So. Ten thousand dollars. Ten thousand dollars. Ten thousand dollars. Ten thousand dollars. Yep, it sounds awesome no matter how I phrase it.
This is kind of a big deal, guys.
Let’s start with an announcement: Just as soon as my commissioned artist (one of the things the grant will pay for) completes the cover, my science fiction near future novel Skylights will be available as a self-published ebook, on Amazon.com and wherever else I can convince to host it. I will obviously be promoting the hell out of that here and wherever else I can; don’t worry about somehow accidentally missing the release. It’ll also be permanently linked from the masthead of this site.
This isn’t hypothetical. This isn’t “when I get around to it,” or “when I finish this one more thing,” or “when I decide it’s perfect.” This is happening because it’s part of the grant and I am literally under contract and if I don’t do it I gotta give the money back, and ain’t no son of my father gonna give back a check for ten grand. So that’s happening. Like for real.
I have until summertime to decide about the second part of the grant. I haven’t had a literal summer off in decades; I work during summers. There have been summers where I was working more hours than I was during the school year. I am not quitting at OtherJob but I’m going to dial my hours back to one or two days a week (because I will go shithouse-rat-crazy with a quickness if I literally have no reason to leave the house) and the rest of the time my job is Full-Time Writer. And again, I’m under contract: I have until the end of August to either produce a completed manuscript or a certain number of words (70,000, I think?) towards a completed manuscript. And once that’s done, it goes up on Amazon too. Along with the BA short story collection that I promise I’m working on right now.
The problem here is that at the moment I have no idea what that manuscript is going to be. Writing a sequel to Skylights makes perfect sense given the rest of the grant. I’ve got a bare start on what could very well be a Benevolence Archives novel. Or… something, anything else. I’m gonna have to start carrying notebooks with me everywhere I go again in case inspiration strikes. And technically I have until late June, I think, before the official calendar demands I begin writing. That said, I could start tomorrow, if I wanted to. (I don’t.)
I have never produced fiction under contract before. Hell, other than some reports for school– which don’t really count– I’ve never produced any writing at all under contract before.
This will be very, very interesting.
And now I’m off to watch True Detective. Which is gonna be worth a post of its own soon because holy fuckawesome.
(EDIT: And, I just realized, thus far I’ve spent exactly zero seconds thinking about the very real impact that a high-four-figures-after-taxes-and-paying-my-artist infusion of cash is going to have on my financial status. That’s… damn.)