Word count: 94753 | Since last entry: 708 | This month: 3703 Yesterday we went to see local author Marc Acito, whom I met at a party last year, as he kicks off his book tour for his first novel, How I Paid for College. For which he got a six-figure advance, and another six-figure advance for the UK rights, and yet more money for the film rights. I told Kate “if I melt down into a small green puddle of jealousy in the middle of the reading, poke me.” But it was very entertaining, and I learned a few things about how to do a good reading. But tonight, despite looming feelings of “who am I kidding, nobody’s going to want to read this, I should just go out in the back yard and eat worms” I sat down and began composing actual prose in Chapter H. Go me. So far it’s pretty heavily laden with exposition, and exposition about sitting and thinking at that, and sitting and thinking about computer security at that. But it’s 708 new words, by gum, and I can trim it back later. At times like this I try to remind myself that I did win Writers of the Future and the James White Award, not to mention the Hugo and Campbell nominations as well as the Nebula near-miss. And agent Linn Prentis said nice things about the chapters and outline of this very novel, which she certainly didn’t have to. (Did I mention in my Worldcon report that when I ran into her in the Green Room she seemed much more enthusiastic about it than her email had led me to believe she was? I wanted to try to get to the bottom of the discrepancy at the time, but I was late for a panel and I didn’t see her again.) Anyway. I know I can write, I know this is a good novel, I just have to grit my teeth and keep writing until I believe it or finish the damn thing, whichever comes first. Yargh. In other news… we picked up the new car today. A silver 2005 Corolla with 47 miles on the odometer, remote keyless entry, CD changer, antilock brakes, and an instruction book full of novel ways to die. (Now with side-curtain airbags: four new explosive devices for your protection!) And that new-car smell. Mmm.