Archive for August, 2004

8/27/04: Day off

Word count: 91914 | Since last entry: 1272 | This month: 4488 A very good day’s writing, and I went to the gym and got a bunch of other chores done as well. We should ship a major release more often. In the last couple of days I’ve written three and a half scenes that point out exactly how bad the situation has become. 1. Clarity has to deal with the human governments wanting to know what the hell is going on; 2. the Green Hills clan begins evacuating to orbit (and Clarity fears that they secretly control the orbital lasers and will take the plague back to the homeworld); 3. Clarity argues with the other Council members about whether a suicidal attack on the Green-Hills-controlled launch Platforms would be entirely futile or just mostly futile — that last is the half-scene, because the argument is interrupted when 4. Raptor, chief of the Green Hills clan, calls to complain that Clarity has misinterpreted his actions (dodging all requests to explain his real motives) and to threaten serious reprisals for any attempt to recapture the Platforms. And there’s more violence, destruction, and betrayal to come before the chapter’s out. Whee!

8/26/04: Back on the horse

Word count: 90642 | Since last entry: 1054 | This month: 3216 Today didn’t go exactly the way I’d thought it would. I took the train to work, thinking I would get plenty of time to write on the way there and back. But we shipped a major product today (ePolicy Orchestrator 3.5, which is what I’ve been spending most of my time on for the last year) and there was a celebration at a restaurant downtown. I got a ride there, and a ride home from there, so no writing in the afternoon. And then, for a variety of stupid and inexcusable reasons, I didn’t even sit down to write again until about 10:30. But now it’s almost midnight, and I look up and I see I’ve written over a thousand words. And there’s more good news. The VP of my division announced that, in further celebration of our accomplishment, everyone gets tomorrow off! So I hope to get much more writing done tomorrow… was well as several other chores. Congratulations, us.

8/25/04: I’m back

Word count: 89588 | Since last entry: 13 | This month: 2162 Hiya! I’ve been away for a while, I know. Kate and I did a new issue of Bento, which took up most of my non-work time, and tonight I worked on a new engine for my novel journal — it’s based on Blosxom and it’s pretty cool. The most important thing is that it will reduce the size of the files, which have gotten appalling (almost 300k each for the two “all entries” pages); it also supports other cool stuff, like user comments, which I’ll be adding later as time permits. I will be running the two blogs in parallel for a while, the old one at and the new one at The new one is mostly identical in appearance to the old one, except that it has a calendar you can click on to navigate among the entries. Check it out and let me know if you have any problems with it. The new blog has its own RSS feed, at If you use RSS, please try it and let me know if it works properly. I really should have spent the evening working on the actual novel, since I missed the last critique group deadline (due to Bento) and I really need to get back on the stick. I’ll do that tomorrow.

8/11/04: Sidetracked to Jupiter

Word count: 89588 | Since last entry: 953 | This month: 2149 I have two weeks to finish this chapter. I also have the same two weeks to write an entire issue of Bento. So I spent this evening (and too much of it; it’s nearly midnight) revising a short story. I had an excuse. I got a revision request from Gordon Van Gelder at F&SF on the Jupiter story, and that’s an opportunity not lightly set aside. I finished the revision, and I’m going to print it out and look it over tomorrow before putting it in the mail. With any luck I’ll get a response before the Worldcon. With any more luck, it’ll be an acceptance. I’ve never gotten a rewrite request from Gordon before, so I don’t know what the odds are…

8/9/04: Ramping back up

Word count: 89588 | Since last entry: 1196 | This month: 1196 No writing today, but I did get 1200 words written on Friday and Sunday, comprising the first scene of chapter 8. It’s always hard for me to get up and running on a new chapter, what with having to load everything I know about the alternating viewpoints back into my brain after having forgotten it for a few weeks. This problem should go away in a few more chapters as the two viewpoints converge. I have the same problem, on a smaller scale, whenever I pick up after finishing a scene. I should really be doing what several writers have advised: stop before the end of a scene, so you can more easily pick up the writing the next day. I had originally outlined this section as a fairly intellectual stand-off in which the villain withdraws to orbit. It’s coming out as an armed rebellion, with ornithopters getting shot down by lasers and bodies in the streets. Probably better this way. I recently realized that, unless the remaining 5 chapters are very very short (not likely!), the book’s going to be at least 120,000 words, not the 100,000 words I’ve been thinking of. So I’m not as close to the end as I’d thought. But if I keep writing a chapter every 3 weeks I will be done by November. However, it’s going to be a challenge for me to finish this chapter in time, since during the same 2 weeks my wife and I have to write a whole issue of our fanzine Bento. We always do a new issue at the last possible minute before the Worldcon. Which this very nearly is. In other news, I got my contributor copies of Talebones #28 with my story “Where is the Line.” This story is also being offered as a free sample at (click on “Preview” near the top of the page, then “Fiction” on the left). Check it out! Let me know what you think!