Here’s my temporary writing office, also known to some as the kitchen.
Most importantly, there’s a stack of books I’ve been using as inspiration for my novel-in-progress, which I’m calling Whispering Light for now: Chindi by Jack McDevitt, The Case for Mars by Robert Zubrin, The Dark Horse Book of Monsters, and a book of artwork by H. R. Giger, who’s perhaps most famous for his work on Ridley Scott’s Alien. And on top, you’ll find my Oakley Minute 2.0 shades, which were a gift from the girlfriend about two years ago. She got me a pair of black-and-green Oakley Jupiters as a college graduation gift, but my dog, Sam, ate them for lunch. May they rest in piece.
To the left, that’s a 15″ Dell Inspiron laptop I’ve had for three years or so, which has taken a lot of abuse in the course of both my college and writing careers — a lot of papers have been hammered out on it.
You can tell somewhat from the picture that the “?” + “/” key is more or less broken — there’s a little white mechanism that the key itself rests on, and two tiny prongs that hold it in place. At least one of the prongs is apparently busted or worn down, because it no longer functions as intended . . . but it gets the job done, with a little added force.
Normally you’d see a coffee mug with a bold dark roast, steaming and giving off its heavenly coffee-shop scent, but since it was getting late I opted to try one of my girlfriend’s Nestle PureLife (devil-corporation!) with Lemon Splash bottled waters. Not bad, but I feel morally soiled for having drunk it. I’m also fond of Coke Zero, Diet Coke, and iced tea. And on occasion, a nice cold one — Dos Equis, Red Stripe, or Blue Moon.
Don’t mind the overflowing garbage. You wanna get any writing done, you have to sacrifice some things. Y’know, like chores, showering, and breakfast. Except today. Today I had coffee and an Entenmann’s chocolate-frosted doughnut.
Also, I should probably buy some new shoes. Those once-white Jordans are getting a little beat-up, and they ain’t as comfortable as they were when I bought ‘em, maybe two years ago.
Other books I’ve been reading, or have read recently, include Michio Kaku’s Physics of the Future, Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey, The Apocalypse Ocean by Tobias S. Buckell, Distrust That Particular Flavor by William Gibson, Year’s Best SF 17, eds. David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, Amped by Daniel H. Wilson, Leviathans of Jupiter by Ben Bova, and probably some others I’m either forgetting or gave up on before finishing. For more aesthetic inspiration, when the Giger book fails to get the gears turning, I’ll probably also dig out my copy of Spectrum 17: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art.
I’m up to 4,245 words on the novel, which means I’m at roughly 5.3% completion, based on my initial target goal of 80,000 words for a very basic first draft. That makes for the beginning of a new prologue — which may end up being the first chapter; I’m not sure yet — three more or less “finished” chapters (1-3), and the beginning of a fourth chapter. So most of the scenes are pretty short at this point, which means I’ll be going back and expanding a lot of the dialogue and descriptions once the skeleton of the novel starts to reveal itself a bit more.
I’ve currently written chapters from three different viewpoint characters, and know at least one or two more viewpoint characters will comprise the finished narrative. Would share tidbits from my research and worldbuilding, or character names, but that’d be pretty premature at this point . . . Plus, I may very well decide to use an excerpt as my quarterly Writers of the Future contest entry at some point, so I’ll have to try and maintain some anonymity. And let’s be honest: Most of you probably don’t give a damn about my worldbuilding; you’d probably rather just hear that I finally succeeded in writing one of these long, long manuscripts.
No more talking. As Yoda said so well, Do, or do not; there is no try.
My daily word count goal is 500 words, give or take a hundred. Tonight I finished at 552, and tomorrow I’m hoping to hit 1,000. That used to be my daily goal, but whenever I failed to hit it, or decided I wouldn’t have enough time, I’d just avoid writing anything at all, so the 500-a-day target has proved much more efficient on a weekly basis. It’s been getting results, whereas before 1,000 words a day wouldn’t have. The only downside is, now it’s really hard to write more than the requisite five hundred. But I’ve always been a fairly slow writer, and I write with a fairly minimalistic style, so it won’t hurt me much in the long run — at least, I hope not.