3/15/05: Slow going

Editing hours: 7.1 | Since last entry: 1.5 | Percent complete: 7% At the moment I’m generating new text rather than improving or cutting, so progress is slow — even slower than it was when I was concentrating on generating new text, because everything I’m writing now has to fit into what follows as well as what has preceded it. At one point tonight Kate went for a walk around the block, during which I managed a single sentence. But it is progress. (I’m not quite sure how the “percent complete” score went down from last time. Rounding error?) I just reached the point where Vigor collapses at the UN, so the chapter’s nearly over. I’ll probably go back and trim a bit before moving forward. Spent the weekend in Seattle, at a square dance event. Much riotous humor. At one point we were in a Completed Double Pass Thru formation and the caller, Sandie Bryant, told us to do a Checkmate the Column, which naturally resulted in a grand kerfuffle. I asked for some help on the traffic pattern and she said “Do you all know how to do a Track Two?” and of course we did, so she went on to say “Then why can’t you do a Checkmate from here?” and we all laughed our heads off. There were two little kids looking in the doorway, and they laughed too, despite the fact that they didn’t get the joke any more than you did. (Okay, there are a couple people on my LJ friendslist who would get it.) As long as we were in Seattle, we visited the Science Fiction Museum. We’d taken a hard-hat tour during the Nebulas, but it’s much more impressive with all the exhibits and interactives in place. The spherical display in the first hall and the three-dimensional touch-screens in the spacecraft exhibit were particularly impressive, and I really liked the way they combined books and magazines with the TV and movie props in almost every display case. They also had the humungous X-Prize trophy and several early models of SpaceShipOne on display. It must be nice to be Paul Allen. We had only an hour and a half, but the museum’s actually pretty small so we were able to see everything in that time. That might be a disappointment for the $12 entry fee if you aren’t as much of a sci-fi geek as I am. (Harlan Ellison’s typewriter, gosh wow!) To me, the conversation between Robby the Robot and the Lost In Space robot was almost worth the price of admission by itself. We also lucked out on the timing and visited with a goodly portion of Seattle fandom at the Big Time brewpub. Friendly conversation and fanzines were exchanged before we hit the road back home. One last novel-related bit: I just received an amazing, unexpected, and unprecedented email, about which I unfortunately cannot tell you anything. Let’s just say that I am both jazzed and terrified, and also highly motivated to finish the darn thing and get it in the mail pronto. Therefore, I plan to spend Easter weekend on a writing retreat. I’m not going to go anywhere, mind you — I’m going to unplug the phone and computer and have a writing retreat right in my own house. We’ll see how well that works.

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