Archive for June, 2007

6/28/07: Flutter flutter fwap

Word count: 50155 | Since last entry: 10592 | Days until retirement: 95

In my last writing post I declared a new resolve to write every day. I have done so every day since, 300-500 words most days. Yay me. However, this has taken time away from blogging. A good tradeoff, in my opinion, but I’m kind of sorry I didn’t get to write in detail about some of the things that happened this month.

I’ve made very good progress on the novel, but I just hit a point where I realize the outline is too thin to sustain forward progress. I may have to pause and re-outline very soon. Alternatively, I could glom the next three chapters into one and move quickly to the next exciting bit. I’m no longer worried about the novel being too short.

It’s been a very busy month at work. We hit the UI Freeze milestone and I fixed (or otherwise dealt with) 241 bugs and other issues. However, just because UI Freeze has come and gone doesn’t mean I can’t fix any more problems. I just have to be more subtle about it. For example, I can no longer add any new words or phrases to the UI (they’ve all been sent off to be translated into 14 languages), but if need a new phrase and I can find a similar phrase that already exists I might be able to use it in a new location (if the translation will work in both places in all languages). Still, this milestone means that my level of effort on this project is going to be scaling back. Lots of other projects await.

I’ve told key people at work that my unofficial official retirement date is October 1. There are quite a few details to work out before then, health care being a biggie. I have not told my co-workers yet (well, unless they’re reading this blog).

I’ve been a real social moth (that’s like a social butterfly but it batters itself against lightbulbs and other shiny things). Just briefly, the last 3 weeks included: Brandi Carlile concert, reading by the Yarn Harlot, housewarming for a writer new to town, major cross-site work meeting and dinner, viewing of Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes (I didn’t know it was a comedy), dinner with square dance friends, failed attempt to have brunch with other square dance friends, Gay Pride parade and festival, dinner with another square dance friend, benefit showing of Serenity, haircut, open house for the new Grand Central Bakery, JayCon, midnight singalong showing of the Buffy musical episode, dim sum with yet another pair of square dance friends, party at the home of some lesbian librarian friends, book group (Portable Childhoods), delightful house concert with one of the Flying Karamazov Brothers, and a live taping of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. Every one of those deserves at least a paragraph, if not its own entry. They won’t get it.

Tomorrow in the afternoon at work we have the celebration of our recent Beta 1 release, which I will duck out from early to head up to Seattle for a Clarion party followed by the Writer’s Weekend conference, at which I am a Guest Speaker. See some of you there!

6/5/07: A new resolve

Word count: 39563 | Since last entry: 891

Kate is in Spokane again this week. Her father had a new plastic lining installed in his abdominal aorta today, and when last we spoke he had come through the surgery okay but they hadn’t yet seen him. He’s expected to come home Thursday, and Kate should be back Friday, subject to the usual uncertainties. I miss her.

Two people who know a little something about having new linings installed are friends Jerry and Suzle, from Seattle, who called up on the spur of the moment on Saturday (Kate was still here then) to say that they were in town and would we like to have dinner? We were just about to boil some potatoes for salmon hash, but I want to live in the kind of world where friends can just pop in on each other on short notice, so we turned off the stove and had a nice Middle Eastern dinner at Karam downtown. Too bad we didn’t remember that it was the night of the Starlight Parade. But we did find parking eventually. And we had the salmon hash the next day, and it was delish.

I was a bad bad writer in May. I wrote on only five days in the whole month. I also traveled to Palm Springs, New York, and Denver, but still. So I have made a new resolution: to write every single day in June, at least a hundred words a day (though I’m going to have to average over 200 words a day for the next 10 days to finish this chapter in time for the next crit group meeting). So far, so good. I’m also going to try to go to the gym three times a week, but frankly that’s more negotiable.

I received my author copy of Israeli magazine The Tenth Dimension, with the Hebrew translation of “Titanium Mike Saves the Day” and five cool illustrations. Looks like they got five different artists to illustrate Mike in each of the five scenes of the story — each the same pose, but they’re all different, and charmingly childlike. Very apropos.

On the downside, my first novel has now been rejected by every one of the big New York publishers that might reasonably be expected to want it. It is now in submission to one of the smaller genre presses. I do hope it finds a home soon. I’m also jealous of people who are at Rio Hondo or Blue Heaven this week and next.

Oh well. I try to distract myself by writing on the new novel. A snippet:

As near as Keelie could tell, Rachel herself spoke only one language. This baffled her. Everyone spoke at least Argot, and probably one or two other trade languages, in addition to their own language or languages.

But Rachel depended on the machine, and kept holding it in front of Keelie’s face, its surface blinking with sixtyfours of different kinds of marks. Keelie knew what writing was, but it was opaque to her — teaching a slave to read was a whipping offense.

She swore in frustration.

And the machine spoke…