Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring-Not a Writing Post

Spring has finally arrived here in Western Wisconsin (it hit 70 yesterday) and I have been doing house and garden stuff instead of writing, most notably building screens for my ginormous front porch. I live in a 1920's Craftsman bungalow, a rather large one and it has this beautiful front porch that rarely gets used because most of the year it's either too cold or too covered with mosquitoes. I'm about four blocks from a beautiful river and closer than that to a lively little creek, so there's plenty of damp around for them to breed in. I can't do anything about the cold, but this time next week I will be having breakfast on the porch and thumbing my nose at the mosquitoes--there may be pictures.

The task is made more complex by the fact that I don't want to leave the screens in year round, by the scrollwork on the capitals of the porch pillars which I have to cut the corners to fit, and by the age of the house which means that any right angles are purely accidental. It's been a challenge, but a fun one involving individual templates for 12 capitals and custom cutting almost every angle. I'm also taking the opportunity to put in a much larger mailbox, one that will take a manuscript or similar package--yay.

BTW, this does not mean that I've been neglecting my writing, just that spring happened to hit at a good time for me. The last book on the current contract is done and I'm waiting for comments from beta readers so I can do a final polish and drop it in the mail to my editor--3 months ahead of the advanced deadline we agreed on and six ahead of the contract deadline. The proposal for the last (for a while) WebMage is out with readers including my agent and so is a proposal for a successor series and I'm waiting to hear back on that.

I have about four books I'd be happy to write but none of them are burning a hole in my head, so I'm having a vacation that will probably end in a couple of days when I finish with the screens since I've started to have vivid dreams and leak weirdness again and Laura is telling me that I need to get back to work so that I'm less odd in the mornings.

That is all for now. I return you to your regularly scheduled day.


Bill Henry said...

I like what Kelly is working on today!

Coincidentally, out my office window I'm watching some workmen rebuilding the neighbor's second-floor screen porch, and envying them their outdoors occupation as I frown at my monitor.

I'm thinking maybe that this afternoon I need to be working on a walk with a canine companion.

paul lamb said...

Technically, we don't write books. We write novels. Don't hate me for quibbling.

Kelly Swails said...

"Less odd in the mornings?" What fun is that? Where's her sense of adventure?

Bill Henry said...

I think Kelly gets to say that he writes books, in fact. Four of them, by my last count, and so many, many more in the pipeline.

Kelly McCullough said...

Actually, since one of my books is an illustrated short story collection/science textbook, I write more than just novels--hence "books."

paul lamb said...

Well, my point was that it isn't a "book" until it is printed and bound between covers. Publishers make books, in the strictest sense of the word.

I know! It's an annoying splitting of hairs, but I try to be careful with word choices.

Kelly McCullough said...

Actually, if you really feel the need to quibble, according to my O.E.D. the printed and bound between covers definition of book is neither the first nor the primary definition, and gives that honor to a work of the written form sans any reference to physical properties higher up the list.

Anonymous said...

Missed you, Kelly. And am very jealous of your porch AND your summer office. It's snowing in Idaho - hopefully it's warmer there, and you'll be able to use both of them soon!

Bill Henry said...

No worries, Paul. Choosing words carefully is surely a virtue among writers.

Here's another way to look at this case, though: consider that "book" for "novel" is a simple case of metonymy, yes? "The use of the name of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is associated."

Write lots today, everyone. Lock the rugrats in the closet and get down to business!