Sunday 9 November 2008

Interlude V

Once or twice a year I interrupt this story stream in order to file some reports from reality, make announcements and check in. Hi, how are you? I'm fine; thanks for asking. And the kids? Super, super, super.

My day job as Chief Napkin Folder of an edgy and very now international event management concern is going at full tilt. We're managing events like it's going out of style. Things are so busy that I will even be obliged to travel some in the New Year, as we're spread too thin with painfully simultaneous projects for me to man my usual station on the homefront, charged with critical duties like reading fart jokes on the Internet and writing science-fiction.

My government keeps promising me an economic recession, so I'm not about to complain about the company I work for being too busy. (Though, admittedly, a little bit of profit sharing would go a long way toward sugaring the bitter pill of the inevitable reams of overtime (if you're reading this, boss, yes that is a hint).)

This winter, in part because there isn't a profit sharing programme at my day job, I will also be moonlighting. My house badly needs a new roof, or it risks becoming markedly less house-like (as it is, this old schoolhouse already shares more in common with a tree fort than would, strictly speaking, be ideal). Also, I owe Revenue Canada some taxes I didn't feel like paying earlier; they have since convinced me to have a change of heart -- apparently there's a queue at the emergency room and it's all my fault.

The net result is that I really have my non-writing work cut out for me over the next few months. Additionally, my wife -- who is currently teaching singing lessons as well as working at the post office and driving the village schoolbus -- will be directing a play, so I'll be taking on extra childcare time for a spell.

To wit, the upcoming story stream schedule:

The Secret Mathematic will go on temporary hiatus. The conclusion simply needs too much work to be whipped into proper shape before the New Year and, after a year of sticking with me on this one, you deserve a better ending than one that's been rushed. We will complete this epic adventure presently, but in the meantime...

This year's holiday tale (as yet untitled) will start its run soon. It is a twelve part science-fiction novelette with a more mature target audience than the holiday stories of years past (One Small Step for Santa | Pink Santa). It features robots. Lots of robots. Everybody loves robots. Right?

The second quarter of 2009 will bring more short stories on various subjects and set in various time periods (pent up imaginings of mine from time spent locked in The Secret Mathematic exclusive zone), and then in the third quarter we'll start looking at the next novel (current working title The Impossible Railway).

Thank you all for your thoughtful feedback and criticisms over the past year. You're the ones making these stories stronger. I've learned a lot, and I'm anxious to apply my lessons to the freshest material.

Please do continue to call me out when your credulity is strained. Please do continue to tell me when the vocabulary isn't working for you. Let me know when a development is a let down.

All of your reactions are valuable, regardless of whether others might question the soundness of their basis from time to time. You don't need to back yourself up with an unassailably cogent argument in order to offer a response on this blog -- your reflexive feelings are entirely valid on their own merits.

Keep it up.

(Also note that those who might be too shy to post comments on the blog itself can still contact me directly at via e-mail or GTalk. For regular micro-updates in the public sphere, follow me on Twitter.)

I really do have a difficult and busy period ahead of me, but I'll do my best to make sure this fiction faucet maintains at least a steady drip. Regular gushing service will be restored as soon as humanly possible.


Cheeseburger Brown


Anonymous said...

1) Wow, you guys need to get some additional spouses to take up some of the work.
2) Yes, everybody loves robots.
3) The i and a tags around One_Small_Step_For_Santa|Pink_Santa aren't nested properly, which makes my browser unhappy.

Simon said...

These little micro updates make me wish that the Hulver site had an RSS feed. You will, of course, get little but support for any sort of hiatus from writing the current serial, as well as posting more sporadically than any of us would prefer, given a consequence-free choice.

Life and bills get in the way, and it's sort of hard to ignore Revenue Canada.

I love robots. Looking forward to meeting them.

fooburger said...

Here's hoping that your fiction writing will eventually eclipse your day job in revenues. Would be nice to follow a CBB on full-time, all-sheets-to-the-wind book development.

Some day... :)

Anonymous said...

Tax debt is a royal pain in the toches. Maybe you could get the Canadian government to try the US Constitution (since our feds seem to have lost their copy)... but I won't hold my breath.

I do so wish I lived close enough to help you hammer down the roof (though I realize that labor is not the limiting factor right now); I'd even bring some cold ones for the inevitable celebration. Alas, that is not to be.

Here's to robots and crazy starship captains who eventually learn the meaning of whatever passes for Christmas in the distant future. Hopefully they won't take as long to figure out as your average grumpy twenty-first century mall security guard.

Nick said...

CBB, I hope this season brings you all the best, and as fooburger says, I have no doubt that some day (soon) you will be getting your daily fill of writing.. and then some! As always, thanks much for the time you do take out of your busy schedule to share a little piece of your imagination with us. I know I always catch a wave of excitement when I see a new posting. I have no doubt that this will be made worse since I just discovered your Twitter account in which you list new chapters as they are posted. Perhaps that will fix my obsessive-refreshing disorder (a.k.a F5-ightus), but I doubt it.

P.S. Since you mentioned it, there is one reaction I have: any chance of loosing this pop up comment box? It just seems so cramped!

bilhelm96 said...

Revenue Canada coming to collect back taxes and robots.... Where have I heard this before? 2008 has been a different ride here in the readership with TSM running as long as it has. Take all the time necessary to finish it, better to wait for a good ending then rush to a crappy one. The holiday story sounds great.

Anonymous said...

Well, sir, you are a rock star and I admire you.

Good luck with it all.

In other news, Mr. Norman Lux has met Xristi Friedman, he has been back to Changes,Xristi has been to the dark side of Chronos, a Painful Inquiry has been held, and Fred has been reanimated.

And, a certain "waitress" you know has edited 3 of these five episodes. They will be up on Wetmachine soon, and the whole thing going to press.

I cannot frickin believe it.

more soon,


SaintPeter said...

You are, as always, full of awesome.

While I will miss a timely conclusion of our current story, I am also excited by the prospect of some more immediate short fiction.

I am looking forward to "Christmas robots" much more than "Christmas shoes".

Big t said...

Usually all I get for Christmas is Underwear, Robots will be a great improvement. Monkey Ninja Robots would be even better!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Ninja Monkey Robot Underwear would be awesome to the fourth power!

Also, saintpeter, I must agree. Call me a cynic, but if I never hear that song again, I'll be just fine.

gl. said...

don't forget about the papypal button: is it time for the annual cbb christmas drive? or perhaps a roof fund?

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear all,

Thanks for your support and good wishes! Don't worry: I'll make sure there's still something to read here while I'm buried, if only scrips and scraps. The show must go on!

Dear gl.,

As much as I wouldn't discourage anyone from dropping a tip on the PayPal button (see right-hand sidebar or the bottom of this page) in order to express their appreciation of time well spent, I'd like to be clear that we don't need to be thinking in terms of any kind of "drive."

I mean, if my roof were falling in (and it is) and I had no way to deal with the situation, then we could talk about a campaign to raise money. But, fortunately, I have the opportunity to do this moonlighting gig for the next few months, and that should secure me the funds I'll need to save the house from physical ruin.

(Another reason I can't complain about that extra work -- aside from the roof it will be paying for -- is that I'm working for a museum, doing high-detail digital simulations of actual archaeological artifacts. It is so freaking cool!)

Also, this isn't like earlier this year when I found myself without a laptop and without the means to acquire a new one. In fact, as I type, a brand spanking new computing machine is on its way to be from Shanghai -- I should be taking receipt on Thursday or Friday this week. (I'm quite excited.)

At this point Google Ads adequately cover my Internet access and web-hosting fees, so those expenses are no trouble anymore, either.

Between my day job, my night job, and my wife's multiple micro-jobs around the village, we're okay. I've had a helluva nasty financial ride over the past three years or so, but things are finally on a more even keep for me and my family. With the obvious exception of the mortgage, I am heading into this recession with absolutely zero personal debt. It is a great relief after so many months of struggle and worry to finally enjoy a bit of stability!

So, don't worry about me, mates.

Like I say, if you feel like tipping, tip. Considering buying a Lulu edition for a friend as a holiday gift. But don't feel that if you don't chip in $5 this blog will go away because I'll be forced to take on more jobs. There are more stories to be told, and I'm not going anywhere.

Wish my laptop speedy delivery, all!

Cheeseburger Brown

Anonymous said...

Ooh, that is a cool gig. Kind of makes up for all the shallow crap that goes on in napkinville, eh?

Congratulations on your financial solidity, and the fact that your new computer is apparently in hand! Thanks for adding the Twitter feed to the blog home page :D

Teddy said...

Let's hope you totally show these museum people what's WHAT regarding 3D modeling! Good references are worth their weight in gold.

We'll stand around doing our thing over here while you get what's what and where's where sorted out in the Burgerverse.

By the by, to those out there - anybody know a good school of broadcasting and/or journalism? I'm mildly pondering a career change and in the beginning stages of research.


Teddy said...

sci-fi deliciousness, in the interrim?