March 12, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 1000.
Words total: 13,700.

Reason for stopping: Tired and kind of frazzled at what comes next. I have a suspicion it's time to send in a man with a gun.

Darling du Jour: Gregory stared him down a few more seconds, as if half a minute more would give him the crucial insight into the thoughts of Zachariah Lane where the last three years had failed.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: The band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under; the somewhat tragic singer of Gregory's old band; the name of Gregory's old band, for that matter; some song titles penned by Zeke.
Mean Things: Bringing up some rather unpleasant history that really, we would have preferred nobody ever speak of again. A pissing match that isn't making either of these guys look good. Shortly, a body.

Books in progress: Janni Lee Simner, The Bones of Faerie.
The glamour: There is a wild cottontail nosing about the cacti outside the window, and a turkey vulture or similar object flying around outside the other window.


There were croissants for breakfast today, and then words while [livejournal.com profile] truepenny and [livejournal.com profile] coffeeem went to grab [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange from the airport, and then New Mexican and some kind of iffy cupcakes for lunch. I have sadly bailed on climbing; I've been coughing all week, and I think it's the hangover from the sinus infection. Or I hope it is. But anyways, trying to haul yourself up a wall in the middle of a coughing fit is perhaps not on. And I wanted to nibble at my book. So there.

Dinner shortly, and then gothing. La. *g*
March 11, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 900.
Words total: 12,700.

Reason for stopping: It is nearly midnight local time, and I both climbed a lot of steps in a cave today and ate a lot of dinner. Reader, I am le tired.

Darling du Jour: Gregory was a little too dark-complexioned to go pale with absolute rage, but it didn’t stop him from trying.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: The band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under; the somewhat tragic singer of Gregory's old band; the name of Gregory's old band, for that matter; some song titles penned by Zeke.
Mean Things: The comfort of another human being. Yes, this is mean. It's a lot easier to get hurt if you've opened the shell a crack, after all.
Research Roundup: Perpetual motion machines; Cerberus.

Books in progress: Janni Lee Simner, The Bones of Faerie.
The glamour: Actually, right now I am experiencing legitimate glamour. I have no idea how I'm going to go back to my life next week.


Between little stretches for the last two nights and a long one this afternoon, I entirely rewrote the prologue to this book and tinkered with the chapter and a half already extant. There are still comments on it like "This entire thing needs more of Janus's subjectivity. When you find that, stick it in here?" and so forth. It is not perfect by a long shot, but it is much, much better than it was.

I have fresh words to report on this for the first time in about six months.

That aside, before the big book-futzing push, today I slept nicely late, fixed lunch for The Company (potato and mushroom and green bean and mandarin orange salad with the maple dressing stuff, served with the fancy!cheese we picked up the other night at Safeway) and went to Colossal Cave. It is yes, a cave, and yes, colossal. A very prototypical climber boy gave us a tour of it, which involved cavey features of all stripes and orientations as well as some fantastic views. Sadly, I forgot to charge my cellphone (which is my camera) before we went, so I only have one picture, of the entrance. I'll slap that up tomorrow when I have something else to pair it with.

Tonight was otherwise pretty laid-back: a huge dinner of various leftovers and awesome chocolate cupcakes [livejournal.com profile] coffeeem made, some nice soaking in some warm water, and hanging out. Tomorrow morning we grab [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange at the airport and then there is to be climbing and gothing. I hope to debut the black lace parasol I got in Tombstone yesterday. Yes, did I mention that? I got a black lace parasol in Tombstone. This makes me the coolest person alive for this calendar day.

Saturday is the book festival, and then home on Sunday. And I don't know where all my vacation just got to all of a sudden.

But for now, there were new words today.

Goodnight, O Internet.
December 4, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: -200. Yes, that was progress.
Words total: 11,800.

Reason for stopping: It's late, I'm still exhausted, and I have to both do groceries and go to a thing at the Merrill tomorrow afternoon and can't just sleep until two.

Darling du Jour: N/A.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: The band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under; the somewhat tragic singer of Gregory's old band; the name of Gregory's old band, for that matter; some song titles penned by Zeke.
Mean Things: N/A.

Books in progress: Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl.
The glamour: Finding out that next week at the Dayjob could possibly -- yes, inconceivable as it may sound -- be worse than this week. Oh lordy.

Luckily, I could dose myself with leftover Indian takeout and two hours of sustained knitting before I did harm to myself or others. Just think of it as reaching the antivenin on time.


So here's the reason why you read and keep the negative reviews too, not just the positive ones.

Sometimes the negative reviews accuse the story of something that you, when you look back on it (having vaguely not liked that story anymore for years anyway, but not having thought much of why) find to be not without merit. And then turning it over in bed while you're having your awful sinus-headache stress-induced insomnia like we did this week, you idly wonder how you'd treat the topic now, if you were coming at it again. And realize that you have a backburnered novel project that's dealing with that topic now. And some things start to make themselves clear, and then you have to hop out of bed, fumble for your glasses, and scribble a page of notes in the dark at two in the morning so you don't lose all that good stuff.

Or, short version? The damnedest things can be super valuable to building a stubborn, moody book.

So. The structure telescoped back in for me a little while back; the thing I thought was the end is very possibly the beginning of the middle. Come to think of it, this always happens. But it explains a lot about why I was having so much damn trouble shoveling enough dirt into that black hole where the plot was supposed to live.

With that information in mind, I think I found in earnest where I took the wrong turn here: basically, yeah, I still held the Royal Commission on the Plot, just under suppressed circumstances, and there's a lot of explaining things to myself in this chapter and consequently, going the wrong way in search of some plot. So once I got sufficiently over wanting to kill and eat people because of the Dayjob, I started trimming and moving stuff around and recasting and such.

I'm not going to say I'm officially working on this again. Frankly, I am still way too busy right now and I still like "When Your Number Isn't Up" more and I still have to finish "Closet Monster" and turn it in before I can really commit myself to anything else consistently. But I will noodle. And we will see.
Today was a psychotically busy awesome crazy totally awesome day.

Was up way early, after really not enough sleep at all, to head out to Stratford and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival to see the closing performance of Macbeth. Reason I had to do this urgently? It's Colm Feore as Macbeth and Geraint Wyn Davies as Duncan. Yes! Pierre Trudeau murders Nick Knight* for the throne of Scotland! How could I not see this?

It was a little more of the declamation style of doing Shakespeare than the naturalistic style, which I prefer, but the change of era/setting worked: they did it in a 1960s sort of Central African setting rather than the medieval Scotland. I wasn't sure about this initially. But it really, really served the text well, and illuminated some things about said text for me that I hadn't actually fully realized before, so I'm thinking that move was a total success. The staging wasn't that interesting in the first half (went up to about Banquo's ghost at the banquet) but they did some things with quick changes, wardrobe choices, flitting back and forth between places/times while retaining actors onstage, lighting, and establishing place with four flatscreen TVs mounted on the pillars of the stage, with various scenery or stuff on them, that really made the stage design a totally active part of the experience in the second half; something that really informed the production.

Also, the guy who played Macduff brought me to tears in the good way. And the guy who played the Porter was freaking hilarious. Hats off.

From there, made it home at 6:30 or so feeling tired, a bit travel-smelly, and with ultimate low blood sugar. After eating and shower, I wasn't sure if I was actually going to make it out for Halloween tonight, but [livejournal.com profile] ksumnersmith, [livejournal.com profile] dolphin__girl, and [livejournal.com profile] cszego persuaded me out of doors. Sadly, I didn't have time to make my superawesome Halloween costume idea, so I just threw together some stuff from the closet (including the 1920s Girl Detective Death Hat) and achieved a creditable Raymond Chandler Femme Fatale/Girl Reporter thing. Apparently I do own bright red lipstick and it actually looks good on me. Fancy that.

Mostly we nosed through Church St. and then down to Queen and John, looking for somewhere we could go dancing. It was late enough that the lineups were huge and Sarah eventually had to head home due to early work tomorrow, but a bit after midnight I fortituously ran into Friend Mike, who tipped us off about a party the Silver Snail was hosting nearby. And that was an awesome party. We danced our butts off. I saw both a friend from the Star Wars lineup who I haven't seen in four years at least and a guy I did theatre with in high school, who I haven't seen in at least nine. I had a gin martini and held it sassily in my lace-gloved Femme Fatale/Girl Reporter hand, which was a life goal for this evening in this costume. We know where we're going next year.

Packed it in around last call, not sure whether the streetcars were running because it was either 2am or 1am, and while the TTC usually runs until 2am, we weren't sure how they were counting that tonight. We ended up walking up Spadina** and finally catching the Vomit Comet*** homewards. And it is a lovely night and cool, and there were still bunches of people on the streets laughing and chatting and singing, and really, this was a good day and I love my town.

And now it is the second hour between midnight and one, which only comes once a year and is a kinda special hour for me. I'll explain it one day. Or won't. Either way. But I am tired and happy and my black lace gloves are all covered in gin and need washing badly, and I must wrap this up and take myself to bed.


*Oh wow, and in looking those links up I just realized that Geraint Wyn Davies played Bill Davis in the Trudeau miniseries. That's...just kind of gloriously fucked up.

**Okay, for me it was a little more weaving than walking. It was a strong gin martini. It went to the head.

***For those who are Not Torontonians: the all-night Yonge Street bus. Many, many people go home from clubs on it every weekend. Hence the name.
I'm noting this for myself for later, so I don't lose it, but you can have it too:

"A girl and a house: the gothic novel" by [livejournal.com profile] papersky.
October 4, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 200.
Words total: 12,000. Yes, that's the same as last time. It was mostly snip, rearrange, replace; taking apart the wrong turn I made into parts on the floor and fitting things back together right.

I appear to have learned something with all the revising this summer.

Reason for stopping: So I've figured out what went wrong and we have the course correction starting to come in. Now I have to sit back and think about how we put it right. And, well, go to bed. Because there is work tomorrow.

Darling du Jour: Her face crumpled like a stomped cigarette.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: The band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under; the somewhat tragic singer of Gregory's old band; the name of Gregory's old band, for that matter; some song titles penned by Zeke.
Mean Things: Going begging on your knees. Always unpalatable.

Books in progress: Daniel Rabuzzi, The Choir Boats; Richard Kadrey, Sandman Slim.
The glamour: Proofreading for Shadow Unit and putting away my laundry. I have a lot of clothes when they're actually all in one place; it just feels like I never wear more than five in any given month.



There. Gotcha, you son of a bitch.

In other news, the Season 2 finale of Shadow Unit is up for your delectation: "Not Alone" is penned by Holly Black, Elizabeth Bear, Emma Bull, and Chelsea Polk, and supported by Viewers Like You. *g*

And I'm going to bed.
This is for posterity:

After much misery, Saturnalia-based, Above-related, Associated, and Other? My conflict for this book finally shook loose tonight.

I still don't have the plot pieces that'll open it up, but I know what typology of conflict it needs to be. I know what the problem all these people share is. I know what's wrong: what question I'm asking here, under the other bullshit. The point.

The rest is in the details.

This is for posterity, and because of the certain knowledge that next time, when I am chasing my own tail and crying and fretting and raging and in the depths of misery, I will want to know how it happened this time around.
Tonight I am bitchy. I am bitchy because I looked upon my second chapter yesterday and realized that I'm doing the thing again, the thing where I tidily establish a world, people, several lines of budding conflict ending in a nice, moody bit of tension at the end of the first chapter, and then I back the hell off it and people go have lunch. And I do this because the alternative is opening up those lines of conflict and inquiry to start the motor running on The Plot (TM), and I don't know well enough what The Plot (TM) is yet to throw it open like double doors.*

That's bad.

So the upshot is that I have to stop, and sit back, and maybe doodle around with some diagrams and draw braided lines of conflict and knit my socks and watch more Hustle and avoid and let my brain chew, because if I go any farther now? I'm just putting down more stuff I'll have to rip up later, when I figure the whole thing out for real.

So I am bitchy, because this is driving me a bit nuts. Saturnalia and my brain are on the fifth date at least, and have been sending each other lovey little text messages every day from under their desks when they're supposed to be working. Half my head, for the past week or two, has been off in those dark little spaces between crumbling concrete buildings and the pulleys and gears that run them. I catch myself humming bits of the soundtrack songs while I'm making tea at work, or closing my eyes and just getting flashes of the smell of steel strings and rust and machine oil. I sit up in bed in the middle of the night to scribble down things like Sybil/Mina Harker inversion? and Is there something here about how Z & G aggressively do not act their ages? and then I have to decode them later, because my handwriting is terrible in the dark. This may sound like hyperbole or the ever-hated big-R Romantic creative process***. It's not. My head's in love, and this is what it does when it's in love: it siphons away mental resources. It makes me distractable and slow. It agitates to see its boyfriend all the time. And it doesn't quite understand today why, since we've nothing else major to do, I won't let it go to town on this book.

Which is all a very long version of: ohGodIwanttobewritingandIcan't.**

I suppose this, this exactly, is why it's important to know your own individual process. Because when you know you're going to do this every time, that you naturally incline to screw up in the same ways, like a horse that always leans a little to the left, you can at least call a halt to it early, step back, circle and examine and think and then mop that shit up before you're 40,000 words in and wondering why the hell this book isn't working, why it's crashed on the ground.

But I still reserve the right to be extremely bitchy about it.


On a non-bitchy, non-process note, there is also new Shadow Unit tonight. It has a pot pie innit. Go read.


*For a variant of this particular personal disease, see The Royal Commission on the Plot.

**Also, I still have a head cold.

***We hate that shit. If ever there was an excuse for people to behave badly, or for people who don't behave badly to be treated badly. See also: Artistic Temprament.
August 28, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 600.
Words total: 12,000.
Reason for stopping: It's like going through the trackless marshes tonight. But quota, and above quota, and I can ethically bail.

Darling du Jour: Zeke had never tried to figure out how Gregory did what he did to women; he'd tried to explain it once, rambling and drunk one late, late winter night, sacked out on the floor with both of them passing around a bottle of gin under diffuse gibbous moonlight. He'd never been able to get past vague handshapes and metaphors – no, really, a woman's like a bass. It's all about knowing how it's tuned. But once he got them to look at him, really look, it was usually time to start checking for socks on the doorknob.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: The band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under; the somewhat tragic singer of Gregory's old band; the name of Gregory's old band, for that matter; some song titles penned by Zeke.
Mean Things: The inappropriate jealousy of grown adults is probably the worst kind. Because they know they're too old for it, and they know it's not okay. Also: a Gothic Premonition of Evil (tm), which may also be not okay, but screw it, it's a Gothic.
Research Roundup: The article on Saturnalia again, to refresh some things; the Penates; daylight savings time; a reference photo or two; batons and truncheons.

Books in progress: Daniel Rabuzzi, The Choir Boats; Catherine Bush, Minus Time.
The glamour: Harrying of the head cold continues. Wonton soup and pork buns have been deployed, and snot has retreated to the caves of Afghanistan for what will hopefully be a short mop-up campaign.


Got a horrific hankering to get the Stitch in Time EP this afternoon. This ended up meaning that [livejournal.com profile] stillnotbored got it for me -- since Amazon mp3s can't be sold outside the continental US -- and sent the files over AIM while I Paypalled her the pertinent cash. It was a half hour operation. And they wonder why people pirate.

This is not the song I bought it for. But it's perhaps one of the more brutal So, it appears I completely fucked it up songs I've ever heard in my life. Not on the first listen. It was only when I could decipher the answering machine messages in the bridge.



It is now tucked in my book soundtrack, another card in the deck.

I have the terrible urge to apologize to my characters for that. :p
August 27, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 1000.
Words total: 11,400.
Reason for stopping: Sleeping half the day or not, I should go to bed. Ugh.

Darling du Jour: It was inevitable. You do not teach a thing hunger, teach a thing to feed from your hand, and expect it to leave you an elbow.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: The band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under; the somewhat tragic singer of Gregory's old band.
Mean Things: Gregory's getting a little territorial. And to be fair, this is not a part of his life where Zeke's ever stuck his nose before, so that there are going to be hurt feelings on all sides shortly is probably a foregone conclusion. Also, in the past/future, someone's arm just got munched off.

Books in progress: Daniel Rabuzzi, The Choir Boats; Catherine Bush, Minus Time.
The glamour: Home sick today with a head cold, which I have chased up into my sinuses from my throat and hopefully cornered there for a fatal last stand. Nonetheless, feeling woozy and stupid most of the day (when I wasn't sleeping), which meant I mostly sat in my pajamas, watched Hustle, and worked on my socks, which are just about at the point where I need to start the heel.

I'm actually shocked I had enough brain in me to spit this out, but I've been getting behind this week, so it's for the best.

Most likely, more mainlining soup, more socks, more Mickey Bricks, and more sleeping like a rock tomorrow, since I'm spending my sick days like they're going out of style. I'd just better not get swine flu between now and December.
August 24, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 500.
Words total: 10,400.
Reason for stopping: Bed, bed, bed.

Darling du Jour: But if Gregory didn't know the repertoire cold drunk or sober, he'd hand over his left arm and play tonight with his teeth. There was one thing you could say about Gregory Thyrse: before everything went kind of sour and time took its toll, he had once been the best damn bassist in the city. And that wasn't because it'd been a slow year.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: The band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under; the somewhat tragic singer of Gregory's old band.
Mean Things: Gregory is doing the equivalent of sticking gum in a cute girl's hair to show off, which pisses Zeke off immensely. And what's mean to me is that I love that metaphor, and couldn't find anything to tie it to in the whole scene. This feels not unlike having a really killer bingo in Scrabble and finding nowhere to put it.

Books in progress: Daniel Rabuzzi, The Choir Boats.
The glamour: Not the most optimal of days over here by a long shot. But I did get laundry done, and finally write some e-mails that have been a long time delayed, and finally get the milk I've been putting off getting for the better part of a week. Also, no poop on the shirt at last inspection.


I have discovered how to get Zeke to talk nonstop: all I have to do is get him on the topic of his guitar, or set lists, or the smell of a crowded club at twenty past eleven, and he gets this rapturous look on his face and closes his eyes and feeds me paragraphs and paragraphs of narration. Considering how hard he works to be a gruff snippy dude, it's...insanely sweet.

Apropos of nothing, one of my little tomatoes is ripening. Which I would take a picture of, but my cellphone died the death this weekend, taking all my camera capabilities with it, which also did not improve my day. So you may just have to take my word for it.
August 21, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 500.
Words total: 9900.
Reason for stopping: Madam's bed awaits her.

Darling du Jour: He was a skinny bastard even in the best of years, and judging from the way his baby-blue shirttails flopped against his legs, this one wasn't doing much for him.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: The band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under.
Mean Things: Zeke had to do all the talking, which he hates. Also, the implications of a centralized infrastructure are starting to really make themselves felt.

Books in progress: Daniel Rabuzzi, The Choir Boats; William Gibson, Spook Country.
The glamour: Today was on the whole, plain shitty from several vectors, so I went up to see the parents and sister. There was dinner. It had grilled scallops wrapped in bacon with peach-bourbon barbeque sauce on top. Many shrimps also died heroically battling my shit mood, but their sacrifices were not in vain.

Also, I got to play with one of my sister's Senegal parrots, who bopped around on my stomach, made clicky noises for the general entertainment, and kindly did not poop on my shirt. That may be all one can ask for in life: a warm bed, the meeting of one's daily wordcount quota, and that nobody poops on your shirt.
August 20, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 500.
Words total: 9400.
Reason for stopping: We seem to have reached my natural stopping time (TM). I might just cut this out of the metrics and then you can always assume I'm stopping because it's pushing or past 1:00 am.

...actually, considering one of the central conceits of this book, that's really, really funny. 1:00 am, huh? Huh.

Darling du Jour: He taught her to speak, and then her letters when it became apparent that his talking, the way a person talks to chairs or walls or dumb animals, would teach her to talk back.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: The band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under; Gregory and Zeke's once very Art-Deco and trendy, now hopelessly run-down and seedy but still kind of awesome neighbourhood (The Junction Stations. I got it wrong the first time.)
Mean Things: Zeke is ribbing Gregory about his beer gut in the narration. They have...a complicated relationship, those boys.
Research Roundup: Sketchy neighbourhoods; Krist Novoselic (no, really, it's pertinent); Stations of the Cross; albinism. Apparently you can very easily get to white power messageboards when you're looking up reference photos for a character who you are pondering making albinistic. Stay classy, internet.

Books in progress: Daniel Rabuzzi, The Choir Boats; William Gibson, Spook Country.
The glamour: A bunch of Ideo work, an episode of Hustle, with sock-knitting, and watching a mother of a tornado-warning greenish-light sideways-rain nonstop-lightning hour-long thunderstorm from the balcony. As one does when there's a tornado watch on. :)


Dear New Book Thing:

You're not even a book yet. You have nothing but a title and a mood, and...a picture of someplace rocky, windswept, grey with rain--

Okay, now, see? Cut that shit out.

Since you're not even an idea for a book, I respectfully invite you to get your ass gone until you've got something better to put on the table and to stop distracting me from the task at hand. You can't even show ankle; you don't have an ankle.

Kisses,

Me

P.S.: No, you cannot have an icon.
August 17, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 600.
Words total: 8900.
Reason for stopping: I actually overshot the goal by a touch, and it's the inevitable 1:00 am.

Darling du Jour: Her throat worked. He could see the veins in it through the skin, blue as her chipped nailpolish, cradling the tendons of her neck like creeping ivy.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: The Pendulum's owner, who apparently owes Zeke precisely two favours (Mercutio Walker); the band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under; Gregory and Zeke's once very Art-Deco and trendy, now hopelessly run-down and seedy but still kind of awesome neighbourhood.
Gratuitous Baby-Eating References Inserted Into Scene: One (1).
Mean Things: That kind of cleaning crisis where you're fine living in filth usually, and then a cute girl shows up and you're edging the dirty socks under the couch and feeling absurdly, embarrassingly like your mother.
Research Roundup: Traditional anniversary gifts; Mercury and Roman gods of hospitality;
crossroads myths.

Books in progress: Daniel Rabuzzi, The Choir Boats; William Gibson, Spook Country.
The glamour: Some businessy stuff that I wanted to turn around quick. Also, this evening was my annual rewatching of The Princess Bride while sacked out on the couch knitting my socks. At this advanced age I can see just how middling the production quality of the thing is, and yet I completely don't care. :)


This is probably more work than it looks like, even though I did spend the better part of my evening watching TVlike objects and knitting (which is the only way I can not get restless and feel like I'm dicking around while watching TVlike objects). Some small but non-trivial plotting for the next chapter or two went in tonight, as well as two little revelations that I thought of half-asleep on alternate nights this weekend, structural things. Next, we stir.

I am finding myself absurdly grateful for my random OCD need to do these very metrics posts. I spent a bit of tonight charting the work gap and habits for Above, and then looking at where I've started and stopped with Saturnalia. Apparently when I was writing Above I slapped down 10k and then just ignored it for six months. This gives me a better idea of what to expect around these parts, although I hope this time it doesn't take six months.

Civ4 is proving eminently distracting. I may have an O Lord, What Have I Done? moment if it keeps up through the week. 0.0

Bed now. Dayjob tomorrow. No rest for the wicked past her 8:00 alarm.
August 13, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 300.
Words total: 8300.
Reason for stopping: I have finally, finally finished Chapter 1, and this has reinforced that I need to sit back on the haunches a bit and think my way around this.

Darling du Jour: "G'morning," he said, because he was too damn tired to jump out of his skin.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: The Pendulum's owner, who apparently owes Zeke precisely two favours; the band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under.
Mean Things: A little moment, sweet and small, that'll pay dividends later.

Books in progress: Daniel Rabuzzi, The Choir Boats.
The glamour: I am dangerous when not kept busy. I may have *cough* bought Civ4 tonight *cough*.


I vowed destruction of this chapter tonight, and destroy it I have. It is now slapped up on the 'shop for test-ballooning, and I shall send it tomorrow to the few people who have graciously volunteered to fly the test balloon too. And now, well. I have to think.

And it keeps being surprising how this isn't scary. Because I keep remembering how Above behaved in its early days, and this isn't all that different: slap down a good chapter or two, then back off, circle. Ask what exactly I'm doing and how I want to do it. Proceed, a little later, with caution.

Notably, I like how this gives me an excuse to go play Civilization now. ;)
August 12, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 1000.
Words total: 8000.
Reason for stopping: Midnight, and I've been running out of steam for a bit anyway.

Darling du Jour: Nothing really tonight. It's all very context-dependent.
Tyop du Jour: Included because for once I have one: heartbeast.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: The skeevy musician bar (Oedipus's Bequest); The Pendulum's owner, who apparently owes Zeke precisely two favours; the band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under.
Mean Things: Sometimes the worst thing about a bad trip is that it was real.
Research Roundup: Seven Against Thebes; 6/8 time again.

Books in progress: Daniel Rabuzzi, The Choir Boats.
The glamour: Very little. Just some second reads for Ideo and a little doze early in the evening. I'm still exhausted from the con, apparently. Keeping my brain together at El Dayjob today was not easy.


So the convention and the coming home and the spending most of yesterday dead asleep were all well and good, but. We must inevitably get back on the horsey. Neigh.

The hole in the first chapter is slowly, slowly being closed. And I'm getting significant bits of the second, which is always a good sign.

Also, I can already see where I'm putting my usual Royal Commission into What the Hell the Plot Is in this book. I do this in the first quarter of the first draft, every time: send the characters on fact-finding missions and have them write me a report on the plot which I can then present to Parliament. Maybe knowing is half the battle, and I can really just skip that bit this time, since I inevitably cut the Royal Commission on Plot on the second draft. See, it's good to know your process! (she said wryly).

In other news, I have finished my entire tin of Ghirardelli double chocolate hot cocoa*. My vitamin D levels have probably never been higher.

*Forgive me / it was so chocolaty / and so nom.
August 3, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 1300.
Words total: 7000.
Reason for stopping: I tried to go to bed, and this book dragged me back by the collar and kept me going for seven hundred words longer than I planned to by its refusal to find a nice round number to stop on. And now I really need to go to bed.

Darling du Jour: The comment had the courtesy to wait until it was all the way out of his mouth before announcing just how stupid as shit he'd been to make it. Apparently it hurt his head to wince right now.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: Some club two levels up (The Pendulum); its owner, who apparently owes Zeke precisely two favours; the band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under.
Mean Things: No filter between the brain and mouth the night after gettin' high! Also: the unsettling feeling of remembering a taste of Scary Danger.

Books in progress: Daniel Rabuzzi, The Choir Boats.
The glamour: More to do list: cooking, cleaning, putting away of laundry, that sort of thing. Also, watched my fresh toasty episode of True Blood whilst doing my toenails blue for Worldcon. This is probably legitimately glamorous. Now I am all matchy in my artificial colouration of body parts.


The To Do List has officially expired. As predicted, I hit about 2/3 of the things actually on it, but mostly it was the right 2/3, so that's fine. At this point I'll just slash it down to things I actually, no joking, seriously need to do before going away, and that'll be that.

Okay. Bed now. Work tomorrow. Gah. Bed.
August 2, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 800.
Words total: 5700.
Reason for stopping: I need to figure out what it is that Kaira's mumbling about in her sleep that's so important. If it's to be so important and all.

Darling du Jour: The screaming in the alley tapered away. A man's voice, two, flickered on like lit cigarettes.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: Some club two levels up; its owner, who apparently owes Zeke precisely two favours; the band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under.
Mean Things: I'm pretty sure someone just got raped and killed two stories down. Fresh bodies in the alley tomorrow morning! Guess we're leaving through the back door!

Books in progress: China Mieville, The City and the City.
The glamour: Took a bunch of stuff off the to-do list today, cooking and some crits and some cleaning and the like. I think I need to crit more people who aren't my friends of many years. Doing it outside of our own shorthand takes thinking these days.

Also, redyed my hair this afternoon. The streaks are back to brilliant deep blue; they'd been going turquoise and white at the ends. And this time, it's really noticeable how the rest of my head goes about four shades darker. If I'd been thinking, I'd have done some before and after pictures for you.



Because I love you and I want you to be happy, here is Greg Dulli vamping blues-style on "If I Only Had a Heart". With flirty hand gestures and a lit cigarette.

I have never understood until now why people find Greg hot. But...yo. This makes me want to wear off-the-shoulder dresses with matching black widow hats and write hard-boiled 1920s murder mysteries in fountain pen ink while the rain hisses down on the city streets. Or be 1920s murder mysteries. Either way.



You're welcome. *g*
July 30, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 300.
Words total: 4900.
Reason for stopping: Bedtime for little writers who have to go to work tomorrow.

Darling du Jour: She still looked like a dead girl, though one that had got the trick of blinking.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: Some club two levels up; its owner, who apparently owes Zeke precisely two favours; the band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under.
Mean Things: Nothing really today; I was mostly adding bits and drips.

Books in progress: China Mieville, The City and the City.
The glamour: I think my inbox is fed by an underground aquifer of Shit To Do. Every morning it bubbles up to its previous level.


There. That's much tidier, isn't it?

I sort of lost my evening in the printing out of Above, which is now in a box to be mailed to another country tomorrow morning (which necessitated the purchase of a box and the paper. Novels make a lot of paper) and writing some editorial letters and rejections for Ideo, and various planning maneuvers for stuff going on in the next week before Worldcon.

(Worldcon is in a week. ACK. I'm so screwed here.)

It's a bit strange to see your book all tidily stacked up in a box. It makes it seem...weightier, somehow, and not just physically. Like: sheesh, that is in fact a lot of words. Did I make that? Huh.

In other news, it is really good that this is a three-day weekend and that the magazine's closing to subs tomorrow night. A public accountability list may be making an appearance after I get home from work. I have...a lot to do before we leave next Thursday morning, and miles to go, and miles to go.
July 27, 2009 Progress Notes:

Saturnalia

Words today: 400.
Words total: 4600.
Reason for stopping: Ran out of steam, and I'm trying to get to bed before 1am tonight.

Darling du Jour: He looked away; at the light in the smeared window, the beat-up wooden coffee table underneath it that'd been shoved aside sometime last month and never moved back. It'd grown a tablecloth of litter: homemade staff paper and picked-clean ashtrays and dirty glasses, notes scrawled on envelopes left over from when the post was still running regularly. He'd meant to clean it up last week, sometime before the crack in the mirror and after the fridge quit on them.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: Some club two levels up; its owner, who apparently owes Zeke precisely two favours; the band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under.
Mean Things: Hearing things, specifically Macguffins; that it's the end of the world and they're still Living Like Boys (tm).
Today's Unnecessary Stuntwriting: Zeke said the city normally runs in 4/4. So I wrote the paragraph describing the sound of the city in 4/4. And then the one where it's working less well in 6/8, and sang them out to make sure the beats were right. Nobody will ever notice but me. Hee.

Research Roundup: Time signatures, about which I have forgotten way too much.
Books in progress: China Mieville, The City and the City.
The glamour: Housecleaning! So: laundry, washing the sheets (which I still have to put back on the bed, crap), taking out a bunch of recycling and organics, groceries, dishes, garden maintenance. We are easing out of Living in Filth into General Disorder Reigns, although My Mother Can Come Over will require another day or two of tidying.


I think I'm going to cut down these metrics again. Every time I do them I realize they're long and silly.

Any particular categories you want me to keep?

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