Word count: 45058 | Since last entry: 207 | This month: 10597 Like yesterday, I had a busy day, didn’t start writing until way late, and wrote only a couple hundred words (just to keep up the streak). But I received my critiques on Chapter 4 — they still like the book, though they reminded me of the problems I already know about (Jason’s a wimp and Clarity isn’t alien enough) as pointed out some new ones (there isn’t enough physical description of the aliens, especially of individual aliens; there’s no indication why it would be a bad thing if the Green Hills bunch took over; Clarity goes into the task force meeting knowing nothing about the humans she’s meeting with, she would have been thoroughly briefed; the new human characters Flannery and Vance need to be better developed). All good stuff for the second draft. For now, I’m continuing on the Deconstructing Jupiter story. I had been having some trouble coming up with an ending (unusually for me, I started writing without knowing the end of the story), but now I think I have one in mind. The question is: can I destroy the Earth and still have it be an upbeat ending? At the moment I think I can, and it’ll certainly be a hell of a climax (many writers threaten to destroy the world, but not many follow through on the threat). There are all sorts of cues in what I’ve written so far indicating that Something Bad Happened, and I can amp those up to build tension. This’ll be interesting. Also today I picked up my new glasses — my first progressive lenses, but it’s not nearly as traumatic as I had been warned it might be. They’re kind of weird, but not much weirder than my last pair of new glasses, and my near vision is noticeably better than with the old ones. The bad news is that they came with a big scratch in one lens, which will have to be replaced. This evening I attended a party where I didn’t know anyone, but had a nice long talk with syndicated humor columnist Marc Acito, who just sold his first novel, and the movie rights — a real Cinderella story. He was very encouraging, said he liked my pitch. Must sleep now!