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Archive for September, 2009

Getting back on track

2009_0815BealeStreat0519Long weekend in Lincoln City, Oregon was great. Had a good time with my friends Ed and Ted. Good to have friends where you can pick up like you just saw each other yesterday.

Walked on the beach every day. Glad we left on Monday. Yesterday they cleared the beach for a tsunami warning.

Last night I went back to Tae Kwon Do after almost eight weeks off. Kicked my rear, as I expected, but I hurt the second joint on my left big toe again. I thought it had healed up well, but one hard hit on the mat sent some serious pain through me. I’ll be nursing that for a bit longer, it seems. Don’t think it’s broken, just badly bruised.

Day Jobbe is back in full-swing. Lots of opportunities there, some real possibilities to make a difference. One of the things I love about my career.

And, on the novel front, I saw the final version of my cover art for BLACK BLADE BLUES. Dan Dos Santos is a very gifted individual. I’ll post when I can, but it is just stunning.

The crew at Tor is doing such a great job with everything. I should be doing page proofs in the next few weeks.

More as it happens. Have a great week.

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Short work week and novel progress

Day jobbe Mon – Wed, then picking up a couple friends at the airport. Thursday we are off to Lincoln City for a long weekend of catching up and walking on the beach.

I have big plans for the novel. Pushing toward the climax and can feel the power building. Time to make some fictional folks miserable. Then, fix it all. :)

Good writing session yesterday. Been absent due to other activities for almost 3 weeks. How’d that happen?

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Healthy Habits

Finished the copy edits last week. Shipped them on Labor Day. Next up — page proofs.

Day jobbe had me in California all last week. Don’t believe I could afford to live there, but the parts of Huntington Beach I saw were beautiful. Same for Seal Beach. Totally different from my slice of heaven in the Seattle area. I still prefer home, but it sure was nice to visit.

Last night was our Healthy Habits class. Kathy and I are taking this at the YMCA. Very interesting class, and one of the hardest things I’ve done. Becoming a healthier person is hard. Not a big fan of hard. Just peeling back the layers of what drives us, what things we fall to in times of stress, those easy little things we do which are not the best for us in the long run, but don’t seem to matter in and of themselves.

This is big stuff. I’m finally getting an appointment with a personal trainer so I can figure out the exercise thing. I need better strategy. Not only do I want to feel better overall, but I’m looking for ways to enhance my Tae Kwon Do experience.

I’ll report back from time to time on this subject, as it is very important to me. I have a strong desire to live a very long time, and I’d like to do it in good health.

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Working on Copy Edits

This phase of the novel if fascinating. I’m on page 355 of 508 manuscript pages and I’m surprised by the sheer number of typesetting marks I’m finding. Almost none of them are for me to do anything with, which is interesting. I keep turning each page, hoping that it will be clear of red marks. So far, no luck.

Mainly it is things like using an m-dash instead of a double hyphen. I use the double hyphen instead of an m-dash in all my work since it’s what the short markets put in their guidelines.

Also, I seem to be perpetually short on commas. The copy editor is using the Chicago Manual of Style, so I don’t always have the same formatting history as required. Not concerned, really, but there are things I will be changing in my final draft of my next novel, that’s for sure.

I only had 5 pages of editorial queries, which seems pretty light. That’s one page for every 100 manuscript pages. Could be much worse, I’m sure. For the most part, I’m changing per the suggestion, but every now and again, I keep that sentence fragment, or misuse of a word on purpose.

Dialog especially is prime areas for creative license. Not too many of those so far.

I should finish the edits by tomorrow sometime, and then I’ll photo copy the lot, package it up and get it ready to mail.

As tomorrow is a holiday, it will wing its way back to New York on Tuesday. Lucky for me, it’s not due back to them until the 18th.

This is turning out to be both educational and enjoyable. Copy edits engage a different part of my brain than any other piece has. Closer to my day job way of thinking, then the chaotic creativity of drafting fresh story.

And definitely teaching me ways to improve the manuscript once the story is in place. Next novel I want to find whole swathes of pages with no marks.

I think I can do it.

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Valhallacon this weekend.

2008_0702gs0010002I’m heading up to Bellingham after work today to attend Valhallacon.

I also got my copy edits in the mail yesterday for BLACK BLADE BLUES. Will work them in the cracks.

Monday, however… all day copy edit extravaganza. First set for me, and I needed a bit of a tutorial from the esteemable Jay Lake. Thanks, sir.

Another milestone on the path to see this book in print, and on my career overall. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new, or unlearn something assumed incorrectly.

Hope to see some or all of you at the convention. Nancy Kress is the guest of honor. If you are unfamiliar with her work, you are missing out. Not only do I love her writing, but she’s an amazing teacher of writing as well. I had the pleasure of co-piloting a writers workshop with her at World con in Montreal this year and I learned a ton.

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Uruz

The wild ox; strength and power.

Ansuz

Creativity; words, music, and art.

Othala

The troll cross; wealth and prosperity.

Sowilo

The sun; energy, honor, guidance.

Fehu

Personally earned or lucky wealth and prosperity.

Jera

The harvest; patience and promise.

Raidho

The chariot; journey and travel.

Note: This is not the real book cover.