Progress Report – 13th September 2017

The August grind really paid off.  For the handful of people reading this blog – welcome! And as you can see, I’ve changed the layout a bit…hopefully, more readable and less pretentious. Also, the title. Jim Butcher does this Progress Report thing, and the title makes it feel so much more positive than just Update <date>. I’ll adopt it.

That said:

In writing:

  • Numbercaste has been nominated for the Virtual Fantasy Con Award for best Hard Scifi. It’s the first award I’ve ever been nominated for, and coincides neatly with Numbercaste hitting 25 reviews with a 5-star average on Amazon.I’ve actually had hard cyberpunk readers from all over the world emailing me do discuss the book, which is amazing. Is this what fan mail feels like?
  • I’m in Craig Martelle‘s third The Expanding Universe anthology. TEU is a showcase of indie space opera, and every year Craig brings together 25+ of the best into one big volume. For me it’s a fantastic break, because I’m writing with indies making huge waves in the genre. Wrote that story overnight, and was accepted. Excellent. Look at this beauty!

  • Story, Structure and Plot: I’ve compiled a 50-page volume of story beats and structures. Did a lot of reading, from Aristotle to Freytag (taught in MFA classes) to Joseph Campell’s Monomyth (Star Wars, LOTR et al), and even read analyses by screenwriters. Crunched them down into bullet points.The plan is to make the whole thing freely available (mailing list? Github? No idea: trying to figure this out).I need to send the manuscript for reader feedback, which I will do on Friday – I’m feeling rather lazy right now, and a bit burned out. Thankfully, there’s no lack of beta readers – about thirty writers and editors want to see the thing.

    I’m working on some covers at the moment:

  • So by the end of this month, I’ll actually have met my target of publishing four works. That’s two short stories, one debut novel and one nonfiction book.  I love it when a plan comes together.

In other stuff:

  • I passed two modules – Reproducible Research and Statistical Inference – in the Johns Hopkins Data Science course I’m taking online. I lost a lot of sleep over this, but success looks like this (and it feels great):
  • Work’s going well. I’ve made a very measurable impact recently in a study that we’re collecting data for, and the legwork involved made good use of all the GIS (Geospatial Information Systems) processing stuff I picked up while I was in Thailand.

I think I’ll rest a bit this month. Now the onus is to finish Story, Structure and Plot – I can take some much-needed time to read. It’s as rainy as a monsoon nightmare outside, so it’s perfect weather for going through all the books I’ve bought in the past two months. I’m really looking forward to sleeping, too.




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