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Irrationally Exuberant [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Danny Adams

[ website | Bio of a Silver Fox ]
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Oh Hi, Excitable Brain, I Remember You [Apr. 10th, 2014|10:31 pm]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |Where The Book Pursues]
[Current Mood |mischievousmischievous]
[Current Music |"The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin]

As those of you who read this journal know, I have a dog named Tucker, also known by his extended nickname of Tucker the Big Dog. (He's not that large, actually, but this distinguishes him from our other pooch, Weezie the Little Dog.) In his younger years...and he might still try this now at the age of 12...he would stand at our front door, look outside, look at me, look back outside, look back at me, and promise that if I let him outside without leash or line he would be good, he really really would behave himself, no really.

But if he did manage to get outside he would burst away like he'd been blasted off the surface of the Earth by a meteor strike. He would run and run and run and there was no stopping him. He could be a mile away in five minutes. He would run up and down the streets, through the woods, all over campus, all over the mountain we lived on. Sometimes he would come close by us, maybe less than ten feet away, but with a big grin on his face that told us he was playing and had no intention of being caught.

Usually the only times we would catch him were when someone else tricked him into coming to them by offering pettings or treats, if he got stuck in something like a fence, or when he was finally done hours later and would show up on the porch as if he had not instigated a five square-mile dog hunt.

Tucker pretending to be oh so yes-daddy-I'm-just-a-poor-innocent-dog! Rub my belly please?

I'm telling this story because this is what my brain is doing to me now. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you; I just have to remember to chase it.

My historical novels over the last few years, including my historical fantasy To Murder an Empire, have been like taking Tucker out on his leash. Sometimes we go around the neighborhood or campus, or sometimes we go hiking in the mountain woods. They're pretty orderly and methodical. Hiking can lead to a lot of uncharted territory, but there's no wild running off hither and yon to follow every scent or chasing after every little noise just beyond the trees ahead.

But then along comes the for-fun fantasy novel I wrote about a couple of days ago. It's just like Tucker. It stood at the door saying "Please just let me out, I'll be good..." And I fell for it, and it took off. And now I'm chasing it all over the neighborhood and the forest and the mountains, frenetically writing down every snatch and scrap of idea that it comes across and shoots after.

Of course, this time I'm enjoying it. I don't have to worry about the book getting hit by a car, or shot by a grumpy reclusive neighbor, or bitten by a sick animal, or whatever. I've decided just to let it bolt whichever way it wants while I run after it breathlessly, filling pages and scrap paper full of names and places, bits of world-building, and even a plot point or storyline here and there. So far I've been able to keep up with it just so long as I keep a sharp eye out.

Eventually I'll catch up with it and put it on a leash (i.e., an outline)...for a little while. Then once it's rested I'll probably let it take off again. Just to see where it goes. I need the exercise and to whip myself into a bit better shape.

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The Fun Of Writing For Fun [Apr. 8th, 2014|06:08 pm]
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[Current Location |Days From A New Place (I Hope) Land]
[Current Mood |Contrary]
[Current Music |"I'm Against It" by Groucho Marx]

It's been three weeks now since I've done any writing, at least beyond this blog, and this is not a state I'm happy with either physically or mentally. It seems to be one of the holding patterns that have characterized 2014 thus far - in this case, I didn't want to start writing the next Arizona Book yet, I've only just begun researching the Mississippi River Book, and I'm still waiting for a yea or nay on the Secret Project. So I was wondering what I might write next in the meantime, at least when I snatch time away from packing and the other house buying-related rigamarole.

An odd answer came unbidden to me last night: Write something for fun.

This is almost a foreign concept to me. I mean, sure, I have fun with everything I write. If I didn't, I wouldn't write it. But this wicked notion was to write something only for fun. Not with an eye to publishing, with absolutely no self-editor, but just writing whatever I felt like writing and however I felt like writing it and with a minimum (or no) research involved. Like an extended NaNoWriMo.

It wouldn't be the first time I've done this, though it has been a long time. The last time I wrote a novel solely for the pleasure of it was back in 2005, with my so-far one-and-only young adult fantasy novel The Dark Horse. This was also an experiment to see if I could write YA fantasy. I'm not that great at objectively judging my own work so I still don't know whether or not I can write YA fantasy, as I've never submitted the book anywhere in all that time. (Maybe I should now. But that's another post.)

I say the idea popped into my head last night. But I think it's been boiling for awhile.

I've had various bits and pieces of a fantasy novel drifting into my head over the past few months. Characters, scenes, and locales with a bit of world-building. It seems very loosely based on the ex-Roman Imperial world of the 7th-9th centuries A.D., though not so close as to require huge chunks of historical research. I'm particularly fascinated by an assassin with an extremely unusual specialty. I'm also fond of some various ancient locales built underneath modern locales. But none of those started coalescing until last night's idea...and then further solidified when I happened to wake up with the idea of swiping some characters and countries from a couple of fantasy novels I wrote in the early 90s for it too. Not the old storylines, just the populations. (And coincidentally I found my notes for those books - though not the books themselves - today while looking for something else.)

This would be, to say the least, an interesting experiment. I would write a general outline, a file of characters and places, and my standard "Here's What Happens In The Book" pages of notes, added to randomly as I thought of things. But it wouldn't be intended as a primary project; it would be written around other things, most likely. It would be written in fits and starts as I snatch bits of time for it. It would be written with no expectations - except that it was being done for fun.

I wonder if that's even possible for me at this point. No expectations, I mean, and only for fun, and not with an eye to publishing (though reserving the right to try after the book is done). Just free-flowing, no angst, no headaches or heartaches writing.

And something that would keep me from going three weeks or longer without writing again. That's just untenable for me, and it's gotta go.

And really, I kind of like the idea of completely writing a book off the top of my head, rather than one partly driven by research or another author's notes and outline. The Dark Horse was the last time I did that. This may be the most appealing part of all.

Now, since I seem to be behind on my quota of Internet Animal pictures, here is a picture of Tucker the Big Dog visiting one of his bovine buddies:

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Oh Look, Snow (With 8 Pictures) [Mar. 25th, 2014|08:50 pm]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |Winter Wondersomething]
[Current Mood |Semi-Hopeful]
[Current Music |"I Feel Fine" by the Beatles]

Don't let the title fool you. I really actually honestly do love snow, quite a lot. I usually complain by the end of each winter that we didn't get enough / any snow, and even after the record-breaking quantities we've gotten this season I'm still not tired of it. (I know, I know. Feel free to throw a virtual snowball-with-rock-inside at my e-head.)

It's just that I feel better and am generally happier in warmer weather. Good things seem better and bad things seem less bad and more manageable. And here in the currently indecisive climate of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, I've been teased several times with more characteristic spring-like weather. So I know what I'm missing - and remembering that last year it also snowed in April.

On the other hand, that doesn't stop me from taking lots of pictures (nothing does, except armed guards standing beside signs ordering NO PICTURES watching me watching them). Plus I don't think I've fulfilled my Internet Animal Pictures Quota yet. So here are some dog-and-scenery shots from this morning's walk in the mountain woods, starring Tucker and puffy snow.


+7Collapse )
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I Want To Ride To The Ridge Where The West Commences, Gaze At The Moon Till I Lose My Senses . . . [Mar. 17th, 2014|10:00 pm]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |Letting Out A Deep Exhale Land]
[Current Mood |Still Restless]
[Current Music |"Don't Fence Me In" by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters]

Copper Heart is finished.

Well, the first draft is. Eventually there will be lots of editing and trimming, and I can already think of a few parts I want to do some general rewrites on. But otherwise...Copper Heart is finished.

And of course, I'm at that typical but momentary post-novel place where "Now what?" is running through my head like a airborne banner pulled by a zeppelin.

There's plenty to claim my attention. I'm still in holding patterns over The House and my car repair (I do need to replace the engine after all - stupid timing belt that hadn't shown any signs of giving out). Then there's the ongoing marketing of Lest Camelot Fall. I got a weird but awfully good feeling from the fact that I suddenly had three interview offers in the last few days, all from book review bloggers.

On top of that, the first book blog review of Camelot went live tonight. I wasn't necessarily planning on reading my reviews, but this was the first book blog review I've ever gotten (as far as I know). So I took a deep breath, gritted my teeth, and...was pleased. Very pleased. The reviewer enjoyed the book immensely. He was also one of my recent interviewers, so our Q&A will be showing up sometime in the next few days.

Finally, I'm at am impasse about what to write next. I'm debating if I want to go ahead and eventually start work on the fourth / final / unnamed next Arizona Book, or set the series aside for the time being in favor of doing the next historical near-and-dear-to-my-heart epic, The Great River, my big historical novel (series?) about the Mississippi River. Both Arizona and the Mississippi are clamoring for my attention and love in equal measure, and I love them both in equal measure.

Like the Shenandoah Valley and Arizona, it's not just the history I'm attracted to; I have personal connections with the river as well. And, you know. Riverboats. I can't resist riverboats. I've been hooked on them since I was a kid - getting to play the steam-powered organ atop the texas deck of the Julia Belle Swain as it cruised up and down the Illinois River when I was 12 sealed the deal - and I plan to have lots of riverboats in The Great River.

There's another option. Laurie suggested that maybe my next book should be one written strictly for fun. I'd already been thinking of something that could fit: my alternate history fantasy about young Charlemagne, A King By No Magic. That was the one I tried writing in 2007 and '08 that never really came together, though I've had a number of ideas since about what to do for it. I rather like that idea, although it comes with the logistic issue that I recently packed all of my Charlemagne-related books.

By the way, I'm not complaining about the indecision. I've been through periods where no writing project really grabbed me and the work was half-hearted. I like being in a position where I'm having to decide where to go next.

And honestly? If I wasn't trying to buy a house and pay for an expensive car repair, I'd take Bing Crosby's and the Andrews Sisters' advice, and I'd already have a plane ticket to Arizona in hand. Or maybe somewhere along the Mississippi.

At any rate, I present my last Progress Report for Copper Heart.


New Words: 2800 on scene 3 of 3 of the epilogue. A telegram and some reckless courage save Copper Heart from disaster.

Total Words: It came in at a nice round 170,000. So yeah, like I said, I see lots of trimming in my future.

Reason For Stopping: Finished the book...and I was kind of freezing.

Book Year: 1888.

Mammalian Assistance: Vegas ran in just long enough for Hayes to decide she didn't want to come in (since Vegas was there). Once Hayes left, Vegas took off too.

Exercise: Took Tucker for a walk a fair way up the local mountain.

Stimulants: None.

Today's Opening Passage: I’ll be damned if I let this town die, Harry Boyd caught himself thinking. The sudden thought surprised him, considering that killing Copper Heart was what he had in mind when he came back to town.

But in that time, especially since returning Will Beckett and taking over half the town’s operations in the place of the opium-addled town boss, Harry had sipped more than a few drinks of power and affluence. He discovered that they were a mighty powerful whiskey indeed.

Darling Du Jour: The last sentence - which I didn't think of until I was very nearly ready to write it. It's not spoilery, but I don't figure I'll post it here since it wouldn't make any sense without the context.

Non-Research / Review Books In Progress: The Black Fire Concerto by Mike Allen / time_shark; The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell.
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Groucho Marx's Unsolicited Writing Advice [Mar. 16th, 2014|10:00 pm]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |One More Step Along The Way Land]
[Current Mood |restlessrestless]
[Current Music |"One Day More" from the movie Les Mis]

Now and again we writers (myself included) mourn what we think of wistfully as the good old days of publishing. There is some truth in thinking of certain eras as good for writers, though like with any such nostalgia I doubt things were completely as good as all that. Groucho Marx just gave me a reminder of this from a distance of nearly fifty years.

I was window shopping for Groucho's memorabilia on eBay when I discovered (for a mere $7,199.10 - discounted $799.90 from the original Buy It Now price) a 1966 letter that Groucho wrote to some fellow named Syd. Syd has just come out with a novel. Groucho tells him that he knows unsolicited advice isn't worth a whole lot, but "since you're an old friend of mine, probably because we don't see each other too often, here's the advice."

If you want to increase the sale, I suggest you go on the Johnny Carson show, the Merv Griffin Show, the Jack Douglas Show and any other show that you can get on. I remember when Louis Nizer had his book out a few years ago, you couldn't turn on the TV set, either locally or nationally, without seeing him plugging his book and, if you didn't see him, you could hear him on radio.

It's not very pleasant work, revealing yourself publicly, but with rare exceptions, this is what writing books has reduced itself to. So dive in and, in the process of doing this, you may become a great actor. With a white wig and a pillow under your vest, there's no reason why you couldn't play King Lear. So think about it.

Groucho himself, living legend that he was by this point, went on talk shows whenever he was hawking a book. Even his brother Harpo did when he came out with Harpo Speaks - and Harpo didn't actually talk, so that was quite a feat of public relations. If Harpo could figure out ways to promote his book by doing nothing more than honking a horn he had tucked into his belt, I could probably come up with some decent ideas myself.

I think the one of the biggest problems with publishing today is just that everything is in so much flux. Whole literary paradigms and ideologies are being rewritten, or outright broken and then glued back together in different shapes. I do understand that for many authors, things were better in the past. But there are also great authors out there now who are getting chances to publish they might not have had a few years ago. I suspect one way or another, things will even out eventually.

Though if anyone can figure out a way to get me booked on the Johnny Carson Show, I'll leap at it.


New Words: 1900 on the epilogue of Copper Heart. This finishes up Epilogue Scene 2 of 3, and wrapping up the murderous Blizzard of 1886-87. Characters survived, though not entirely intact.

Total Words: 167,200.

Reason For Stopping: Finished the scene, and did so just as Laurie was getting the dogs ready for a walk that I wanted to come along for.

Book Year: 1886-87.

Mammalian Assistance: Once again, Vegas the Writing Assistant is flaking out on me, wanting to come in the Writing Room when I start work, wanting to leave five minutes later, and then wanting back in as I'm finishing up and leaving for the day.

Exercise: Walking around the neighborhood and campus with Laurie and the dogs.

Stimulants: Turkey Hill Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.

Today's Opening Passage: The snow was still coming down the next day and wagons were long since useless, so the only cowmen going out in the storm were those who dragged a travois behind them. Owen would go out first and come home last, never allowing himself any rest, violating his mother’s rule about coming back by dusk—that third day, wind howling and the cowmen and their wives taking turns to desperately peal the mess bell, Owen and Puck finally dragged themselves back through the snowdrifts, horse and man with head lowered nearly as far as they could go without falling over, well after one in the morning.

Darling Du Jour: Not exactly a darling, but about as plain and stark as the rest of the scene . . .

The bones of the dead cattle left where they fell were ground up for fertilizer. The fertilizer was sold to their neighboring farmers, starting with those who sold Kate hay.

Non-Research / Review Books In Progress: The Black Fire Concerto by Mike Allen / time_shark; The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell.
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Sagas I Can't Write Novels About (With Gratuitous Writing Cat Picture) [Mar. 12th, 2014|09:36 pm]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |One Step Forward Land]
[Current Mood |Mentally Pacing]
[Current Music |"Seven Seas" by Echo and the Bunnymen]

I made what appeared to be progress today on the two fronts of my ongoing personal sagas: The house loan and the deathly ill car.

I was awakened this morning (at what is a normal hour to decent folks, but not necessarily those of us who work late) by The Bank's insurance division wanting to ask some questions about The House for purposes of homeowner's insurance. I presume this is a sign that I have not been summarily rejected despite my egregious lone late payment out of six credit references, but I couldn't give them an answer when they asked if I knew my closing date. So they went to call the loan officer, who turned out to be out for the day, with the message to call me if she could tell me anything beyond "in process". But I've gotten kinda used to waiting. Admittedly the warm weather makes it a lot easier and me more cheerful.

I also finally gave up on hearing back from the mechanic who told me he'd come get my car out of the library parking lot (where it had been sitting since the end of February--bless the campus police for not giving me grief about it loitering there so long) by last Friday. I left a message on his voice mail last Thursday afternoon to no avail. My father-in-law recommended both a mechanic and a tow truck to chauffeur my car to the mechanic. I managed to knock out some writing between the morning bank call and the afternoon tow. I know it's off to be least this is my fervent hope...but there's still something heartbreaking about seeing your car disappear into the distance at the rear of a tow truck.

People have wondered from time to time over the years how I manage to get any writing done when I've got so many things (these and others I don't talk about because while they impact me, they're not my stuff to tell) going on around, beside, and through me. I can only answer that my alternative in such situations would be a much higher likelihood of a marginal to middlin' breakdown. I'm not sure how I could completely stop writing altogether during such times.


New Words: 1700 on the epilogue of Copper Heart. This puts me about half or two-thirds of the way through the second of the three scenes. This scene chronicles the historically vicious Blizzard of 1886-87 that smashed the cattle industry and swerved the direction of the American West. (It's also where I'm writing about something that James A. Michener wrote about before me, in Centennial, so I have to try extra hard to tamp down the inferiority complex.)

Total Words: 165,300.

Reason For Stopping: Going to meet the tow truck.

Book Year: 1886.

Mammalian Assistance: None, although Vegas jumped up on his box pile just long enough for me to take a picture to make all of you good people think he was helping me. Don't be fooled.


Exercise: None to speak of.

Stimulants: Turkey Hill chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

Today's Opening Passage: The signs were hidden so well, buried in the thickening bark of trees and fur of animals, they would be easy to miss if you did not think to look. They waited unnoticed by most, by people who had suffered through the hottest and driest summer in recent memory while enjoying years of mild winters, who would not want to see what was coming even if they could. Their blindness would soon be equaled by an unapproachable whiteness no man would be able to see through.

Darling Du Jour: Roberto felt its coming first as a restlessness. An odd discomfort amid spring days already reaching past one hundred degrees underneath a miserly sky. He prayed Catholic prayers and sang O’odham songs, and while the sense of unease intensified there were few hints at the source. As Geronimo rampaged across Arizona and Roberto joined Kate and the cowmen guarding cattle and especially Silverstar’s brood, Roberto turned inward as much as looking out for enemies, walking the Himdag and pleading to know what disaster was approaching them.

The subtle but cunningly laid answers were given by all of those beings who would suffer alongside the people. The cattle and other animals whose coats were growing extra thick for the coming winter. The burrowing snakes and rodents who dug deeper than Roberto had ever seen before. The cottonwood trees thickening their bark. The sparrows and towhees, warblers and canyon wrens who usually lived in Arizona during the winter continuing south without stopping.

Roberto would gaze at the sky as he patrolled the ranch or hunted stray cows; it was clear innocence, not revealing its plans, but everything else betrayed it.

Non-Research / Review Books In Progress: The Black Fire Concerto by Mike Allen / time_shark; The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell.

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Inspiration In Stone [Mar. 11th, 2014|09:28 pm]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |Still One Step Removed Land]
[Current Mood |Impatient]
[Current Music |The theme to "Wyatt Earp"]

I haven't posted many pictures of my writing space before...maybe one or two over the years. But I took a couple of shots today as part of my (potential) post-move reconstruction of shelves, and figured I'd post them here.

These are the changeable spaces: The first picture is a shelf by my Writing Computer that has items related to whatever I'm writing, the second is the top of my computer monitor, which has a mix of transitional and more-or-less permanent items.

All of these items came from Arizona, except two:
The laser-cut Kokopelli was purchased locally, and the pottery sherds are from private land in New Mexico.

The stone-looking pieces lining the front of my monitor are half of a set of Cienega phase artifacts
a friend from Arizona sent me. The other half are lined up at the head of my keyboard.

At any rate, I'm one-third of the way through the epilogue of Copper Heart as of today, and once the book is done, all of my Arizona items will be packed up. As to where they'll go if I get a new place, I'll cross that threshold when I come to it.


New Words: 2400 (1300 / 1200 ). The death of someone who's been a character since early in Arizona Book 2 (aka Wolves in the Desert) gives Eva an answer to so many Hispanic families being displaced from their farms and ranches by Anglos.

Total Words: 163,600.

Reason For Stopping: Groggy yesterday from lack of sleep and finally took a nap / Finished the scene and needed to get ready for work.

Book Year: 1886.

Mammalian Assistance: None. All the cats were gathered around the open windows letting in the lovely 70-plus degree day.

Exercise: None to speak of.

Stimulants: None.

Today's Opening Passage(s):

Yesterday: It seemed that half of the Pimeria Alta—or at least half of the Hispanics in the land—were turning out for the funeral. This did not surprise Eva. The one they came to pay their respects to, to pray for her soul's quick release from Purgatory, had been so well known and loved in the land for so long, and on both sides of the border, she might as well have been a legend.

The woman herself would have laughed at that and called those people fools who called her legend. Though secretly she would have chuckled fondly.

Mostly, though, she considered dying an inconvenience, an interruption to getting work done.

Today: But when they were gathered, these stones ranging from cobbles to ones Eva could barely carry with two hands, with enough piled to build a six foot-high nicho, she could only stare at them blankly. What was she supposed to do next? She called herself a fool for thinking the knowledge might magically appear inside her head. Feeling exhausted and defeated, she went to bed for the night, expecting nothing more the next day than what she expected from every other ordinary day.

Darling Du Jour: Nothing springs out at me. Or maybe I'm just tired.

Non-Research / Review Books In Progress: The Black Fire Concerto by Mike Allen / time_shark; The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell.
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Admiring My 13-Year-Old Self [Mar. 9th, 2014|08:59 pm]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |Thirty Years Later Land]
[Current Mood |Wistful]
[Current Music |The theme to the original "Battlestar Galactica"]

The one upside to trying to get everything organized and packed for a move (or at least, when you're hoping to move but don't know if you will or not) is the stuff you run across that you haven't seen for ages. Two of the items I ran across yesterday were a couple of journals I kept in 1984, I think as school assignments. The first one opens on January 18, 1984, with a line filled with fate I didn't recognize at the time: "Today I started my story that I based on 'Centennial'".

In January of '84 I'd just been writing for a few months, and the book I'm referring to in that line - I ended up naming it The Trek West, my grandmother's suggestion - was only the second book I'd ever started, and my first historical novel. I'd go on to write something like 500 pages by hand on loose-leaf paper, covering over two centuries of history in the Midwest.

But here's the thing: I was so determined, and so fascinated by Centennial (the miniseries based on James Michener's book - I wouldn't read the novel till that summer), and I was such an eager writer that I started working on The Trek West even before the miniseries was finished. Five days later, according to my journal, I'd written 113 pages, totaling nine chapters. By the time May rolled around and I started my second journal, I'd reached the 1930s and the Dust Bowl.

Now here's the thing. I wasn't exactly a meticulous researcher (though I thought I was at the time). I did a lot of my writing at the expense of school work - not only writing instead of studying and doing homework, but on a few occasions I even wrote during classes. I ended up going to summer school that year so I could move onto high school - and while I passed my summer school class, I spent all of my free time each school day in the library doing research for The Trek West.

And yet, all that said...dang.

Thirty years later, I'm a much better writer (thank Heavens), I'm more meticulous and calculated about the writing and the research, and obviously I still love what I'm doing. I do lean towards being obsessively persistent, especially when it comes to submitting my work to magazines and other publishers. I certainly wouldn't flunk out of school or lose a job or some such thing for writing nowadays.

But when I look back at those entries and the ferocity I attacked writing with when I was thirteen (and for years afterwards), I have to admit that I do miss feeling that way...just a little bit. Maybe more.

So in honor of 13-year-old me, I spent part of the rest of the day writing, determined that I wouldn't stop until I'd finished the final chapter of Copper Heart. I still have the epilogue yet to write, but I did plow on through to the end of "The Renegades". And I could hear my younger self asking me from across that time gulf, "See? That wasn't so hard, was it?"


New Words: 2250 on chapter 4 ("The Renegades, 1885") of Copper Heart. Geronimo at last surrenders and is shipped off to Florida forever; Riley decides what he does not want to do with the rest of his life.

Total Words: 161,100.

Book Year: 1886.

Reason For Stopping: See above.

Mammalian Assistance: Vegas the Writing Assistant was up on the box pile and all ready to guard it until I opened the kitchen window to the unseasonably warm Outside. Then he was all about guarding the window, primarily from the other cats.

Exercise: Walked around the neighborhood and campus with Laurie and the dogs.

Stimulants: Peach cider.

Today's Opening Passage: That night Goyakla sat by a fire with his four best warriors before him. Three of them were also members of his family and they looked at him expectantly, hoping he would say what they did not have the courage to speak first themselves. The fourth was Lozen, her face a determined, stony mask.

Darling Du Jour: I like the last few paragraphs (which came to me right before I got to them), but I'm not going to post them here because they're kinda spoilery.

Submissions Sent Out In February: 13 to magazines, 6 to agents.

Total Submissions Out Right Now: 12 to magazines, 8 to agents, 2 to publishers.

Writing-Related Sacrifice: I'm not just piling stuff together for packing, but also going through numerous items that suffered mild to major mildew damage in our basement. One of these items was a binder with several hundred pages of printouts that comprised my primary research notebook when I wrote The Course of Heaven back in 2002-04 - the novel that got me back into serious, regular writing. I kept a few dozen pages of things I particularly liked or had information that might be hard to find again...I'll figure out what to do with the mildew smell later. But the rest, including the binder, went into the trash.

Other Writing-Related Stuff: Looking over the galley of a short story that was immensely fun and personally gratifying to write. It's for an anthology which I'll talk about when I'm given the OK to do so.

Non-Research / Review Books In Progress: The Black Fire Concerto by Mike Allen / time_shark; The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell.
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In An Effort To Get Things Done [Mar. 5th, 2014|09:47 am]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |So Close And Yet So Far Away]
[Current Mood |Harried]
[Current Music |"Another White Dash" by Butterfly Boucher]

Not much to post about here lately, at least not much I want to - house loan is still up bouncing in the air and mocking me from above, car is still dead and waiting for the mechanic to be able to get to it - and a myriad of great and sundry things have otherwise been commandeering my attention from writing both here, on the novel, and elsewhere. As it is, the Progress Report I'm posting below is four days old - I've only been averaging writing one or two days a week, though at least the word counts are higher to make up for it when I do get to banging away at the keyboard. Volcanic eruptions and all that.

And by the way, if you didn't see this in the numerous other places I posted it, Lest Camelot Fall is the current giveaway on the awesome, fun, and informative English Historical Fiction Authors website. You can enter it by posting a comment with your e-mail address here.

And just because, here is a picture of Tucker the Big Dog rocking out to our recent blizzard.



New Words: 3900 on chapter 4 ("The Renegades, 1885") of Copper Heart. Geronimo decides to do his (final) final surrender.

Total Words: 158850. "Yes, the danger must be growing / For the rowers keep on rowing / And they're certainly not showing / Any signs that they are slowing . . . "

Reason For Stopping: The Writing Room is still only heated passively by whatever heat bleeds in from other rooms, so I was kinda frozen.

Book Year: 1886.

Mammalian Assistance: Hayes the Baby Cat (splayed across lap, chest, and shoulder) wanted to guard me from...pretty much anything that wasn't her.

Exercise: Walked around the neighborhood with Laurie and the dogs.

Stimulants: Peach cider.

Today's Opening Passage: Gus was back in the desert, back in Mexico…but this time he felt stronger and more vital than before. Than ever before. It was as if he drew his strength and sustenance from the sun and the wind themselves, as he, Lieutenant Gatewood, and only a handful of others rode alone through the wastes to convince Geronimo to surrender one final time.

Darling Du Jour: There was the passing thought in the back of his mind that he was using up everything he had, all the rest of the years of his life, pushing forward with this effort. That once Geronimo was caught and shipped off to prison in Florida, Gus’ last breath would leave him and he would drop dead where he stood. It didn’t matter. He knew this was exactly where he was meant to be, and that he must see this through, for the span of his life had wholly been urging him to this last ride into Mexico and back.

Non-Research / Review Books In Progress: The Black Fire Concerto by Mike Allen / time_shark; The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell.
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Today's Out-Of-Context Quote [Feb. 27th, 2014|09:35 pm]
[Current Location |A Sidestep From Where I Want To Be]
[Current Mood |aggravatedaggravated]
[Current Music |"In This Generation" by the Monkees]

Me, to Laurie: "Hey, you drank some of the toilet cleaner!"

Laurie: "I was thirstier than the toilet."
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