Two More

20 August 2002

Days left to deadline: 11.

Days left to final draft goal date: 9.

Days left to first draft goal date: 2.

Pages of The World Builders written (total): 118.

I have two scenes left. I'm going to finish the rough draft today. Woohoo! I'm sending it out to the people who have volunteered to read it essentially in rough draft form. I figure it's more important to find out what they think about any possible large issues than to have the phrasing perfect when they see it; I can mess with that while they read. I'm pretty excited about finishing this draft up. It's two weeks from when I started, exactly. Two very, very focused, manic weeks.

I keep finding pennies around our apartment complex. I've found thirteen of them in the last week. All but one heads up. It seems strange to have so many in the same area in such a small time frame, and the spec writer brain can't seem to leave it alone, but I also don't have anything specific I want to do with it yet. Hmm.

Also, yesterday afternoon I heard from my editor for The Chinese Americans and The Jewish Americans. They're shipping my author copies of The Jewish Americans -- it was just a mistake that I hadn't gotten them previously -- and also some extras for my grandma. And! Jim (the editor in question) wants me to do two more books for him on contract this year. The contracts are speeding through the USPS (hah) towards me. They're for older kids than The Chinese Americans and The Jewish Americans, late junior high and early high school age. Longer, more detailed books; better pay. It's another series about immigration, this time limited to immigration since 1965 (when the laws changed here), and this time my books will be about Chinese and Soviet/former Soviet immigrants to the U.S. and Canada. I will be scouring the library here, then the Hayward State library, and probably the Stanford library after that. Let me know if you have any book, article, or website recommendations on these topics.

I'm pretty excited about this. The money will be quite, quite useful. And essentially I get paid to learn stuff again. That's pretty cool. And, well, it's more books for me to write. And even though I don't count The Chinese Americans and The Jewish Americans when people ask me how many books I've written, it feels awfully good to hold a copy and run my finger along the spine where it says my name and know that it's my book, that I made it exist, the words in it are mine. I like writing the specific books that I write, the fiction that bubbles up from my brain. But I also just like writing books, and if people are willing to pay me to write some books, okay. Good, even. I like the mental and physical act of writing them, not just the content.

It's going to be a busy time, though, this coming season, whatever you call September through December when you don't have either fall or winter. It's going to be a busy Wet. Probably segueing into a busy Dry next year, too.

In the meantime, I have discovered a happy free interlibrary loan and requested some research materials. Hurrah. And I have two more scenes to write. So if you'll excuse me....

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