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Monday, June 5, 2017

Work In Progress

Part of my day job as a software guy involves consulting on process, and while I'm pretty situational and eclectic and mix-and-match in my approach, among the various agile methodologies, I'm quite fond of Kanban approaches. And a common tenet of Kanban approaches is "limit work in progress".

So it's kind of ironic, if not problematic, that in my artistic life I live in a sea of unfinished, un-abandoned things, particularly at the moment. I'm not totally convinced that this is necessarily a bad thing -- software development and in art are somewhat incommensurate magisteria -- but on the other hand, enough is enough already. Since the novel is done, here's what I've been working on:

First draft not done Collecting feedback
& revising
Stuck, after getting feedback Basically done, unsure how to ship
Sargasso,YA nanotech SF romp, with Paul Melko
"Birdsense", a tale of evolutionary alternate history
"The Trouble With Danny", a down & out ex-lavanaut in 2150s Malmö
"Motherless Men", a sex-positive matriarchal sword & sorcery story of intrigue; Annalee Newitz thinks it's structurally a Western
"Ever Since", absurdist undergraduate post-apocalypse
Reef Six, a novella about the ageless and durable wanderer Siob,salvaged from the excised parts of Resilience
"Adaptation", a post-bodyswap/soul-displacement-portal-fantasy story of reintegration
"The Tree of Life", more on Talmudic scholarship and zombies, but with serious downbeat contemporary psychological realism
Elul in the Shtetl, a Zorklike text adventure set in the fantastic shtetl
Shtetl World, a grandly complex tabletop RPG, radical dreidel-based Apocalypse World hack with dreidels, set in the fantastic shtetl
Tohu vaBohu (a.k.a. Formless and Void), a Fluxxlike competitive card-based tabletop RPG in a Calvino mood
Matchmakers, a card game of shtetl matchmaking, which I am helping Ethan Ham with
Sing Your Heart Out, a karaoke freeform LARP/tabletop hybrid in a Glee or Pitch Perfect setting, which I am at this point mostly turning over to Jamey Harvey
Dream Apart, a rules-light GM-less tabletop RPG, reskinning Dream Askew, and set in the fantastic shtetl
U.G.R.R., a collaborative strategic board game centered on the abolitionist activists of the Underground Railroad
Also, Mary Anne wants me to write a parenting book. It's sort of nice to be able to switch projects when your brain gets full. Still, this is clearly too many things, right? Feel free to vote in the comments. Posted by benrosen at June 5, 2017 10:30 PM | Up to blog

One of us! One of us!

I mean...I found a fragment of my writing in an unexpected place. I have no standing to throw stones.

Posted by: Kat at June 6, 2017 05:56 AM

While undone, unfinished, undefined, it exists in its quantum state of Hugo Winner/Heresy. In the universe next door, we are lauded. In the universe next door to that, we are hunted as dissidents.

Posted by: Paul at June 6, 2017 01:22 PM

here's my boring and non-meta-self-referential comment, but My vote is for Motherless Men.

Posted by: Janet at June 6, 2017 04:52 PM

I have sometimes created a Trello board for personal life because otherwise I will overload myself with various projects. Although, managing the Trello board in the most optimal fashion becomes somewhat of a project itself.

Without knowing much about the each of your fiction pieces, Adaptation sounds intriguing...

Posted by: Priscilla at June 7, 2017 03:37 AM

A text adventure? Ooh -- I'm always interested to see more of them from authors I've read in other forms. What language are you using?

(I've written a handful of small text adventures in Inform, which I love.)

Posted by: Caleb Wilson at July 17, 2017 09:56 PM

Caleb, I'm also using Inform!

Priscilla & Janet, your votes are duly noted! :-)

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at September 14, 2017 02:31 PM

Speaking of software development vs. writing, are there any good resources out there for comparing the relative strengths and weaknesses of different work-process-method-things for different types of work?

Posted by: Brent at January 21, 2018 09:58 PM
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