Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

Tag: working on a novel

Interruptions

I’ve been trying to wrap up my final draft and get it to the last editor since the beginning of December. My plans were clear, my goals laid out with pristine exactitude.

Yeah, that. 

The details–although I’m sweating them currently–don’t really matter to the big picture. What does matter is that at any moment something else WILL demand my attention. So instead of a long, wordy post I thought today I’d offer a handful of thoughts on interruptions.

When is it okay to interrupt reading groups or conferences? Aliens are invading. You are on fire. Tornado. The classroom is flooding. Peyton Manning enters the classroom.
As a former teacher, I can relate–although the interruptions during my classroom presentations or discussions were almost as often announcements on the intercom, or calls from the office on the classroom phone, as they were interruptions by students.

This topic yielded a multitude of cartoons and memes from office settings, medical, legal, and other fields. I certainly don’t feel alone in my plight. If you share it, you have my heartfelt commiseration. If you live blissfully free of interruptions, just wait

You’ll get yours, soon enough.

IMAGES: Many thanks to QuoteFancy, for the Allen Saunders quote-image; to the Teaching in Blue Jeans Facebook page, via Charlotte Jackson’s Pinterest board, for the guidance on when classroom interruptions are okay; to Comforting Quotes for the observation by French writer Andre Maurois; and to Kjersti Berg via SlidePlayer, for the “interruptions gestalt” image, though I couldn’t immediately confirm the $$ estimate.

Re-Re-Revised

Jan S. Gephardt at the keyboard. Photo by Colette Waters.

Did you ever have one of those projects you thought was just about done . . . except you needed to adjust this one thing.

And then that one thing led logically to another. And after that you discovered an excellent new technique and it would apply to this current project, so now if you just revamp these bits . . . .

Eventually it HAS to end. In this case I’m talking about the novel I am THIS CLOSE to having completely ready to start productionON or before September 3, 2018, it shall be done (or else).

For reals. mean it. Friends who know me will point, laugh, and say, “Got THAT right!” when I tell you I am not a fast writer. For all my ongoing efforts to be a well-organized, methodical “plotter,” the “pantser” in my soul frequently takes me walkabout, as a way to open up whole new projects through the “discovery method.”

Here’s the color comp for the cover of What’s Bred in the Bone, created by one of my favorite artists, Jody A. Lee, based on a scene from the book.

may not live long enough to finish all of the projects I already have in my files (partially developed through said “discovery method” and mostly set in the same fictional universe), but by God I’ll have fun writing them. I also hope people will have fun reading them–which necessitates finishing them, and publishing them.

That’s my current task: sternly striving not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and working on finishing a final, publishable version of What’s Bred in the Bone.

The world I currently inhabit for as many of my waking hours as possible these days is the one I’ve been writing about (and in which I’m making the aforementioned revisions).

Set in an indeterminate future era which I call the Twenty-Fourth-and-a-Half Century, most of the action takes place on Torus Two of Rana Habitat Space Station, through the eyes of an XK9: an enormous, genetically-engineered, cybernetically-enhanced police dog named Rex, as well as his mate Shady and his human partner Charlie.

Readings from What’s Bred in the Bone that I’ve done at science fiction conventions, such as DemiCon 29 and SoonerCon 27, have been met with enthusiasm, which is encouraging. Most of my beta-readers have been enthusiastic, too. If you’ll be at Worldcon 76, I have a 30-minute reading scheduled there on Monday, Aug. 20, 11:00 a.m. in Room 211A. I hope to see you there!

IMAGES: Many thanks to the talented Colette Waters for the enhanced reality represented by her photo of me, and to the amazing Jody A. Lee, for the color comp of the cover-art-that-will-be for What’s Bred in the Bone.

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