Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I finished the book last night! I already know a few things I want to change about the ending, since I did kind of meander there, and I was a little short of my targeted page count, but I think it's still within the ballpark for this kind of book, and I know I'll probably add a lot in revisions. But the first draft is done! I got the idea August 5. I started writing August 6. And I finished it August 27. And there were three days out of that time when I was out of town, plus a day getting ready to travel when I didn't write, a day after travel when I didn't write, and a day I spent on plotting, character development, etc. That's the fastest I've ever written a book, and it's not even the shortest book I've ever written, though it is about 100 pages shorter than my usual first drafts for the Enchanted, Inc. books.

I'm now letting it rest until after Labor Day, and then I'll start revising the beginning so I can send my agent a proposal. In the meantime, I'll give myself some time off (an extended Labor Day weekend, I guess), and I may try to catch up on some business-type stuff. Like, for instance, my e-mail. The in-box got way out of control, to the point I was only dealing with color-coded things that came from people in my address book (I have my address book color-coded into categories like friends, family, business contacts, etc., so when I get mail from those people, it shows up in the appropriate color in my in-box).

After every book, I always swear that I'm going to stop doing the all-or-nothing thing and just try to write a little every day instead of hashing it out in a marathon during which I do absolutely nothing else. But, you know, it seems to work for me, so why change it? There are some problems with that approach, like the fact that things tend to pile up while I'm buried in a book, so when I'm done with a book, I have a lot to deal with. And then writing does kind of work like physical endurance. If I go for a while without writing regularly, then it gets harder to get started again. Maybe I need to find a compromise. While I'm doing a first draft, I can bury myself in the book and go nuts, but then I need to also allocate a little time each day to deal with other things. Meanwhile, when I'm not in a book marathon, I still need to try to write a little something almost every day.

I am giving myself today off (mostly, because I do have some things that need to get done), and then Friday is a holiday for me, and I will take the whole holiday weekend. Wednesday and Thursday I may do some book-related research, and I might try outlining a short story I want to write.

In other news ...
I owe Amazon an apology after my rant yesterday about how long they take to deliver stuff. After I posted that, I went out to check my mail and found my package sitting on the front porch. However, their order status tracking system leaves something to be desired because it said that the carrier had been notified to pick up the package and it wasn't even in transit yet, with an estimated delivery date of August 31 -- while the package was sitting on my front porch. I guess I'm spoiled by that other online bookseller that uses UPS, where you can track each step of the way. Meanwhile, my postman never rings the doorbell when he leaves something on the porch (I'm lucky he left it -- normally he just sticks the "we tried to deliver, but you weren't home, so go pick it up at the post office" slip in my box, even on days when I know I didn't leave the house), while the UPS guy rings the doorbell even when I don't need to sign for something (I think he just likes to chat with me).

Meanwhile, the mystery TV series has been identified! It's Star Maidens. That title still doesn't sound familiar, so it's possible I never actually knew the title while I was watching the show, but I recognized several of the episodes in the episode guide, and all the pictures looked very familiar. It turns out, though, that the mental images I had of it weren't quite accurate, and I seem to have mapped a lot of the miniseries V onto it. Although the costumes weren't exactly as I thought I recalled, I think it's still safe to say that they look like something ABBA would have worn in concert in that era. It was a really, really silly show, and I suspect it only stuck in my brain because one of my friends was really into it. There was a bit of playing around with Greek and Roman mythology, and even a quasi-attempt at a sort of Greek or Roman look to it, and my friend was really into anything about ancient Greece or Rome.

I'm still not sure where I managed to absorb all my Doctor Who knowledge. I know the Dallas public television station was showing it when I was in high school, and we could usually pick up Dallas stations on our antenna on Saturday nights, but while I remember watching The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and even the occasional episode of Red Dwarf, I don't have a specific memory of watching Doctor Who. I remember the show, but I don't remember watching it, which is very odd. Maybe I did a mind meld with a Doctor Who fan at some point in my past.

Friday night's Doctor Who episode gave me the strange urge to re-read To Say Nothing of the Dog. I guess there are a lot of similarities, with a time traveler from the future ending up in England's past, and even though it's not exactly the same period, there's only a 25-year difference, and society was still pretty similar. Probably because of the source of the inspiration to re-read, I'm finding myself picturing David Tennant as Ned, which really works during the parts at the beginning when he's totally time-lagged while so much is going on around him, and he's diving for cover when someone so much as mentions Lady Schrapnell. Since Connie Willis will be the guest of honor at Fencon next month, it's probably good for me to refresh myself about my favorite book of hers (and very possibly my favorite book of all time -- oh, and the copy I'm reading is personally autographed).

Now I need to deal with a few things, and then I'm going out. While I was cleaning house last weekend, I found a gift card from a store at the mall that I'd forgotten about, so there will be shopping, and then I can finally get around to seeing the third Pirates movie, since it's shown up at the dollar theater.

Oh, and happy birthday to my brother! I won't give away the age, and I decided to be nice and not post any embarrassing photos (but I do have some, so be warned!).

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