Watching a writer work must be the most boring activity in the known universe. At least with watching paint dry you can watch the slight color change that usually happens during the process. A writer can be hard, nay, even furiously at work and still moving less than the average graveyard angel. Then comes the big burst of activity—if you’re both lucky—typing. Or maybe scribbling with pen and paper, if you’re into that old school method. Then…nothing again. For greater or lesser slices of eternity. Most writing doesn’t happen on the page. It happens somewhere inside and in the kinetic connection between mind and computer keys. When it happens, which isn’t always.
Still getting the words down, which is what it’s all about. Making my quota most days, sometimes a bit more. Hit something of a milestone this morning when I crossed the 50,000 word threshold. As thresholds go it’s pretty meaningless, but to me it signals that the book is over half way done. I don’t write doorstops, I know I’ve mentioned this before. I expect to wrap it up at about 90,000 words. If I don’t, I’ll be as surprised as anyone. I know what’s already happened, what’s about to happen, and a penultimate scene that breaks it down, wraps it up and kicks the entire thing to the curb. In a good way. Some old friends return. Some not-so-friends, and All is Revealed. Well, most of it.
I am so looking forward to that. I think Yamada is too. And by the way, this is a three-princess book. First time I think there’s been more than two. Nope, three. And one especially.
There was a time when any kind of year-end summary from me would consist mostly of what short stories I’d published and where. Maybe a long list is more impressive, but this year there are only a few things to report because most of the works are longer, which makes for fewer of them. Be that as it may, here they are:
The lovely dancer above is Ben Baldwin’s illustration of Lady Snow, from the endpapers for the PS Publishing edition of To Break the Demon Gate. You haven’t met Lady Snow yet, but if you’re a reader of the series you’ll see a few familiar faces. In fact, some of it will be very familiar, since Part 1 of the novel is a revised version of “Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge.”
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating as the book is practically published even as I speak–I didn’t know that “Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge” was the opening to a novel when I wrote it, at least partly because it is a self-contained story arc all to itself. It wasn’t the whole story, and I did know that at the time, but I assumed it was because later stories in the series would expand and resolve it the unresolved issues. I was wrong about that. The stories do not, for the most part, directly address the events from “Moon Viewing,” nor do they ignore it, and some of the closure, as long-time readers know, comes from “The Ghost of Shinoda Forest.” However, that still leaves one heck of a lot of story. Continue reading →