- I know I’ve said I’m “almost finished” with the novel for the last month or two now, but it looks like I’m Really There this time. I may be writing THE END underneath by the end of this weekend, if all goes well. My problem was narrative overrun–I consistently underestimated the number of chapters required to bring all the narrative strands to a good conclusion, and thus kept tacking on One More Chapter. The final product, pre-trimming, will be twenty-two chapters and an epilogue, with a grand total of ~125,000 words. Then I’ll have to go through the draft and trim at least 10% off the total. My goal is a word count of under 110,000 for the final version before I submit the whole thing. (I may even post a preview chapter, just so you can see I didn’t just write REDRUM over and over for nine months.)
- I need to start on that stack of books on my desk before it topples over and kills a few dogs. I just added Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash to the top of the stack, and I’ll be buying fellow VP’er Greg van Eekhout’s debut novel Norse Code on my Dadcation this Saturday. That’ll give me an even dozen books to read, and my plan is to read them all back-to-back before I even think about starting another fiction project. (Call it two weeks, tops.)
- My last writing-related bullet point for the day: I sat down yesterday to list all the novels and short stories I have planned for the immediate future, and I have enough stuff on that list to keep me writing steadily for three or four years. I don’t have a shortage of good ideas, just a shortage of time. Can someone please increase the length of the day to thirty-six hours? That would be sweet.
- The state of affairs regarding Major Caudill and The Nuge: we’re in the Send Nasty Letters phase of the process. The lawyer seems to be cautiously optimistic. I’m not expecting to get independently wealthy from this affair, but I do believe some retroactive per-word fees and reasonable interest/damages are called for.
- I’ve started to toss our old bread out onto the front lawn, and it’s been Avian Thunderdome out there all week. The current contenders for King of the Lawn are the Bluejay Duo, and Crowzilla. The smaller birds just kind of flit around and pick up what the big guys drop or leave behind. The aerial dogfights are spectacular.
- I’ve acquired my first new gun since moving to NH. It’s a flatgun, a fact that will probably shock pdb, but I wanted something with which to shoot up the vast stocks of 9mm Luger I have stacked up in the attic. I probably have a case of premium hollowpoints alone, and a bucket or two of FMJ. The gun is a Steyr M9, by the way. I love the ergonomics and the trapezoidal sights, and the thing recoils like a pellet gun. It only came with a neutered ten-round magazine, however, so if anyone has a lead on some full-capacity Steyr M9 magazines, please let me know. NH has no silly restrictions on magazines, so if it’s sold anywhere, I can have it shipped to Castle Frostbite.
- Rumor has it that Apple is about to answer the Netbook craze with a $500 10″ touchscreen tablet. I need a touchscreen tablet like I need another hole in the head, but that’s right about what I had budgeted for a parts kit from Newegg for the new computer, and I know I’ll be tempted by The Shiny once Apple puts the beauty shots of their new iThing out on their online store. This will require a saving roll vs. Shiny…especially if the new tablet will be able to run Leopard (and therefore Scrivener), and come with built-in Bluetooth for use with wireless keyboards.
- When did children’s programming become so incredibly preachy? Lyra got a Winnie the Pooh DVD for her birthday, and that movie is just chock-full of heavy-handed social education. It’s all about togetherness, tolerance, sharing, and diversity. Don’t get me wrong, those aren’t loathsome concepts, but when your kiddie movies are like preschool collectivist versions of Atlas Shrugged, the propaganda part has managed to clobber the entertainment part over the head with an ideological sledgehammer.
More substantial updates later, when I’m not quite so deluged with work from all sides…