December 11th, 2007


[writing] Trusting the process

I'm 5,700 words into Green now. (That's another 500 words after my post last night.) I'm on daily writing until the book is done, though I'll allow myself one day off a week if I need it. Holidays and all, plus some continuing short story commitments for both new work and revisions due.

It felt very good last night to be stretching into the long, steady pace that I take when working on a novel. And realized something as I typed: I will make it to the other end, and I will write a good story. How good remains to be seen, of course, but that's why we have rewrites.

This is the first novel under the New Model Process. It's long way to Tipperary, at least from the current page count. I can think of a million things that will go wrong. But they won't. Even if some of them do, I'll recover. I trust the process. I have faith in my ability to give good book.

That feeling might be the greatest reward of my career to date.

[links] Link salad, Tuesday goes to Mars

Cult/Sect Overview — Helpful information from the Southern Baptist Convention. I didn't know Unitarians were a cult.

The Liar, the Switch and the Wardrobe — Police find secret passage through a wardrobe to Darwin's hideout. (More on the undead canoeist.)

Colon cleansing testimonials — You probably don't want to click on this. Really. You have been warned.

Christian biologist fired for beliefs, suit says — "The case underscores tension between scientists, who see creationist views as anti-science, and evangelical Christians who argue that protections of religious freedom enshrined in the U.S. Constitution extend to scientific settings." Um, yeah. And my religion tells me the Earth is flat. NASA had better hire me as a mission planner!

Huckabee Hides His Full Gospel? — "Now that he has his moment in the political spotlight, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee does not want his days at the pulpit to be scrutinized." Yes, because only Democratic candidates should be subject to intense scrutiny of every public and private statement ever made in their lives.

A rather nice review of Mainspring Powell's | Amazon ]

Bush loses ground with military families — Wow, even military families don't support the troops. (At least, as supporting the troops is defined by Your Republican Party.) Those facts sure are biased, aren't they?

Poll Finds G.O.P. Field Isn’t Touching Voters — The other slant on all the arguing about Romney's faith. Apparently some of the fuss may be coming from people outside the GOP process. I'm not sure if I should be surprised or not. (From slwhitman via lordofallfools.) ETA: The specific reference is at the end of the article, on page 2.

[books] Mainspring on

Mainspring Powell's | Amazon ] is now available at Here's the direct link. Even better, the member home page is showing it as a featured selection.

The good folks at have also been kind enough to provide me with a couple of free downloads, which can be used for Mainspring or any other title, including Old Man's War , A War of Gifts: An Ender Story or any of the Dune books. Watch for that as a contest prize shortly here.

[publishing] Question for the hivemind

I've been thinking about automotive design, and publishing. Look at the ascendance of explicitly retroactive design — the New Beetle, the Mustang, the upcoming Charger refresh and new Camaro. How does publishing stack up? Here's what I'm wondering, but too cramped for time to do my own research right now:

  • What percentage of trade titles are new fiction, vs. "evergreen" such as Dune or Lord of the Rings, vs. classic revivals.

  • What percentage of trade sales fall into these categories?

  • What percentage of independent press titles and sales fall into these categories?

ie:, I'd like to fill in this grid with percentages.

New FictionEvergreen titlesClassic Revivals
Trade titles
Trade sales
Independent titles
Independent sales

I have no intuition about the answers here, but I'm curious what portion of the reading in our field is looking backwards rather than forward? I suspect there's some very interesting deep cultural analysis in these sorts of trends. I may take a crack at it sometime when I'm not busily drafting a novel.

Thoughts? Facts? Slings and arrows?