Writing and Furloughs

I’m not on furlough.  Yet.

I’m in the working capital crowd, so my work’s money is generated by us. But that’s going to run out, possibly at the end of next week (because the people who buy things from us are on furlough, so no new money will be coming in).  It’s bad because we don’t know, so it’s like it’s this ticking bomb that we can’t see.  We know the timer is counting down, and we don’t know exactly when it will go off.

Then we’ve had an interesting week with the high speed chase near the White House that ended up at the Capitol, with lots of shooting.  That was followed up the next day by the self-immolation.

So the mood here is … well, disillusioned and hopeless.  This is the reason I want to write full time.  The politicians get into a hissing fit and suddenly I have no control over getting my paycheck — and it’s nothing I’ve done!  It’s the like the politicians are completely disconnected from reality.  They think everyone is making tons of money like the senior management and can stand for a few days of no paychecks.  How would you react if your employer said “I can’t pay you for two weeks?”   Even if you have enough to survive, there’s still the impact of knowing that there is no money coming in.


I finished my science fiction short story and sent it.

But this story almost didn’t get written.  When I first saw the anthology, I did have an idea for it.  But the deadline at the time was very short, and I was really intimidated by the thought of doing a science fiction story.  I kept looking at the idea and thinking, “But I don’t know what I’m going to do with the story, or how it ends.”  So I kept shooting down the idea and didn’t write it.

Then the anthology got extended, and I looked at it again and asked why wasn’t I writing it?  I had to turn off that voice (and occasionally beat it away) that kept trying to tell me either that it was a problem I didn’t know what I was going to do with the story or that I should know how it ends.  I just picked character names and started writing, really one sentence at a time.  Listening to that inner voice, I would have decided on the ending and written to that — and wrecked the story.  Instead, when I was done, I was amazed at what it ended up being.

Now I’m working on two more stories, also for anthologies, one science fiction and one fantasy. I’m thinking right now on focusing just on short stories because I can do a bunch of those and get them out to pro-rate magazines.  I’m looking at this more of getting my name seen in as many places as possible because that, in turn, will eventually help me make money.

My flash fiction short story “The Library Patron” will be out this week, so watch for a post with more information.


I just finished Amee and David Thurlo’s The Enemy Way, a mystery about Ella Clah, a Navajo police officer.  It’s one of the few series that I’m continuing to enjoy even though it’s well past book seven (yeah, and I know this is book 4, but I hadn’t read it.).  Most seem to self destruct at around book seven. They change the character’s life in such a way that the core conflict changes, so I end up losing why I came to the series.  Whereas, with the Clah series, the authors keep the character’s conflict consistent (her job is at war with her culture), but change her life.  The result is she has a conflict that is consistent and at the heart of the series, but her life can change around it.

I also have Sue Grafton’s Kinsey and Me.  The hardback version is available.  The book is mostly short stories from early in the popular mystery series’ time.  I remember when this series first came out.  It was a really big deal because it was one of the first forays for women into being private detectives in fiction.  At that point, I spent my time in bookstores struggling to find books with any women in it that wasn’t a romance novel because the default was male characters.  Things have changed a lot since then, and people today don’t realize that authors like Sue Grafton broke the ground that led to other types of books.

I have my eye on Year of the Demon, by Steve Bein.  I read the first book, Daughter of the Sword, and it was awesome, so I want to get the next book.  That one has to wait until the furlough settles, since I have to buy it.

What are you reading?

2 thoughts on “Writing and Furloughs

  1. I’m happy to hear you’re not on furlough at this point, Linda. Unfortunately my brother-in-law is. You’re right, missing a couple of paychecks can have a huge impact, especially when you have three children in college. I grew up in the DC area and left in 2004. I miss it at times, but not the traffic.

    I’m just started to read, Caught, by Harlan Corbin.


  2. I’m currently reading ‘Telzey Amberdon,’ a collection of SF short stories written by James H. Schmitz in the 60s. The tech in the stories is dated, of course, but it’s still a fun read. The stories are an early example of strong female leads in SF, which Schmitz was apparently known for. I’m a little disappointed that the giant psychic cat pictured on the cover only seems to be in one story, though.

    I haven’t heard of ‘Daughter of the Sword’ before, but it sounds pretty good. I’ll have to check it out sometime.

    I hope things work out for you in DC. That must be a really frustrating situation.


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