skill.

Lesson 2: I can do this! Even if I’m a little unnerved by the number of people in front of me. However …

Lesson 3: I need to be prepared to say more about the book and series to lay the groundwork for the new audience, and

Lesson 4: People actually want swag like bookmarks or other material to help them remember who was reading from what. I’ve seen a lot of people online say that no one cares about bookmarks, they just throw them away or don’t really look at the content, so I’d dismissed this as something to pursue. Evidently, it’s common because it does work.

WorldCon 76 schedule!

A week from today, WorldCon starts. Okay, technically, there are a few tour items that happen Tuesday and Wednesday, but Thursday is when things get rolling, with 74 things on the program. I’m excited to be in sunny San Jose, California — back in the Bay Area, though not the East Bay this time around.

Not only am I attending, I’m participating!

Friday, August 17

8–10 a.m.
SFWA business meeting
Convention Center, 210DH

3–4 p.m.
What can SFWA do for me? (panel)
Convention Center, 210DF

Monday, August 20

12:30–1:00 p.m.
Reading from Troll Tunnels
Convention Center, 211A

Additionally, I will be participating in the SFWA Board meeting on Thursday, partaking of the Codex breakfast on Saturday morning, working as a door dragon for the SFWA suite for a couple of hours on Sunday, and trying to find time to say hello to friends I haven’t seen in a while (or whom I’ve never met in person). If you’re there and you see me, please say hello!

First Friday, third Monday

Mountain peak in snow photo by Jérôme Prax on UnsplashThe first Monday of the week didn’t feel like Monday because it was a holiday. Wednesday was more of a Monday with everyone off to school. Then yesterday, kids home again, making me feel like today was Monday yet again. At least I got things done, starting with lugging the tree out to be picked up with the trash.

The other thing I accomplished was finishing the draft of a short story. Not bad for the first week of the year.

Words written today: 2,224
Words written this year: 6,534
Average words/day: 1,307

Starting off on the cold foot

Ice bubble photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Ice bubble photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Where we are, we usually miss the brunt of winter storms. This means that although we’ve had temperatures into the single digits this week (Fahrenheit) and high winds today, we didn’t get half a foot or more of snow, and we’ve mostly stayed out of the negative temperature range. Still, the kids were home from school today (and they only went back yesterday!), with a two-hour delay in the morning.

I didn’t post a wrap-up of my 2017 here yet, so here goes:

Things I wrote, polished, and/or released

  • Treachery of Doubt (book 2 of Bodyguard of Lies)
  • Ghost Garages (book 1 of Boston Technowitch)
  • Siren Circle (book 2 of Boston Technowitch)
  • Dreamwalker (tie-in novella for Boston Technowitch, only available to newsletter subscribers)
  • Troll Tunnels (book 3 of Boston Technowitch, currently in edits)

Additional things I did

  • Wrote most of a second tie-in novella for Boston Technowitch
  • Worked on a couple of short stories (neither of which is ready for submission yet)
  • Completed a month of ink drawings for Inktober
  • Participated in programming for Boskone and for the Nebula Conference
  • Served part of the year as a Director-at-Large and the remainder of the year as Vice President for SFWA
  • Went to a writing meet-up in Manhattan
  • Went on a lovely vacation where I got to visit my mom, my younger brother and his other half, and my in-laws
  • Spent lots of family time
  • Got the downstairs family room painted and (with the rest of the family) organized and looking comfortable

Words written 2017: 253,721
Average words/day written 2017: 695
Best month for writing: November
Worst month for writing: June

As for 2018, I’m planning to do more of the same — more in every sense: more writing, more books released, more reading, more activity in the organizations I’m part of. I’m doing okay so far, though last year’s January was pretty good, too. It’s the long term where we see how things go.

Words written today: 1,130
Words written this month: 4,310

Allons-y!