In Which The Next Stage Is Recognizable

5 June 2003

I recognize this part of writing, this mood, this stage. I'm a little surprised, but not too much: this usually comes towards the very end of the book. Now it's coming towards the very end of the section, which has some closure of its own and is longer than any of my previous books including Reprogramming. (It will become two sections eventually, but it hasn't gotten there yet.)

I'm glad I don't have to wait until the end of the next section (or two) for this feeling. It's a good one to have: brisk, cheerful, competent, ready to work, glad to work. It's the "I know there's a lot of editing to do here, but it'll be all right, I can do it" feeling.

This is how I've learned to write books: not by what to do next, but by what stage I'm on. They're fairly predictable. This phase that I'm at right now has happened here for Dwarf's Blood Mead, and here, in somewhat manic mode, for The World Builders, and here, a bit, for Reprogramming. And that's all the books I've written since I started this journal. And they felt just like this, basically.

(Looking at the entries for The World Builders, I kept thinking, ohhhhh, I should do another one-month YA. That was so cool. But this is not the time for it. Not not not. Maybe when we're safely installed at home. Maybe not even then, though. Aiii, I even know which one I'd do. It'd be another SF one, the Europa thing, it'd be good. But no! Not time for that. Must -- fight -- icy -- adventure -- urges.)

The good thing about the stages of writing books is that when I get to the "this book sucks worse than anything that's ever been written, and I can't possibly show it to anybody, much less anybody I respect" stage, I can remind myself that it passes. That's good perspective to have.

But for now, onwards and upwards. Further up and further in? Maybe not Narnia and the North, but the North at the very least.

Oh dear. I just realized the implications of the Europa YA: it's yet another snowy wintry thing. It's like the solar system equivalent of the north. Pretty cracked-ice mountains...I wonder if I'll get over this when I move home to seasons. Maybe then I'll be able to write the adapted Hawaiian myth short story. It can't snow in my brain all the time. And it also can't alternate snow and midnight sun.

(That's an order, brain.)

I finished with the Jonathan Franzen essays. That man is quite talented at manufacturing his own misery. Then I started reading Diana Wynne Jones' Year of the Griffin, and for some reason, I'm really charmed by this book. I generally like her books, or I wouldn't keep reading more of them. For the most part, this is Another Magic School story, so I'm not really sure why it's catching me in particular. Maybe I'm just in the mood to like stuff in the last few days.

It's a good mood to be in. Hmmm. Maybe the cherry tomatoes are to blame.

Plenty of stuff on the list, of course of course. Even though I've been doing things from it right and left all week. I'm heading up to David's for lunch, and when I come back, more on the book, something cooked with peppers, and various and sundry tasks. But mostly more on the book. I'm looking forward to it. People being devious all over. It'll be fun.

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