If superhero film franchises can do it, why can’t I? Right then. In a sense, this is a reboot of a reboot: I had a little “IAQ,” Imaginary Asked Questions, list up here for the first entry. Witty! Except, well, not very.
In a larger sense, this is a reboot of the personal blog/journal that I’ve been writing in some form or another since (pause for frantic searching of hard drive backups to see if the files still exist anywhere) 1998. Which is kind of frightening. Originally, the journal was called “Shadowgazing,” and it was very consciously a column: I was writing for a (mostly non-existent) audience. Sometime in 2000, I moved it to LiveJournal and retitled it “Coyote Cartography.”
But, things change, and while LiveJournal isn’t a ghost town it isn’t what it once was, either. I’ve been using the journal very sporadically over the last few years, doing most of my short bits on Twitter and, since early 2011, on a Tumblr-hosted tech blog, Coyote Tracks.
“Coyote Prints” is an attempt to reinvigorate my non-tech blogging a little by focusing it on something else near to my heart: writing. When I went to college ∗cough∗ years ago, I had the intention of getting a degree in English Literature. I wanted to be a writer, dammit. I wanted to be one of those guys who merged science fiction/fantasy books with literary aspirations. I was going to be a famous novelist by 30.
Yeah, that didn’t work out too well.
I actually have had some successes over the years, attracting a small following due to publications in small presses and fanzines. As many of my stories use anthropomorphic animal characters in some manner, I’ve been a writing guest of honor at two “furry” conventions and helped with the writing track of three. (Despite all the rampant jokes about furries, it’s a fun fandom, and not much weirder than what you’d run into at an anime con.) A collection of my short stories was put out in print form by Sofawolf Press in 2005 and is still available—and is, as of today, available as a Kindle book, which I’ll write more about shortly.
But for the most part, I put my writing dreams on hold when I got into the tech world. I haven’t written much in the last decade. I’ve been trying to change that over the last few years, with only moderate success, but I’m feeling more motivated to get going—in no small part due to being a member of a writing group with a few more successful authors! My last year has been spent hammering on a novel. That’s become my personal Mount Everest—not this particular novel as much as any novel. I’ve tried writing a novel a half-dozen times before and never got more than about 30,000 words into it before giving up; my longest completed work is, well, just under 30,000 words.
The current novel, incidentally, stands at just under 29,000 words as of this writing.
Clearly, I can’t very well lecture you about how to write your own best-selling novel or how to break into high-paying short story markets. Instead, what I can do is share what I’ve learned—and am still learning—through trial and error. And, given my Internet technology background, I’m very interested in the rise of ebooks and credible self-publishing, and in the future of publishing in general.
And, those who know me also know I’m more than a little obsessive when it comes to writing tools and tech, so those subjects are likely to come up on occasion here. (For instance, I’m writing this in Markdown in Byword on a Das Keyboard. Buzzword Bingo!)