Archive for April 19th, 2007

4/18/07: Progress report

Word count: 32125 | Since last entry: 2625

Generally speaking, my life has been largely consumed by the day job. But we just met a major milestone this week, and things should be somewhat less crazy for a little while now… we enter a period of bug fixing before the first beta release in May.

As you can see from the wordcount above, I have not let work keep me away from writing completely. I haven’t been writing as often or as long as I would like, but I have been making intermittent progress and I hope to have a chapter ready in time for the next crit group meeting. Yesterday at the coffee shop was a very good night’s work; I introduced my two viewpoint characters to each other for the first time.

A snippet:

The new person was only a little taller than Keelie, but broader and rounder in the chest and hip and thigh. It — she — she looked as though she would be soft and warm and pleasant to touch.

Keelie drew closer, enthralled by the new person’s eyes. The dark centers were surrounded by a colored ring, like Keelie’s but brown instead of blue. They flicked from side to side, sudden light quick movements like startled twin birds, moving in perfect unison. An amazing, unnatural coordination like nothing Keelie had ever seen.

Did Keelie’s own eyes move like that?

I also had a stimulating and highly intellectual conversation in the bar afterward.

I had the last chapter (the one I finished at Rainforest Writers) critiqued this weekend, and the reactions have been very, very positive. The main issue is that Rachel, my Earth-human viewpoint character, is not as strong as Keelie, the one raised by aliens. This isn’t surprising, given that Keelie is the protagonist and Rachel is basically there to provide a more familiar perspective for the reader, but I have a few things in mind to make her stronger. Even so, it’s not like the last novel where everyone hated Jason; they absolutely love Keelie and Rachel suffers only by comparison.

Apart from plugging away on the novel I have no writing news to report. I’ve had several rejections, and I’m rapidly running out of markets for some of the stories that are still circulating. There are only really about four or five viable pro-level markets for a 7100-word hard SF adventure. And when the rejections are so consistent, especially given that I’ve rewritten that story from the ground up to try to address the same issue that’s still that story’s main problem, it seems destined for the trunk. I could really use another sale right about now.

We went to Minicon. It was an okay convention. I really enjoyed the panels I was on, I hung out with some of my bestest fan friends, I ate far too much good food, and I enjoyed a fine music party in the Tor suite on Sunday night. But the con was only about 3-400 people, and rattled around in a hotel that once hosted Minicons ten times that size. As underpopulated as it was, it was surprisingly easy to miss people. I might not go next year.

At the moment Kate is in California, where she’s treating our eight-year-old neice to Disneyland. From the phone calls so far they’re having a blast. I wish I could be there, but on the other hand I’m just as happy to not be dealing with the child. (Nothing wrong with her… I just don’t deal well with kids.)

Much more to report, but that’s enough for one blog entry.