The Writing Life: Fear, Want, Dissatisfaction, Defiance

First off, sorry for the delay in getting this posted. I was at Marcon this weekend, with Faith and Lucienne, and had a wonderful time. We got to see Daniel and Donald, and we met a few new people as well. Fun time. As soon as I got home, I was off to a Passover Seder at the home of a friend, so I didn’t get the chance to write this post ahead of time, as I usually do.

Second, check out the IGMS advertisement just to the right of this post. That is the artwork for “A Memory of Freedom,” by D.B. Jackson. It is the feature story for this month’s issue of Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. This is a Thieftaker story, and that figure in the ad is one artist’s rendering of Ethan Kaille, the lead character of the Thieftaker books. I hope you’ll visit the […]

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The Writing Life: The Value of Tenacity

A while back, I wrote a post on the value of ambition in which I discussed various forms of ambition and the ways each of them had benefited my art and my career. I would like to offer a companion piece to that first post, by focusing on a second quality — tenacity — that a) has served me well over the years, and b) manifests itself in different forms.

Tenacity: noun — Persistence in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired. (from Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed.)

There are actually a couple of other definitions of the word, but this is the one that most fully gets at the essence of what the word means to me. And hey, it’s my post . . .

Writing is an endeavor — and a profession — that can be absolutely brutal on those who tend to give […]

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On Writing: The Value of Ambition

“…This hardworking if glum and unambitious debut might just–but only just–keep a nostril above the flood of mediocre fantasy currently sloshing about.” — Kirkus Reviews, on Children of Amarid, by David B. Coe

Okay, not my favorite line from the many reviews I’ve received over the years. In truth, there was a lot in this review that bothered me, including a comment about the birds of prey in the book (who are the foundation of the magic system) being “merely a nuisance.” I also didn’t like them calling my book glum, nor did I appreciate the damning-with-ever-so-faint-praise ending. But to this day, the word that bothers me most is “unambitious.”

Ambition for writers comes in many forms and works on many levels, and I am proud to say that I am ambitious in every way imaginable. I believe that my various sorts of ambition serve to better my work […]

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On Writing and New Year’s Goals: Conquering Our Inner Demons

Happy 2012, all! Like A.J., I usually begin my year with a new set of goals and plans. I bring high hopes and great ambitions to every new year, and I was glad to have the chance to list my goals for 2012 in response to A.J.’s Friday post. Chances are, if he hadn’t written a Resolutions/Goals post, I would have.

But I have to admit that my thinking about this coming year in particular is somewhat different than it has been on New Year’s Days past. 2012 will mark the launch of the Thieftaker series and the “career” of D.B. Jackson. With the single exception of my very first year as a published author (Children of Amarid was released in May, 1997) this is the most important year of my professional life. And as this year dawns, I find myself thinking less about specific goals and more about matters […]

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Writing Life: Reassessing Goals For the Year

The other day my 12 year-old made a remark that brought me up short. We were talking about plans for the fall, and she said something along the lines of, “Well, you know, the year is basically over.”

Whoa! Hold on there, Sweetie!

I suppose she’s to be forgiven. School starts for her today, and so as far as she is concerned, summer is gone and the rest of the year promises to be a slog until Christmas break. But those of us who are old don’t like our lives being trimmed that way. And, more to the point for the purposes of this post, those of us who have work to do and goals to meet don’t like giving up a full four months out of the year.

So, rather than take her comment to heart and spend the rest of the year eating Oreos and watching Buffy reruns, […]

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