Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Mostly Treats

Trick-or-treating with the kid was great fun. We went to Piedmont Ave. on Saturday in the rain for daytime trick-or-treating and bouncehouse fun, and on Hallowe’en proper we went to Russell Street in Berkeley, which goes all-out for the holiday. Here’s a picture of River in his monkey costume with me. I’m a druid, or something. I dunno. I just threw on a cloak and made a wand with some fake foliage and the snapped-off handle of a toy golf club.

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Last night I had a dream where I was talking to a fifty-something car salesman (though later he was a postal worker), who was complaining about how miserable he was: he hated his job, his house, his city, and his whole life. So I told him to change his life, if he didn’t like it — what was he waiting for? To get even older first? He was resistant, and sneered at me, and basically said, “I don’t see you changing your life.”

And in the dream I replied, “Why would I change my life? I get paid to write books, I have a great kid, a hot wife, I love my apartment and my neighborhood, and I even like my day job. My life is already where I want it to be.”

I woke up thinking, Well, yeah, okay. A message from my unconscious mind to quit my bitching? At the very least, it was a reminder that, despite the fact that I have some problems, most of the important things are exactly how I’d wish them to be. So I’m in a better mood this morning than I have been for ages.

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I’m about 26,000 words into my new kid novel, which I’m calling The Deep Woods for now. More than halfway done! I just dealt a rather crushing blow to my characters, which they’ll spend the rest of the novel coping with. I should finish in a week or ten days. I’m having great fun.

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Good luck to all you NaNoWriMoers. I’m not doing NaNo — as I mentioned, I’m halfway through a book, and after I finish that, I’ll probably be lazy for a week or two — but I wish you well. It’s fun to throw yourself into a project, isn’t it?

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No toddler story hour at the library today, as the space has been taken over for election day polling, so I’ll have to entertain the boy some other way. The weather’s nice, so it’ll probably be a long morning of parks, parks, parks. Not such a bad life at all.

2 Responses to “Mostly Treats”

  1. Rob Says:

    Tim,

    Long-time fan of your blog.

    I notice some of your books give your author name as Tim Pratt; some give it as T.A. Pratt.

    If you don’t mind me asking, Why two author names? Are you transitioning to T.A. Pratt? If so, why? Any marketing problems with that?

    Just curious.

  2. admin Says:

    Anything in my Marla Mason series is done as T.A. Pratt; everything else is Tim Pratt.

    My original publisher wanted to use a gender-neutral name because the protagonist of the Marla Mason novels is a woman, and there was some worry that female readers might not be willing pick up a book with a female lead if they knew it was written by a man. (Also, changing me to “T.A. Pratt” meant the big chain booksellers might be less likely to notice the poor sales figures attached to the previous novel by “Tim Pratt.”) There weren’t really any marketing problems with being T.A. Pratt — it’s not like it was a radically different name from my usual byline, and no great efforts were made to keep it a secret — though it was amusing to see the occasional T.A. Pratt reader online say they’d met “her” at a convention.

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