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Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Total Avg 582 171 309 473 91 783 2,409 344 A little bit of a rocky week, especially Friday. Ideally, I’d like to average 1,000 words/day. That’d be awesome. Life creeps up, with unavoidable things like responsibility and sleep but I have a secret that I’ll share with you.

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The Clarion Write-a-thon began yesterday. I got some decent writing time in, despite a late start to the day and having to confront a would-be pervert attempting to flash his private bits at my favorite writing spot. I expect the first several days of writing to go slow as I revise the first chapter of the novel, trying to set the right tone and pace. The 25k words I wrote during last year’s Nanowrimo are, I realize, mostly outline but do span the length of the novel.

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There are now four days until the Clarion write-a-thon begins on June 24th, where I will continue work on my novel-in-progress and attempt to add 30k new words over the course of six weeks. It’s been a busy lead up to the write-a-thon because, frankly, I’ve been unfucking a few things structurally. Writing a novel feels a bit like building an engine from scratch when your only previous experience is with watching someone else do it.

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I’ve been a fan of Crossed Genres for a long time — just shy of three years, which is forever in Internet time. As a small press, they’ve done a massive amount of good work publishing hundreds of authors (including myself) but Bart and Kay, proprietors, fell on hard times and were forced to turn to Kickstarter to keep CG alive. And made their goal of $4,000 in just 22 hours.

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The Clarion Write-a-thon starts on June 24th, running parallel to the six week workshop I attended in 2010. While this summers workshop students toil away in San Diego, I’ll be one of many writers helping to raise awareness and solicit donations to a cause we believe in. What is a write-a-thon, anyway? It’s just like a walk-a-thon. But instead of walking, we’re writing, and instead of making pledges per mile, we’re making pledges per word, chapter, or story.

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We built the house, my ex-wife and I, a decade ago. We poured our love into her foundations as we watched her bones rise over the snowy plains of Illinois. Vein and sinew were strung throughout and were covered by skin. A miraculous thing, to witness for the first time. A house is a thing but things have feelings, too. Ask any little girl who’s every owned a doll. My house took care of us, and I took care of her the best I could, clumsy hands and all.

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My first Ad Astra is over, and I didn’t completely embarrass myself. Huzzah! I’ll admit to being intimidated at first, not knowing anyone. It’s a good-sized local convention with a lot of history and people know already each other. What I finally realized, though, is that I just needed to _politely_ join in the conversation. Everyone was welcoming and, even better, assumed I was Canadian. I swear, I am in all but name.

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So, due to timing of unfortunate circumstances, it’s become rather convenient for me to go to Ad Astra, April 13-15th. This will, notably, be my first convention since moving to Canada. I’m relatively new to both country and the local genre community. I know there are a few members of Codex going and I recognize a few names from the panelist list (including Ed Greenwood, who was very kind towards a 19-year old me at Gen Con Milwaukee some years ago) but I’m otherwise winging this.

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The Hugo Nominations were announced this afternoon. I watched the cheers streaming on Twitter, mostly before I saw the nomination itself. Congrats to all nominees. I take particular happiness in seeing many familiar names among the bunch. Best Novel Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor) A Dance With Dragons, George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra) Deadline, Mira Grant (Orbit) Embassytown, China Miéville (Macmillan / Del Rey) Leviathan Wakes, James S. A.

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We spent the better part of this week in Toronto — an impromptu trip after receiving a call with some concerning medical news on Sunday night. So, for the first half of the week we’ve explored the inner workings of the Toronto hospital system. As someone who more or less grew up inside hospitals, I’ve made some observations: Whoever is running the parking system is making a killing. We spent as much on parking as we did on food for two.

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