Opening Round

Welcome to “Pushing a Snake Up a Hill”!

Although I have maintained a web site for a good number of years, this is my first entry into the blogosphere. If you’ve come here from my web site, you already know that I write science fiction and may be familiar with my books. If you stumbled in here by another door, you probably know nothing about me. So please allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Jeff Carver, and I’ve been a working professional writer for not quite thirty years. In that time, I’ve written and had published 14 novels and a number of shorter pieces. Not a huge output by the standards of many of my contemporaries–but then, I’ve always been a slow writer. I like to think that some of my work is pretty good, despite the infrequency of publication. My most recent novel, Eternity’s End, came out a few years ago and was a finalist for the Nebula Award. I’ve been working ever since on the fourth book of a series called The Chaos Chronicles, and have been contending with difficulty in finding enough time to write (while I do other kinds of writing and editing to earn a living), as well as struggling with the book on its own terms. (It feels a little grandiose to say that I’ve had writer’s block, but is probably accurate nonetheless.)

I expect I’ll have more to say on all this in later logs.

The title for my blog comes from an expression my wife and I have been using for years–inspired by the difficulty of moving young children along toward completion of tasks (such as getting to bed!). Our kids are older now, in high school and middle school, but we still use the expression all the time. “Pushing snakes” has become shorthand for any Sisyphus-like chore. And there seem to be way too many of those in daily life!

In the coming days and weeks, I hope to note some of my thoughts on writing, on home-schooling kids, on home repair(!), on science and politics and religion, and whatever comes to mind. Let me know what you find of interest, and we’ll talk.


9 Responses

  1. Anonymous
    | Reply

    oh, cool, Jeff. This is only anonymous because i don’t know what they want for user names and stuff. Um — I just wanted to say congrats on your blog, and, um, we’ll visit you in jail, you crazy rad, you ….

    — Mary A.

  2. Anonymous
    | Reply

    As daughter of said author, I feel inclined to mention that I am much less wriggly than a snake.

  3. Anonymous
    | Reply

    Quite a good description of many parenting tasks! May be simlar to our version of ‘putting out the cat’, the system of starting one thing, but finding something else needs done before the first project can be completed, etc., etc. The result is you spend all day trying to get around to finishing your first project. My dad was the pro at this! Seems especially appropriat to home repair!


  4. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    “Putting out the cat” is the other expression we use all the time. It came from your dad, of course, Laurie–and is our standard explanation of why we never seem to get anything done.

    I should write an entry on putting out the cat.


  5. Anonymous
    | Reply

    ‘putting out the cat’? How did it turn into that phrase?

  6. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    See my new post for the meaning of “putting out the cat.”

  7. Gus
    | Reply

    Hey I’m actually quite glad I found your website, it always does well to learn from someone with experience, and almost thrity years is great. I’ve always wanted to write, and now that I have left school I am thinking seriously about how that relates to my future (it’s a big wide world out there!)

    I’ve been writing my first attempt at a novel, and I’ve found it so damn fun that I know I can’t give up (yeah ok I haven’t got to the serious editing yet.) I am really interested in science fiction too, which is even better, this whole blog thing is starting to pay off I guess. Well, I guess I’ll just keep looking over your website every now and then in case there is something that I can learn from, so keep up the good work!

  8. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    Hi Gus — I’m glad you find the web site helpful. Good luck with your novel, and thanks for checking in!


  9. Anonymous
    | Reply

    Humph. Snakes indeed. I take much offense to that. Getting us to move is much more like herding cats.

    (you’re supposed to laugh at that)

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