Scorcher again today. 92 inside Sonata and rising, three thirty in the afternoon. I went to bed about six in the morning after spending the night reading and answering crits on Chazho and meditating on the roots of Chazho. I have spent a lot of time working on the Editorial Hint. I don't know that I'd call it an Editorial Request when he says "Sure, send the rewrite and don't bother with a paper manuscript" but it's in that neighborhood. It means the editor's alive and doesn't hate the book. Frying my brain out checking the worldbuilding on it, because this book is also the keystone of the series I do not ever want to quit. The one that I decided because it meant that much to me, I never would. I have a lot riding on it, and I have a lot running in its favor. Including the fact that I can't live on it if it comes now, but that I will no matter what it takes. Mostly that means kicking other books into salable shape so that I'm not living just on that, but have salable unrelated novels to fling at other publishers. News as it comes.
That tension. Then the deadline on http://www.selfhelpforwriters.com - if you click the link and get "Page not found" that's okay. It means they have taken it off the servers at WebSeed and it hasn't come up yet on Dstar's host. I did get the front page and an explanatory article up over on the new host. I can't tell if I did it right until the DNS propagates, so, wait and see. Click if you want to. Comment if you see it. Please don't mind the "Navigation" links all in a row that don't go anywhere or the ads for nothing at all that say "This is an ad." They will get fixed soon, all the right hand "Ad" links will go to books you can order online and the left hand Navigation links to pages that haven't been made yet - and a few that are, like this blog.
Everyone's working on their class projects. Energy is running high in the BN class at Forward Motion and I feel as if I'm doing grad school while working full time. My homework is a joy. My homework is the carrot I'm holding out to get the rest of the stuff done. The projects are neat, like a thousand word first person character description. My character is a six week old kitten! I'm premeditating about a hundred words of "Meow, mew, squeak, purr, snore..." for a gag post to put up about an hour before I do the real one, kick off with the kitty language post (concise) and then work on the real character description. I may get to do that today when it's cooler. Meoooowwww... quarter to four and it's brain-blistering hot in here even with three fans going.
But the Chazho rewrite, for all its stress, is going well. The book has good bones. I'm getting to see exactly how much I've grown. Structurally it's sound. It hasn't needed any major changes so far, the plot is sufficiently twisted, the momentum is breakneck, stakes are high, conflict everywhere. Characters and setting are memorable. It's that my prose isn't! My prose in it is a lot clumsier than anything I've written recently. I have head hopping. I have infodumps that need to get condensed or cut. I still need to lay up for the entire series with it, so I can't cut all of that - just make it a few little teasers. Some of that stuff I was laying in early for elbow room without then knowing what I'd do with it. I've written the later books and now I do know what I did with it. Gods, I hope I'm doing this right.
Deep breath. Center myself. It won't matter if I don't. It will not matter if I screw up here and there in little ways as long as I fix them. It won't matter if I make a few apologies for screwups either and blow past them and see why I made mistakes. I can only be me. I can only write my books. I have got to just do my best with this and keep doing what I've been doing all along. Run against my personal best and never mind anything else that goes on. I am a whole lot better off right now today than when I wrote that book.
I was in the shelter when I wrote that book and I've had a few nightmares about the shelter, from picking it up again. From remembering the context when I wrote it. I didn't know then that I'd be in there that many years. In a way that's a bit like looking at the book itself and all those plot threads hanging into the future volumes. If I had known, it might have been more than I could handle. It wasn't, obviously I'm here so I handled it and even once in a while did some good while I was in. Most of all if I don't dare to keep moving in this direction, that pit is still back there.
I have to let go of the last of it. I can't believe that I will need to be supported by welfare and public charities the rest of my life. The pain in this, the fear in it is that I'm facing real hope. I was not bullshitting those people at the shelter when I believed writing those books would get me out of it into a life where I'm living on what I do writing. That isn't myth. That isn't bull. Real people make their living on writing good books and I get better at it all the time. This is not about trading one rotten version of the dole for the better version of disability because cripples are deserving because they're proven innocent. I am not a parasite. I am not leftovers of society just to get thrown away and maintained as some unwanted duty of taxpayers. No. I'm going to live on my books and I write good books.
I still remember the others. I'm not shafting them by breaking out of the system. If anything I might manage to give heart to a few of them with those books. I'm not the only one who didn't just take it. The guy in the next room, the perfume salesman, he got out a lot faster than I did because he had something he could move that didn't take production. The lady who read "Bar Story" got out. They make it hard but it's not impossible. Most of all it has to be disbelieved, and disbelieved in the face of people who have an immediate vested interest in keeping you passive. Passive obedience doesn't help against the odds.
Robert and Ari >^..^<