I haven't exactly written every day since my last post. Most of the weekend was spent on kitchen stuff -- we know exactly what we want in a garlic keeper, step stool, telephone, etc., which entails much going into stores, pointing, describing, and being met with blank looks. Despite this we did manage to obtain nearly half the objects on our list. We also unpacked several boxes, and tonight we achieved the triumph of the first meal cooked in our new kitchen! Okay, it was just a little sauteed onion and ground beef mixed with bottled pasta sauce, over bowtie pasta, with frozen corn warmed up in the new microwave. But we actually cooked! Our first home-cooked meal in over two months. And there was much rejoicing.
I have gotten some writing done, though, and most days that didn't have any writing in them had "writing-related activity," like writing the synopsis of the chapter 9 and copying chapter I for critique. I also got some feedback on chapter 9 (the crit group meeting was sparsely attended), generally positive though one critiquer said she wished Jason wasn't such a "cranky little man" and Clarity was "more of a fighter" (despite all the work I've put into them, sniff waah). But there's little to be done about those problems at this point, with just one chapter to go.
It continues to be the case (as it has since the very first critique at Wiscon last year) that nearly every reader has a different, strong opinion about which character is the best and which is the one they just want to drop-kick. I'd be happier if every reader liked every character (liked them as well-written characters, I mean -- some of them are pretty unlikeable as people) but I'm prepared to accept this mixed bag as an indication that the characters are at least complex enough for people to have different opinions about, depending on their individual perspectives. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Things are moving really, really fast now, plot-wise. I'm finding that the things that need to happen just whiz by, pieces slotting into place and the characters running as fast as they can to keep up. The chapter still might be a long one, but it might not. Most of the secrets I've been keeping from the reader (and, in a few cases, wondering about myself) for as much as two years are out in the open now, with just a couple of revelations to go (such as: Raptor's hidden motivation, though it might be obvious by now to some). I'm still not 100% sure how some details in the final climactic scene are going to play out, but at this point I'm confident it will shake out in the actual writing of it.
Must sleep now. 8am meetings every day this week, oh joy.