Taking a break from painting, but can’t afford to be away from it for too long. One thing I’ve discovered about living in a valley in a more northerly latitude during wintertime is that daylight is a fleeting commodity. By about 3:30pm the light is pretty much gone, and when you’re painting floor and window trim especially, you kind of need it.

My office may be one of the last rooms we get sorted out. Too many others have priority. Which is fine—I have a functional workspace, so I can do what I need to do. I’ll just be doing it surrounded by boxes. Most of which I’d really like to get into. Especially my references, since The Emperor in Shadow sticks as closely to the historical timeline of actual events as I can manage. Working within a well-documented historical period is rather like writing sonnets—you are working with strictures on what you can and cannot do, and the trick is to be creative within those constraints. Indeed, I find that they work with me more than against. Sort of like, “Well, if this thing happened then, what was going on behind the scenes? What do we not know about it?”

Asking the right question at the right time is a hell of a lot better than knowing all the answers to the wrong questions. If writing doesn’t teach a person that much right off, they’re just not paying attention.