No work on the novel in the last week or so, but I have written 9755 words for the next issue of Bento, which will go to press right after we get back from Armadillocon, for which we leave bright and early tomorrow morning. As one of our VP's memorably said in a teleconference this morning, "I've been getting single-digit hours of sleep for the last week." (Well, we knew what he meant. I think.)
This Bento is very heavy on the kind of extended metaphor, or fictionalized essay, that seems to be the hallmark of my fanwriting. In this case we have "our trip to Thailand as Amazing Race" and "David's retirement as a fall into an alternate universe, harking back to another essay from five years ago with David's job as a space war." Writing this kind of stuff is a lot of fun, and such a break from novel-writing. It's short; it's based on my own life, so I don't have to think too hard; it's not tied in with the rest of a 100,000 word story with all the continuity and plot threads to worry about; it's not original worldbuilding, so I can relax on that; and it's supposed to be funny. I can see why some people write slash, or fanfic. In this case I suppose it's fanfic of my own life.
I announced my retirement to my group this week. They were very supportive, and happy for me. However, although I meant to send out an email announcement to the rest of the company that day, I decided to hold off for a bit because right after that meeting the architect of the product announced that he is leaving for another company (his last day is Friday). This is a pretty serious blow to the project and I thought that announcing my own impending departure would be bad for morale. (They'll be okay without me, really they will.)
The other big news is that I got my iBook upgraded to a new hard disk twice the size. No more having to close down apps because the virtual memory swap file is filling up the remaining hard disk space! No more wondering if this CD I'm ripping, or photo I'm pulling off the camera, will be the last! As long as it was in the shop I also had them replace the keyboard, which only had about half its letters still visible. Unfortunately, it took three days to get a new keyboard from Apple. Good thing Kate and I were working on Bento together, on the big computer, during that time.
See some of you in Austin. Play nice, the rest of you.