Apr 13 2020

Quick reminder about the Decameron Project

Rosemary

Popping in to remind you that the New Decameron is still going on, giving you a work of fiction or poetry every single day — and today’s offering is by my pal, and fellow member of the Fabulous Genrettes writer’s group, Laurie J Marks.

Laurie is the author of the famous Elemental Logics Series, which recently came to a conclusion.  For the Decameron Project, she’s giving us a peek at her current work-in-progress, The Cunning Men.

Remember: you can read the Project Decameron selections  on Patreon  for free; but you’re also perfectly free, if you so desire, to make a contribution.  Your choice.  The money is split between the authors and a charity called   Cittadini del Mondo, which runs a library and clinic for refugees in Rome.  All good causes!

In unrelated news:  Did my taxes.  Even though we’ve been gifted with extra time.  I just like to get it off my mind.


Apr 6 2020

The parks are busier, but nature has its own ideas…

Rosemary

Having such a sedentary profession, I try very hard to take a good walk at least five days a week.  The local linear trail is a good choice, especially if I’m short on time.  It’s right here, it’s a measurable and predictable distance, portable restrooms are nearby, and if you pick your time you can get the whole trail pretty much to yourself.  And with no difficult terrain, it’s perfect for audiobooks and podcasts (my current listen: The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home, by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.  So far… Hm.  I’m ambivalent, but I’ll give it a few more chapters before settling on an opinion).

And if I miss the quieter hours at the linear trail, there’s Sleeping Giant State Park also nearby, with more demanding terrain.  Less compatible with audiobooks, but better suited for basking in nature and thinking deep thoughts…

Assuming, that is, that one can be alone.

Alas.  It’s an ironic fact of these pandemic days that requiring people to work from home if they possibly can, the better to maintain social distance, has actually resulted in all my favorite places of solitude being filled with people.

Today: there’s no place to park at the linear trail at all, unless you wait out a family loading up their collapsible baby-buggy, and nab their spot as they leave.  Sleeping Giant shut down its main entrance, with a ranger waving cars away and a big sign reading “PARK IS AT CAPACITY.”  And all the other trailheads leading into the park (of which there are about 10, some barely known to the general public) — all had cars right there!  Three, four, and in one case about 9, five of which were parked on the shoulder of the road.

Yes, everybody — good citizens all – -have heeded the warning and are staying away from the office.  They’ve also heeded the other warning and are staying away from the gym.  And they’ve looked up how to best conduct their new at-home working life, and read about how very important it is to move around and not sit still all day.  Obvious solution: Let’s all go for a walk!  And we’ll take the now-home-schooled kids, and the dog, and load up the stroller so baby makes five.

Well.  It is, of course Sunday today, so it’s at its worst.  Weekdays are bearable, if you can hit the 2:30 sweet spot.

But today I was itching to walk!  Even before the pandemic, I just always wanted to walk as alone as possible.  And  now — Well, I gave up, and just went to the office, as usual.

Social distancing made easy.

But when I got there, I looked around and went: Hey, wait a minute…

The parks were crowded… but this whole complex of warehouses and converted factories was completely empty.

So I just locked the car and started walking.   Over the little creek bridge,  up past the gun-range…

Creek ahead, gun range behind me.

Back past the climbing school, the HVAC installation company.  Around the movers, with their many big moving trucks now sitting idle; past the sky-high mounds of rotting skids and pallets way in the back, past the archery range and out through a driveway paralleling the Quinnipiac River.

Two kingfishers zipped past me along the creek.

 

And when I got to the street — usually pretty busy — barely a car in sight.  So I crossed, and stood on the bridge over the Quinnipiac for a bit.  Here was the solitude I was looking for…

Well, except for the adjacent Dog Park, filled with dogs and people.  But still, pretty good!  A lot of water-sounds, bird-calls.

All along my walk, I had been noticing that particular scree, scree which is the sound of either a raptor, or some other bird who has spotted a raptor and wants to warn everybody by imitating the sound —  blue jays are generally good at that kind of warning call.  So I was already on the look-out.  Hawk, or something, right?  Love to catch sight of that…

And what should sail into view but two freakin’ bald eagles.

One had a fish; the other wanted that fish.  Hijinks ensued.

They weren’t technically bald, as neither had their adult plumage yet; but one was clearly on the way, with great splotches of white on his head and tail.  And they were just up there in the sky, not all that high, and swooping lower.  I didn’t have the presence of mind to pull out my camera; I just soaked it all in.

The one with the fish was heavily burdened; that thing must have been a good 10 inches long, and wriggling like mad in the bird’s talons.   The eagle had to work had to keep in the air –which it was strongly motivated to do, as the other eagle (probably a sibling), kept zooming in, flipping nearly upside down at the last moment, to make its snatches at the prize.

Eventually, the pair moved away from the river and went down the street — and I mean: down the street, lower than the tops of the trees on each side, just sailing along above the empty road.  And left at the fork.  And then gone.

Now, I did already know there were bald eagles around here, and I’ve spotted them before, back when I first got this office.  But I hadn’t seen the eagles  for a couple of years, actually. And I’ve even seen this fish-stealing behavior before (between two adults), but at a much greater distance,  with them mere specks, and me squinting up at the sky.

This was amazing.

I do not live in the wilderness — this is a town.  Just now… a bit  quieter.

I think I’ll skip the parks and  just stroll the streets from now on.   They’ll get busy again, noisy again.  But for now: me and the birds.


Mar 21 2020

The new Decameron continues

Rosemary

I just read Max Gladstone’s short story, “Stop Motion,” on the Decameron Project’s Patreon page.   What a neat, eerie little tale!

The only other thing I’ve read of his is This is How You Lose the Time War, written in collaboration with Amal el-Mohtar — which of course, I loved (as I’ve mentioned previously).  And I see that a couple of his ebooks are on sale for 2.99, so I’m grabbing one of those.

I’m a little behind in my New Decameron reading; Heather Rose Jones‘ contribution, “All is Silence”  is already up; and at some point today the next tale will pop up– By Robert Silverberg!  And it’s one I’ve never read before: “The Trouble With Sempoanga.”

Honestly, aren’t you tired of looking at Netflix?  Read something!

(Contribute if you choose to; but if not, it’s free to read.)

 

 


Mar 18 2020

My excerpt now up on the Decameron Project site

Rosemary

Yep; here it is: from Volume 6, The City in the Crags, Chapter One

Why from Volume 6 instead of Volume 5, you ask?

Because my Decameron contribution needed to be something never previously published — and that also applies to excerpts posted on blogs.  And while there are bits from Volume 5 that make good excerpts, and are reasonably comprehensible without the full story, and do not contain too many spoilers — well, I’ve posted most of ’em here.  It’s my habit, when I do a live reading, to later share what I’ve read with people who were not able to attend the reading; and I do that by putting it here.

But although I have read the opening  of The City in the Crags live before, I somehow never posted it.  Therefore: technically unpublished.

So, there it is, for your self-isolation diversion.

Oh, and don’t forget that Jo Walton has created lead-ins for each of the Decameron tales; and that the lead-in  is located at the end of the previous tale. So, you should read Leah Bobet’s story to hear the lead-in to mine; and read Jo Walton’s piece of Or As You Will to hear how she moves into Leah’s story, as well as the opening of the whole frame-story.  And a the end of my bit today, you’ll find a lead-in for tomorrow’s tale: Max Gladstone’s “Stop Motion”…

Oh, just read ’em all.  You know you want to.

The Decameron Project.

 

 


Mar 17 2020

More about the New Decameron

Rosemary

If some of you are hesitant about checking out the diverting stories and exerpts avalable on the Decameron Project’s Patreon site… here’s a thing you should know…

You can read them for free.

Yes, FREE, I said.

Even though it’s set up as subscriber-based, the stories are actually being made available to all.

Because, hey: we need it!  Hanging around at home, responsibly social-distancing — we all deserve a reward for that, right?

If you don’t have the bucks, you’re not excluded.  (If you do, please consider contributing.)

So, what you do:

Go to the Decameron Project.

Scroll on down to the bottom of the page.

Read each entry.  Ta-da!

You need to start at the bottom, because entries are posted blog-style, with the newest at the top.

Jo Walton is writing the frame story, which introduces each tale; followed by her own tale, the first up.  (It’s one that I heard her read live, and it had me misty-eyed…) That went up yesterday.

Today’s entry is Leah Bobet’s “One Hundred Tasks for Bones.” ( Which I’ll be reading as soon as I finish this blog post, and um, do some chores.   Yeah, that’ll be my reward.)

My entry is being posted tomorrow.  It’s the beginning of Volume 6, The City in the Crags.

If you do decide to become a patron of the project (that being what Patreon is all about, really), here’s something else: you can limit your contribution.  We encourage you  subscribe per-entry, but if that’s too much, you can set a cap on what you pay and you still can access all the stories.

So, there you go.

Here’s the link again: The Decameron Project.

 

 


Mar 16 2020

The New Decameron

Rosemary

You’ve heard of The Decameron, right?  Giovanni Boccacio’s Decameron? 

The Decameron (Penguin Classics)

You know, the classic.

Wherein a group of friends have basically self-quarantined, and decide to pass the time by telling each other stories?  That Decameron?

Yeah, okay.  I didn’t read it, either.  But hey, I’m erudite!  I’ve read about it.   And I also read part of it.  And it’s still sitting in my Kindle library, waiting for me to come back to it…

But here’s the thing:  Maya Chhabra (poet, author, reviewer) decided that we need something like that now.  Stories!  Diversions!  as we hunker down and wait for things to settle.  So she connected with Jo Walton (author)  and Lauren Schiller (librarian, singer, famed in SF/F circles)…

And thus: The Decameron Project.

It’s being run on Patreon.  Sign up, and you get a story or novel excerpt every day.   For how long?  As long as the stories last, is what I’ve been told.

And… Yep, one of those excerpts will be from me. 

And who else?

Well, Jo Walton… and Daniel Abraham (aka 1/2 of James S.A. Corey), Mike Allen, Leah Bobet, Pamela Dean, Max Gladstone, Naomi Kritzer, Marissa Lingen, Usman Malik, Ada Palmer, Laurie Penny, Ellen Kushner, and…

Well, that’s all I know about so far.  More on the way, or so I’ve heard.

Surely, surely you need diversion these days, don’t you?

Take a look; check it out.

Income from the project goes to the authors AND to Cittadini del Mondo, a charity that runs a library and clinic for refugees in Rome.


Mar 14 2020

Social Distance

Rosemary

Apparently certain persons in authority (who shall remain nameless here, lest I burst into a spittle-flinging hissy-fit) have finally realized that it might actually be a good idea to pay attention to science.  Because, you know, pandemic.  And now a national emergency is in effect.

Well, excellent.  Wash your hands (soap works on viruses for extra-cool chemical reasons).  And use hand sanitizer if you’ve got it (60% alcohol at least).

And, you know, stay away from crowds…  Well, that part is easy for me.

Sure, I go to the office five days a week, and sometimes more.  But my office staff consists entirely of Me.

As a writer, I don’t get walk-in business.  It’s not a storefront. All the people who need to communicate with me are already on the other side of a big fat wall of technology: phones, email, internet, Skype.

And if you buy my paperbacks, those books never even touched my hands, at least — unless you want an autographed copy. Maybe you should wait a bit on that…  And should you choose to buy an ebook, well, that hasn’t touched anybody’s hands, ever, and actually never will!

As for the building where my office is located: I’m on the top floor, where there are 14 offices, of which only 4 currently have any occupants.  And we’re not chummy, we don’t hang out with each other. Plus, the staircase that I use accesses only the third floor, neatly bypassing the entirely legitimate and completely therapeutic massage business located on the second floor.

And on top of all that: my hours here tend to be from 3PM to 3AM.  So… not a lot of overlap with the other 3rd floor residents.

Well, except for the artist who moved in right across the hall from me.  His hours are inexplicable, and sometimes he’s here even later than I am — but again, we never visit each other, and I’ve actually only seen him twice.  On a daily basis, he basically consists of a door that slams, and occasionally the sound of a radio.  We’re off in our own worlds, really.

So… I figure I’m in good shape, here.

It might be less easy for you — but just be sensible, do the things, stay safe.

And should you desperately need some communal activity, try following the example of these folks on lockdown in Siena:

 


Feb 23 2020

Nebs.

Rosemary

No, not a new snack food — it’s the 2019 Nebula Award finalists, the list of which was recently released.

I’m sure you follow all sorts of SF/F websites or social media accounts, so you’ve certainly seen this list already, right?

Well.  Just in case you missed it, here it is:

Novel

Marque of Caine, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK)
A Memory Called Empire, Arkady Martine (Tor)
Gods of Jade and Shadow, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey; Jo Fletcher)
Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com Publishing)
A Song for a New Day, Sarah Pinsker (Berkley)

Novella

“Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”, Ted Chiang (Exhalation)
The Haunting of Tram Car 015, P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
This Is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone (Saga)
Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water, Vylar Kaftan (Tor.com Publishing)
The Deep, Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga)
Catfish Lullaby, A.C. Wise (Broken Eye)

Novelette

“A Strange Uncertain Light”, G.V. Anderson (F&SF 7-8/19)
“For He Can Creep”, Siobhan Carroll (Tor.com 7/10/19)
“His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light”, Mimi Mondal (Tor.com 1/23/19)
“The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye”, Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny 7-8/19)
Carpe Glitter, Cat Rambo (Meerkat)
“The Archronology of Love”, Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed 4/19)

Short Story

“Give the Family My Love”, A.T. Greenblatt (Clarkesworld 2/19)
“The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power”, Karen Osborne (Uncanny 3-4/19)
“And Now His Lordship Is Laughing”, Shiv Ramdas (Strange Horizons 9/9/19)
“Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island”, Nibedita Sen (Nightmare 5/19)
“A Catalog of Storms”, Fran Wilde (Uncanny 1-2/19)
“How the Trick Is Done”, A.C. Wise (Uncanny 7-8/19)

The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, Carlos Hernandez (Disney Hyperion)
Catfishing on CatNet, Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)
Dragon Pearl, Yoon Ha Lee (Disney Hyperion)
Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions, Henry Lien (Holt)
Cog, Greg van Eekhout (Harper)
Riverland, Fran Wilde (Amulet)

Game Writing

Outer Wilds, Kelsey Beachum (Mobius Digital)
The Outer Worlds, Leonard Boyarsky, Megan Starks, Kate Dollarhyde, Chris L’Etoile (Obsidian Entertainment)
The Magician’s Workshop, Kate Heartfield (Choice of Games)
Disco Elysium, Robert Kurvitz (ZA/UM)
Fate Accessibility Toolkit, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry (Evil Hat Productions)

The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

Avengers: Endgame, Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Marvel Studios)
Captain Marvel, Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck & Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Marvel Studios)
Good Omens: “Hard Times”, Neil Gaiman (Amazon Studios/BBC Studios)
The Mandalorian: “The Child”, Jon Favreau (Disney+)
Russian Doll: “The Way Out”, Allison Silverman and Leslye Headland (Netflix)
Watchmen: “A God Walks into Abar”, Jeff Jensen & Damon Lindelof (HBO)

 

I have, alas, read very view of the fiction entries.   One reason: when I’m trying intensively to write something of my own, it’s very difficult for me to immerse myself in someone else’s imagined world… And I’ve been trying pretty damn hard for most of this year.

On and off, that is.  So I have managed to read at least a couple of the items on the list.  Specifically:

 

This Is How You Lose the Time War by [El-Mohtar, Amal, Gladstone, Max]

This is How You Lose the Time War, by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar, which I dearly loved (as I mentioned previously), and

 

Exhalation: Stories by [Chiang, Ted]

“Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”,  from Ted Chiang’s collection, Exhalation. Chiang is a favorite of mine, and I generally root for him in any list.   But this time he’s right up against Gladstone and El-Mohtar in the novella category —  so I’m torn.

Of course, as a card-carrying SFWA member, I get to vote for the award, and there’s plenty of opportunity for me to catch up on (at least)  the shorter fiction before the deadline.  Quite possibly one of the other finalists for novella will impress me even more!

But, looking through this list, I do notice an interesting trend: an outsized proportion of the nominees were published in either Tor.com or Uncanny magazine.

Tor.com is a websiteYou can read their fiction for free.

Uncanny has no physical existence, and is an ebook magazine subscription — but you can also read it for free on their website (if partly delayed so that subscribers see it all first).

That is such a very interesting phenomenon.

I gotta say: the first thing I did on realizing this was to hop over and subscribe to Uncanny.  Obviously, it’s where the cool kids are hanging out these days.

Speaking of cool kids hanging out:

The winsome Geary Gravel.

I had a lovely evening in Northampton MA, sharing dinner with fellow author Geary Gravel, at our favorite Indian restaurant.  Geary is himself neck-deep in projects, both enjoyable and frustrating…  I’ll say no more about which ones are which!  Anyway, time spent with Geary is always delightful — in the way that talking with another writer who knows exactly what you’re going through and can offer a) insight, b) commiseration and/or c) righteous indignation can only be.   We writers spend an awful lot of time hunched over desks, gazing at glowing screens and punching keyboards.  Actual conversation with another human being, and eating food well-prepared by persons other than oneself can certainly put things in perspective.

Also — this, guy in particular?  Especially great to hang out with.  Just sayin’.

Final note: Have you been watching The Expanse?  You should be watching The Expanse.  Also reading the books.

 


Jan 13 2020

Well into the new year already

Rosemary

Two weeks into the new year, with too many projects (writing and not) wanting my attention.  They’re sort of having a little wrestling match in my brain.

This might be more interesting if they wore cool outfits with sequins and capes, and had fancy monikers, and muscles out to here, and yelled insults before smashing metal chairs over each other’s heads.  Instead, it’s more like a high-school wrestling match: everybody has the same uniform, wears proper head protection, and they basically grab and pin each other down —  and then wait for the judge to make the call.  Some of them have to take of their glasses to hand to a teammate before getting in the ring.

Ah, but I promised that one story that I would give it my all, so that’s at the top of the list.  That and all the non-writing life chores that can’t be avoided, of course.

Meanwhile, the first full moon of the year certainly was a pretty thing.

Wolf Moon of January, seen from my office window.

Christmas Eve was a fun gathering in the home of some nearby, especially-beloved friends; and then Christmas Day was just me and my sister and our little potted tree, with a few presents.

Herschel the Snail was hoping for a replacement for his missing antenna for Xmas, but was disappointed.

New Year’s even quieter, as I spent it in my office.  Hey, that’s prime creative time for me, around midnight!  I had to set an alarm so I could watch the live-stream of the Times Square ball-drop.

One lovely Xmas/ New-Years treat was a broadcast by the BBC, Playing in the Dark :  Neil Gaiman reading from some excerpts of his works, with musical interludes by the BBC Symphony Orchestra.  Aside from writing well, Gaiman reads his work beautifully.  Plus, David Tennant read a bit too: from Gamain and Pratchett’s Good Omens, which you really don’t want to miss hearing. So delightful.  The link above is good until January 20th, I believe, after which it will vanish.

There was a second BBC broadcast of  Gaiman’s work, this one a dramatic reading of his story “Chivalry.”  Glenda Jackson and Kit Harrington did the main roles.  But I have to say — it didn’t really appeal to me.  I wasn’t fond of the story in its original story form, and the dramatic reading didn’t change my mind.  Hey, just because I like most of what Neil Gaiman does, it doesn’t mean I love everything he does.  Of course, your mileage may vary, and this one is available until the 23.  Check it out for yourself.

And of course, a New Year does mean adding books to your To Be Read pile!   I do want to recommend some — but I have to say that, inexplicably, most of the books I’ve read in the last few months were… less than satisfying, shall I say?  Well, disappointing, really.  I seem to have hit some doldrums.  I’m not going to name names here — it’s not as if reviewing books was my job or something!   I see no reason to express my dislike of some books that obviously other people really enjoyed a lot.

But in general, I do not like:

  • clunky prose.
  • lazy prose
  • stories where the author thinks they are writing rich and beautiful prose, but they actually have the literary equivalent of a tin ear, and are making a fool of themselves, really, someone should stop them for their own good
  • clunky prose and lazy prose and overly-rich prose jammed together sloppily and passed off as “experimental.”
  • characters that are largely indistinguishable from each other
  • stories where people spend the entire time analyzing their own reactions
  • stories that just go along aimlessly until something reasonably interesting happens and the author decides it would make a nice dramatic ending, ignoring the fact that nothing else in the book integrates with it at all

Well, that’s just my recent reading. Things are looking up.

Thankfully, I seem to have broken that streak by picking up (finally!) Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars.

The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel by [Kowal, Mary Robinette]

I’m quite late to the party on this one, as often happens.  I haven’t got very far into it yet — but Kowal won the 2019 Hugo and Nebula for this book, and hey: subject matter close to my heart. Yes, I was a space-program nut back in the day.  Plus, I’ve actually been at the controls of a Cessna!  (I started studying piloting in my teens, but did not end up getting a license.)  I’m enjoying the book so far — including some sly little turnarounds that made writer-me smile.

And also late to the party on this one:

This Is How You Lose the Time War by [El-Mohtar, Amal, Gladstone, Max]

I love this book.  It is rich and lush, and crazy — and at the same time one of the most tightly-knit stories I’ve seen.   You really have to keep your eye on the ball, but the payoff is worth it.

Meanwhile:

Delia Sherman’s The Porcelain Dove just got re-released — and the ebook is only $2.99, so that’s very good news.  If you missed this one first time around, now’s your chance.

The Porcelain Dove by [Sherman, Delia]

 

In other news: SF author, pal and all-around good guy Jeffrey A.  Carver was in Puerto Rico during the various earthquakes.   He is well, the family is well, the house is standing… others, of course, were not so fortunate.  You can read about the events in his blog (and check out his books while you’re at it).

 

In other other news:

 

It’s Connecticut.  It’s the middle of January.


Dec 16 2019

December commenting on November’s plan

Rosemary

Remember my plan to  use November to retreat from the world in general, and take a break from Books 5 and 6?  Because I had been banging my head against the various snags, problems and writerly issues in those stories for such a very long time, and I needed to think about something else for a change?  Like, say, a short(-ish) story?

Yes, well.  I did do that.   Took November (more or less).

But no, did not finish that story.  I discovered, to my surprise, that the story in question was rather more complex than I had assumed.

Going in, I knew that the story had A Problem — but in fact, the problem that I thought it had was not the actual problem.  As it turned out, the original problem was an illusion, based on my unfamiliarity with the type of story that is was.

Hurrah, no problem, said I!   I merely have to become more familiar with that type of story, and I’ll know what to do.  Right?

You’d think so.  But, no.  Because my new view of the nature of the story revealed that it actually still had problems — just not the one originally I thought it had.  It had, instead, hitherto unrecognized problems!  Brand new and rather interesting ones!  Esoteric problems!  None of which I knew how to solve yet, being still unfamiliar with that type of story…

But further along in the reading/learning/analyzing process,  I also realized that the narrative thread I was following was not even the actual story at all.  There was another story inside it.  And that was the story.  The whole thing was, in  fact, something akin to what’s known as a “frame story.”

Well… okay.  The outer story, the frame, was of the type that I don’t know well… but the inner story was of a very familiar form.

So, hey!  I should be able to do this!   And those problems with the outer story?  I don’t have to worry about them after all. Right?

But meanwhile, all that analysis and cogitation had sunk in… and primed my subconscious.  And it decided to step up, as it sometimes will.

We had a little conversation.

Subconscious: Yo, those problems you were worried about?  Here’s the solution.
Me: But, I don’t need them solved anymore!  Because it’s a frame,  it’s just the “frame”  part of a frame story —
S:  Solution.  Here. This.
Me:  But, but —
S:  One solution. For all the problems.
Me: But…
S: Just look at it.
Me:
Me:
Me: So…  this secondary character —
S: Yup.  Him.
Me: And everything I thought I knew —
S: All wrong.
Me: Um…
S: This solves the problems.
Me:
S: Say “thank you.”
Me: Thank you.

You should always thank your subconscious.  It’s down there working in the mines, slopping in the sewers, filing things away in big dusty file-card catalogs in the basement, all for your benefit.  It likes to be appreciated.

So, now that I have all these solutions, now that I have a design and a structure, I just have to, you know, execute everything.

But this story has become way more ambitious than I had originally planned.  More interesting, yes; but more difficult…

If I can manage to pull it off — well, it would be so cool.  Really.   But it’s also entirely possible that this is just beyond my current level of skill…  I could easily crash and burn.

But you know what?  You gotta crash and burn.  Be willing to, that is.

I could utterly fail in the execution of this, but — so what?  If the story stinks, I just won’t sell it and it will never see the light of day.  You’ll all be none the wiser.

So, I’ll catch my breath, and give this thing another go.

But you know, one of these days, at some point,  I’d like to just write a story where a bunch of people get into a rocket ship, go somewhere, have an adventure, meet some interesting aliens, and then come back home.  Frankly, I could use the rest.

In other news: Hey, tip jar.  Some writers have ’em; now I do, too.