The Next Things

Hey folks.

I had hoped that this year would be better for blogging, but now not only does my job have teeth, it has three rows of teeth, like a shark. In protecting my psychological self, I need to have creative time, and I spend that in the more creative realms of writing fiction. I need to exercise and maintain my physical health, so I walk at lunch, and I try to exercise at other times. I actually take time to rest and do nothing at all.

What this means is that I really can’t do it all, and I have to manage my time even more carefully. Throw Bryon’s medical uncertainty in this mix, and what that means is a priority list that looks like this:

1. Bryon
2. Those I love in other ways
3. Creativity
4. Taking care of my body
5. Work

And that’s not bad. This kind of thing, though, the journal, falls somewhere closer to number 8 now, which is altogether too bad, because I used to have a higher readership and it was a good way to build publicity and an audience. But hey, can’t part the Red Sea either. Actually, I’m not sure about that. I’ve never given that a whirl.


Of course, I’m not necessarily convinced that I’m going to get a audience. I’m just glad I have a pension in my future, that’s all I’m saying. As I’ve often said, publication would be lovely, but the creativity is why I’m in it, and the rest would be a lovely side effect. I was rejected by another agent who had a full today and I hardly even feel it. She said some very nice things which feels good. If I am destined to get this far, fine. I would do publicity and writing with the cool skill that I tackle my professorship with, but hey, you know, right now I can still write what I want when I want. I am my own mistress to experiment and enjoy, without the pressure of deadlines. There’s some part of that journey I can appreciate and enjoy.


Let me tell you what’s happening next.

This weekend is Paradise Icon. I’ll get to see my Hugo winning friends Jim and Ann and bask in their reflected glory. I’ll hang out most of the weekend with my pre-published friends critiquing stories. We have a reading 8-10 Saturday night, so I’ll get to hear what they’re up to. I’ll get to see my best friends in the entire world and make plans for us to spend more time together, because I don’t want anyone to have any regrets about the future, and while the future looks fine right now, it also looks uncertain.

I’m going to see David. The suicidal thoughts of which I spoke a couple of entries ago did NOT recur, thank goodness. That’s a depression med danger, and when they came out of nowhere, that was frightening. However, I have spent some days nervous and jittery and I am doing really well giving Bryon the good, good wife love, but I probably need to talk through some of my fears, rational and irrational with a smarter guy than me. As with the medical system in the US, I can’t get in for a month after the inciting instance, but it was already two weeks ago, so there’s that.

I’m writing NaNoWriMo. I am needing some words on The Pawn of Isis, so I am getting them, a great sloppy inchoate mass of words that I can work with. After November, I’ll let them cool off and return to the brothers troll from Decorah. I’ll rescue about a third of that book, change the focus, and resurrect in true Wonderbook style. I need a new title, since the devil will no longer be in the story. Nope, it’ll be a book about sibling rivalry.

My main writing goals for 2016 are to get out of it with two new books–a YA and another Klaereon stand alone. Then we’ll go pitching again, as well as mailing. Meanwhile, I’ll spend this year sending out Vessel, finishing up the last query vestiges of Abby Rath and The Ground is Full of Teeth, and keep at least 10 shorts making the rounds. The only thing I don’t have time for right now is that serial I’d like to do. But you know. Three rows of teeth. Shredded fish. Fake paranoid cancer threat. Honestly, given my parameters, I’m kicking butt.

All this could change if I were to… I don’t know…get an agent and sell a book. It’s not a totally remote possibility. Like Bryon’s stomach though, we’re going to play along with what is current now and only modify when we have to.


Okay. So the other experiment is the great eating right experiment. Exercise? Check. Walking and ballet, although ballet ends in two weeks. HOWEVER, I believe I’ll pick up Wii Yoga and Strength training again in November, as well as the walking. Here’s a thing though–I am tired of trying to be a mover at 210 or so pounds. That ain’t easy. So I gotta really eat veggies, drink water, all that. It would really help if you looked forward to veggies more than you did a piece of artisan bread. Just sayin’. More importantly, if I can adopt the idea that if I’m exercising and eating right, weight is not as important as all that, well, that would be healthier for my happiness. I still think if I’m exercising and eating right, certain things will just happen.

Okay. So that’s a lot of writing. It’s been a while since we talked. It could be a while again, but I’ll try to get back to you and let you know how the weekend goes.

Peace, love, understanding, etc.

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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