The Extrahuman Union

National Novel Avoidance Month Runs Aground

Posted on: November 13, 2012

I promised myself that this year, in November, I’d take a break from fiction. I had all kinds of excuses. I wrote two rough draft manuscripts this year, I assured myself, and even though I hadn’t done much of anything with them since that was clearly Good Enough. I’d also gone through two actual book releases, one in January and another in August, and I’d just finished the revisions on another book due out sometime next year. Seriously, I thought, these were excellent excuses.

Lastly, and this may be the most legitimate reason of all, when elections roll around life as a political columnist gets really hectic. Elections tend to burn me out, so I figured this year I was going to play it totally safe. While everyone else was busy with their NaNovels, posting word counts and cursing their characters, I was going to be slaying digital monsters and sipping tea. Ah yes.

Have I mentioned that I’ve gotten into tea in a big way? Ask me about my tea infuser and giant tins of loose leaf tea. Ask me about the tea leaves scattered all over the kitchen counter. Go ahead. You have time to kill.

So that was it, National Novel Avoidance Month had come to Susanland, and I was living large. I spent my after-work time covered in a layer of cats. I finished up all my political writing and started reading Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, which is a blast so far.

But then I kept having ideas. Conversations started playing out in my head. I started thinking about characters doing things. And, of course, everyone out there is writing stuff this month. It’s infectious.

Therefore, naturally, over the weekend I found myself arm-deep in a manuscript, starting the laborious process of revision. Argh! So much for vacation. All those monsters are just sitting there on my computer, waiting to be slain, and I’m figuring out how many members the Women’s Council in Müller-Darvan has. Bah!

*glowers at world*

Okay, so here’s what’s going on now!

  • I didn’t put up a post about it at the time, but THE COLLECTION from Topside Press came out in October! All new stories from the “transgender vanguard,” which sounds like a cool band name or maybe a football formation, and I’ve got a story in it. Check it out. So many good writers in there! The anthology’s been getting some rave reviews. My story, “Ramona’s Demons,” is mentioned in a few of them. One of them said, “This one had me laughing out loud and smiling and getting angry.” Excellent.
  • I finished up the latest round of revisions for THE DAUGHTER STAR, which will be out sometime next year.
  • Right now I’m working on revising the rough draft of THE SEEKER STAR, which is the follow-up to THE DAUGHTER STAR. Yes, this is the book that ruined my vacation.
  • I’m also making notes and writing a few scenes for the fourth Extrahumans book. I have no timetable for this one yet, folks, so bear with me.
  • I did a lot of political writing this election season, including this piece about quiet inside the voting booth, and this one about climate change. You can find my column over at every week.

That’s it for now. I’m hoping to be able to make an announcement or two soon-ish, as there’s more cool stuff coming down the pike. Until next time!


7 Responses to "National Novel Avoidance Month Runs Aground"

NaNo is so weird. I was going to avoid it completely, myself, most likely. Then the ideas started coming. Then the timing was just right. I honestly think that 99% of NaNo for working writers (vs. those venturing out into the waters for the first time) has to do with timing of other projects and life suiting. It’s not like we can control this stuff. For me, time opened up. I got injured and needed to work on a project that didn’t require a lot of editing; life required some word therapy.

Whatever happens, good luck!

“Word therapy,” I like that. And I think you’re right about NaNo, too! I’m never prepared when the need to write something huge happens, and sometimes it works out to November.

Tea…now you have my attention. If you get down to the Triangle, in addition to the standing offer to ride pillion on my motorcycle, I’ll have to take you to A Southern Season; they’re my usual dealer when I need a fix of Lapsang, Madascar Vanilla, or Thai Tea.

I accidentally restarted a novel without noticing it was November – but then I got sidetracked by a book on writing by Ursula Le Guin that I got for my birthday. Per ardua ad astra.

Somehow, I missed that Ursula Le Guin had written a book on writing. I should check that out!

It’s called Steering The Craft (damn, she’s good). I’m loving it already, and I haven’t even got to the exercises yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Susan Jane Bigelow’s Extrahuman Union

Hey! Welcome to the Extrahuman Union, home of Susan Jane Bigelow. Prepare to be stripped of all meaningful identity. While you're processing, check out more about me on the about page!

About Me / Contact Me

Click image for my bio and contact info!


Extrahuman Union #1


Extrahuman Union #2


Extrahumans #3


YA LGBT epic fantasy!

Buy my books on Amazon!

Check out my Amazon author page!

Follow @whateversusan on Twitter!

Connect with me on GoodReads!

%d bloggers like this: