Still plugging away

Last week I was all fired up. Only three more chapters until this, the rough draft, is finished. And they include a battle scene I’ve been planning for eons. No problem!

Alas, that enthusiasm is gone. I’m finding myself wholly unable to focus, unable to get any words on the page that even pass the “permission to write badly” rule.

And yet, I will not yield. Three chapters. Come on, Johnston. That’s nothing–a year ago I only HAD three chapters, notwithstanding the Great Disk Death of 2012, which destroyed the 3/4 done first version of the story. I was devastated when it happened, but really, it was very inferior to what now exists.

Anyway. Back to the comma mines.

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How to come home on a hot California day, Sacramento edition

1. Stagger in the door loaded down with your computer bag and your daughter’s backpack. Drop bags in the appropriate places.
2. Recognize the fact that your house is hot; turn on the air conditioner.
3. Fill a cup with a metric buttload of ice and your favorite drink.
4. Grab your kindle and your drink. Head out to the backyard and flop into the hammock.
5. Begin reading.
6. After fifteen minutes, realize it’s way too fucking hot for this shit and go back inside.
7. Collapse into favorite chair. Pull laptop out. Start writing.

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I don’t usually reblog, but when I do…

… it’s because the post is golden.

Jim C. Hines has written a great post on writerly despair. If, like me, you’re still working towards publication, then maybe you should give it a look.

Later, a post on the viciousness of non-writers.

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The Glamorous Life of the (Unpublished) Writer

Today began nicely. Woke my daughter up, finding a new way to gently break through her desire to not get up. Took her to school, then came home, looked at the clutter of the kitchen and living room, and said “This will not do.”

Four hours later I had a clean kitchen and living room. Then I sat down and wrote until it was time to get my daughter. Once she was home, I cleaned the master bathroom (only called such because it’s in the “master bedroom” area; it’s exactly the same size as the other bathroom–smalled, even, as the other one has a tub and this one just has a shower stall. But I digress…), and then sat down to write again.

Then I made her dinner, then helped my wife put her to bed, and then began writing again. At the end of the day, I had 1,853 new words, bringing the total for the book so far to 60,122. I finished the heroes’ daring raid on an Imperial Intelligence data store and their subsequent seat-of-their-pants escape, including the hero nearly falling off the top of his hovering starship to his death (starships are not running surfaces, especially fifteen stories above the ground). That means I’ve got between 30K and 40K words left to write. Only three chapters (I write long chapters)!

My daughter usually only goes to summer camp at her school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But tomorrow is the last “water play day” at summer school, with the promise of an ice cream party and a kid’s movie, and she really wants to have fun with her friends. So I’m sending her. And since I did all the cleaning today, tomorrow is going to be six hours of nothing but writing. Well, four hours of writing, and some reading, most likely, but we’ll see how it goes.

Next week I go back to work. My curriculum is ready, and all I need to do now is get the classroom set up and print up my syllabi, then prepare for Back to School Night later in September.

And now? Now I’m tired, so I’m going to go read (I’m nearly done with Peter F. Hamilton’s The Great North Road; it’s great by the way) until I am ready to sleep.

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Just a quick check in

So, I keep meaning to write more here, but the truth is, not much is happening. I could bitch about this or that, but what good does that do?

The Damned Book is coming along. I wanted to finish it over the summer, but I didn’t for various reasons, some my fault, some due to interference from the world and other people. But I’m close–I have four chapters to finish, but I have them plotted, and now it’s all about the writing.

Once that’s done, I’ll start the beta/revision cycle.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I left the protagonist and his crew in the middle of a raid on an Imperial Intelligence datastore, and if I don’t get back there, Tajen is likely to get himself killed. And then it’s all over.

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Book Update

So, back in May, I vowed I would finish this book before the end of summer. After all, I thought, I am home alone two days a week, and I have at least a couple of hours every day to write.

It turns out I was being optimistic.

See, first I had a metric buttload of Things That Must Be Done, most of which took up far more time than I expected. Then my daughter broke her arm riding her bicycle, which caused me to have to do a lot more for her that she usually handles on her own.

Then I hit a brick wall of ideas.

I’ve broken the wall, and I’m back to work, but I still have far less time than I really think I will on a daily basis, because six year olds don’t respect that you’re trying to write, and neither do adults, sometimes. My wife tends to want to talk to me, and I can’t very well tell her to shut up, so working at night when the daughter goes to bed doesn’t always work. I’m having some success in working earlier in the day, then going to do my required bits, but it isn’t daily.

This weekend, though, I’m going (car) camping, and for the first time ever, I’m taking my laptop and getting some writing done while I’m there. Not sure if it will really work, but we’ll see.

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Pet Peeve #38: People who refuse to use the resources literally at their fingertips

So, I freely admit this might be elitist of me, but it really burns my hide when people are posting online and misspell something, then put (sp) after it.

By doing that, the poster signals to anyone who reads it that he knows he spelled the word wrong, but he hasn’t got the inclination to look up the spelling.

While he’s posting on the internet.

Which has no end of electronic, easily-accessible dictionaries, wikis, and fan pages.

You’re accessing the single biggest collection of knowledge our race has ever created–and you can’t be bothered to look up how to spell the word? Seriously?

If I’m missing something, feel free to let me know.

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