And now, back to writing.

I have been away. Not physically, but elsewhere in the virtual world. In spring, I host a blog dedicated to tracking the ice-melt on Lake of the Woods, south of Kenora, Ontario. Being logged on to WordPress for the Lake of the Woods Ice Patrol changes all my settings. It also takes a lot of my time: reading, writing and critiquing all take a back seat for the six or eight weeks it takes the lake to melt.

Somehow, while getting up early and staying up late, I still managed to keep my writing turning over at a trickle. Although I didn’t keep my submissions in full flow, I believe I have achieved my first professional sale. I have agreed to a contract for “Far Gone,” the first prequel story I spun off from my novel, Avians of Celadon. “Far Gone” should appear online on the first of June, and as soon as I have confirmation that the deal is done, I will post a link to the magazine. While I’m at it, I should do the same for “Freezer Burn,” the second Celadon story, which appeared in Antipodean SF in January.

How’s the novel going? Well, my Odyssey online course gave me a lot to think about, and now some of my classmates are chipping in with critiques of the opening chapter. The revision process seems to be pretty much endless, and somehow I have to persuade myself to submit each version to new agents or publishers. In the meantime, Lindsay Kitson is reading the whole thing. She is a dieselpunk author from Winnipeg; we are both pilots with an interest in what I like to call alternate aviation. She does magnetically lifted aircraft carriers and diesel powered fighter aircraft, I do solar-powered airships and counterweight catapulted gliders. We met at KeyCon in Winnipeg a couple of years ago, and I’m reading her first manuscript, Redwing. I look forward to exchanging ideas and critiques.

Speaking of cons: I plan to attend two this year. Winnipeg’s Keycon 32 will be in just a couple of weeks, and I’ve been too busy to even pay proper attention to the emerging schedule. It looks like I’ve already missed the boat on advance registration, so I’ll be joining the herd at the door. In August, I’ll be heading to Spokane for Sasquan, this year’s WorldCon, home of the Hugo Awards. None of my current favorite authors are in the running this year, and I am only just now freeing up enough time to try and get some reading done. It was a mad scramble last year to try and get ready for the Auroras, so I don’t know if I’ll be voting for any Hugos.

First I have to catch up on all the blogs I follow.

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