Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

8K Day

Yesterday I took a rather impromptu vacation day so I could get some work done on the current book project. (Also because the cable guy who came for our Tuesday appointment didn’t bring the necessary equipment, so I needed to be home to meet a different cable guy yesterday afternoon. Yes, we got cable again, after almost a year without it — not that we stopped watching TV, we just got by with network shows and streaming Netflix. There was a good, cheap special cable deal going, though, so we figured, why not. The Song of Ice and Fire series is coming in a couple of months after all, and we want to see that.)

Anyway, I didn’t do much yesterday but write, and I managed about 8,300 words. Not my best day ever, but in my top ten, and knocking out nearly a tenth of the novel in a day is certainly satisfying. I’m planning to take another vacation day next week (I have more vacation than my wife does, so I have some days to burn anyway), and if it’s just as good, I may even find a couple of weeks to revise the novel before the April 1 deadline. The book stands at around 48,000 words. Halfway home.

Also, I went out for lunch and had a cheeseburger with a fried egg on top. Oh the deliciousness! And I didn’t write in the evening, which was a rare treat. I’ve often wondered what it must be like to just have one job, leaving me with evenings and weekends free for fun and chores and errands and such. Seems incredibly decadent. Don’t suppose I’ll ever know firsthand though.

Read a couple of books on, hmm, Tuesday night: The Burglar in the Library by Block, which was fun, though I never quite love Block’s work — the obligatory funny banter between his characters never seems all that funny to me, and in truth I find it kind of grating. Which is a shame, because I like the characters well enough, banter aside. I enjoy his Keller hitman novels, and keep wanting to get into the Burglar series — there are so many of them, and so highly praised! — but this is the first one I’ve made it through. (The one series of his that doesn’t seem to have funny banter, the Matthew Scudder books, is by contrast too grim for me, based on the book or two I read. I guess I’m hard to please.) I may make another run at the earlier books in the series.

Also read Quarry in the Middle by Max Allan Collins, the only Quarry book I’ve read. (Indeed, I’d never heard of the character until I picked up a copy off the paperback mystery spinner at the library. It was under the aegis of Hard Case Crime, which is generally all I need to at least try a book.) Anyway: good gritty occasionally funny hitman novel. The protagonist really objectifies women, which isn’t that uncommon with such books, but it did make it harder to like him. Then again, he’s a professional killer, so who’s to say he should be likable? He did have some chivalrous moments, though it can be argued that chivalry is just another side of sexism…

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