This last week, Carlos and I applied for a Writers’ Retreat at The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. I’ve never applied for that sort of thing before. It’s quite cost effective: you get both room and board (food by a chef), for less than a typical Air B&B and certainly less than a hotel room, for a range of days and nights of your choice.
You have to fill out an application, talk about your writing, send a sample, and an application fee–all these things! It kind of reminded me of the grant proposals I’ve seen. And I thought: it IS like writing a grant! A grant of time and space to create in.
Anyway, we were supposed to talk about what project we’d be working on. And I couldn’t decide! So I just wrote down all my projects. Who know what I might be working on by the time we get there next year!
But I thought it would be good for me to post here, since it is easy to look at a year (at least for me) and think how little one has done.
SAINT DEATH’S HERALD: the sequel to my high fantasy novel that just came out in 2022 with Rebellion Publishing, SAINT DEATH’S DAUGHTER. The novel follows the further adventures of necromancer Lanie Stones, as she tries to right the wrongs of a previous generation, battle the powerful ghost of her dread great-grandfather, and return the souls of three thousand wizards that had been ripped untimely from their bodies.
FIDDLE: a rompy rom-com fantasy novella set in the same world as DESDEMONA AND THE DEEP, my novella published by Tor.com, and DARK BREAKERS, my short story collection published by Mythic Delirium. FIDDLE has an 80’s aesthetic with a high fantasy flair! Goblins and space travel, fairies with surf boards, and a nerdy, introverted heroine who has to attend three weddings and a great infernal hatching event all in one day.
BALLADS FROM A DISTANT STAR: a concept album under my singer/songwriter name Brimstone Rhine, after my three previous albums. This album follows, in folk songs, the adventures of a group of miners and their families who were body-snatched by aliens and brought on their spaceship to work the mines of a distant planet.
THE DEVIL AND LADY MIDNIGHT: a theatrical 6-episode musical podcast. This is a collaboration with writer Tina Connolly and songwriter Dr. Mary Crowell. The Devil comes to New York, hungry for friends both new and old. While she’s there, she might as well put on a show.
LAMP: a poetry anthology called LAMP. This is a collaboration with writers Patty Templeton and Carlos Hernandez. A shared-world poetry collection following a troupe of actors as they flee a large city for a small town at the edge of a salt marsh: exploring the tensions between cityfolk and townsfolk, the resentment between outsiders and inner circles, the friendships made when boundaries are crossed, and the art that blossoms under new alliances.
And since I already made that “current projects” list, I was thinking of things I’ve actually finished this year. How January seems a million years ago already!
But for the sake of remembering:
GAME WRITING for FOOL’S GOLD: INTO THE BELLOWING WILDS, “a 5th edition campaign setting based on the hit Youtube series by Dingo Doodles and Felix Irnich,” forthcoming from Hitpoint Press.
This is a collaboration with my beloved Carlos, of course. It was my first time doing any such kind of writing. We were invited by editor (and our dear friend) Dominik Parisien, and are part of a whole team of writers and editors and game-designers working with GM Felix Irnich’s world to create the campaign setting.
NEGOCIOS INFERNALES: This is the year that Carlos and I finished our rulebook for Negocios Infernales, our gm-less, collaborative TTRPG about Inquisition and Aliens. We finished the first draft later than we wanted, and then added an afterward and a WHOLE APPENDIX for the second draft on our editors’ request.
Carlos also drafted (and I helped revise) an introductory COMIC that artist Rebecca Huston (who did our “Baraja del Destino,” or “Deck of Destiny” for the game) illustrated. It is going to be AVAILABLE THIS YEAR AT GENCON!!! (Oh, here’s our GenCon schedule, if you’re interested!)
“CATHARSIS”: This was the short story I wrote for this year’s Origins Game Fair Anthology Rogue Artists, published by Atthis Arts. I loved, loved, LOVED writing this story, because it was inspired by writing the RULEBOOK for Negocios Infernales.
As Carlos and I wrote the rulebook together, we played a single game Negocios Game the whole way through–over the course of months–to be able to provide examples in the rulebook. When we were doing the “Worldbuilding” section, I came up with the idea of a theatre troupe that utterly captivated me. I wanted to write about them so hard! And so, I did! Now this short story exists in the world, alongside its origins in our rulebook–and that tickles me!
“CAPTAIN COMEBACK SAVES THE DAY“: This is a short story, forthcoming from The Sunday Morning Transport. It’s another collaboration with Carlos, and it has a long history. The idea started as the idea for a radio play on a road trip to Ottawa we took maybe four or five years ago.
We loved the idea of a “superhero” and a “supervillain” being married and in the same house, 1940’s-1950’s-ish, and the supervillain wife basically keeps creating deadly scenarios around town for her husband to “fix,” so that he can be a superhero–which is all he ever wanted. He inevitably gets utterly destroyed in the process, but she has a resurrection machine that brings him back to life (and conveniently wipes the hero’s brain of all memories of his wife as a supervillain).
We still think this would be a great radio play, but we tried a single “episode” as a short story, and the structure took on such a surprising form! COLLABORATION IS SO WEIRD AND AWESOME!
The list of what I finished doesn’t seem like much, but then again, I’ve been working on all that other stuff too. Plus, I narrated seven audiobooks this year–including my own!
…And read a metric ton of 2021’s SFF work for the World Fantasy Awards.
I was not idle, but…
What my brain says: Yeah, not all that much. Should’ve finished three novels, put out two albums, and starred in a Broadway Musical.
What my blog (and Carlos) says: GOOFUS MCDOOFUS
I’ve been trying (and for the most part succeeding) to dive into writing with all joy. There were some years there where the joy was deep in a cavity and took some excavating. This year, it’s been better. It’s been good.
I’ve really enjoyed my Sitzfleisch Poetry Hour a whole lot! And my musical theatre collaboration with Mary and Tina. And my LAMP poetry collaboration with Patty and Carlos. None of these are urgent. They’re slow-blossoming, wondrous.
The next thing I am really eager to do is set aside a chunk of time devoted solely to finishing Act II of Ballads from a Distant Star, and starting to research the best crowdfunding platforms for that project.
Kickstarter is super high pressure; I dislike the “all or nothing.” With “something” at least, I could make SOMETHING. A promise. A placeholder. I used Indiegogo for the last albums, but since then I think they’ve become a different kind of platform, so… Sigh. Back to the drawing board! Maybe some grants! We’ll see what happens.
Okay, Cooney. Enough blogging for the day. This whole time you should’ve been working on your novel.
7 responses to “The Work of 2022 (thus far)”
I like how authors can still attend Writers’ Workshops as writers. I hope both you and Carlos are accepted. I need to apply to one (after my draft is close to being written).
Oh, yes! Last year I attended Howard Andrew Jones’s workshop on worldbuilding. And Carlos and I attended, earlier this year, a four-course workshop on game writing! So great!
The Writers’ Colony is a bit different, in that it’s a retreat, not a workshop. For $95 a night, you get room and your meals (made by a chef!), and a place to write away from the distractions of daily life: work, family, to-do lists. There’s no critique or lectures there. I think one doesn’t even have to talk to other writers unless one wants to! So maybe it’s JUST the thing (or something like it) to finish your draft. Take yourself away for a long weekend, even if it’s just to a little Air B&B 10 minutes from where you live. Being in a different space to write is really amazing for getting a lot of work done in a super focused amount of time.
I’m checking out their website now, and I’m interested even more as to what they offer. Thank you for mentioning this retreat. Granted, I should attend a Workshop before I attend a Retreat.
I maintain: you can totally do a retreat before workshop. YOU DESERVE IT. And then a workshop. AND THEN ANOTHER RETREAT!
Hey fren – this is an objective nonpartisan reporter weighing in to that part of your brain saying you should have written 3 novels, blah-blah-blah — YOU HAVE BEEN DOING SO MUCH! Repping all of your great work coming out this year, being On for the various salons/interviews you have been hosting, propping up other peeps as they do their best to put work into the universe — THAT’S ALL YOU, BABY! And it’s good and honest work, even if it doesn’t look the same as pushing out more stacks of pages. You take it easy on CSE, you pixie-brain, you!, she’s getting it done! (Even this here blog — WORK! good and useful and generative work).
You big darling. Thank you.