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Letters from Proxima Thule

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A Picture Is Worth About 470,000 Words
write all the things

If you’ve wondered why I’ve been a little scatter-brained this year, slow to get back to folks, skidding sideways over deadlines, blogging not nearly as much as I used to, well, I thought I’d give you a visual aid.

Sleep NowThat’s everything that I’ve had published in 2011: novels, short stories, essays not counting the blog. (Not actually though, the Wyverary Govournesse webfiction and A Silver Splendour, A Flame are not pictured, because we didn’t have any more screens to show online stories on!)

It’s just shy of half a million words of fiction.

If we went for the last twelve months? There would be two more books on that stack. Author is shown sleeping because that’s the thing I am most interested in in the whole world right now. I knew going into it that 2011 would be one of the hardest years of my professional life, and boy howdy, it was. It was good in unimaginable ways–the NYT Bestsellers List, the unique wonders of the tour, Australia, my new house. And hard in unimaginable ways–the sheer amount of books, the constant state of “on,” the deadlines, personal heartbreak, and moving into that new house. The fact that I have only three books coming out next year seems posh and relaxed.

At the end of a year I often berate myself–I could have done more if only I hadn’t watched so damn much DS9 or socialized at all or read anything on Cracked. I am lazy, I have no work ethic, I’m one year closer to death and I could have written more if only x, y, or z. I’m actually still doing it this year, because if only x, y, and z, I could have written the proposals that sit half done or finished my epic Persephone poem on time or not been so late on a, b, or c. But for the first time, I’m putting a boot down on that voice because fuck me, I physically could not have done more. I ran myself straight into a burning wall of breakdown, and all those beautiful books are what I have to show for it. Not bad, old girl.

Great Pumpkin forgive me my sins and grant me rest.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

Yet another reason to love you!

Cat, over the past six months you've established your place firmly as my favorite working author, and this picture shows exactly why. The only thing it doesn't show properly is the brilliance of your themes, characters, and prose and poetry.

Re: Yet another reason to love you!

Thank you so much!

I hope you know that every single time someone tells me that I write too fast, and that will lower the quality of my fiction, I say WRITING FAST IS ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NOT A BAROMETER FOR QUALITY, HAVE YOU HEARD OF CAT VALENTE SHE WRITES QUITE A LOT AND ALL OF IT IS FUCKING AWESOME AND OUT OF THIS EVERLASTING WORLD.

Then they shush.

You're my hero. <3

You tell 'em. I had to deal with a lot of that in my early career (I think I'm probably still in my early career) and it sucks. In fact, many working writers write fast--even I don't write as fast as jaylake!

(Deleted comment)
Thank you so much. I do know you're one of the people I'm being slow getting back to. ;)

Congratulations on an amazingly productive year. Now where am I going to find the time to READ all that?! :)

You have done a godsdamned amazing job this year, and had better taper off a little NEXT year so that you don't hit a worse brick wall of breakdown. Thank you for being you!

Yeah, I'm well aware that I need to slow down or I'll burn out. I fall into the trap of "I'll take a break after I finish the next three things..."

Be proud, because you have achieved so much this year. You gave us Deathless which is my top work for this year, and I ma pushing it an everyone I know, because it is because and sublime and one of the best reads of my life. Please be more gentle on yourself, because you have great talent and I don't want to see that burn out. I want to see it burn steadily for many many years to come.

Fantastically well done! I know 100% what you mean about always thinking you could have done more - with me it's music. Huge pats on back, hugs etc. well deserved by you! It's a fine line when you are driven, to do as much as you can without going hellbent for breakdown....

Impressive and sexy as HELL!!!!

Damn, lady. You are amazing.

I'm proud of you too and I also join in the chorus of voices encouraging self-care. You did it and you deserve bubble baths and Cracked and anything else you might like.

That is some SERIOUS work. Congrats :)


Jesus christ on a cracker, no, you could not have done any more! (Four books is my highest personal total for a year, one of which was a comic collection, and even that was kinda brutal. Well, the year before was kinda brutal. The year they all actually came out was fine.)

I get down on myself when I stop doing paintings because I'm doing illustration for Dragonbreath, but crimony, there are only so many hours in a day, and if I do not get to spend a little time staring out the window, I am good for nothing.

Beautiful books. Dream sweetly.

What I'm wondering is what's the book with the pages face out--the Secret Pseudonym Project? Very mysterious...

You're awesome. Please don't ever think otherwise. And don't burn out--I want to be reading your work well into the future!

Heh, I was curious if anybody would notice. :)

And yet that exhausted you still manage to be staggeringly beautiful. You are a goddess.


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