February 2nd, 2010

can't sleep books will eat me

who needs love when there's southern comfort?

Wiktory! Also, virtuposity. Along with the morning cat attention time (having segregated animals means everybody has to have scheduled snuggle time) I accomplished the first of three scheduled writing sessions (write three pages or no breakfast for you, Bear!) for today, resulting in 771 words, bringing us to 56% of a novel.

(This is what 56% of a novel looks like)

56250 / 100000 words. 56% done!

Now for the rest of today's schedule, more or less in some kind of order:

Dog attention and possibly running
Pick up the cat's 'scrip at Walgreens (I love that her warning labels include "do not take when consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice at any time")
Swimming (and hot tub, omg)
Calling repair guy for laundry machines
More dog attention
Writing (another 750 words)
Running, if I do not just go do it now, which I probably will.
Writing (another 750 words)
Dog attention
Movie or something (Memento, maybe?)
Cat attention and sleeeeeeep

...ahh, the glamour.

Temperature this morning: 24 degrees
Tea today: Vanilla black tea
Teacup today: the Japanese one with the green characters
criminal minds reid bitchy

a little drop of poison in the red red blood

The Daily Commute 2010 02 02
teacup tonight: the blue and gold Chinese one I bought in Ann Arbor with colomon

tea tonight: liquorice spice
miles to Isengard: 147.1

228 / 400 pages. 57% done!

1471 words on Grail today, in two sittings, and a big chunk of The Steles of the Sky (677 words) because it mugged me at the gym today. And the Wrong Book is ever sexier and more fun than the Right Book.

Well, at least I am full of ideas for it.

The rest of the evening is going to be comprised of such exciting work as taking out the garbage and brushing the poor tormented neglected misunderstood dog while watching Memento. And eating some dinner, oh god.
criminal minds garcia technopeasant

don't have to speak anymore

Somebody just emailed to ask me, in light of Amazonfailers saying how overpaid (and wealthy and greedy) authors are, how long it takes me to write a book. She phrased it in terms of 40 hour work weeks.

I had to answer, I have no idea.

My schedule for today:

6:30 am: wake up, roll over, push cat off laptop and start writing Grail.
8:30 am: 771 words! Good enough. Time to quit and go for a run, do some yoga, shower, eat breakfast. (While running, work on plot elements for Shadow Unit.
9:30 am: back at the laptop, reading a book for review, answering business emails, waiting for mailman, proofreading galleys
12:00 pm: Run errands--bread, dental floss, vitamins, kitty drugs 
1:00 pm: Go to gym, swim, think about a scene for The Steles of the Sky.
2:00 pm: Eat a heck of a lot of sushi.
3:00 pm: Home, working. Write that scene for The Steles of the Sky (already written in my head.) Write another portion of the scene for Grail. Damn character still not dead.  Maybe tomorrow morning.
6:00 pm: Fuck this, I'm starving.
7:00 pm: Brush dog and watch Memento
9:30 pm: take out trash, take dog out, feed dog (OMG we need dogfood yesterday), crap cats have no water, can nobody in this place but me wash a dish?
10:00 pm: answer work emails, pet cats, back to reading that book for review. I thought I might get the review written tonight, and I still might, but I wrote this blog post instead.
Midnight: fall the hell over.

I get paid somewhere around $12,000 for a book. That's before my agent and the IRS get their cut. If you want to know how I write three books a year? That's how. If you want to know why I write three books a year....


You know what? It's a great job, but I'm in it for the love, not the money.

You know, publishing runs on tiny little margins. I happen to think a book that takes me something like three years of my life to write (albeit intermittently) is worth $15.99 if you want to read it as soon as it comes out. (And I also think $4.99 is a fair price for backlist.)

See, only about 10% of the cost of a book is paper and ink. There's all that effort that goes into it, too--the effort of people like me, and my editors, and my copyeditors, and the cover artists, and the book designers.

Every single one of those people has to pay rent and eat. Some of them, poor sots, live in Manhattan, because that's where they keep the publishing industry these days.

I'm a professional, with years of experience and practice behind me. I have a shiny rocketship or two and a couple of cheeseboards that say other people also think I'm halfway good at my job.

I am not a bestseller. I am a midlist author with no spouse, no means of support other than writing, and no family money. I work hard.

(I'm not actually interested in discussing this topic; nor am I interested in arguing it. As far as I'm concerned, the current slapfight is exactly as boring as every other slapfight I've ever seen, and I don't have time to moderate a slapfight. But I did think it would be nice to give a solid answer to the question "So how long does it take you to write a book?" So here it is, and I am taking the unusual step (for me) of screening comments from non-friends.)

And if you excuse me, I have to go read this book so I can turn in this damned book review.

ETA And it's one AM and I finished that book finally. Night, guys. </b>