11/9/04: Done with the penultimate chapter

Word count: 114166 | Since last entry: 938 | This month: 1984 Usually I post here whenever I write — if you haven’t heard from me lately, you can assume I haven’t been writing. But in this case I have been plugging away, generally in the last half-hour or hour before going to bed (and going to bed way later than I should) so I haven’t had a chance to post about it. I have been successful in writing a little something every day. I’ve done a couple hundred words most days, except for Sunday night after OryCon when I managed just 41 words in a bleary half-hour before I admitted I was too tired to produce anything useful. But bit by bit I have reached the end of the chapter. It’s a short one, but intense, and it ends with the reunion of the main characters of the two plot threads. I will look the chapter over tomorrow and maybe tweak it a bit before printing it for Saturday’s critique. Only one (long!) chapter and an epilogue remains now. On Saturday night of the con I didn’t do anything on the novel, but I stayed up until 2am with Sara outlining a story tentatively titled “The Push-Button Unicorn.” This is an idea that I had some time ago which I decided should be a collaboration, because Sara knows more about horses than I ever will but has little experience with short stories. We’re both really excited about this story. The convention was generally good. I had a full house of about 20 people for my reading on Friday afternoon, with reasonable crowds for all the panels and other items I was on. I got in some good lines at several of them, like the comment at the Mad Scientists panel on the Fantastic Method (regular scientists use the Scientific Method, which involves many experiments with a mix of successes and failures, while mad scientists use the Fantastic Method, in which you do one big experiment at the end of the book — if you’re the hero, it succeeds, and if you’re the villain, it fails). I was also in Opening Ceremonies (in which I died four times) and Whose Line, and though I thought neither of them went particularly well I had people coming up to me all weekend saying they’d hurt themselves laughing. Go figure. I also signed about a half-dozen copies of the zeppelin anthology. Add that to the half-dozen I signed at World Fantasy, and the fact that Wrigley-Cross Books in the dealers’ room sold out (18 copies), and you can tell that this book is generating some real excitement. I’m so happy to be in it, and I’m looking forward to reading the other stories. The downside of the con was that I was so busy on programming and such that I missed many of my friends and barely got lunch at all. But I did have many good dinners and conversations and hugs, and racked up a sleep deficit that will take weeks to repay, so it must have been a good con. And I just found out today that an editor to whom I pitched this novel three years ago is still interested in it, and is actually in a position to buy more fiction now than he was then. Opportunity! Gulp! But now to bed.

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