productivity update

On Day 30 of my “twelve sentences” resolution, I’ve finished the “second draft” of SATORI. It’s a second draft inasmuch as there was a first draft, but in fact I wrote the last 6 pages of Issue 3 plus all of Issues 4 and 5 de novo — I have some memory of what I wrote originally, obviously, but no text from the first draft has been retained. (And, yeah, 57 comics pages is a lot more than 360 sentences, if that was at issue.) This may change — there are at least three loose ends in the current version, not to mention plenty of panels with nothing but a line of dialogue and a notation to the effect of “insert visual description”… so there’s some editing to do before the script goes to Mike.

The big question, though, is where my daily tithe of words goes now. The novel is so scattered that it doesn’t seem like this would work — there are lots of internal contradictions, I’m not sure exactly where it’s going, but I have written an ending… etc. And “Incunabulum” is obviously just hanging around waiting to hear from me. But (a) getting a readable draft of the novel is my next big priority and (b) a month ago, I wasn’t sure that doing the comic in longhand was going to work either. So there are reasons to think I should try it.

Related, there are a bunch of short stories hanging around my computer that I’ve been meaning to submit since the beginning of the fall. I guess the smart thing to do would be just to spend a few hours rounding them up and figuring out where each one ought to go. I’ve been dragging my feet on this not so much because it’s time-consuming as because getting short stories published in magazines is not what I really care about. I think it’s great that short fiction magazines can survive, but no one I know, including me, actually reads them with any regularity. I’m happy to submit to magazines, but the goal is to get my work in places where people who don’t identify as SF fans will come across it. (I realize this goal is not utterly realistic — the population browsing the SF shelves at bookstores is probably not wildly more diverse than that reading STRANGE HORIZONS, and in any case there are lots of people, some of them really good writers, whose work hits those shelves and is ignored and forgotten. And, by the way, I’ve only published two short stories totaling about 3000 words in professional venues, so it’s not absolutely clear that anyone really wants to read my work anyway. All fair enough. Nonetheless, the goal abides.)

Finally — I’ve arguably buried the lede here, but the ordering reflects my sense of accomplishment — I am the lead author on an upcoming paper in the journal NEUROPSYCHOLOGIA, titled “Predicting judged similarity of mammals from their neural representations.” It’s taken so long to get accepted that I’m not as happy about it as perhaps I should be; however, its importance on my future ability to feed my future family is probably much greater than anything fictional I have published or ever will. I’ll post the link to the article when it comes out.

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