All right, it is that cold in here.

New York State must be one of those places where landlords can turn off the heat on the first day of spring no matter what temperature it is. I've got thermostat right in my apartment and have got it turned way up, because the thermometer on it is grossly inaccurate - if I want it to be seventy, I have to put it up to about eighty to get it to seventy. But it's dropped way low. It's freezing in here and the heaters aren't working at all and it's set moderately high (by its own quirky consistent inaccuracies it should be at about 72)...

The logic behind this is that in spring you shouldn't need heat and healthy people might do better leaving it off. But not everyone is healthy people. Some people, like me, will inevitably get sick if temperature goes down too far, because there's some general weakness. I can look at what goes on with my disabilities and see that if normal activities take four or five times the physical effort, then cold air and cold weather is additional stress on top of that, resulting in, well, weakened immune system and getting sick. I've been getting chronic fatigue all my life. It makes that weakness a bit easier to understand.

But no easier to live with when I don't have a choice of where to live any more. This makes me really miss living in New Orleans where I had a warm climate.

Except that down there I'd get heat prostration a bit more easily than most people.

And it tends to make me pointlessly angry about my physical limits. Every time I turn around and find out that something most people might reasonably think of as luxuries, like convenience food or temperature control, isn't a luxury at all but something that I genuinely need in my life or I'll get sick, I get so angry.

There is a part of me that if I were at least average, let alone big and strong and healthy, would shove it all off and just go live out in the woods half the time and not care anything about either money or civilization. There are times when the price of those things seems way, way too high - and I'm not someone with dependent children who has to think of that to consider walking away from it all.

Walking away from it all.

Totally out of reach - and I recognized something after thirty books. A tiny significant omission. I don't bother to put many chase scenes. They just don't happen. I don't even imagine that running away would solve anything, since if it was something that had to be run away from, I'd just die. Hide from, yeah. Stalk and ambush, yeah, and that's been on good guys and bad guys sides in books. But not that flat out, all out run for your life or run to catch someone scene that's there in almost everything.

I belong to a species that in nature just runs down its prey like wolves, stands up tall and gets it running and outlasts it on foot even if it's faster.

I am the one who can't run, so I have to be able to think, to fight if needed, to use any available resource that doesn't demand what I can't do. And I didn't think I had blinders on. I didn't think there were things I was just oblivious to in life that are powerful, instinctive and moving to readers. I mean, most of my life I was *not* actually mooning about how horrible it is that I don't win races. I was honestly just trying to get out of having to GO to gym so that I wouldn't have to bother with something that unrewarding. Let alone being expected to enjoy *watching* other people do things I couldn't, when most of them were people I didn't much like doing something I found that boring.

Now it nags at me like a blind spot.

Now as a writer, I do have to comprehend what's outside my experience and will inevitably continue to be outside my experience. I do not compete in races. I do not compete in sports. I do not bother with things where I'd have that much trouble getting to the starting line, if I know I'm going to be lousy at it I don't want to waste my time and energy.

Most people have got some energy to waste and might find it fun as a bit of a thrill just to try. If bored, physical activity might unbore them, might be satisfying and within the range of other average people trying to knock off a few pounds or something would be very happy to make a little progress against what they did last time. Or the other amateur joggers and hikers.

A small dream shattered - or at least made more difficult. Backwoods Independence ala Whole Earth Catalog - will take more money and more effort to set up for myself than it would for a normally abled person. The technology does exist. I could own the machines. I could get it together and set it up in ways that are within *my* abilities to maintain, whether it's worth doing will depend a lot on the circumstances.

But for most of my life I thought I'd do it and love it if I just got somewhere suitable.

This is a long process, coming out of denial. There are secondary and tertiary levels of recognizing things I thought of as more selfishness, sloppiness, laziness - that were adaptations to limits that were real whether I acknowledged them or not. I've put the oven on with the door open. It's not the most cost effective way to heat this apartment, the heater is probably a lot more cost effective. But I don't control that and do control the oven and I'm not like everyone else. I have to recognize that and accept it.

Robert and Ari >^..^<


Blogging just to relax. It's been a lazy day spent mostly in chat, and warming up. Getting good news too! I will continue keeping http://www.selfhelpforwriters.com up just the way I've been doing, there was some doubt about that. But it's well within the parameters for what the host network supports and I don't go out on the community boards and flame, so all the antiflamer stuff isn't going to sweep me out the door. It's just a nice small special interest group of writers keeping sane.

And it's made me realize how much I put off webwork for writing. Yup. Far from being the obnoxious self promoter, it was all too easy to fall into the 'would rather be writing' category and produce Lots. I did a very nice little chunk of Chapter 3 yesterday and introduced a nice little peril, icky peril, they dealt with it and I didn't kill off the fellow I thought of killing off because he's got a more interesting role if I leave him alive. Mwuhahahaha.

Attended a horror workshop when I got up and that set creepy ideas squirming in my demented brain, a few back burner things I've wanted to do for some time are warming up. They might come out as short stories. I like doing short horror. But a few of them demand to be used in novels and will take serious suspense setup to pull them off the way I want to. All are essentially my take on some fairly classic things. Like flogging. Come on. Conan got flogged every third story or so, usually stretched all his brawny muscles and yelled his lungs out and ripped loose to kill the idiots who did it. Flogging came up in chat. Yeh. Nice simple pleasures of a writer's life. And it makes the hero look good. And if you wind up poking your nose in medical trivia long enough, a simple little adventure thing like a flogging can leave the hero half dead with infected open wounds all over his back reeling around hallucinating with a fever while his friends are splashing cold seawater on him! Yeah! There's potential! There's conflict!

Lots of jolly topics squirming around tonight and some characters will suffer for it - but I won't distort the plot, no, if I use that and some of the other things, like torture and dungeons, it'll be that the plot demands it and the setup will lead to it and the impact will hit like a meteor in the Atlantic. I've twiddled with a long time for doing a novel where about 90% of it takes place between a prisoner in a dungeon and his torturer, of course other characters come into it in flashbacks and other prisoners might come and go and die horribly but it's the contest of wills between those two as to who breaks who once they're thoroughly enmeshed. It's definitely on the docket.

And this fantasy novel, for all that it's classic, is turning very dark in some places because I've read way too much on the middle ages and soaked too much history to pretty it up. Even with magic contributing to some of its infrastructure and even if some customs in some kingdoms can reduce the average medieval squalor, it will have some dark places and I'll be doing it for what it is... and I'm having fun with it. Not quite your Thieves' World level of grunge, but we'll see where it goes. There are bright things too. I'm beginning to like the world. I'm having fun with it.

And that's the point of the whole thing...

Robert and Ari >^..^<


Slobbed off a few hours today, did minor edits on Chapter 2 but overall I'm happy with it. About to launch into a Chapter 3 that will begin showing a bit more of the character of the world and the character of the grand evil that's invading it.

I fell back on a style of grand evil that I used before, it worked and it's fun. Showing it slowly, at a distance it's very vague and might just be a lot of bad luck or ill coincidences and bad moods - and then gradually building up more and more detail till it's got a lot of character. I'm getting more of a feel for its character. It's got a mind and a purpose, and its purpose isn't as constructive as 'want to rule the world for a twisted idea of its own good.' I think it's a bit vengeful, a lot vengeful and resentful. On into the next...

Robert and Ari >^..^<
Chapter 2 done on Quest. It's shaping up. That tiny beginning caught about 600 more words on Saturday, which was mostly taken up with chat, roleplaying games and general destressing. It felt good just to have it. Sunday, the dam burst. It's gone to 10,540 and by the end of Chapter 2 has featured a fatal mistake prevented by Blade's entrance, rapidly followed by a poisoning attempt on King Rellan in his prison, rapidly followed by King Rellan capitalizing on the fact that his magic revealed the poison to turn his jailer to helping him escape - two days before he'd be released anyway if the questers of the first scene turned Blade over to the bad guys. Blade is definitely one of two MC's in a buddy novel. Not the usual perspective for a quest story but he's grown quite a lot of character. Then the rescuers kill the friendly sympathetic jailer.

All of a sudden it's bloody and ugly and full of betrayal, head out into the local forest already steeped in evil magic and there's a lot of fighting in the party over the jailer's death. Good guys feel rotten about things like friendly fire, they're all being real. That's interrupted by evil magic. That's interrupted by a chase. That's interrupted by round two of evil magic. Then just as that's getting defeated the natural military purpose of same - clearing a nice quick cavalry path to where evil magic located the good guys by way of a spell getting destroyed followed by something I haven't done in a novel. And always wanted to.

The knights literally joust in the wood and the former prisoner does reveal some expert knowledge of the sport. I loved that stuff in every Arthurian retelling I've ever read. I never did it before - and it was not just a walk off with a joust out of Arthur, it was the particular joust it was with the characters that walked right up into it and that did shovel all the nice noble local enemy out of the chase, leaving the good guys racing for their borders (where their magic will be stronger) against the supernatural perils that no longer have to put it on for their mortal allies/dupes.

I think it's a decent kickoff and it certainly has conflict all over the place. Conflict and magic woven into every one of the conflicts. And the joust - it's showed those people's mindset as nothing else would. That's the 'no modern commander would even think of that' situation and it just worked. Set up sympathy for the humans on the wrong side too. They at least respect that shared common custom.

Exhilarating and it's time to crash... don't think today will be that huge a word count day but this is a great start and it will be a good book.

Robert and Ari >^..^< (I took down his rejection slip off the wall tonight. I ripped it into little kitty shreds and played with it all over the house. If he gets an acceptance letter he'll put that in a frame so I can't. Cats don't ever accept rejection slips!)