Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Saturday, 15 November 2003

I solved what I think was the last obstacle to finishing my zeppelin story. It was an insight into the hero's nature before the events of the story take place. (And, especially, into how he was perceived by his peers at the time when the story starts.) With that change in the initial state, the story arc becomes much more satisfying. Hopefully, it will also be funnier.

I had errands that kept me busy in the first part of the morning, but then was able to spend most of the rest of the day writing. Retrofitting my new understanding into the old scenes was pretty easy, although it took a while. I wrapped that up around mid-afternoon. Since then I've been writing new prose, with good success. Now, though, I've gotten tired. There's still the climactic scene to write and then some sort of denouement. I'm not going to get them done tonight, though.

I've got 5300 words, so that's about 1000 new words today. Once again, I think I'm in striking distance of finishing the story tomorrow.

The urgent errands yesterday and today were to take Jackie to the doctor's office. Jackie sometimes gets sebaceous cysts on her scalp. She had some removed last April. She's done that before. They sometimes grow back; sometimes she gets new ones.

Yesterday, though, a bump that she'd noticed a while back did something new--it opened up and started draining. We got her in to see the doctor right away (about half an hour after she first noticed that her scalp was oozy). The doctor said it was infected, numbed it and opened it up and squoze out the stuff that was in there, and packed it with medicated gauze. She prescribed some antibiotics as well.

This morning I took Jackie back to get it checked. The doctor took the gauze out, rinsed it with peroxide and betadine, and sent Jackie home with instructions to dry it thoroughly whenever it gets wet.

So, Jackie's fine, but I spent a good bit of time chauffeuring her around and hanging out with her in doctor's offices.

After this morning's doctor's appointment, Jackie went straight to a spinning group meeting. After dropping her off, I went to the Green Street Coffee Shop (which is only a few blocks from where she was spinning), got a hot cocoa and a chocolate-chip cookie, and sat down to write. That worked well. I should write in coffee shops more often.

Jackie's doctor wasn't able to figure out a good way to put a bandage on her head that wouldn't make her look like she had a serious head wound, but Jackie just put a piece of gauze over it and then tied a bandana under her chin to hold it on. The members of her spinning group teased her, suggesting that with her setting the trend, babushkas would be in next year.

It's cold here. It's not so cold outside (above freezing anyway, although rather damp and chill), as cold inside. I went around and made sure all the storm windows were shut and turned up the heat early this morning, but I'm still cold--as I type this I'm wearing the sweater Jackie knit me of icelandic wool and the fingerless gloves she knit me.

[Photo of Wellington and Alexander]

I brought two stuffies with me when I went to Clarion. A science fiction story is supposed to have a science fictional elephant, after all, and any story needs the elephant of surprise. I figure a little help can't hurt, so I keep these guys on top of my monitor. The grey one is Wellington and the other is Alexander the Grape. (They're also my military advisors, when I'm writing military sf.)

They hadn't been on my monitor for a bit lately. Maybe that's why I was having so much trouble with this story.

Now they're back.


Philip Brewer's Writing Progress homepage