Cyber Pow Wow In My Cellar

Hey gangsters, I’m dropping a line out to all my writing comrades—what’s going on in your writing cellar?

Life, full of all its demands and drama, rarely spares time for writing, reading, twittering, blogging, marketing, etc. But at the heart, we are writers! Even when time is scarce, and some of you are on break, I know that many of you are still writing, brainstorming, researching, networking, doing whatever it takes to please your muse. Maybe even stretching that art into another form for inspiration and motivation. Whatever that is, I hope that you’ll stop by, share what projects you are operating on in your cellar or just check in with other writers.

Here are the beasts I’m working on in my cellar:

My main operating table: Wicked Tempest, the second Kate Waters Mystery. I’ve been pushing to finish my second draft for its first edit. I called my editor a few weeks ago to set up a date with her—I said sometime in June (like the 30th, you know)—and she says how about mid-May? I think we’ll have to compromise for June 1st, as I still have a hundred pages to go.

On the slab to my left, I hope to compile several of my short horror pieces into an anthology later this summer/fall. I’m thinking strictly an ebook for this, but haven’t ruled out small press. I’ll be including at least three new stories for that, which I’m also still trying to finish.

Behind me, along the wall in all my beakers, flasks, and Petri dishes, I’m collecting the hearts, eyeballs, and guts of my craft in order to breathe life back into my writing so that I can bust through a few walls. Say what? Bettering my writing that is. I have a few writing goals that to accomplish, I seemingly need to write a hell of a lot better than I currently do. So, I’ve decided to attend another round of writing workshops at the Willamette Writers 42nd Conference this year and network with other writers (I figure the pain of socializing with strangers will at least conjure a few story ideas). I’m also entering a few contests, continuing to submit, and reading, reading, reading, and writing, writing, writing. And there you have it, the Frankensteins of my cellar.

What beasts are on your writing tables?

17 thoughts on “Cyber Pow Wow In My Cellar”

  1. Hurray for the 2nd draft and new beast (horror novel) this summer. Looking forward to that Cole short story antho. Also, thumbs up for keeping up with reading novels. I think that's what I miss the most. When I started writing, I gave up a good chunk of my novel reading time. Now, I'm giving up my blog reading time for novel reading time. It all balances out I suppose. I've got beasts on the surgeons table. I'm sort of excited about some of them. Keep up the great work, Erin. Good to see all the good things people are up too. Great post.


  2. You have a great first line to a story there, Alan. I've also supported my local contest organization this year (Willamette Writers Kay Snow Contest) and have submitted a couple. I won honorable mention in non-fiction one year, which was totally unexpected, but I think adult fiction is a little more cut throat. Good luck with your writing; thanks for stopping in – East coast, west coast, we're all sisters and brothers in the end.


  3. My slab has been woe-fully devoid of corpses…It's been a lean winter for writing but I'll soon spring into action because the deadline for our local Cuffer Prize here on the Rock is early July. I have to breath life into TWO submittable stories. THanks for having us all over for the POW WOW, Erin. I don't here about those so often, now that I'm living on the East Coast.


  4. Excellent, John. Yes, the novel is a beast that requires a period of total devotion. I'm a fan of your work and will definitely look forward to its completion. Now good luck with the other five!


  5. On January 2nd I began writing Nobody's House, a novel I'd been slowly developing for several years. I finally dragged the sucker out of the cellar. I'm over 80,000 words into the process now, and within about 5-10 chapters of the conclusion. It's exciting to finally choose a beast.I have about five other novel projects as possibilities after this one, and umpteen short stories that require polish and submission. But this beast gets my all for now.


  6. Angel, I love the working title for your chap; it has art, movement, and mystery, in just three letters! And birds are always a fascinating subject to write about, in that they are extremely intelligent and are the envy of many with their life in the sky. I have no doubt your YA collection will ‘ink’ itself from the dark recesses in your mind. Don’t let my 100 pages intimidate; in lyrical originality, they might equal 10 of yours.Michael, You can always make me smile! Thanks, and you, out of all of us, are hardly a slacker. That’s like telling King to hurry up and write another novel.


  7. That's one mighty wide operating table. Shit, knocking out one hundred pages in less than a month…you go, girl! That's more than I write in a year. I looked up info on that Willamette Conference. It sounds worthwhile. Hopefully the writer freaks in attendance (yeah, they’ll be there spitting up literary backwash) won’t inspire self-mutilation with pencil. Hmm…might have to use that…Anyway, my plate has been dripping with poetry; working hard on all new stuff. Central theme seems to be about birds and ink. They’re more reflective, rather than horror-inspired. I’m thinking chapbook (which may contain a very few previously published pcs) complete by the fall. Working title is “Ink.”Polishing up new horror flash (also themed with birds) and revamping older unpublished shorts. My YA flash collection remains locked inside my head (it’ll happen, he tells himself, sure it will). Of course, all the while creating subs for open anthologies and e-zines. Although lately I’ve been sending out less, I continue to create.Keep the words a-flowing…


  8. Chris,It sounds like you are making great progess (I'm sure your 50 words are meaty) with a cellar full of delights! Looking forward to reading some of them.Laura, Ha! That question makes knife juggling look safe. How about a medium skull: )


  9. Sounds like a full "cellar", and I bet that's not even counting the things that are buried in the earthen floor…My "on the go" list more like a wish-list these days, but the biggies are: a Halloween story for the three-Press Special (Static Movement / Pill Hill Press / Wicked East Press). Once I finish that, I'm going to finally tackle the novel I've been preparing for for months. When that's done (read… in a year or so) I have a number of short stories that I've started, that might turn into something worthwhile for the "big" genre mags.I've thought about the collected shorts thing as well. My problem (and it's kind of a good one) is that most of everything I've written already appears online, or in an existing anthology somewhere, so I'd have to sort out what I'm allowed to do with everything!Whooo… this comment was way too long. (Blame the fact I've not written more than 50 words a day for about a month)!Happy writing!


  10. It seems Blogger was having a hard day. I actually had to repost. Thanks for returning Laura and Roland.Roland, the French Quarter Nocturne trailer looks great. Yes, I loved that story!Laura, good luck with your YA – I've been through so many "last edits" that now, unless I push it from the nest, there will always be another edit. BTW, I'll trade you a heart for a skull.


  11. They didn't give you your comments back??! Oh my…well, I took the liberty of strolling through your cellar. You might be short an eyeball or two. :)


  12. I commented yesterday, but you know yesterday went! My blog is my writing table of sorts. I dabble in all sorts of blogfests, teaching what I've learned of querying and writing, and reaching out to other struggling souls. Have a great weekend, Roland


  13. Ohhh…can I trade you a heart for some of your eyeballs? I could get lost in your lovely cellar!I'm finishing final (I hope!) edits on a YA fantasy right now and, like you, want to gather my horror/dark fantasy shorts into an anthology this summer.Yay for the writers conference. (I think I'd swallow my tongue trying to talk to all those strangers) Have fun!


  14. I'm trying to get a rough idea of how I'd like to write book 2 and 3 for my near-completed WIP…it's hard to think in the future! (fictional future, that is).


  15. My writing table is my blog, of all things. I wish you luck on your contests and submissions.You liked my entry in your Halloween contest, and I have Kindle-published the novel it came from, FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE. Come check out the book trailer I had the talented Wendy Tyler Ryan make for it :http://rolandyeomans.blogspot.com/You have to hand it to us, Erin — we simply do not give up, do we? Roland


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