Over 132,000 words now and misbehaving near the end. The plot threads that should be whipping around each other and forming a terminal shape are instead waving wildly in the breeze. A good part of that is the current political situation, which is sufficiently dire to grab my attention multiple times a day and suggest things that do not belong in this book as things it’s necessary to write about. Particularly when I was sicker, and my right ear was stopped up and almost void of hearing. (Why then?–well, the tinnitus was worse, and I couldn’t put the headphones on and play Bach to force concentration on something other than the GOP and its idiocy from Trump on down.)
(Yeah, so I’m political. Big surprise, not.) At any rate, the political situation on Slotter Key is not the same as here, and Grace’s past is not the past of anyone I know, so when you run across something that looks like commentary on current events while it was being written, they’re not. They were in the plan way back when, before all this. My take on politics has been there since Sheepfarmer’s Daughter (there expressed in fantasy terms) and hasn’t lurched to one side or the other due to Trump or his minions. Still, trying to keep Slotter Key’s peculiar situation completely separate from our peculiar situation hasn’t been easy, and has slowed me down. It’s also prevented me from doing another Waystation Huygens post, because the characters are eager to talk about our situation and what they would do if they were writing that book. Maybe later, but NOT NOW I tell them. Get back to work. They walk back muttering. I know what they’re thinking; they’re thinking what messes they’ll put me in when they write that book.
Meanwhile, a character with a very minor part in Cold Welcome–one I hoped would show up in this book–has indeed done so today. And I know why he waited so long, and realize that now I need to gut several scenes earlier in the book to make room for him. (Don’t worry–one reader’s already told me one of them is boring. Another needs to come out because it hung exotic weaponry all over the walls of the story and then none of them turned out to be used. None. All references to the shiny little boxes with bows on will vanish tomorrow. Stupid little red herrings for the writer. I spent precious time on that scene and the subsequent investigation of said boxes.)
Images from the initial cover shoot look good, and I can hope the cover will be snappy and interesting. I appreciate having the chance to work more with the art director. We’ll see how useful I am when the cover comes out. So…still working…fighting distractions…and illnesses…and so on. It will get done. It will get done SOON.