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David D. Levine
Word count: 16606 | Since last entry: 836

First off, I'd like to point out that the deadline for the Potlatch 16 Writers' Workshop, coordinated by Mary Rosenblum, is February 1. That is, manuscripts must be received by then. If you've been thinking about participating, now's the time to take action.

Kate's at a knitting conference in Tacoma this weekend, and I've been running a lot of errands. And not sleeping nearly enough -- I was up until 2am yesterday, and awoke around 8am despite my best efforts. I am, surprisingly, not groggy -- I suspect I may be too stupid from lack of sleep to realize how stupid I am.

This always happens when Kate's out of town. After all this time (22 years!?) I think she has taken custody of part of my brain. I'm sure it's mutual.

I have a humonstrous list of things I want to get done this weekend and I'm probably not going to be able to check off more than about a third of them. Some of them, like replacing the wireless router in an attempt to eliminate the annoying and increasingly frequent dropouts in our digital music system, have had to be pushed off to another weekend due to lack of parts (the sexy-looking Ruckus MediaFlex router that seems most likely to be able to overcome interference -- I can now see as many as 10 WiFi networks from here, not to mention cordless phones and microwaves -- is only available from a few vendors, none local). But I did manage to find the external hard disk I wanted, and ink cartridges for my printer -- I was beginning to wonder if HP had stopped making them.

You know how errands always take longer than you think they will? I haven't gotten a lot of writing done, but I have at least gotten in a few hundred words every day. One breakthrough was to realize that the 1500 or so words I'd written so far in chapter 3 were really just an outline of what really wanted to be in chapter 3. Too much tell, not enough show. So I'm going back and replacing those flashbacks with fleshed-out scenes. This does change the structure of the chapter a bit. (This is my process. I don't leave a word, a sentence, a paragraph, or a chapter until I'm happy with it, and I'm perfectly willing to go back and rework something I've already done. My first drafts are slow but essentially ready for publication. I've tried writing faster, God knows, but it just doesn't seem to work for me.)

A snippet:

Keelie heaved at the container. This one was cylindrical, half a length high and about the same in diameter, and felt as though it were full of liquid. It was made of the same chill, slick, damp green-and-black material as all the rest.

She hated the container. Hated it with a passion almost as intense as her old hatred of the Drur -- lesser only because it was younger. It wasn't anything about this container in particular that made her hate it; she loathed them all equally.

Sometimes I eat badly when Kate's out of town, but this time I've been fortunate to be the recipient of gifts of good food. Friday evening I went out with a bunch of guys from work to Uptown Billiards, which has amazingly good food for a pool hall (the avocado soup was great, though I usually detest avocados, and the kumquat-braised lamb was to die for) and the boss was paying. And tonight there was a party at Casa Deedop with deedop and chef_chopper's culinary talents on display. Yum.

Also at the party: I attempted Dance Dance Revolution for the first time (the Dance Dance Government is in no danger from me, I assure you), talked with mkhobson about the frustrating process of trying to sell a novel, and congratulated Rob Vagle and Jimena on their recent engagement. The silent-movie wedding they're planning sounds like a real hoot.

To bed now, before I get even stupider.