Happy Monday! I hope you had a good weekend. Me — I had a fun and busy weekend, which means my mind is full of lots of different thoughts. Here are some of them:
I went to see the new movie In Time last weekend, mostly because it was written and directed by Andrew Niccol, who wrote and directed Gattaca, one of my favorite science fiction films of all time. The new one’s pretty good but not great, but I was really struck by the “time is money” metaphor, made literal to very good effect throughout the film. Cup of coffee? That’ll cost four minutes of your life. During the movie I kept thinking about the moment I quit working to write full time. I was temping for $11 an hour when I got my first royalty check. I realized that my time had become so much more valuable, and here I was selling it — selling my life — for eleven bucks and hour. So I stopped, and never looked back. There’s something to think about: how much is your time worth, and how well are you spending it?
Fun news for the month: it looks like Voices of Dragons and Discord’s Apple both earned out last period, which makes me very happy. Earning out is always awesome because it means a royalty check is on the way. In the case of these books, I’m feeling a great big boost of validation as well. My experiment in branching out appears to be successful, so far.
On the importance of getting back to roots, or the core idea of your story: I’m finishing up Kitty 11, hoping to have it turned into my editor by Thanksgiving. A couple of weeks ago, I went out clubbing with friends for the first time in ages. We found a great little place that plays retro 80’s/New Wave on Saturday nights. I had a fantastic time, and it reminded me of how I came to write the first Kitty novel. I’d written three short stories starring Kitty, and the idea that anchored the first novel really gelled for me when I was clubbing with friends, out on the dance floor, and completely inside Kitty’s head in that moment. Remembering that — experiencing it again, in a way — gave me a much-needed boost as I head into finishing Kitty’s latest adventure. (I even added a nightclub scene to the epilogue, because it ties up one of the subplots so nicely.) So if in doubt: go back to the roots.
And now some music to brighten your day. Thanks to an interview I heard last week (I think it was on NPR, but I can’t seem to find it in the archives), I learned about Fanny. This was an all-girl rock band active in the early 70’s — the first all-girl band to release a record with a major label, in fact. They had a couple of hits, toured the world, then broke up and sank out of sight, which I think is a shame, because their music is really good. They can *rock.* Well, the sisters who fronted the band, June and Jean Millington, are still out there making music. Which I find hugely inspirational: do your art, keep doing it. No regrets, no excuses.