Word count: 52293 | Since last entry: 623 | This month: 2026 I’ve been pretty busy the last couple of days, but I decided to turn off the radio for my commute (45 minutes to an hour each way) and spend the time thinking about the novel. It’s a lot like meditation, in that the intention to think about a given thing (or not think about anything) can very easily — almost unnoticeably — slip away into thinking about something else. Anything else. Monkey mind at work. But as soon as I notice myself thinking about work, or chores, or the dentist, I pull my mind back on track. I’m concentrating on what is one of the novel’s major problems: Jason, the main human character, is a wimp. He is more reactive than active. So I’m trying to come up with situations in this chapter in which he can make decisions and take actions for reasons of his own. I also hope to use these decisions and actions to set up some later things he has to do. So even though not much happens in this chapter in terms of advancing the plot, I hope it will still be a dramatic and valuable one. After all that thinking I found the actual writing went pretty quickly, though I only had an hour tonight so I only wrote about 600 words. Now I am frustrated that I can’t write faster, rather than frustrated by not having anything to write about. Even so, the chapter is nearly half done. I might even finish it by Saturday, but it’s going to be a close thing. In other news… the Hell story sold! I was getting a little worried about it, since I’d heard back from Gateways so quickly. So that’s two sales so far this year… a very good start. Also, after a good discussion on the Speculations message board about when to trunk stories vs. sending them to “lesser” markets, I mean to put some of my older stories that haven’t gone out in a while back in the mail soon.
David D. Levine is the author of Andre Norton Nebula Award winning novel Arabella of Mars, sequels Arabella and the Battle of Venus and Arabella the Traitor of Mars, and over fifty SF and fantasy stories. His story “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the Hugo, and he has been shortlisted for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, and Sturgeon. Stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Tor.com, numerous Year’s Best anthologies, and his award-winning collection Space Magic.