Monday, October 02, 2006


UPDATE: Shaken and Stirred and SFcrowsnest both review Shriek. It's very pleasing to me that they both got it. I mean, they both got what the book is about and my intent with the book. I dislike positive reviews that misinterpret a lot worse than a negative review that understood what I was doing and just didn't like it. It's really satisfying as a writer when you hit the mark with the reader. Feeling really good about that today. Also, an audio interview with Rick Kleffel at the Agony Column

Back from Austin and the Turkey City Workshop. Lawrence Person was a thoughtful host and I appreciated his attempts, and the other workshoppers, to make me feel at home. It was also a bit of a thrill to sit next to Howard Waldrop during the workshop. I must confess, there was a bit of pandering: Jayme Blaschke workshopped a pirate story with, er, an element in it dear to my heart. The story's great and I've asked he submit it to the antho for consideration. But I did think I was gonna die laughing over that.

I workshopped part of "The Appogiatura of John Finch" and got some very useful comments. I wanted, in particular, to get a sense of reader expectations of the future narrative and a sense from those who had not read my Ambergris stories before as to whether I had put enough info in for it to make contextual sense.

Right now, the story is at about 20,000 words and since I'm less than half-way through, I have this feeling that what I'm actually working on is a short novel. In any event, if I keep truckin' along I'll have a rough draft of the whole thing by November.

Thanks also to the BookPeople peeps (thanks Peggy!) for hosting my reading and to Rick and Brandy for great breakfast conversation Sunday morning.

BTW--totally agree with Jeff Ford about the situation in this country right now.

“When they give you things, ask yourself why. When you’re grateful to them for providing the things you should have anyway, ask yourself why.” – Lady in Blue, rebel broadcast


At 10:33 AM, Anonymous kellys said...

Any idea where "John Finch" will find a home upon completion?

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It depends on the final length. I'm not even half done, I think, so it might turn out being a short novel in which I'd hope it goes to Tor or some other large publisher. If it stays a novella, I'd prefer it to be a stand-alone book from an indie press. But it's early days. I'm not thinking about publication, just having fun writing. I could be wrong, but I think this might be the most intense thing I've ever done.


At 12:27 PM, Blogger Jayme Lynn Blaschke said...

It certainly was engrossing. And it's the only story I've ever seen workshopped where the most common comment was "Needs more fungus!"

At 1:23 PM, Anonymous kellys said...

Wherever it goes, I'm glad that the writing of it is proving so fulfulling. And I'm really glad, from a selfish-reader standpoint, that your next major work may not be too far away.

At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Mikal Trimm said...

Actually, I thought your story sucked -- I just lied about it to prove I'm a bigger man than you are.

Heh. ;)

At 5:17 PM, Blogger ddavelarsen said...

"I could be wrong, but I think this might be the most intense thing I've ever done."

No shit! You all know it, Jeff can pull out the grandest understatement at the weirdest times... :D This is one I really want to read and read and read. Go Jeff, Go!

At 11:53 AM, Anonymous jude said...

I too can hardly wait until John Finch comes out. Reading each excerpt is like eating a single potato chip after years on a bland diet...the hunger for more is a little maddening.

Do we have a projected date for publication? Or is it too early yet...

At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Er, I have to finish it first.


At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Jude said...

Key word here was 'projected'...I was wondering how long (in approximate terms) between finished draft (November 2006?)/final edits --> publication. mid-2007?

No matter. I--we--will wait whatever the duration.

At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


It doesn't work that way. I work on it until it's done. And then I worry about selling it. How long will it take? Heck if I know.

I'm not picking on you, but...ya know, there is a muse component to this and a discovery phase that's ongoing while you're writing. This isn't like making a desk or chair for the livingroom. Where you know the scope and depth of the project before you begin and can roughly guess the duration of the task at hand.


At 2:27 PM, Anonymous jude said...

Thank you, Jeff. You can tell I'm not an author, published or otherwise, so I'm unfamiliar with the process.

But I'm learning. Thank you for your patience.

At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Oh, no worries. One problem in this field is a tendency to think of writing as product and so I try to make the distinction between writing something and then selling it as clear as possible.

Thanks for your patience with me.



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