Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

21 and Done. Or, Alternately, Sweet Sixteen.

Another Monday, another chapter of Grim Tides! Go read “Jaws” for more murderlicious funtimes.

I had a busy weekend. A pleasant one. Friday night our dear friend Susan, visiting from New York, came over for a few hours of conversation and take-out food. So nice to see her! It’s been literally years.

Saturday, my wife and son took off for Tahoe so the kid could play in snow for the first time. I wish I could have gone! But I am in a world of deadlines. So I stayed home and wrote a large number of words instead. So many words. But I did not finish the draft of my novel in progress, and indeed, I soon realized I was writing a whole lot of words I would have to throw away, because my climax was stupid and terrible and all wrong. I could feel it, but I just kept on writing my way through, figuring I could get some of the falling action right, at least.

Sunday morning we all headed for Mama’s Royal Cafe to have brunch with Susan and our friend David and his girlfriend Meredith (who impressed my boy with her origami skills). Yumminess and good talk ensued, and the kid was very well-behaved, which is impressive considering we had a long lingery meal. I took the boy away afterward so Heather and Susan could hang out.

The kid wanted to see a new playground, so I found one online we hadn’t been to yet, and we drove up. It was a pretty decrepit old playground, really — swingsets with no swings, a nearly 80-year-old clubhouse all boarded up, blocked off, and in dire need of repair — but it had some really pretty trails, too, and nigh-infinite numbers of steps switchbacking along the path of a creek with lots of little waterfalls. We hiked up and down and all around until we got bored, then drove over to Codornices Park, home of a giant concrete slide. My kid has done the slide many times before, always with me, sliding down together. This time, he wanted to try it on his own. And, lo, he went down the slide a bazillion times! We also stomped through some creeks and went through the tunnel to the rose garden and so on. Good clean exhausting fun.

Once we got home, I wrote some more, completing the falling action and figuring out how to fix my crazy broken climax, then going back and writing that. So that’s the draft of my 21st complete novel. It’ll be my 16th published novel in seven years. (I’ve got four trunk books that will never see print, and another that’s still out on submission. I have a few books under pseudonyms that aren’t listed on my website. My bibliography is best described as “it’s complicated.”) It’s been a busy almost-decade.

I also read Stephen King’s The Wind Through the Keyhole, which is very enjoyable. It’s The Dark Tower 4.5, an interstitial book that has no bearing whatsoever on the series as a whole, and it’s actually a story-within-a-story-within-a-story. The most deeply-nested story is an awesome standalone short novel, and the rest of it is pretty pleasant too.

So that was my weekend. Not too bad at all.

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