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In the center of my front room is a table. On that table stands a single vase with a single stem on which is a single bloom.

A rose, the first rose of the summer that is yet to come.

From purple to cerise to pink, the outer petals open to reveal their brethren, rank upon rank, unfolding like Mandelbrot origami, endless, hypnotic to the eye.

A single rose, a flower that can fit in the palm of my hand, and yet it fills the room, side to side, top to bottom, three thousand cubic feet, with the scent of honeyed apricots, sweetened cream, dappled sunlight, and the longing of ancient empires.

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It happened.

To be honest, I expected it earlier.

Usually, The Crash first hits me at around 10,000 words. This time, it waited until I was at 25,000 words. Foolishly, I thought I’d avoided it.

But I hadn’t.

Sneaky old bastard waited in the dark corners, hiding in amongst the musty, cobwebbed bric-a-brac, watching me wander hallways I’ve not walk down for years, letting me chuckle with pleasure at my own confidence. It let me think that this time, things were different, and they really did feel different.

But they weren’t.

It was all the same, just delayed.

(more…)

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I breached the 20k-word mark on the current WIP, and everything was going fine, just fine, until things began to . . . happen.

No, it wasn’t the few days of fine weather that demanded a drive (or two) in Pepper, nor was it the completely frenetic week I had at work, where no sooner had I gotten a handle on Task 1 than management pulled me off and told me to work on Task 2 (I’m currently on Task 4, which is not only a black box I have to crack open and suss out, but it’s also on fire and has a digital readout that keeps counting down toward zero).

Nope. None of that was the problem. (more…)

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letter-handwriting-family-letters-written-51159.jpegWork on the new novel is moving along pretty well, now, and I’ve achieved what (for me) is a rather brisk pace. I’m not threatening to break my personal best, set back when I was under contract to deliver the Fallen Cloud Saga, and I’m nowhere near the blistering pace consistently set by some writers I know (cough cough Barb Hendee cough), but I’m not complaining. I’m about halfway through Chapter Three (regular readers may note that I’m now posting progress in chapter increments, not in scenes) and settling into a new groove.

Experience, however, has taught me that “settling into a new groove” is, by itself, insufficient for success. New behavior can easily be scuttled when faced with distractions or downturns, especially in early days, when anything shiny is a temptation to wander.

To keep things moving, I need something more. (more…)

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sparrows greet us
escalating commuters
as we rise to the surface
grey-faced warriors
morlocks in the dawn
they sing to us from
guano-stained signs
hopping word to word
to teach us their lyrics
of sunrise and birth

bird-sparrow.jpg

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This week’s progress was slowed by a few issues.

First, Season 4 of Bosch dropped, and that simply had to be dealt with.

Second, I had some serious pain due to a nerve regrowing in my big toe (long story) and that made it impossible to concentrate on anything for about thirty-six hours.

Third, I was still on-call, and the weekend was punctuated with several job failures, including two early morning alerts that came to me in error. (Thanks, guys. Who wants to sleep in on the weekend anyway, amirite?)

With this as preamble, it wasn’t surprising that, once I finally got underway with chapter two scene one, my lack of concentration let me slip my lead and run down some research rabbit holes. (more…)

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