The unrelenting grasp of modern time

So I haven't got on with all the work I wanted to do since the last time I scrawled on this blog. Real life inconsiderately decided to blunder its way into my February, throwing itself with gay and even reckless abandon, distracting me from my creative endeavours. Yes, my day job – and it is that, even though I do it at home in my pyjamas – has been hunched over my shoulders and has demanded almost my full attention these past twenty eight days.

It's not a bad thing though, and as I just read in the fine book Sapiens (a must-read!) the notion of time is a very modern thing indeed. I remember studying it in history too, how time changed with modernity. In pre-industrial eras, no one needed to know what the specific hour of the day was, one just needed to know the season, how that would affect the vegetables and so on. Plonking train lines between towns meant that both civil areas had to have the concept of shared time, and so it went from there, until we all now carry more time pieces than medieval empires. There's no escaping it, and if we fail to live up to our own deadlines enshrined in modern time, we all become horribly stressed. Joy of joys. I have been wallowed in that mire somewhat this past month, not being too creative on the fiction side.

The day job has been productive, if overbearing (I have literally just received an email demanding my attention) and I have had it brought to me how important it is, and how unindustrious the publishing industry can be. A writer friend of mine tweeted about him writing a short novel two years ago, having it accepted eighteen months ago, with the result that it might be published later this summer. Slow turning wheels in the publishing industry. And it hit me that it's okay that I haven't quite finished the fourth draft of my book (still about halfway through, beta readers!) because I'm still waiting to hear back from Angry Robot books about it anyway and don't expect to do so until June at the latest. Even if it does get accepted, it will still be a long road. The short story that I got published last month (check out my lovely new Publications section of the website) was written six years ago, edited and polished two years ago, submitted early last year, accepted at Christmas, and finally published last month. Shit takes time, and I need to remember that sometimes. In the meantime, my lovely day job requires attention, is fun, and is damned important to me, it's not a side gig at all. It also has the result that I am actually published every other month, just for non-fiction instead. It's nice to be reminded of that fact, especially when a print copy of the journal is delivered to my door, even if it is addressed to a Tom Connolly.

For those who have read this far and want to know, I am working on four short stories at the moment. There's an open call at Black Library, Games Workshop's publishing arm, so I'm in the planning stage of two stories for that: a Warhammer 40k-based hardboiled noir (with daemons), and a Blood Bowl-themed story about a stadium infused with magic. I'm halfway through writing a story about evolution and aliens. I have a satirical piece in the planning stage about corporations being fantasy beings like gods. There's also an open call for stories about Speculative Masculinities that I'm interested in contributing to, but haven't worked anything out for yet. Give it time though, give it time...