Sooo - I'm back!

Sorry to have been away for a while there.  I've been off, traveling.  Down to Maryland, and now back north to Boston.  I'll be home again in wintry Vermont shortly after the New Year, but for now - back with a stable, regular internet connection. So what's new?  We visited relatives down south for the Christmas holiday.  Our kids had an amazing time.  I have one four year old with a guitar now (heaven help us) and another with a little hand-sized video camera that she was horribly disappointed with until I showed her how to take stills as well as video.  Since then, she has taken a total of 286 stills and 18 videos.  Our youngest was a trooper through all 19 people (11 adults, 8 children) who were there exchanging gifts, before waddling over to be on his little 2-year-old legs, leaning his head on my shoulder, and falling asleep instants later.

I basically got one BIG present (along with a few great smaller gifts, not to leave anyone out - thanks!) - wife, mother, sister, grandparents, and inlaws teamed up to get me a 3G Kindle.  I promptly put Derek's Dead Dwarves Don't Dance, Zoe's Becoming An Indie Author, and Mike Stackpole's In Hero Years...I'm Dead on it, along with digging up a free copy of Skylark of Space from Project Gutenburg - one of my old, old favorites, which I had lost the paper copy for long ago.  So the Kindle got its start with a "blinding flash and a deafening report!"  And if you don't know what that means, go read the Skylark books.  They're fun, campy, and free.

I then promptly proved the value of asking for the 3G version over the WiFi one by using it to navigate from Maryland to Boston, after having forgotten to print out directions.  Go-go gadget 3G browser.  OK, it's a sad, clunky browser.  But it loads MapQuest.  And lets me read Dean Wesley Smith's blog.  And my wife found a cute word puzzle game that kept her occupied for about four hours of the ten hour trip.  Really.  With Skylark on the ereader, she went for the video game.  *sigh*  To her credit, she's off reading Jim Butcher's "Side Jobs" right now - she's every bit the reader I am, and will probably use the thing almost as much as I will.

So I'm up here in Boston, which is under a lot of new snow.  Working on a short story.  I'm a bit torn - I have an old, old short that I've tidied up a bit, and a new one that I'm a chunk into.  Sorta thinking about submitting one to the Viable Paradise mini-workshop at Arisia.  You know, the one with the January 1st deadline?  Not sure which one to send, which will be a moot point if I don't get the current one finished soon.  I really, really like the new one though.  We'll see.

And if you have been reading the comments to the last post, you'll see I signed up for another challenge.  Well, sort of.  I was doing it anyway, you see.  I'll talk in more detail about it in another post soon, but "Write1Sub1" is a challenge I read about on NaNoWriMo.org to write one new short story - and submit it! - each week in 2011.  Since I was already planning to do that as part of my cunning plan to catch up in the other challenge I'm doing, I figured it would just serve as a weekly deadline.  Which is much more effective for me than a vague, "end of May" deadline.

Lots more to write about, and I'll be adding new posts in the coming days.  I've been talking to some other indie writers about "chapter exchanges" in the backs of ebooks.  Dean wrote an amazing post about his New Year resolution, and the future of short story writing - and I want to go into my own goals for 2011 too, and talk about how these challenges will fit into the picture.  Much to do, and less time to do it in.  I have the strong feeling that 2011 is going to be a "break" year in a lot of ways.  Things are changing, and the cusp of anything is always the best time to get into it.