Archive for January, 2006

1/1/06: Reflections and resolutions

Word count: 325 | Since last entry: 325

I am disappointed in myself. 2005 was a good year for publications, but a wretched year for production and sales. I wrote only two new stories, one a collaboration, and made only one pro sale. Basically, I took a break after submitting the novel and (for a variety of reasons including being called upon to do some addional novel-related work, but also including my own laziness) never got back on the horse. As a result of this, I currently have only four stories in submission and no sold stories awaiting publication. I fear that I may have sabotaged my career.

So. That’s going to change.

My new year’s resolution is to write a hundred words a day, no matter what. I know that this is a very achievable goal — I can write 500 words an hour when I get rolling. The point of the hundred-word goal is to get my butt in the chair and writing, even on days when I “don’t feel like it.” I’m not making any commitments about what I’m going to write. Could be new stories, could be rewrites on existing stories, could be a new novel. But I’m going to put my butt in my chair and by God write.

I’m off to a good start, with 325 words on a from-the-ground-up rewrite of the Jupiter story (despite not getting back from dinner until 10pm). This story has had near-misses at all the major markets and the consensus of the editors is that it’s too distanced; the main character is all reflection and reaction, not action, and the whole story’s told in flashback. So I’m rewriting it from scratch, with the same plot outline but a new main character: an engineer instead of a photographer. If I can keep up this pace I should be done in two or three weeks, and that would feel good. Wish me luck!

1/1/06: Xmas came late this year

Back from a delightful New Year’s Eve party at Willow Cottage, and just about to head off to a New Year’s Day brunch, followed by a movie and dinner with some other friends. Just enough time for a quick note while the biscuits are baking.

As faithful readers will no doubt recall, the Day Job was eating my life in the first half of December. So I didn’t even start my Xmas* shopping until about December 20, and we didn’t buy a tree until the 23rd. Never did get the lights up (lights are important to me, especially in these latitudes where I drive to work in the dark and drive home in the dark for months at a time).

Kate’s sister Sue came in on the 24th with our two younger nieces, ages 2 and 6. They made the house… lively. I don’t deal well with small children. And when we opened the presents on the 25th, what I found under the tree for me was a book, 3 CD’s, some napkins, and a table runner. All carefully chosen and apropos, but not exciting. We also got a nice package of goodies from Kate’s parents the previous week, but those had mostly been eaten already.

So the excitement didn’t really start for me until Thursday, when a package arrived from John Helmer (one of the nation’s finest haberdashers, which just happens to be located right here in Portland). It contained the present I’d requested from Kate: a collapsible top hat. It had to be special ordered in my size (1/8″ smaller than Bullwinkle’s). It made me go squee! I wore it to New Year’s Eve and got many compliments.

Then on Friday, another package arrived, containing two Squeezebox music players. Briefly, the Squeezebox is a small device that has a Wi-Fi antenna on one end and stereo plugs on the other. It makes all of the music stored on your computer available to your stereo. Along with a new file server installed in the attic, and a Kloss Model Two radio for the dining room we now have high-quality digital music available throughout the house, something we’ve wanted for years. This was my big present to Kate for the year.

Biscuits are done. Time to go!

* I’m using “X” here as a variable, to stand for The Winter Holiday of Your Choice.