Castles in the Air

…or, the blueprint.

To those who know me in real life, it comes as no surprise that I love to plan. Planning helps me sharpen my focus, and set my goals.

But before I begin, an FYI. I heard from Sonya, and it sounds like we’re moving Hulk Hercules back to April, so we can get reviewer copies out. ARCs, however, may be here as early as in two weeks. So there you go. She’s healing up from a recent surgery. More details than that I do not have, but I’m glad she’s okay.

Let’s talk about some writing goals. I cut for you because I care, and I know this is self-indulgent, mostly. I always read these kinds of posts because it’s fun for me to see what people are working on, but you might not be as voyeuristic as me.

Short Stories

I’ve decided to stop circulating

Jackal’s Last Hunt: It’s been to pretty much every place I could send it, and it’s nigh unto unclassifiable. No one’s publishing that bad boy. Perhaps the very fun characters can find a way to reincarnate?

The Make-over: It’s funny, but it doesn’t have enough of a plot. It’s a little vignette. I’m happy with it as is, and at this time, I have no plans to do more with it. It could be the seeds for a humorous fantasy anthology at some point in the future.

What’s Out There

Point River: I wrote this before VP, and it’s rather self-indulgent. I’m waiting for the rejection to come back from Cafe Irreal, and then I’ll retire it. I just don’t care enough about it to make it work.

Empress Dark: I love this tiny story. It’s funny as blazes and actually has a point. It’s one of those almost yes pieces, and I would probably polish it and send it out again. Strange Horizons currently has it.

What I’m Working on Right Now

Grandma’s Girl: The title may change. I don’t usually send stuff out for free, but a friend who is associated with Swill Magazine has told me they’re reading, and you do things with friends. I like Swill. You might remember I reviewed it sometimes back. Goal: Have this rewritten and out by the end of February.

Mark Twain’s Daughter: Again, the title may change. A couple of excellent VPers gave me really good critiques on this, and I’m really ripping it up and putting it back together differently. I plan to submit this to when I’m done, and see what happens. There’ll be plenty of time to send it to a variety of places. Goal: Have this rewritten and out by the end of March.


The Winter the Troll Danced with Old Nick: With the new characters, there will be some overhaul, but substantial parts of the novel are still sound. Because I don’t want to send out an inferior work, I’ll estimate that I want this out and circulating by the end of May, but I think I can do this sooner. Of course, I’ll be sending this out to agents in my attempts to gain one anew. I may also send it to Flux Publishing while I’m doing that.

The Substance of Shadows: I won’t put any date with this project, but I will begin revising and researching it as soon as I have the troll book in hand I plan to follow the Scalzi plan, to pump it up huge, and then whack it down. I’m also moving it back in time to the 1870s/1880s.


The First Klarion Book (Borgia’s Book): For which I don’t have a title, even. I plan to be looking at research and beginning the plotting for this.

As always, I love hearing about what you’re working on. It’s fun. It’s one of the best things, for example, about reading Seanan McGuire’s journal.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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