An Early Resolution

It’s been a hell of a year so far. I’ve published two books. I’ve lost my apartment and gained a home, in large part thanks to you, my darlings. There have been lots of disruptions, but at least I’ve managed to keep writing, again, thanks to you.

And I’ve been plugging away at the nonfiction stuff, and I really love it. I plan to continue on. We’re in the middle of Mount St. Helens, there’s a ton of other interesting stuff to see and do, and I can’t see ever stopping now. I’ve got an incredible new editor at Scientific American Blogs who I think is going to help me do better than ever in the new year, and he really loves my stuff (or so he tells me). I’m looking forward to exploring so many topics new and continuing for this old cantina going forward. Besides, we’ve got 64 books of the Bible left to skewer. I can’t stop doing nonfiction now.


For months now, I’ve been missing the old days. You know, it was pretty glorious, writing fiction. I loved my story people deeply – still love them. I think of them every day. Still talk to them, to be honest. And I figured I’d go back to it when I’m 42. You know, when I’ve got some more nonfiction books out, finished with the Mount St. Helens eruption book and the guides and more RTBS and so forth. Get my foundation firmed up with the non-fiction, then dip back in during the symbolic year, the answer to the ultimate question year. Why not?


I’m watching some shows on Netflix, you see. And I’m starting to think that I shouldn’t wait. I’m starting to think that maybe I can’t wait. I’m starting to think that I need to become a more polyamorous writer, and go back to my first love along with the new, and form a great big happy family all together.

I’ve considered it. Many times. I mean, we were playing happy families for a while there, quite well. But then I thought I should just concentrate on just nonfiction. I needed to do that. And now I’m pondering whether continuing to do so is a mistake.

I finished watching Sherlock tonight. And I finished it in tears, because it was so good, and it felt good, and it felt the way it did back in the days when I was writing fiction, when I could get sucked into a story world and swept right off my feet, when the universe expanded and the multiverse was right there like the view from a summit, spread out over the whole of existence and beyond. I was weeping because it felt so right, and I haven’t felt this alive in I don’t know how many years. I haven’t felt so invested, and so happy, and so eager to find out what happens next. But it’s not Sherlock I’m waiting for. It’s not Sense8, or Jane the Virgin, or any of the other awesome shows suddenly at my fingertips due to this signing up for Netflix thing. It’s not any of that.

It’s the worlds I could create.

It’s the worlds I have already created, and could go back to. It’s the stories I want to tell you. It’s the idea that in this new day and age, I don’t necessarily have to follow a sensible path. I could step off that summit. I could take that risk. I feel like the wind might be just right, and that I’m potentially wearing just the thing to help me soar.

I won’t know until I take that step.

And so here’s what I’m going to do. This is my resolution: I am going to try. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be dusting off some of my old fiction and publishing it here. I’m going to give you a selection. It will be like glimpsing the universe through a telescope: we’ll only see bits of the whole at a time. And then, if you like what you see, if you want to keep looking, I’m going to set up a Patreon account at the turn of the year. I’ll ask those of you who can afford it, and who have the desire, to be my patrons. You’ve already done so much that I dislike asking for more, but this is quid pro quo, and strictly voluntary, so that’s not so bad, I suppose.

And if this works, it will free me to write more for you. I assume you like my writing all right, or you wouldn’t be here. So that should be all right.

I will certainly be continuing with the non-fiction. This real world of ours turned out to be much more fascinating than I suspected, and there’s no way to shut up about it now. But I will be weaving you new worlds, too. And they will be better worlds for having known you, my readers and friends and comrades-in-arms. So much better.

Are you ready? Shall we suspend our disbelief on occasion, and go visit people and places that exist only in my imagination?

I’d like to have you with me.

Image shows an orange kitten sitting with a pen gripped in its mouth. Caption says, "Writer cat... can write storiez."

An Early Resolution

5 thoughts on “An Early Resolution

  1. 1

    Go for it! It sounds like you’re ready now, in a way you weren’t before. And postponing doing what you want is..not always wise. Let’s see what you’ve got so far!

  2. 2

    Hello Dana:
    You talk of ‘when I’m 42’ as though it were far, far away.

    It isn’t.

    Do what you love. Right now.

    And enjoy yourself, eh?

  3. 3

    I’ve considered it.

    Why aren’t you?

    The way you describe it, it sounds like you feel you have reasons to wait. Are they good reasons? I have trouble imagining what those good reasons might be, but it’s really none of my business.

    If you want to write fiction, FFS write fiction. If there’s one truth in writing it’s that you write best what you want to write. Just be happy you can write at all and get busy. Teh invisibul hand of the markkit will take care of teh rest.

  4. 5

    Hey here’s an idea!! What if you do a “put up or shut up” to the universe? If you do a kickstarter (I know, I know….) and say “I’m going to do an atheo-skeptical fanfic with Richard Carrier as a poly Han Solo type and Sam Harris as a droning Darth Wader….” then ok maybe John Scalzi need not fear* But if thou puttest thy money where thy mouth is, who knows? I’m sure that like a good skeptic you’ve done your research and realized that you can expect to make relatively little off a first time novel. Let’s say that’s enough for you: do a kickstarter for that amount, put the results up for everyone (in a year, backers immediately…) serialize a few chunks of it here, and just ducking FOO IT.

    I threw $12 at Patrick Rothfuss’ beautifully written “nerdboy discovers girls and gets laid and stuff” fantasy books because Scalzi said so, and I even threw another $12 at the next. I threw $ at The Martian because Adam Savage said it was worth reading (and it was!) and I bought Ann Leckie just to spite Vox Day (good call, me!) So….. throw the glove!

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