Word count: 57047 | Since last entry: 1202 | This month: 6780 Okay, so I haven’t written in almost a week. Some nights there was a movie or a lecture or something, and though I always intended to do at least a little writing when I got home it just got too late. Other nights I worked late or worked on the OryCon web page or some other form of cat vacuuming. Yesterday some friends took me out for a birthday dinner. But today (my actual birthday) I decided I would spend the day writing. And I did. So how the heck did it take the entire day to write one lousy scene? Well, for one thing it turned out to be a substantial scene, more than twice as long as I thought it would be. The chapter as a whole came out to be the second-longest in the book so far. I’m not quite sure how this happened, given that the chapter has only one point in the original outline. Perhaps that’s exactly how it happened — it’s easy to write lots of words when there’s nothing to say. I suspect some of it will come out in revision. But that still doesn’t explain why it took me all day to write 1200 words. Let’s see… I started late and took a lot of breaks, but I finished the chapter by 2:00. Then, since I wasn’t rushing out the door for crit group, I took the time to read over the chapter and polish it a bit. Then I updated the “What Has Gone Before” to include the previous chapter. I had to go back and add a little to an earlier chapter too, as long as I was in there, because I’d missed a major plot point before. Then when I went to print the chapter I found I needed a new print cartridge. I had the cartridge already, but I still had to re-align the print heads. So when I took the printed chapter to the local cheap copy shop… it had already closed for the day. Damn. I came home and made up envelopes for my critique group, put on the stamps, got appalled at the amount of postage I had just used, and decided to drive to work and make the copies there rather than pay Kinko’s prices for the copying. That took half an hour each way. Finally I took the envelopes to the main post office (it now being too late for pick-up before Monday afternoon at most other locations), and on the way home I bought a new print cartridge. And that’s how it takes a whole day to write 1200 words. All the more reason to finish the next chapter before the next crit group meeting, to avoid all that postage and envelopes and post office and stuff. I hope to get started writing tomorrow, because I now have only two weeks until the next meeting. But the way things have been going so far this week, I’m not betting on it. Happy birthday to me, anyway. Hah!
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.