It’s the most panicky time of the year

What’s that, you say? You’re not feeling the panic? I envy you, then.

I never thought I’d get finish with grading papers this semester. Since the end of November, I’ve been reading papers comparing and contrasting narrative elements in a variety of video games. Now that I’m done, I have the urge to download BioShock or The Walking Dead.

For now, though, I’m resisting.

In the meantime, I’ve also been working feverishly on PRISM international‘s non-fiction contest. The deadline was last Thursday, and so now the lengthy process of reading is under way.

Oh wait, did I say “lengthy”? Try “we need everything read by Friday so we can start putting together the long and short lists.” Thankfully, I don’t have to do any of the reading—well, actually, I can’t do any of the reading because the contest is judged blind, and I know who everyone is.

No rest for the wicked or the weary (I won’t say which I those I’m copping to), since the fiction and poetry contest deadlines are right around the corner. (In case you’re wondering, the deadlines for both are January 23; go on and enter already.) Coming up this Friday (I hope, if I can get my act together) is a blog post catching up with Eliza Robertson. She won PRISM‘s fiction contest back in 2010 for her story “Roadnotes” (you can read a snippet from it here). How much did winning the contest help her writing career? More than you might expect. But I won’t say anymore because spoilers!

I bloody love Alex Kingston

Right, where was I? Oh yes, what’s driving me mental lately. But wait, there’s more! As you’ll no doubt remember (I know I sure as heck haven’t forgotten), I have a book coming out in March, and being (still) a beginning writer published by an (awesome) indie press in a crowded field, I often feel like one of these guys:

higuys

You’ll note that there are a lot of them, and it’s kinda hard to tell them apart. What’s an alien to do? Well, try to drum up publicity, which, let’s face it, is not my forté. (Introvert, in case it wasn’t obvious.) I’m looking into blog book tour packages and also trying to figure out where/when/if I can do any in-person promotional things for it. One thing I know I will be doing: in March, I’m reading at Locution, which is the MFA reading series presented by the Creative Writing Program at UBC. It’s held at the Cottage Bistro in Vancouver, so pencil it into your Filofax (March 13th, kids).

Not necessarily promotion-related, but I’m also going to be at AWP in Seattle at the end of February with the rest of the staff from PRISM as well as a boatload of folks from the MFA program. It’ll be my first time and I hear it’s a ton of fun, as well as completely overwhelming, so I’ll be the guy wandering around looking slightly dazed. If you see me, say hi!

You’ll notice that in that list of stuff to do I haven’t made much mention of that other thing. You know: writing. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get back to that (finally) over the next few days. I have two stories I’m trying to revise, another one I’m trying to finish, copy edits for the book coming my way, and then there’s that first draft of the thesis about to land with a frightening thud on my desk….