Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Maybe two beers!

7k words tonight. 94k total. Book's done.

I'm going to go have a beer now, and probably sleep in tomorrow.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You have eighteen seconds. What do you do?

Passed 87k words tonight, and somewhere into chapter 20. I had originally planned for there to be 18 chapters, but the closer to the end I got, the longer the book became. I might be able to finish in 21, but 22 seems like a more realistic number now. I despair of getting this done by the end of weekend. But it is a *long* weekend, now isn't it? At the very least, I need to get this finished because I have an outline due on another project by end of month, and I don't want to just slap that out.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


1700 words tonight. Not gangbusters, considering how much some people do in a day, and considering how much I've been able to do in the past. But pretty good for conditions. Just have to keep that pace for the week, and it'll be done on Friday. You hear me, cruel fate! Friday! In your FACE.

Please do not think of this as taunting, Fate. I'd rather we all be friends.

*I just did the math. I'll have to do almost 2400 a night for the rest of the week to finish on Friday. Swell.

If you're keeping track. I'm not.

82k words, with two chapters to go. So close I can taste it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A complicated house

I've talked before about how I've got a very visual imagination. One of the reasons I can't really watch horror movies is that I have trouble sleeping for weeks afterwards. Not that I'm scared, particularly, but because the visuals lodge into my brain and give me king-fuck nightmares, the kind of thing you just don't sleep through, and don't go back to sleep after.

The nice part of this is that my regular dreams are pretty sharp, and always very layered. Last night I dreamt that I was in this house, as part of some noble family caught in an internecine squabble. Every room in the house had certain aspects, four or five, and as an individual you would be allied to some aspects and opposed by others. Moving through rooms meant negotiating with the room's aspects to gain safe passage. Objects in each of the rooms would be associated with one of the aspects.

In the middle of all this moving around and negotiating, the house had become infected with a malevolent spirit. The spirit would take over some of the aspects in a room, corrupting them. When that happened, the objects in the room that were associated with the infected aspect turned pitch-black, night black, like they had been cut out of the universe and left a hole behind that showed the dark matter of creation.

To fix it, an associate and I had to go through the courtyard in the middle of house. It was a lovely, traditional old estate garden, with hedge mazes and latticework corridors and all that. The courtyard only had two aspects; Full Moon and Crescent Moon. Unusual, because most places have twice as many aspects, and also because both aspects are so closely related. The Crescent Moon was infected, too, so it was likely that Full Moon would become infected. My associate wasn't worried about it, felt that we'd be able to travel through easily because we were strongly allied to Full Moon, but I was worried because we didn't know how the infection moved, or how quickly, or even what happened if you were in a room when all the aspects went black.

Because of its aspects, it was always night in this courtyard. What stuck in my head, when I woke up, was this image. Walking out into the garden through a set of french doors, the gravel crunching under our feet. There's a fountain in the middle of the courtyard, and hovering over the fountain are the aspects...a diamond white full moon, with a dead black crescent cut out of it. Just the beauty of that, the light and the dark, the soft twilight garden. It woke me up. I wish I could have stayed, to see where it went, but at least I have the image. And now you have it to. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

You need to roll doubles to kill that thing

Finished chapter 18 tonight. I swear, the late stages of this thing are taking longer than I wanted. Good news is that I've caught up in my typing with the handwritten portion. Means that the rest of the book will go straight into electronic. It's good.

Here's the greatest landscaping story ever told. My wife and I were going to see Iron Man on Saturday morning, because we're cheap and we don't like crowds of people. As we walked out our front door, our neighbor Bob walked up and asked for some help. He had gotten his car stuck in his driveway. So, yes, we walked over and saw that is brand new Acura TL was in his driveway, and it was stuck. It was perpendicular to the way you expect to see a car in a driveway, that is, parallel to the road. The front wheels were off the driveway, and had sunk in to the mud. It didn't used to be mud, but they have a drainage problem because their builder was a doof and didn't build a proper ditch, so there's all this drowning grass where you or I or any sane homeowner would have a drainage ditch. Add one front wheel drive Acura TL, and you get mud.

So Jen got in the car and Bob and I pushed and, surprise, nothing happened. We'd get one wheel so that it was rolling up onto the concrete drive, but then the differential would kick in and it would lose power, and the other wheel just dug in to the mud. Couldn't go forward either, because that wheel had dug itself a nice little trench of mud. Eventually I got a plank out of my garage, another neighbor showed up, and the four of us got the car out.

You remember that I called this the greatest landscaping story ever? How did he get stuck? He was landscaping. With his car. He wanted to create a ditch for drainage, and thought he could just drive his car over his lawn a couple times, and that would do the trick. So yes. Greatest story ever.

Meanwhile, my lawnmower died and my grass is already too tall. It'll be at least a week before it gets repaired. In the meantime, my grass keeps growing. I'd borrow a mower from my neighbors, except they all have lawn services. Right. Rolling on.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The rain falls all the way down

There were at least a dozen times last week that I thought "Ah, I should post about that" but then never did because time gets away. Or I'm lazy. Something. The point is, I had some interesting things to talk about, but you'll just have to take my word on that because I've forgotten most of them. Deeply relevant topics. Conversation starters. The world is poorer, for their lack.

I hope that the first draft will go to beta readers by end of week. Any volunteers? I need a good turnaround time, because I'll have the revisions done by mid-June. I feel like I've learned a lot, writing this book, but I don't feel like I can apply these lessons to this one because the damn thing is done. What I've learned has to do with how you set up a novel, plan it out, think about the whole thing and then start working on the narrative. You can't do that retroactively. So I'm hoping this one holds together, but who knows. Not me! Not this guy!

I'm not big into summer. I remember liking summer as a child, and I got along with it okay in college, but somewhere along the way I just stopped enjoying myself. Then again, that may have less to do with summer and more to do with me. It's okay summer, it's not your fault. It's me. Always me.