Back from the UK! Still dealing with jetlag, shark week, and fighting off a cold, so not exactly hitting the ground running. More hitting the ground and lying there groaning. But! I’ve had much time to think, and I’m re-evaluating my NaNo plans.

Problem #1

I love NaNo. I love the energy, the excuse to spend hours a day writing instead of other labours, the fun of goal seeking with other people.


I write much, much faster than I edit, creating a substantial bottleneck. I’m currently editing something I finished writing in 2015. There are four other novels I need to edit once I’m done.

Doing NaNo now would just add to that backlog.

Problem #2

I set myself a goal in January to write 12 short stories this year. I have written: 2. One of which is the Fletcher prequel. So not exactly anywhere close to the goal.

Problem #3

I’m still editing Space Crazies, and it should be my priority until it’s finished. No starting new projects. Even though I hate editing.

Problem #4

I am also behind on my submission goal of 200 subs by Dec 31. Partly because I didn’t write the short stories I planned and partly because the short stories I DO have keep getting stalled at magazines that are taking way, way longer than usual to get through their slush. Ganymede Days has been at Analog since May. I queried, they’ve received it, it’s in a long fucking queue and I am not going to risk damaging its chances at Analog by sim-subbing.

All of my other stories are in a similar boat. It’s a very slow boat.


I have a few half-finished stories sitting in the cloud that got swamped by Fletcher & Cooper, and it occurred to me that finishing those stories during NaNo would solve almost all those problems listed above. They aren’t new projects, they’re already in the queue; they’d bump up my finished story goal; they’d be submittable afterwards; they could be scheduled in and around any last-round Space Crazies edits.

And they’d be writing, during NaNo, the best time of year.

Currently the list is:

  • My Sinferrean murder village story, The City That Forgot
  • A couple of short Sinferrean fairy tales for When The Goddess Walked
  • The Space Crazies query letter (not fiction but could still benefit from that NaNo enthusiasm)
  • Venus Occluded, aka my Venus research station mystery

I could definitely wring 20-30K out of those stories, while benefiting from write-ins and whatnot. Is it a True NaNo? No, and I don’t care. I don’t need to prove to anyone that I can write a whole novel (Blackout Odyssey) or 50K+ (F&C was 75K) in 30 days. All this does is let me feel excited for NaNo again.

And that excitement has a secondary use: fuel for finishing the edits on Space Crazies. I’ve got 31 days–22 working days–and 25 chapters to go, some of which have substantial rewrites pending. It’s going to be tough, but if I don’t do it, no NaNo for me, and that’s enough of a stick/carrot I think to see me through.

*rolls up sleeves*

Happy October! Time to get to work.

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