Writing Is Hard
I haven't written a thing in months.
I mean, there's definitely been a lot on my plate. I've also been reading more than I have in ages, which is nice, but I haven't written anything. In months.
It's killing me. And I know writing is difficult, but every time I open a document or a notebook, even if it's to work on something that I've already begun, I just come up empty. It hurts. Almost physically, it hurts. I used to be one of those writers who had to have a notebook with me everywhere I went, that was how fast and frequently the words came. It hasn't been that way since I was a teenager and I still miss it every day.
Part of me wonders if I should share this, but at the same time I know I should because who knows how many other people are feeling the exact same way and are afraid to talk about it because it might make them seem like "less of a writer" or something? I definitely feel like that sometimes. How can I call myself a writer when I'm not writing?
I don't have an answer to that question yet, but I'm certain there is one.
The Tenth Tier!
Hello! It feels like it's been decades since I've updated this site, and I know that's not true...though it has been over a year. I'm publishing a book! After a successful Kickstarter campaign that I never even mentioned here, I struggled for about a year trying to put this together. The Tenth Tier is a dystopian sci fi novella about a society where the government has absolute control over who is born and who dies. It's told in multiple perspectives, by characters I've grown quite attached to at this point. So far I've got a cover, done the interior design, and ordered one paper proof copy. The second paper proof copy should be the last (if all goes according to plan) and I'll be sending copies to my Kickstarter backers and publishing team.
Phew. What a lot I've failed to report on!
Anyway, I'll be writing more in the future, ideally, and will be updating the site to reflect where to buy the book as soon as it becomes available.
The Tenth Tier is a Go!
Exciting news! My Kickstarter has fully funded, work has begun in EXTRA earnest on the dystopian sci fi novella The Tenth Tier. Here are the things we have left to do, by my estimation.
Hello! I know I've posted similar announcements in the past, but this one is much more concrete. I'm going to be self publishing my dystopian sci-fi novella The Tenth Tier as a standalone piece (both ebook and paperback) as soon as possible.
There are still a lot of steps that the book needs to go through before it can be published (editing, proofreading, cover and interior design, etc.) but I have confidence that it should be ready to release in the next couple to several months. I will try and keep this site updated with information about the book, but I might be getting a new site soon too, so I'll keep you posted! It's an exciting time. A horrible time, in general, but an exciting one in terms of books.
Hello again! I've decided to do another one of my short story challenges from December 9th through January 5th. It's 28 days instead of the usual 30, and that might be just enough of a difference to make me feel less concerned about the number of short stories needed for the challenge. You can keep up with my daily progress on Twitter, but for now here's the rules for anyone who feels like joining at home.
1. Write one short story each day, of any length. It can be two sentences, but it must be complete.
2. Post story title, word count, and a sentence summary on the social media outlet of your choice whenever in the day the story has been written (if desired).
3. Up to a page of each story can have been written before the challenge. The words written before the challenge are still counted in the daily word counts that you are posting on social media (if you want to post anything at all).
4. There are no penalties for dropping out early. You're doing this for you, not me or anyone else!
I could have sworn there were more rules than just the four, but I guess not. Anyway, please feel free to join me, and let me know if you have any questions!
Perhaps this is just post-big-paper submission mania talking, but I've put together 20 short stories that I think would make a decent, if eclectic, short story collection. I know that I need to do some serious editing (on some of the stories more than others, but really on all of them) before I go ahead and pull the trigger on that self publication thing I've been wanting to do for so long, but having the titles and feeling comfortable with the tentative page count (a slender 108 pages) is still a pretty big deal. Unfortunately, it's going to cost money. So I will need to acquire some of that somehow. I guess first step is to come up with a budget? I have no idea what I'm doing, apparently. I guess I shall figure it out as I go!
So I was going to do the short story challenge I do from time to time this month, but with grad school everything is just happening so much. I'm going to choose 30 days out of my winter break this year and do it then. I already have 30 ideas! (More than that, really. I haven't had much time to write lately so they've been piling up...) I hope that I'll actually be able to finish the challenge this time. I've made it as far as halfway in the past before needing to take a step back. That's all I really have to say at the moment, but I'll try and keep this page updated more regularly, though there's not much writerly news going on in my life right now. Well, one thing, but I'll post about it closer to the time.
I genuinely thought that I would be posting more on this site, but unfortunately that has proven much more difficult than I anticipated. Semester one practically ate me alive, so I am taking the summer off. I do realize that we are now two thirds of the way through June, and I have had plenty of time since that occurred to post here, but I have been in full recovery mode since I made the decision to drop my summer courses. Now I am back, with my head above water, and thinking about doing some writing again.
I'm not sure if I mentioned this concept before, but I think the idea that I'm going to start running with in the immediate is a sextet of science fiction novellas, each of which relates to themes of mortality and how technology changes our relationship with it. I hope the stories are dissimilar enough to make this worthwhile, but the titles, in no particular order, are below. (I Googled whether to put them in quotes or italicize and settled on quotes because I intend to publish them together as a unit and not in individual bindings, which is, I have learned, the criterion.)
"What a Dozen Dead Girls Saw"
"The Tenth Tier"
"The Wooden Husband"
"The Many Murders of Baxter Lyle"
Some of these titles may sound familiar to folks who have known me for a while. "Sunila" was mentioned once in a Facebook status. "What a Dozen Dead Girls Saw" was slated to be a NaNoWriMo project some years back. "The Tenth Tier" has taken so many forms I've almost lost track, but I think I finally have an outline I like. Others, in particular "The Many Murders of Baxter Lyle," are new and have not been mentioned to pretty much anyone.
The novella format has always somewhat frightened me. I work better in the very short form (one of my best stories is approximately 100 words long) and once something gets complex enough to draw out it very quickly escalates into a novel concept. I am hopeful, however, that these ideas are just complex enough that I will be able to pull this off. If not, well, I'm no worse off for trying.
Thanks for reading and, though I know I've said it before, I will sincerely try to update this page more regularly.
Change of Plans
So I had a lot of grandiose ideas a couple weeks back, and I posted them publicly to hold myself accountable. This is a good idea, and I thing I do a lot when I really want to do things and feel like me telling myself that I want to do said things isn't going to be enough for those things to actually get done. However, I did a bit of soul searching and realized that attempting to write and submit to a whole bunch of journals while also in graduate school was setting myself up for failure. School is the thing that I need to put my energy and focus on right now. It's difficult enough to meet the deadlines I already have without imposing a whole bunch more on myself.
So I'll wait until things calm down. I'll keep writing when I can, and shelving ideas for later if necessary. I'll talk to my friend the editor (who I still intend to hire when things reach that point) and let her know where things are now. I'll keep reminding myself that, although usually writing is the thing that makes a writer, a pause in my writing cannot take my identity away from me.
Sorry if that got a bit heavy for a quick blog post, but here we are.
In conclusion, I won't be submitting anything for publication any time soon. But I'm still a writer. So there.
Short Fiction Planning
Honestly, with my rigorous graduate school curriculum, I have no time to write, let alone submit for publication. Yet here I am, hiring a freelance editor and getting ready to do just that. I've also enlisted the help of several friends to read stories themselves or allow me to read the stories to them for the sake of flow. One of the planned stories (out of a near insurmountable three that I intend to get done this month) will not need to be read aloud, as it is epistolary and meant to be viewed as is, but the other two will need substantial polish. Only one of them has been drafted at time of writing.
Meanwhile, I've taken quite grandly to Twitter, managing to post there several times a day even in the midst of my studies. If you want to keep better tabs on me, I highly suggest doing it there. I'm trying to think what else there is that I could say here, except that I am both energized and overwhelmed by all that I have to, and want to, do at this point in my life. I shall keep you posted of any pending publications, I say with the worst kind of optimism.
Ria Hill is a writer of primarily horror and science fiction. They prefer writing about anyone but themself.