Hello and happy New Year!
I've been away from here, but I have been blogging -- at the Cold Iron Blog, where my Cold Iron Badge co-creator Patrick and I talk about the origins, process and future of CIB.
You can also follow me on Twitter, or friend me on Facebook, both of which I've been updating rather more frequently than this space.
Other than the Cold Iron Blog, though, I haven't been writing much over the past few months; my head has been in other spaces, and there's always the issue of time. Not of finding it, so much as managing it. But with the recent holidays, I've upgraded my tools in a way that I think will help a great deal -- my Christmas present from me and the family to myself was a netbook, one of the new generation of really small, light, efficient laptops. It weighs about a kilogram, and the battery works like a dream, so I can really take it anywhere. Now I can write with ease on my lunch hour at work, for instance.
The ghosts of Shakespeare and Robertson Davies are laughing at me. "You don't actually need a computer to write, you know," they're saying. "Or have you not heard of the bleeding-edge technologies that we call a pen and paper?"
Supercilious dead bastards.
The fact is, there are things that it is easier for me to write on a computer. Longhand is all very well for jotting down stray thoughts, or for outlines, ideas and character sketches -- things that involve me crystallizing my thoughts on paper. But for the actual writing, the things that other people are actually going to read, I just find it easier, faster, more efficient and more fluid to use a computer.
I'm going to push myself to write for at least an hour every day, more if I can make the time after the kids are in bed. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it's much more than I'm managing now, and I think it'll make a huge difference.
Because, after a long period of erstwhiling, and then a long process of de-erstwhiling by fits and starts, I feel like now is the time to really push forward.
There's so much I want to do. A couple of my screenplays have gone through the critiquing process in the Writers Group, and it's time for new drafts that'll polish them up. There's lots of exciting stuff coming up in Cold Iron Badge. Greg and I have been talking about launching a new Xeno's Arrow website, building our readership, and eventually merchandising and creating new material.
It's an exciting time, an exciting place to be in.
There was a lot of pain for me last year, but a lot of good, too -- my new job at the University and the launch of Cold Iron Badge were two big ones. I've been describing 2008 as the year I stopped falling.
That means that 2009 is the year to fly.