Drafting One’s Way


Finished up the first draft of the second Nickolas Caspian story tonight (the first one can be found in Vol 1 of The Misfit Library). Introduced the first hints of the bigger canvas and brought in some of the secondary characters who are going to be running about the world with Nick and his fucked up eyeball. Got some fun plans for Nick and Glory and Brutus, and I’ll just keep on doling them out piecemeal so as to feed my need for monster stories.

I should have been working on the rewrite plan for SOULS but finishing the draft of this has been a good opportunity for me to figure out my new writing arrangements. We’re still terribly unfinished in the unpacking business (not to mention still working on selling the old house) and we haven’t had the time or energy to find our work zones yet. So I’m snatching writing time when I can, where I can. Wrote half-sentences while in a stupor today on the train rides and banged out 500 words during lunch. Probably should have been cleaning the toilets at the old place while I was over there watering tonight but I just really wanted to get something done so I didn’t feel I was completely off-schedule. (Next time, really, I get the crappers. Really.)

I hate writing in 500 word blocks. There is so little time to actually get anything done before you have to close up and leave. It has been a tiny version of how I wrote SOULS: think through the next section and sketch it out when I’m not writing, write it quickly and expediently when I can, leave myself hanging on the next bit and continue. Though, while I was working on chapter length sections before, now I’m stuck with partial scenes. It’s an ugly way to write and I hope it’ll all work itself out once we get more firmly settled.

But it is progress. I just have to find time for it every day and do what I can. The math speaks for itself if you are consistent and regular. Bursts of speed writing must give way to regular infrequencies.

Ah, my very own oxymoron. That does sum up how I feel.

In translating Starbucks Speak, “Marionberry” means “Death”


There’s a Starbucks on the way to work (which isn’t saying anything truly revolutionary in this neighborhood; the real surprise is that there is only one). It’s inconvenient enough when you’re driving that it doesn’t distract much, but as a walker, I have to be careful to cross the street further up the block or the damn place can suck me in. Here in the PacNo, the seduction comes from the Top Pot Donuts. Most of the Top Pot line isn’t very good — heavy on the frosting, equally heavy on the grease — but their apple fritters are as divinely light and fluffy as their cake donuts are grease bombs. In the past, they’ve been easy to dodge — there have been only three or four places to get Top Pot. Oh no, not anymore. Every Starbucks in the land carries them now.

Though, this morning when I asked for an apple fritter, the perky counter girl said. “They’re marionberry.” Why does Starbucks have to fuck up every good thing? Coffee is fine; it doesn’t need to be a twisted mochachino venti almond butter nougat latte. And an apple fritter is perfectly fine without being subjected to strange berry substitutions.

This is what I get for not crossing the street earlier. And, not surprisingly, marionberries are apparently filled with so much sugar that I’m bound to be catatonic most of the day. I’ve got a bit of CSS code to stare at again today that I couldn’t get working yesterday (fucking IE and its idiosyncrasies) and with the dull synaptic connections I’ve got going on right now, it’s going to be a long day of banging keys and getting nowhere.

Though I did get an email from Kris at Scribe this morning say he had sent off press releases to Locus, Publisher’s Weekly and SF Age announcing my signing on with them. It’s not the sort of news that is going to make anyone at those places leap out of their chairs and shout, “Holy Shit! They signed him!” Still, it’s a nice sentence that I don’t get to say very often.