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bear by san

March 2017

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sf doctor who meant to be?

everybody dies famous in a small town

Never has the subtitle of this blog (it's a great life if you don't weaken) felt more appropriate. Jeepers.

The progress notes will be informal today.

I was going to give myself a day off from running today, but I woke up at 6 am raring to go, so I got up and drank some water and answered my email and put my shoes on. I jogged the entire first mile (at a crawl, mind you) with the exception of the first two blocks, which I walked as a warmup. It was cold out--widget on my taskbar says 28 degrees F--and since I was out there by 7:20, the light was beautiful. Still, a whole mile! My cardio was great at the end of it, too--I took five minutes to stretch and recover, but I didn't really need them. I did make myself stretch for the whole five minutes though, temptations aside.

And then I ran/walked back on fire hydrant intervals (five of them) and took the last three blocks as a cool down. Time out: 16 minutes. Time back: 13 minutes. So when I say that joggy bit was a crawl, it was a crawl.

I was pretty ineffectual at the climbing gym last night--four routes, including a 5.7 I didn't finish. There's a traverse out from under a corner that is killing me. Also, I did a 5.5 with a small overhang that was the first route I ever sent, way back wen, and did not fall off the place where I always fall off. (Yeah, it's only a 5.5, but it's a 5.5 that involves dragging yourself out from under a corner with only one foothold, which is in a bad place.) Scraped up my right arm pretty good falling off a climb on the slab wall, but got back on the horse and finished it. Go team me.

The climbs helped break up the lingering anxiety. Some of it was back this morning, but I'm hoping the run will have taken it out of me. And I have PT today, and ashacat and I are going to see Jonathan Coulton tonight, so--those will also help.

On to the stuff that may actually interest some of you. I talked to my agent last night and got permission to suspend work on Chill for a while. Whether this means I won't make the June 1 deadline or not, I don't know yet. We'll see what happens in May. But I'm giving the book the rest of April to percolate, in the hopes that that will help me work through some of my issues surrounding it.

In further proof that it is, in fact, this damned novel that is killing me, I woke up this morning not only in a mood to write, but with a head full of stuff for the scene in "Ballistic" that I was swearing only yesterday I could in no wise write, for lo I was a burnout case and probably should be taken out behind the chemical sheds and put out of everyone's misery. I also figured out in the car last night (I should really list the Moby Smurfberry as my co-author, I do so much thinking in that buggy) one of the things that is turning Chill into such a fucking nightmare of a novel to write, why I keep glancing off its surface, and why I feel like I can't get into any of the characters at all.

Because the thematic arc that I find myself swearing up and down the book doesn't actually have is there, buried, and it's all about a bunch of people who grew up in a tremendously abusive, exploitive household, and the ways those experiences have affected them.

So here I am, writing all these damaged beauties, and no wonder my subconscious really doesn't want to let me inside their heads right now, considering what the last two years of my own headspace have entailed.

Stupid books as therapy. I dudn't want therapy. I just wanted a nice block of flats rollicking adventure novel.

Permission not to be working on the manuscript feels like somebody pulled a giant wodge of Kleenex out of my brain. Stupid book I am not ready to write yet. Why can't you be more like your brother?

And hey, I only have about 150 pages left to write. When it comes unstuck, I can do that standing on my head, right? :-P

Anyway, I have three sets of page proofs this moth, and two conventions, so It's not like there won't be enough work to keep me busy. And maybe the b&#k can use that time productively, to sort out its issues, so when we try to get back together there's a chance we can make this thing work.

233.9 miles to Lothlorien

And now I am going to go take off this sports bra before it cuts off circulation to my brain, and shower, and practice guitar before I go to PT.

Comments

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Yay break! Good for you. Breathe now. It sounds like you already are.
Stupid book. Messing with my superhuman.
Out of curiosity, why not kilometres to Lothlorien?
Because I am an American.
Hurray!
Anyway, I have three sets of page proofs this moth, and two conventions, so It's not like there won't be enough work to keep me busy.

Yay!!! Penguicon!!!!

And this:

Permission not to be working on the manuscript feels like somebody pulled a giant wodge of Kleenex out of my brain.

Oh, I know that feeling.
YAY Break!

BTW, I finished Blood and Iron and I'm currently in the middle of Whiskey and Water and loving both of them.

Dust is in the queue once I finish. :)
Yay! Glad it is making you happy!

Are you mad?!

28F outside and you go for a jog?!

Masochist!
Masochist!Author!

*ahem*

Re: Are you mad?!

It was a little warm for it.
I love reading about your rock climbing and running. I've been slowly (heh- key word being slowly!) rediscovering my love affair with running. The years I spent away from it somehow made me forget how cleansing and refreshing it could be.

Glad you can take a break from Chill. Thanks for letting us share the whole writing process through your blog - both the good times of progress and the rough periods.
I am so happy for you -- no one should be forced to write a book that isn't working that badly (er, you know what I mean), and is breaking them to that extent.

I hate asking for extensions; I feel like a complete failure and a whiny wuss, (despite the fact that my editor cheerfully grants them to me because my drop-dead-dates are well in the mists of the future). Health problems and the inability to pin down the theme of this book have been screwing me up this time round so I have two extra weeks... which are two extra weeks to worry and stress as well as two extra weeks to work. I can't win.

Your editor sounds wonderfully understanding. Yay for understanding editors! And yay for being able to give books/brains some time alone to work out their issues.
You've got a good agent! Virtual chocolate sent.

Good luck on the PT. I had to start that joy again last week - one should not fall on one's left shoulder while doing high speed downhill ski racing training. Especially at age 52.
Jonathan Coulton!!!! :-)

I'm happy you're getting the break you need. Dust rocked. I want Chill to rock, too, but not at the expense of your sanity!

Oh, and Shadow Unit is still making me a happy little geek boy. I want to win the lottery and start a production company, 'cos this stuff is definitely better than most of what's been on TV.
Thanks. *g*
I'm glad that the breathing space kicked things loose for you. Dust is an awesome book, and I am glad to have read it. You have a tremendous amount of skill, and I really enjoy your work. I'm currently starting to read Carnival. I also really appreciate hearing about the writing process. Even if I use different things, I still learn from hearing what good writers do.

Also? I am getting the local readers here hooked too.
Alas. I still mostly just want to be done, but sometimes that doesn't work that way.
Oh, I'm so delighted for you!

And I respect you for knowing what you need, and getting it.
My current WIP was almost as bad as yours. Every sentence was like pulling teeth.

300 pages in and I realized I was working with the wrong theme. 325 pages in and I knew I had the wrong villain.

Only then did everything fall into place.

I feel for you. Hope you have a few chompers left.
Yeah, like that.

Stupid book.
Good work, Bear!

Glad Chill will, um, chill for a while and you'll get some mental recreational time. Ah, freedom!
Your blog is so interesting to read, and I am embarrassed to admit I have never read one of your novels, just your short stories. (I have a hard time finishing novels, I do better with stuff I can pick up and read in an hour.) I have a 30% off coupon. I am going out to buy a novel. Today.
Well, thank you. There is no requirement that you read my books, mind you. *g*
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