Noah’s Boy Is Off My Desk

And I’m going to try to do Witchfinder’s end ASAP.  I have everything fixed in my head, how it goes, but I still feel as if my brain is bruised (eh) so it might be tomorrow afternoon before it’s up.  I’m going to try to do it (or at least a fair chunk of it) today after I shower and do the litter boxes (which smell radioactive, if you know what I mean) today.

I’ve been trying to think why NB was so hard to finish, and why it took me so long to figure out what the ending was, and …

The thing is, as with most of my characteristics, you can’t say “she’s this.”  It’s more “She’s this but–”  Not that I’m not a very decided person, but … I tend to complicate things (possibly due to overthinking.)

For instance, you can’t really say I’m outspoken, because I spent 20 years not discussing anything that might upset anyone else.  Yes, part of this was because my job depended on people not knowing too much about my opinions, because the other side of this equation (if I can be said to be on a side) confuses politics with moral redemption and therefore views different opinions (which in the end amount to believing in a different way to make things as good as possible for most people) as evil.  It’s not a coincidence that more and more mysteries end up with “the murderer was insane” or that so many antagonists in a fantasy are possessed before they take a different road from what the character wants.

I did this, myself, in my first written novel.  Of course I was raised very left, simply by virtue of being brought up in Europe.  The pieties filter in, and you have this idea that it’s perfectly clear what’s good and what’s bad: compassion for everyone is good; cutting endless slack to those who do wrong (particularly if it’s very, very wrong in the traditional sense, like murder, theft, or child abuse, but also if it’s a sin of extreme selfishness like refusing to bathe or using up all your money on drugs) is good because, well, they’re victims of society, having tons of sex with lots of different people is good (you wouldn’t want to repress it, now, would you, besides the natural man is the noble savage and therefore good), and things like wanting to have money and material security is evil, wanting to live in a comfortable home is evil, wanting your children to behave politely in public is evil (so repressing!), being good at the sort of job where you supervise a lot of people is evil (so authoritarian!), military is evil (because if you don’t attack people, no one attacks you) and judging other people for their behavior and culture is the ULTIMATE evil.

This type of low grade “poison” seeps into your brain.  It’s all very clear cut and doesn’t account for individual variations or people.  It doesn’t account, for instance, for the person who runs a large factory doing it not because he’s in love with telling other people what to do (the ones who are are actually lousy managers) but simply managing this because his family depends on it to live.  It doesn’t account for the person who doesn’t bathe being, not a natural man, but a sadist, who likes to watch his polite circle trying to ignore his offensive odor, it doesn’t account for the fact that most of us are not victims of society but ourselves.  (Oh, all of us are influenced by society, for good an ill.  BUT in the end we’re thinking, reason-endowed beings who choose our own path.)  The Military is very needed and very praiseworthy in defense of freedom, in a world that is hostile to it.  And if we choose to murder or steal or do evil things to innocents, we are in fact doing what pleases and making OTHERS the victims.  We don’t deserve sympathy.  Victims do.

Anyway, the problem as an artist is that when you have these categories fixed in your mind, you can’t really create an approximation of life.  You hear no villain is a villain in his own mind, but having been brought up to see things in stark black and white you can’t see how anyone could disagree.  (Until you start reading history and economics, which, children, has been my downfall and brought me over to the dark side.  Living doesn’t help, either, and meeting real people not the cardboard cutouts the leftist pieties imply.)

So the only way I could think to make someone go against my enlightened ruler (brother! Don’t get me started!) was to have him go insane.

Anyway — all this digression to explain why I’m not “precisely anything” — I tend to think (or overthink) every point of every position, and sometimes I agree with the conservative or the leftist (they really aren’t liberal, sorry) sides on an overarching point, but for quite different reasons.  Not that most conservatives mind — to quote my friend Bill Reader, the other day, “I can tolerate a lot of disagreement between liberty-minded people.”  Because the point, of course, is that things can be argued out, and even tried out, and then we see which way is better.  It’s not like I (or most conservatives, and even less most libertarians) have anything invested in having anyone do things my way, my main point is that I want to be left alone to live my life according to my moral judgement.  And I don’t particularly want my friends pushed about, either.  Other than that, well — I don’t care.

So.  This brings us to how I’m neither pantser nor plotter.  (My son, neither a pantser nor a plotter be!)

I do get ideas that push, and flashes of inspiration, and “voices” starting a story in my head, but very often, I have to work everything from there on with pen and pencil, and careful plotting (And a lot of cursing.)

Even the novels that more or less dictate themselves will have transitions and rough patches I need to figure out on my own.  (The cursing happens then.  And it’s loud.)

By temperament I’m more plotter than pantser.  Look, guys, I don’t take pain killers even when I really need them — oh, after an emergency Caesarean followed by a three alarm uterine infection, say, kind of like poor Jane Seymour went.  I had all but one of the morphine pills left three years later, when we moved.  No, Dan didn’t let me sell them, and frankly I had no idea how to go about it.  Which is a pity because we were SO FAR beyond broke.  I don’t take them because I want to make sure that what’s thinking my thoughts is in fact ME and as clear-headed as I can be.

In the same way the flash from the subconscious disturbs me.  I’ve come to accept it will happen — I don’t have to like it — but I feel better if I can work out the plot along with — or preferably just ahead of — the flash.  I try to be logical and…

And with Noah’s Boy it failed me.  Part of it was that it got interrupted three times, (Then two or three in rewrite) by the perpetually breaking down body.  When it gets interrupted, I need to read back, to be reminded where I was.  And then the rational mind notices things it didn’t before, and goes and carefully alters the plot ahead.

But more important was that my carefully worked plot wasn’t “Right” and that my sluggish subconscious knew better than I did, but because I liked the character too much and didn’t want it to die, and because I don’t like being dictated to by “voices from the ID” I was blocking it so hard, it first had to get me good and tired and THEN pounce on me with a dream.

Now it’s done, and it’s off my desk, and as soon as I can I’ll do the end of Witchfinder.  And then I SHALL take a week and draw dragons and kick back.  And then I start working on Through Fire, the second of the Earth Revolution, while revising WF and Shadow Gods.

Now to shower and do the cat boxes.

92 responses to “Noah’s Boy Is Off My Desk

  1. …confuses politics with moral redemption and therefore views different opinions (which in the end amount to believing in a different way to make things as good as possible for most people) as evil.


    The pieties filter in, and you have this idea that it’s perfectly clear what’s good and what’s bad: … judging other people for their behavior and culture is the ULTIMATE evil

    I agree with both assessments of the positions held by these people, and once again comment, logic has little place in their world view.

  2. And congratulations on getting Noah’s Boy off your desk.

  3. Shouldn’t you do the cat boxes first and THEN shower? *runs*

    • Um… It’s a catch 22. Until I shower I’m not awake enough to do the boxes.

    • Dorothy Grant

      Or she could shower, do the cat boxes, and shower again – the really hot, steaming, sinus-clearing long shower that leaves not a single dram of lukewarm water in the house.

      Not that I’ve ever done that…

      • Wayne Blackburn

        You mean what my sons call an ordinary shower? Mind you, we have a newer water heater that barely makes the water hot enough to burn ME (and I’m the biggest wuss I know, sad to say), so the boys sometimes go in and turn on ONLY the hot water, so it’s not the same as someone who has a water heater running at 160 or something.

        • Dorothy Grant

          Or I might call “the kind of shower that inspires those waiting to use the bathroom to start the dishwasher…”

        • You can adjust the temp on water heaters you know. All the newer ones come set at lukewarm, so if somebody is dumb enough to run straight hot water and not expect it to be HOT, well they can’t burn themselves and then sue. I turned mine up as soon as I got it, and when I used to stay in hotels for work all the time, any time I could find access to the hot water heaters there I would turn them up, also.

        • Hot water on demand. Srsly. We skipped cons one year (and yea, we NEEDED cons back then. No indie.) And it costs us 2500. BUT I can shower before noon.

          • In-line water heating? How does it work on the operating cost side?

            • Wayne Blackburn

              From what I have heard, the cost is generally lower, due to the lower amount of hot water going to waste in the pipes. Some people say also because the water heater has to run periodically to reheat due to loss, but ours is so insulated that when the power was out for 3 days once, we still had hot water after 24 hours.

            • Robin Roberts

              Be cautious in choosing a demand water heater however, some of them are notorious for yo-yoing the temp up and down through at least the initial minutes of use.

            • The main gotcha I’m aware of is that if you’re installing electric ones, because they draw significantly higher amounts of current than tank models, you might be forced to upgrade your connection from the power pole to your in house breaker box. You’ll have to use extra thick wires to install them (not the standard 12/14 gauge wire you have already for conventional electric projects); but I’m assuming that comes out as a wash since I doubt many DIYers have a stash of spare gas line to hook up heaters in their bathrooms.

              • How much heavier? I would assume the roll of 2/0 2/0 4/0 I have would be overkill?

                • Unless you install a commercial sized unit probably; but most DIYers don’t keep a spool of wire that’d be overkill for an electric stove or clothes drier on hand. Do I want to know why you do have that on hand?

                  • Because I needed to wire in a welder, and I got like 75 feet of it at an estate auction (left over spool) for $20, and only needed like 12 feet. So I have at least 60 feet left. Yes it is overkill for a 220 welder too, but it works great, and was cheaper than buying 12 feet of lighter wire at the store 🙂

            • Weirdly, about the same, but only because the kid uses so much. Otherwise, it would pay for itself, because no “keeping hot.”

      • Difficult. Our big splurge in refitting this house, and one I’d do again TOMORROW if we moved/when we move is water on demand. This was necessary because of younger boy, who falls asleep in the shower.

        • My wife and I bought a hot water heater from a major big-box company — the standard, 40-gal “fast recovery” water heater, and all we could afford at the time. We replaced FIVE of them within the warranty period for the thermocouple controlling the heater flame going out. THIS WAS A PROBLEM KNOWN TEN YEARS AGO, long before we bought ours (we found out later… Google is only good if you know or suspect a problem). Three years ago, we bought a 50-gal fast-recovery, made by the same people that made our disastrous 40-gal model, and it’s performs like a prince. It also has a fifteen-year Parts & Labor warranty, and a thermocouple that can be replaced by a modest DIY type.

      • Good order. Never too many showers.

        I lived for over 15 years in a rental apartment (one largish room, with a wood burning stove, well, it basically was like most kitchens in houses of the same age, and a big windowless closet which I used as a bedroom – really big, besides my bed I could also fit several bookcases and two linen cupboards, plus one small table for the TV and a relatively large easy chair in there, if barely) in an old house which had no shower. Nor hot water.

        Ridiculously low rent which was why I stayed so long, especially since my landlord raised it only twice, and only very little, during those years. I had to pay the electricity, and the wood, which I mostly heated with during the winters and that led to rather cool room temperatures then. The place was rather drafty too, to the point where you could see the curtains sometimes act as if they were part of a stage setting for an old horror movie even when the windows were closed. But, ridiculously low rent.

        You can keep clean even if you have to wash your hair in a bucket and heat the water for it on a stove beforehand. And do the rest with a sponge. But after I moved… yep, four times larger rent, and worth it. Very much worth it. Long hot showers, and often.

        Although I do have to admit I’m now having some problems with dry skin.

  4. Your panster or plotter stuff caught my eye(as it does on other blogs). I can’t say why this always gets my attention – maybe because it’s something we can all relate to.

    I love writing and hate outlining, but I outline so I have a direction. If I don’t, my story will run out of steam. Still, I’m not incredibly detailed about it(unless the scene I want to write is something I just HAVE to put down exactly as it happened on the first look in my head) because just getting the direction allows some of the writing to be spontaneous.

    Anyhoo, congrats on finishing. Can’t wait to see it.

  5. Congratulations!

    (This repetitive comment is in honor of Groundhog Day. Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cooooold out there today.)

  6. ’bout bloody time, right?

    Can we now deem stated all parallels between labor to give birth to babies and labor to give birth to art? After all, there are puns too labored even for me to make them.

    • RES | February 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Reply
      > Can we now deem stated all parallels between labor to give birth to babies and labor to give birth to art? After all, there are puns too *LABORED* even for me to make them. [emphasis added]

      Well, apparently not…. >;)

      (The Infection is spreading…. )

  7. What an enormous relief! Kudos.

    I think that feeling – of finishing something that is good and right and whole and better than you thought you could make it – is the most addictive drug available without prescription.

    Wise of you to always ask ‘Why was this one so hard?’ I do that after every scene is complete – and learn something new each time. It is the mate to ‘What is wrong with this scene?’ that starts the editing process.

    Enjoy well EARNED happiness.

  8. Wayne Blackburn

    This brought up a question to me: What do people find makes for the easiest set-up for doing a major rewrite? What i mean is, if you’re going to be writing significant portions from the ground up, and deleting entire swaths of the original text, but you want to make sure you still have the original text for reference, do you open two copies of the document, or print out the section you want to rewrite, or just work in the same document, leaving the original there until you’re ready to get rid of it? What are the benefits and drawbacks to each method?

    • I just got though doing one of those this past week. First, I duplicated the entire file (a 350+ page manuscript) and then broke out duplicates of the parts that required the greatest changes. That way 1) I still have the originals, JIC, and 2) I have the first, lightly modified version in case someone says, “You know, that’s a bit much. I liked this part better on the first version, and why don’t you add that section back in, but over here?” I had already printed out the original, and that’s where I did the initial mark-up for the portions that had to be cut and relocated. I could flip back and forth more easily on the hard copy, since some material moved over two hundred pages, from a later chapter to the introduction. The introduction was gutted and 80% rewritten, with some material becoming a separate chapter.

      Actually, the very first thing I did was whine, moan, and wish a non-fatal but irritating head cold on the person who so horribly demeaned my precious, award-winning manuscript. Then I took a deep breath and went over the book line-by-line to see if they were right.

    • If it was a big rewrite: make a duplicate of the entire document and edit the duplicate.

      If it was a small rewrite (where I just take out chunks): take out the chunks and toss into a secondary document – just in case.

      Now, I use Scrivener. I’ve only had to do this once so far, so I’ve just taken out the chapterlet I didn’t think added to anything and kind of messed up the mood of the story and chucked it into the “References” folder so it was apart from the main story. I figured if I needed the scene because I’d expanded on that line of thought I could just drag-drop it where it needed to go. Now it’s just a ghost chapter in my “original” copy of the piece.

      In a few months I’m going to take two different versions of a piece (I think the “original” was close to 10k words and I had to edit it down to 5k for submission to an anthology – which necessitated more than just stripping to bare bones) and add the things I did to the 5k version that I want for the 10k version and then add in new stuff. (It really wanted to be a novel or short novel, not a short story. It really, really wanted to be.)

  9. Just because this post essentially only invites on=topic comments and congratulations … and we don’t want to be establishing any precedents, right?

    There are certain assumptions that are stipulated by society, although the matter of what gets stipulated and by whom is generally up for debate. Sarah alluded to this in discussing her Euro-trashed childhood.

    For several decades we have been told that rape is an act of male aggression and oppression and no woman ever “asks” for it, that to assert otherwise is to “blame the victim,” and we must never, ever, blame the victim. I don’t know – never saw the research, never saw the challenges to that research, wouldn’t be able to fully evaluate that research if I saw it.

    But we all know, deep in our hearts, that for a physically attractive femme dressed in frilly lingerie to willfully walk into a biker bar in certain parts of this world is a very very bad idea (insert reference to Serenity’s River and Terminator IV.) Just like it would be pretty dang dumb for a white guy who looks like the dude from the Monopoly game to drive a Rolls-Royce full of $20 bills into, say, South-Central LA, or up past NY’s 125th Street, park and sit. Or for a police officer on his last day before retirement to ask “What could go wrong?”

    The thing is, sometimes it is right to assign a portion of the blame to the victim. Some things you should just effing know will not end well.

    Our society constantly warns of the danger to women of male aggression, of how unfair it is for men to … um, be men? BUT, as Mr. Monk would say: Here’s the thing. We never get cautioned about the hazards and unfairness of female aggression.

    As Sarah notes (repeatedly) in DST & DSR, Athena Hera Sinistra understands how females can use their assets to disadvantage males, From kicks to the crotch (imagine the furor if a comedian, say Andy Kaufman or Andrew Dice Clay, had repeatedly depicted comparable* assaults on females) to dressing to distract to taking advantage of male’s evolutionarily programmed reflex to protect women to female’s inherently superior verbal and psychological abilities, there are a thousand and one ways females can act aggressively against males, largely without getting called on it (although it should be recognized that there are many females who like and protect males and act to limit the aggression of their comperes.)

    Just as one simple example: it is generally acknowledged that males are inherently more visual than females ( It has been scientifically demonstrated that the presence of a beautiful woman impairs men’s intellectual abilities, causing a significant measurable drop in IQ (consider as read all jokes about blood diversion from one head to the other.) Yet society encourages women to use artifice in clothes and cosmetics to enhance their physical beauty and to engage in complex wordplay (flirting) to befuddle men**.

    Anybody think there would not be widespread denunciation of men if they tried to use artifice to make women dumber and more sexually agreeable. (Oh, wait, they do – it is called alcohol.)

    Therefore I suggest that by spreading the opinion that women need exercise no self restraint and men must always rein themselves in as concerns women, Society has sanctioned and obscured female aggression against the male of the species.

    *Leave for another time whether there are comparable vulnerabilities for women; given the absence of anything like the castration complex there probably isn’t.

    **Leave aside, as well, the fact that, such befuddlemnent is ridiculously easy to do and almost impossible to avoid short of going the way of the hijab, and I suspect that even there men would soon start speculating about what lies beneath. In olden times a glimpse of stocking was looked upon as something shocking, now …

    • A quip I saw recently is on topic here: “The sight of a woman’s cleavage reduces a man’s concentration by 50% — per breast.”

      • Robin Roberts

        Uh, what were you saying?

      • Heh. That same apartment I mention when talking about a lack of a shower – that bigger room had one window, and there was some sort of machine workshop there, pretty close. I was on the second floor, and the second floor windows on that other building were almost on the same level. There were tables and chairs there, but during the first months I lived there I never saw people in there. I worked nights then too, so I usually got up well after midday since I slept during the mornings.

        So, that apartment was cold during the winters, but could become rather stifling during the summer. The door to the toilet was on the opposite wall from the door to that closet I slept in. And when it got hot during that first summer I started to sleep in the nude. Maybe you can guess where this is going?

        That usually empty room turned out to be the place where the men ate, a bit earlier than I usually got up. And they could see straight into my apartment.

        Well, at least they saw me only from the waist up. But there were quite a lot of them (at least I was still young and firm then… ) :D. Funny part is, I have never had any problems using the same sauna with men (including a whole football team once, and was that a sight for a woman’s eyes) but that did make me feel very embarrassed.

        I did get the habit of closing the curtains before going to bed after that.

      • Compromise: we will stop wearing low necklines if you will stop wearing tailored suits and tuxes. Deal?

        Anyone else hear a cricket in here?

        • They HAVE. Look at the regency male attire. Those skin tight pants…. mmmmmm.

          • Once again: kilts. And Prince Charlie jacket for formal affairs. Kilts also have the advantage of movement. Also, relative ease of access, should the situation warrant.

            • While I like the sight of a man in a kilt, The Spouse is a stickler about certain things. He avoids regimental striped ties or school ties because he is not entitled. Likewise, he would never consider wearing a tartan that was not proper to the family, and this his family most certainly lacks. Unlike me he simply cannot claim one, so there you have it. I will likely never see that man in a kilt. Sigh.

              • Utilikilt? Also, there was talk of a Baen clan tartan, which he’d most certainly be entitled to by adoption.

              • Any Scot is entitled to wear the Black Watch tartan, which is a very nice design, and anyone at all may wear the Stuart (though some of us still sympathize with the King Across the Water). There are other universally usable tartans (like the IMO ugly Millenium tartan) but I can’t recall them off the top of my head.

                • The Spouse is not Scots, it is one of his few short-comings. As he had no control over the matter I do not hold this against him. I am a true American mutt. My maiden name is rather obviously Scots and my grandfather (of said name) took particular pride in his membership in the Saint Andrews society. The Daughter gets the added privilege of the North Carolina tartan.

          • A good year before I met The Spouse I saw a picture of him in full restoration costume for Molière’s Country Wife. Unlike the other males in the show his hair was his, and it took a set beautifully. (Many of the females quite openly envied that head of hair, now, sadly, mostly departed.) And, yes, the tights did show the his calves quite nicely, particularly with the heals on the shoes.

        • Tx – I gave up wearing neckties back before that was cool — 1990 or so. I got some rather strange looks at funerals and weddings, but a five-minute explanation got me out of the proverbial doghouse. At least, with the women. The rest of the men still hated me… 8^)

          • So what’s your magic excuse to disarm half the people annoyed with you?

            • I have osteoarthritis in my neck and a cervical rib, along with pinched nerves of just about all the nerves that leave the spinal column in the neck. I can’t have ANYTHING around my neck that constricts, or it eventually hurts — like in 20 minutes or so. I wouldn’t recommend duplicating my problems just to get out of wearing a necktie, though. Sometimes (80% of the time) my neck hurts, no matter what. Sometimes it’s just a bit annoying, sometimes it’s very annoying, and sometimes it’s “oh my GHod, please make it stop” annoying.

        • You don’t like skin tight jeans and white T? But I see so many of them on the covers of the ppbs at the grocery!

          Braces (what Yanks call suspenders) look good on both male & female, OTOH.

          • I have absolutely no problem with painted on jeans and white T, even better if it’s raining. 😉

          • I prefer more hints than revelations, thanks. That and 99% of the guys around here who wear tight jeans and a tight t-shirt have as much business wearing them as I do wearing leggings with rhinestones on the rump.

            • Granted, it goes the same for women, why are the only ones who where spandex those that are an axe handle and a half across the butt?

            • OMG. Now I want to wear leggings with rhinestones, just to watch people moan and run away. 😛

              • Riding a city bus home after school on a particularly chill and wet day I was met by a most particular sight. There were representatives of five generations of females of various shapes from one family sitting across from me in the back section of the bus. While the levels of make-up varied with age, they were all sporting rhinestone decorated cat’s eye glasses and high blond bouffant hair, tight red sweater sets, spandex Royal Stewart plaid leggings and black patent leather shoes with heals.

                No did not occur in Baltimore during the ‘Hon’ festival. This was Philadelphia.

    • Yes about the hijab. Indeed, I have heard of women who gave it up after getting obsene letters from men saying how much it attracted them.

      Once upon a time, a man and a woman knew each other both in mundane life and in the SCA. So he was perfectly used to her in shorts. Nevertheless, one day at a demo when he went backstage to find she had hiked up her shirt to adjust her garter so he could SEE HER CALF — ooooo baby!

  10. Sarah – At the risk of your wrath for going off-topic, I would really value a post or two on how you handled your writing career while the boys were very little. From side comments here and there, you seem to have made time for an impressive amount of butt-in-chair time while they were young and even remained highly productive during bedrest (possibly for the second child). If you are willing to share your insights on how you found and kept the grit to do that, this inquiring mind would like to know.

  11. And I guess it’s suitable time for me to attack Witchfinder now?

    • Dorothy Grant

      Be careful when attacking a Witchfinder; you’ll come out thinking you’ve won, having gotten the whole story. But it’ll have won, having taken hours of your day away…

      • I do have most of tomorrow free. 🙂

        • I’m waiting for the ending before strtring, too. I torture myself enough with webscriptions.

          • I kind of have the same approach to stories as Queen in that song. I want it all, and I want it now!

            • Whew! It’s not just me, then. I felt bad a couple months ago when I had to confess to Sarah that I knew nothing about Witchfinder. It’s not that I lack interest in the story, it’s just that I lose track of serials.

              • I can’t handle them either. So I wait until I CAN have all of it. Which has occasionally led to completely missing some stories I was initially interested in, if I stop paying attention and don’t notice when the final chapter/book comes out. I also have a tendency to avoid TV series which seem to have a strong continuing storyline since those practically never seem to get wrapped up well, either they just stop without any real end solution when the series gets cancelled, or there is some sort of half assed rush to do it in one or two episodes if the makers find out that they are going to be cancelled in time to do that and they care enough to at least try.

              • eh. You might want to wait for it published… 😉

                • Ah, but then it will have morphed into a different form. I am looking forward to the polished version, but in the meantime have enjoyed the raw one. For example there has been the joy in watching the blossoming of a character who won’t stay politely in service… But then again, I think I can now say without the least bit of hesitation, I am a Sarah Hoyt fan — I will take just about any fix I can get. 😉

                  • The character who will not stay in service and the guy who was JUST supposed to be a walk on and who will now have a sequel, because he’s a smart and terrifying — but amusing, and I think, given his upbringing, strangely humane — rogue.

                    • Rather. Yes. Exactly.

                      I am looking forward to the rest of what will unfold in the Witchfinder world — should we live so long.

      • Now that there’s a nightmare: every minute readers spend on a book goes into the writer’s lifespan at, oh, say 60 : 1 rate. That might explain why some writers seem to last forever. And why some books seem to …

  12. Off topic, but I changed one of my covers a few days ago, and put that short story up for free for today. Last time it was available for free two days in last December, with the old cover, which was only a white skull on black background. Now it has that cemetery angel painting which can be seen on my blog, on the post of January 26. There are still a few hours left, but the story has been going at twice the rate compared to the last time. Not big numbers, perhaps, and I don’t know how much the times matter, perhaps people are just more likely to go after the freebies this time of the year than in December, but on the other hand looks like the covers may matter quite a bit. I suppose that painting looks more like it might lead to something fun to read. Perhaps the skull was too bleak or something, the painting is definitely prettier. Interesting, anyway.

  13. Congratulations on Noah’s Boy. I was beginning to think it was going to be the Neverending Story (or is that Witchfinder?). And I’m gone.

  14. Yay! Congratulations. I’m || this close to finishing the current one myself.

    So: … blog tour?


  15. Congratulations as well– I have been sick since Friday again– I just don’t know what is wrong with me because it doesn’t seem like the usual cold or flu–

  16. Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

    Congratulations on finishing the book. Now for the nasty question – how long till you finish the next one 🙂

    It’s always a problem when you are a fast reader. You read the book, and the next book in the series is a year or two down the road. ARGH! Finding out about Baen’s e-Arcs in some ways made things worse. Yes, I get to read stuff sooner, but then I have to wait just as long for the next e-Arc!

    As for the pain killers. I live off OxyContin. I really don’t have any choice, at least not as long as I want to remain partially functional. I did the “ignore the pain thing” for fifteen years. At least five years of which I was a totally miserable bastard around my wife, the pain was so bad. OxyContin helps a bit.

    Unfortunately the damage is chronic, and not repairable. Unless I want to take chances on becoming a paraplegic. I’m not that desperate. Yet.