Consolidation, Inc.

So, I’ve decided to consolidate all my old blogs into this one. The Writing Diary will remain its own thing, since that’s how it was designed since day one. The others are just original attempts at a more generic blog. The articles belong here. So, I’ll repost everything here, maintaining the correct dates. I’ll even keep the “hey, look, a new blog” posts, so that I have, for my own sake, some idea of where the switches had happened.

Yey!

Phew

Okay, so I think I’ve managed to recover most of my old posts (unfortunately, the few comments there were, are gone for good). I’m not too happy with this layout, but I’ll keep it until I get the inspiration to change it to my liking.

Now, back to our regular programming.

Well, Well…

I just experienced a major crash (back-up / storage related, not WordPress-related) and lost… well, everything I had online. So, my previous blog… *poof* It’s gone. Google cache still has copies of some of the posts, so I’ll try to recover whatever I can. And maybe I’ll use the opportunity to get my older blogger posts transferred here too.

Or maybe not. We’ll see.

The Obligatory “Hi” Post

Hi.

My name is Rilan White, and I’m a writer. I write mainly science fiction, science fantasy, and hard fantasy. I’ve yet to venture into the Great Wilds of publishing, although I have half a dozen rejections from top tier science fiction magazines and I do haphazardly submit to the Writers of the Future contest.

I think this about sums up my writer resume.

I’ve just set up WordPress and hope to keep this place updated about my writing enterprises, as well as my other random hobbies and whatever else strikes my fancy.

So, to old friends and random visitors: Welcome!

[From “Nothing Much — And Then Even Less”] So, now that the first post is out of the way …

Four more days, and I’m flying out to Massachusetts, to attend the Viable Paradise XIII workshop.

Needless to say, I’m duly panicked. I’ve never attended an official workshop before, and I’m not really sure what to expect. I understand there will be some tearing apart of the writing I sent as my application, and also tearing apart other people’s writing. I attend (and currently host and organize) a writing group, so I’ve had some experience with critiquing fiction, although my group uses more of a conversation style, rather than “the reviewer talks and writer stays quiet” format I’ve seen recommended across the internet. But I also understand there will be on-the-spot writing, which I’ve never had to do and I’m really nervous about. And I tend to be intimidated by Names. And Names there will be.

So, I’m counting days and fretting away. I’ve let the piece of writing I used for my application sit untouched, and it’s taking quite a bit of willpower to do so. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure I’ll think it’s the worst piece of crap under the sun when I hear other people talk about it or read it at the workshop. Harboring severe lack of self-confidence makes life fun. I can’t wait!

Either way, I’ve decided to start this blog to follow my experiences at the workshop, my adventures as an aspiring author, and more or less anything else that strikes my fancy. I’ve attempted other blogs before, but have never been good at keeping them up to date. I sincerely hope I’ll do better with this one.

So, to get my “introduction” to the whole wide world out of the way: My given name is Irina Ivanova. I’ve been contemplating using a pen name for a long time, and think I’ve finally settled on adopting “Rilan White.” All my decisions are subject to change, of course, but right now, this name feels right for several different reasons that I won’t go into here. (if you’re still curious: for one of the reasons I don’t want to use my given name, do a Google search for “Irina Ivanova” — I’ll just tell you that I’m not Russian, and then you’ll probably understand)

I’m an engineer by profession. I wrote my first science fiction story just over twenty years ago. I drew my first fantasy scene at around the same time. I think all history before steam engines is fascinating. I’m cautiously hopeful and love speculating about the future. However, in my own fiction I tend to put aside the likely and instead explore the unlikely. I love adventure and I love stories about overcoming (or manipulating) the odds. I also have a very soft spot for lone wolf tales. Generally, I’m attracted to grittier stories with realistic, darker characters in extraordinary (from our point of view) situations. That’s where I like to keep most of my writing, though I’ve also tried my hand at high concept shorts, hard sci-fi, and lighter tone prose.

Until about two years ago, writing was only a hobby for me. Since then, I’ve grown hopeful it may become more. Whether this notion is at all realistic remains to be seen, of course. And I hope to use this blog to show my progress.

[From “Six Strides Counter-Spinwise”] First post

So, this is my official blog and short introductions are in order.

My name is I. R. White. I am a science fiction and fantasy writer. [note from July, 2015: since then, I’ve dropped the “I.” and written out the “R.” as “Rilan” — yey for pen names!]

I’ve been writing for a long time and have finished works in two different languages. On the other hand, I have yet to publish any of my stories. A fact that likely has something to do with never having tried to publish anything. But I’ve reached a point in my writing life where I would like to try to take my hobby and warp it into a career. And hopefully, this blog will follow my progress.

To account for any pro-hopeful activity thus far, here’s what I’ve done to date:

1. Submitted “Flipside of Reason” to L.Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest (WotF) — did not place.
2. Submitted a chapter of “All Things Made of Shadows” revamped as a short story to WotF — received honorable mention.
3. Submitted “To the View Through Human Eyes” to WotF contest — received honorable mention.
4. Resubmitted “Flipside of Reason” to WotF in correct manuscript format (I hadn’t researched the correct manuscript format for my first submission) — received honorable mention.
5. Submitted “Scales” to WotF — yet another honorable mention.

My short term intention is to finish the next short story for WotF. I’m also preparing “To The View Through Human Eyes” to submit to Analog and “Scales” will be submitted to Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine. I also have plans to edit “Flipside of Reason” for language and grammar and I’ll consider sending it to Azimov’s.

On the novel frontier, I’m currently actively working on “Sake of the Pack.” I have just finished, for the first time in my life, a full outline. I’m not sure how writing with an outline in mind will fit around the writing habits I’ve settled into over the years. But after my experience with a nearly finished “All Things Made Of Shadows,” which was written without an outline, I think a good idea about the progress of the story is vital for putting together a readable novel.