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Month: March 2011

Take It To The Taxman

Events of eventfulness in recent days include:

Getting our taxes back from the tax guy. The terror I feel holding that envelope is unlike any I’ve felt since, oh, applying for colleges, or my first two or three ever rejection letters . (Or, well, last year, holding the envelope from the tax guy. Or the year before that. Or…) But in the end, the damage wasn’t too extensive. We owe a bit less than my own best-case-scenario back-of-an-envelope calculation suggested, which means we can actually afford to pay taxes without going to a guy named Slick Eddie and taking out a loan with kneecap collateral. (Because as bad as it is to owe Slick Eddie, it’s better than owing the government. The government doesn’t screw around.) Don’t get me wrong, paying what we owe pretty well wipes out my savings, but that’s fine. Having no money in the bank is pretty typical. And now that’s done for another year, at least. For once I’m not paying last year’s taxes with this year’s income, which is a nice change.

I wrote: only about 8,000 words over the weekend instead of the 10K I’d hoped for, but it’s fine. They’re good words, and I should still finish the first draft in a week or so. I think the book’s structure is solid, so revision should be limited to cleaning up character stuff, seeding in some foreshadowing, line-editing, etc.

I played video games: still playing Oblivion, a game which contains vastnesses. I did the Mage Guild quest-line this weekend, and am now the Arch-Mage. Nothing like shooting necromancers in the back with arrows and blasting liches in the face with magical fire. Quite satisfying.

I played with my kid: he is awesome. He actually spontaneously apologized to his mother after he had a tantrumy tired freak-out meltdown. He was all screams and kicking, and after he calmed down, he said, “I’m sorry I yelled mommy,” and went on to specifically apologize for the specific things he’d yelled at her about. We were stunned. We always try to tell him we’re sorry if we do mean loud things, and apparently that’s made an impression on him.

So, really, another wonderful weekend. Library books were acquired, and brunch was eaten (at La Note — yum), and the kid and I dug in the muddy back yard and discussed the beneficial qualities of earthworms, and generally enjoyed life.


Yesterday I wrote 10,200 words on my novel-in-progress. So, you know — a ninth of the novel in a single day. Not bad. (Clearly, this means I should be able to write a novel in nine days, right? I mean, that’s just MATH, people.)

I usually have one or two 8K or 10K days on any given novel, generally as the end approaches and I start to generate momentum. I’m still about 25 or 30K short of the end here, though. I’ve got 29 days before the book’s due. Should be doable, though it won’t be the most thoroughly revised book I’ve ever turned in. I can clean it up a bit in the editorial process as necessary, though. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m enjoying it, which is nice. The dominoes I’ve been setting up are all starting to topple.

Obviously with that much writing I didn’t do a lot else yesterday. Took a walk to the library. Did a bit of grocery shopping. Read the first couple of trade collections of the Scalped comic (how had I never heard of that series before?). Played some Oblivion, where I did a fair bit of thieving and murdering and pillaging. Had dinner with my wife and kid.

Pretty much a perfect day, really.

The Push

Another Wednesday — another Alphabet Quartet story! “H is for Horse” can be read at Daily Science Fiction today.

I’m taking a vacation day from A Certain Magazine today, so I can… work a lot. There’s just a month left before my deadline on the current novel, which is still a good 35 or 40K words short of being finished. I spent two days bogged down and unable to get through what seemed like a simple, straightforward scene, but while taking a walk with the kid yesterday, something clicked in my brain and I figured out why — the scene as planned was all wrong. Fortunately, my brain knew how to fix it. My subconscious was unwilling to let me move forward and write the wrong version of the scene. Very considerate, really. Wish the old undermind always kept me from doing stupid things, but I’ll take what I can get. I managed to get a couple thousand words done yesterday, and hope to get many more done today. Wish me luck. And coffee.