Lee has spent a considerable (and considerate) amount of time setting up the computer IN MY OFFICE for me.


I can’t tell you how good this feels, how nerve-wrackingly good.

I had been trying to pick out the perfect desk, but I abandoned that plan in favor of a cheap-ass-but-for-all-practical-purposes-perfect desk. The room is filled with that je ne sais quoi, that new office chair smell, full of chlorofluorocarbons, burnt rubber, and promise.

I tell you, I love plowing into the unpredictability that is hustling for freelance jobs, even the parts where you go, “I’m never doing that again” and mean it. I love trying to figure what the hell keeps going wrong with the beginning of Alien Blue. I love struggling to find the time to edit the short story I wrote. My life is full of love and teeth filed to sharp points at all the possibilities.

Writing updates:

  • I sent off the draft characters for the murder mystery expansion pack, Hollywood Lies. Editor said, “Great! I’m off for Easter break. I’ll get back to you.” I feel like I got a free snow day, only it’ll probably go on until 13 April. Cast size: 23-33 people. I’m scared to try to run this.
  • I’ve been considering the updates for Alien Blue, and rereading Nancy Kress’s Beginnings, Middles, and Ends. Why don’t I care for her writing as much as I like her advice? Why am I getting so much more from reading the book this time around? I rewrote the prologue, adding more to the beginning. “Why doesn’t the beginning make sense?” “Because you didn’t set it up.” I’m a guy out in the middle of a corn field hearing the voices say, “If you set it up, they will read it.” Just have faith, Martha. I know it seems crazy…
  • Considering a change to the middle, with the Good Doctor. Because I know he needs to be there; I know why he needs to be there; I just don’t know how the hell to make that make sense. In a story where various people are trying to figure out what “human” is, exactly, it helps to have a monster to compare and contrast. Also, when you scrape down the plot to the actual story, he’s a linchpin. Again, how to set that up? Er…
  • I’m going to take Richard’s advice on the ending. Even though I’m planning for another book (Blue Spirits, maybe?), his suggestion will make the climax more effective. Things fall apart, but before they do, a last stand should be taken.
  • No updates on the Greece story.
  • Haven’t finished editing writer group stuff. Shit shit shit. I will take it with to Ray’s swimming lessons. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when your sense of duty says “SIT STILL.”
  • April Write Brain is 21 April. Planning to go and practice pitching.
  • Going to PPWC this year, April 23-26. I’m taking the extra-day option, with the advanced class, on marketing. I think: WHAT IF THEY SEE THROUGH THE FACADE? I’m not advanced! But I already sat through the Write Brains related to the middle-level class. Damn it, I will take the advanced class! I will be advanced! The PayPal bill has already been paid!
  • The book is getting pitched at the conference and sent out shortly afterwards to a short list of agents. I’m also going to send the query to Query Shark, which I have been reading with little exclamation points in my eyes.
  • After that, I’m going to consider myself having graduated from the beginners class, finally and aboslutely. 1) I write and edit for a living. 2) I make a profit freelancing (including the new office setup). 3) Alien Blue doesn’t suck. 4) I HAVE AN OFFICE!!11!!
  • The next steps have yet to be specifically determined, but will include figuring out a business model, getting word out, and hustling my ass off. And figuring out what I can do for people besides stroke my own ego. I’ve always felt that what I write is to try to say things that need to be heard, but can’t be said directly without ruining them, like “We are all in this together” and “You’re stronger than you think.” But is that right? Is that entirely right? Is that all of it, or is there something else?

Okay, time to pretend to be human, or at least make sure I can access the music files across the network.