In Which Our Heroine's Decision Makes Itself (But Your Reply Is Still Requested)

22 April 2004

I was talking about book edits in front of me for the next year while we ate lunch yesterday and made casual reference to Thermionic Night and Sampo. Timprov stared at me. "That's it," he said. "That's it, you've got it." I smiled, pleased. I thought I had it, and in fact I used it in conversation just a week or two ago. But after lo, these many moons, the Not The Moose Book has resolved itself into Thermionic Night and Sampo -- and, of course, Midnight Sun Rising, but we knew that was its own thing ages ago and even knew what it was provisionally called.

Which means I am probably about 100K from having drafted a trilogy. Yes, the t-word. Hell. The Not The Moose Trilogy, I suppose. I'll have to come up with something better along the way. It'll be hard, too, to stop referring to it as the Not The Moose or the NTMB. It'll be hard to remember to differentiate between Thermionic Night and Sampo, but they do have plot arcs all their own, with lovely things like beginnings and middles and (very soon now) ends. I won't get upset with any of you for calling it the Not The Moose, but you should probably remind me.

Thermionic Night, by the way, is very roughly drafted. I'm feeling curious about this. It's worse than when I accidentally wrote 3/4 of The Grey Road: I accidentally finished the very rough draft of a book months ago -- before we left California -- and made no mention of it, not just externally but internally. I forgot to tell myself. Then I kind of reminded myself, something along the lines of, "Didn't you need to RSVP to something? I was sure you needed to RSVP to something. What was it?" for days at a time, before smiting my forehead and shouting, "That party! From last week! Crap!" Usually I'm too organized to have this reaction, because I've got the invitation sitting on my desk and a note on my to do list for the week reading, "RSVP party by Tues." But it's that sort of feeling. Only with drafting a book.

This makes me feel more than a little lame.

So now I don't know what to do. I don't mean that I don't know what to do writing-wise: I know exactly what to do. I will finish typing in these stupid edits to Reprogramming, which aren't stupid at all and make it a better book, but whatever, typing. Then I will finish drafting Sampo, because of "Bull Durham." Because a player on a streak respects the streak, and now that I'm finally getting close to done, I'm not going to let myself get bogged down with edits and then sidetracked on the siren song of children's and YA and end up with the first book of a trilogy and the unfinished second and third books kind of hanging around the house looking pathetic. So when it comes to the writing, I'm pretty sure of what I'll be doing next.

No, I mean about the party. Or parties. Naturally. I've explained about the celebrations before. In the unbiased Mark system (because Mark generally does not write books, so he's our authority here), you get five celebrations: when you finish the draft, when you ship the thing off, when it sells, when it goes to press, and when it shows up in bookstores. Depending on your career situation, you may be celebrating the sale before the draft or the shipping off, but still: five. If you want 'em. Problem is, I already drafted this thing and didn't celebrate. Do I figure something out now? Do I just make sure it's a good big one when I finish Sampo? Do I decide to forego it entirely? (Oh yeah, a child of my parents foregoing a celebration. Suuuuuuure.)

Mark's talked about having an acquisition party, now that his company is well and thoroughly purchased. I could roll it together with that, I suppose. Anyway, write and let me know what you think I should do now that I know this is the rough draft of a book (at 120K, I shouldn't have been surprised) and not of a book fragment. About the all-too-vital party question. Write! Tell me your opinion! Inquiring Mrissas etc. etc.! Yes, I mean you!

Today's plans involve more stupid typing, reading Sethra Lavode, meeting Stella and Lydy for lunch, more stupid typing, more reading Sethra Lavode, making dinner, and I think you can fill in the planned activities for the evening without any further help from me. No? Oh, all right: stupid typing. Reading Sethra Lavode.

Just to keep things interesting, I may even throw a little laundry in there. But don't count on that kind of excitement here every day.

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