August 18th, 2008

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[travel] Another Monday in the air

Back up at the first class/premium check-in line. Express lane at security slower than the general lane. Lake’s Law of Power Outlets in effect at the gate are.

Yep, it’s a Monday, and I’m traveling. Off to Omaha. See some, all or none of you there.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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[links] Link salad for a travel day

Annual Apex Short Fiction Halloween Contest — With yours truly as the judge. Since I know literally hundreds of writers, both published and aspiring, I have asked that the entries be anonymized before they come to me, in order to prevent any bias.

Video of the recent solar eclipse as seen from an aircraft — (Thanks to lt260.)

Lego tableaus recreate classic photos

Despite Assurances, McCain Wasn’t in a ‘Cone of Silence’ — Interesting. Apparently despite assurances to both campaigns, McCain and/or his staffers had an opportunity to preview all the questions by listening in to Obama’s talk. The last line, a protest from the McCain campaign, is very telling as well. Mmm, I loves me that Straight Talk.


8/18/08
Time in saddle: n/a (travel day)
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: 239.0
Currently reading: The Avatar by Poul Anderson

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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[books|writing] Working on Tourbillion

Finished the initial draft of the Tourbillion outline on this morning’s flight. It was an interesting experience. casacorona and I had discussed the book at WorldCon. I’ve known for quite a while I was going to write it, and had some basic plot and character stuff rolling around in my head. She and I were able to crystallize the structure and direction of the book pretty well.

In the days since, I’ve been walking around thinking, well, I need to get on this outline. I want to start drafting sometime in September, probably after I get back from San Francisco on the 14th. Which means I need the outline written, revised, reviewed and approved. Which means I need to write. So, well, I need to get on this outline.

Yesterday when I found myself cat waxing instead of working on it, I jumped in. Rather like stepping off a high board, as it always is. I have experienced a little bit of post-cancer anxiety about my ability to tackle this, but my experiences writing “In the Forests of the Night” back in July restored my confidence. Principle is fine, practicality lurked in the blinking cursor.

And then the damned thing pretty much wrote itself. Fred was ready to go, primed and waiting for me to hit the keyboard. As I said to casacorona, much of what this book needs to be is implied or mandated by the action and themse of the previous books. Yet I’ve also set myself some pretty problem, philosophically and plot-wise. Gonna be a lot of work to make it go the way it needs to be to satisfy my reader. And this is an initial draft of the outline. It hasn’t even gone to first readers yet. But I look at it and I am pleased.

One thing I know about myself (and casacorona does, too) is that my outlines are always full of handwavium. I know writers who drill down to an immense level of detail, writing 50, 75 even 100 manuscript pages of outline for a book which will be 600 manuscript pages in final form.

Not me. If I were going to do that, I’d just be writing the damned book.

At the same time, handwavium has its dangers. There needs to be enough direction and specificity for Tor to know what they’re buying into. I need enough thematic and character coherence to not jump the shark halfway through the process. But the virtues of handwavium are correspondingly manifold. It gives me room to run, to explore the story, to be surprised.

All in all, I think I’m where I need to be for today. And I’m quite pleased about this outline draft. It will go to first readers this afternoon, and sit in the drawer for at least a week or so, though I’d like to get the revised outline out to casacorona and arcaedia by Labor Day weekend.

In the meantime, I’ll tackle a short fiction project or two, and let my brain air out a bit more before I dive into full draft mode. Longtime readers of this blog know what I’m like in full draft mode. It will be interesting to see how much my experiences of this year have modified Fred’s behavior.

At any rate, I’ve stepped onto the slide. Book is being committed as of yesterday, and I feel good about it. Watch this space for more details.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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[sale] Fiction to tor.com, Paper Golem Press

Found out today that tor.com will be publishing my short story, “A Water Matter”, this fall. It’s in continuity with Green, and they’ve commissioned Green cover artist Dan Dos Santos to do an additional illustration for the short piece.

Also, untangled my email enough today to realize I’d placed short story “Fingers From the Hand of God” with Paper Golem Press for a forthcoming chapbook in support of the anthology Alembical, wherein my novella “America, Such As She Is” will appear.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.