I have just finished printing out Sui Generis (working title) to be submitted to Quirk Books in time for the Oct. 1st deadline. I’m cheating a little, because I started out the summer rewriting Discorporate with an eye towards submitting it to Quirk, but the characters and the plot just keep getting deeper, and I knew I couldn’t finish it before Oct. 1st and do justice to it. So I dusted off a manuscript that was all edited and ready to be published by Trap Door Books a few years ago right before the economy scuttled them. Of course, I had to scan it once more before sending it. My eyes are aching and refuse to focus I’ve been staring at the screen so much.
Yeah, so here I am, staring at a screen again. I’m telling you, this writing thing is a disease.
I have finished proofing and am about to sign off on the paperback galley for Archimedes Nesselrode (how do you like the cover?). Having three separate and distinct novels in my head at the same time makes me a little weird. I find myself standing in the kitchen, staring into space, totally unconnected to external reality. I can’t sleep, and I feel like I should just skip the finger/keyboard interface and plug my brain directly into my laptop. Can they do that yet?
As for the mountains, yes, I’m on schedule. I’ll be hiking Cannon day after tomorrow. That clears the deck. I’ll have just Zealand and the three Bonds to do. In about a week I’ll be packing for a three (possibly four) day hike to finish up the list of 4K peaks with my hiking buddy Mary. Champagne is impractical to pack, but I’ll think of something.
So, do I get my life back after that? Hell, no. I have the release party for Archimedes Nesselrode to plan for (October 15) and somewhere in that circus I have to get another Monitor article out and produce a BroadPod podcast. My family might get me back in time for Christmas. Then I hit the convention circuit.
The thing is, for all the stress, there is nothing I’d rather be doing. All my life there are two things I’ve dreamed of: publishing my work and camping in the mountains. I’ve managed both. In fact, I did Garfield, Galehead and the Twins on my own, lugging my gear, pitching my tent out in the woods instead of at an approved campsite, and I didn’t get eaten by a bear. In fact, I had a hell of a grand time. I watched the dusk settle in, blowing the clouds across the Twins, looking down at Galehead hut where happy hikers were settling down with all the luxuries of shelter, hot food, dry bunks and real toilets, the warm glow of light pouring from the windows. And there I was, high above, all alone in the gathering darkness and reveling in it. The Fool on the Hill. It poured rain all night but I was snug in my tent. Broke camp in the morning and hiked back to my car, mission accomplished.
And now I am on the verge of seeing my work in print, albeit from a small press, but a reputable one nonetheless. I have fans who are clamoring for copies of the book and promising to help flog it. Okay, it took me half a century to get here, but I’m here. My humble and sincere thanks to all the people who made it possible. I’m too much of a ditz to have done it on my own.
What did I say about getting my life back? Hell, this is my life. Where’s the champagne?