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David D. Levine
Word count: 119225 | Since last entry: 7115

We're finally back from Kennewick. Actually, we came back on Tuesday, but it's been crazy busy since then as we tried to get done everything that we should have gotten done while we were away. (As noted here and here, we were stranded in Kennewick for five days by an ice storm.)

As disasters go, it was a doddle. We were at Kate's parents' house, where we were warm and dry and got hot homecooked meals every day. I like Kate's folks (the big stinky dogs? not so much) and it was actually kind of nice to get to hang out with them for an extra couple of days. And I got a ton of writing done. I've been saying I needed a writing retreat and this is just about that (except for the can't-go-home-even-if-you-want-to part) -- though I did more writing before we figured out how to connect my laptop to their wi-fi. (The two LJ posts linked above were posted from my phone.)

I am now within a few thousand words of the end of the first draft. The carnage has been massive -- I've slaughtered almost sixty humans (at least five of them named characters) and thousands of aliens (only one named character there, but I made sure every one of those deaths was meaningful to the viewpoint characters) in the last week. The writing here has been fast and fun, as I'm writing stuff that I had in mind from the beginning of this book, over a year ago. It hasn't come out quite the way I envisioned it back then, but on the other hand I'm finding ways to tie in themes, characters, and details from earlier in the book that I hadn't realized could be tied in. It's faster, heavier, fresher than I'd thought it would be. I just hope it's big enough emotionally to justify the amount of sturm und drang I'm putting in...

Also in the last week I read over the page proofs for my collection, which is now definitely called Space Magic. Reading all these stories, some for the first time in five years or more, I'm actually very impressed with them. It's been long enough that I can actually enjoy them as stories rather than seeing the flaws. I hope that I will feel this way in five years about the stuff I'm writing right now.

I'm getting really excited about this collection. It's now listed on Wheatland Press's home page, there will be a signed and numbered limited-edition hardcover available exclusively from Wrigley-Cross Books, and I have seen a preliminary cover design which is Totally Made Of Awesome. (I'll share it with you as soon as I can.) A special pre-publication edition will be available at RadCon, at which I am Short Story Guest of Honor, and the real thing will be released in time for WisCon.

A whole book, just for me! ::squee::

I have one other bit of writing news to share, which is that Baen Books is currently offering a story of mine as a sample chapter from the anthology Transhuman (which is scheduled to be published in February, which means that copies have probably already shipped, though I haven't seen one yet). So if you want to read one of my stories, you can read "Firewall" for free here. I don't know how long it will remain available. Two other stories and the Introduction are also available (in a nice framed interface that lets you set bookmarks and adjust the font) here.