Guest post–Billie Milholland–What have you been doing since…

Here we go! Part Two of the “What have you been doing since Women of the Apocalypse.

Billie Milholland and I have been friends for a good number of years now, and I can tell you, she is always hip deep in a new project. In fact, she’s been so busy with her last one that it took her a while to finally throw down some words for me. But they have finally arrived, so here you go! What she’s been doing since Women of the Apocalypse.

Billie Milholland: Since Women of the Apocalypse…

A Grand Adventure

Writing a novella for Women of the Apocalypse was a grand, experimental adventure that changed the course of my writing career. It was both unsettling and exhilarating writing, not exactly together with three other writers, but in close proximity to the way they viewed the world. Not collaborative in the traditional sense, but requiring intermittent cooperation. For someone accustomed to writing alone, the learning curve was steep, but it taught a disciple that I don’t think I could have integrated any other way.    

Another Experiment

After the success of WOTA, I dove right into a more closely knit writing experience with the 10th Circle Project. Again, four people writing together. This time in a shared world that had been outlined ahead of time. Writing short stories and novellas against a backdrop of one overarching story and within a very tight time frame. Very challenging, as the scenario shifted and changed with each collection of stories for each circle. Writing as extreme sport. Even steeper learning curve, but I learned more than I can calculate, even now.

Quadratic Anthology Number Two

It was too tempting to resist doing another novella in a set of four. The Puzzle Box project. A good opportunity to test what I’d learned.

The Short Story Jungle

After the 10th Circle and Puzzle Box projects I wasn’t ready for another intense writing experience right away, so I threw myself into short story writing. A different pace; a different rhythm. Emphasis on ‘short’. Always seductive, the short story anthology. Even though my stories would appear along with the stories of many others, there was no collaboration involved. None. That was weird at first. I aimed stories at five anthologies. I had stories selected for two, a Chinese steampunk (Small Seven’s Secret) and an environmental speculative fiction (Green Man She Restless). One of them was nominated for an Aurora Award.

A Non-Fiction Adventure

Then it happened. A non-fiction book concept I had been nursing on the back burner for a decade moved to the front of the stove and came to a rolling boil. Research, write, illustrate. Repeat. What I thought would take one year, took two years, a firm reminder that writing in any genre at any time is not for the faint of heart. Living in the SHED, a brief sketch of land-use over time in a major river watershed, is off to the printers.

Eileen’s plug for this book: This full colour, 304 page book, with photos, illustrations and maps is absolutely amazing! It will sell for $25, which is almost a steal. Reserve your copy today. 

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