Archive for January 26th, 2005

1/23/05: Back in the saddle again

Word count: 119459 | Since last entry: 1209 | This month: 1209 Okay, it’s been a week since I got back from the coast. What have I done since then? Quite a lot, really. On Monday I had the day off from work due to Martin Luther King Day (we don’t usually get MLK Day off, but with Christmas Day and New Year’s Day both falling on weekends this year I think they had some extra holidays just lying around). As it happened, this was the perfect time for the photographer from the local paper to come by and take pictures of our new kitchen. I was so pleased and proud of how the project came out, you see, that I wrote to the Oregonian and suggested that they might want to do a story on it. And they bit! At least enough to send a photographer, we haven’t talked to the reporter yet. I think the thing that tipped the project over the edge was Kate’s kitchen blog (“Gosh wow,” says the Oregonian, “we can be hot and trendy and do a story with this newfangled ‘blog’ thingie in it!” Welcome to the twentieth century.) It’s a good thing this work week was short, because it’s been panic city from one end to the other. I’m still involved in two different projects (neither of which consults with the other before scheduling all-day design meetings), and on Thursday we had a bit of a meltdown on one of them. So I spent most evenings during the week just recovering from work. One bright spot in the week is that the other UI designer got pulled off of one of his two projects so he’s now full-time on one of mine — I can concentrate more on the other. Hmm, looking at my Palm I see that I didn’t just vegetate. We watched the latest episodes of Lost and Battlestar Galactica, attended a live performance of 21 Dog Years: Doing Time @ Amazon.Com, and went to a “Classical Mystery Tour” performance at the Oregon Symphony, featuring the cast of Beatlemania doing excellent Beatles covers with a full symphony orchestra. That was a blast. Also picked up and read about a month and a half’s worth of comics from our local comics pusher. We’ve started a community college Japanese 101 class, beginning preparation for the Worldcon in 2007. Japanese follows the Law of Conservation of Complexity, which dictates that for every area in a language that’s simpler than English, there has to be another that’s more complex. For example, Japanese has a straightforward phonetic writing system, but it has two separate alphabets for the same sounds. Its nouns avoid the complexities of grammar and gender, but there are multiple counting systems. And its verbs have only two tenses, but subtle distinctions of formality. Shikata ga nai. On Saturday, Sara M. and I got together and started work on the unicorn story we outlined back at OryCon. We wrote about 1200 words, and I’m pleased with the results so far. This is a story that neither of us could possibly have written alone, and it’s interesting that so far each of us thinks the other is doing most of the work. The writing has been great fun and I’m looking forward to more next week. Saturday evening Kate and I celebrated twenty years together by going out for dinner with some of the people who were there when we met on New Year’s Day 1985. (Twenty years?!) I did make some progress on the novel this weekend. It’s plain at this point that I will need to write an entire new (but brief) Prologue and do a substantial rewrite on the first Jason chapter, and I’m considering a complete rewrite of the first Clarity chapter as well. But once I’ve snagged the reader I think the rest of the novel will work without major surgery. I had hoped to write at least the new prologue this weekend, but that didn’t happen. I did, though, update my To-Do list to incorporate all the new things to do I got from the novel weekend. It’s currently eight pages long, with items ranging from “Make Jason more protagonisty” to “Names Wind Racer and Desert Wind are too similar”. I don’t expect I’ll actually check off more than about a quarter of them, but at least I have them all in one place. One of those to-do items is — alas! — to change the name Taurans, because Dean says “Tauran” is too similar to “Terran.” And he’s right, dammit. Even though, as Kate says, “But… they are Taurans.” Well, not any more. Now they are, I think, Cetans. I want to sleep on that before commiting the change. Oh, one last writing-related news bit. I got my subscriber copy of the March 2005 Asimov’s, with my story “Tk’tk’tk.” It should be on newsstands soon. My first Asimov’s story, yay!