November 30th, 2008

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Writerly meme

The matociquala/autopope/rolanni pro-writer career path meme:

Current Status as of this morning:
On a break. One Big Novel completed this year, I have the next in the back of my brain and even some bits and bobs of it written, but nothing coherent yet. It probably won't be begun properly until January.

Age when I decided I wanted to be a writer: I don't REMEMBER. I think I always knew I wanted to write. I don't think that I ever decided I "wanted to be a writer", that being-a-writer thing kind of decided it wanted to be me. Age when I knew I wanted to ba a full-time published author, that this was the life and the lifestyle I wanted, was probably when I heard Lynne Reed Banks tell us about that life when I was 15 and she came to my school for an author visit. I watched her talk about it with her eyes shining and I knew, I *knew*, that I wanted to do this when I grew up...

Age when I wrote my first story: Again, I don't remember. Age at which I wrote my first poem is five. I know my stories were winning prizes by the time I was 12. But I've always scribbled. Define "story"...

Age when I got my hands on a typewriter: very young. My grandfather's, originally - and if it wasn't a Royale it was close to it. Then my dad's, a more modern Olivetti. Then finally my dad gave me my own, a funky sweet little Olivetti which typed in cursive - which was great but it was a toy more than a serious instrument, really. I really came into my own with a computer - before that my writing was mostly long-hand, and transcribed later any which way it could be...

Age when I first submitted a short story to a magazine: nine, I think

Thickness of file of rejection slips prior to first story sale: I didn't know I was supposed to count 'em [grin]. Let's just say, for the record, LOTS.

Age when I sold my first short story: professionally, in my twenties sometime. EARLY twenties.I have the magazine it came out in, I could go look, but let's say... 22, 23, thereabout.

Age when I killed my first market: I don't murder markets. Hasn't happened yet.

Approximate number of short stories/novelettes/novellas sold for cash money: I don't really write SHORT all that often, actually. Maybe 20 or so all told.

Age when I first sold a poem: I was a teenager. Don't remember exactly.
Poems sold: more than a hundred

Age when I wrote my first novel: first complete one, not surviving to this day, really bad - about 11 (that's in ENGLISH. I probably did something of the sort in my own language before I 'learned' English, which would make it something like 8 or so...) First DECENT one, still surviving, in longhand, in PENCIL, in three hard-cover notebooks - 15.

Age when I sold a first novel: 36
Novels written between age 6 and age 36: eight
Age when I wrote the first novel I sold: 36
Age when that novel was published: 36
Total number of novels written (discounting juvenilia, counting collaborations, counting fixups): 17
Books sold: 10 (one short story collection, one non-fiction autobiography, eight novels)
Books published or delivered and in the pipeline (including novellas published as independent books): 10
Number of titles in print: 8
Number of titles fallen out of print: 2

Age when I became a full-time novelist: 36
Age when I returned to the day-job because of economic implosion: not yet
Age now: 45

Christmas present wrapping with feline assistance, 2008 edition

Me: [takes out paraphernalia - roll of wrapping paper and assorted other wrapping paper, scissors, tape, pen, etc.]

Cats [coming running]: "OOOOH! ooooh1 something's going on! What's happening?"

Cat 1 sits in the middle of Assorted Other Wrapping Paper and gives me an interested stare: "You may continue."

Me: [Removes cat from wrapping paper, unfolds paper to cut to size, cat steps on paper, remove cat from paper, rinse and repeat several times. Paper finally cut]

Cat 2 [sticking his head under tape as I break off a piece to tape down the wrapping]: "OOOoooh. That looks like fun. HEY! You tried to take off my whiskers!!!"

Me: "So keep your whiskers out of the way of my tape!"

Cat 2 gives me injured look.

Remove Cat 1 from plastic bag housing a present. Extract present. Cat 1 returns to bag. I allow Cat 1's bottom to continue sticking out of said bag, tail twitching.

Cat1 {muffled]: "But it's empty. It wasn't empty just now. What happened to the stuff that was inside this? Oh well. Never mind. Empty bag. POUNCE!" [Cat 1 is now chasing empty bag across floor]

Me: [pick up another present, somewhat scented]

Cat 2: "What is it?" [sticks snout into package. Sneezes. Backs away.] 'You're GIVING that to someone? You're making someone take that?... You're MEAN!" [gives me injured look, stalks away to a couple of safe paces apart and then sits down again, supervising]

Cat 1: [chasing bag chasing bag chasing bag ducking head out of bag to look back at Cat 2]: "Did I miss something?"

Cat 2 comes and sits on wrapping paper again.

Remove cat.

Cat 1 leaves bag and knocks over a stack of books.

Pick up book to wrap.

Cat 1 bats at my hand. "But those were mine!"

Cat 2 [peering over my wrist]: "When are you wrapping up any of the INTERESTING stuff?"

Cat 1 [peering over my other wrist]: "Oh! Is that for ME?"

Remove cats from immediate vicinity so that I have room to, well, swing a cat. Attempt to cut some more wrapping paper, but as soon as I unroll an adequate amount Cat 1 comes and sits on it. Remove cat from wrapping paper. Cat 2 is batting at the half-open scissors. Remove cat's vulnerable paw pads from between scissor blades. Honestly, sometimes it's like living with a pair of two-year-olds.

Try to tape down wrapping paper over awkwardly-shaped present.

Cat 1 [sticking snout into affair]: "Can I be of assistance?"

Cat 2 [from behind me, inquisitive mrrorowr]: "Is that for me?"

Remove cat from top of wrapped present to stick on a gift label. Cat looks affronted.

Roll of wrapping paper gets finished. Cat 1 bunny-bats it with back feet, wrestling with it. Cat 2 pounces from behind the armchair in a sneak attack. I use the opportunity to gather up debris and take it away.

Cats stop activity and look at me mournfully.

Cat 1: "You DONE already?"

Cat 2: "But we were just starting to have fun...

Me [sigh]: "More tomorrow."

Cat [losing interest]: "Ooooh! Look! Squirrel! Kill!"

So much for peace on earth.

More later.