PostHeaderIconWeek of 6-12 May 2017

Week of 6-12 May 2017


Welcome to my weekly update. This week I've been plugging away at Hunt for the Dymalon Cygnet, the follow-up book to Dance for the Ivory Madonna, plus all the usual stuff.

This Week

Major Project: 

I started working on Hunt for the Dymalon Cygnet soon after I finished Dance for the Ivory Madonna. The first year or so was research and planning: I had to come upm with a basic plot, develop characters, and work on creating the physical and social backgrounds.

After that, I wrote the first few sections of the book, and then I hit something of a roadblock. It wasn't that the story wasn't working or I had plot problems—it was more that there were other things I wanted to do more. Having a full-time job didn't make it easy to juggle multiple projects: I pretty much had to concentrate on one thing at a time.

Besides, Dymalon Cygnet is a set in a somewhat depressing future, with a totalitarian government controlling much of North America. After 2008, I didn't feel any great pressure to return to that world—and I didn't want to hear all the people saying "Oh, you're just writing about the George W. Bush years." (For the record, no I wasn't. And no I'm not.) So Dymalon Cygnet went on the back burner.

When I retired, I had time to work on multiple projects, and I slotted Dymalon Cygnet into my schedule. I still puttered at it, because I was doing plenty else, but I did work at it.

When I finished up with A Cosmos of Many Mansions, it was time to promote another project to center stage. Looking around the world, I think it's time to get back to that somewhat depressing future. Perhaps it's a bit more believable now.

So here I am, about a third of the way through the book and moving ahead steadily.

Other Project(s): 

In addition to Dymalon Cygnet I've been scanning more books, working on my Legion of Super-Heroes website, keeping up with regular PR jobs, and still planning for Play for the Crimson Scintilla.

The SFWA SF StoryBundle finished up last week with over 1000 bundles sold, which was great. I've already got the money, by PayPal; the folks at StoryBundle are about the most efficient I've ever dealt with.

Thanks to everyone who bought the bundle. Now, please do two things to help the authors out:

  1. Go to Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever and leave a rating for each book in the bundle. This is honestly the best thing you can do for writers.
  2. If you enjoy a book from the bundle, look at what else the author has available. A lot of these writers are indie-published, which means their books don't cost a lot.




Upcoming Appearance(s): 

Obligatory Cute Hamster Picture

Currently Reading


Return to Adolescence

I've been threatening for a while to talk about my Legion of Super-Heroes website, and I've just had something of a minor epiphany regarding it, so now's a good time.

The Legion of Super-Heroes, for those who aren't comic fans, is a group of teenage superheroes in the 30th (now 31st) century, with a time-traveling Superboy as one of their most powerful members. Each Legionnaire has a unique super-power, and they work as a team to defeat their enemies. From the first appearance in Superboy comics in 1958, the Legion has been ka joy to its many fans, and a thorn in the side of everyone else in the comics industry.

I first ran into the Legion at the tender age of 8 in 1966. And I instantly became a fan.

No, I didn't just become a fan...I became a compulsive, super-dedicated fan with the extreme focus and obsessive knowledge that only a person with Aspergers can muster. I have had many obsessions in my life (or, as they’re known is Aspergers circles, perseverations)—the Legion was my first and greatest.

My Legion website is my attempt to catalog and organize the almost 60 years of Legion history: every story, every character, every alternate version. It's a labor of love that only a true fan can understand. Starting with 1958, I am currently up to 1992 and progressing at a rate of about two months of comics per one week of real time. With luck, I'll be caught up to the present in a few years.

[To be technically correct...the very best kind of a few years I'll be caught up to 2011, because I've also been cataloging present-day appearances since then.]

Okay, why am I telling you all this?

Let me take you back to the Golden Age: in this case, my own personal Golden Age, which would be when I was an early adolescent, say 12-15. Let's focus on the summers, when I didn't have to face the various triumphs and nightmares of school.

Those far-off times were very happy for me. Without the pressures of having a job and all the other worries of adulthood, I spent those golden days doing things I loved. Writing. Reading. Collecting books. Reading and re-reading the adventures of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Playing with my dog. Riding my bike around the neighborhood.

Now, close enough to age 60 as to make no nevermind, how do I spend my days?

Writing. Reading. Collecting books. Reading and re-reading the adventures of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Playing with my hamster.

Except for the bike—which I pretty much stopped riding as soon as I got my drivers license—I'm now doing essentially what I loved doing when I was 14.

The only difference is that here, at this end of life, I've reached heights of joy, achievement, and fulfillment that my 14-year-old self could never have imagined. I'm sure that the level of joy that I feel regularly today would have been so much beyond the capabilities of that 14-year-old as to leave him stunned and comatose.

No, life isn't perfect. And maybe a 60-year-old shouldn't be proud of living a version of the same life he lived at 14. But I think I'm pretty lucky.

Thanks for listening.


Thanks to

Betsy Anthony Childs