30 November 2008

New chapters finished

Finally finished the second of the new chapters last night (tentatively titled "Clusterfuck" and "Antimatter Monday"). They both ran longer than I wanted (around 12,000 words each), but I think I can get away with that, though bringing the final draft in at ~100,000 now seems impossible; there's just not that much fat left to trim anywhere else. I'll start editing the last chapters today, though how much work I actually get done is an open question.

25 November 2008

A taste of the new material...

Because battle scenes are so gratifying to write.
And then the shells from Xinjinshan arrived. The battleship was half a million kilometers away, outside of its gun range...for a maneuvering target. Giant asteroids, as a rule, didn’t maneuver. The facing surface of Patroclus exploded with shell hits, spraying shards of rock into space. An evacuation shuttle was caught in the splash and disintegrated like a sparrow in the mouth of a shotgun.
Everything is coming along just fine.

23 November 2008

A few changes

Tweaked the blog's layout a little (you may have noticed it's much bluer), and added a sidebar with links to websites I find valuable or amusing. Commentary or suggestions welcome.

This concludes this public service announcement.

22 November 2008

Bambi vs. Godzilla

Poking around SDN last night after finishing up my HI work, I encountered an absolute gem of a thread. In it, Robo Jesus (who?) presumes to lecture Kuroneko about physics. Hilarity results.

My favorite part:
I'm torn between being in awe of your strawman or the irony of being lectured on arrogance by someone who either doesn't read or doesn't understand his own sources. I explicitly admitted that our knowledge is far from complete, so don't pretend otherwise--it being the only statement in your first post between us that I agreed with. On the other hand, going from that from that to "our understanding of physics absolutely sucks" involves no rational basis, an ignorance of just how well our fundamental laws do work, and, as your next post demonstrated, an ignorance of what our theories are even talking about. As far as I'm concerned, that's the sort of arrogant attitude "that needs to be kicked in the head with steel toed boots."
Someone ought to link this thread to the "being positive" thread in the Senate. You want an example of a devastating smackdown with no naughty words, insults, bullying, or general jackass behavior, this is it.

21 November 2008


Why the hell did I decide to name a major setting in the book "Hammarskjöld"? I don't even have a key to make the "ö". I ought to just do a find-and-replace and rename it "U Thant", but then I'd have to hunt down all those references to "The Hammer" and "Hammer Town" and change them, and "U Thant" doesn't lend itself to snappy nicknames.

19 November 2008

o hai guyz

So hey, I have a blog! How about that, huh? Right after Winchell Chung writes up an entry about me on Atomic Rockets, where he says I never update my blog and can usually be found at SDN, I go on sabbatical from SDN and update my blog. On the upside, without SDN, I get way more work done. If all else fails, I eventually get so bored I edit for lack of anything better to do. Now that's motivation.

I was actually going to go on a vacation from SDN a week ago, but then the fuck-off huge drama storm broke out, and I felt compelled to hang around and dispense my wisdom. I'm sure when I return SDN will have become a beacon of sweet reason, patience, and light. Except for Testing. Fuck those guys.

Alright, so, way-overdue novel update. The first thing I did to the third draft was cut out 50,000 words. Just like that! I accomplished it by taking an ax to an entire subplot consisting of three chapters, two of which I wrote for the second draft and didn't like at all, and one of which had been present from the first draft and I really hated to cut, but sometimes you have to murder your darlings. So the novel went from a bloated 130,000 words to a rushed 80,000. Which is better, but obviously not ideal, so I have to refill it somewhat, by fleshing out and expanding the main plot, with, among other things, another battle. This time with battleships, giving the reader a chance to see those brutes in action up close, something I regretted leaving out of the first and second drafts.

And the new additions have been the problem. I should have had this draft done already, even given distractions, but the writing has been extraordinarily hard going this time, and I'm not sure why. I haven't been writing "downhill" at all this draft--the experience of having the words pour out so fast and I can hardly keep up. When that happens, I can write entire chapters in a few days (as I did with "Last Flight Out", one of my favorites in all three drafts). So it's been a slog. Fortunately, I'm almost finished, and I won't need to move a lot of furniture in the remaining chapters, so I'm on track to be done by Christmas. And then we'll see what's left to be done.