The Writing Life: Income, Revisited

For those following the on-going discussion of Nurture vs. Nature Hobby vs. Honest Labor (also here), I report that the last of the outstanding checks arrived yesterday, my half of which was enough to flip the score from Honest Labor by a modest lead to Hobby by a slightly-more-modest lead.  The check that just arrived would itself  have covered six weeks of the day-job’s summer take-home.

This will flip again — the day-job has four months of full-time pay to deliver (assuming inertia and the continuing failure of a reputable  film company to offer an option).  The Hobby, on the other hand, has another royalty payment period fast approaching, and, assuming we get Ghost Ship delivered anytime this millenium, there could be some D&A money coming in before the end of the year.

Yesterday, we met Steve’s brother and wife in Augusta (where they had broken this year’s edition of the annual journey to Bar Harbor) for breakfast and family catch-up, then took a lovely and leisurely drive down Route 9 to look at a house that will not, I’m afraid, Do. On the wending way back home, we stopped at a wine tasting, and at B&N, arriving home too late to do anything about those nice checks, had pizza and wine for dinner.  It was a very pleasant day.

This morning, Hexapuma has already been the vet for his third and hopefully final shot to deal with the eosinophilic plaque, Steve has fixed my printer, and I’ve got some writing to do.

See y’all later.

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I wanna try something that I never had; Look out world, I’m about to be bad

So, the day-job.  Busy today, in a non-frenzied way.  I had, alas, hoped to have time to write some correspondence, so I could write fiction when I came home.  Alas, no correspondence written at work, so — no Ghost Ship words at home.

Man, I need a wife.

Have I mentioned here that I subscribed to Pandora and set up Radio Rolanni?  The mix of music is, um, eclectic.  Today, I not only heard “Bad” by Kristy MacColl, immortalized in the title, but two different versions of “Night on Bald Mountain.”

The repeat didn’t bother me; I like “Night on Bald Mountain.”  What was. . .interesting was a point of execution.

For those who don’t know the story, there is a “witches sabbath” taking place on Bald Mountain, and it’s just as noisy and as raucous as you’d imagine, what with the demons, and the rum, and the demon rum, and the karaoke, and kids today, where will it all end?  At one point during the night, a church bell suddenly sounds, and the whole party falls Dead. Silent.  as if the witches and their demon dates are looking over their shoulders for Mom, or maybe the Yeti, before they resume their revelries.

In today’s first version, which was done by a Russian orchestra of some flavor, the church bell is like the silver tone you might get from a bell on the harness of an elf lord’s mount, so impossibly frail and distant that the party on the mountain couldn’t possibly have heard it.  The fact that they did, and for a moment stopped, was. . .unexpectedly moving.

The day’s second offering was from the Chicago Orchestra. Their church bell sounded like an axe.  No way you’re missing that baby, it don’t  matter how high you got the karaoke box dialed.  And it was not as moving.  In Chicago, the church is a contender — a player.  In Russia, it’s a pretty fantasy,  regarded, perhaps, for the memory of  its power, which is now fading.

So, that’s what I got today.  Tomorrow is more day-job, then a three-day weekend.  Monday, I start back full-time.  Maybe I’ll have a writing blitz on the weekend and finish that first draft.

It could happen.


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Code monkey get up, get coffee; code monkey go to job

Today, Steve had business in Skowhegan, so we took off after breakfast to accomplish it.  After, it being a Day Like No Other, we drove north, stopping for a snack at the Scenic Overlook Only Locals Know about, in East Madison, or possibly it’s just over the Solon border.  Gorgeous views of the near and slightly far mountains — you people over there, stop laughing.  To us, they’re mountains.  And today, they were breathtaking.

Having decided that we hadn’t seen enough, we continued driving in a northerly direction, thinking at one point to cross at Jackman, drive a short stretch through Canada and re-enter at Coburn Gore.  Reason — or, at least, the need to write and catch up some other tasks at home — prevailed.  We stopped at Bishop’s Store in Jackman, topped off the gas tank, took on snacks and turned around, arriving at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory shortly after 3.

Having now done business, played hookey, and been responsible — all in one day! — I’m going to finish up this blog post and go for a walk in the delightful evening.

Tomorrow, the day-job!

Progress on Ghost Ship:

80,319 words/100,000 OR 80.32% completed

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Wrappin’ up the day

Hexapuma celebrated his birthday by napping, falling out of the top of the bedroom closet, and napping some more.  He directs me to thank all of his fans for their good wishes on his birthday, and plans to have another one, tomorrow.

I apparently mis-added last night’s wordage somehow, so I’m not quite as far along as I thought I was yesterday.  For a brief, heady moment there, I thought I’d broken 80K today.  Alas, that is for tomorrow.

Hereabouts, it didn’t rain for most of the day, then did, unsatisfactorily.  We could use a real soaker, here, Rain Gods.  Just sayin’

Progress on Ghost Ship (no, really):

79,238 words/100,000 OR 79.24% completed

She sighed and used her chin to point at his hands, that he was still rubbing with the rag.

“Have you decided if you’re going to shoot me?”

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Sunday, you say?

Lots of exciting things happened today, but almost all of them in Ghost Ship land, which really leaves me not much to talk about.  The Leewit’s new battery worked all day, chomping down over 4,000 words and still has 64% power left, which I call impressive.  The next test is to run it with the wifi on and see how many hours of life we have.

And!  Lest I forget — tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of Hexapuma’s birth.  I trust that you will celebrate appropriately.

Progress on Ghost Ship:

79,494 words/100,000 OR 79.49% completed


317 pages/400

. . .yeah, this is going to take more than 100,000 words, but! Since I have no clue how much more, we’ll just keep the clock set like it has been and run overage when the time comes.

Ghod, I’m glad this writing thing is a Science.

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Book covers, the continuing saga

As we’ve seen in discussions here, opinions about cover art, what’s good, what’s not, seem to vary by the beholder.  I can’t recall ever being so embarrassed by a book’s cover that I couldn’t read it on the bus or at the park or at work, but I’m demonstrably not as sensitive as some.

Anyhow!  A friend has put together a poll about genre cover art over here.  If you have an opinion — and you know you do! — go on over and weigh in!

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About that book launch. . .

Wednesday afternoon, after work, Steve and I drove down to Old Orchard Beach to talk to Jeanne, owner-operator of Beggar’s Ride art gallery (which is just full of interesting and beautiful art; if you’re anywhere near OOB, it’s worth your while to make a detour and visit).

Short form:  Jeanne is almost as excited as I am about the idea of launching Carousel Tides at Old Orchard Beach; she and I agree that Beggar’s Ride is the perfect venue for a launch party; lists have been made and contacts are being pursued.

Target launch party date: Saturday, October 30, Halloween Eve, which used to be dignified as Mischief Night in my hometown.  I think the trenvay of Archers Beach would approve.

There are still pieces to pull together, and no idea how big this will be.  At the very least, we’ll have wine and cheese and friends celebrating the fruition of a project that’s been close to my heart for many years.  At the very most, we’ll have dancing in the streets, and free rides on the batwing horse.

Mark your calendars:  Saturday, October 30, Beggars Ride Gallery, 39 Old Orchard Street, Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  Time to be determined.  Watch this space for details.

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No le gusta caminar; no puede montar a caballo

And today ends the 19-day write-a-thon.

Of those 19 days, I took three days “off,” by which I mean I didn’t write down any words for Ghost Ship.  On July 27, I had 45,380 words in manuscript, today at the end of my brain I have 73,441, for a net gain of 28,061.  Only 21,342 were Brand New Words; the other 6,719 were words previously written, excised, and retrofitted into the new manuscript.  So, that averages 1,334 words, or a little over five pages, a day.

I’d feel a little better if those were finished words/pages, but this one’s going to need a lot of editing.

All that said, I have, I think, five more scenes to write; I know what they are and their basic shape, and! the day-job is still on the two-day-a-week schedule until August 30, so I still have nine more full days available to me before the perfessers realize that Admin actually is going to make them teach in the fall and all hell breaks loose.

It’s gonna be tight, but I think I can meet the extended deadline.

It’s also gonna be a little rough on the perfessers because Secretary Brain is a far different beast than Writer Brain, and I can’t afford to turn Writer Brain off right now.  Hopefully, all faculty will be enjoying their last weeks of freedom at the pool, or in the archives, or wherever it is that they’re happiest, and won’t be on the hall.

In other news — Does Starbucks really insist that you speak Starbucks Speak  in their cafes or risk not getting served and having the police called on you?  I don’t do Starbucks much, but I’m thinking it’s time to start calling a Small a Small.

And! A group of guy perfessers discover that leaving your devices behind and just living in the moment may be good for your brain.

I hope everyone has a pleasant evening.

Progress on Ghost Ship

73,441 words/100,000 OR 73.44% completed

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