Titles by Kij Johnson are available for purchase online

Well, not actually so wild, but it has been busy. I got back from my mom’s house, just in time to start getting ready for my writing workshops to start, and to tidy up the house for a visitor who is staying with me for two weeks. Also what’s been happening is just the same unfocusedness (sure, let’s call that a word) that’s been dogging me for months. Various reasons/complications, some of which I can talk about; some I can’t, unfortunately.

I have been writing a little: I have a story due in a month and I am having some trouble coming up with an idea for it. This is a solicited story, and I was told they wanted a “Kij Johnson story” — which should mean no pressure, right? Except it’s ALL THE PRESSURE. What’s a Kij Johnson story? Who’s the Kij Johnson? Suddenly I feel as though I have been invited to write a story in the style of an author I have never read, and can’t find on the internet. Anyway, I think I have started something I’m pleased with. Okay what happens after the first 300 words in a Kij Johnson story?

I got a lovely email from a writer who read my collection and wanted to say thank you. This is the most exciting sort of email: intelligent praise from someone who sees what I am doing. I never EVER get tired of this, which is why I sent out a whole lot of letters like this last year to writers who changed things for me just with what they had done.

I also thought of, finished, and sent out a new experimental (maybe it’s a) story, very short, called “Takeaways from Shakespearean Sonnets.” Sent to two markets with a record of replying in under a month. I don’t know if it’s anyone’s jam, but it was fun to write.

Did I mention I sprained my ankle at my mom’s house?

I have a houseguest, as I said: the brilliant and kindly Dom, who is the easiest person on the world to be with, as it turns out. Normally at about this time of year, I would be hosting a novel workshop in Lawrence, talking (with Barbara) for two weeks straight about writing and plots, and eating dinner with eight attendees in various combinations. While Barbara and I are running an oddball version of the workshop from our homes this year, Dom came up to take a break from his very busy life, and to hang out — and it’s wonderful. This si the first time I have really gone out and done things since before the pandemic started: restaurants and casual chats and ice cream, and I love it.

Maybe I’ll leave it at that. It’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote here, because there were a lot of stressors, which are still there. But in spite of them all, I’m doing well. I’ll take the substantial win.

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