Forced sabbatical, really. Another semester down, and finally the degree is within reach. That should be the last time I can accuse school of pulling me away from other things. I'll need to find different excuses in the future.
Fortunately, despite not blogging over the last few months, I was still doing plenty of writing. 13th Night is not complete - I and the professor decided to amend our goals to three completed acts rather than an entire five-act play, which turned out to be a bit too ambitious given both of our schedules. So, yes, I have about half of a play. It needs a lot of work, but it was definitely cool to be able to get credit for a creative project. I wish I'd clued in to the possibilities of Independent Studies ages ago.
I've also completed a couple of short stories and made beginnings to several more, in anticipation of publishing the SciFi shorts anthology sometime next year. I still don't have quite enough finished material to round out the entire anthology in the theme that I originally intended. I may decide to loosen up the theme itself, or simply work on writing more stories that belong within it.
Consciously attempting to think up stories that conform to a certain theme, or feeling, is an interesting experience. I've never lacked for a pile of story ideas to start my next project with, even after discarding many as simplistic, unworkable, or more fit to include as subthreads within another story (a planned fantasy series of mine has absorbed a lot of stories into itself over the years). Now I find myself actively trying to create concepts that revolve around this unifying idea, and it is... more difficult than I expected. A lot of the ideas end up being too similar, derivative. I'm okay with a certain amount of subject bleed - there's no harm in revisiting topics more than once, so long as each story stands on its own feet. Too much repetition, though, will just harm the entire group.
So, can't really say when the anthology will be published. Once I have most of the stories written I'll start putting them out individually to some beta readers, and then I'll start thinking about getting feedback on story order and other formatting issues. I'm already thinking about the book cover - artwork always weighs heavily on my mind as it's the one part of a publication where I'm not much use.